Sunday Wrap Up #2


 
Sunday Wrap Up is all about sharing the books and book related items that I’ve picked up during the week. I link up my post to Sunday Post and Stacking the Shelves.


This week I didn’t really get a lot. I’ve been doing very good with watching how many books I get since I’ve run out of space for my current books. However, I had heard such great things about the Lux books and finally cracked and bought them for my Nook. I figured, they aren’t physical books, therefor they will take up no space in the house. That’s logic right there! HaHa

 

 

bought

 Shadows
(Lux, #0.5)
By: Jennifer Armentrout

The last thing Dawson Black expected was Bethany Williams. As a Luxen, an alien life form on Earth, human girls are…well, fun. But since the Luxen have to keep their true identities a secret, falling for one would be insane.

Dangerous. Tempting. Undeniable.

Bethany can’t deny the immediate connection between her and Dawson. And even though boys aren’t a complication she wants, she can’t stay away from him. Still, whenever they lock eyes, she’s drawn in.

Captivated. Lured. Loved.

Dawson is keeping a secret that will change her existence…and put her life in jeopardy. But even he can’t stop risking everything for one human girl. Or from a fate that is as unavoidable as love itself.

 Obsidian
(Lux, #1)
By: Jennifer Armentrout
Starting over sucks.

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I’d pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring…. until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something…unexpected happens.

The hot alien living next door marks me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon’s touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I’m getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.

If I don’t kill him first, that is.

Onyx

(Lux, #2)
By: Jennifer Armentrout

Being connected to Daemon Black sucks…

Thanks to his alien mojo, Daemon’s determined to prove what he feels for me is more than a product of our bizarro connection. So I’ve sworn him off, even though he’s running more hot than cold these days. But we’ve got bigger problems.

Something worse than the Arum has come to town…

The Department of Defense are here. If they ever find out what Daemon can do and that we’re linked, I’m a goner. So is he. And there’s this new boy in school who’s got a secret of his own. He knows what’s happened to me and he can help, but to do so, I have to lie to Daemon and stay away from him. Like that’s possible. Against all common sense, I’m falling for Daemon. Hard.

But then everything changes…

I’ve seen someone who shouldn’t be alive. And I have to tell Daemon, even though I know he’s never going to stop searching until he gets the truth. What happened to his brother? Who betrayed him? And what does the DOD want from them—from me?

No one is who they seem. And not everyone will survive the lies…

I’ve already read Shadows and Obsidian within a couple of days and I’m pretty much finished with Onyx. One thing I love besides the alien twist… are the covers! I love that they all have the same models on them.
So what did you get this week?

Review: Bumped by Megan McCafferty

Bumped
(Bumped, #1)
By: Megan McCafferty
Publisher: HaperCollins
Published: April 26, 2011
Genre: YA
Rating:
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When a virus makes everyone over the age of eighteen infertile, would-be parents pay teen girls to conceive and give birth to their children, making teens the most prized members of society. Girls sport fake baby bumps and the school cafeteria stocks folic-acid-infused food.
Sixteen-year-old identical twins Melody and Harmony were separated at birth and have never met until the day Harmony shows up on Melody’s doorstep. Up to now, the twins have followed completely opposite paths. Melody has scored an enviable conception contract with a couple called the Jaydens. While they are searching for the perfect partner for Melody to bump with, she is fighting her attraction to her best friend, Zen, who is way too short for the job.

Harmony has spent her whole life in Goodside, a religious community, preparing to be a wife and mother. She believes her calling is to convince Melody that pregging for profit is a sin. But Harmony has secrets of her own that she is running from.

When Melody is finally matched with the world-famous, genetically flawless Jondoe, both girls’ lives are changed forever. A case of mistaken identity takes them on a journey neither could have ever imagined, one that makes Melody and Harmony realize they have so much more than just DNA in common.

 

1thoughts
I liked the concept of the book. The fact that at the age of 18 you will be sterile, so when you are a teen you are studded out to surrogates to procreate for the highest bidder. It makes me wonder where on earth these authors come up with this stuff.

