Romancing the Holidays is available for pre-order!

Romancing the Holidays is available for preorder! Preorder it here from Amazon for just $0.99! That’s 9 stories for just $0.99!

Curl up by the fire with a glass of mulled wine or hot chocolate and celebrate the magic of Christmas with these nine heart-warming stories about love, hope and family.

There’s something for any reader who loves the romance of Christmas. These sweet novellas are a perfect way to unwind in the busy the holiday season, so pick up your copy today!

My story is called Light Up Her Heart!

Winnie Anderson hates Dan Walker. Well, she would if only he didn’t make heart flutter quite so much.

With the annual Christmas lights competition happening in a few weeks, Winnie is determined to beat Dan at his own game. She’s going to create the best display their town has ever seen.

But when she breaks her leg, Dan surprises her by stepping up to help her complete her display. And Winnie realises maybe he’s not so bad after all…

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Russian Beast – Chapter 1

Russian Beast is $0.99 for a limited time!

Muffled yelling pierced the rap music blasting through Alexei’s earphones. The thin walls of his apartment did little to quiet the sound of the couple next door as the argument escalated.

Alexei sighed and tugged out his earphones, allowing them to drop into his lap. The tinny sound of the song he’d been listening to was drowned out by the loud male voice currently making his displeasure known.

He swung his legs over the side of his bed, the mattress squeaking under his weight, and turned his head towards the wall. Peeling paint in a colour that had once been white, now a sickly grey, decorated the otherwise bare walls of his apartment.

The voices rose again, and he winced. He couldn’t make out what they were saying. It was hard enough for him to understand English in normal circumstances, let alone when it was furious yelling behind a barrier.

It took Alexei a moment to realise it wasn’t actually a couple yelling. Because the woman he knew lived there—whom he’d never spoken to, but had seen once or twice in the hallway, and had thought she’d lived alone—wasn’t replying. Only the man had something to say. The extremely angry man.

Alexei hesitated a moment. He shouldn’t intervene, he knew that. It wasn’t his business if a couple got into an argument, and it was a common enough occurrence around here besides. Worse, if the police got involved it would compromise Alexei’s carefully constructed life under the radar of the authorities.

Ah chyort,” Alexei muttered. Ah shit.

A crash sounded from beyond the wall, and Alexei was on his feet and moving towards his front door before he’d even made a conscious decision. Even as he stomped down the hall, having a moment to consider what he was about to do, he kept moving forward. He’d seen enough domestic violence first-hand to know the damage it could cause, and he wouldn’t sit by while another woman’s life was shattered.

He reached the apartment next door and stopped for a moment, chest heaving in anticipation of a fight. His blood was up, a surging lust for violence, a need to do harm to a man that hurt others smaller than himself.

He tried the doorknob. Locked. Very well. He bared his teeth and took a step back from the door. Another crash, and this time Alexei was sure he could hear a woman crying. Soft, subdued, as if she was trying to hold back the sounds, but even more heart-wrenching for the pretense.

Alexei readied himself with a deep breath, then charged forward. His shoulder slammed against the door with all his strength. The seams cracked as the wood splintered, but the door didn’t burst open.

The man hadn’t stopped his tirade, so Alexei assumed he hadn’t paid attention to the breaking and entering attempt. But Alexei could hear the woman’s voice now, clearer, and with a plaintive edge.

“Please, Jimmy.”

Those two words sliced rage through Alexei. He could no longer think rationally. Instead, he was a child again, hearing his mother plead in that same tone of voice. “Please, Grigori.” Alexei had been too young, too small, to do anything all those years ago, but the same couldn’t be said now.

Alexei gritted his teeth, raised his leg, and slammed his bare foot into the tilting door.

The door burst open, slamming against the wall with an almighty crash. It bounced off and swung back towards Alexei on uneven hinges, but Alexei didn’t let it close on him. He held out a fist and the door whacked into his arm and sailed harmlessly back again.

