Tag Archives: romantic suspense

Brewer’s Ward

She might be his mark, but one look into her eyes slays him.

Blurb:

Reagan “Brewer” de Jager might look soft as a teddy bear, but his stint as a sniper in the SEALs hardened him into a lethal killer. The fact his wife cheated on him while he’d been deployed makes him unable to trust. Cold hearted and empty, he sets his sights on his next mark—and one look into her eyes slays him.

Nova Smego wasn’t nicknamed Black Widow by her CIA superiors without reason. Underestimated for her petite form, she’s quick with her fists and lethal with a blade or a bullet. Tossed out of the CIA with a scarred reputation, she joins a hitmen-for-hire team in the hopes of exacting revenge on the one who ruined her career.

When the Outlaws eliminate her team in order to rescue one of their own, Nova is kept alive—tied to her captor. A winter storm kills the electricity, but not the heat building between her and Brewer. There was a reason he couldn’t end her, and while she plans her escape, she fears losing her heart to the chemistry sizzling between them.

But when Nova’s desire for vengeance shakes the tentative bond between them, the Outlaws issue Brewer an ultimatum. Pull the trigger, or find common ground to trust one another and avoid the Outlaws’ demand for her life.

​PURCHASE LINKS:

EXCERPT:

Brewer stood in the doorway, his gaze flitting over my face as he stepped inside my prison.

My heart spasmed — and that damn tingle between my thighs roared to life. I scowled.

Chin tilted up, I held his blue eyed stare, trying to focus on what he’d done, the family he’d taken from me, rather than the arousal he’d woken inside my core.

A twinkle lit his eye and twitched his lips peeking from his full beard — a beard that appeared silky, bringing to mind an image of his dark head between my thighs. Would his facial hair tickle? Scrape and mark my skin?

I swallowed and jerked my focus back up to his eyes, determined to keep silent no matter what he said — or did.

He caved from the silence between us first, expelling a heavy exhale, his shoulders relaxing the slightest bit. “What’s your name?”

“Eat shit.”

His lips quirked as though to smirk, but flat lined. “Bet you got your ass bullied for that name while growing up.”

“Fuck off.”

“I’d rather fuck you.”

My breath caught — and Brewer blinked as though his words had escaped unintended. He stood a few feet in front of me, doing nothing to hide the cock swelling inside his leathers. Long and hard…

The tingle of arousal morphed into pure wetness, dampening my panties in the span of a single breath as we stared at one another, our fogging breaths loud in the stillness.

“Goddamnit.” Brewer scrubbed a hand down over his face and beard while I attempted to swallow the dryness from my throat. He spun and left without another word, leaving my upper body unwrapped.

My arousal kept me warm for all of two minutes before my teeth began to chatter.

Fucking asshole couldn’t handle the sexual tension, the complication of what that brought to our situation. He fled like a pansy-ass.

Better that than rape me

“Fuck,” I muttered, eyes clenching shut against the thought of him thrusting into my body. My pussy spasmed, deepening my frown. I hadn’t let a man’s dick near me in over three years — and I wasn’t about to let some Stockholm syndrome make me lenient. No matter how fucking hot said man might be.

He’d killed my team, so given the chance, I would kill him.

© Lynn Burke 2018

OTHER BOOKS IN THE DEVIL’S OUTLAWS SERIES:

ABOUT LYNN BURKE:

Lynn Burke is a full time mother, voracious gardener, and scribbler of spicy romance stories. A country bumpkin turned Bay Stater, she enjoys her chowdah and Dunkin Donuts when not trying to escape the reality of city life.

Kissing Bandits Interview: Liz Lazarus

VBT_TourBanner_FreeOfMaliceKB: Welcome to Kissing Bandits Blog! Tell us a little bit about yourself!

MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_FreeOfMaliceI’m the author of “Free of Malice,” a psychological, legal thriller loosely based on my personal experience and a series of ‘what if’ questions that trace the after effects of a foiled attack; a woman healing, and grappling with the legal system to acknowledge her right to self-defense.

I was born in Valdosta, Georgia, graduated from Georgia Tech with an engineering degree and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern with an MBA in their executive master’s program. I spent most of my career at General Electric’s Healthcare division and am currently a Managing Director at a strategic planning consulting firm in addition to being an author.