The lingo took a little bit to get used to but you sort of get the hang of it after a while. I didn’t really get used to all of the Jesus talk though. The Hallelujah’s and the “oh my grace” was a bit much but with her being a heavily religious person I can totally see that.
It took me a LONG time to get used to the MiNet. I really did think that people in the future have eye problems. It wasn’t until closer to the end that I realized that all the wink left, wink right, blink, blink, butterfly kisses, was actually them looking onto the MiNet and communicating with other people.

I wish the book wasn’t so predictable though. You know what is going to happen from the start but for some reason you read the book anyways. Don’t get me wrong, it was a good book but I really do wish that it had some curve balls to it.

 

1favepart
Ram is visibility upset that his wife has gone missing the day after their wedding.
Melody shoots Zen (her friend) a panicked “Now what?” look.
Zen brings his arms together in a circle and pantomimes a way overdue pregg.
WHAT?” I mouth.
Zen now strokes his bodacious invisible bump.
“Why are you pretending to be pregg?”
Ram opens his eyes to see this.
“I’m pretending to hug,” Zen wails in exasperation. “This man needs a hug.”
When I don’t go for it, he starts ripping his hair out. “GIVE HIM A HUG.”

 

Guest Post with Amber Lynn Natusch, author of Caged

Joining us today, we have Amber Lynn Natusch, author of the urban fantasy series, Caged. She’s stopping by to give us an excerpt from Caged and also giving two lucky readers a chance to win a copy of Caged.

If you’re dying to know more about me, allow me to put you at ease. I’m a sharp-tongued, sarcastic cancer, who loves vegetable smoothies, winter storms, and the word ‘portfolio’. I should NEVER be caffeinated, and require at least eight hours of sleep to even resemble a human being. At thirty-four, I just now feel like I can keep a straight face while saying the word “rectum” (which is actually a huge lie because I just laughed out loud while reading this to my husband). I live with my iPod firmly affixed to my body, drive too fast, and laugh/cry at inappropriate times.

For more information about Amber visit her website.

You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.

When I was asked to compose a guest blog post, I had no idea what to write. As an author, it was an especially low moment. Then a great friend suggested that I take an excerpt from the first novel in my series, Caged, and explain what I loved about it. Genius! Times like this illustrate my need for a team of levelheaded people around me―an entourage of rational thinkers.

The unfortunate reality for me was that my favorite scenes from Caged all contain spoilers, but I still managed to find some good ones 🙂

For this blog, I chose a scene that illustrates the game of cat and mouse that Ruby and Sean play throughout the book. You can just never quite tell what Sean is up to, or if he can be trusted. Their banter is always entertaining, even in stressful situations, and I think that speaks to their connection, be it good or bad. So, without further ado, I give you Ruby and Sean in the “parked car” incident.

Excerpt

I changed quickly after class and put on my iPod before waving in the general direction of everyone as I walked out onto the street. I secured my messenger bag so that it wouldn’t bang around while I ran back home. My legs seemed especially tired that evening, so I started off walking, hoping that they would quickly be inspired to get with the game plan to run home.The trip through town could be a bit unnerving in the dark. Winding through the main streets of the city was safe, but I could freak myself out sometimes, ducking down alleys and roads that weren’t well traveled during the evening. There were always people out when I hit the bar district, but other than that, they were few and far between.

I’d never actually walked home before, and after about ten minutes, I started to realize why. Running seemed to numb my awareness of certain things in a way that walking did not. I didn’t get as much time to focus on the upcoming dumpster and what could be lurking behind it, or what could be around the dimly-lit corner laying in wait. Even worse than the general anxiety I was giving myself was the very definitive feeling that someone was following me. I was picking up on something that was not especially warm and fuzzy, but whenever I turned to see if someone was there, I was alone. Very, very alone.

And I slowly started to panic.

