Cover Reveal: Dropout by Carrie Ann Ryan!

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We are SO excited for Carrie Ann Ryan’s DROPOUT, one of the five books in the upcoming BAD BOY HOMECOMING series! Check out the cover below and find out more about the series – and preorder your copy today!

 

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About DROPOUT

A high school reunion is about to get down and dirty and a whole lot more complicated in this new erotic romance from NYT Bestselling Author Carrie Ann Ryan.

Grayson Cleary left town before graduation day and never looked back. Most people back home pegged him as a dropout. Over time, he’s worked to make something of his life and leave his past behind, so when his ten-year reunion comes up, he has no intention of attending. When his best friend begs him to go, Grayson finds himself confronted with a past he’d rather forget and the one woman he’s always craved.

Kate St. Dalton had everything when she left her hometown. Not only was she Valedictorian with a full scholarship, but she was also engaged to the boy of her dreams. Then, life threw a wrench in her plans, and she had to find a way to live the new life fate handed her. The last thing she needs is the hot boy from high school returning to town as the sexy man of her dreams.

When the two take a chance and use the reunion week to burn up the sheets, they’ll have to remember that it’s only for a few nights—not for a lifetime. And decide if what they have is just a fling…or something far more than a mere reunion.

Add DROPOUT to your Goodreads list here!

Find out more about the BAD BOY HOMECOMING series on the website here!

DROPOUT releases June 27th, 2017 – preorder your copy now!

✦Amazon http://amzn.to/2oxVDwI
✦iBooks http://apple.co/2o2QOz5
✦Barnes & Noble http://bit.ly/2neDZOo
✦Kobo http://bit.ly/2nFCrQs

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Find out more about the other four books in the BAD BOY HOMECOMING series on the website here!

TROUBLE by Avery Flynn
PROM QUEEN by Katee Robert
HONOR by Kennedy Layne
ROCK STAR by Stacey Kennedy

 

AllCovers

About Carrie Ann Ryan

Carrie Ann Ryan is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary and paranormal romance. Her works include the Montgomery Ink, Redwood Pack, Talon Pack, and Gallagher Brothers series, which have sold over 2.0 million books worldwide. She started writing while in graduate school for her advanced degree in chemistry and hasn’t stopped since. Carrie Ann has written over fifty novels and novellas with more in the works. When she’s not writing about bearded tattooed men or alpha wolves that need to find their mates, she’s reading as much as she can and exploring the world of baking and gourmet cooking.

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Cover Reveal: Honor by Kennedy Layne!

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We’re thrilled to reveal the cover of Kennedy Layne’s HONOR, one of the five books in the upcoming BAD BOY HOMECOMING series! Check out the cover below and find out more about the series – and preorder your copy today!

 

Honor eCover v2 v300dpi

About HONOR

A high school reunion is about to get down and dirty and a whole lot more complicated in this new romantic suspense from USA Today Bestselling Author Kennedy Layne.

Derek Spencer hadn’t even bothered to RSVP to his Catfish Creek’s high school reunion. He’d been too busy fighting a war in Afghanistan in his capacity as a Marine and wouldn’t even be in the States during the event. Unfortunately, one emergency phone call from his mother changed everything.

Tessa Daniels had been voted most likely to do everything back in high school. She somehow didn’t think that included acquiring her very own stalker at the relatively young age of twenty-eight. It had stopped being simply annoying after someone broke into her house, invading her privacy. Now, she was actually in fear for her life.

Derek’s mother feels terrible that her son has spent almost every waking hour at the hospital, watching over his recovering father. She sets out–and succeeds–in arranging for Derek and Tessa to attend their high school reunion together. Neither one of them expected sparks to fly or memories of long-lost crushes to emerge, but they are not only faced with their newfound passion…they must also confront the person trying to extinguish their chance to rekindle the flames of past desires.

Add HONOR to your Goodreads list here!

Find out more about the BAD BOY HOMECOMING series on the website here!

HONOR releases June 27th, 2017 – preorder your copy now!