Free of Malice is my debut novel, set in Atlanta, and supplemented by extensive research with both therapists and criminal defense attorneys. I currently live in Brookhaven, GA, with my fiancé, Richard, and our very spoiled orange tabby, Buckwheat.

MediaKit_BookCover_FreeOfMaliceKB: Tell us a little bit about your most recent release.

Laura Holland awakes in the middle of the night to see a stranger standing in her bedroom doorway. She manages to defend herself from the would-be rapist, though he threatens to return as he retreats. Traumatized with recurring nightmares, Laura seeks therapy and is exposed to a unique treatment called EMDR. She also seeks self-protection—buying a gun against the wishes of her husband. When Laura learns she could have gone to prison had she shot her fleeing assailant, she decides to write a hypothetical legal case using the details of that night. She enlists the help of a criminal defense lawyer, Thomas Bennett, who proves to be well versed in the justice system but has an uncanny resemblance to her attacker. As the two work together to develop the story, Laura’s discomfort escalates, particularly when Thomas seems to know more about that night than he should. Reality and fiction soon merge as her real life drama begins to mirror the fiction she’s trying to create.

KB: Pick out one of the best lines in your novel. What do you love about it?

He sounded sincere. But there was this little nagging voice inside of me–aren’t most psychopaths also charmers?

I love this line because it embodies Laura’s inner turmoil in the novel. She wants to trust Thomas – he sounded sincere – but she doesn’t know if she can. What makes matters worse is she doesn’t know if she can trust herself. Her compass, the ability to distinguish reality from fantasy, has been completely upended since the attack. The sixth sense that she ignored that fateful night is now triggering all the time so she can’t rely on herself to figure out what is real.

KB: What are your top three guilty pleasures?

Watching Dr. Phil, eating potato chips and snuggling with my cat.

KB: Which of your characters do you connect with the most and why?

Like Laura, I went to Georgia Tech for an engineering degree, though I graduated. Laura transferred to the University of Georgia for a journalism degree. Also like Laura, I live in Atlanta, have an older sister and lost my dad to a heart attack. I suppose all writers have portions of ourselves in the characters we portray, which makes us vulnerable but was the only way I knew to tell the story and be authentic.

KB: Describe how you create characters.

The young, black lawyer character in my book is loosely based on my best friend from college, Thomas Barnette. We met our first day at Georgia Tech when we both got lost trying to find the civil engineering building and we’ve been close ever since. Back then, I had no idea that Thomas was such a talented signer—he kept that part of his life hidden. One day after we had graduated, he played a CD for me in his car and the man’s voice was amazing, kind of a Seal meets U2. I literally didn’t believe it was Thomas so he had to sing to me to prove it. From that day on, we talked about producing a music CD. Ironically, right after I took my leave of absence from work to write my book, a check arrived for some salary I had deferred and it was the exact amount we needed for the CD.

Adbiblio AdIn my novel, the lawyer character takes the stage at Eddie’s Attic, one of the many Atlanta locations that I feature. Here, readers can either pull out their QR app and hear the real Thomas singing Let Me Breathe or go to my website, www.freeofmalice.com and hear it online. To me, it adds another dimension to the book, to hear the character’s voice. Thomas also sang at my launch party and we are planning a few joint events throughout the year.

KB: What is something nobody would guess about you?

Mom with book1My age – thanks to great genes from my mom and staying out of the sun, I look much younger than I am.  Thanks, mom!

Here she is with an advance reader copy of “Free of Malice” – turning 90 years old this year!

Excerpt:

Excerpt Two:

We looked at each other for a moment. Then he propped himself up on his elbow and said softly, “Laura, I feel so helpless. I know it’s only been a month, but…”

He hesitated.

“What?” I asked.

“It’s just as bad as that first night. After it happened. Look, I want to make you feel safe again, but I don’t know how.”

He rubbed his eyes and looked away. I waited, staring at him.

What isn’t he saying?

“I know you don’t want to see a therapist, but seeing someone doesn’t mean you’re crazy. Therapists don’t treat just crazy people. They help people who have been through traumas and you have. Hell, no one even has to know.”

He paused for a second.