Alexei didn’t give it a second glance. He was too busy staring down the furious gaze of the man in front of him. Jimmy, he assumed, was a little over six foot, and had a decent set of muscles on him. Alexei would comfortably bet what little money he had on the fact that those muscles were gym-bought, and not from natural use. In fact, he’d be surprised if Jimmy used his muscles for anything another than intimidating women.

“Who the fuck are you?” Jimmy spat.

Alexei ignored him. He glanced at the woman, his neighbour, hunched on the floor near the wall. Broken glass scattered around her, the yellow shards reflecting the light from a small lamp a few feet from her. She looked so small, so vulnerable, sitting there amongst the wreck of her apartment. It whacked Alexei in the gut more effectively than any punch or kick. How could any man hurt such a woman, any woman?

She didn’t appear to be badly hurt, though a bruise was blooming vividly on her cheek, and her lip was split. She wasn’t looking at him, her gaze focused on the floor. It took Alexei a second to notice she was looking for something, until her hand closed around a small statue that hadn’t been damaged by Jimmy’s tantrum.

Alexei tore his gaze from her and glanced at his surroundings. A chair had been overturned, as had a table. But other items of furniture lay untouched, allowing him a glimpse of what her apartment usually looked like. Colourful, decorative items scattered the room, lifting it with a brightness that his own apartment lacked. Alexei got the distinct impression that she generally kept her place in perfect order, as if she was proud of her small, cheap apartment in an awful suburb, which just made its current state that much sadder.

The woman stared at him with wide, terrified eyes, her knuckles white where she clutched the statue, but Alexei had no time to placate her. He knew what he’d look like—a huge, muscled man with a perpetual scowl and violence in his eyes.

But the violence wasn’t directed at her.

Jimmy, clearly pissed that Alexei was ignoring him, strode forward, flexing his shoulders in what was meant to be an intimidating gesture. “Get the fuck out!”

Alexei stepped into the apartment, ducking his head to get under the door, then straightening to his full height. He had six inches on Jimmy, and twice the muscles. Even better, he knew how to use them to best advantage. In fact, he did so professionally.

Jimmy struck out with his fist, obviously having transferred his wrath from the girl to Alexei. Good.

The fist struck a few inches below Alexei’s solar plexus. Alexei barely flinched. As he’d suspected, the guy was an amateur. He survived far worse attacks in the cage once a week, and Jimmy didn’t have a chance.

Alexei grabbed him by the back of the neck and spun, slamming Jimmy’s head into the wall with brutal force. He kept himself together enough to pull back his attack slightly. As much as the rage pounding through his veins told him to kill this guy, he had enough control to know the woman cowering a few feet away wouldn’t appreciate her boyfriend’s brains smeared across her neat walls, even if the guy was a shithead.

Jimmy groaned, a pathetic sound that made Alexei want to sneer. The guy tried a weak swing back towards Alexei, but it didn’t connect. Then, he sagged. Alexei knocked his head once more against the wall for good measure. The guy collapsed to the ground with a thump.

All of Alexei’s rage and bloodlust drained out of him at the sight of the unconscious man crumpled on the floor. Unlike Jimmy, Alexei took no pleasure in beating on defenceless people.

Alexei turned towards the woman, immediately dismissing Jimmy from his mind. She stared up at him with wide eyes. He took a step towards her. At the movement, she scrambled to her feet, her eyes bouncing between Alexei and the sack of shit lying behind him. She was taller than he’d thought, coming up to his chin. She’d seemed so much smaller curled in on herself.

Alexei took a breath, not sure what he would say, but knowing it would be appropriate for him to say something.

Before he could get any words out, the woman straightened her spine and raised the small statue so it hovered between them like a weapon.

“Get out.”

Alexei blinked and froze. At first he thought she must be talking to Jimmy, but her gaze was trained directly on Alexei. It was a show of strength and defiance he hadn’t expected, and an odd surge of pride welled up in him to know she was neither beaten, nor broken.

But then her words penetrated and he scowled. She took a step backwards at his expression, her lips pressing tightly together. But she didn’t back down.

“What?” he managed, the word coming out more as vhat in his surprise.

Her hands shook as she pointed towards the door. Her breathing was uneven, coming in fits and starts that told him she barely held it together.