✦Amazon http://amzn.to/2nKqyZM
✦iBooks http://apple.co/2nxGQ7T
✦Barnes & Noble http://bit.ly/2o88utD
✦Kobo http://bit.ly/2nrWPTh

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Find out more about the other four books in the BAD BOY HOMECOMING series on the website here!

DROPOUT by Carrie Ann Ryan
TROUBLE by Avery Flynn
PROM QUEEN by Katee Robert
ROCK STAR by Stacey Kennedy

 

AllCovers

About Kennedy Layne

Kennedy Layne is a USA Today bestselling author. She draws inspiration for her military romantic suspense novels in part from her not-so-secret second life as a wife of a retired Marine Master Sergeant. He doubles as her critique partner, beta reader, and military consultant. They live in the Midwest with their teenage son and menagerie of pets. The loyal dogs and mischievous cats appreciate her writing days as much as she does, usually curled up in front of the fireplace. She loves hearing from readers–find out how to connect with her at www.kennedylayne.com.

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Review Blitz: 5 Stars for The Hard Truth About Sunshine by Sawyer Bennett! Top Read of 2017!

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The Hard Truth About Sunshine AMAZON

New York Times bestselling author Sawyer Bennett has written her most gripping and poignant tale yet. Provocatively heart-breaking, audaciously irreverent and romantically fulfilling, The Hard Truth About Sunshine exposes just how very thin the line is between a full life and an empty existence.

Despite having narrowly escaped death’s clutches, Christopher Barlow is grateful for nothing. His capacity to love has been crushed. He hates everyone and everything, completely unable to see past the gray stain of misery that coats his perception of the world. It’s only after he involuntarily joins a band of depressed misfits who are struggling to overcome their own problems, does Christopher start to re-evaluate his lot in life.

What could they possibly learn from one another? How could they possibly help each other to heal? And the question that Christopher asks himself over and over again… can he learn to love again?

He’s about to find out as he embarks upon a cross country trip with a beautiful woman who is going blind, a boy with terminal cancer, and an abuse victim who can’t decide whether she wants to live or die.

Four people with nothing in common but their destination. They will encounter adventure, thrills, loss and love. And within their travels they will learn the greatest lesson of all.

The hard truth about sunshine…
Warning: This book deals with some tough issues including suicide and sexual abuse.

My Review:

 5 Stars!!
Top Read of 2017!

I was a mess by the time I got to the words “The End” and I would go back and do it over and over again, because this book was amazing! So, head’s up, make sure the tissues are handy, you have a quiet place to read and then dig in to this beautiful book about love, loss, redemption, life and death.

Listen, I’ll be honest. If you are expecting a steamy romance a la Sawyer Bennett that is not what this is. The Hard Truth About Sunshine is so much more than just sex and a happily-ever-after. This is my favorite of all of Sawyer Bennett’s books and I am a big fan. I’ve read them all, but this one hands down takes the top spot.

Told entirely from the POV of Christopher, a broken former marine with an attitude problem and a deep hatred from life, Bennett has given us something different, brilliantly different. Bennett tackles topics like depression, death and suicide with honesty and a realistic rawness that hit you deep, but she does it with so much care and brilliance that I am truly in awe of her. Even though Christopher is rude and angry and at time down right mean, she writes him with enough care that you can see the light and goodness beneath the raw and angry exterior. I found myself deeply invested in his happiness and I rooted for him hard from the beginning. It was emotional to read his journey with these three other people that he assumed he had nothing in common with. To see him begin to slowly open up and start to develop a trust was truly amazing. I loved his character.

The three other members of the road trip foursome were equally intriguing. Jillian is a perpetually glass half-full kind of girl, who despite her own issues is constantly lifting the others up. She never backs down from Christopher and she always seems to know just what the others need. Conner was heartbreaking and beautiful. He was wise beyond his years due to his circumstances and yet he was often the comic relief that was so desperately needed at times throughout the book. Finally, there was Barb. Barb was perpetually depressed and her thoughts were never far from suicide. She was dark and yet we were honored with tiny glimpses of the girl she once was before.

This book is not an easy read by any means, but it is well worth the emotional upheaval that Bennet’s words bring. She does not back down and sugar coat difficult topics, instead she approaches them with raw honesty that is at times uncomfortable, but the discomfort is worth it… so worth it.