My legs soon realized that running was in our collective best interest and off we went. As I began to run I hoped the malevolent energy around me would lessen but it didn’t. With my increasing panic came increasing speed. I hurdled over objects in the street and wove through parked cars like a heat-seeking missile aimed straight for the warmth of home. I didn’t look back anymore, knowing that whoever was throwing that energy my way would inconveniently not be seen. Common sense dictated that it would be best to take out my earphones, but the thought of hearing my pursuer disturbed me too much. Beyond that, I needed the adrenaline rush that Rage Against the Machine’s “Killing in the Name Of” was giving me, although the title wasn’t very reassuring.

I was about two minutes from home when I neared Market Street. There would be people out for sure on a Saturday night, so I thought I’d be in the clear. I rounded the corner to see precious few walking the streets. It was an improvement, but not what I’d hoped for.

As I neared home, I reached around to my bag in a desperate effort to find my keys, all the while chastising myself for not having them already in hand. Personal safety was never my strong suit and I was painfully aware of it at that moment. After two blocks of searching, I managed to pull my keys from the bag, only to immediately fumble them. They flew through the air in slow motion as I helplessly watched them crash to the pavement and skid underneath a parked car.

“Shit!” I muttered angrily to myself.

My timing couldn’t have been more off. At that particular moment the street was clear of any life that I could see. Still, I felt that negative energy there, nagging at me. It wasn’t getting stronger, but it wasn’t getting any weaker either. Having no other options, I threw myself onto my hands and knees, trying to figure out the best way to retrieve my keys from under the high-end Mercedes that was running some wicked defense. When I realized I couldn’t reach them any other way, I flopped down on my belly and wiggled under the perfectly engineered undercarriage, midway back towards the far tire.

“Gotcha!”

I had my keys in hand and was ready to inelegantly worm my way back out the way I’d come in. I turned to check my trajectory and felt ice immediately shoot through my spine. In my line of sight was a very large and very manly pair of shoes. As I lay there sweating, trying to concoct a plan, my attention snapped to the two pairs of equally masculine shoes on the other side of the car. Great…they’re multiplying!

“Hey, Jay? Did you park the car on a girl again?” an unfamiliar voice shouted.

“Nope. This one wasn’t there when I pulled up,” replied the man I assumed was Jay.

“Have no fear gentlemen, I know this one. I seem to get this view of her often.”

Sean…

I launched myself from under the car to see him smiling down at me first before his gaze drifted over the top of the car to his friends. I was certain they were finding great amusement in both the situation as well as my general appearance. I was covered in sweat and dirt, and wet from the puddle I’d managed to land directly in under the car.

“Is there a reason you were getting familiar with my exhaust system? You wouldn’t happen to be a fan of German engineering, would you?” Sean asked.

“Actually, I am,” I replied with a haughty tone. “I dropped my keys…I had to get them. This is your car?”

“It is,” he said. “One of them, anyways. We were just heading home. Where are you headed looking so…” he asked, gesturing at me strangely. I couldn’t tell if he was amused or confused by what I had going on.

“Home,” I replied, trying to wipe some of the nastiness off of my shirt.

“You seem stressed. Something wrong?” he asked with obvious curiosity.

“Uh, no. No, everything is fine,” I said unconvincingly. I did realize as I was saying it that the energy that had me diving under his car was gone. Completely. “I’m just hungry. I need to go home and eat something.”

“Do you need a ride?” he asked while looking me up and down, no doubt assessing the damage my dirt-covered body would do to his car’s leather interior.

“Nope. I’m good. Thanks,” I blurted as I started off down the street.

“Do you need an escort?” he asked, my back still facing him.

“Not necessary,” I said without looking over my shoulder. Mortified didn’t begin to cover what I was feeling at the time. I wanted, just for once, to not make a complete ass of myself in front of him, but that seemed too much to ask.

He said nothing in response, but I heard the growl of his car’s engine as it started up. I continued down the street at a brisk pace; running was out of the question as my body was way too spent. The threat appeared to be gone anyways.

The Mercedes purred as it pulled up slowly next to me, the window lowered so he could speak.

