Rosanna’s recommended reads, December 2016.

It’s been some time since I’ve been able to tell you about some of my favorite reads and thought it was a good way to close 2016 on my blog.

My reading included several romance books but I also ventured down darker paths the past few months. Although there were elements of romance in some of these books, not all had happy endings but I was aware of that going in.

Happy or sad, they moved me and I’m confident recommending them to you.

The Shadow by Sylvain Reynard

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I love, love, love, Reynard’s vampires and adore the Italian setting. Most of you have probably already read this series but I’m late to it. Book 1 and book 2 both swept me away and I can’t wait for book 3 this coming year!

Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

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Ugly Love was my stand out read of the year. Of. The Year.

‘Nuff said.

Arranged by Catherine McKenzie

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Here’s where we get into different territory. Arranged had an interesting premise and from the description, I wasn’t sure I’d get a happy ending. There are twists and heartaches and I would never call this a traditional romance. That being said, my romantic heart was appeased.

Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum

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Darker, still, my lovelies!

I won’t mince words about this one. Hausfrau is NOT a romance. It’s about infidelity and loneliness and a woman who seems pleased to justify her foolish actions. I would certain it would all end in tears and I don’t want to spoil it for anyone but it’s safe to say there is a healthy dose of tragedy in this book. However, sometimes we need a bit of tragedy in our literary lives. Sometimes I read works of pain to remind me why I appreciate romance so much. The author does an admirable job of allowing the plot to unravel and there was much beauty in this pain.

Happy New Year and happy reading!

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Happy holidays!

As the holidays descend upon us, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your families a peaceful, happy season.  The next couple of days will be a blur of activity for me, as they will be for many. We have two Christmas dinners, one with the in-laws and one we are hosting for my side of the family. On top of that, my husband’s birthday is a couple of days after Christmas so we have much to celebrate during this season.

I am so thankful for those who have connected with me via my books and blog and various social media pages. Your support means so much to me and enables me to continue doing what I’m doing. I hope to bring you three sexy romances this coming year and can’t wait to share the love.

No matter what or when you celebrate, I hope the season brings you great joy.

 

Merry Christmas!

Rosanna

Sarah Hegger. Roger’s Bride.

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Blurb

 

A battle of wills . . .

As the oldest son and heir to Anglesea, it is Roger’s duty to stand tall and strong. But his tough exterior belies the heart of a true romantic, a devoted son who yearns for the deep love he has witnessed between his parents and his sisters and their husbands. However, with the Anglesea family jockeying for a more advantageous position, Roger must marry judiciously.

A fight for the heart . . .

Having spent her childhood watching her mother suffer, Kathryn of Mandeville is determined never to marry. To be as a Viking shield maiden of old is her heart’s only desire. But when her sister Matty runs away to escape Roger’s sensible proposal, Kathryn is forced to help Roger find a more suitable bride. Bound by duty, Roger and Kathryn soon discover they are facing a much tougher fight—the one that is within their hearts . . .

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Buy Links

 

Amazon:  http://amzn.to/2fFnXMV

iBooks: http://apple.co/2emgrH6

Nook: http://bit.ly/2fhajip

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2fFOPJ2

 

Excerpt

Chapter 1

Roger wanted to jab his dagger into his eye. He despised failure, hated it, yet judging by his intended bride’s reaction to his courtship performance, he and failure now shared a bed. Love and war, with a clear plan, a man could manage one in much the same manner as the other. Hadn’t a lifetime under the guiding hand of Sir Arthur of Anglesea set this lesson into Roger’s marrow?

Except, Roger’s courtship had veered from the battle plan.

Lady Mathilda had accepted his flowers with her sweet, lovely smile and even moved her skirts to make place for him beside her. Since then, his plan had moved from disarray into rout. Lady Mathilda should be sighing by now, at least peeping at him from beneath thick dark lashes. He’d watched William turn a woman sweet a hundred times.

In her haste to put distance between them, she inched her curvy hips down the bench, almost tipping onto her pert ass. She pressed a fluttering hand to her throat. “Five sons, Sir Roger?”