I cannot recommend this book enough and I hope you will take yourself on this beautiful journey of redemption, friendship and love.

Amazon | Paperback | B&N | iBooks | Google Play | Kobo

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Jillian holds my gaze for a moment, her eyes drilling into mine before she gently tugs on the material of my jeans near the shin rod of my prosthetic. “What happened to you?”

She doesn’t look away. Not down at the fire, not down to my legs. She stares right at me. Although my gut is turning slightly at the thought of telling her what she asked, I forge straight ahead. For the first time, I tell someone who is not medical personnel or a shrink my story.

“I was driving a military Humvee and the right front tire ran over a roadside bomb,” I say, and Jillian makes a sound of distress low her in throat as her eyes turn sad. “It completely obliterated my buddy sitting in the passenger seat.”

To my surprise, Jillian scoots over closer to me and lays her head on my shoulder. She pushes her hand in between my ribs and my arm, curling her fingers over my bicep. It’s a show of support. Solidarity. That she’s settled in for the long haul of this story, and she wants to hear it all.

“It didn’t blow my leg off,” I tell her, and I can feel her body jerk slightly in surprise. Her fingers squeeze my bicep. “The fingers yes, the leg no. It just shattered and shredded it badly, but the doctors tried hard to save it.”

“Obviously, they couldn’t,” she whispers the obvious.

“They tried for three months,” I tell her, reaching down to grab my phone laying near my left hip. Jillian lifts her head up, watching as I pull up my pictures. I scroll backward, but it doesn’t take long to find what I’m looking for because I don’t take a lot of photos. I hold the phone out so she can see. “This was taken about a month after my injury.”

Jillian makes a strangled sound as she looks at the photo of me in bed. My eyes are half open because I was bombed out on so many heavy-duty pain medications, and I have a grimace on my face. I vaguely remember this picture being taken, and I think it may have been by my brother, Hank, when he came to visit once during that first month. He came a few more times after that, and then he didn’t.

Jillian’s eyes roam over the photo. My leg is encased in the external fixator with several rods leading from the outside of the cage right into my skin, where it’s drilled through and into the bone to hold the pieces together. The wounds on my leg are all open to the air, red and some of them dripping with puss and lined with blisters. I’ve got IVs in both arms and a PICC line in the right side of my neck to deliver the hordes of antibiotics and pain meds I needed to keep me alive and functioning. I took the maximum dosages they allowed me, preferring to try to be oblivious to what was happening. Yet, the pain was so great it just couldn’t be fully erased.

Jillian turns her head to look at me, and I lay the phone back down. “How long were you like that?”

“Three months. But they couldn’t get ahead of the infections, which were delaying the bones from knitting. I was in so much pain that I wanted them to amputate.”

“You had to make that decision?” she whispers.

I nod. “Yup. I mean… the doctors were at the point they felt it was the right way to go, although they were willing to keep trying if I wanted. But I wanted it gone. I was tired of being in the hospital and being in so much pain. I just wanted it gone.”

“Do you regret that decision?” she asks me bluntly, but with that still-sweet melody her voice makes. The question doesn’t bother me, because even her hard questions sound lovely.

“Yes,” I tell her without any shame. “I wonder what would have happened if I held on just a little bit longer. Not long after the leg came off, the pain receded and I became more lucid. Once I’d forgotten how bad the infections smelled, I regretted it.”

“Three months is an awful long time to be in pain like that,” she points out the obvious.

I shrug. “And the rest of my life is a long time to wonder ‘what if.’”

 

 

AuthorPhotoSince the release of her debut contemporary romance novel, Off Sides, in January 2013, Sawyer Bennett has released more than 30 books and has been featured on both the USA Today and New York Times bestseller lists on multiple occasions.

A reformed trial lawyer from North Carolina, Sawyer uses real life experience to create relatable, sexy stories that appeal to a wide array of readers. From new adult to erotic contemporary romance, Sawyer writes something for just about everyone.

