Date Published: Dec 2015 (orig) Re-released April 2018
Fate is fickle. At least that’s how Zoey Morgan sees it. As a witch old enough to know better, yet too sexy for any man to resist, she is tired of running. From her past. From the pain. But especially from her worst nightmare. Not being able to save her family from the clutches of a great evil.
Unfortunately, she’d been doing it so long, she isn’t sure how to stop.
That is until an ex-military wolf-shifter crosses her path.
To say Ryan Taylor is a jaded breed of his own is quite the understatement. It seems his past, too, is riddled with enough cynicism to make trusting a woman like Zoey a difficult feat. Still, his innate drive to protect an innocent is as intrinsic as the act of breathing, which makes leaving her to face her demons alone harder than any covert mission.
Their fiery mutual attraction doesn’t help, and it isn’t long before the sparks and fur began to fly, all while Zoey’s past continues to haunt her. With no choice left but to combine military with magic, the two work together to take down Zoey’s nemesis, finally, once and for all.
Date Published: April 2016 (orig) Re-released April 2018
Everyone keeps them for various reasons.
As a witch with power over water, Anna wants her secrets to stay in the past where they belong. All she desires is to enjoy the present, but what she thought was buried long ago, has found a nasty way of coming back to bite her. So hold on tight. Not only is her big bad secret back, but it’s hungry and Anna looks like the perfect entree for dinner.
Pete has secrets of his own. As a Djinn, he is skilled and powerful enough to cajole Anna to tell him hers, although he knows he may have to confess up some of his own deep dark nightmares. When she learns his secrets will she still look at him the same way? Or will she take a chance on what could be? Not that it matters. Pete isn’t ready to let her go. She is his soulmate whether she is ready to admit it or not. One way or another, he will make her realize they are meant to be together, even if he has to follow her to hell to do so.
A lift of Ryan’s brow was the only indication he gave in acknowledgement the woman had grabbed her a handful of his family jewels through his blue jeans. He had quickly decided she looked even better close up than from where he had been observing at the bar. Long black hair with a slight curl fell to the middle of her back, and the sweet, sexy curve of her ass made his mouth water. Her legs were stacked in some heels making said ass tilt up just right. Damn, he would love to sink his canines into that bit of flesh encased in leather. Her legs seemed to go on forever, and he could envision them wrapped around him, her soft soprano begging for more. Blinking at the biker, he cocked a brow, challenging the man to try something in the middle of the dance floor. The woman’s body language told Ryan she wanted out of the other man’s grip and he was just the type to help a damsel in distress.
Luckily the bodies dancing around them moved away from the three as if they were sensing the tension, and not coming close to it. Damn good thing he had learned to be a quick thinker on his feet, ’cause this dark haired beauty had her nice compact body plastered to his before he could blink. Her lush, curvy body fit right against his in all the right places. Rough hands connected with her shapely hips, holding her firmly in place. The growl and stomping off from Roman were ignored by both of them.
“What’s your name, Sweetheart?” Ryan asked the sex kitten in his arms.
“Zoey. My name is Zoey.” Her breathless reply made Ryan look down at her and smile.
“What’s yours, other than Texas?” Zoey asked him, her arms wrapped around him, holding tight as their feet scraped against hardwood in a slow, sensuous circle. As Ryan’s body swayed with hers to the music he wondered if the husky, yet breathless sound came from her when the music changed gradually from a heart pumping staccato to a mellow, sensual rhythm.
“Ryan Taylor, ma’am.” His laugh was filled with amusement at the nickname she called him. Women always said they loved his accent.
“Thanks, Handsome, for your help. I didn’t want to kick his ass in front of his friends,” Zoey said so matter of fact it made Ryan chuckle. He did a slight tip of an imaginary hat in acknowledgment for the rescue.
“He’d probably enjoy your hands all over him while you did,” Ryan said in amusement and began moving them in a leisurely shuffle around the wooden dance floor. Doing so to keep up the appearance of them being a couple and to keep the male from coming back to try anything else with Zoey.
“What about you?” She arched a brow. “Do you enjoy my hands on you?” Her eyes zeroed in on Ryan’s sensual lips. “Because if you do, you’d really like my mouth.”
“I’m sure it would be a pleasure, Darlin’, to have those hands and mouth of yours on me.” Luscious curves slid against his like they were one. No woman before had been this attuned and in sync as they danced, making Ryan a little edgy at how normal it felt.
