Happy Release Day! The Rake’s Irish Lady, by Barbara Monajem

 

The Rake’s Irish Lady
by Barbara Monajem
Series: Scandalous Kisses, #2
Genre: Historical Romance – Regency
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing
Cover Designer: Anna Spies
Release Date: December 30, 2015

 

 

ONE WILD NIGHT . . .
Widowed & lonely, Bridget O’Shaughnessy Black indulges herself in a night of pleasure.
After all, she’s in disguise. And the baby girl? An unexpected blessing…until an old flame claims the child as his own to force Bridget to marry him.

ONE DETERMINED LADY. . .
Many women pursued Colin Warren, but only one climbed in his bedchamber window. When Bridget does it for the second time, she doesn’t have fun in mind. Colin is unfit to be a parent, and yet he has no choice but to acknowledge the little girl.

RISKING EVERYTHING FOR LOVE
Circumstances force Bridget and Colin together, yet grave differences divide them. Can love bridge the chasm that keeps them apart?

 

Bridget shouldn’t let herself smile at Colin, because that invited a smile in return. The kind with dimples and a hunger that reached his eyes.

Probably reached hers, too, so she sighed and turned away. Yearning to touch him had become a physical ache, and even a brush of his hand, much less a boost on her derriere, made it a thousand times worse.

They wouldn’t catch up to the others tonight, but tomorrow, once the rain was over, they would find an alternate route. One more night of self-control…

She was a fool to want him, but she couldn’t help it. What had come over her? Suddenly, stupidly, she was willing to risk another illegitimate child by him.

They were almost at the inn. She dreaded another restless night. She needed something to distract her. “Where are those apples? The horses deserve a treat.”

Colin passed her the basket. She took four of the wrinkled apples. They pulled up in front of a battered old building with weathered timbers and dormers peeking from under a thatched roof. No eager servant came rushing out of the inn to greet them.

“House!” Colin bellowed, opening the coach door. Without bothering to let down the steps, he took Bridget by the waist and lifted her down into the rain. This time his hands didn’t linger. “Hurry up and give them the damned apples. Let’s get out of this bloody rain.”

“Would you stop fussing?” she cried. “We’ll catch up to Martin eventually.”

“That’s not what I’m fussing about,” he snapped, heading for the rear of the coach. Bridget offered apples to the wheeler and leader on one side and then stalked around to treat the others.

A spare, grizzled man limped out of the inn. “Come in, come in,” he said, but his eyes widened at the sight of Colin, in his wet but obviously costly clothing, unearthing two valises from the boot. “I’m that sorry, sir, but I don’t have accommodation for the likes of you.”

“Does your roof leak?” Colin demanded. “Do the fireplaces smoke?”

“No sir, but—”

“Will the horses be warm and dry too?” Bridget piped up, and suddenly she began to shiver.

“Aye, the stables is fine,” the landlord said.

“Then we’ll do fine, too.” Colin dropped the valises on the doorstep. “Warm and dry is all we ask, and I’ll pay handsomely for it.”

A stout lady in an old-fashioned mobcap appeared in the doorway. “What are you waiting for, Stan? I’ll light a fire in the guest chamber. Let the gentleman and his missus in before they catch their deaths.”

*Oh, dear.*

The landlord still seemed uneasy. “I’m sorry, sir, but we’ve only the one small guest room, and not even a private parlor.”

“We’ll do fine,” Bridget and Colin said simultaneously. Their hands touched and twined together. Clung together, as if one or the other of them—or both—was afraid the other would let go. Or as if they were about to plunge off a cliff and holding on for dear life.

Bridget’s heart began to pound. She slid her gaze surreptitiously toward Colin. He wasn’t looking at her but rather straight ahead. A drop of water rolled from his wet hair, over his brow, and down to his upper lip. His tongue flicked out and licked it up.

Desire roared through her. She shuddered. His right dimple appeared, but so briefly she almost didn’t see it.