Sawyer likes her Bloody Marys strong, her martinis dirty, and her heroes a combination of the two. When not bringing fictional romance to life, Sawyer is a chauffeur, stylist, chef, maid, and personal assistant to a very active toddler, as well as full-time servant to two adorably naughty dogs. She believes in the good of others, and that a bad day can be cured with a great work-out, cake, or a combination of the two.

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | BOOKBUB | AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE | INSTAGRAM

New Release!!! Revenge Kisses from Addison Moore is available now!

TITLE: Revenge Kisses

AUTHOR: Addison Moore
GENRE: New Adult Romantic Comedy
COVER: Gaffey Media
RELEASE DATE: March 28, 2017
From the New York Times & USA Today bestselling author, Addison Moore
Comes the 14th book in the 3:AM Kisses series
A sexy, fun standalone series!
 


Nothing feels better than REVENGE.
 
Don’t get mad. Get even. 
 
When Knox and I catch our respective plus ones making out, all hell breaks loose. So we do the only thing we can—date one another to drive our exes to the brink. What better way to avoid a rebound than to take control and take each other for the summer?
 
No rules.
 
No holds barred.
 
Everything goes. 
 
And at the end of the summer—everything comes to an explosive end. We move on. At least that’s what we planned. 
 
But Knox is built for speed both on and off the field with a body sculpted of pure steel. Those eyes, that dirty kissable mouth of his have me on the edge of my quivering seat. So what if we let things go too far one night? So what if he’s actually managed to do things with my body that my ex would never have even conceived? There isn’t anything real between us—this is nothing but a stunt. 
 
Things are getting messy, and another broken heart is the last thing I need. My heart is certainly feeling something, and now I’m not even sure what the hell I signed up for anymore. It’s time to get out—even if it does feel a little too late.
 


 
AMAZON   |   NOOK   |   iBOOKS
KOBO   |   SMASHWORDS   |   GOOGLE
 
 
 
 





Addison Moore is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author who writes contemporary and paranormal romance. Her work has been featured in Cosmopolitan magazine. Previously she worked as a therapist on a locked psychiatric unit for nearly a decade. She resides on the West Coast with her husband, four wonderful children and two dogs where she eats too much chocolate and stays up way too late. When she’s not writing, she’s reading.

 

               
HEY, ADDISON MOORE FANS!
Go join her Fan Group the Addison Moore Reader Corner!
You’ll get sneak peeks, early reveals, interact with Addison herself, and have access to 
exclusive giveaways!
REQUEST TO JOIN HERE: http://bit.ly/AddisonMooreRC

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Be sure to subscribe to Addison’s mailing list for sneak peeks
and updates on all upcoming releases!
    

    

   

Check out all Addison Moore’s books

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New Release: Rogue in Love by Inger Iversen

Rogue in Love: Thea and Lex
Inger Iversen
Publication date: March 28th 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Missing Teal and Trent from Inevitable: Love & War? Check out Rogue in Love, the beginning of a series of standalones featuring Trent Reed’s new employees!

Ten years ago, Lex made the difficult choice to skip town, abandoning the young girl who’d offered him her innocence and a place in her heart. However, when Lex is called back to Blackwater to say goodbye to his dying confidant, he is confronted by the broken-hearted woman he left behind and given the task of helping her mend the gaping hole his absence created.

When Thea and Lex reunite, sparks fly and secrets are unveiled.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

She paused in front of the door, fist raised and ready to knock, when a thought occurred to her. Lex had mentioned he’d seen Abbott earlier, and all of Blackwater knew damned well that on a Saturday night there was only one place to find Abbot and that was at Blackies.

“Shit,” she whispered fiercely as she backed away from the door. If it had been any other bar, she wouldn’t have given a damn, but Blackies? Known for its cheap hookers and cheap booze, it was the one bar not one respectable Blackwater resident would ever show their face. Sure, Blackwater was full of hoodlums and fools, but even most of them steered clear of Blackies. Turning away from the door, Thea made her way to the kitchen.

She yanked open cabinets, rifling through them until she found an old bottle of whiskey. Hunting high and low for shot glasses, she came up empty.