“Don’t be mad at me, but yesterday I made an appointment for you. I was going to talk to you about it in the morning if you had another bad dream. I found a woman who is downtown by my office. She’s been practicing for about twenty years, got her doctorate from Emory and comes with really good patient reviews.”

He looked for my reaction and continued. “I made the appointment for you at 4:00 so we can go to dinner afterward. You know what you always say. You’ll try anything once, right?”

Enter to win a $25 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

Re/Leased is Now on Pre-Order!!!!!

Re/Leased (Doms of the FBI 5) is now available for pre-order!

released 500Blurb: Honoring a promise he made to his late mother, David Eastridge, part owner of SAFE Security, returns home one final time—to help his father find the culprit responsible for embezzling three million dollars from his company. It should be an easy job—his father already has a suspect in mind.

After a series of tragic events that robbed her of a father and put her sister in a coma, Autumn Sullivan was forced to take on several jobs just to get by. She’s an accounting assistant by day, an occasional service Domme on the weekend, and a thief-for-hire by night.

David’s strategy of hiring Autumn—as a submissive—backfires when he finds himself enchanted by her sense of humor and playful attitude. Determined to prove her innocence, he enlists the help of Malcolm Legato and Agent Keith Rossetti to dig deeper. This enigmatic submissive is openly hiding things from him. Her secretive nature and the bread crumbs she drops about her past don’t add up—not even when he assigns Jesse Foraker, his SAFE Security buddy—to tail her and search her apartment. None of them are prepared for what the FBI uncovers.

Falling in love wasn’t in the plan, but David makes her believe that she isn’t doomed to live a solitary life. Plunged into a world of lies and espionage—with a serial killer after her—Autumn is forced to come to terms with her past if she is to have any hope of a future with David.

Warnings: BDSM party games, sex toys, bondage, flogging, spanking, and a trip to the beach

Word Count: 111,121

Pre-Order from Amazon

Pre-Order from iTunes

Pre-Order from Barnes and Noble

First chapter excerpt you’ll find nowhere else:

“CalderCo is hurting badly, David. There’s nobody else I trust to straighten it out.”

The message ended, leaving David staring at his phone. So many thoughts and fierce feelings pummeled his brain that he couldn’t quite sort them out. Thirteen years had passed since he’d walked out on his father. Harsh words hadn’t needed to flow between them because they’d already been said—whispered vehemently and shouted at the tops of their lungs—from the time David was old enough to rebel against the way his father insisted on controlling every aspect of his life.

His mother’s death had sealed the deal. He’d packed his bags before the funeral, and he had been gone before his father had arrived home from the wake. Eighteen and freshly graduated, the world had been his for the taking. Eschewing his father’s money and connections, he’d forged his own path just fine.

“You don’t have to go.” Dean Alloway pulled David from the darkness of his bitter memories.

David had met Dean in the Marines, and the duo had become fast friends. They’d saved each other’s asses more times than either could count. He sighed heavily. “Yes, I do. I promised my mother on her deathbed that I’d come when he called—but only once.” The feud between David and his father had been going on for as long as he could remember. His mother used to run interference. When she was around, David could breathe. He could be himself and not have to worry about the fallout. Once she fell ill, he and his father had taken steps to hide their hatred for one another.

But, of course, she hadn’t been fooled. “One day, your father is going to need you, David,” she’d said, her voice raspy and weak. “Be there for him. Do this for me. I love you.” She’d been too spent to say more, and she’d slipped away within the hour.

“Fine.” Dean folded his hands on the table. He was a bigger guy than he seemed. The sweaters, vests, and dress pants went a long way toward disguising the bulky muscles earned during years of heavy physical labor, and the metrosexual haircut completed the image. Dean was all about understated power and surprising the enemy. And manicures. David had never met another man who got weekly manicures, yet could also neutralize a target with one well-placed blow. “Tell me what you need. Frankie, Jesse, and I are here for you, man. You’re not alone. We’d never leave you hanging.”

“I know you wouldn’t, but this is something I have to do on my own.”

“No, you don’t.” Frankie Sikara sauntered in, a wet towel draped over her shoulder. She kissed the top of his head before flopping down on the chair next to him. “Sell that bullshit elsewhere.”

David hadn’t known Frankie was in the building. From the black leggings and sports bra, he deduced that she’d spent the morning in the gym. “Jesse in the shower?”

