ANGEL SEDUCED by Jaime Rush (February 25, 2014; Forever Mass Market; $8.00)
Kye knows that her boyfriend Kasabian is in grave danger, investigating a series of kidnapped children. She knows he’s pushing her away for her own safety, but she won’t let him face it alone.
Kasabian will risk anything to rescue the children, and he has a bold plan to allow himself to be taken hostage by the kidnapper, Silva. While he tries to reason with Silva, Kye is racing again time to discover where the kidnapper is holding him .
If Kye is reunited with Kasabian, will their combined powers be enough? The fate of the Crescents-and Kye and Kasabian’s hearts-hang in the balance.
It was damn annoying how Kye’s attention kept straying to Kasabian through the night, how her mind kept replaying their conversation. Women gawked and flirted, but he didn’t flirt back. She was glad to see him leave while she finished up with a client session after closing time.
Her relief evaporated when she stepped into the well-lit parking lot and spotted him leaning against a deep yellow sports car. As though he were waiting for her. The thought fluttered in her chest. Not helping, the Lotus’s license plate read NOANGEL, and black angel wings spread across the hood. She told herself it was enough to enjoy the view. Men who took care of their bodies, working out enough to build muscle without looking too jacked up, were eye candy. No calories in looking.
The thick black heels of her short boots clunked on the asphalt. She felt such an odd pull toward him that she forced herself to give him a brief smile and bypass him.
“Aren’t you hot in that?” he asked, gesturing as though he were wearing a jacket.
She slowed to a stop in front of him. “Only when I dance.” No matter how warm she got, she never took off the black leather jacket with her patches and studs.
“And you didn’t dance.” He tilted his head, giving her an oh-my-gods-stop-my-heart pout. “Pity.”
“Are you flirting with me?”
“You make it sound like a crime.”
“What you’re hearing is surprise. I know it’s painful for Caidos to feel desire, punishment you unfairly suffer because your angel forefathers fell to human temptation. Don’t worry. As a therapist, I’m sworn to secrecy,” she added. “Caido clients tell me it’s easier to shut down their desire. Yet you do … feel desire.”
“Ah, so you did sense it.”
“You threw me off back at the bar. First that you were flirting, then that you asked me outright to feel you. I mean, to sense your feelings. You’re different.”
“Very. I don’t usually flirt.” He let his gaze drift down over her black leather skirt and fishnet stockings. His eyes met hers again, jumpstarting her heart. “You have a strange effect on me.”
Ditto, buddy. Which made her all too aware that they were outside alone together.
His chuckle rolled across her skin. “Don’t worry, I’m not waiting out here to pounce on you.”
She’d forgotten how Caidos could pick up others’ emotions. “But you are waiting for me.”
“Yes, I am.”
“You’re not going to ask me out or anything, are you? Because I don’t date.” He didn’t say anything, which made for a really awkward few seconds. “It’s a general rule, nothing personal. If … that’s what you were going to ask.” She would have thwapped herself on the forehead if it wouldn’t look stupid.
And, of course, as a Caido, he picked up everything she was feeling, which put a damned incredibly sexy smile on his face. “As much as I’d love to hook up with you, it’s not feasible. Or wise.”
He’d love to hook up with her. She tried to staunch her reaction to those words.
He gave her a sympathetic smile. “The love guru doesn’t date? That seems sad.”
She debated being obtuse but decided it was better that he knew she wasn’t just playing hard to get. “Being involved with someone interferes with my abilities. The drama and distraction, even if things are going well, takes over my mind. All I get is noise when I read someone.”
“And that terrifies you. Why?”
She really hated that he could read her. “Helping people is important to me.”
“Which leads beautifully to the reason I’m waiting for you. The Caido/Deuce couple who came in and greeted you like you were their best friend, who danced together, and kissed … you helped them, didn’t you?”
Kye had watched them snuggling together on the dance floor with just a tiny bit of longing. “Sorry, client confidentiality.”
He rubbed his chin. “So you did help them. The only way they could be together is by doing the Essex. I assume you know about the exchange of essences that balances the Caido so he’s not as sensitive to her emotions. Because it only temporarily ease his pain, a long-term relationship would mean that her essence would eventually be depleted. No self-respecting Caido would do that to someone he cares about. So how is it that they’re together?”
She could only give him a general answer. “I’ve come up with a way to make the Essex permanent.”
He pushed away from the car, interest crackling off him as he came closer. “Tell me more.”
She fought the instinct to back up a step. “I’ve had a few mixed-Caido couples approach me about circumventing the pain. They hadn’t meant to fall in love, but now they wanted to be together. I tried several different spells and magick devices, but nothing worked.”
He crossed his arms in front of him and rocked back on his heels. “And you take it very hard when you can’t fix someone.”
“You get that from me too?”
“I suppose we both bear a similar burden in picking up feelings we have no business sensing. How does it work?”
She laid one of her hands on top of the other and let her fingers barely settle between each other. “With the Essex, you’re limited to how much essence you can exchange, kind of the way my fingers can’t slide together. That’s why it’s temporary. The Cobra, which I named for the tantric position, allows both essences to reach fully toward each other, like this.” She laced her hands together, fingers straight so that they formed an X. “This starts the bonding process. The last step is when both parties actually pull each other’s essence into their souls, permanently locking them together.” Her fingers wrapped over her hands as though in prayer. “At least, I think it’s permanent. The first couple did it four months ago and it’s still holding strong.”
“Why haven’t I heard about this magick of yours? The Caido community should be buzzing.”
“There are some side effects I’m still working out. The Caido is bombarded by every emotion he’s ever repressed. It can be intense. One Caido even experienced a resurgence of buried memories.”
Kasabian’s eyes shimmered. “Buried memories?”
“It apparently caused some big problems, but he couldn’t give me any details beyond that. He just wanted me to know that it happened.”
He went silent for a few moments, rubbing his fingers across his mouth. “Can you do it so a Caido can simply experience desire?”
“Only if you have a committed partner who wants to be permanently bonded to you. Because that’s what it does.”
“That would not be a good thing. For any woman.”
“Why?” The mystery of him pulled at her, the dark desire she’d sensed.
“Oh, love, there you go, needing to help even though you know you should run the other way.” He lowered his chin, the street light reflecting off his razor-sharp jawline. “And you should. I’m forty ways fucked up.”
She swallowed. No one had ever made her this off-balanced. “I do want to help. Too many messed up people are not only suffering but inflicting their misery on others.”
“I assure you that I’m not inflicting my anything on anyone.” He reached out with the back of his hand and brushed it down her cheek. “As much as I’d like to.”
She stumbled back, his touch curling throughout her body. “I should go.”
Hunger flashed in his eyes. “Yes, you should.”
Go, run, and never look back.
About Jaime Rush
Things that go bump in the night have always fascinated Jaime Rush. Sometimes those things are human; other times, not so much. Now she has twisted them all together in the Hidden, a trilogy about humans with the essence of gods who walk the knife’s edge between the glamour of Miami and a place filled with dark magick and dangerous beauty.
Jaime is the author of the Offspring series and also writes under the name Tina Wainscott. She is the bestselling author of eighteen romance novels. She lives in Southwest Florida with her husband, daughter, and cat.
SUN GOD SEEKS…SURROGATE? by Mimi Jean Pamfiloff (February 25, 2014; Forever Mass Market; $6.00)
Living in New York City, Penelope Trudeau has seen a lot of weird stuff-but nothing like the insane redhead who accosts her with a wild proposition. Penelope will get a million dollars if she has a baby with the strange woman’s brother. With her mother dying from a mysterious disease, Penelope can use the money. Yet the terrified waitress is adamant that her womb and eggs are not for sale . . . until she meets her intended mate. He’s impressively built, gorgeous, and red-hot, literally. He’s a freaking immortal Sun God.
For thousands of years, Kinich (Nick to his friends) didn’t believe in fraternizing with humans, so procreating with them is definitely a no-no. But after one sizzling encounter with the beautiful, passionate Penelope, Nick begins to think he was wrong . . . until he realizes meeting Penelope was just another one of his crazy sister’s schemes at manipulation. But now that he has Penelope in his life, he can’t let her go. Especially because doing so means throwing her into the hands of his dangerous enemies.
The next morning, I slowly stretched my deliciously sore body while luxuriating in the softness of the silky sheets beneath me and the warm, oh-so-very-naked, well-built man snuggled to my side.
My heart fluttered when I opened my eyes and found Nick sleeping next to me, his bed-play-mussed, golden brown hair sweeping to one side across the pristine white pillow. His heavenly eyes were closed, allowing me to study the golden lashes fanning out against his bronzed face, looking like tiny threads of caramelized sugar. He was a picture of exquisite male perfection.
I sighed and resisted the urge to kiss his exposed, chiseled chest—yes, yes, perfectly tanned like the rest of him (nude sunbather?)—and stroke the perfectly formed swells of his biceps, one of which was attached to the arm draped over my waist.
Last night had been the most…the most…
I sprang from the bed in horror. “Oh crap!”
Nick’s eyes instantly popped open. A warm smile swept across his face. “Oh, you’re up.” His large frame stretched across the length of the extra-long, king-size bed.
I stared at him, wondering what to say; somehow screaming, “Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God!” didn’t seem appropriate.
Okay. Breathe, Penelope. Breathe. Just ask him what happened!
But I didn’t want to insult the guy. Because from the look of his delectable body, it had to have been the best night of my life.
That is…that is…if we did.
Of course you did! Look! Even your eggs are smoking a cigarette.
No! Demon crackers, no!
He rolled onto his side and propped his head up with his arm. “Why are you standing there, naked? Come back to bed.”
I glanced down my body. Oh crappity! I was naked.
I scrambled to the bathroom—a large, modern affair of stainless steel and glass—and grabbed a fluffy, white towel.
Oh shit. Oh shit. What was going on? I needed to go out there and ask him, point blank, what happened. Not with your iguana breath. You might melt the man’s face off.
As long as I get to keep his rockin’ body.
I quickly found a bottle of mouthwash in the cabinet and swished. Then I checked the mirror and noticed I was wearing an odd-looking necklace with a large, shiny black stone dangling in the middle. Had he put it on me last night?
Darn it! Why couldn’t I remember what had happened?
Don’t be a child, Penelope. Just ask him.
Yes. That’s what I would do.
Again I glanced in the mirror. “Oh no,” I hissed at my reflection. My dark hair resembled a beehive, but without the symmetry. I ran my fingers through the mess a few times, but it was useless. I’d have to make a polite exit, go home, and ensure I looked hot enough on our next date to erase any memories of my current discombobulation. Is that even a word, Penelope? And do you really think he wants to date you? You’re a one-nighter for a guy like that.
Christ. What had I gotten myself into?
I took three quick breaths and opened the door. My heart ignited from the sight of him still propped up on one elbow and lying in bed with a smug, male smile stretched across his face. He looked frigging perfect, practically glowing. Dammit. So unfair!
“Everything okay?” he asked.
I smiled sheepishly. “Yeah, I needed to wrangle the tornado.” I pointed to my matted hair.
“You look sexy as hell.” He patted the empty space next to him. “Come here.”
Mischief sparkled in his eyes, and though I didn’t know him well, I knew what that look meant: Encore.
I held up my hands. “Whoa. I think we need to talk.”
His lower lip stuck out in a slight pout and his shimmering eyes seemed to glow against the backdrop of his toasty-almond-colored skin. Damn if he wasn’t the most irresistible man on the planet.
And he wanted me. Wow.
I slowly padded over to the bed. “Please don’t take this the wrong way, but what happened last night?”
He cocked one brow, “You don’t remember?”
I shook my head and gave him an apologetic smile. “I’m sure it was…great. The best toe curling sex ever—but…no, I don’t remember a thing.”
His smile melted away. “Bloody Christ! Neither do I.”
About Mimi Jean Pamfiloff
Before taking up a permanent residence in the San Francisco Bay Area, Mimi spent time living near NYC (became a shopaholic), in Mexico City (developed a taste for very spicy food), and Arizona (now hates jumping chollas, but pines for sherbet sunsets). Her love of pre-Hispanic culture, big cities, and romance inspires her to write when she’s not busy with kids, hubby, work, and life…or getting sucked into a juicy novel.
She hopes that someday leather pants for men will make a big comeback and that her writing might make you laugh when you need it most.