The landlady bustled away, and the landlord grabbed the valises. “Just you follow me, then. I’m Stan Butterworth, and that’s my rib, Martha.” He led them through the taproom. “You’ll want to change out of them wet clothes first of all, and then we’ll see to your supper.” He preceded them up a narrow flight of stairs. “My Martha’s a right good cook, and we had mutton stew to our dinner, but it won’t be what you’re accustomed to.”

“I’m sure it will be delicious,” Bridget managed. Could food possibly have been farther from her mind?

“It can get right rowdy in here on a fair evening,” Mr. Butterworth said, “but we won’t have much custom tonight, what with the storm and all. You’ll have a peaceful sleep.”

Colin made a sound between a snort and a laugh, but he didn’t let go of her hand.

 

 

 

Winner of the Holt Medallion, Maggie, Daphne du Maurier, Reviewer’s Choice and Epic awards, Barbara Monajem wrote her first story at eight years old about apple tree gnomes. She published a middle-grade fantasy when her children were young. When they grew up, she turned to writing for grownups, first the Bayou Gavotte paranormal mysteries and then Regency romances with intrepid heroines and long-suffering heroes (or vice versa). Some of her Regencies have magic in them and some don’t (except for the magic of love, which is in every story she writes).

Barbara loves to cook, especially soups, and is an avid reader. There are only two items on her bucket list: to make asparagus pudding and succeed at knitting socks (or maybe tea cozies). She’ll manage the first but doubts she’ll ever accomplish the second. This is not a bid for immortality but merely the dismal truth (hence the tea cozies, which she hasn’t tried yet). She lives near Atlanta, Georgia with an ever-shifting population of relatives, friends, and feline strays.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Free Paranormal Romance Ebooks from Felicity Heaton and Caris Roane!

free-paranormal-romances2

Two New York Times best-selling paranormal romance authors have teamed up to bring your four reads to warm up your winter and heat up those holidays. Not only that, but by signing up to receive the free ebooks, you will also be in with a shot of winning one of two $50 Amazon Gift Cards in an international giveaway.

This fantastic offer is open now but will end on January 3rd, so be sure to head on over to http://www.felicityheaton.co.uk/free-paranormal-romances/index.php and enter now to avoid disappointment.

Get these hot paranormal romances today and begin your journey into four incredible and enchanting worlds packed with passionate alpha heroes and sassy heroines.

Here’s a teaser from one of the books to tempt you…

Excerpt from Embrace the Dark by Caris Roane

Mastyr Vampire Gerrod, of Merhaine Realm, lifted a hand toward the human, Abigail, then let it fall away. She stood with her back to him, ignoring him, delighting in the wedding festivities, laughing often.

Sweet Goddess, even her laughter spiked his blood-need, which caused other needs to rise as well. His desire for her was never far away and deepened now, echoing through each cell of his vampire body, stiffening muscles and other parts, begging for sustenance, all kinds.

He should have been beyond such madness. He was three hundred years old, for the Goddess’s sake. But ever since Abigail Kirkland had made her presence known and felt in Merhaine, he’d been held hostage by even the scent of her.

Like crushed rosemary.

He breathed in, his nostrils flaring. A full sliver of heaven in that delicate scent, with just enough woman beneath to rob him of rational thought.

And she a human.

He flexed his biceps, he was that mad. He had to work not to let his fangs descend, else everything he felt would be on display for even the lesser folk to know and understand. He wouldn’t let her humiliate him.

This madness was maddening.

He stood behind her, and a little off to her right side. He could almost see her profile. She knew he was there, but she was ignoring him. She had told him that his temper irked her and she wished he would be silent.

He could have her killed for saying such a thing to him, he, the Mastyr Vampire of the Merhaine Realm, one of the Nine Realms of North America. Did she not understand that he ruled this realm?

He should walk away. There were many at the wedding reception expecting his attention, several mayors, council members.

Yet he couldn’t do so since apparently his leather boots had rooted to the earth. What power was this she held over him? He had never understood, not in the entire year he’d known her.