“Yep. I kicked his ass, and now I’m leaving him alone to cry it out.” She winked to let them know that Jesse didn’t need medical attention. Frankie Sikara was one tough woman. Trained in six different martial arts, she was deadlier than any of them. “I heard part of the message. Let’s hear the whole thing.”

“We’ll wait for Jesse,” Dean countered. “You can go ahead and grab a shower.”

They had one locker room in the facility, which wasn’t the issue outsiders thought it would be. Once you’d been through hell and back with someone, little things like that ceased to matter. She was one of the guys. Frankie glared at Dean. “I already did, genius.”

Dean frowned, which made him look all kinds of menacing and foreboding. Well, as foreboding as someone in a designer sweater could get. “You’re not wearing a shirt.”

“Another point for Captain Obvious.” Frankie’s dark eyes flashed, and David found himself smiling. The dress code was an ongoing point of contention between these two. “I’m waiting for my hair to dry so it doesn’t get my shirt wet. If the sight of my bra offends you, I can take it off.” Crossing her arms, she grasped the elastic band on the lower part of her sports bra.

Dean’s expression didn’t change, and that was a challenge Frankie wouldn’t ignore.

As amusing as it was, David held up a hand. “How about you two parking lot the issue?”

“Dress code again?” Jesse Foraker came in, also missing a shirt. As he kept his hair high and tight, he didn’t have Frankie’s reason for going topless. “If you want us to wear shirts, then maybe you should stop stealing them from our lockers?”

The frown on Dean’s face melted. He shrugged. “I left replacements.”

“I’m not wearing that fucking shirt. It looks like I should be chugging a beer in a bowling alley.” Jesse inclined his head toward the lone phone on the table. “What’s going on?”

“David’s dad called.”

Jesse lifted a brow. “Damn. How long has it been?”

“Thirteen years.” David hadn’t thought about his father in so long that he’d stopped measuring the time. “I don’t know how he got my number.”

“I’m going to blame the Internet,” Frankie said. “It’s not like you’re hiding.”

“No, but I changed my name.” He’d taken his mother’s maiden name, Eastridge, when he’d cut ties. Accepting that his friends weren’t going to let him handle this alone, David played the message again.

Three million dollars is missing from the company. This is going to break us if I can’t find it, or at least find out who’s responsible. I’m at a loss, David. The best guess I got is a woman, an employee named Autumn Sullivan. Something isn’t right about her, and not just because she’s into all that whips and chains crap. Anyway, I don’t have hard evidence. CalderCo is hurting badly, David. There’s nobody else I trust to straighten it out.

Jesse frowned. “Why doesn’t he conduct an audit? He can turn the findings over to the FBI, and they’ll prosecute. Insurance should cover the loss.”

This was another point of contention between David and his father. “My dad’s business is like an iceberg. Some stuff is above board, but there’s a lot hidden under the water. There’s no way he’ll want law enforcement looking through his books.”

Dean pressed his fingertips together. “How dirty are we talking? Mob connections?”

“Possibly. I’ve long suspected that he launders money. It could explain his desperation. If he’s lost money belonging to the mob, they’re not going to be patient while he goes looking for it.” David had turned his back on the family business from a young age. It would only have given his father control over that part of his life too. “I’d love to see what the FBI has on him.”

Frankie stood. “On it.” She nailed Dean with a hard look. “I have extra shirts, but I would appreciate having back the one you took.”

“It’s in your office.” Dean pointed to Jesse. “So is yours.”

“Great. I’ll dig up the dirt on Autumn Sullivan.” Jesse followed Frankie out the door.

Left alone with Dean, David waited for his buddy to deliver his opinion. “You’re not going in there alone. We’ll research, do some recon, and then develop a plan.”

These people were his family—always there to support him. Now they were going to help him honor his mother’s memory. Before he choked on his emotions, David agreed to the plan. “Thanks.”

Kissing Bandits Welcomes M.S. Spencer

M. S. Spencer: The Interview

 

KB: Welcome to Kissing Bandits Blog! Tell us a little bit about yourself!

M.S. Spencer: Thank you so much for having me, ye Kissing Bandits! Me, huh? Okay. Although I’ve lived or traveled in every continent except Antarctica and Australia (bucket list), and spent more time than was good for me in academia, for the last thirty years I’ve been in Washington, D.C. I’ve enjoyed life as a librarian, Congressional staff assistant, speechwriter, editor, birdwatcher, kayaker, policy wonk, non-profit director and parent. Since 2007 I’ve published ten romantic suspense/mystery novels, nine of which have recently been re-released as second editions. Blessed with two fabulous grown children and an adorable grandchild, I now divide my time between the Florida Gulf coast and a tiny hamlet in Maine.

KB: Tell us a little bit about your most recent release.

M. S. Spencer Author (3)M.S. Spencer: My latest release, the romantic suspense/murder mystery The Mason’s Mark: Love and Death in the Tower, rose in part out of a true story. Starting in the 1940s an Italian named Licio Gelli embarked on a lifetime of bizarre scams and crimes. Gelli is most famous for founding a Masonic lodge called Propaganda Due, a renegade group that was erased by the Grand Orient of Italy for corruption. He is the model for the shadowy puppetmaster in The Mason’s Mark.

The setting for the Mason’s Mark, the George Washington Masonic Memorial, stands nine stories tall atop Shuter’s Hill in Alexandria, Virginia. The rooms get gradually smaller as you go up the levels, and the elevators that begin 61 feet apart on the first floor are only four and a half feet apart by the time you reach the ninth level. So, in the tiny space housing a replica of Solomon’s throne room on the ninth floor, it would be difficult to hide a body. Or a murderer.

The fourth floor contains a museum dedicated to George Washington. Washington served as the Charter (first) Master of the Alexandria lodge, and many of his letters and memorabilia are housed here, including the Washington family Bible. Since our heroine and hero meet in the museum, it follows that the Mason’s Mark would involve long lost papers, distant family scandals, and academic intrigue concerning our first President.

Here’s the blurb:

In both the best and worst first day at work ever, docent Claire Wilding meets  TheMasonsMarkLoveandDeathintheTower_M. S. Spencerthe man of her dreams, but her carefully rehearsed guided tour of the George Washington National Masonic Memorial collapses when she discovers a body and is drawn into a dark world of black ops and Italian renegade masons, of secret cabals and hidden treasure. Also cloaked in mystery is handsome Gideon Bliss, a George Washington expert who haunts the Memorial, his manner evasive. What is his secret? Claire fears she’ll fall in love with him only to learn he’s a thief or even a murderer. Juggling two eccentric mothers, an inquisitive sister, and an increasingly smitten detective, Claire must find answers to a complex web of intrigue, including who to trust and who to love.

KB: If you could have drinks with anybody (real/fiction, living/dead,) who would you choose and why? What would be the topic of conversation?

M.S. Spencer: So many…but I would choose Benjamin Franklin. For one thing, he loved beer! More important, there are so many topics he could expound upon. I’d love to hear his insights on journalism (it was pretty rough and tumble in his day), on the birth of our nation, on American relations with France, on the art of invention. Like Jefferson, he was well versed in so many areas. And he was wise. Of course, it might end up more an interview than a conversation…unless, as I suspect, he’d want to hear about the state of our country and the world today.

KB: What is something nobody would guess about you?

M.S. Spencer: That, with all the gorgeous men populating my books, not to mention many relationships over the decades, I am still desperately seeking my soul mate. Could be because I’m so weird. When I was young my family lived in many countries and my main companions were books. By the time I returned to the U.S. for high school, I didn’t fit in at all. I had experiences and knowledge that my classmates were unfamiliar with, and I had no clue what current fads were. I was considered rather an odd duck—so much so that I even had a blind date to the senior prom!

KB: Share a funny or ironic anecdote.

M.S. Spencer: I had been dating George for three years. He was married before and reluctant to take the plunge again, so our relationship was subject to lots of fits and starts. Now, there was a house around the corner from his that had always fascinated us. It had a huge, hand-hewn stone fireplace, a beautiful Japanese garden, and a swimming pool. One day it went up for sale, but was soon sold. I didn’t think much about it—at the time I didn’t see any future for George and me. Then one day, as we drove by the neighborhood, I made the totally idle comment that if the house ever went up for sale again, George would have to marry me. We had a good laugh.

You might guess what happened next. Well, the look on George’s face when he saw the FOR SALE sign was worth all the years of wishing and hoping and planning and dreaming. Even more delicious was the squirming, the hemming, the hawing, the blowing out of cheeks. Suffice it to say, he proposed that day.

KB: You can find M. S. Spencer at these sites:

Blog: http://msspencertalespinner.blogspot.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/msspencerromance

Twitter: www.twitter.com/msspencerauthor

Google +: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+MSSpencerauthor

GoodReads:http://www.goodreads.com/msspencer
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/msspencerauthor/

Linked in: www.linkedin.com/in/msspencerauthor

I Heart Book Publishing: http://www.iheartbookpublishing.com/m-s-spencer.html

The Wild Rose Press:http://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/1360_m-s-spencer

Romance Books 4 Us (you can find my schedule of events here): http://romancebooks4us.com/Romance%20Author%20M.%20S.%20Spencer.html OR

http://bit.ly/1d6ehza

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/M.S.-Spencer/e/B002ZOEUC8/

KB: M. S. Spencer has the following titles out. They are available in ebook and print-on-demand from all fine on-line book stores, including IBooks, Barnes and Noble, and All Romance E books. She has provided the Amazon buy link for your convenience.

The Mason’s Mark: Love and Death in the Tower: http://www.amazon.com/Masons-Mark-Love-Death-Tower-ebook/dp/B01DHAJXWK

The Penhallow Train Incident: http://www.amazon.com/Penhallow-Train-Incident-M-Spencer-ebook/dp/B01BOBX5NC

Mai Tais and Mayhem: Murder at Mote Marine (a Sarasota Romance): http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0192OOXMA

Triptych: http://www.amazon.com/Triptych-M-S-Spencer/dp/1519142102/

Dear Philomena: Love, Lust and Murder on Chincoteague Island: http://www.amazon.com/Dear-Philomena-Murder-Chincoteague-Island-ebook/dp/B016HDQDCM

 

Coming July 20: Artful Dodging: the Torpedo Factory Murders (an Old Town Romance)

Coming in August: Whirlwind Romance

Re/Paired is Re/Issued

The wait is over! Re/Paired has been re/issued. I didn’t make a lot of changes to the story. The first time through editing, I majorly revised the ending, so this time the beginning got an overhaul. I put in some of the things I had cut out the first time around. Please enjoy Keith and Katrina’s story! Here’s the new cover:

repaired500

Buy Link for Amazon/FREE on KU: https://amzn.to/2HcHSQ9

Here’s the blurb:

Keith Rossetti grew up the hard way–fleeing from his older sister’s fists and finding addiction at a young age. It’s a miracle he was able to make it into the FBI, and he fiercely guards his relationships with a handful of close friends.

When Katrina Legato’s brother brought home his Marine buddy all those years ago, she fell head-over-heels in love. Ten years have elapsed, and she hasn’t forgotten that toe-curling kiss he gave her for her eighteenth birthday. She knows he’s a demanding Dom who doesn’t respect his submissives or keep them for long, but if that’s all she can have of him, then she’ll take it.

When refusing Kat sends her to another Dom, Keith rethinks his decision. He plans to show her exactly why he’s not a suitable life partner for anybody. But Kat, one of the only women he’s allowed into his heart, isn’t what he expected. She’s no pushover. She demands more from him than anybody ever has, and he finds himself wanting to be the man she thinks he is.

As she repairs his damaged soul, a stalker targets her. Is it just a coincidence that his mother pops back up in his life and his sister is suddenly calling his office?

Warnings: Bondage, D/s, SM, clothespins, GYN exam table play, electric play, a Dom who thinks he’s too badass for love and a sub who knows her value

Here are some awesome things reviewers have said about Re/Paired:

A Night Owl Reviews Top Pick: “This is a great read…The relationship was real and honest, and it was fun seeing Malcolm and Darcy! A highly recommended read!”

The Romance Reviews Top Pick: “RE/PAIRED is an awesome read which gave me some sleepless nights, because it was so hard to put down. I wanted to lose myself in the erotic play between Keith and Kat. The way he caressed her body with the flogger, the way he enveloped her in ropes, the endless orgasms she endured from his hands… The storyline is erotic, rich and entertaining. The dialogue is interesting and kept the force of the plot moving along, and I liked that I was able to see their relationship grow and mature into something beautiful.”