“Aye.” He softened his tone. A woman would not enjoy being bellowed at like a man-at-arms. “My mother had four, and the two girls. I wager we could do better.” He gave her a tiny nudge. “Aye?”

Agape, Lady Mathilda shook her head. Her nut-brown hair made a silky swish on the bench.

Too abrupt? Perhaps. He should have refrained from the nudge for certain, but desperation crept through him with each passing moment. “Of course, that is if you are willing, my lady.”

Gentle, his mother had urged. Woo her with sweet words and smiles. Roger smiled.

She stared at him with huge eyes, dark like aged walnut, and gave him her flawless profile.

Mother had chosen well. Lady Mathilda boasted the sort of beauty that would make any man want to strut and crow like a barnyard cock.

“Your lips.” He gave it another try. Please let the spirit of his brother, William, dwell within him now. “Are as ripe as…apples. Red apples, not green. Not the red and green ones either. All red, like…” Jesu, give him strength. Even he could do better than that. “I mean cherries.”

“You are most kind.” Her chest rose and fell with her quickened breathing, and while a man tried not to look, or get caught looking, she filled out the front of her bliaut with a tasty, ripe bounty.

Roger balled his hand into a fist, tempted to punch his own face with it. He made a dog’s ballocks of this. Give him a keep to tear down, a young soldier to train, a horde of marauding Scots. Anything but this.

Still, he’d vowed to marry, and marry he would. Time to do his duty as the heir. At his feet, his favorite bitch peered at him and whined. She understood him, never needed pretty words from him. Why couldn’t women be more like dogs? Only, with not quite so much fur and the bad breath. There must be something they could speak of. He waded into the oozing silence. “Dogs?”

Lady Mathilda clasped her hands in her lap, fingers white about the knuckles. “Dogs, Sir Roger?”

“Aye, dogs. Do you like them?”

“Nay.”

He should talk about her. That last bit of counsel from older sister, Faye. “What do you like?”

“Me?” She started. A flush stained her peachy skin.

Mother had certainly found him a girl to rival Faye in looks. “Aye.”

“I like flowers.”

There, he had done one thing right. “Flowers are nice. And?”

“Um…” She stroked her skirts over her knees. “Silk. I like silk.”

“Then I shall be sure to clothe you in silk for the rest of your days.”

Her head snapped up and she went taut beside him. “The rest of my life?”

“Indeed.” The rest of his life seemed to stretch in front of him like an endless road to nowhere. Did Lady Mathilda perhaps sense his reluctance to marry? “I am sure we will be very happy together.”

Lady Mathilda sprang to her feet. “Aye.” Retreat bellowed from every taut line of her as she scurried away.

Roger received the message clearly. Lady Mathilda did not favor his suit.

Her full hips rocked with the speed of her flight.

It was a pity for her, then, that Roger of Anglesea had decided he would wed Mathilda of Mandeville. Will she or nil she.

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Kathryn stuck her head around the screens at one end of Anglesea’s hall and tried to signal her sister. Matty charged straight into hell with all Kathryn’s carefully conceived and executed plans. Why could a person not run a courtship like a battle? It would be so much simpler that way.

Matty stared at Sir Roger like the man had sprouted two heads. Blast! What ailed her sister? Sir Roger fit Kathryn’s requirements to perfection. Not much for prayer, Kathryn had spent hours on her knees asking for just such a husband for Matty. They’d been at Anglesea for two days now, and Kathryn’s relief when she met Sir Roger had made it easy to encourage Matty to welcome the match.

She could not fathom, why today of all days, the usually biddable Matty had taken one of her huffs into her head. Lord above knew, they did not happen often, but when Matty took one of her stands, there would be the devil’s work to sway her. The wedding contracts remained unsigned, on Sir Arthur’s behest, until Roger and Matty both agreed they would suit.

Sir Roger tugged at his tunic neck as he shifted on the bench beside Matty.