As the best man spoke into the mic and delivered a slightly slurred toast to the groom, Gerrod’s gaze roved Abigail, his hunger increasing. Her bare shoulders tempted him, called to him, begged for his lips, his fingers, the full length of his tongue. His nostrils flared a little more. Her gown, a soft cream, revealed a portion of her fair back, a large window of skin that set his jaw to trembling. Her long red hair was curled and pulled forward to dangle over her shoulder in beautiful layers over one breast. She had extraordinary eyes, a beautiful light green. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d been so taken with a woman.

May the heavens help him, Abigail had teased his mating frequency into a frenzy and he was overwrought. Yet he could do nothing about it. The damn woman was human. He would no more give himself to such a ridiculous creature than he would bring forest gremlins into his bed.

He’d be damned first.

About the books in this offer:

kissedbyadarkprince
Kissed by a Dark Prince

by Felicity HeatonOlivia thinks it’s her lucky night when a dangerously handsome unconscious fae ends up on her inspection table. He’s her chance to redeem herself with her employer, the demon-hunting organisation, Archangel. But when the tall, dark and deadly immortal warrior awakes, she gets much more than she bargained for…

Attacked by his enemy in the elf kingdom, the last thing Prince Loren expects when he comes around is a beautiful angel watching over him. Hazy from his injuries, all he can focus on is the pulse ticking in her throat and the sweet allure of her blood.

One single bite reveals she is his eternal mate, triggering a bond between them that will leave him weakened until it is completed… or broken, and pulling Olivia into the crossfire of his ancient feud.

Will Loren be strong enough to place duty before desire and give up the one thing he has waited millennia for and craves above all others—his eternal mate? And will Olivia be able to resist the incredible heat that burns between them and the temptation of her dark prince’s kiss?

bloodflame
Blood Flame

by Caris RoaneConnor, a powerful vampire serving as a Border Patrol Officer for his corrupt world, falls for a gifted witch who has the ability to kill him with a single touch…

In BLOOD FLAME, vampire Officer Connor of the Crescent Border Patrol tries to suppress his desire for the powerful witch, Iris Meldeere. Because the woman possesses the ability to kill him with the tips of her fingers, how can he possibly fall in love with her?

When a double homicide throws them together, he soon finds his deepest fantasies fulfilled as Iris succumbs to his seductions.

But as they battle together to stay alive, and love begins to consume them both, will the witch be able to forgive the dark secrets of his past?

Covet
Covet

by Felicity HeatonThey’ve burned for each other for two years, the forbidden attraction between them growing each night. Now resisting the sinful desires of their hearts is becoming impossible.

Javier knows better than to succumb to his hunger for Lilah. The mortal female belongs to a powerful aristocrat patron of Vampirerotique, the theatre he runs with three other vampires. A single touch is all it would take to break the sacred law of his kind, sentencing himself to death, but his passion for her has become too fierce to ignore and he will risk everything to make Lilah his. When they find themselves alone in a private box during one of the erotic performances, will they surrender to their passion and live out their wildest fantasies in a night of wicked pleasure or will the threat of Lilah’s master keep them apart forever?

EmbraceTheDark
Embrace the Dark

by Caris RoaneWill she fall to temptation and give herself to a vampire…

Abigail doesn’t mind doing business with the realm-world, until she discovers she’s a rare commodity called a blood rose, something designed to satisfy the deepest needs of a mastyr vampire. She wants nothing to do with that kind of power and servicing a vampire is just wrong. But Mastyr Gerrod’s resistance to her gift, as well as his hot hunkiness in his Guardsman uniform, soon turns her head and she bends her neck to receive a sharp pair of fangs.

Mind-blowing sex, ecstasy, all good things follow. But how can she give up her human world to serve as a blood rose the rest of her life?