With an annoyed growl, Thea plopped down at the table and opened the bottle. “Fuck it.” A long swig later and Thea found herself sputtering and coughing up a damned lung. Wheezing, Thea thumped her chest until she was able to breathe again. “Shit, that always looked easier in movies.” Wiping her watering eyes, she lifted the bottle again, and this time she took a careful sip; the liquid formed a burning trail down her throat and pooled in her belly.

What the hell was Lex doing at Blackies? If all he wanted was liquor, then he could have ended up at any other bar, why had it been that one? Braving another gulp, Thea closed her eyes and tried to imagine Lex picking up another woman. The thought seared her blood more than the liquor ever could.

Feeling foolish for one, drinking alone, and two, not having the guts to ask Lex the question himself, Thea bounded up, liquor bottle in hand, and stomped down the hallway. This time, without hesitation, she burst into the bathroom only to see Lex, all naked, tatted, two-hundred and some pounds of him covered in soap with her little pink razor between his fingers, eyeing it as if it were a snake seconds from striking. Thea couldn’t help but stand frozen in place, viewing him through the see through shower curtain. His tanned and toned ass flexed as he turned, confusion marring his now clean, but still hairy face.

Lifting the razor, he asked, “What the fuck am I supposed to do with this?”

 

Author Bio:

Inger Iversen was born in 1982 to Anne and Kaii Iversen. She lives in Virginia Beach with her overweight lap cat, Max and her tree hugging boyfriend Joshua. She spends 90 percent of her time in Barnes and Noble and the other ten pretending not to want to be in Barnes and Noble.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

GIVEAWAY!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Cover Reveal: Beautiful Sacrifice by Ember Raine Winters

Beautiful Sacrifice
Ember Raine Winters
(Pride and Honor, #2)
Publication date: April 20th 2017
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense

Tasha

Being a cop, I didn’t have any choice, but I really wish I hadn’t got mixed up in this case. My dark past is catching up to me ever since he barreled into my life without a care. It terrifies me that he sees right through me. He could be the one to save me . . . or break me.

Twitch

It was just a job. Until it wasn’t. By then the sexy little redhead had her claws in me. Now, she’s in my life and I’m lost. How am I supposed to keep the demons from her past from eating her alive? I don’t know, but I will do whatever it takes to make her mine.

Goodreads / Amazon

 

Author Bio:

Ember Raine Winters is a new author who just self published her first book. She went to community college to study political science and philosophy. She is currently taking classes to get her BS in business majoring in Sports management. She is an avid reader mostly fantasy and science fiction with a little romance thrown in as well. She loves writing Science Fiction mainly dystopian but is trying her hand in Fantasy as well.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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New Release: Knight Takes Pawn by Martha Sweeney

Author: Martha Sweeney
Title: Knight Takes Pawn
Series: Red Knight #1
Release Date: March 21, 2017

Jagger rules everything. The cities from the elite districts, to the slums, and everything in between are his domain in one of three sovereigns on the planet Jaru. The only law is Jagger Law which can change at any moment. One wrong look or word can get a body part chopped off or have you killed.

Since the beginning of the war, which was almost over three decades ago, the air has had been stale and musty, still smelling of burnt metal. All resources needed to survive are severely limited, causing many Jaruians to pillage one another just to get a single meal for the day.

There are some who wish to end Jagger’s power and they’ve started to infiltrate his organization. Money, amongst other things, are just a farce that Jagger uses to dangle in front of his subjects to keep the population in line and distracted. Those who want to see the end of Jagger’s reign want to take control over the depleting natural resources in order to save the planet and the Jaruian species.

Natalie gets caught up in Jagger’s twisted game of power and control when she’s taken from her sovereign. Against her will, like all women who are caught, Natalie is thrown into the Jaruian sex trade. With her new, unwanted job responsibilities, Natalie takes a stand, willing to die fighting for her life rather than be used. When an opportunity presents itself, is Natalie willing to do whatever it takes to free herself or remain only a pawn?

WARNING: This series contains sensitive material. Reader discretion is advised.

