The final five angels have been located and averting the apocalypse means somehow recreating the birth of Christ.
Morgan never expected total annihilation would come down to the actions of five misfit angels. But as each one’s hidden angelic power unfolds, so does the sinister truth… the entire Jesus storyline has been wiped from the collective consciousness, leaving a tear in the fabric of reality.
The final five need to figure out how their gifts are meant to fit together in order to set things right. However, coming to terms with the responsibility resting on their shoulders doesn’t come easy. To make matters worse, the demons have found them and unless they get on the same page quickly, the darkness will consume them all. But how can they make things right when the thing that’s missing happened more than 2000 years ago?
One thing’s for sure. If they fail, existence ceases.
If you love books like Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s American Gods or Good Omens, Joe Hill’s Nos4A2, or Stephen King’s (Richard Bachman) Blaze, then you’ll love Awakening!
Giveaway ends November 21st.
The grand prize is:
A signed paperback set for the 3 released 8th Dimension novels (The Final Five, Oracle, and Awakening)
Carissa Andrews is a freelance writer, award-winning graphic designer, indie author coach, and internationally bestselling author from Crosslake Minnesota. She is the President of the Lakes Area Writers Alliance, a 501c3 nonprofit for writers in central Minnesota, as well as the owner of Author Revolution, LLC – an organization geared toward helping new authors navigate the waters of indie publishing. For 2020, Carissa has her sights set on becoming a NYT or USA Today Bestselling Author with her upcoming series, The Windhaven Witches. You can learn more about Carissa, her services, and her upcoming novels by visiting her websites: www.carissaandrews.com, www.authorrevolution.org, or authorrevolution.teachable.com
It’s craziness to believe the gods and goddesses have returned.
Awakening: Rise as the Fall Unfolds by Carissa Andrews
I wasn’t expecting to like Awakening: Rise as the Fall Unfolds as much as I did. I initially decided to review the book because of the blurb. Then I started reading it, and I devoured the book. DEVOURED. IT. I even (and I NEVER do this) started raving about it to my SO. So yeah, this book was an immense hit with me.
Awakening: Rise as the Fall Unfolds had an exciting plotline. The whole premise of the plot centers around one question: What if Jesus didn’t exist. Thought-provoking, isn’t it? The plotline focuses on a group of people who can go back and make sure He is born. It also shows what a world without Christianity would look like. Again, it was thought-provoking, and I liked it.
The flow of Awakening: Rise as the Fall Unfolds was awkward to read. It switched between five POVs. The author did a fantastic job of putting the name of whose POV was being read at the beginning of the chapters. But, even with all of that in place, I still got turned around at points in the story.
I liked the main characters. The author did a great job of giving each of them a distinct personality. Mike was mellow, Braham was intense, Thea was skeptical, Bea was saucy, and Morgan was optimistic. They melded well together, once they accepted what was happening to them and started working together. The journey to that point was a little bumpy. I liked how each of their abilities was highlighted in the book. It made for an engaging read.
The storyline with Jesus was amazing!! While I know the Biblical story about how Mary conceived, I will say that I liked this one better. I understand that some people will complain and say it is blasphemous. But to me, it made perfect sense.
Awakening: Rise as the Fall Unfolds is part of a series of books. Several other books are before it. I would suggest reading those books first before reading this one. It will give a better picture of the universe this book takes place in. Other than that, it can be read as a stand-alone.
The end of Awakening: Rise as the Fall Unfolds left me with more questions than answers. Which I am hoping will be answered in another book. I am also dying to see how Cassidy reacts to Braham’s surprise.
I would give Awakening: Rise as the Fall Unfolds an Adult rating. There is no sex. There is mild language. There is mild violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.
I would reread Awakening: Rise as the Fall Unfolds. I would recommend it to family and friends.
**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**
A standalone romantic saga full of angsty emotion that spans the years. If you remember the 1970s or just wish you’d been there, you won’t want to miss this story!
Everyone wants of a piece of Robin Stewart. As he blazes a path across the pop culture landscape of the 1970s, from television sex symbol to rock superstar, he’s the ultimate picture of cool and the romantic fantasy of women everywhere, carrying the hopes and burdens of his show business family on his sexy shoulders. But nobody knows how much alcohol it’s taking to keep up that image, or how terrifying groupies can be. All Robin wants is to claim his own identity. To be loved for himself.