“You broke my door and smashed my ex’s head in. You just caused more damage than he did. So, please. Get. Out.”

And then Alexei understood. She was afraid. Not of her unconscious boyfriend, but of him. His teeth clenched at the lack of gratitude, even as the logical part of his mind understood.

Alexei hesitated for a moment, his eyes roving over her face once to make sure she’d be okay. The flash of fire in her eyes told him she’d survive, so he gave her a wry smile. Then, he turned back to the groaning piece of trash on the floor and hefted the smaller man over his shoulder in a fireman’s carry. He ignored the guy’s half-hearted protest as he stepped out of the broken doorway and into the hall.

He turned back, once, to see the woman standing in the middle of her ruined apartment, her arms wrapped tightly around herself. She watched him go with an indecipherable expression on her face. Was that fear? Anger? Desperation? She looked so alone in that moment Alexei had the odd urge to comfort her. But she didn’t want that. And he shouldn’t want that.

Shaking his head against the strange impulse, he strode over to the ancient, rickety staircase that was the only mode of traversing the floors of this shitty apartment building. No one had ever bothered to install an elevator, but Alexei never minded the exercise.

He jogged two floors down with the wriggling man over his shoulder, careful not to touch the railing, lest it topple under his weight.

Once outside he quickly slipped down the alley that ran the side of the building. There, he hefted Jimmy onto the filthy ground. He breathed shallowly in an attempt to avoid the foul smell from the overflowing bins nearby. It was dark; the only light source was the flickering street lamp a few doors down. But there was enough illumination for Alexei to make out Jimmy’s displeased scowl.

He hesitated a moment, then bent over the other man. Jimmy blinked and his head reared back as Alexei got close. The other man’s breath stunk of alcohol and his eyes had the glassy belligerence of a habitual drunk.

Alexei paused for a moment, finding the words in English. “You come near her again, I’ll kill you,” Alexei told him in his most menacing tone. He let the violence of his life, his history, enter his eyes, so Jimmy would know he was serious. He knew his thick Russian accent added to the effect—too many Americans associated Russians with the enemy, with evil.

Jimmy got the message, because he swallowed and nodded. Alexei stood and stepped back. He stared down at the hunched man for a long moment before turning and walking away. He wouldn’t, couldn’t, call the cops on the guy, as much as he might want to. And besides, that would be the woman’s choice to make. A choice he knew survivors often didn’t make, for a variety of reasons, both good and bad.

Sighing, he trudged back up the stairs to his crappy apartment. He glanced at the woman’s door, now shut but tilting precariously in a way that told Alexei the hinges were permanently damaged. He winced, knowing he’d done what he had to, but she’d have to bear the effects.

He took a step towards her apartment, compelled to apologise, to check on her, to…something. But as he neared, the scrape of a heavy item of furniture being pushed across the floor sounded on the other side of the door. She was shoring up her place for the night.

Alexei’s mouth twisted again in some approximation of a smile. He was glad she could take care of herself.

Alexei returned to his own apartment, looking at it with new eyes after seeing the care with which his neighbour had tended to her own. The place hadn’t been in great shape when he’d moved in, and he’d never bothered to rectify that to any great extent once he lived there. The items he’d bought second-hand from various places on the internet had been for their low price, not their comfort or style.

He had no personal items. No photos, no trinkets or decorations. Just the bare minimum. He didn’t need much else.

Frustrated with himself for questioning that fact, even briefly, Alexei returned to his bed, picking up the still-playing ear buds as he threw himself on the squeaking mattress. He hesitated for a moment with the ear bud hovering near his ear. Then, he shut off the music, and placed the phone on the chair that passed for his bedside table.

Instead, he stared up at the dark ceiling and listened to the careful sounds of the woman on the other side of the wall.

Get it here while it’s $0.99!

Russian Beast Available for Pre-Order – for just $0.99!

Russian Beast, book 2 in my Underground Fighters series, is available for pre-order! And it releases one week from today. Better yet, it’s at a limited-time price of just $0.99 only until release, so get in quick!

Here’s the preorder link!

