Releasing May 1, 2015 and will be available until June 30, 2015 ONLY!
Make a difference while you read! All proceeds from the sale of Sweet Talk, Sweet Dreams and Sweet Seduction will be donated to the Diabetes Research Institute via Brenda Novak’s Online Auction for Diabetes Research.
In 2014, the boxed set curated by Brenda Novak’s Online Auction for Diabetes Research (title A SWEET LIFE), raised almost $100 000. This year we’re back for a second helping, and you can indulge, too! Priced at only $9.99, these fascinating limited edition collections feature some of your favorite New York Times and USA Today Bestselling authors…
by Violet Duke
Leila walked over and held her hand out for Jackson to shake.
The casual, completely normal gesture had the same effect as a speeding bus barreling into him from out of the blue.
He wasn’t blind, he’d noticed that she was beautiful before—from a good twenty or thirty yards away. Up close, however, he made the dangerous discovery that she was pretty, too. It was a weird distinction he made that neither Bennett nor Donovan agreed with. But for Jackson, ‘pretty’ was sometimes a bigger deal than beautiful, which in one way or another, all women were.
Prettiness was more personal, more affectionate. Customizable. While beauty could simply be admired, prettiness could almost always prompt a smile.
For Jackson, Leila was absolutely his kind of pretty. Country girl cute with carnivorous curves that hinted at her preference of steak over salad, guileless eyes that he’d already seen could turn into a lethal glare when needed, and wholly reactive expressions so candid—when she allowed them to roam free on her face—that they seemed to feed directly from her heart. Add to that, the fact that she was unknowingly, almost accidentally, sexy made her all the more unforgettable.
In a word, pretty.
Again, so much more than just beautiful.
THE BILLIONAIRE YOU KNOW
I turned my attention back to the masseuse who, though rail thin, had hauled in and set up a portable massage table like it was nothing. Her arms were seriously toned, making me wince about the way a single day of skiing had reduced me to a mass of pain.
She smiled at me, pale gold hair brushing her shoulders as she tucked a pristine white sheet over the mattress. “I’m Marcie.” She tucked a strand of that silky hair behind an ear before offering me a hand. “I assume your boyfriend will be watching?”
“Uh, not my boyfriend.” I cast a glance at Jake, but he didn’t seem to be paying any attention. His fingers were already tapping over his phone. Probably just brokering some multi-million dollar deal. No biggie.
“Oh.” Marcie frowned a bit, pursed her lips. “Will you still be okay with the massage being here, then? I need you mostly naked. I really can’t work as well with clothing as a barrier.”
“Um...” I cast another furtive look at Jake. As I’d expected, the word naked had caught his attention and he was staring at us expectantly.
I stuck my tongue out at him. “Pervert.”
“You know it.” He grinned back, then shrugged. “And you know, I’ve seen boobs before.”
Normally, this would have just made me grin—I was certainly not a virgin, myself. Jake and I had never been together, that way—we’d just never thought of each other like that, no matter how many significant others we each seemed to go through.
Still, something in his simple comment stung in a way it never had before.
The billionaire is not for you, I reminded myself. Jake was my best and oldest friend, to be sure. But I would hate the herd of paparazzi that followed him everywhere, hate the media frenzy that erupted every time he was spotted in public with a new woman. I would hate pretty much everything about his lifestyle, actually—I’d always been more of a chicken wings and beer kind of girl, hold the caviar and Dom Perignon.
I told myself to get over it. He was most certainly not experiencing these same strange surges of emotion. To him, I was just Liz, his buddy.
Not his type. Not his type at all.
“It’s fine.” Turning, I smiled at the massage therapist. Marcie nodded and looked at me expectantly, and I realized that I was supposed to strip, like, now.
“Sorry.” Awkwardly, feeling exposed, I tugged at the top half of my long underwear. It caught on my ponytail as I yanked it over my head.
I could have sworn I felt Jake’s eyes boring into my naked back, but when I shifted, started to pull down my matching fleecy bottoms, I saw that he was focused entirely on his work. This caused a streak of annoyance to stab me in the tender part of my gut. Yes, we were just friends, but I was a woman, and I was getting naked. Jake loved naked women, almost more than he loved his mother.
TOYS IN THE ATTIC
The zombie-skeleton-nun was evil.
Kathy could feel it. And so could Waldorf.
“Come on, Waldorf. Kitty, Kitty!” Kathy called.
Waldorf looked at her. She could have sworn that he looked toward the zombie-nun thing— and shuddered again.
He didn’t leave the keyboard.
“Don’t look at it, Waldorf. Don’t look at it…just pretend it’s not there.”
Waldorf didn’t move. He was in the taut, hunched position cats took on when they were ready to strike—or when they were very wary and ready to take up a defensive position.
Kathy let out a sigh and brought the kitty treats over to the computer. The cat left the keys— jumping into her arms.
She gave him the treats. “You know, Waldorf, we’re going to go to my place. It’s just a shotgun rental—I don’t own it, and I’m not fixing it up—but we’ll be happier there.
She thought about her own place longingly. A block off Duval, it could be loud; drunks sometimes stumbled by singing at their top of their lungs after leaving the bars on the main street.
She had a few movie props and things of her own that one just might consider creepy.