If only the man had a touch more address. To be fair, however, Kathryn had not aided his courtship because of his honeyed words and pretty gestures. She had explained all this to Matty.

Matty rose and near ran for the door.

Fists balled by his sides, wide shoulders taut, Sir Roger watched her go.

Matty rushed past and Kathryn dropped into step beside her. “What happened?”

With a shriek, Matty leapt away from her. “Kate?” She pressed her hands to her bosom. “You near scared the life out of me. I thought you were him.”

“Father?”

“Nay, him.” Matty jerked her head toward the hall. She glanced back. “Does he pursue me?”

Sir Roger stood, much as Matty had left him, with a tremendous frown on his handsome face.

“Nay.” Kathryn lengthened her strides to keep up with Matty. “What happened?”

Matty stopped, one foot on the bottom stair. “Did you see him?”

“Aye, I did. Great comely fellow that he is.” Kathryn suffused as much enthusiasm as she could into her words. Not as pretty as his brother, William, but Kathryn preferred Sir Roger’s more rugged looks.

Matty shuddered. “He is a brute.”

“Brute?” Kathryn followed her sister up the stairs. “Nay, Matty, but he is a warrior, which is why we agreed you should marry him.”

Matty spun and glared. “We agreed to nothing. You and father said I should marry him.”

“Matty.” It was the first and last time Kathryn would probably agree with their father. “We spoke about this. Remember?”

Matty drooped. Her eyes filled with tears. “I cannot marry him.”

“But why not?” Kathryn climbed closer to her sister. “He may be big and rough, but I enquired everywhere about him. They say he is tough but fair, and kind to his people. Men like this do not come about like the village peddler. We must snap him up while we can.”

“I cannot.” On a soft cry, Matty ran up the stairs.

“But you must,” Kathryn whispered to the empty space. “How else am I to keep you safe?”

 

 

Sarah Hegger Social Media Links:

Website: http://sarahhegger.com

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/sarahheggerauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SarahHegger

Google+: https://plus.google.com/100057781039257025684

Goodreads: ht http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8202895.Sarah_Hegger

Tumblr: http://sarahhegger.tumblr.com/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/sarahhegger7/

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/sarahheggerauthor/

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Roger’s Bride Blog Tour giveaway “Curl Up with a Book”  Grand Prize includes mermaid blanket, sweater mug full of treats, copies of all four Sir Arthur’s Legacy books, dragon bookmark, tote bag and more.
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Lana Lea Short. A Selkie’s Magic.

If you follow me in any way, shape or form, you will understand my love for those mythical selkies. 😉

Therefore, it is a pleasure to welcome author Lana Lea Short today. I’m pleased to introduce you to her book A Selkie’s Magic.

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Rosanna, made my day when she asked me to be a guest on her blog. Thank you so much.  We seem to share the same belief a Selkie would make an amazing choice for a hero in our books. A mythical creature of Scottish and Irish folklore who are a little less known than other shifters.

My book came about after having a vivid dream one night.  The dream just wouldn’t go away and I couldn’t silence the voice in my head, which demanded I write his story. A Selkie’s Magic is the first book in my paranormal romance series. My Selkie hero is Kendrick Morgan and the heroine in the story is Aileana Sutherland. She is a Southern California girl who enjoys surfing and being close to the ocean.  She moves to Scotland and lives with her paternal grandmother while healing some emotional wounds.  I hope readers will enjoy my spin on the old Selkie myths.

What a wonderful journey it has been fulfilling a lifelong dream to write a book. I have been an avid reader from the time I was eight years old and discovered libraries.  Libraries were always a place which have held a strong, powerful magical hold over me. In the meantime, I am busy working on the second book in my Selkie series.

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Excerpt

This is a scene from the book when Aileana finds out Kendrick is a Selkie.

She spied the seal as he climbed out of the water and onto the rocks. He looked to be her Mr. Seal. He was out beyond the breakers on one of the quartzite pillars which the local seals used to bask in the sun.

The seal seemed to shed his skin of silky black fur. The shape before her was not his true shape. Unexpectedly, there on the rocks stood a large, naked, and powerful man. Had she now completely lost her mind, or could the local legends of the seals being Selkies be true?

As Aileana watched this seal man, he dove into the water and headed to the beach. She tried to remember the tales her Seanmhair had so often told her as a child, about the Selkies of Scotland. Her Seanmhair had told Aileana the Selkies had their own magic. And Selkies had lived in the northern Scottish seas long before the Vikings had even come to this area of the world.

Her Seanmhair had told stories of Selkies who would take a local lass for their lover. She told her, “Guard you heart, for heartache comes to young lassies who fall in love with Selkie men.” She also told her the Selkies were known to leave their lovers and return to their home, the sea. The most fortunate of the women were the ones the Selkies choose for their life mates. Because no human could even hope to compare to having a Selkie lover. Aileana remember asking her Seanmhair what she meant by that statement? But her grandmother had simply laughed and said, “Now, there’s a tale to be told when you’re older.”

Seanmhair also told Aileana she once knew a Selkie when she was a young woman. Aileana was only a child and had paid little attention to these stories when her Seanmhair told the local folk tales. She had believed they were only fairy tales, such as her favorite, Beauty and the Beast. Now she wished she had paid more heed to those tales told to her long ago.

She hid behind a large rock up near the cave because she didn’t want to be seen by the man or seal man, or whatever he was. As he walked closer, she saw it was Kendrick in all his naked glory, and this wasn’t Black’s Beach either. His rock hard, virile body was built like Aileana’s version of Poseidon ‘The God of the Sea’ from what she could see at this distance. Her eyes followed the lines of Kendrick’s well-developed shoulders to his bulging biceps, and down to his hard abs. Her eyes peered further down to deep V below his belly button where the solid ridge of his abs ended. There his thick and incredibly long shaft rested on his heavy man sac. She knew he was large, but holy mother of Eros!

After she gathered her wicked thoughts together, Aileana’s mind came back to the fact of what she had just seen, besides him having a magnificent body. The man she was starting to have feelings for wasn’t a man, but a Selkie! She had feelings for a Selkie! What a mess she was in, and what would she do with this knowledge? Who should she talk to, her grandmother or Kendrick? She needed answers now and not later. Aileana decided she would go and talk to Kendrick first. She needed her answers to come from the not-so-mythical source. The journalist in her needed the true story, even if it was for her ears only.

Aileana waited by the boulder until she saw him walk out of the small sea cave now dressed in his swim trunks. She tried to gather her thoughts and come up with coherent sentences to ask Kendrick the necessary questions. Considering the issue, that would be a rather tricky deal. Would Kendrick even admit what she had seen was real?

Would he be honest with her, or would he try to play it off that she was delusional? She needed the truth and not some child’s fable. Her mind would not rest until she had all the information about the nature of this sea creature or Selkie man.

Book Blurb

Aileana Sutherland is a strong-willed, independent young Southern California surfer who decides to move to Scotland, her father’s homeland. She’s prompted to relocate after an awful heart-wrenching breakup with her boyfriend, who she caught having sex with another woman Scotland is the perfect place to lick her wounds and move on with her life.

There, she runs into a man from her past, Kendrick Morgan. A man with gorgeous long, dark hair with the body of a god; a man with a secret. He happens to be a shape-shifting Selkie Prince, a creature of Celtic myths and legends.

Kendrick and his Selkie clan are tasked with protecting the locals from evil Unseelies in the form of Finfolk. There have been reports of kidnapping, but when Aileana is abducted, will Kendrick be able to save the woman he’s given his heart to?

Author Bio:

I am a paranormal erotic romance writer, born and raised in Southern California.  Reading is my guilty pleasure. I’ve been a book addict since the age of eight.  When I’m not reading I enjoy gardening, cooking and Texas Hold’em Poker. I am married to a wonderful husband who lets me be me, though he may not totally understand his wife’s crazy ways.  I enjoy writing about strong, smart and loving women, who happen to show their softer side when it suits them and the alpha males they’re drawn to.

LINKS:

Amazon CA – http://amzn.to/1nLBe74

Amazon US – http://amzn.to/1nLBfaW

Amazon AU – http://bit.ly/1nLBkLL

Amazon UK – http://amzn.to/1nLBlj0

B&N – http://bit.ly/1nLBm6v

Kobo – http://bit.ly/1nLBkeK

Liquid Silver Publishing— http://liquidsilverpublishing.com/product/a-selkies-magic/

Social media links:

Twitter: @LanaLShort https://twitter.com/LanaLShort

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28700255-a-selkie-s-magic?ac=1&from_search=true

Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/Lana-Lea-Short-Author-1704563493099206/

Break ups and bad news. Someone get me a romance novel!

The other day, I heard the radio announcer talking about Dec. 11. Apparently, according to Facebook statistics, this is the date when most people break up with their boyfriends or girlfriends.

Why is that? Because in breaking up a couple of weeks before Christmas, they won’t have to worry about buying a gift.

Something about this made me feel sad and disappointed. There was no mention of how traumatic it could be to sever a relationship at the holidays, only that the “breaker-upper” wouldn’t incur a cost.

Sometimes people are just mean.

That story simply reinforced why I write and read romance. The world isn’t always a pretty place and our fellow human beings don’t always follow the rules of etiquette or good sense or, well, being human.

When moments like that get me down, in particular around the holidays, I love knowing I can start a new romance and remember how good people can be to each other. Romance isn’t just about kissing scenes and falling in love. To me, it’s about being decent and kind and wanting to take care of another person. Romance is about wanting a better world and wanting it for someone other than ourselves. Romance is about optimism. The world could use some of that right now, don’t you think?

I’m so sick of bad news and news that makes people feel icky. We’ve certainly had our share over the past few weeks, if not months. Every so often, I turn on the local news, craving a good news story but just get more of the bad. Apparently, it sells.

Romance brings me the good news stories my heart needs. It infuses me with hope and nostalgia and excitement. It takes me to places I’ve never visited before and reminds me of other places I’ve loved. It shows me how wonderful it can be when someone cares.

During this holiday season, I do hope we will all make an effort to share some good news and not to spread the bad. Let’s not make the bad stuff go viral.

Let’s make romance and love viral instead.

Susan Behon. All Fired Up.

I’m so pleased to welcome back author Susan Behon, whose work I just love. I hope you’ll check out her Madison Falls series and especially her newest, All Fired Up.

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Why do writers write? Like Stephen King said, it’s not for the money, and it’s definitely not for the fame. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t turn down a fat paycheck, but I started writing because it felt like something I was meant to do. I hesitated for years before I finally took the plunge and tried writing a book. There were so many excuses…not enough time…not enough talent…or ooh look, there’s something shiny!

The years passed and every so often, my need to write outweighed my reasons not to. I’ll admit it. I wrote fanfiction. I got my feet wet and I enjoyed the feedback. That still wasn’t enough. I wrote a few pieces of satire and that wasn’t enough either. My biggest obstacle was me. That inner voice that said, “You just aren’t good enough to write something as big as a book.”

I love books and to my credit, I think I’ve read thousands of them. As for romance novels, my addiction to them started when I was thirteen years old and the school librarian wanted to get rid of a bag of Harlequins. It was a treasure trove! I sat on my bunk bed and read the lot of them. As an introverted kid, the stories took me to places and introduced me to people—characters—that were interesting, funny, dramatic, and, of course, sexy. My books were my friends. They still are.

One fateful night, my muse kicked my inner doubt’s ass and I woke up wanting, n0—needing to write a book. My hand flew across my spiral bound notebook with story ideas, characters, and dialogue. Some were good, some were bad, some were downright awful, but my new mission in life was to write my own romance novel.

By the way, let me tell you why I will never give another writer a bad review. Writing a book is hard and if you take the initiative to try it, you have my complete and utter respect. Simple words, but true nonetheless. Holy Hell, how did people do it?

Could I do it? Turns out, yes I could, and I did. After many rejections from publishers (those sting no matter how many you get) I finally got a yes. You only need one yes to get your foot in the door. So here I am, two years after wracking my brain, pouring my heart out, and driving my husband crazy with reading revisions to him ad nauseum.

I write romance because I want my readers to feel the same sense of happiness I feel when a love story can take you away from it all. You can live vicariously through the characters’ struggles, immerse yourself in a new place, smile, laugh, cry and come out of it knowing there is always a happy ending. The world needs more happy endings.

Without the stacks of money and the overnight fame, was it worth it? Damn straight it was! Why? Because I’m a writer! Through feedback, I’ve learned that people have read my love stories and enjoyed them. They’ve laughed at the funny parts, got teary eyed over the sappy parts, and fanned themselves over the steamy parts. That’s all I ever wanted.

But, hey, don’t get me wrong, buying my books will put a smile on my face too! 🙂

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Blurb:

Fire Chief Alex Ross is used to finding himself in dangerous situations. Rescuing a cat stuck up a tree isn’t one of them. He’s less than thrilled, especially when he finds out that the feline in question was used as a ruse by an amorous old lady on the make…again.

Alex needs a rescue and fate brings him Julie Hanlin, a former damsel in distress he saved the summer before. With a little persuading, Julie plays hero and untangles him from a sticky situation.

The town is abuzz when they catch Alex and Julie on an impromptu date. He thinks it’s the local grapevine doing its thing until he notices the ladies are checking him out a little too closely and whispering a touch more than usual.

Julie is caught in her own predicament. Alex thinks her attraction is merely a case of hero worship. Little does he know that he’s the center of a secret she thought would never come to light.

Kiss by kiss, Alex wants her more than ever. Julie finally has his attention, but the whole town is watching and once he realizes why, a desire that finally catches flame might go up in smoke.

Buy Links

iTunes: http://apple.co/2eMfYfL

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2fTj1Fx

Google Play: http://bit.ly/2fehnwi

Barnes and Noble (Nook) http://bit.ly/2gcGVIu

BAM Booksamillion http://bit.ly/2gzJEjc

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Social Media Links:

Twitter: www.twitter.com/suebeehny

Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1dD86dc

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1GFiuI

 

 

Selkie’s Lure Cover Reveal!

Oh, how I have anticipated this day!

As my Orkney Selkies readers know, book 3 has been a while in coming and I couldn’t be more excited to finally be able to share it with you Jan. 16. Selkie’s Lure will soon be available.

The cover has now been finalized (thanks so much to Kevin Wilson at Liquid Silver Books) and I am happy to share it.

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I couldn’t be happier with this depiction of selkie  Edan Kirk. Like his brother Calan and Machar, he rises from the waves and has lots of fun in store for heroine Amy Woods.

As soon as I have details on any preorders, I will happily share them. I can’t wait to welcome you to Orkney once again.

Blurb

Amy Woods, one of TV’s famed Beast Seekers, has come to Orkney, Scotland, to hunt sirens. One of them killed her sister and she has sworn revenge. Most people think she’s crazy for believing in monsters. She knows the truth. But while patrolling one of Orkney’s cold beaches, she runs into a naked selkie man rather than a siren, and he proves to be an alluring distraction.

Edan Kirk is a selkie, one of an ancient race of seal shape shifters. When he hears of Amy’s intention to hunt sirens, tragic memories overwhelm him. He knows he must get rid of the pesky human. As much as he tries to convince her she’s on a fool’s errand, he can’t resist trying to protect her. After all, he has heard the enticing song of the sirens and he knows its deadly power.

As Amy and Edan engage in a battle of wits and wills, other emotions rush to the fore. Their connection is intense, the sort to come along only once in a lifetime. Edan recognizes her as his mate. However, another woman has set her sights on him as well, one whose powers of seduction are legendary. One whose voice has driven men to madness and devastation.

Can Amy accept Edan as her mate, making her home in the world of the supernatural? And can they save each other from a beast that cannot be destroyed?