Meet the Underground Fighters—men battling it out in illegal cage matches for money. All have their reasons for fighting. But will love be enough to free them?

Alexei: Strong. Silent. Russian.

Alexei has lived a life off the radar since he arrived in the US years before. Until he meets Evie—the woman he can’t get out of his head.

Having escaped Russia—and a brutal father—when he was barely out of his teens, Alexei now earns his living in illegal fights. There, his size and strength are an advantage, not a curse. When Alexei rescues his neighbour from her violent ex, he sees for the first time that he can use his power for good, and becomes determined to protect Evie from her demons.

Evie has avoided men since she escaped her ex, focusing on the final months of her social work degree. Paranoia has gripped her, and she can’t be sure whether the shadow she thinks is following her is really there, or only a figment of her imagination. But when Alexei barges into her life, she has to decide whether she can place her trust in him, or whether he’s just another man who uses violence to get what he wants.

When Evie convinces Alexei to teach her to fight, she must learn to trust her instincts, to trust him. If she doesn’t, her ex will shatter everything she holds dear, and she’ll risk losing Alexei forever…

Here’s that link again!

And remember, it’s $0.99 for a limited time only!

Caged Warrior is now available!

Caged Warrior is now available! You can purchase it on Amazon, or read for FREE on Kindle Unlimited!

Grab it here!

Meet the Underground Fighters—men battling it out in illegal cage matches for money. All have their reasons for fighting. But will love be enough to free them?

Diego: Loner. Bad boy. Ex-con.

As far as the world knows, Diego Johnson is dead. And in some ways, he is.

Diego has his own reasons for fighting. Mostly, he just wants to be free. But for that he needs money, and there are only so many jobs a man can do when he’s supposed to be dead. Especially when violence was his only tool for so long.

When he meets Rosalyn—a gorgeous and mysterious redhead—at one of his fights, he realises what he’s been missing.

Rosalyn has her own reasons for getting close to sexy, tattooed Diego. She’s a journalist determined to prove herself, and a story about the underground fighters is exactly the kind she needs to impress her boss. But the brutal world she stumbles into is not what she expected. All the men have their reasons for being there, and they protect their own.

Only when Diego claims her as his does she have a hope of making it out alive.

Read chapter 1 here!

Caged Warrior Announcement and Chapter 1

I haven’t done and official announcement on this yet, but my new book comes out in less than two weeks! Since Caged Warrior will be released on the 13th of September, I thought now would be a good time to offer a sneak peek at chapter 1!

First, here’s the blurb:

 

Meet the Underground Fighters—men battling it out in illegal cage matches for money. All have their reasons for fighting. But will love be enough to free them?

Diego: Loner. Bad boy. Ex-con.

As far as the world knows, Diego Johnson is dead. And in some ways, he is.

Diego has his own reasons for fighting. Mostly, he just wants to be free. But for that he needs money, and there are only so many jobs a man can do when he’s supposed to be dead. Especially when violence was his only tool for so long.

When he meets Rosalyn—a gorgeous and mysterious redhead—at one of his fights, he realises what he’s been missing.

Rosalyn has her own reasons for getting close to sexy, tattooed Diego. She’s a journalist determined to prove herself, and a story about the underground fighters is exactly the kind she needs to impress her boss. But the brutal world she stumbles into is not what she expected. All the men have their reasons for being there, and they protect their own.

Only when Diego claims her as his does she have a hope of making it out alive.

This new series is about fighters in illegal cage matches – inspired by my love of the trope in action movies. I’ve obviously added a lot more romance than most of those, though!

Anyway, I really hope you like it as much as I enjoyed writing it! Without further ado, here’s Chapter 1:

Chapter 1

The fist flew out of nowhere.

Diego ducked, narrowly missing Chen’s knuckles as they flew past his face. He returned with an uppercut, catching Chen on the jaw with a brutal blow that sent the smaller man staggering backward. Blood splattered from his nose, falling across the filthy concrete floor like a fucking Jackson Pollock painting. But Chen didn’t go down. Instead, he narrowed his eyes from across the makeshift cage and readied himself for another attack.

Diego braced himself, keeping his mind blank. If he tried to anticipate what Chen would do next he’d probably assume wrong and end up flat on his back. His chest bellowed as he tried to suck in enough air to get him through this next skirmish. Blood dripped into his eye from a cut on his forehead, obscuring his vision, but he didn’t take the time to wipe it away. The instant his guard was down, Chen would strike.

He was flagging. The fight had already been going for ten minutes without a break. It never seemed like much from the outside, but maintaining this level of energy, this fight-for-your-life mentality, was draining. And in illegal fighting, there were no rounds to give you a break in between.

Chen charged, leaping off the ground to gain height as he drove his fist down into Diego’s face.

He should have expected it. Chen was short but he was fast, and could jump like nobody’s business. Diego fell to one knee as his head buzzed from the impact.

Chen dove forward, aiming to get Diego in a headlock and choke him out, but he had enough presence of mind to twist out of the way. There was no recovery time in these fights. No gentlemanly allowances. All you had were your strength, skill, guts, and instincts.

Diego gained his feet and shook his head to clear it. He kept his eye on Chen as the man bounced on his feet, looking for an opening, a fount of seemingly endless energy.

The crowd beyond the cage was eerily silent. Diego didn’t think he’d ever get used to the quiet, watchful spectators in these fights. From past experience—in his old life—everything from a sporting match to an off-the-cuff fight would attract a cheering audience. But these rich assholes didn’t want to exert themselves that far.

Instead, they wanted to watch the fighters do it for them.

Diego launched an offensive manoeuvre, slipping past Chen’s guard to land a solid punch to his chest. Without waiting for Chen to recover, Diego slipped around his back and knocked Chen’s feet out from under him. He controlled the fall, but the impact on the hard concrete—no mats for these fights—still knocked the breath from his lungs. He didn’t let it distract him, rolling so he had Chen in a headlock and his arm twisted in an uncomfortable position. Diego was in complete control. All he had to do was stay focused, not let Chen slip out from the hold.

He squeezed tighter, blocking off Chen’s airflow. Not long now.

A flash of red at the corner of Diego’s eye distracted him. He glanced up, past the rickety cage that had been constructed to separate the fighters from the spectators. Red hair, gold dress, creamy skin. The woman was a goddess of light in the midst of the dirt and misery of the fights.

He didn’t know what it was about her—there were plenty of beautiful women here tonight, from McCready’s women serving champagne to the guests, to the guests themselves. Often the women were trophies or partners of the rich men that attended, but a few came of their own accord to watch the fights as well.

But this woman…there was no way. Her eyes were wide with curiosity as they scanned the cage, not flat with cynicism. Her dress wasn’t skimpy enough for her to be one of McCready’s women, since they all wore a kind of uniform. But nor was it right for her to be part of the crowd, either.

He’d been fighting these damn fights for nearly a year and he’d never seen anyone like her within these filthy, hallowed walls.

So what was she doing here?

He was torn between wanting to find out and wanting to avoid her entirely. She had trouble written all over her. And he’d had enough trouble in his life.

Her gaze shifted, their eyes locked. A surprising bolt of heat hit him, making him forget where he was, what he was doing. Chen twisted, almost slipping out of his grip, but Diego tightened his hold, locking the man in place.

He couldn’t allow himself to get distracted, no matter how intriguing he found the redhead.

A few seconds later and it was all over. Chen slumped, losing consciousness, and Diego waited a moment before slowly peeling himself away.

The crowd clapped politely, making Diego feel like a fucking performing monkey. He scowled at them, still breathing hard, as he rose to his feet. They stared back, unafraid and uninterested now he’d won the fight.

Diego glanced at Chen. The guy was waking up, seeming no worse for wear, so he ignored him. Instead, his eyes searched through the crowd. First he found McCready, standing at the back with a cadre of fighters around him. His fighters, the ones that did whatever he said, including throwing fights, and even on a few occasions killing their competitors in the ring. There was no proof it was on purpose, but they all knew how this shit worked. They were fodder, their lives were in McCready’s hands, at his mercy if he wanted to make a quick buck by getting the crowd a bit more worked up by adding real danger to the mix.

McCready strained the seams of his slick, three-piece suit in vibrant blue, with a tie and pocket square of complementary purple. He had broad shoulders, and plenty of residual muscle even though the man must be close to fifty. His hair was slicked to the side, his face worn and cragged.

McCready gave him a nod to signify he accepted the win—Diego would get paid tonight. Chen wouldn’t. He’d fought well, but not well enough to beat Diego. He wanted it too badly.

He turned to leave the cage, and that was when his eyes found the woman yet again. He hadn’t imagined it. She was beautiful, totally out of place, and absolutely none of his fucking business.

He tore his gaze away and rattled the door to the cage. Another of McCready’s fighters unlocked it, freeing him. Diego strode out, the fighter shadowing him until he was no longer in reach of the rich assholes that had so disinterestedly watched him fight, in case he took it into his head to go after McCready’s cash cows.

Spider met him on the edge of the crowd. Spider was McCready’s right-hand man, and a fighter himself. Diego had only met him once in the cage, and both men had nearly killed each other in the vicious fight. Diego had won—just. And Spider had never forgiven him.

Spider was of average height, but nearly as wide as he was tall, with muscles bulging from his biceps. He’d lost a few teeth, the holes visible as he sneered at Diego, and his shaggy hair was thinning a little on top.

“Here’s your cash,” Spider spat, shoving the notes into Diego’s chest.

Diego narrowed his gaze and calmly extracted the bills from beneath the other man’s hand. He’d dealt with way worse than this thug.

“Thanks. Reckon McCready will give me a bonus next time we fight?” he asked. “When I win again, I mean.”

Spider’s jaw flexed, and looked ready to throw a punch. Diego wiped away the blood trickling down the side of his face and prepared himself in case Spider was stupid enough to start a fight. Spider glanced over at McCready and saw the fight financier watching them. After a moment’s hesitation, he stepped away, thwarted violence written across his face like a promise.

Diego wasn’t worried. Spider wouldn’t fight Diego outside of the ring without McCready’s permission—mostly because McCready couldn’t profit from a fight that happened away from the crowds.

And McCready owned Spider’s ass.

“See you around,” he said with a wink, then strode away from the seething man. He walked out to the back of the warehouse—otherwise empty apart from the fight and the audience—and slipped into an office right before the back entrance. It was empty except for two chairs and an older, silver-haired man wearing thin-rimmed spectacles.

“Doc,” Diego greeted him. He didn’t know the guy’s real name, and preferred not to. Sometimes it was inevitable to find out, but it helped Diego keep his distance if he didn’t know the people in this world too much. Everyone else seemed to have the same idea. They didn’t go for drinks after the matches, barely even talked to each other. It made it much easier to force his fist into someone’s face if he didn’t know or care about them.

“DJ,” Doc replied. Diego would never get used to the fake-ish name he used here. He’d always been Diego, everywhere and anywhere he went. His last name was Johnston, so when he’d needed to give a name to these guys, it had seemed like a decent choice.

But it wasn’t the real him.

In a way that made it easier to do the things he did. He could think of it as DJ doing them, not himself.

Not that Diego was much better.

“Did you win?” Doc asked.

“Yeah.”

“Good for you.”

Diego lowered himself into one of the chairs with a wince. He’d be sore tomorrow. For such a scrawny guy, Chen packed quite a punch. He didn’t have to take off his shirt, since he didn’t fight in one—only boxing shorts and strapped hands.

Doc examined him, starting with shining a small flashlight into his eyes. Doc was kept around to examine each fighter once they came out of the cage. Not because McCready had a soft spot for them—he just didn’t want them to die outside of the ring where the crowd couldn’t bet on it.

Doc was technically no longer a doctor, as far as Diego could tell. He’d lost his licence some time back. Diego didn’t know why—didn’t ask—but he suspected it had something to do with the way the man’s hand shook as he held the flashlight.

Doc cleaned the cut on his forehead and stuck an adhesive bandage over it.

“What did I say about Vaseline?” he asked Diego.

Diego rolled his eyes. “I use it sometimes, but the crowd likes the blood.”

Doc eyed him curiously. “You’ve never cared before what they want.”

Diego shrugged, but a slight heated entered his cheeks. He felt almost like a small boy caught doing something he shouldn’t. “McCready sometimes gives bonuses if he’s really happy with the fight—if the crowd bets a lot. I can’t pass that up.”

Doc stilled. “I see.” He hesitated a moment. “What will you do?” he asked softly. “When you get whatever you’re fighting for?” There was not only curiosity in the man’s eyes, but a kind of yearning. Doc wanted to escape, too.

“Be free,” was all Diego said. Neither said anything more as Doc resumed his examination. A polite clapping came from outside, and Diego assumed the next competitors had entered the cage. He thought it might be Alexei after him—the huge Russian man with questionable English skills and a mean right hook.

A few minutes later, Doc pronounced him ready to go home with a clean enough bill of health. He wouldn’t be running a marathon tomorrow, but he’d survive.

“Thanks, man,” Diego told him.

Doc just gave a nod and a slight smile.

Diego left then, out the back door and toward the truck he’d parked in the back corner of the lot. It was dark—not quite midnight—and the one streetlight a few feet away was the only source of light in the vicinity. He kept his guard up, not nervous, but knowing Spider’s temper and not willing to take any chances the guy might accost him out of McCready’s sight.

He’d reached the driver’s side door when he heard the footsteps. He didn’t turn, they were too light to be any of the fighters he knew, but he waited. A voice sounded behind him.

“Hey there.” Smokey, sultry. Like a hot summer’s night with a bite to it. A bolt of heat shot through him at the sound, making him think all kinds of sinful thoughts. Two guesses who that voice belonged to and the first didn’t count.

He turned, taking in her flaming hair, challenging eyes, and confident stance. Her gaze flickered over him, once, taking in his bare chest. His heart kicked as lust speared through him, and he was forcibly reminded how long it had been since he’d been with a woman.

And this woman—she was something else. Curvy, feisty, but with a hint of vulnerability that kicked him in the gut. There wasn’t any room for vulnerable in his life, and there hadn’t been for a very long time. He couldn’t even remember the last time he’d been so close to someone so soft and untried in the ways of the world.

Because there was no way a woman like this knew of life’s hardships. She’d never be stupid enough to be alone with an asshole like him otherwise.

But maybe she wasn’t so naïve. There was something—maybe a tightness in her shoulders only a fighter would recognise—that told him she was bracing herself. For what—rejection, or a straight out attack?—he didn’t know.

“If you’re here to get a piece of the winner, I’m not in the mood. I’m sure Chen wouldn’t mind the comfort, though.”

Surprise widened her eyes, then they narrowed. “I’m not, but thanks for the assumption.” The ‘asshole’ at the end of the statement was implied. Diego suppressed an amused smile. He was perversely glad to know she wasn’t a fighter’s equivalent of a puck bunny. Not that he would get involved with her, even for a night. He knew better than to get tangled up in a girl like her.

“So why are you here, Red?”

“My name’s Rosalyn.”

“That’s not what I asked.”

She crossed her arms over her chest in annoyance, which had the distinct advantage of pushing her cleavage up like an offering. Diego glanced once, then back to her face. Don’t be tempted.

She glared at him, obviously not impressed by his disinterest in her. She didn’t say anything immediately, so Diego opened his truck door and went to hop in.

“Wait!” she stopped him. Diego paused but didn’t take his leg out of the truck. “I’m new to this whole thing. I want to ask you some questions.”

Diego sized her up from over his shoulder. Her hands were balled into fists, betraying both her nerves and her determination.

Diego sighed and stepped away from his truck. “Look, Red. You don’t belong here. That much is obvious. My advice? Turn around and go back to where you came from. Pretend this place doesn’t exist.”

She straightened her shoulders. “Who says I don’t belong?”

Diego rolled his eyes. “You’re too curious. People come to these fights because they’re so beyond jaded by life. They have no other thrills, except to watch men beat each other with the chance that one might die. They bet on our lives—did you know that? They put money down on who might die in the cage. This isn’t normal MMA—not even an unsanctioned fight, since those are legal. These fights aren’t. They are underground, and brutal, and messy. It’s very clear you’re none of those things.”

She tilted her chin up. “So why do you fight?”

He shook his head and backed away from her. “I have my reasons, and they’re none of your concern.” He slid into the driver’s seat.

“So if I want my questions answered, who’s the best person to talk to?”

Diego’s hand froze on the door. He turned to her, trying to express with his gaze how utterly serious his next words would be. “You don’t. Ask too many questions around here and you might get disappeared or killed. It’s not worth the risk. Go back to your own life and leave whatever you’ve got going on behind you. Trust me.”

With that—his first virtuous move in a good long while—Diego slammed the truck door shut and turned on the engine. Red—Rosalyn—stared after him, but didn’t try to stop him as he backed out of the parking lot.

As he drove away, he couldn’t help hoping she’d take his advice to get far away from this place, and its misery. It had a way of sucking people into its orbit so they could never leave. Not alive, anyway. Diego had a plan to escape, but in the meantime, he couldn’t let someone like that near those fights. Not unless he wanted to see all that fire extinguished.

Permanently.

Preorder here to read the rest!

Cover Reveal for Whiskey-Eyed Woman!

So today is the big day! The cover for Whiskey-Eyed Woman has been launched. Here it is in all its glory:

What do you think?

Here’s the blurb:

The final Soldiering On book

They’ve been dancing around each other since they started Soldiering On. Now, Duncan and Mandy will have to work together if they are going to get out of this alive…

Former Sergeant Major Duncan Pierce has wanted Mandy since the moment they first met, but she deserves better than a beat up old soldier. Then, a bomb planted in their office goes off, and they narrowly escape the deadly situation with their lives. Faking their own death to buy some time, they are forced to hide out together while they plan to finally bring down the arch-enemy that has nearly destroyed them.

But in such close proximity, their powerful sexual chemistry is sure to combust…

Mandy’s sick of Duncan seeing her as the untouchable princess she’s not. When they arrive at the safe house, she’s determined to get him to see the real her. But first they have to deal with a man who wants them dead and buried, once and for all.

Preorder it here!

It’ll be released on August 18th. I’m so excited to share this with everyone. Writing this series has been a journey, and I’m sad to see it come to an end. But I’m also really excited for what I have planned next! Expect some exciting updates over the next few weeks!

Hesitant Love Now Available!

Hesitant Love

My cute, fun, and sexy romance is out today! If you like awkward heroes, single mothers that don’t trust men, comedy, and romance, this is for you!

Colin Partridge can hold down a conversation with his nine-year-old students, no problem. Beautiful women, on the other hand? Not so much. So when he bumps into Britt Endicott, the single mother of one of his students, he barely manages to get through the conversation with his dignity intact.

Britt Endicott hasn’t dated since her ex-husband left her and her daughter Abigail seven years ago. She doesn’t trust men, and with good reason. And even if she did–which she definitely doesn’t–dating her daughter’s teacher is totally against the rules.

Can they get around school rules, meddling children, and most of all themselves, to find their happy ending?

It’s a little bit different to my usual fare, but for anyone who’s read the Soldiering On books, you know I like to add a bit of humour to my work–even into my romantic suspense. Now I have a novella chock full of it! (This also has what is probably the sexiest sex scene I’ve written, if that’s your thing…)

I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it. It’s also available on Kindle Unlimited if you want to give it a try!

Click here to find the novella on Amazon!

Win a Kindle! (And get some great books while you’re at it!)

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Check out the April Showers LKS Super Sale & Giveaway!

Your favourite Romance Authors are offering their suspenseful romances… Most of them are on sale for a limited time. It’s just our way of thanking our loyal readers. Even better, we’re giving away an Amazon Kindle!

Enter to win a FREE Amazon Kindle just for subscribing to our newsletters or following us on social media. Here’s the link to the April Showers LKS Super Sale & Giveaway:

CLICK HERE FOR BARGAINS AND YOUR CHANCE TO WIN