 
  

One – Natalie

The taste of copper coats my tongue as a ringing echoes in my ears. My head throbs from the blow administered after the dacker flailed his body backward, slamming me against the wall. I almost lose my grip on the now sweat-slicked chain, but I refuse to let go. He bucks a second time, forcing my head to fly back and collide with the barrier again. Though I’m wedged between him and the cold, gritty wall, I can tell that he’s on his last few breaths of life.

His fingers frantically claw at the metal that’s wrapped around his neck as his body becomes stiffer with each passing second. Faint gurgling sounds escape his open mouth as he desperately tries to suck in air. His body starts to slump, but my tired muscles flex harder, coaxing his fate to settle in more quickly. After about ten more seconds, his fat, greasy body collapses to the floor.

Positioning my right, bare foot in the middle of his back, I yank even harder on the chain. When the coloration on his face starts to change, I finally begin to slacken the reins. My arms shake violently from how long my muscles have been tense.

While I wait for the others to return, I sit on the edge of the bed with my back against the headboard as my knees are curled up to my chest. I’m unable to cry because that’s what I’ve done the majority of the time for the past few days since they captured me.

I’m not sure how much time passes, but some time later, two guards from earlier come barging into the room which is locked from the outside. They shout profanities and some other words I can’t make out, obviously commenting on the scene displayed before them. It’s not that I can’t understand them; they’re speaking Jaruian. It’s that my brain doesn’t focus on any single word as they bounce around in my head like a set of drums.

One of them comes close to me. His arms whipping around in the air as more unheard words escape from his rank hole. I don’t bother to look at him and continue to stare at the man I just killed. I’ve never taken a life before and I’m not sure how to feel about it. Mixed emotions run through me, but regret is not one of them. It was either him or me, and I chose him. The asshole paid money, I’m not sure how much, to have his way with me for a few hours.

My head flying to the left is paired with a sharp stinging grabs my attention. I don’t whimper. I don’t cry. Everything that has happened to me the past few days feels even more surreal now.

“The boss will hear about this, bitch,” one of the voices threatens.

I guess his slap brought me back to reality, allowing me to finally comprehend their words. My eyes lift to find his. I stare him down, hoping that he sees the anger and hatred in my gaze. He inches his face closer to mine, but I don’t budge.

“Let her be,” the other one states.

“What for?” he questions. “She dacking killed him.”

“The dacker had it coming,” the other says. “Boss didn’t like him that much. He always marked up the girls bad enough where they’d be out of commission for a few days. He was costin’ us money.”

“Whatever,” he huffs, turning away from me. “Help me get him out of here.”

I’m left inside the room without another word. The only sounds that are distinguishable are the door lock being switched into place, the faint percussion of music seeping in through the walls, and my heart pounding in my chest.

The small, makeshift bedroom with a bathroom, that is missing a door, still wreaks of that bastard’s body odor, causing me to dry heave a little. I’m not sure if I’m above or below ground since there isn’t a window in my tiny domicile.

I was knocked out right after they grabbed and bagged me just a few blocks from my home. When I woke up, I had a massive headache that could have been from either being hit over the head or drugged—perhaps both. Sensations of being fondled during my transportation fade in and out each time I dream or am touched by anyone, especially men.

Not long after I arrived, they had a group of women clean me up. My clothes were removed and they bathed me in a large, cement bath that was embedded in the middle of the floor of the room. I timidly kept my body covered as much as I could as they washed and rewashed my body to get rid of all of the dirt and stains. My hair was washed twice before they ushered me to another area. The women hand dried my body with small hand towels and then had me lay down on a leather-bound table where they then proceeded to wax my legs, underarms and genital region. My hair was trimmed next and styled before I was given a thin, skimpy dress to wear without a bra or panties. The women chatted quietly on occasion as they tended to me and most offered me an apologetic smile when we made eye contact.

Once I was ready, the ladies knocked on the door I originally entered. Two guards reached forward, grabbing my upper arms forcefully and escorted me away. They flanked me on either side as we followed one in front of us with one more trailing behind. I was then led to the room where I currently reside and given some food. They gave me just enough to take me away from the edge of hunger, but not enough to fully nourish me.