Sign up for these FREE ebooks and enter the giveaway now at http://www.felicityheaton.co.uk/free-paranormal-romances/index.php

About Felicity Heaton
Felicity Heaton

Felicity Heaton is a New York Times and USA Today international best-selling author writing passionate paranormal romance books. In her books, she creates detailed worlds, twisting plots, mind-blowing action, intense emotion and heart-stopping romances with leading men that vary from dark deadly vampires to sexy shape-shifters and wicked werewolves, to sinful angels and hot demons! If you’re a fan of paranormal romance authors Lara Adrian, J R Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Gena Showalter and Christine Feehan then you will enjoy her books too.

If you love your angels a little dark and wicked, the best-selling Her Angel series is for you. If you like strong, powerful, and dark vampires then try the Vampires Realm series or any of her stand-alone vampire romance books. If you’re looking for vampire romances that are sinful, passionate and erotic then try the best-selling Vampire Erotic Theatre series. Or if you prefer huge detailed worlds filled with hot-blooded alpha males in every species, from elves to demons to dragons to shifters and angels, then take a look at the new Eternal Mates series.

If you want to know more about Felicity, or want to get in touch, you can find her at the following places:

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Tsu | Pinterest | GoodReads

 

About Caris Roane
Caris Roane

I’m a NY Times Bestselling Author and I write super-sexy paranormal romance fiction designed to be as much an adventure as a soul-satisfying experience. With every book I write, I try to give a taste of real life, despite the fact that I’m writing about hunky vampire warriors. You’ll come away engrossed in the lives of my tortured heroes as they wage war, as they make love, and as they answer the tough questions of life in terms of purpose, eternity, and how to raise a family! I began my career with Kensington Publishing writing Regency Romance as Valerie King. In 2005, Romantic Times Magazine honored me with a career achievement award in Regency Romance. I’ve published thirty paranormal romances to-date, some self-published and some for St. Martin’s Press! I’ve also branched out into Contemporary Romance with A SEDUCTIVE PROPOSITION!

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads

Happy Release Day! Smoldering Hunger (Dark Kings #8) by Donna Grant

 

Smoldering Hunger 
(Dark Kings Series, #8)
by Donna Grant
 
Blurb: 
His kisses were soul stirring, leaving her gasping and hungry for more. They pulled her from the wasteland of her life viciously and ruthlessly. With just one kiss she was clinging to him, silently begging him to show her all that one brush of his lips had promised.
TEMPTING FATE
Darius is back. Edinburgh thought it had seen the last of this seductive Dragon King, but that was before Darius found something worthwhile. He just can’t stay away from the impossibly beautiful Dr. Sophie Martin—even though he knows that a passion this strong could prove detrimental…for them both.
CRAVING DESIRE
Sophie tried to forget her encounter with smoking-hot Darius to no avail. He’s in her dreams, tempting her. But her association with Darius catches the attention of another, putting her in mortal danger. . .and Darius, who has vowed to protect her, is her only hope. But can she trust the notorious dragon shapeshifter? The only thing she knows for sure is that she cannot resist him…
Available for purchase at
                     
 Excerpts

“Sophie?”

She blinked and looked down to find Claire watching her with a worried look in her brown eyes. Sophie shot her a smile, but Claire cocked her blonde head to the side and put a hand on her hip, telling Sophie she wasn’t buying the act for a second.

“Just lost in thought,” Sophie said with a shrug.

Claire raised her brows as she regarded Sophie. “By that look, I’d say it was a man.”

A man? Darius was so much more. His presence seemed to make the earth still, waiting for his order. He commanded without a word, dominated with a look from his dark brown gaze.

Man? No man she’d ever met could be so strong and imposing.

And sexy.

Her mouth went dry thinking of the hard line of his jaw and his lips that were soft and insistent. His eyes could cut coldly, but they could also blaze with a fire so hot that it could melt the sun.

She knew what desire looked like reflected in his chocolate-colored depths. His eyes softened, turned downright sensual as he held her gaze, challenging her to try and look away.

All the while his gorgeous body with rippling muscles brought her higher and higher, giving her ecstasy the likes she’d never known.

And never known she could have.

If she hadn’t been sore the next morning when she woke, she might have thought it all a dream.

“I don’t know who he is, but you need to see him again,” Claire said, breaking into Sophie’s thoughts again. Her smile was wide, a knowing look in her eyes.

Sophie swallowed and smoothed a hand over her hair to make sure the thick length was still in place. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“Uh, huh,” Claire said with a wink. “Two weeks ago you walked in here with a flush to your skin and a smile on your lips. You wore the look of a woman who had been rode well. Ever since, you occasionally get that look in your eyes. I’m telling you as your friend, Soph, go see him again. Because if I could find a man who could make me look like that after sex, I’d chain him to my bed.”

This time Sophie’s laugh wasn’t forced. She knew all too well Claire’s issues with men. She was a petite, pretty woman who had a bright smile and infectious laugh, and yet every guy she was interested in preferred someone else. Worse, it was all the wrong sorts of men who were attracted to Claire.

If Sophie thought her years without a date was a long time, Claire wasn’t behind her by far. It was why the two of them had become such good friends.

Sophie leaned down and whispered in Claire’s ear, “The sex was out of this world, but he’s also out of the picture.”

She walked away, leaving Claire with her mouth gaping and questions in her eyes. Sophie inwardly laughed, because it was a rare thing when she got to shock Claire. Normally, it was Claire who astonished her on a daily basis.

Sophie turned the corner and found a man leaning against the wall staring at her. He was drop dead gorgeous in his dark red sweater and jeans.

He wore a small smile about his wide lips as his golden eyes stared at her. His long black hair was pulled back showing off the hard planes of his face.

It unnerved her how he watched her, as if she were something to be studied under a microscope. Sophie pulled her gaze away from him, and stopped dead in her tracks when spotted Darius.

Her heart thumped in her chest and her stomach fell to her feet. She couldn’t decide if she was excited to see him or surprised. Especially after just thinking of him.

The strands of his long, dark blond hair was windblown. Just disheveled enough to make him even sexier. His hair, in addition to the five o’clock shadow of a beard, made her blood race and her hands itch to touch him, to run her hands up his chest and over his thick shoulders once more.

He watched her with his deep brown eyes without a hint of any emotion. While she was reeling from seeing him after so long and her body instantly beginning to throb with need, he felt…nothing.

Sophie knew what kind of disaster lay with Darius. She swore to never go down that path again. As tempting as he was – and good Lord was he tempting – she fortified the walls around her heart.

She walked into her patient’s room without a backward look to Darius. If only it was as easy to erase him from her thoughts as it was to look away.

 

 

 
The Dark Kings Series
 
 
About the Author

Donna Grant is the New York Timesand USA Today bestselling author of the sizzling Dark King series featuring dragons, immortal Highlanders, and the Fae.

She was born and raised in Texas but loves to travel. Her adventures have taken her throughout the United States as well as to Jamaica, Mexico, and Scotland. Growing up on the Texas/Louisiana border, Donna’s Cajun side of the family taught her the “spicy” side of life while her Texas roots gave her two-steppin’ and bareback riding.

Despite deadlines and voracious reading, Donna still manages to keep up with her two children, four cats, and one long haired Chihuahua.

You can find Donna at
               
   

 

Presented By

Tuesday Teaser, Week 4: Asleep, by Krystal Wade

 

Happy Teaser Tuesday! Today is the fourth installment of ten weeks of teasers to get you ready for the release of ASLEEP by Krystal Wade. This spine-chilling YA psychological thriller is the debut novel from Blaze Publishing, set to be released February 16, 2016, and answers the question of what happens when Sleeping Beauty meets Freddy Krueger. If you missed the first teaser, don’t worry! You can still find it and other great content on the Blaze Publishing blog. Pre-orders are available now from Amazon. Mark your calendars, and be sure to add the book to your Goodreads list!

 


“To cure fear, you must use fear.”

Rose Briar claims no responsibility for the act that led to her imprisonment in an asylum. She wants to escape, until terrifying nightmares make her question her sanity and reach out to her doctor. He’s understanding and caring in ways her parents never have been, but as her walls tumble down and Rose admits fault, a fellow patient warns her to stop the medications. Phillip believes the doctor is evil and they’ll never make it out of the facility alive. Trusting him might be just the thing to save her. Or it might prove the asylum is exactly where she needs to be.







ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

AUTHOR. CHICKEN (AND DOG) LOVER. MOTHER. WIFE. DREAMER.

I’m happily married to the love of my life (don’t gag) and raising three beautiful children in the gorgeous state of Virginia. We live just outside Washington, D.C., and every day I wake up to find myself stuck in traffic trying to get there.

The horrid commute gives me plenty of time to zone out and think about my characters in full, brilliant details (I’m a safe driver; don’t worry). Stories give me a way to forget about the sometimes smelly strangers sitting next to me on the fifty mile trek into town (I pick up hitchhikers every day. True story. Check out http://www.slug-lines.com if you don’t believe me).

I’ve been a part of organized hitchhiking for nearly fifteen years, but that’s just one small aspect of my oh-so-large life. When I’m not working, commuting, or chasing after my three children (four if you count the man), you can usually find me outside talking to my chickens like they’re the cutest things in the world (they are), or training my amazing dogs how to herd said chickens (which they love), or curled up on the sofa with a good book (why can’t that be 100% of the time?).

I hope you love my stories (or just like them a little; that would be okay, too). And I hope that one day you find your passion, because there’s nothing in life better than doing what you love while surrounded by people you love.

❤ Krystal

Website   Instagram   Twitter   Facebook   Google+


ABOUT BLAZE PUBLISHING:

Books with Heart for Teen and Young Adults
At Blaze, we’re committed to bringing you high-quality, hard-hitting books full of heart. Whether the story is a mystery, a thriller, horror, steampunk, or some goofy comedy, there will be a message woven into the pages for readers to find and fall in love with. We want you to walk away inspired, in awe, or just happy to be alive. Or maybe you’ll look at other people differently, in a less negative light. Whatever the case, you will find heart in our stories.Our goal is to bring you four or five amazing works of fiction in 2016, and six in 2017 and each year after. We’ve already lined up a few and can’t wait to see what comes across our desks next!

Do you have a submission you’d like to send us? We’d love to see it! You can find our submissions guidelines on our website.

Want to stay up to date on everything from Blaze Publishing? Sign up for our newsletter so you don’t miss a thing! The first 100 subscribers get free Blaze bookmarks (UK, US, and Canada only) AND get added to our Loyal 100 group, which gives you access to exclusive news, teasers, prizes, and ARCs!

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Cover Reveal: Redeem by Donnielle Tyner

 

Redeem (The Caelian Cycle #2.5)
Release Date: January 2016
 
Summary from Goodreads:
 
A boy without a voice.
A teen without a home.
A man without hope.
 
Kian knows the way his life is headed will be the death of him. It doesn’t matter how many criminals he catches for Gordon’s Bounty Detective Agency or how deep he tries to fall into the bottle – those eyes haunt him. All it took was one whisper of bad advice, one wrong choice, one mistake, to wipe out years of confidence he had struggled to build while living on his Grandmother’s farm. Then Kian found the box of files overflowing with unsolved crimes. Those cold cases jolted his soul from its vegetative state and awakened his resolve. Kian knew those cases were meant for him to solve, but the last thing he expected to find within a few wrinkled folders was his ultimate redemption.
 
Books in the series (click on images for Goodreads links):
 
 
 
About the Author
Hello! Donnielle here. I’m a new indie young adult author. When I’m not writing, I spend my time reading, binge watching Netflix, homeschooling my two children, and hanging out with my husband.