“Be sure to keep a firm grip on those keys, Ruby.”

“I’ll be sure to do that, Sean,” I said, forcing a smile.

He smiled back, turning up the stereo as he pulled away. While his speakers pumped The Fray’s “I’ll Look After You”, the words hauntingly echoed through the street. And my mind.

I guess he believed in theme songs too.

 

 

 

 Caged
(Caged, #1)
By: Amber Lynn Natusch
Genre: Urban Fantasy

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I stood in the middle of the room, unmoving – I barely breathed. My life had just become surreal, impossible, and one enormous lie. I needed to go, to run somewhere, anywhere to beat back the reality that was rapidly closing in around me. The image of him was burned into my retina, flashing over and over again like a warning. He was trapped somewhere between human and decidedly not, and I realized that was my new reality.

I was too.

After the death of her parents, Ruby awakens from a lifetime of shadows and finds herself alone, thrust into a world of lies, deceit, betrayal and the supernatural.

As her quest for truth continues to come up short, she realizes that maybe some questions really are best left unanswered.

When her true identity is finally unveiled, she is forced to choose between two of the mysterious men who continually seem to crop up in her life.

She chooses poorly.

Now abandoned, Ruby must learn to call on the darkness within to survive, or spend a hellish eternity imprisoned because of it.

Review: Defying Pack Law by Eve Langlais

Defying Pack Law
(Pack, #1)
By: Eve Langlais
Publisher: Amira Press
Published: May 6, 2011
Genre: Erotica
Rating:
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Dana fled her pack and their laws to live on her terms, but the price of defiance was her happiness.
Pack law states Lycan females must be shared by two or more males, but young and in love, Dana flees rather than be forced into a ménage. Her life on the run, constantly on guard, has no room for happiness. When her past catches up and brings her back to the home she fled, she finds herself reevaluating her beliefs. To her surprise, she discovers her body and inner wolf want to claim three males.

Could it be that now older and wiser, she can accept the Lycan polyamorous way of life? Or will jealousy and fear send her running again?

 

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Review: Love Unscripted by Tina Reber

Love Unscripted 
(Love, #1)
By: Tina Reber
Publisher: Atria
Published: Sept 10, 2012
Genre: Romance
Rating:
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An A-List Movie Star…
Ryan Christensen just wanted to be an actor. Never in his wildest dreams did he imagine a life where fans would chase him, paparazzi would stalk him, and Hollywood studios would want to own him. While filming in Seaport, Rhode Island, Ryan ducks into a neighborhood bar for a quick escape from legions of screaming fans…and finds much more than he expected.

A Small Town Girl…
Nursing a recent heartbreak, Taryn Mitchell believes men are best kept at a safe distance. But when Ryan Christensen unexpectedly bursts through the front door of her pub, she can’t help but be drawn in by his humor, charm, and undeniable good looks. At six foot two, with dirty blond hair, blue eyes, and an incredible body, Ryan has every girl in Seaport swooning. But Taryn isn’t every other girl.

A Relationship that Doesn’t Follow the Script…
Despite her better judgment, Taryn soon finds herself falling hard for Ryan. But is their bond strong enough to survive the tabloid headlines, the relentless paparazzi, and the jealous fans who seem determined to tear them apart?

1thoughts
Who knew that a story between a bar owner and a movie star could be so entertaining. Especially since a lot of the book is about their day to day life. There are not a lot of crazy twists or plots. It’s sort of like getting a look into an actors chaotic world and the troubles he face while trying to maintain a normal life. For some reason (and I’m not a huge Rob Pat fan) I kept picturing Robert Pattinson when reading this book. You see, Ryan takes on the leading role for this mega hit movie that is actually an adaptation of a really popular book series. He went from being a no name actor to having girls scream his name, rip his clothes in an attempt to get his attention, all while the paparazzi shadow his every move. I don’t know why but that’s just who I envisioned.