But not the zombie-nun thing.
“I’m just going to close this up, Waldorf—then we’ll go to my place. You’ll stay in my arms, right? Didn’t bring the car and it’s about six blocks away….”
She sat, looking at the work she had done, ready to save it. She saw a few typos and set about fixing them before saving—then saved again in a backup file that she emailed to herself. As she did so, she felt the cat’s claws dig into the flesh on her thighs. Waldorf began to hiss.
She looked up.
It was there; the zombie-skeleton-nun thing. Standing in front of her. The gaping mouth now seemed to be grinning, the dark eye sockets seemed to have vision, and they were staring directly at her. She could have sworn that she heard it laughing.
It had moved.
Kathy let out a shriek, stood, clutching the massive cat to her.
And yes, it moved…one of the giant hands reached out, reached out across the desk, reached for her….
She screamed and came around the desk, staring at it in horror, wondering in the back or her mind which was closer, the front door or the back door.
She raced toward the front door. And then she felt it touch her.
Skeletal fingers wound into her hair, pulling her back. It spun her around and all she could think was that the thing was evil. She could hear the thunder of her heart; she could barely breathe. The noise of her pulse was deafening….
She screamed again, wrenched free, bolted for the front door and threw it open, letting Waldorf slip to the ground and run on his own, her only thought—escape!
She raced into the night…. On to Elizabeth Street.
And into the headlights of a coming car.
by Liliana Hart
Jack was one of those people who was a pleasure to look at. He stood a little over six feet and had the kind of body that showed discipline and training. There wasn’t an ounce of fat on him. Anywhere. He also had the kind of face that made women stop and stare, dimples that he always used to his advantage, and eyes that turned the color of dark chocolate when he was angry or aroused. He was one of the two at the moment, because they were almost black. Based on the fact that something hard was poking my hip, I was betting on the latter of the two.
His hair was dark and he always kept it buzzed close to the scalp. Mostly because when he let it grown long it had a tendency to curl. There were times when I had trouble focusing if Jack was in the room because I pretty much wanted to jump his bones every time he crossed in my general path. Fortunately, he was always very accommodating.
His body had scars—plenty of them—telling story after story of the life he’d led as a cop. And Jack wasn’t the type of man to sit comfortably behind a desk. He wanted to be in the action—leading the pack and taking the chances. Even now, as Sheriff of King George County, Virginia he made sure he knew what was going on in every department of the sheriff’s office. He wasn’t just a figurehead.
“I mean it,” he whispered, slipping inside of me. “This is the last time.”
“Agreed. I’m already sick of you. Lets get a divorce.” And then my eyes rolled back in my head and I stopped thinking all together.
A half an hour later, Jack was spraying sunscreen across my shoulders and back while I dumped sand out of my bikini top. I managed to put on my bathing suit despite the fact that my legs weren’t quite working, and I tied a bright blue sarong around my waist. My body was satiated and relaxed, and all I wanted was to crawl into one of the hammocks outside of our cabana and sleep. I’d had precious little rest and relaxation over the past several years.
My time as county coroner, as well as the owner of Graves Funeral Home, didn’t always allow me to get a solid eight hours of uninterrupted sleep. Why was it that death always happened in the middle of the night? Fortunately, I was conditioned to function on little sleep and gallons of coffee from my time as an ER doctor. Of course, my ER days were back before my parents had driven their car over a cliff and changed my life forever.
I swayed and steadied myself on Jack’s arm. “I think there was something in the wedding vows that said you have to carry me if I’m unable to walk due to sexual bliss.” Our cabana was barely a speck in the distance, and I wasn’t sure I’d be able to make it without falling on my face.
“I’m not sure whose wedding you attended, but I don’t think it was ours.” Jack smacked me on the behind and took my hand as we strolled toward our cabana.
My legs felt like lead, the sun was starting to get to me, and I needed a fruity drink with an umbrella in it in a bad way. I’ve never really been on vacation before, but I’ve discovered I’m pretty good at it. I kept my head down, focusing on putting one foot in front of the other, so I didn’t see the man standing on our front porch until we were almost right on top of him.
SWEET TALK (10 All NEW Contemporary Romances by Bestselling Authors to Benefit Diabetes)
Melody Anne, Violet Duke, Melissa Foster, Gina L. Maxwell, Linda Lael Miller, Brenda Novak, Sherryl Woods, Steena Holmes, Rosalind James, Molly O’Keefe, and Nancy Naigle, with Robyn Carr.
SWEET DREAMS (13 All NEW Thrillers by Bestselling Authors to Benefit Diabetes)
Allison Brennan, Cynthia Eden, JT Ellison, Heather Graham, Liliana Hart, Alex Kava, CJ Lyons, Carla Neggers, Brenda Novak, Theresa Ragan, Erica Spindler, Jo Robertson, and Tiffany Snow, with Lee Child.
SWEET SEDUCTION (13 All NEW Erotic Romances by Bestselling Authors to Benefit Diabetes)
Lexi Blake, Mari Carr, JS Cooper, Nicole Edwards, Karen Erickson, Megan Hart, J Kenner, Julia Kent, Elisabeth Grace, Lauren Hawkeye, Nina Lane, Roni Loren, and Avery Aster, with Lisa Renee Jones.
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