Two meals came each day with a small snack in between them. The food wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t good either. They gave me some juice a couple of times, but mostly water. If I needed more to drink, I was left drinking from the questionable sink in the bathroom with the use of my hands. Utensils were never given with my food, even if the option was not finger-food.

Yesterday, I was inspected by a male doctor while two other women were in the room. None of them said anything other than the doctor directing me to stand or move as he checked my body. He was very thorough and took a lot of notes.

Each night I’ve slept, it hasn’t been much. I wake to every little noise, worried that an unwelcomed intruder will arrive. I wasn’t exactly sure what they wanted from me, what they had planned, but I had a pretty good guess and it was confirmed when they let that bastard into my room tonight.

A familiar sound draws me from my thoughts and I stare at the closed door, hoping that I was only imagining it. The wooden door creaks open and three men walk into the room. My throat dries and my palms begin to sweat, nervous by their blank expressions. I recognize the two from before, but not the third. I silently pray to the Gods, if they even exist, that he’s not the next customer in line.

“What is your name?” the unfamiliar man asks.

My body trembles with fear as I can’t find the ability to answer him; nor do I want to.

“It doesn’t matter,” he says softly after a few more seconds of waiting for me to respond. He shifts closer and sits on the foot of the bed.

I watch him carefully, concerned with what he may do to me.

His eyes drift down to the spot on the ground where my victim previously laid. “Is that where it happened?” he asks, gesturing in front of him. “Is that where you killed him?”

I don’t follow his hand as I try to gauge his tone and expression. He almost seems amused rather than pissed at the fact that I killed the man.

His eyes lift to my face and his eyebrows raise a little.

I nod.

His gaze drifts down my body and back up. “Where did the chain come from?”

“He brought it in with him, sir,” one of the goons states. From the sound of his voice, it’s the dacker who hit me.

“Who let him bring in his own toys?” the man, who seems to be in charge, asks sharply.

They both remain quiet.

The one in charge slides closer and reaches forward toward me. I flinch, but it doesn’t seem to surprise him. He waits a few seconds before taking my chin. My gaze returns to him. The look in his eye tells me that he doesn’t intend to hurt me. His large, rough hand gently guides my head to turn a few inches to the left and then right. “Which one of you struck her?” he questions a little more calmly.

“Breaker, sir,” the one who didn’t hit me states.

“Quiet,” Breaker seethes through his teeth.

“Leave us,” the man directs.

“Sir?” the one called Breaker questions.

The man in charge shoots to a standing position and without another word, the two guards comply. Once the door is closed behind them, he turns back around and faces me. “I’m not a fan of my good paying clientele being killed,” he states calmly.

I don’t comment, fairly confident that he’ll do something to me regardless if I do speak and doesn’t care what my response would be.

“Do you know who I am?” he inquires.

My head bobs slightly, confident that I know his name; Jagger.

He takes a step forward and studies me for a moment. “You did do me a bit of a favor, though,” he states eerily. “He was costing me some money…more than what he was paying now that I think about it.”

I squeeze my hands together more, nervous about how this can play out.

“But, I still can’t have my clients being killed when they pay to have their way with you.” He pauses for a few seconds. “Though…it was his own fault for bringing in the chain.”

Staring at him, I’m not sure what he expects me to do. I will fight to the death to protect myself.

“I’m guessing you aren’t sorry,” he assumes. “And, why should you be. He would have broken you…physically…but, I’m not so sure that he would have broken your spirit.” He takes two steps forward and places his left hand under his chin as he supports one arm with the other. “And, I’m guessing that you’d put up another fight if I sent another client in here, wouldn’t you?”

I don’t comment, but I’m sure he can read my thoughts when he looks into my eyes.

After a few moments of silence, he says, “However…I think I just might have an idea that would work for the both of us.”

Martha Sweeney is an Amazon Best-Selling author with five complete novels and a coloring book. With a B.S. in Psychology, Martha utilizes her knowledge of human and animal behavior successfully in the business world and in her writing. She’s been creative since she was little, always drawing, coloring or making crafts, so her venture into being an author was a natural transition. Martha writes in a variety of genres, constantly pushing herself as story-teller.

She lives in sunny California with her husband and enjoys writing poolside most months out of the year.