“Tell me something, Sweetness. Why is a pretty thing like you in a ratty town like this?” Ryan wasn’t one to believe in the bullshit of karma, fate, or things happening for a reason. He trusted his instincts and facts. It’s what kept him alive.
“Long story Ryan.” She appeared cool and in control, but he could tell by the tiny shivers and goosebumps she was more than a little affected by his presence.
“Get a room!” a voice hollered from behind them. For a moment, Ryan could feel Zoey stiffen in his arms. He could tell she had recognized the woman who had shouted, because she looked over her shoulder and grinned before giving all of her attention back to him.
“You’re in luck, Ryan. I’ve got all night long,” Zoey replied in a deep husky rumble prompting all types of carnal delights.
“All night huh?” Damn, he loved the sound of her raucous laugh, full of life, which broke free as they swung out into the middle of the dancing crowd. Ryan’s version of the Texas Two-Step kept their bodies pressed together. Even the crowd gave them a wide berth as if each person knew what a bad idea it was to mess with him.
“What do I get for telling you why I’m in town? Hmm?” When Zoey spoke her lips rested on his ear and smiled with satisfaction when goosebumps rose and his monster erection jerked against the zipper of his jeans. For some reason, her body assured her mind, Ryan wouldn’t be all tease, but into wild kinky sex. The wolf, whose hands were on her ass, would make it almost impossible for her to walk normally come morning, and wouldn’t that put a smile on her face, perhaps for days. The memory would definitely keep her warm on a cold winter’s night
“Darlin’, I can show you all kinds of wonders,” Ryan said, promise lacing his words. The song changed up from the mediocre song to a slow tune, making them come to a standstill. It worked out just right as far as Zoey was concerned, since they ended up in a dark corner swaying to the melody. A shadowed environment ensured them some privacy, and total privacy is what she wanted with Ryan.
What darkness there was allowed her to rub up against Ryan like a cat in heat. Their movements were just enough to mimic dancing, but swaying to the beat was the last thing on her mind. The hands-on approach was more her style, and she let her fingers trace the sculpted musculature of his chest. Oh, how thankful she was to his broad shoulders for blocking prying eyes looking in their direction.
Ryan’s body was a living flame beneath her fingers. She watched as the bright blue of his eyes darkened in response to her scent. With just a subtle movement, he had her pinned against the wall making her murmur deep in her throat. Bodies melted together against the rough cream stucco. Zoey whimpered when he moved his hips to align with her sweet spot.
“Darlin’ your sweetness is like a subtle breeze of honeysuckle on a hot country night.” Shivering when Ryan’s lips grazed her ear, Zoey turned her face, wanting to taste the power behind the man once more. Anything she would have said was lost when his mouth connected with hers. He took what he wanted as if he hadn’t had a woman in forever, and she was just as starved for what he could give.
Even as Ryan kissed her, questions rolled across her mind like a movie. Where was he from? Did those dog tags mean he was in the military or were they from a loved one? Did he have a family? Friends? Did he even live around here? But all those questions disappeared as electricity zinged right through her body centering low in her belly with each furtive flick of his tongue. She had a moment to thank the gods her black leather skirt would hide the wetness of her panties because they were soaked. She had to curb the urge to rub her legs together until he backed her up against the wall. Tilting her head to deepen their kiss, Zoey gave herself over to Ryan completely.
Her top squeezed the girls as her breasts swelled. Her entire being anticipated the moment she would strip and his big hands would be on her skin. She fought the temptation to wrap her legs around his waist just to have the monster in his pants between her thighs. Was it as long and thick as it felt through his jeans or was he all show with nothing of substance behind it? Her mouth watered just thinking about it. Thankfully, neither one of them had any qualms about feeling the other up, even as he broke the kiss to zero in on her neck. Eyes closed Zoey drifted in a sexual hazy where everyone and everything ceased to exist.
“It’s a little hot in here, don’t you think Texas?” Zoey said, weaving her arms around his neck. “I know I’m all hot and bothered.” She didn’t resist the temptation to suck his earlobe between her lips after she whispered her latest tease.
Zoey could just imagine those cold nights being burned by the hot man under her fingertips, and ratcheted up her lust tenfold.