I loved the romance aspect of this book. Ryan just wants to live a normal life when not filming. He loves acting but hates all the chaotic attention he’s been getting since he took on the role for this movie. So notice his surprise when he ducks into a bar in the middle of the day to escape a group of crazed fans and finds normalcy. The fans aren’t what surprises him though, it’s the woman Taryn who owns the bar that is a shock to him. Not only is she not freaking out that Ryan Christensen is in her bar but she’s never seen one of his movies and treats him indifferently like he’s any other average person. Pretty soon the two of them are chatting, playing pool and having a few drinks to help let off some adrenaline from the rush of the crazed fans. They hit it off and become friends and thus starts the romance.

Even though I LOVED the story it was rather long. Not that I’m really complaining because it held my interest throughout the entire thing but there were some scenes that could have easily been cut out. Another thing was that there were a lot of errors. There were misspellings, missing words and some punctual errors as well. However, I was so enamored with the story itself that I was quite forgiving of these errors. I would take a star off due to these but my rating is 4☆ I really liked it and 5☆ I loved it and would read it over and over again. Well… I finished this book last night and I’m already re-reading it. Which puts it in the 5 star category for me. I cannot wait to read the next book in their lives.

1favequote
“You know what I think? I think you should stop all this nonsense and screw the shit out of him until he passes out from exhaustion. And when he wakes up, wash him and then screw the daylights out of him again! You’ll have to feed him, of course, to keep his energy level up, but make sure you hide his clothes so he can’t get dressed. Men can’t run when they’re naked.”

Review: Normal Gets You Nowhere by Kelly Cutrone

Normal Gets You Nowhere
By: Kelly Cutrone, Meredith Bryan
Publisher: HarperOne
Published: May 3, 2011
Genre: Non Fiction
Rating:
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nor-mal: according with, constituting, or not deviating from a norm, rule or principle / conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern / of, relating to, or characterized by average intelligence or development

Normal?
Who wants to be that?

When Kelly Cutrone’s first book, If You Have to Cry, Go Outside, was first published, young people flocked to this new voice—finally, someone was telling it like it is, in language they spoke. It quickly became a New York Times bestseller, and fashion publicist Kelly Cutrone became more than a personality, she became a beloved guru, mentor, and fairy godmother.

Now she’s back with another no-holds-barred book to awaken our souls and kick our asses into gear. With Normal Gets You Nowhere, she invites us to get our freak on. History is full of successful, world-changing people who did not fit in. Think Nelson Mandela, Joan of Arc, Eleanor Roosevelt, Amelia Earhart, John Lennon, and Rosa Parks. Instead of changing themselves to accommodate the status quo or what others thought they should be, these people hung a light on their differences—and changed humanity in the process.

“I know you don’t feel normal, so why are you trying to act it and prove to everyone you are?” Cutrone says. So much of what we say or don’t say, and what we do or don’t do, is dictated by what others have told us, or what people may think of us. This is not how we should be living, by measuring ourselves against the mundane.

An invitation to rethink who you are, what you value, and what you want from life, Normal Gets You Nowhere goes beyond how to reinvent yourself and create your own brand, and investigates what it means to live in this world as a tuned-in, caring individual with a passion for making a difference. There’s already an army of super talented uberfreaks changing the world–isn’t it time you joined it time you joined them?

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Review: Temptation in a Kilt by Victora Roberts

Temptation in a Kilt 

(Bad Boys of the Highlands, #1)
By: Victoria Roberts
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Published: Sept. 4, 2012
Genre: Historical Romance
Rating:
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She’s on her way to safety

It’s a sign of Lady Rosalia Armstrong’s desperation that she’s seeking refuge in a place as rugged and challenging as the Scottish Highlands. She doesn’t care about hardship and discomfort, if only she can become master of her own life. Laird Ciaran MacGregor, however, is completely beyond her control…

He redefines dangerous…

Ciaran MacGregor knows it’s perilous to get embroiled with a fiery Lowland lass, especially one as headstrong as Rosalia. Having made a rash promise to escort her all the way to Glengarry, now he’s stuck with her, even though she challenges his legendary prowess at every opportunity. When temptation reaches its peak, he’ll be ready to show her who he really is…on and off the battlefield.