“Wow.  This book was so freaking hot!! [Re/Paired] has great balance….heavy on the romance with enough suspense to keep it interesting and that’s how I like it.”–Under the Covers Book Blog

5 Stars/Purest Delight from Guilty Pleasures: “This was a great read with a damaged Dom who learns to cherish his sub, a lot of hot BDSM action, suspense, and complex relationships”

“…Great chemistry…emotional highs and lows…There were a couple of secondary characters that I would like to see have their own story.”–Literary Nymphs
“Lots of hot sex, kink, and a bit of mystery too. The hero and heroine’s journeys are epic, and the goals, motivations and conflicts are all tied up neatly at the end. Zurlo is a good writer, with a huge repertoire of ideas. Please keep them coming!” –Manic Readers

5 Cups/Coffee Time Romance: “A tautly written, sexy, action-packed tale…[Zurlo] employs…the same devastating effect as a flogger in the hands of a skilled Dom. [Zurlo’s] descriptions of subspace stand among some of the finest in the genre.”

Here’s an excerpt:

Katrina snatched at the stack of panties that was supposed to be on the left side of her top drawer, but she came up empty. The tears blurring her vision brimmed over and burned hot on her cheeks. She’d been stupid to think he wanted this as much as she did. Malcolm had told her several times that Keith was emotionally damaged, that he’d probably never settle down because he didn’t believe he deserved happiness. She’d rolled her eyes at her brother’s dire prediction, but now she saw the truth of his statement. Keith went out of his way to alienate anyone who got too close.

Well, she couldn’t let him do that to her. She whirled around to give him a further piece of her mind, only to find him standing right behind her. He wrapped his arms around her and held her so tight she thought he might crack her ribs.

“I’m sorry. I never wanted this to happen.”

She tilted her face up, though it took some doing to get him to ease his hold enough for her to move. “Keith, just because we disagree doesn’t mean it has to end. I want you to train me, not somebody else.”

The relief in his expression was immeasurable. “I’m not used to such a feisty sub.”

She thought he probably selected subs who capitulated to his every demand because he thought that was the kind of woman he craved. While she knew he wanted a submissive, she also knew he needed someone who wouldn’t let him get away with being a jerk. He needed to be with someone he liked and respected. If she could just keep him around long enough, she could get him to see that.

However, she wasn’t naive enough to give voice to her analysis. “Yeah, well, you needed to spice things up anyway.”

He kissed her thoroughly. It was a comforting clash of tongues and lips, a reacquainting of what they’d almost ended and a confirmation that they hadn’t. When he pulled away, she rested her cheek against his chest. “I need coffee and food before we have any more drama. I’m not cut out for this kind of precaffeine excitement.”

He smoothed a hand down her back. “I have a caramel macchiato waiting for you in the kitchen that’s probably cool enough for you to chug it.”

That sounded good. “Okay. Let me get dressed. You and I have some negotiation to do before we do another scene.” She was sure he would prefer to talk while she was naked, but that wasn’t going to happen. Part of her wondered if being naked last night had short-circuited her brain. The litigator in her needed clothes to function—at least around Keith.

He let go slowly, and she sensed his reluctance. They were leaving his comfort zone, but he wasn’t protesting. He got points for that.

Behind her, the drawer was open. Now that her tears were gone, she could clearly see that it was empty. Her socks and stockings were still there, but her bras and underwear were all missing.

He headed toward the door. “I picked up some more of that Greek yogurt you like. Do you want it with cereal or fruit?”

She whirled and regarded him, hands on hips so he knew she meant business. “What did you do with my underthings?”

He paused in the doorway and looked back over his shoulder. His brows were drawn together, a severe look that only accented the dangerous air he liked to affect. “What?”

“My bras? My underwear?” She exhaled hard through her nose. “I’m not in the mood for games. My blood sugar is getting low, and I really need to eat. Just tell me where you put them.”

The expression on his face changed, melting to that inscrutable special-agent-in-charge look. He swept the room visually. A cold chill raced down her spine.

“I didn’t touch your clothes. I never opened your drawers.” He inspected her bed and bathroom before he slid completely into work mode. “Stay here.”