Zoey had no idea what drew her attention away from Ryan, but when she opened her eyes, she spied the one person she never wanted to see again. Phillip. But good ole Phil was not alone. He’d made himself some new, very dangerous friends. How the hell had he found her? Even if she hadn’t known who walked in the door, Phillip and his entourage were definitely out of place with their Miami Vice style of dress. Not too bright to walk into a redneck bar dressed in a yellow tee, white pants with matching jacket. Witch Hunters. The vermin of the human world in her opinion.
“Venántium.” She whispered the warning to every witch in the bar, knowing full well they would hear and understand. Watching Phillip out of the corner of her eye, Zoey tried distracting the wolf using her mouth against the soft skin below his ear, her mind racing for an escape plan. There weren’t many options available to her, but Zoey chose the best; it all depended upon the sexy wolf in front of her. “Texas, as much as I love all this foreplay, why don’t you buy me a beer while I powder my nose. We can talk about where we go from here when I get back.” Soft hands slid down the front of his sculpted body, her eyes locked with his, to hold the bulge in his jeans. Fingers wrapped around the thick, steel rod as best as they could through the denim material. Rather than kiss him, Zoey nipped the skin of his throat, making him growl, before using his body to cover her escape to the ladies room. A well-earned smirk flit across her face when Zoey heard the jingling in her hand. With prize in hand, she started to look for a way out of the bar. She just had to get the hell out of there.
Once inside the bathroom, her heart pounding, Zoey leaned her forehead against her reflection trying to think of a way out of this mess. The sudden noise behind her scared the shit out of her and she jumped, turning around only to come face to face with a drunken human. She smiled at the woman, her jumbled words making her nod even though she could barely understand the slurred speech.
“Isss okay honey. Men ‘r shit.”
In this case, Zoey didn’t agree for most men, but the Hunters scared even her. Especially ones who had something to prove, like Phillip.
“Yeah, they are aren’t they?” Waiting for the woman to leave, Zoey started to pace on the cracked linoleum floor. Phillip and his goons wouldn’t let something like a bathroom door stop them from getting what they wanted. So how the hell was she going to get out of here? Noise from outside the bar made her turn her head toward the frosted pane of glass, located head height on the back wall. Not wasting a single second, Zoey tried the window, praying to the Goddess it was unlocked.
“Oh thank the Goddess,” she muttered, lifting the sash. The cold frigid air drifted into the room before she hoisted herself up and out. Falling into the dirty pile of, well she really didn’t want to know what she had fallen into, Zoey dusted herself off and ran. The keys taken from the hot Wolf’s pocket burned their shape into her hand as if telling her to go back; to trust him. Trust wasn’t something she could afford. Not where Phillip was concerned. She’d made that mistake once. Never again.
HELL ON THE HEART EXCERPT:
The woman knew how to dampen his good mood really quick, Pete thought wiping the water from his face. Slowly he stood up, making sure to set the basket on the side table. Anna must have seen the look on his face because she took a step back pickle halfway to her mouth.
“Actually, I do. Could have done without the food getting wet.” He looked down at his jeans that were now plastered to the front of him. There was nothing he hated more than wet denim sticking to his skin. “I think you owe me now. Yes. Definitely owe me a home cooked meal.” Ignoring the sound of protest, he unsnapped the top of his jeans intent on taking off the damp material. There wasn’t a shy bone in his body as he popped the rest of the buttons exposing his black boxers with red hearts on them. The only thing that stopped him was the strangled sound coming from Anna. Her eyes were as big as saucers and she seemed to be sucking on the pickle in her mouth. Mr. Happy gave a jerk from behind his valentine boxers. If only those lush lips were somewhere else.
“Yo, Princess. Dinner.” He grinned watching her nod, eyes riveted to his happy camper, while his were on the fullness of her mouth. Seeing the delicate muscles of her throat working on the juices of the pickle was killing him.
“Yes. Sex. I mean dinner.” Shit but she was gorgeous all flustered. Made him wonder how beautiful she would look lost in passion, and as much as he wanted to let her Freudian slip go, he just couldn’t bring himself to do so.
“Sex and dinner? Now we’re talkin’”
“What? I said nothing about having sex. Especially with you.”
“Yes you did.”
“I did not and you can’t prove that I did.”
“Wanna bet?” He asked pushing his jeans down enough to get her attention. The pickle all but fell out of her hands
“Yes. I mean NO.” He started laughing when she finally gave up on the pickle and covered her eyes with her hand. “You —you’re messing with me. Stop it!”