 

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Review: Defy the Stars by Stephanie Parent

Defy the Stars
By: Stephanie Parent
Publisher: Self-published
Published: Aug 1, 2012
Genre: YA
Rating:
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Julia Cape: A dedicated classical piano student just trying to get through her last semester of high school while waiting to hear from music conservatories.
Reed MacAllister: A slacker more likely to be found by the stoners’ tree than in class.

Julia and Reed might have graduated high school without ever speaking to each other…until, during a class discussion of Romeo and Juliet, Julia scoffs at the play’s theme of love at first sight, and Reed responds by arguing that feelings don’t always have to make sense. Julia tries to shake off Reed’s comment and forget about this boy who hangs with the stoner crowd—and who happens to have breathtaking blue eyes—but fate seems to bring the two together again and again. After they share an impulsive, passionate kiss, neither one can deny the chemistry between them. Yet as Julia gets closer to Reed, she also finds herself drawn into his dark world of drugs and violence. Then a horrific tragedy forces Julia’s and Reed’s families even farther apart…and Julia must decide whether she’s willing to give up everything for love.

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Review: The Darkest Pleasure by Gena Showalter

The Darkest Pleasure
(Lords of the Underworld, #3)
By: Gena Showalter
Publisher: Harlequin
Published: July 1, 2008
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Rating:
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Reyes is a man possessed. Bound by the demon of pain, he is forbidden to know pleasure. Yet he craves a mortal woman, Danika Ford, more than breath and will do anything to claim her–even defy the gods.Danika is on the run. For months she’s eluded the Lords of the Underworld, immortal warriors who won’t rest until she and her family have been destroyed. But her dreams are haunted by Reyes, the warrior whose searing touch she can’t forget. Yet a future together could mean death to all they both hold dear….

 

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Excerpt: The Burning Star by Jessie Lane

The Burning Star
By: Jessie Lane
Published: May 24, 2012
Genre: YA

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Can she reach her destiny before tragedy strikes?

The doctors have told Kay that she will die before she reaches her eighteenth birthday. Her mother’s determination to save her life leads them to a move outside of Asheville, NC to a new set of cancer specialists in the hopes to help her. But it’s not what Kay and her Mom find in the doctor’s offices in Asheville that lead them on the journey to save her before time runs out. It’s what Kay finds in the woods outside of Asheville, and an inhumanly gorgeous guy named Ryan, instead.

Myths and fairy tales come to life before Kay’s eyes, bringing her closer to the ultimate cure if she can stay alive long enough to get there. And if the cancer doesn’t kill her before she finds the cure the secrets her mother has hidden from her may be the beginning of the end.

 

 

Excerpt
All I could think was that if I concentrated on cleaning his gash then maybe I wouldn’t make myself look like an idiot anymore. The concentrating helped because I could just feel his eyes on me. I wanted to ask him what he was thinking, or why he was staring, but I thought it was better to just stay quiet and clean his arm. I worked quickly and when I was done I looked up into his face with a somewhat steely determination not to make an ass out of myself anymore today. “Hey, you think you can handle it if we clean it off with alcohol. I bet it’s going to sting like a bitch, but I’m afraid it might get infected if we don’t.”“Yeah, that’s fine.” He said as he concentrated on my face.

“Are you sure? Because a cut like that, I bet it’s going to hurt. Like hurt a lot.” I inwardly debated if he was trying to be brave, or if he was nuts enough that he just didn’t care. My bet was nuts.

Ryan put on a confident face and said, “I think I can handle it. But if it makes you feel any better I promise I won’t scream like a little girl.”

Well at least I could go get the alcohol without feeling like I hadn’t warned him properly. “Ok, wait here. I’ll go get the alcohol out of the bathroom, and I’ll be right back.” I headed out of the kitchen and turned right down the hall towards that bathroom. I snagged it out from underneath the bathroom sink cabinet and hurried back to the kitchen because some part of my brain still couldn’t believe that there was an exceptionally hot half naked guy in my kitchen. But sure enough I rounded the corner and he was still standing there waiting for me. “So, do you want me to like pat it on with the rag or…”

“No just pour it straight into the wound. That’s the best way to avoid any infection.” And with that comment he positioned his arm over the sink so that we wouldn’t make a mess. I just shook my head. He really was nuts.

“I’m betting twenty bucks you scream like a girl.” I chided.

“And I’m betting a date with you that I won’t scream like a girl.” He stared intently at my shocked face with a cocky little grin as I absorbed his comment in.

“Ok.” Really? I thought to myself. That’s all you can come up with is ‘ok’? He’ll think you’re oh so smooth now. In fact, I’m sure I just won the ‘smooth award’ somewhere.

I shook my head and gingerly started to pour the alcohol into the gash that ran nearly from his shoulder to right above his elbow. As I braced myself for the scream that I was sure he had coming, when the alcohol hit his wound he gasped from the pain and then snapped his jaw shut. His face became clenched and contorted from pain and his entire body literally locked up in a spasm of sorts. Jerking the bottle upright and setting it on the kitchen counter; I stared into his distorted face. He was in so much pain that I had absolutely no idea how he was not screaming. His body shuddered and then I saw where there were beads of sweat on his forehead that started trickling down his face.

I inadvertently took a step back from him afraid that he was going to crack and instead of screaming throw a punch or something. Then the strangest thing happened; I felt a blast of hot air that was strong enough to lift my hair a little as if it was in a breeze and then there was a rich smell of some kind of flowers I couldn’t identify that practically engulfed my senses. My body started tingling in response to something, and I felt a flash of heat ripple through me. Then as quickly as it had started, it was over. I looked around my house somewhat wildly for a minute trying to figure out what just happened. “What was that? Ryan did you feel that?”

“Feel what Kay? The alcohol burning the crap out of my arm. Yes, I most certainly felt that.” He was looking at me somewhat analytically, and I thought that maybe he was thinking that I belonged in the loony farm or something.

I was seriously going to have to reread the side effects of that new medication I was on. Maybe I was having hallucinations? But it felt so real. In fact, my body was still humming with something that I couldn’t place.

“Right, you’re right. It must have been the heater coming on or something. I just wonder when my mom got that smelly thing. It has such a strong smell of some kind of flower.” I started scanning the wall outlets for an air freshener plug in and then the counters for some kind of new smelly candle. Nothing. There had to be an explanation for it. The hot air came on and hit whatever air freshener Mom had put out, right?

“Kay, are you all right?” The way Ryan was watching me now I was obviously never getting that date. What a freak he must think I am.

“Yeah, yeah. I’m fine. Sorry, I guess I’m a little out of it today. How’s your arm? I guess we should wrap it up now.” I reached for the ace bandage and shook my head to clear the crazy fog that was still in there. I glanced up into Ryan’s face before I touched his arm just to make sure that he was ok with me trying to take care of him.

He must want me to stand, like, fifty feet back so he didn’t catch my crazy.

 

 

author

Jessie Lane is the writing team of Crystal Leo and Melissa Pahl. The two sister-in-laws share a great love of breathtaking romance, cliff hanging suspense, and out-of-this-world characters that demand your attention or threaten to slap you around until you do pay attention to them. Because really, it is ALL about the characters. (They’re kind of megalomaniacs)

When not losing themselves in a story, they remember they have real lives. Crystal lives in Kentucky with her husband and two little girls who plot daily the many ways they can drive their poor mother crazy. At the end of the day, Crystal calls Melissa and threatens to ship her two nieces to their favorite Aunt with lots of air holes punched through their box. Melissa answers Crystal’s crazed calls in Washington state where she lives with her husband and big furry baby of a Rottweiler named Yuffie, and reminds her that children are not shippable.

This is their first novel, but they are all geared up and excited to be releasing other projects soon!

For more information on Jessie Lane, check out their website. You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter.