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Forsaken Heart by Elise Whyles
The Forsaken Series, Book 1
The world of immortals must unite to save both themselves and the mortals they co-exist with from an ancient evil.
For Bede MacTaggert this means trusting in the warrior sent for her sister—a man of mystery, of power, and one who could easily sweep her into a world she's destined to be part of.
An imperial guard to the king of vampires, Gawain has always tuned out the needs of the flesh. Dedicating himself to the service of the royals, he's lived on the fringes of his people for centuries. Now he's forced from the shadows and into the arms of a woman who will awaken his heart and body to a passion unequaled.
Content Warning: sexy alpha vampire, explicit sex, violence
"Frails are not to be toyed with," Gawain ground out and grabbed the girl, spinning her away, his sword at the ready as the man heaved upward, a dagger clutched in his hand. Gawain's sword rested easy on his palm, ready, the surface slicked with blood as he faced the coward.
"She's mine to do with as I choose." He gurgled, collapsing to the ground, his weapon falling from pudgy fingers. "Paid ten pieces of gold for 'em both, and I aim to get a might of use out 'em."
"Now she's mine," Gawain declared. Raising his sword, he drove it through the man's chest, pinning his twitching frame to the ground. He stepped back, his gaze sweeping the clearing. Males such as this did not travel alone, his cohorts would be close. He'd need to find and kill them…
Searing pain lanced through him, splitting his chest. Gawain glanced down. The thin, sharp tip of a blade stuck from his chest. He touched the blade and snarled. The metal was warm, when it should have been cold. Shock slammed into him as the blade began to glow, turning a searing red before changing back to normal, or as normal as it could be with blood racing down the weapon.
Whirling, his hand already scrabbling for the dagger's hilt in his back, he grabbed his assailant by the throat and lifted. Grunting as he pulled the weapon free, his lips curled upward. "You'd do well, wench, to know your place."
"If you think I mean to let you do her harm…" Sputtering, her nails digging into his wrists, the girl's brown eyes stared into his. Fear lay within the depths but something else stirred. Something dark, dangerous, easily recognized if one knew what they were looking for.
His fingers moved, tightening, loosening as he pulled her against him. Inhaling, he caught the faint scent of blood, fear, sweat, fire, and something sultry, sweet, and light on his tongue. Drawing the scent deep, he wallowed in it, his body responding to the aroma he'd dreamed of but never found.
Gawain inhaled slowly, his muscles tightening, burning. Using the tip of her dagger, he pushed the material of her shift aside. The scrolling marks of a serpent flared before his eyes. It coiled and danced beneath the girl's flesh.
Project Terminal: Legacy by Olivia Starke
Project Terminal, Book 1
Zombies and super soldiers? Laura is the one hope for a world gone Hollywood crazy.
In only a matter of hours Laura Swift has been bitten by a zombie, rescued by Mr. Tall, Dark, and Foreboding, and thrown into a world gone Hollywood crazy. She has no choice but to follow Damian into his underworld of manipulated viruses and genetically altered super soldiers. Even as her life hangs in the balance, she can't deny the attraction she feels for the incredibly sexy and thoroughly imposing Infantryman.
Damian Gonsalves believes he has a cure for the virus changing innocent people into bloodthirsty undead. Within Laura is the key to stopping the horrific plague. All he has to do is keep her alive and safe, and stay one step ahead of those pursuing them. Her stubbornness frustrates him to no end, while her body drives him to distraction.
When they discover the secret behind Project Terminal, will they survive long enough to help stop the unleashed horror? Or will they just be two more victims of a virus threatening all of humanity?
Content Warning: graphic sex, strong language, and violence
He closed his eyes, the weight of guilt pressing down making it difficult to speak. "We're alone, Laura. Nobody else is in here."
The night wore on, and fits of anger mingled with her confusion. Several times he'd had to prevent her from dashing out the door. He paced the confines of the living room, waiting for the last of the madness to run its course. Laura lay on the floor, lashing out toward some unseen attacker, before her breathing became rapid, labored pants. White foam bubbled from her mouth.
He pinched the bridge of his nose, turning away. He'd become disillusioned with the system he'd given his life to shortly after discovering they'd screwed up royally in creating the virus. In a lab he'd watched a man succumb to it, changing into a soulless corpse. It'd been horrific the first time he'd witnessed it. Afterward Headquarters had assigned him to track down an infected woman outside of the facility. It was his duty as a super soldier to clean up their mistakes. Now he wanted nothing more than to see the lab destroyed, something he should've done in the first place. He should've listened to Doug and Max, two of the doctors from the early days of the project. Their warnings had come to pass, but he'd been a stubborn, misinformed jackass.
Curled in the fetal position, Laura looked like a sick child, fragile and broken. His throat constricted, even though it was ridiculous to have feelings for someone you didn't know. He was military, Army Infantry, for Christ's sake, he knew how to pull a trigger without regret.
Laura rolled onto her back, staring toward the ceiling with glassy eyes. Despite the tremulous hold she had on life, she was already dead.
He existed as a government killing machine—an automaton they'd designed. Nothing more. He'd given his humanity away to the project. He wasn't much better than the corpses he hunted.
"I'm so sorry this happened to you, baby. You were right, I deserved this, not you."
His vision blurred when he stared down the barrel, the silencer aimed squarely between her eyes, his heart beating a crazed rhythm in his chest. His finger squeezed ever so slightly on the trigger. Outside a mourning dove called to its mate, a haunting song echoing in the room. He recalled a story from his youth about how a dove would arrive to carry a person's soul to the afterlife. If he believed in anything but the here and now, in that moment he would've thought it true.
Laura's mouth gaped open, strangled noises escaping her throat, seizures taking her into death throes.
He lowered his arm and thumped the butt of his gun against his thigh, waiting for the monster to appear. When she became the undead, when she moved to attack him, he'd have the power to destroy her. She deserved one last try to get the best of him. Maybe it wasn't Laura anymore, but he'd honor the fighting spirit within her. She'd never get past him, but if she took a piece of him in the process he'd have an excuse to end the whole goddamned thing here, in this stinking house. If he ever got infected his duty would be to put a bullet in his own head.
Laura's body stilled, her eyelids drifting closed.
Her eyes popped wide open, her back arching. She sucked in a breath as if surfacing from deep waters. He turned his body sideways, leveling his gun in dead aim, waiting for the corpse to lunge.
War's End by Imogene Nix
The Reunion Trilogy, Book 1
Forced apart by war five years ago, Renjiro and Selina have another chance at love. Can they make it work or does fate have other plans?
Without the citizenship of the Federation, Indy pilot Selina Codecko is treated like a second-class citizen. When she gets caught up in a bar brawl she's arrested and finds herself in the hands of the Justice Officers.
Renjiro Ito has dreamed of Selina for five long years. As the Commander of the Justice Officers, the plight of this one woman will turn his life upside down.
But there's more going on than just the fate of one woman—there's a seething underbelly that wants to destroy their newly expanded Federation. The chances of a future together are slim, but they'll take any chances that come their way. Will it be enough?
"Sit down." Renjiro's terse words filled Selina with pain and sadness.
She acceded to his request in silence, holding her throbbing hand against her breast. He squatted before her, his face close to hers, his dark eyes shadowed. His touch was gentle as his fingers traced the line of her jaw. They shook a little and she felt the glancing caress. It warmed her.
He touched a raw spot on her chin and she hissed involuntarily.
"Where else are you injured?"
Selina shook her head.
"Captain Codecko? Selina?"
His gentle words nearly undid her. Tears burned in her eyes and she blinked, hoping to banish them. It didn't work though. They dripped down her face, scalding her frozen cheeks.
Now his hands dropped to her shoulders. "Where else are you hurt, Selina?" His gaze was hypnotic. It drew her words without thought.
"My hand, ribs, and the top of my head."
He frowned and started tugging at her shirt, pulling it free of the loose-fitting pants.
"What… What are you doing?"
He glanced at her, his face taut and strained. "I'm checking your injuries."
Selina blushed, the heat creeping over her face as she pushed at his hands. "No! You can't do that!"
"Just bloody watch me." His rough words surprised her and her hands dropped away. He continued his almost feverish work at her buttons and very quickly he had the shirt open. Selina thanked whatever had made her fasten a bra over her very tiny breasts. With gentle movements, he brushed the old material of her shirt to one side. He hissed through clenched teeth at what he saw. "You need a medic."
"I'm fine. I've lived through this before. Of greater concern to me is whether I'm going to be charged for causing the riot. I was just—"
"I know. Having a quiet drink. We checked the spy eyes. You will be free to go, so long as we can put together a suitable argument. But I have a proposition. One that would help you, I think."
In her experience, propositions never ended well, but she was desperate enough to listen to what he had to say. So she watched in mute silence as he rose. He backed away as she quickly refastened her shirt. Then he paced to the end of the room and back.
"I've just received a communiqué that there's some Indies about to plan an attack on this moon base. I need people I can trust to get information for me."
She waited. But as he started pacing again, it seemed she would need to ask the question. "What's in it for me?"
Selina held her breath. Waiting.
"I might be able to swing an official citizenship for you."
Just like that, he could brush away all the difficulties she had faced since the end of the war. But trusting people didn't come easily. Not for her. "You can just click your fingers and make that happen?"
He faced her again. His eyes shone almost feverishly bright under the lighting of the room. "No. But I know someone who might be able to make it happen, if you agree."
"Why? Why would you help me?"
He smiled. "Because I owe you."
Musings from Michigan