Quietly at his side, Robin’s co-star Christine Keithley is his groupie kryptonite, shielding him from rabid fans. She’s the one person who’s always honest and direct with him. But a dark secret from her past keeps her from giving her heart and soul to him. When Robin walks away from stardom, it means leaving Christine in the past as well.
Years later, they are reunited when an old foe comes to claim all Robin holds dear. Is life giving them another chance? The television season of ’72 is part of their past. After a lifetime apart, do they have the courage to rediscover their love?
Robin Stewart had never seen the inside of Christine Keithley’s trailer before. Throughout most of the first season of Golden Gates Mysteries, his costar had barricaded herself inside, drinking gallons of orange juice and pleading a headache. If someone had asked Robin for his diagnosis, he would have said that Christine Keithley was the headache.
A small electric fan ran to dispel the midday heat. The whir provided a backdrop of sound, like a chorus, a running commentary on the undercurrent of awkwardness.
He was pretty sure he’d lost his pursuers somewhere around the three-tiered fountain in the old town square. But to be safe, he would stay with Christine until he was needed on camera or until the commotion died down. At the rate things were going in his life, that probably wouldn’t be until he turned thirty, another eight years—if he made it that long.
Christine looked him over. She had big blue eyes, the watery kind of blue, like an aquamarine. They were so vast and expressive, they seemed capable of holding a sea of pain, not to mention sympathy.
“Girls again?” she asked.
“These weren’t girls.” They definitely weren’t girls in the sense of twelve-year-olds. Teeny-boppers were Jay’s department. Robin’s little brother had a fan club full of them.
“These were women.” From the looks of their flower-power boutique dresses and teased, sprayed hairdos, they were Beverly Hills types, wives or mistresses of important executives. And they most likely found the prospect of chasing after Robin Stewart more exciting than a sale at Bonwit Teller. They sought out the same thing every other member of the fairer sex did who camped on the streets outside his house or lurked beyond the barricades of Monument Studios: Robin Stewart’s—ahem—corduroys.
“Naked again?” Christine asked.
It wasn’t like Robin had anything against women, naked or otherwise, though of course he preferred the former.
He shook his head. “Not this time.” Robin gave a slight shudder. He’d finally gotten that little intrusion from last week out of his head, and Christine had to go and bring it up.
He’d had a lot of explaining to do that day to Judy, the girl he’d been seeing and had high hopes for. He had just so happened to be giving Judy a tour of the set, along with that week’s guest star, a Tricia Nixon lookalike fresh from Ohio. When Robin had opened his dressing room door and found two strange – and unclothed—women there, he heard a loud scream—he was pretty sure it had come from him.
Robin was jolted out of the memory by Christine holding out her pack of cigarettes. “Here.”
He glanced at the pack with its painted design of a woman in a field of flowers. “Eves? You smoke Eves?” They were one of those brands “for women,” full of long, graceful one-hundreds that had pretty flower-painted filter tips. As if he didn’t feel silly enough, now he would have to smoke those.
Even so, Robin lit up, took a long, refreshing drag, and exhaled. “That was close.”
It wasn’t that Robin had no interest in sowing wild oats. It was just that he wanted to have some say in the matter. And he preferred to be the one doing the pursuing.
As much as he didn’t want to be out there, mobbed by strangers, he also didn’t want to be in a trailer with Christine, who clearly was repulsed by him. No, all he wanted was to play the field with his choice of typical, usual fast girls, like Judy.
“Can you imagine if they found me?” he asked.
“Yes,” Christine said, pressing two fingers to her lips, which he assumed, was a gesture meant to hold back laughter at his expense. “They might have tousled you to death.”
Robin winced. Very funny. “For your information, I happen to have sensitive skin.”
Magnetism or no, he hated being manhandled, or in his case, woman-handled. He was sensitive to the touch, ticklish even, especially to the touch of strangers.
He wriggled in his corduroys at the thought.