Author Links:
 photo iconwebsite-32x32_zps1f477f69.png  photo icongoodreads32_zps60f83491.png  photo icontwitter-32x32_zpsae13e2b2.png  photo iconfacebook-32x32_zps64a79d4a.png

Spotlight On: His Dream Role by Shannyn Schroeder

 

 

His Dream Role (Hot & Nerdy #5)
by Shannyn Schroeder
Release Date: December 22nd 2015
Lyrical Press

Summary:

Free Mitchell loves the theater. In his dreams he’s the one taking the spotlight. But so far he’s played against character by following in his father’s footsteps as an investment banker. When he’s masquerading as Dr. Who or Sherlock Holmes to help his brother, he feels he can escape his shy, dorky persona. But nothing’s prepared him to play boyfriend to a gorgeous girl like Samantha Wolf.
Samantha isn’t quite sure what to think of Free. He’s cute, sweet, and quirky, but his outlandish costumes make him seem crazy. However, it turns out Sam has a soft spot for theater nerds. And the more time they spend together, the more their steamy romance begins to take center stage. Only problem is, there doesn’t seem to be a script. And it’s anyone’s guess how this one will end.

Excerpt

Minutes later, when he walked through the door of the coffee shop, Samantha was standing near the entrance. Waiting. For him? He smiled. “Hello again.”

She eyed him up and down, taking in his pin-striped suit and his red Converses. He extended a hand. “I’m the Doctor.”

“Doctor who?”

“Exactly.” He turned toward the register. When the cashier looked at him, he ordered his usual black, no cream, no sugar and a large caramel macchiato for Samantha. As he reached for his wallet, she jumped in front of him.

“I’ve got this. I owe you for the other day.” She paid for the drinks. As she tucked her wallet back into her purse, she turned to face him. “So really, what costume is this?”

She didn’t get it. “Doctor Who. British TV show. Time Lord. Daleks. TARDIS.” He watched her face for any sign of recognition. He found none. Sweeping a hand over himself, he added, “I’m the tenth doctor.” Still nothing.

“I think I’ve heard of it.” She smiled. It was enough to make his day, even if she was clueless about Doctor Who.

When their coffee was ready, he handed her the cup and was at a loss for what was supposed to happen next. He sucked at this.

Samantha pointed toward a table. “I have my books over here if you want to sit.”

Books! The best weapons in the world!” As soon as he said it, he knew it was a mistake, but once in character, he couldn’t always stop. And the Doctor’s words always sounded better than his own.

Samantha giggled a little. “I agree with the sentiment, maybe even your enthusiasm. It’s one of the things I try to get across to the kids I work with.”

“Kids? Are you a teacher?” He followed her to the table, knowing he couldn’t stay long because he had to go to rehearsal, but he wanted to hear more.

“No. I’m studying to be a social worker, so I volunteer at a shelter for victims of domestic abuse. I see a lot of kids who are utterly hopeless, so I try to give them some hope, teach them that things can be different.” She sat and slid her books toward the edge.

He took the seat across from her and waited. He hoped she would continue the conversation. She sipped from her cup and then licked a bit of foam from her top lip. Free stared at the tip of her tongue and her pink lip, entranced. Then she smiled again.

“You’re in need of books for your kids. What kind?”

“We take anything. I’m working mostly with little kids right now. Hence the paint and glue stuck to me all the time. It’s just that they come to us with so little, except for the number of problems.”

“Books are an excellent escape.” He drank his coffee and thought about where he could get books for her. His mother would know. She knew the ins and outs of many things when it came to charity. “What was your favorite book at that age?”

The Little Engine That Could.”

Even as a child she was prepared to save other children and make a difference. “Then I guess we’ll have to start with that one, won’t we?”

“Who are you?” she asked, her voice so quiet it was nearly a whisper.

The hoper of far-flung hopes and the dreamer of improbable dreams.”

She leaned forward and propped her chin in her hand. He became uneasy beneath her scrutiny, so he stood. “I have to get going. I have rehearsal.”

“So you’re an actor.”

He nodded.  “Until next time.”

 

 

Buy Links:

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKobo

 
Books in the series (click on image for Goodreads link):
About the Author
 
Shannyn Schroeder is the author of the O’Leary series, contemporary romances centered around a large Irish-American family in Chicago and the Hot & Nerdy series about 3 nerdy friends finding love. When she’s not wrangling her three kids or writing, she watches a ton of TV and loves to bake cookies.
 
Author Links: