New Release Review! 1001 Dark Nights – Bundle 8

 

Synopsis:

Six Dark Tales. Six Sensual Stories. Six Page Turners.

Kiss The Flame by Christopher Rice

Laney Foley is the first woman from her hard working family to attend college. That’s why she can’t act on her powerful attraction to one of the gorgeous teaching assistants in her Introduction to Art History course. Ever since he first laid eyes on her, Michael Brouchard seems to think about little else but the two of them together. And it’s become harder for Laney to ignore his intelligence and his charm.

 

Daring Her Love by Melissa Foster

Kat Martin knows what she wants in a man—someone stable and adoring, definitely not the type of guy who sleeps around. After all, Kat rarely does the wrong thing—until she meets seductively enticing Eric James. When it comes to his career, race-car driver Eric James is intense, obsessive, and passionate, but when it comes to sex, there’s only one kind—daring, unbridled, and no-strings-attached.

 

Teased by Rebecca Zanetti

Chalton Reese has left war and death in the past. His fingers now protect with a keyboard instead of a weapon. Until the vampire king sends him on one more mission; to hunt down a human female with the knowledge to destroy the Realm. Olivia Roberts has eyes like emeralds, a brain to match his own, and a passion that might destroy them both—if the enemy on their heels doesn’t do so first.

 

The Promise of Surrender by Liliana Hart

Mia Russo spent ten years working undercover before handing in her shield. Opening her own pawn shop is a piece of cake in comparison. Until the day Zeke McBride walks into her shop. Zeke knows Mia has every right not to trust him. He was the one who chose the next op instead of her. And all he can hope is that somewhere under the snarl and cynicism is a woman who can forgive.

 

Savaged Surrender by Jennifer Lyon

Bad boy Ethan Hunt is tainted by a past he can’t escape. Good girl Ana Kendall is a wicked temptation impossible to resist. She’s too innocent for him, so he leaves, joining the security team for the famous rock band Savaged Illusions. Since moving in with her dad at fourteen, Ana’s been the perfect daughter. But perfection sucks. It’s time to shed her good girl persona and go after what she wants—Ethan.

 

Jumpstart by Riley Hart

Motocross star Beckett Monroe is in need of R&R, not only to adjust to his new out-of-the-closet status, but in hopes of reigniting his passion for motocross. Support shows up in the way of Christian Foster, his childhood best friend and first love. Spending time with Christian is the jumpstart Beck’s heart needs. But even if Christian can forgive Beck for hurting him years ago, do they stand a chance against the obstacles in their path?

Every Dark Nights tale is breathtakingly sexy and magically romantic.

Reviews:

The 8th bundle of 1001 Dark Nights novellas is a nice mix of stories that can serve as intros to authors and/or series or just be enjoyed on their own.

Kiss the Flame by Christopher Rice

I couldn’t put this one down! Mr. Rice seriously had me at the word “ghosts”–adding in Laney and Michael, a couple it was easy to root for, was just gravy! The spooky candle store, the angsty forbidden romance, Laney’s insecurities and fears, Michael’s nonstop awesomeness…all good things. I absolutely have to go back and read the first two books set in this world (novella The Flame and novel The Surrender Gate) and cannot wait to find out what Lillianna’s mysterious note means–hopefully we’ll find out soon!

Rating: 4 stars / A-

Daring Her Love: A Bradens Novella by Melissa Foster

Instalove, public bathroom sex (twice! just, NO), and a lack of any real story conflict beyond can-this-former-player-be-true-to-one-woman? made this one the weakest of the bunch.

Rating: 2 1/2 stars / C

Teased by Rebecca Zanetti

I accidentally read the second book in this trilogy ( Tricked ) before this one–realized it about halfway through when everything started sounding vaguely familiar (so I jumped on Goodreads to confirm, found my ecopy, and then re-read first 10% of Tricked just to remind myself of how much I liked it and its characters)–not a huge deal, and since I’d wanted to read Chalton and Oliva’s story anyway to see what Ronni and Jared had been talking about, it ended up being a win-win situation.

I definitely need to back up and read more of this series, because I really enjoy the world that Ms. Zanetti has created here. Everything moves pretty fast in this one due to the novella format (though the third brother, Theo, will have somewhat of a history with his heroine–not really a good history, though sometimes that does make for the best reading ;)) but the supernatural element does help to make the instalust/love element seem a bit more believable. A nice blend of action, family drama, and romance make this one an entertaining read, to new readers and series fans alike.

Rating: 4 stars / B+

The Promise of Surrender by Liliana Hart

A novella from the MacKenzie family world, The Promise of Surrender worked fairly well as a standalone, since the main characters aren’t MacKenzies. A few come up in the story, but not to the point that you’d need to know their stories ahead of time.

Promise is a second chance romance–a troupe that works well in a shorter (ie novella) format, since the h/h already have a history. In this case, it’s been seven years since Mia and Zeke have seen each other, since he let his job come between them and she left. But now circumstances (only somewhat orchestrated by Zeke) have thrown them back together, and he at least is determined that they’re going to make up for lost time.

Enjoyable characters with a decent amount of suspense–however, while the romantic plot ends well, the suspense one felt unfinished. Still, this could be a good intro to the series for newbies.

Rating: 4 stars / B+

Savaged Surrender by Jennifer Lyons

A second chance romance heavy on the “erotic” and with a touch of suspense, Savaged Surrender was an enjoyable, though not terribly memorable, read. Both Ana and Ethan are likable characters, though his instance that she was to good for him got to be a bit wearying…and then he got over it, fairly abruptly. (So it was kind of yay! but…)

Rating: 3 1/2 stars / B

Jumpstart by Riley Hart

A best-friends-to-lovers, second chance romance! Beckett and Christian had been friends for years and then secretly became more, until Christian was accidentally outed and Beckett kept his distance, choosing his up and coming Motocross career (and, in a way, his family) over Chris. Fast forward ten years–they’re both successful, neither currently in a relationship, and Beckett’s come out as bi and is starting to feel unfulfilled in his career. One phone call leads to another, which leads to…

Jumpstart worked well as a standalone, and as an intro to the author and (Crossroads) series!

Rating: 4 stars / B-

Overall rating: 4 stars / B

 

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

Release Day! 1001 DARK NIGHTS Discovery Bundle Eight (Novellas by Christopher Rice, Melissa Foster, Rebecca Zanetti, Liliana Hart, Jennifer Lyon and Riley Hart)

We are absolutely thrilled to bring you the Release Day Launch for 1001 Dark Nights: Bundle Eight! 1001 Dark Nights: Bundle Eight is brought to you by 1001 Dark Nights. The Bundle contains 6 novellas from New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors Christopher Rice, Melissa Foster, Rebecca Zanetti, and Liliana Hart, and introducing Discovery Authors Jennifer Lyon and Riley Hart! Grab your copy of this incredible bundle today!

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About 1001 Dark Nights: Bundle Eight:

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors Christopher Rice, Melissa Foster, Rebecca Zanetti, Liliana Hart, and introducing Jennifer Lyon and Riley Hart.

Six Dark Tales. Six Sensual Stories. Six Page Turners.

Kiss The Flame by Christopher Rice

Laney Foley is the first woman from her hard working family to attend college. That’s why she can’t act on her powerful attraction to one of the gorgeous teaching assistants in her Introduction to Art History course. Ever since he first laid eyes on her, Michael Brouchard seems to think about little else but the two of them together. And it’s become harder for Laney to ignore his intelligence and his charm.
Daring Her Love by Melissa Foster

Kat Martin knows what she wants in a man—someone stable and adoring, definitely not the type of guy who sleeps around. After all, Kat rarely does the wrong thing—until she meets seductively enticing Eric James. When it comes to his career, race-car driver Eric James is intense, obsessive, and passionate, but when it comes to sex, there’s only one kind—daring, unbridled, and no-strings-attached.

 

Teased by Rebecca Zanetti

Chalton Reese has left war and death in the past. His fingers now protect with a keyboard instead of a weapon. Until the vampire king sends him on one more mission; to hunt down a human female with the knowledge to destroy the Realm. Olivia Roberts has eyes like emeralds, a brain to match his own, and a passion that might destroy them both—if the enemy on their heels doesn’t do so first.
The Promise of Surrender by Liliana Hart

Mia Russo spent ten years working undercover before handing in her shield. Opening her own pawn shop is a piece of cake in comparison. Until the day Zeke McBride walks into her shop. Zeke knows Mia has every right not to trust him. He was the one who chose the next op instead of her. And all he can hope is that somewhere under the snarl and cynicism is a woman who can forgive.
Savaged Surrender by Jennifer Lyon

Bad boy Ethan Hunt is tainted by a past he can’t escape. Good girl Ana Kendall is a wicked temptation impossible to resist. She’s too innocent for him, so he leaves, joining the security team for the famous rock band Savaged Illusions. Since moving in with her dad at fourteen, Ana’s been the perfect daughter. But perfection sucks. It’s time to shed her good girl persona and go after what she wants—Ethan.
Jumpstart by Riley Hart

Motocross star Beckett Monroe is in need of R&R, not only to adjust to his new out-of-the-closet status, but in hopes of reigniting his passion for motocross. Support shows up in the way of Christian Foster, his childhood best friend and first love. Spending time with Christian is the jumpstart Beck’s heart needs. But even if Christian can forgive Beck for hurting him years ago, do they stand a chance against the obstacles in their path?

 

Every Dark Nights tale is breathtakingly sexy and magically romantic.

Experience the 1001 Dark Nights: Bundle Eight Here…

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About the 1001 Dark Nights: Bundle Eight Authors-

christopher-rice-headshotAbout Christopher Rice:

After publishing four New York Times bestselling thrillers by the age of 30 and being declared one of People Magazine’s Sexiest Men Alive, award-winning writer Christopher Rice became the first author to make his erotic romance debut part of the 1,001 DARK NIGHTS series. THE FLAME: A Desire Exchange Novella kicked off a steamy new series set in New Orleans, featuring magical candles and a sexy new breed of supernatural beings, The Radiants, who are devoted to helping heroes and heroines realize their heart’s desire. THE FLAME earned accolades from some of the biggest names in erotic romance and was quickly followed up by THE SURRENDER GATE: A Desire Exchange Novel, available from Evil Eye Concepts as a Blue Box Special. Aside from authoring eight works of dark suspense, Christopher is also the co-host and executive producer of THE DINNER PARTY SHOW WITH CHRISTOPHER RICE & ERIC SHAW QUINN, all the episodes of which can be downloaded at TheDinnerPartyShow.com and from iTunes. Look for their new You Tube channel in Spring 2016.

Website ** Facebook ** Twitter

 

melissa-foster-headshotAbout Melissa Foster:

Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She is the author of the award-winning Love in Bloom series featuring the Snow Sisters, The Bradens, The Remingtons, The Ryders, and Seaside Summers. She writes sexy contemporary romance with sinfully sexy, wealthy, and fiercely loyal heroes, and smart, sassy, and sensual heroines. Her Wild Boys After Dark series is hot enough to burn up the sheets.

Melissa has a wicked chocolate addiction, and she loves to name her characters after readers. She welcomes invitations to Skype with book clubs and reader groups.

Website ** Facebook ** Twitter

 

rebecca-zanetti-headshotAbout Rebecca Zanetti:

New York Times and USA Today Bestseller Rebecca Zanetti is the author of over twenty-five dark paranormals, romantic suspense, and contemporary romances. She lives in the wilds of the Pacific Northwest with her own Alpha hero, two kids, a couple of dogs, a crazy cat…and a huge extended family. She believes strongly in luck, karma, and working her butt off…and she thinks one of the best things about being an author, unlike the lawyer she used to be, is that she can let the crazy out. Her current series are: The Dark Protectors, The Maverick Montana Cowboys, and the Sin Brothers series. Upcoming series are: The Realm Enforcers and The Scorpius Syndrome.

Website ** Facebook ** Twitter

 

liliana-hart-headshotAbout Liliana Hart:

Liliana Hart is a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author in both the mystery and romance genres. After starting her first novel her freshman year of college, she immediately became addicted to writing and knew she’d found what she was meant to do with her life. She has no idea why she majored in music.

Liliana is an avid reader and a believer in all things romance. Her books are filled with witty dialogue, steamy sex, and the all-important happily-ever-afters her romantic soul craves. Since self-publishing in June of 2011, she’s sold more than 1.2 million ebooks all over the world.

Website ** Facebook ** Twitter

 

jennifer-lyon-headshotAbout Jennifer Lyon:

Jennifer Lyon is the pseudonym for USA Today Bestselling Author Jennifer Apodaca. Jen lives in Southern California where she continually plots ways to convince her husband that they should get a dog. After all, they met at the dog pound, fell in love, married and had three wonderful sons. So far, however, she has failed in her doggy endeavor. She consoles herself by pouring her passion into writing books. To date, Jen has published more than fifteen books and novellas, including a fun and sexy mystery series and a variety of contemporary romances under the name Jennifer Apodaca. As Jennifer Lyon she created a dark, sizzling paranormal series, and The Plus Once Chronicles, an emotionally sensual adult contemporary series. Jen’s won numerous awards and had her books translated into multiple languages, but she still hasn’t come up with a way to persuade her husband that they need a dog.

Website ** Facebook ** Twitter

 

riley-hart-headshotAbout Riley Hart:

Riley Hart is the girl who wears her heart on her sleeve. She’s a hopeless romantic, a lover of sexy stories, passionate men, and writing about all the trouble they can get into together. She loves reading, flawed characters, and hanging out with her husband and children, who she adores.

She and her family live in Southern California, soaking up the sunshine, while also missing seasons. Not a day goes by that she isn’t thankful she gets to wake up and do what she loves. Life is good.

Riley also writes young adult and new adult under the name Nyrae Dawn.

 

Website ** Facebook ** Twitter

 

 

 

Young couple of lovers kissing on black background

 

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New Release Review! TRICKED by Rebecca Zanetti (A Dark Protectors & 1001 Dark Nights novella)

We are absolutely thrilled to bring you the Review & Excerpt Tour for TRICKED by Rebecca Zanetti, a novella in her Dark Protectors Series brought to you by 1001 Dark Nights! Grab your copy of this sexy novella today!

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About TRICKED:

He Might Save Her

Former police psychologist Ronni Alexander had it all before a poison attacked her heart and gave her a death sentence. Now, on her last leg, she has an opportunity to live if she mates a vampire. A real vampire. One night of sex and a good bite, and she’d live forever with no more weaknesses. Well, except for the vampire whose dominance is over the top, and who has no clue how to deal with a modern woman who can take care of herself.

She Might Kill Him

Jared Reese, who has no intention of ever mating for anything other than convenience, agrees to help out his new sister-in-law by saving her friend’s life with a quick tussle in bed. The plan seems so simple. They’d mate, and he move on with his life and take risks as a modern pirate should. Except after one night with Ronni, one moment of her sighing his name, and he wants more than a mating of convenience. Now all he has to do is convince Ronni she wants the same thing. Good thing he’s up for a good battle.

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Excerpt:

His muscles tightened as he held himself in check.

She stretched her neck, her body moving against him. “I feel so good.” Holding out her hand, she twisted her arm left and right. “Strong. Well, stronger than I just was.” She rubbed her palm along his whiskers. “That’s not all.”

Yeah. He felt it, too. Attraction. So he turned her to straddle him, feeling her body warm several degrees. “Let me know if I go too fast.”

She leaned in and settled her lips on his. “The first time I saw you, I thought wow. A real wow.”

Her breath brushed his mouth, and he stiffened to remain in control. “Is that a fact?” he asked, waiting for her to make a move. The last thing he wanted to do was frighten her, and he couldn’t tell how much stronger his blood had made her. If at all.

“Yes.” She nibbled at his bottom lip.

Magma boiled through his blood. “When I first saw you, I thought your eyes were the prettiest color I’d ever seen,” he said against her mouth. “Like a fine whiskey that has just caught the light.”

She kissed him, and he could feel her smile. “That’s sweet,” she whispered.

Yeah. That was him. Sweet. Nobody in his entire life had called him that. “I don’t want to rush you,” he said.

She tunneled her hands through his hair and hummed. “But we’re on a bit of a deadline?”

“Yeah.” The slight tug of her fingers hazed red over his vision. “Don’t know how long your extra strength will last.” Probably not very long. And there could be repercussions to her damaged heart from his blood, so they had to mate and now. He stood, easily holding her to him. “Bedroom.”

She wrapped her legs around his waist. “Um. Okay.”

 

Review:

I haven’t read any of the Dark Protectors series before (why? Why haven’t I? I have no excuses here) but though it’s clear that they have some connection (Tricked is the middle novella of three in the 1001 Dark Nights series dealing with three vampire brothers–between Teased and Tantalized) I did just fine starting here.

I loved Jared and Ronni–he’s all gruff and alpha and vampire-y and she’s feisty and independent and…kinda likes for him to take charge sometimes. But hates it too. And loves it. It all makes for some fun reading 😉

The novella format worked nicely here–the ending did come a bit quickly, and they did get to the “I love you”s after a fairly short amount of time, but somehow it doesn’t feel like instalove when there’s supernatural creatures involved. Especially supernatural creatures who double as sex gods. But I digress…

This story was just enough to really whet my appetite for more from this series–at the very least, I’m going to get my hands on Teased ASAP and grab Tantalized as soon as it comes out! (Because, hello–I knew that witch was up to no good!)

Rating: 4 stars / B+

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

 

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rebecca-zanetti-headshotAbout Rebecca Zanetti:

New York Times and USA Today Bestseller Rebecca Zanetti is the author of over twenty-five dark paranormals, romantic suspense, and contemporary romances. She lives in the wilds of the Pacific Northwest with her own Alpha hero, two kids, a couple of dogs, a crazy cat…and a huge extended family. She believes strongly in luck, karma, and working her butt off…and she thinks one of the best things about being an author, unlike the lawyer she used to be, is that she can let the crazy out. Her current series are: The Dark Protectors, The Maverick Montana Cowboys, and the Sin Brothers series. Upcoming series are: The Realm Enforcers and The Scorpius Syndrome.

 

Website | Facebook | Twitter

 

 

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Rebecca Zanetti’s TRICKED – Review & Excerpt Tour Schedule:

October 26th

A Fortress of Books – Review

Letter Shelves Blog – Review & Excerpt

Marie’s Tempting Reads – Review & Excerpt

October 27th

GraveTells – Excerpt

Reading Between the Wines Book Club – Excerpt

She Hearts Books – Review

Reese’s Reviews – Review & Excerpt

October 28th

Natalie TheBiblioholic – Review & Excerpt

Booknista – Excerpt

The Escapist Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

October 29th

The Reading Cafe – Review & Excerpt

Becky on Books – Review & Excerpt

Vagabonda Reads – Review & Excerpt

October 30th

WTF Are You Reading! – Review & Excerpt

Alphas Do It Better Book Blog – Review

Fictional Rendezvous Book Blog – Excerpt

Sofia Loves Books – Review & Excerpt

October 31st

Reading in Pajamas – Review & Excerpt

Always YA at Heart – Review & Excerpt

Angel’s Guilty Pleasures – Excerpt

Untamed Bibliophiles – Review & Excerpt

November 1st

Dog-Eared Daydreams – Review & Excerpt

My Nook, Books & More – Excerpt

Oh My Growing TBR – Review & Excerpt

Hannah’s Words – Review & Excerpt

November 2nd

Bookaliciousbabes Blog – Review & Excerpt

Read-Love-Blog – Excerpt

Mistress of Romance – Review & Excerpt

Romance Book Nerd – Excerpt

November 3rd

The Romantic Angel Blog – Review

The BookWhisperer – Review

British Book Binge – Review & Excerpt

November 4th

G & T’s Indie Café – Excerpt

The Sassy Bookster – Review & Excerpt

Knotty Girl Reviews – Review

Robinson Reviews – Review

 

Father and Daughter Playing Together at the Beach at Sunset. Happy Fun Smiling Lifestyle

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New Release Review and Giveaway! MERCURY STRIKING by Rebecca Zanetti (The Scorpius Syndrome #1)

Enter to Win a Print Copy of MERCURY STRIKING

 

MERCURY STRIKING
The Scorpius Syndrome #1
Rebecca Zanetti
Releasing on January 26, 2016
Zebra

 

With nothing but rumors to lead her, Lynne Harmony has trekked across a nightmare landscape to find one man—a mysterious, damaged legend who protects the weak and leads the strong. He’s more than muscle and firepower—and in post-plague L.A., he’s her only hope. As the one woman who could cure the disease, Lynne is the single most volatile—and vulnerable—creature in this new and ruthless world. But face to face with Jax Mercury…
 
Danger has never looked quite so delicious…
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What had she done? Lynne had actually fallen asleep on Jax Mercury. She awoke, blinking inside the stifling hood, just as he lifted her into the cool morning air and easily strode over uneven ground. A slight change of temperature hit her, and his steps leveled out.

Inside. They were inside somewhere. The smell of dust and burned tomato soup tickled her nose, but no sound provided a clue as to their whereabouts. All but blinded, she tried to tune in to her other senses. Jax’s boots clomped heavily across a hard surface, and his heart beat steadily against her shoulder.

His stride didn’t hitch as he climbed stairs, turned, walked in a too-quiet area, and opened a door. The world tilted, and he placed her, gently actually, on what felt like a fake leather sofa.

He yanked the hood off.

Light from halogen lamps assaulted her wide pupils, and she winced, her eyes tearing. “You’re an ass.”

Silver flashed, and he cut the zip ties. “So it has been said.”

Heat climbed into her face. The man had carried her easily and didn’t seem winded a bit. Even so, the legends whispered around campfires and refugee camps across the country had to be exaggerated. Nobody was that tough. “We need to talk,” she gritted out.

He yanked a kitchen chair toward her, turned it, and straddled it. Now, in the light, she was struck by how young he really was. Maybe mid-thirties, black hair, dark brown eyes, and rugged facial features. Handsome in a pissed-off kind of way. A scar cut under the left side of his jaw, white and deadly. “So, talk.”

She swallowed and tugged her backpack to her chest, glancing around what appeared to be a small apartment. A kitchenette took up one wall, an unmade bed the other, with dented furniture in between. Sofa, metal coffee table, woodlaminate kitchen table, paint peeling pink kids’ dresser, and mismatched kitchen chairs. Maps covered the table, spread out haphazardly. “Where am I?”

“You don’t get to know that.” He rested his arms on the top of the chair, muscles flexing.

She bit her lip. Men’s clothing littered the unmade bed, and the smell of musk and male filled the atmosphere. “Whose place am I in?”

“Mine.” He lifted a shoulder, his gaze unwavering. “And yours now, I guess.”

She pushed back into the torn pleather. “I’m not, I mean, I—”

One dark eyebrow rose. “You’re here because I’m keeping an eye on you and making sure you don’t infect anybody else.”

“I won’t infect anybody else,” she said slowly, her nails digging into the couch until the pads of her fingertips protested. “We don’t really know the truth about that statement, now do we? You’re the ultimate carrier of the most dangerous plague to ever attack mankind.” He lowered his chin, the movement somehow menacing. “You’re also here so I can make sure you’re not ready to check out.”

She rolled her eyes. “If I’d wanted to kill myself, I wouldn’t have traveled this far to do it.”

“Fair enough.”

She glanced at the unmade bed. Too many women had become victims as the world had disintegrated; the strong overcame the weak. She wasn’t weak, and she was no man’s plaything. “I’m not here for your amusement.”

“I’m not amused.” He leaned toward her, and her breath caught in her throat. “Let me be perfectly clear. I don’t force myself on women, and neither do any of my men. Any people here, and anyone we come across, remain safe from personal attack. Rape is a crime dealt with by death, so you have no need to fear.”

She’d heard that in the rumors and tales, but she hadn’t known it to be true. “Women don’t earn their keep, earn their protection, with sex here?” Wherever here was.

“No.”

“You were in an inner-city L.A. gang. Years ago.” She lifted an eyebrow. “Rape was against the rules?”

His face blanked. “No, but I’ve never forced a woman.” Those dark eyes narrowed. “My past is my own. You sure know a lot about me.”

Not really. He’d become a folk legend fighting in L.A. before the news had shut down. Since then she’d been trying to gather facts, but there were still blanks. “Why did you leave the gang? I’ve never heard why you entered the army.”

He rubbed his chin. “Judge gave me a choice. Prison or military. I guess he saw something in me.”

She let her shoulders relax. “I wondered.”

“Yeah.” Jax eyed her shirt just at her neck. “Can I see again?”

Well, she couldn’t really blame him. She set aside the pack holding her father’s precious journal. Her fingers remained steady this time as she unbuttoned the blouse and drew open the sides.

Jax’s nostrils flared, while a tension, one she barely remembered as sexual, overtook the atmosphere. “Does it hurt?”

“The blueness?” She glanced down, her lungs suddenly

too tight  “No. I don’t feel anything.”

He reached out and gently took her wrist, shoving the sleeve up to reveal the track marks on her elbow. “This must hurt.”

His touch stirred awareness deep in her abdomen, and surprise paused her at the feeling. When was the last time she’d felt desire? Or even warmth from another’s touch? She glanced down at the scars caused by drawing so much blood. So many times, and outside of normal medical procedures after a while. “Yes. That hurts.”

“I knew a junkie once with an arm like this.” Jax shook his head and unrolled her sleeve. “The irrationality of a thing is not an argument against its existence, rather, a condition of it,” he murmured, securing the buttons at her wrist. She frowned as the familiar words rolled around her head. “Einstein?”

“Nietzsche.” Jax lifted an eyebrow. “Rumor has it you’re carrying an advanced form of Scorpius. True or false?” “False rumor to isolate me.” She tried to keep her tired eyes open.

Jax gestured toward her pack. “I get the food and water you have, but what’s in the journal?”

She sighed. “Sorry, but there’s nothing about Scorpius. My dad was a physicist and a philosopher. He wrote a lot down.”

Jax blinked. “That’s quite the combination.”

“Yes.” The words on paper were all she had left of her parents.

Jax studied her and then looked toward the gas lamp on the counter. “We have lanterns left, but not for long unless we get more fuel. So keep an eye on the lamp but extinguish it if you go to sleep.”

“I understand.” The guy was quoting Nietzsche? What kind of an ex-gang member turned army special ops turned leader of a vigilante group knew philosophy? She shook her head. Time to negotiate. “I’m here for a reason.” “I’m sure.” He eyed her blue heart again. “You can cover up.”

She fumbled in refastening her shirt. “I’ll teach you everything I know about the illness, and you provide temporary protection and one kill.” The mere idea she was contracting a murder banished the desire humming inside her and replaced the heat with a lump of cold rock.

A veil fell over Jax’s eyes. “What makes you think we don’t know everything you do about the illness?”

She shrugged, wondering if he knew what kind of information he might have stored away just from his ransacking labs. “The Internet went down fast, much faster than anyone would’ve thought, and the news and television thereafter. No way do you know what I know.”

He watched her patiently, as if waiting to strike. “The Internet went down because of a guy named Spiral.”

She blinked. Wow. So Jax Mercury had some seriously good intel. “True. He was infected with the illness and then reacted by creating a world-class computer virus. Figured if bodies died, so should technology, since it got us in this fix in the first place.” Her instincts hummed. Underestimating Mercury would be a colossal mistake. Suddenly, and for the first time in way too long, hope struggled to unfurl within her. “I still know more about the illness than you do.”

“Probably.” He studied her for a few moments longer before cocking his head to the side. “What else?”

She cleared her throat. “I assume you’ve scavenged the area you control?”

His chin lifted. “So?”

She swallowed, her body stilling. “Did you scavenge the emergency CDC outpost on the southeast side of L.A.?” Her blood pumped so fast she could feel a vein in her neck bulging.

“Yes. Why?” he asked softly.

The softness contained a deadly intent that rippled a shiver down her spine. Her fingers fidgeted. “They had the most recent research, and combined with mine, we might have hope.” They also had intel on where Myriad, the ultrasecret lab, might be located.

He studied her. “We raided the CDC outpost and took all medical supplies and paper records. Our limited medical personnel went through the files looking for cures, but I have to be honest, none of them are researchers with your background.”

Lynne leaned forward. “I’m happy to go through all the information and decipher it for you.” Oh God. Maybe the risk of heading into Mercury’s territory would actually pay off . . . if she could find Myriad. “Could I look through the data?”

He leaned back and studied her. “Sure. Are you telling me there may be a cure?”

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Oh my goodness, I need book two of this series ( Shadow Falling ) now.

Like seriously, NOW. I’m not sure I’m going to make it, waiting until the end of August. Really, that’s just cruel. But I digress…

I absolutely could not put Mercury Striking down. Ms. Zanetti throws us right into the story from the very first page–she’s built one heck of a dystopian world here, but she doesn’t waste our time bogging us down with the details of it, we jump right into Lynne and Jax’s story and can barely catch our breath until we hit the last page, where Lynne and Jax have reached a happy place in their relationship, but very little is settled in the life and death struggle that is their world. So many elements to resolve…so many questions to answer…at least one psychotic bad guy to eliminate…

Gah. AUGUST.

Anyway.

The world that Ms. Zanetti created here reminds me quite a bit of the one in The Stand , minus the more overt mystical overtones of that novel. Our main characters are a scientist who may or may not hold the key to curing the plague and a former gang member and military special ops team member who has taken somewhat reluctant leadership of a small group of survivors out west. Lynne is on the run from some scary people and thinks she may know where to start looking for a cure, but she needs the protection and assistance that Jax, who had already made a name for himself and his group before national communications cut out, offers.

Jax and Lynne feel an instant attraction, but it’s definitely not instalove or even instalust, really. Their relationship developed quickly, sure, but given the state of their world it felt believable. I loved every moment that the two of them were on the page together–such great chemistry, even when they weren’t 100% sure that they could trust each other. But once they do commit, watch out:

“I’ll follow you into the depths of hell, and if I can’t get you out, I’ll quash the fires.”–Jax Mercury

The rest of the cast of characters are just as compelling, and I’m looking forward to great things from this series…though it’s going to take me a little while to get over the character that was killed off. (Darn dystopian stories, with characters who die!) I really liked the way that Jax described his team here:

He had an excellent doctor who might be turning into a Ripper, a former LAPD officer who couldn’t shoot worth sh*t and wanted to gossip more than fight, and a former special-ops killing machine with an agenda he wouldn’t share. Not to mention a woman in the other room who’d stolen his heart and wore a bull’s-eye on hers.

Sigh.

AUGUST.

Anyway–there’s a prequel novella I didn’t know about going in that I’m going to jump on to tide me over in the meantime (in the anthology On the Hunt ), but honestly, I found it pretty easy to pick up on what was going on in the post-plague world of the Scorpius Syndrome as I readMercury Striking and was fine without having read that one first. If you’re one of those people who need to do things in order, though, start there–I’m guessing that from this book onward it’s probably more important that you proceed in order, because there’s definitely things that will be picked up in book two that you’ll want to know about from this one.

When it finally comes out. Months from now… 😉

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.



USA Today Bestselling author Rebecca Zanetti has worked as an art curator, Senate aide, lawyer, college professor, and a hearing examiner – only to culminate it all in stories about Alpha males and the women who claim them. She writes contemporary romances, dark paranormal romances, and romantic suspense novels.
 
Growing up amid the glorious backdrops and winter wonderlands of the Pacific Northwest has given Rebecca fantastic scenery and
adventures to weave into her stories. She resides in the wild north with her husband, children, and extended family who inspire her every day—or at the very least give her plenty of characters to write about.



Release Day! TEASED by Rebecca Zanetti (1001 Dark Nights / Dark Protectors novella)

 

We are so excited to bring you the Release Day Launch for TEASED by Rebecca Zanetti! TEASED is a novella in Rebbeca’s Dark Protectors Series brought to you by 1001 Dark Nights. Grab your copy of this sexy novella today!

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About TEASED:

The Hunter

For almost a century, the Realm’s most deadly assassin, Chalton Reese, has left war and death in the past, turning instead to strategy, reason, and technology. His fingers, still stained with blood, now protect with a keyboard instead of a weapon. Until the vampire king sends him on one more mission; to hunt down a human female with the knowledge to destroy the Realm. A woman with eyes like emeralds, a brain to match his own, and a passion that might destroy them both—if the enemy on their heels doesn’t do so first.

The Hunted

Olivia Roberts has foregone relationships with wimpy metro-sexuals in favor of pursuing a good story, bound and determined to uncover the truth, any truth. When her instincts start humming about missing proprietary information, she has no idea her search for a story will lead her to a ripped, sexy, and dangerous male beyond any human man. Setting aside the unbelievable fact that he’s a vampire and she’s his prey, she discovers that trusting him is the only chance they have to survive the danger stalking them both.

 

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eBook ** Paperback

 

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EXCERPT:

Olivia stilled, her gaze meeting her savior’s as he landed on his feet, facing her.

Except he didn’t look like a savior. Standing next to the van, his size became apparent. Well over six-feet tall, muscled and tight, with blond hair tied at the nape, he looked like an avenging…what? Not an angel. Definitely not an angel. He wore black slacks and an expensive looking button-down shirt with the sleeves rolled up. One arm dripped blood from deep scratches, and he didn’t seem to notice.

The crowd milled around, some passing by, some glancing into the van.

But nobody existed except for the man. His face was an intriguing blend of hard angles: prominent jawline, slashes for cheekbones, high brows. Handsome in a too-sharp-to-be-real look. But those eyes…intelligent and knowing.

She swallowed. There was no doubt he was allowing her to look her fill. Waiting and…allowing.

What in the world?

She breathed out, trying to slow her heart rate. Then her brain kicked back into gear, so she turned on a heel and ran.

She tripped over a dog that scurried beneath a cart peddling roasting chestnuts. Run. She had to run. Sirens came from too far away, and she knew, somehow she just knew, that the blond guy wouldn’t let her talk to the cops.

Her initial assessment about him was wrong because he couldn’t be a cop. Not once had he identified himself, and he didn’t seem to have a badge or a gun. In fact, a cop probably wouldn’t have knocked out both men without at least trying to gain their cooperation.

The blond didn’t care about cooperation.

She hurried across the street to the now moving throng of shoppers, her instincts humming. Keeping her balance, she turned slightly to look behind her. Panic rippled through her instantly.

He stalked her, calmly, easily winding through the mass of people. No tension showed on his face or in his movements. He could be out for a nice stroll through the neighborhood.

Except for his eyes. Focus, intense and absolute, lived in those dark orbs. He tracked her, keeping pace, not seeming to notice that people naturally got out of his way.

Or maybe he did notice and just didn’t care.

 

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Rebecca Zanetti- author picAbout Rebecca Zanetti:

New York Times Bestselling author Rebecca Zanetti is the author of over twenty-five dark paranormals, romantic suspense, and contemporary romances, and her books have appeared multiple times on the USA Today, NY Times, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iBooks bestseller lists. She lives in the wilds of the Pacific Northwest with her own Alpha hero, two kids, a couple of dogs, a crazy cat…and a huge extended family. She believes strongly in luck, karma, and working her butt off…and she thinks one of the best things about being an author, unlike the lawyer she used to be, is that she can let the crazy out. Her current series are: The Scorpius Syndrome, The Dark Protectors, The Realm Enforcers, The Maverick Montana Cowboys, and the Sin Brothers series.
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TEASED - Available Now

 

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Release Day! TAKE THE STORM by Rebecca Zanetti (RISING STORM eopisode #6)

We are so excited to bring you the Release Day Launch for TAKE THE STORM by Rebecca Zanetti! TAKE THE STORM is Episode 6 in the Rising Storm Series brought to you by 1001 Dark Nights. Grab the latest episode in this sexy series now!

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Welcome to Storm, Texas, where passion runs hot, desire runs deep, and secrets have the power to destroy…
Nestled among rolling hills and painted with vibrant wildflowers, the bucolic town of Storm, Texas, seems like nothing short of perfection.

But there are secrets beneath the facade. Dark secrets. Powerful secrets. The kind that can destroy lives and tear families apart. The kind that can cut through a town like a tempest, leaving jealousy and destruction in its wake, along with shattered hopes and broken dreams. All it takes is one little thing to shatter that polish.

Reading like an on-going drama in the tradition of classic day and night-time soap operas like Dallas, Dynasty, and All My Children, Rising Storm is full of scandal, deceit, romance, passion, and secrets.

With 1001 Dark Nights as the “producer,” Julie Kenner and Dee Davis use a television model with each week building on the last to create a storyline that fulfills the promise of a drama-filled soap opera. Joining Kenner and Davis in the “writer’s room” is an incredible group of New York Times bestselling authors such as Lexi Blake, Elisabeth Naughton, Larissa Ione, Rebecca Zanetti and Lisa Mondello who have brought their vision of Storm to life.

A serial soap opera containing eight episodes in season one, the season premiere of Rising Storm, TEMPEST RISING, debuted September 24th with each subsequent episode releasing consecutively this fall.
So get ready. The storm is coming.

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Rising Storm Episode 6 (Oct. 29): Rebecca Zanetti’s Take the Storm
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About TAKE THE STORM: Episode 6 of the Rising Storm Series

Secrets, Sex and Scandals …

Welcome to Storm, Texas, where passion runs hot, desire runs deep, and secrets have the power to destroy… Get ready. The storm is coming.

Marisol Moreno has spent her youth taking care of her younger siblings. Now, with her sister, Ginny, in crisis, and her brother in the throes of his first real relationship, she doesn’t have time for anything else. Especially not the overtures of the incredibly compelling Patrick Murphy.

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Experience Rising Storm Here…
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Rising Storm Episode 1 (Sept. 24): Julie Kenner’s Tempest Rising
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Rising Storm Episode 2 (Oct. 1): Lexi Blake’s White Lightning
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Rising Storm Episode 3 (Oct. 8): Elisabeth Naughton’s Crosswinds
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Rising Storm Episode 4 (Oct. 15): Jennifer Probst’s Dance in the Wind
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Rising Storm Episode 5 (Oct. 22): Larissa Ione’s Calm Before the Storm
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Rising Storm Episode 6 (Oct. 29): Rebecca Zanetti’s Take the Storm
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Rising Storm Episode 7 (Nov. 5): Lisa Mondello’s Weather the Storm
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Rising Storm Episode 8 (Nov. 12): Dee Davis’s Thunder Rolls
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Author Pic - Rebecca ZanettiAbout Rebecca Zanetti:

New York Times Bestselling author Rebecca Zanetti is the author of over twenty-five dark paranormals, romantic suspense, and contemporary romances, and her books have appeared multiple times on the USA Today, NY Times, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iBooksbestseller lists. She lives in the wilds of the Pacific Northwest with her own Alpha hero, two kids, a couple of dogs, a crazy cat…and a huge extended family. She believes strongly in luck, karma, and working her butt off…and she thinks one of the best things about being an author, unlike the lawyer she used to be, is that she can let the crazy out. Her current series are: The Scorpius Syndrome, The Dark Protectors, The Realm Enforcers, The Maverick Montana Cowboys, and the Sin Brothers series.

 

Rising StormWebsite | Facebook |Twitter | 1001 Dark Nights | Rising Storm on Goodreads

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An Interview and Giveaway with Rebecca Zanetti, Author of Rising Assets (Maverick Montana #3)

I am so excited to have Rebecca Zanetti here today, talking about her latest release, Rising Assets!

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Welcome, Rebecca! I’m so glad you could be with us today.

Hi, Becky!  Thank you so much for having me over today to celebrate the release of RISING ASSETS!  It’s so nice to be here, and these were fun questions to answer.

Tell us more about your book—take us beyond the official “book blurb”.

Absolutely!  RISING ASSETS is a best friends to lovers story set in a small Montana town where everybody not only knows everyone else’s business but feels just fine getting involved in private matters.  In fact, there are no private matters.  So, when Colton Freeze starts to fall for his best friend, Melanie Jacoby, the town creates a bet on when they’ll actually get together.    Colton and Melanie are very attracted to each other, but they need each other in their lives and have to figure out if the risk is worth the reward.

I LOVED the bet! And how you used the “everybody knows everything” part of small town life to such humorous effect. I’m especially thinking of what happened when Colt was suffering under a misunderstanding and he and Mel ran into his parents out on the street–such a funny scene!

 

Give us more info about your main characters—who are they?

Colton Freeze is the genius in the family of cowboys, and he takes over the family businesses, as per his grand plan in life.  Melanie is his best friend who owns her own ranch and is faced with problems requiring help.  They’re both strong, stubborn, and loyal.  Colton is a take-charge kind of guy, but Melanie can stand on her own two feet.  When they get together, it’s explosive and emotional.

That’s for sure!

 

What scene in your book was the most fun to write, and why?

The final scene when one of them risks all was the most fun to write because it was sweet and sexy at the same time…and a huge risk.  That’s all I can say without giving spoilers.  😉

Say no more!

 

How long have you been writing, and what (or who) inspired you to start?

I finished my first book in January of 2009, and I’ve always wanted to write.  I also wanted to study journalism, practice law, and travel the world a little bit.  So finally I had time to really study writing and give it a shot, and I sold to a publisher in December of 2009.

Wonderful–congrats!

 

What do you like best about being a writer?

Fun question!  I like being able to be myself and let the crazy out a little bit.  It’s nice to share my imagination in a fun way and not feel like an oddball.  As for the writing process, I just love writing the first chapter of a book, when there are no rules and you’re not locked into a world yet.  That first meet or reunion between a hero and heroine is my favorite.

I think yours has to be my favorite answer yet to that question. Awesome!

 

What is the most challenging part of being a writer?

Frankly, the most challenging part is balancing the creative aspects with the business requirements of being a writer, and not losing the creativity in the process.  It’s too easy to get bogged down in marketing, promotion, and statistics, and I often have to remind myself to just get back to the book and have some fun.  Writing is the fun part.

I’m always amazed when I see authors on Twitter, FB, and their blogs–they talk about watching TV, going to movies, and I wonder–when do they find time to write? Some days it’s all I can do to get five minutes on my email and read twenty pages of a book….

 

What are you working on right now? What can readers look for from you in the next year?

Right now I’m starting the fourth book in the Maverick Montana series that features the mysterious Hawk and Dawn Freeze.  I have two releases in May:  BLIND FAITH from the Sin Brothers series on May 6th, and TAMED from the Dark Protectors on May 15th.

Ha! I knew there was going to be something between Dawn and Hawk the minute those two were brought up together in this one. I’m so glad they’re getting their own book–excellent!

 

What authors and/or books have inspired you?

I like how J.D. Salinger and Stephen King put words together on paper, and I think their talent and hard work are truly inspiring.  The first romance I ever read was a Nora Roberts.  It was one of her MacGregor books, and I was hooked on romance from that time forward.  So, I guess I’d say Nora inspired me the most.  🙂

LOVE Stephen King’s writing ability–even my mother, who doesn’t like a lot of his subject matter, agrees about his sheer talent.

Can an English major admit she hasn’t read Salinger? No? Well, then, of course I have…. 😉

 

What are you currently reading?

Right now I’m re-reading Gina Maxwell’s RULES OF ENTANGLEMENT because I love this book and wanted to escape into the story again.

I read my first book from Gina this past year–loved it! RULES is on my TBR…

 

Please share a favorite scene from your books with our readers.

Definitely.  Thanks for asking!

His mouth was on hers before Melanie finished saying his name. Heat and power slammed from the kiss, and her mind swam.

Fire lashed through her so quickly her knees weakened. Her nipples scraped his chest, and lava consumed her. Her eyes fluttered shut, and she fell into the storm created by a man much more dangerous than she’d known.

She kissed him back, her body alive, her mind shutting down.

There was nothing but the whirlwind of impossible need cascading around them, through her, into her, beyond her.

The kiss was hard, angry, and more passionate than she could’ve dreamed.

Many times, they’d come close to kissing, but one of them had always backed away. With a grin, or a joke, they’d escaped ever taking the chance. The one thing Melanie knew for sure was if Colton ever kissed her, if he ever showed her that side of him, there’d be no turning back. Ever.

As he released her mouth to pin her with a dark gaze, there was no question he knew it, too.

Determination filtered through his eyes, and his jaw firmed. Something new and intriguing fluttered alive in her abdomen. Satisfaction lifted his lips as her eyes widened.

Holy crap. Colton Freeze didn’t want to turn back.

That was a fantastic scene! It really grabbed me when I read the book 🙂

Thanks again for having me over today.  I really enjoyed this interview!

Thank YOU so much for coming! I loved your responses, and cannot wait for Hawk and Dawn’s book! (Though I imagine Colt will have more than a few things to say about it… 😉 )

 

Author Bio:

USA Today Bestselling Author Rebecca Zanetti has worked as an art curator, Senate aide, lawyer, college professor, and a hearing examiner – only to culminate it all in stories about Alpha males and the women who claim them. She writes dark paranormals, romantic suspense, and sexy contemporary romances.

Growing up amid the glorious backdrops and winter wonderlands of the Pacific Northwest has given Rebecca fantastic scenery and adventures to weave into her stories. She resides in the wild north with her husband, children, and extended family who inspire her every day–or at the very least give her plenty of characters to write about.

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Rising Assets

by: Rebecca Zanetti

Synopsis:

Friends with benefits was never the plan…

Melanie Jacobs is in trouble. With three jobs—including running her ranch—and dwindling funds, she’s exhausted. Not to mention desperately trying to hide a secret. Unfortunately, her best friend Colton Freeze knows all too well that’s something is going on, and he won’t give up until he knows exactly what he needs to fix.

Then Colton learns the truth—that Melanie’s future happiness rests in the fickle hands of fate, and her chances for having a family are shrinking with every passing day. Her only comfort is Colton, but when a heated argument between them turns into an even hotter kiss, the boundaries of their friendship are erased, leaving only a scorching-hot hunger for more.

Every kiss—every touch—is a stolen pleasure. But will their new friends-with-sexy-benefits arrangement bring them closer together, or destroy everything they once shared?

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