“Let me guess.” She gave him a sidelong glance. “The heartbreak of psoriasis?” She put one of the Eves to her mouth and lit up. Her lower lip—full, plump, and practically bee-stung—jutted out in a pout. The effect was quite sensuous. He’d never noticed it before.
Christine tilted her head back and blew. A long plume of smoke shot upward toward the ceiling. The movement gave her an air of self-assurance and maybe projected some French-style ennui and a certain sophisticated pissed-offishness. But if she was aiming for sexy, she had a long way to go.
Karen Tomsovic writes contemporary love stories that aim for the funny bone as well as the heart. She lives in the Pacific Northwest, where she likes to look out the window from her kitchen table and find new ways to describe clouds. Her two pet parrots, Teddy and Daisy, interrupt her as often as possible.
Like her owner, Daisy loves to devour books. However, she does so in a more literal sense. Teddy makes a great muse. He thinks Karen should include a bird in every book. Karen says she’ll try.
Jonathan is the immortal master of Raven Hollow Manor – a decrepit mansion riddled with superstition, murder and restless ghosts. Beneath it lies a restless malice.
Its previous owner driven mad, violently kills his guests with a rusted ax, creating the perfect venue for Jonathan to seclude himself in a prison of his own device.
When the streets of London begin to run red with blood; the bodies exhibiting disturbing signs and baffling wounds, the identity of the killer remains elusive to police.
The bodies are just the beginning of Jonathan’s troubles. A mysterious letter accusing Jonathan of committing the murders appear, raising suspicion in the police. Hidden beneath the mangled bodies, Jonathan soon realizes he is being forced to face demons he thought died in a forlorn past he attempted to escape.
One thing Jonathan knows for certain: He must deal with the demons of his past if he is to survive his future. Not only him but those he has come to love as well.
For fans of Jim Butcher, Stephen King, Darcy Coates and Nick Cutter.
I. The Streets Ran With Blood
I want it known before this tale begins – I am not a hero but a villain. I want no sympathy from whomever reads this recalling of my story; no mourning for the tragedy that befell my life. I am not an innocent man but a sinner forced to face the ravaging demons and ghosts of his own creation.
My story began as many do – a lie, a fire and murder. One of my kind murdered the woman I loved in the coldest of blood in one of history’s darkest times at the behest of a possessive noble.
After a run in with him in Nottingham, I soon found myself fleeing for my life from hunters, framed for a murder I had not committed.
Forgive me, I am getting ahead of myself.
Let me begin where this part of my story took place.
A bloody civil war ravaged London followed shortly by the Great Fire in 1666. A glorious time for me and those like me to take advantage of the chaos and remain hidden in the shadows.
I managed to pursue the one responsible for nearly getting me killed two centuries prior to the plague which befell London before the fire.
Within the shadows of the flickering flames of St. Peter’s Cathedral, I struck him down and departed the city, thus avoiding my demise.
I had yet to escape him, however, when his vengeful spirit devoured the souls of the innocent in a mad bloodlust.
Though greatly injured, I managed to drive his spirit to my new home Raven Hollow Manor in London, imprisoning him in stone coffin in the crypt beneath it.
Peace resumed in my life and nobles of all kinds enjoyed lavishly hosted parties within the halls of my estate.
Unfortunately, the short lived splendor at the hands of the hauntings filled the ears of the locals and my beloved home decayed into a tangled web of blood-filled rumors and superstition.
My once glorious halls became infested with dust, its crystal chandeliers covered with cobwebs, their spiders fat on the insects buzzing around the decay and mold-covered wallpaper.
Yet, there I remained as it proved a decent place to not only contain my greatest sin but served also as a castle of solitude.
The tides of time swept by in a cacophony of modernization and the movement from superstition to things only mortal science could explain.
I still needed to venture into the city, not only to feed but also to purchase other items needed for everyday living.
It wasn’t until the winter of 1910 that my silence would be disrupted in the form of a girl named Holly, a young street urchin accused of theft. I took her with me after using a bit of “persuasion” on the local officers to let her go.
They did not need to know where I would take her and she soon grew into a wonderful messenger on my behalf. She became a rather attractive young woman with bouncy blonde curls who kept me company with stories of what went on in the city.
I am sure, at one time, she became infatuated with me. It did not surprise me. To mortals, my kind held a certain allure they found difficult to ignore. I ended her infatuation quickly following a stern talking to and dousing with cold water.
One day, while in my labyrinthine garden, Holly came to me in tears.
When the people of London learned where Holly lived, the townsfolk dubbed her a practitioner of black magic.
One day, I found Holly sitting on one of the marble benches in the garden, sobbing. I picked a flower and put it in my daughter’s hair, sitting next to her beneath the statue of a praying angel.
“You need not worry about them, dearest. Mortals are always quick to place labels on what they do not understand.”
Holly sniffled and sobbed, wiping her nose and offering me a smile. “But why do they avoid this place, Jonathan?”
“Mortals fear what they cannot comprehend. Pay them no mind. You are a wonderful young woman,” I purred, brushing a blonde curl from her face.
The words appeared to have placated her as she smiled and joined me in a moonlight stroll through the garden.
Around midnight, after dinner with Holly, I dismissed her to bed. Once she departed, I sought out sustenance in the city.
A dense fog rolled in due to the cool winter weather and the recent days of rain.
Combined with the darkness of the streets and alleyways, I managed to meet a young working woman on the corner and wooed her into joining me for a walk to the park. As with other women, I made sure she understood I respected her body with gentle caresses and loving words murmured into her ears.
Once I placed her deep under my spell, I kissed the tender flesh of the woman’s throat and exposed shoulder, thanking her for her gift.
My fangs pierced her flesh, earning a moan of pleasure as her body surrendered its precious life force without any significant damage. Her body pressed against mine, her moans increasing with pleasure at my kiss.
I preferred this method to those of many of my other brethren who tore their victims apart during a feeding, choosing power to subdue instead of sexual allure.
When signs of weakness began manifesting I released my hold, picking her up after licking the small puncture wounds, my saliva healing them, leaving no marks or scars.
To assure she received care, I took her to the nearest hospital and deposited her on the steps without anyone noticing.
As always, I used hypnotic suggestion to erase her memory and leave her with a pleasant dream.
During the wee hours of the morning, I tended to enjoy the calls of the birds and the chirping of the crickets to help relieve the burden on my mind.
Not a soul roamed the streets near the bridge where I liked to sit and write poetry or read a book.
In the midst of the silence, a horrifying shriek caught my attention, almost startling me.
My pupils narrowed to those one might see in a viper or a cat. I let my body dissipate into the form of a black mist, hovering over the city in search of the source of the scream.
I found it in the shape of the body of a mangled man.
The whites of his eyes consumed most of the portion of the glossy orbs in his skull, mouth gaped open mid-scream.
I knelt before him, my own brows furrowed in frustration at the recognition of the familiar puncture wounds on the man’s throat. This cannot be. No other has hunted here in centuries.
The disturbing find made something clear.
Many of my kind preferred not to hunt in one place occupied by another of higher status, or in another’s territory for that matter. We changed due to the growing number of human hunters who would kill any of us they came across.
Despite the city’s size, my reputation often kept others out of my hunting grounds, for which I remained grateful.
This new kill had been malicious.
If I allowed such behavior to continue, it could draw the attention of the hunters or the local police to my home.
Whomever the responsible party, I needed to locate them and have a word with them or kill them if necessary.
My eyes closed, a heavy sigh drawing up from within my lungs. I placed my fingers over the man’s eyes, using a gentle touch to close them. “Forgive whichever of us did this to you. You did not deserve to die in such a horrific manner.”
Searching through the pockets of his trench coat, I located his identification card and vowed to send some money and roses to his family.
Sounds of sirens and the calls of the corner watchmen announced the arrival of the authorities. I left them the man’s wallet so they could inform his family of their loss.
I lurked in the shadows listening to the inspectors scrutinizing the scene.
“Bloody mystery, it is. This is the second mangled body we found this week. One has to wonder if we might be witnessing the birth of another blighter of a serial killer.” One of the inspectors scratched his head beneath the dome shaped hat.
I recognized him as Bertrand Abrams, a well-known officer and one of the only men who aided Holly during her visits to town.
From his looks, one would expect him to hail from Scotland. A bushy mustache and stringy hair with the consistency of sheep’s wool held the color of fire. Dimples set into high cheekbones and a double chin made me smile. A portly belly betrayed his affinity for too many scones and perhaps Scotch.
He had been wrong. This death held no mystery. I merely needed to find the one responsible before it resulted in too much of a personal dilemma.
Following the release of the corpse to the medical examiner, I took the form of black mist and drifted back to Raven Hollow.
The beginnings of my night would be haunted by dreams of a past filled with love, vengeance and pain.
It would be filled with shining auburn locks and eyes the color of the fresh leaves of spring.
Giveaway ends November 21st
The grand prize is:
$25 Amazon gift card + print copy of Beneath London’s Fog
Iona Caldwell is the lover of all things arcane, folklore, nature and magic. She is the author of the British Occult Fiction, Beneath London’s Fog set to be published by FyreSyde Publishing October 2019. Her second title, Hell’s Warden is forecasted to release in February of 2020. When she’s not busy weaving worlds of the arcane and dark, she’s spending time out in nature. An avid lover of books, Iona claims her biggest inspirations are H.P Lovecraft, Stephen King, Neil Gaiman and Edgar Allen Poe.
She believes storytellers should tell the stories they want to tell. As such, most of her titles are stand-alone novellas she hopes will leave her readers immersed in magical worlds.
She is also an extremely active book blogger who will review primarily horror, suspense, supernatural thriller, mystery, and occult/gothic fiction.
The never-before-told story of Eric Roberts, who infiltrated a network of Nazi sympathizers in Great Britain in order to protect the country from the grips of fascism
June 1940: Europe has fallen to Adolf Hitler’s army, and Britain is his next target. Winston Churchill exhorts the country to resist the Nazis, and the nation seems to rally behind him. But in secret, some British citizens are plotting to hasten an invasion. Agent Jack tells the incredible true story of Eric Roberts, a seemingly inconsequential bank clerk who, in the guise of “Jack King”, helped uncover and neutralize the invisible threat of fascism on British shores. Gifted with an extraordinary ability to make people trust him, Eric Roberts penetrated the Communist Party and the British Union of Fascists before playing his greatest role for MI5: Hitler’s man in London. Pretending to be an agent of the Gestapo, Roberts single-handedly built a network of hundreds of British Nazi sympathizers—factory workers, office clerks, shopkeepers —who shared their secrets with him. It was work so secret and so sensitive that it was kept out of the reports MI5 sent to Winston Churchill.
In a gripping real-world thriller, Robert Hutton tells the fascinating story of an operation whose existence has only recently come to light with the opening of MI5’s WWII files. Drawing on these newly declassified documents and private family archives, Agent Jack shatters the comforting notion that Britain could never have succumbed to fascism and, consequently, that the world could never have fallen to Hitler. Agent Jack is the story of one man who loved his country so much that he risked everything to stand against a rising tide of hate.
Mr. Jones, assistant controller at the Westminster Bank, put down the phone in a puzzled mood.
Agent Jack: The True Story of MI5’s Secret Nazi Hunter by Robert Hutton
I have been an avid reader of anything to do with WWII and the Holocaust. There are very few things that could shock me about that era. Then I read Agent Jack and had my mind blown.
I don’t know why I was so surprised to read that there were Nazi sympathizers in England. I shouldn’t have been. Considering that Germany is a little over an hour (flying time) from England, it should have made sense. I will admit, it threw me off the book for a little bit. Once I was able to wrap my mind around that, I was able to get somewhat get into Agent Jack.
Agent Jack took me six days to read. Four of those six days were spent traveling. Ever travel with three kids? Then you understand why it took me so long to read. The other reason why it took me so long was that I had to force myself to read and finish the book. Which, if you have done it, isn’t a good thing. I also found it extremely dry. There was a lot of information to process.
There were parts of the book that I found interesting. It involved the MI5, which is England’s equivalent to the US’s CIA. I found it fascinating the politics that went into everything. I haven’t read a lot of books on the MI5, but what I have read caught my interest.
Agent Jack had a wide assortment of people as main characters. But the main guy, the bank clerk who was essential to everything, was fascinating. He kept tabs on 500 people without blowing his cover. Which, to me, is impressive. I can’t even keep tabs on three people without running into issues.
I liked that the author chose to portray the Nazi sympathizers in a way that explains why they felt that way. A lot of these sympathizers were refugees from WWI and harbored anger towards England. They would do anything to help Germany, which included betraying the country that took them in.
The author did a fantastic job of showing what happened to all the key players, good and bad, at the end of the book. I will say that I was inscensed over how Eric Roberts was treated. That poor man gave years and to get treated like that!! Shameful.
I would give Agent Jack: The True Story of MI5’s Secret Nazi Hunter an Older teen rating. There is no sex. There is mild language. There is mild violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 16 read this book.
I would reread Agent Jack: The True Story of MI5’s Secret Nazi Hunter. I would recommend it to family and friends.
**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**
Falling for the forbidden has never felt so right…
When social worker Nica Anders indulges in one night of sexual passion with delicious Deaf man Cam Thompson, the last thing she expects is to see him the next day while visiting her dying client. He’s Cassie’s grandson and caregiver, the one treat she shouldn’t have tasted. Now her job is on the line, demanding she stay away.
But their attraction is building like a raging inferno and Nica can’t help but get burned.
Cam Thompson’s life is a mess. He’s losing his grandmother, the one person who’s supported him his whole life, and her dying wish is for him to settle down with a good woman—specifically her social worker Nica Anders. Despite Nica trying to hold tight to her ethics, he’s falling for her hard and fast.
Yet Cam’s grandmother isn’t the only matchmaker in his family, and someone’s determined to keep him and Nica apart.
Steamy, touching, heart-warming. A much-needed #OwnVoices romance to go perfectly with that plate of chocolate brownies and glass of wine!
Her spark returned, the same I had grown up with, and I forgot about her struggle with her knitting.
“I’m right about you and Veronica,” she signed.
“Give it time.”
“Time.” She shook her head and reached for her knitting. Before her hands could grasp the blue strands she turned back to me. “Time will steal everything from you if you give it a chance. Time stole your father from me, and nothing I could ever do would get that back.”
I swallowed the lump in my throat. The closest thing to a relationship I had with my father was the memories my grandparents held on to. The man hardly ever interacted with me unless my mother told him to be the disciplinarian. I leaned forward and placed one hand on hers. “That’s why I don’t want a relationship.”
Grandma shook her head, her brow creased in determination. “It’s not the relationship, it’s the who. That’s why I want to set you up, to find a match to be good to you. And you won’t find a better one than Veronica.” Grandma turned to Grant. “You help him out, this Veronica is good for him. He’ll need her.” She faced me. “Make sure she visits me before I go.”
I had a sneaking suspicion her will to fight just grew stronger.
Laura Brown lives in Massachusetts with her quirky abnormal family, consisting of her husband, young son, and three cats. Hearing loss is a big part of who she is, from her own Hard of Hearing ears, to the characters she creates.
And he certainly matches up to his name. From his looks to his constantly furrowed brow, Miss Beatrice Edgerton is under no illusions as to the status of their arranged marriage.
It will be very much one of convenience. With him conveniently providing the title her family so desperately wants and her family bringing in plenty of money for his dilapidated home. She is simply grateful he is younger than her first husband.
Lord Morton, Duke of Hartwich, is only a little perturbed by the vibrant Beatrice. After all, he sets her straight from the very first day of their marriage—this is one of mutual benefit. In one way only. She can expect no affection or romance from him.
Because, frankly, he is incapable of such things. Being a one-legged duke with a slightly dark past brings enough challenges without him having to worry about a wife too. His days of concern for anyone are long gone.
Unfortunately, It is not only the duke’s dark demeanor she has to deal with. Someone is trying to cause trouble for them but they cannot fathom who or why.
Grace is determined to make the best of the situation, even whilst spending Christmas with the duke alone in the eerie Hartwich Hall. Why, perhaps she might even be able to change the duke’s mind about their relationship.
Especially after they share a fiery kiss…or three…
Straightening her shoulders, Bea marched toward Adam. She kept her chin lifted and her gaze set upon her target. Nothing was going to dissuade her today. After all, she had spent too many days watching him ride in the crisp morning air with a pang of jealousy. It was high time she learned to ride too.
And her husband was going to teach her whether he liked it or not.
He glanced her way and she saw his shoulders stiffen. He said something to the groom, who retreated into the shadows of the stable block, leaving them alone in the bitter morning. If it did not snow by Christmas, Bea would be surprised indeed.
Most mornings, a hard frost lay upon the ground, lit by bright, misty sunshine. All it needed was a little warmth in the air and snow would be upon them. She was rather looking forward to seeing what Hartwich Hall looked like in the snow. Would it appear more attractive? Less harsh and ancient?
“What can I do for you, Bea?”
She met his gaze firmly and squared her posture as though readying herself for a fight. Which it would likely be. Though they had managed not to argue since the night they shared a bed, it was only a matter of time, and she doubted he would be excited about sparing the time to teach her.
However, she was a duchess, and it seemed correct that she should know how to ride. Not to mention, she envied his freedom. Whilst she enjoyed a good walk—especially now she knew where she was going—the speed and excitement of riding seemed enthralling. She had been deliberately getting to know the horses to overcome any lingering fears just so she could ask Adam this…
“I would like to learn to ride.”
The corners of his lips curved. “You do not even like horses, Bea.”
She scowled at this. “I did not like horses. I do now that Persephone and I have bonded. And I wish to learn how to ride. I think you should teach me.”
He shook his head. “No.” He turned on his heel and marched over to the water pump, setting a bucket underneath it.
“No?” she repeated, hastening after him. “What sort of an answer is that?”
He spared her a quick glance as he began to pump. “A negative one, I believe.”
She exhaled. “I think it proper that I should learn.”
“Many women do not ride. I think it quite proper that you do not.” Adam worked the pump vigorously, drawing her attention to the muscles in his arms as they flexed against the pale white of his shirt.
A tiny shiver ran through her while she recalled that very arm being wrapped around her the other night when she had been so cold. Sometimes, she could swear her husband was two different men. The one who was determined to ignore and frustrate her at every turn and the gentleman who could be soft and even kind at times. For all his frustration with her, at least she was damn well predictable.
Forcing her gaze away, she propped her hands on her hips. She could not allow him to distract her. “If you do not teach me, I shall find someone else who will.”
He shook his head again. “No one will teach you, be assured of that.”
“Because you will tell them not to? Because you will threaten their jobs?”
He smiled. “Precisely.”
“You are…just…just awful sometimes.”
He hefted up the bucket. “Don’t I know it.”
Bea followed him as he took the bucket into the stable block and poured it out into a trough. “It would be simple enough to teach me, surely? Just think, if I can ride, I will not have to plague you so much.”
“A welcome prospect indeed but you are not riding, Bea, and that is final.”
He moved past her and out of the building as though she did not exist. She followed him out to the water pump again. “You cannot dictate what I do, Adam.”
“I am your husband. I can do precisely that,” he said.
“I shall learn, one way or another. I shall just climb up on a horse and hope for the best.”
His jaw tensed and dropped the bucket to the floor and faced her fully. “You damn well will not.”
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From steamy to sweet, contemporary to paranormal, and everything in between, you won’t want to miss hooking up with these exclusive new stories.
All proceeds will be donated to the International Network of Hearts, a non-profit organization that brings communities and governments together to help rescue women and children from human trafficking and sexual violence.
A.C. Williams, A.M. Wilson, AJ Alexander, Alex Grayson, Ali Dean, Amali Rose, Anna Bishop Barker, Anna Brooks, Aurora Rose Reynolds, Brittany Crowley, Cary Hart, Cassandra Robbins, Claire C. Riley, Danielle Norman, DM Earl, Erica Marselas, Esther E. Schmidt, Flora Burgos, Freya Barker, Gianna Gabriela, Heidi McLaughlin, HL Nighbor, JD Hollyfield, Jessica Marin, K.L. Clare, Kally Ash, KL Donn, Lauren Dawes, Lia Fairchild, Meagan Brandy, Melissa Toppen, Michelle Dare, Monica DeSimone, S.L. Sterling, S.R. Grey, Shari J. Ryan, Sienna Snow, Tempest Skye, & Yolanda Olson.