“Well if you insist blondie. I bet you deny yourself when it comes to the opposite sex. Yep. I think that’s why you’re so mean to me. You want my body. I’m flattered I really am. I mean who wouldn’t want me.” He had said that with a straight face, but he could tell he was getting to her by the way her lips started twitching in laughter. “With all the neat little decorations covering nice defined muscles and let’s not forget the creations granted me with a nice package.”
“Apparently the water wasn’t cold enough.” Her laugh was a musical tone Mr. Happy truly appreciated.
“Aww now don’t be like that. You know you’d like to touch all this with your ruby red lips.” She just doubled over laughing at him. A tiny sniff was all he did in response to her amusement on his behalf. The woman was taking great pleasure in his teasing. His fingers peeled the wet pants the rest of the way off, after he kicked off his work boots. Tossing the damp mess over the porch railing, he sat back down to assess the water damage to his lunch.
Doubled over laughing, she couldn’t believe he was such an arrogant ass. Believing all women would fawn over him, fighting to get to touch him. It made her roll her eyes a time or two. Until she stood up anyway and saw him sitting there in nothing but his too small boxer shorts. Yeah, they were way too small for the package he tried to stuff in them. She felt her face redden but couldn’t keep from staring at him. She wondered what it would feel like to…
“Aw hell you got the book wet Tessa sent,” He grouched at her, shaking some paperback he pulled from the depths of the basket. “and it’s the one I’ve not read yet.” She noticed the cover had some man and woman in a lip lock on some ship. She knew him, Tessa, and Zoey exchanged books. But she had been joking when she had told him to stop reading smut. The man actually read romance books.
“I’ll buy you another book. Gawd no reason to howl over the thing getting wet.” It was kind of comical the way he was smoothing out the pages and all, but she bit her bottom lip this time and kept the giggle wanting to escape inside. “It’s just a book for goodness sake.”
“Harrumph this coming from a woman who picks weeds out of the garden, and sells them to the town folks, as some herbal remedy to what ails you.”
“I bet I can find one of those weeds to make you feel better about the book too.” She snapped her fingers and the book was like brand new. “Now that I see what you’re reading, it makes sense for your latest conquests be off the street corner.”
“Hey now that’s my future baby’s mama you’re talking about. Although I’m taking applications for the position.” The wiggling of his brows made her shake her head at the man. “Come on I promise not to bite — unless you want me to.” Snapping his pearly whites at her she swore her core clenched at the idea of him doing those things with his mouth, on her body.
“No. I’ve not had my rabies shots this year. Besides I’m sure you have them lined up.” No way would she be just another notch on this man’s belt.
“How much longer?” She nodded toward Ryan and Zoey’s house.
“It will be done by the time they get home. I have some contractors coming out tomorrow to help close it all in so I can start on the inside.” She watched as he tossed a soggy loaf of bread over his shoulder to land with a splat on the ground, she should feel bad about dousing his lunch, but then she wouldn’t haven’t gotten to ogle his physique in boxers. Gods knows it would have been a shame, because he was definitely a nice piece of eye candy.
“Can you show me around?” Another smirk as her eyes memorized every sculpted ab. “Or are you too busy reading your, um book.” She may have conjured a dry book, but every gesture implied he was impotent. “After all, I wouldn’t want your flavor-of-the-night to think you didn’t know how to get it up.”
“Sorry to disappoint but my flavor thinks it’s manly to read all this smut. I bet you’re a newspaper and magazine reader.” Doing some sort flick of his wrist Pete had his jeans back on and the basket, and book gone when he stood up holding his hand out to her.
“Come on little one let me show you the big bad wolf’s cottage. If you huff and puff though it’s not going to fall down.”
Eyes rolled. She couldn’t help it. “You sure your flavor even reads?” Yes, she was being snarky, bitchy even, but she had been burnt by his type so many times. She didn’t trust her instincts anymore.
“What is it you think my flavor type is?” He asked tugging on her hand and dragging her towards the house.
More eye rolls all behind his back, but it took her a moment to answer with so many things to watch out for so that she didn’t trip. “It’s rather obvious. Meek, big breasted, small brained and eager to feed your ego.” The laugh her comment elicited was one of those full belly laughs, almost contagious.
“I think sweet pea you assume a lot.” She almost ran into his muscular backside, when he stopped suddenly, turning around and shine that megawatt smile on her. “I’ll have you know, I much prefer women that are smart and can do more than giggle at everything I say, while sounding like they are out of air. I have no need for ones who just want to screw my brains out because they like my body.”
“But you just claimed every woman wants your body…wow.” Though the walls were not up, she envisioned what Zoey and Ryan’s house would look like once Pete had finished with it. Wall studs stood just waiting to be enveloped in the arms of this family. “Show me around big boy and we’ll fix your sex life later.”
“My sex life it just fine without your help.” he proceeded to show her where each room was, and what would be located upstairs. The bedrooms and playroom for the kids.
As she looked at the spacious place she could only wish someday that she met someone who would fill a house full of laughter and make it a warm place to curl up under a blanket, watch the snowflakes fall through a frosted glass paned window. She always envisioned herself sitting at a window seat, drinking tea and reading a book her belly filled with child, but it seemed a far off dream.
“Wait, where’s the workshop?” She narrowed her eyes at Pete. “Is this one of those changes you and Ryan were conspiring about? Zoey told us you might try to change things.” The table, with plans laid out beckoned. Even though she didn’t have a clue as to what she was looking at, Anna unrolled the blueprints looking for changes.
Pete’s hand slapped down over top of the paper, to block her view of the lines and scribbles.
“Now why worry your pretty little head about these. There is a workshop.” Anna narrowed her eyes at him before jerking the prints out from under his hand. He could tell by the way she turned them every which way, she didn’t know how to read them. Standing there, arms crossed, he chuckled letting her muddle through before having enough of her high handedness. “Let’s not overtax your brain shall we.”
Just as he expected she stammered like a fish with no water. He reached out and tipped her chin up to close her mouth, taking the papers out of her grasp and rolled them up.
“If you follow me I’ll show you where it is before you get lock jaw.” She snorted, following him towards the back of the house where the frame of the greenhouse, and the workshop stood. Zoey had originally wanted them on the side of the house, but he and Ryan agreed it would be more in lines with the house if it butted up against the tree line.
He watched her as she walked in the framed in rooms, for a sprite little thing, she shone like the sun as she looked at the two buildings. With maybe just a little envy on her part too, not that he blamed her. Ryan was so enamored of Zoey, he’d give her the moon if he could. They had the kind of relationship Pete could only dream about or watch on television. The fates had played a cruel hand and decided he wasn’t good enough to garner such a life.
Part of him wondered what it would feel like to love a woman so profoundly, living the life he had was a lonely existence. All the assumptions Anna had made about him were partially true. Although he wouldn’t admit he like the occasional company of a woman such as her over the air heads she described. Being a Djinn and living as long as he had, in its own way, created who he had become. And arrogant man, full of pride and no home to call his own.
“Zoey said this was going to be on the side, not the back.” She informed him brushing saw dust off her hands.
“I know. But you missed the big boys telling her it would be better suited where it’s going.”
“You know she’s going to have you and Ryan’s ass if this isn’t like she wanted it.” It was his turn to roll his eyes at her and maneuver her back towards the garden where she could pick her herbs.
“Trust me I know. I’ve seen her in action. Now try not to trip over the nail boxes on your way out.”
“Yeah, yeah.” She waved him off. Chauvinistic butthead. “When you’re ready for help painting let me know.”
Shit. Why had she said offered to help? It would mean being around him all day and it was already hard enough to keep from taking him up on that offer from earlier right then and there. It was either that or strangle him, and at the moment, she was willing to put her hands around his neck—to choke him. Though it would be funny to see what Zoey was going to do to him once she discovered her workshop and greenhouse moved without her say so. Not that she would go against her friend, but she had to admit, both buildings did look better. Almost as if the workshop and greenhouse were part of the wood instead of separated.
“I’ll make a deal with you,” she smirked at his narrowed eyes. “I’ll buy you dinner if you help me pull the ‘weeds’ from the garden.”
“Wait let me make sure I get the terms of this dinner proposal of yours. I go kneel in the garden of Eden and pull sticks. In return you feed me dinner in town at the local eatery? Why not? Let me grab a shirt so the bugs don’t think I taste sugary sweet and bite me.” He took a step towards her and the warmth of his body, plus all the bare skin made her heart stutter. She didn’t realize she leaned into the musky scent until he pulled back with his white t-shirt in hand a smug look on his face of catching her in the act of inhaling. “As for the offer of helping me paint, be here next Friday butt crack of dawn.”
Hope’s Contact Info:
Hope grew up in a small resort area in Michigan where she and her husband still live today. As the third child of four, she had an exhaustive imagination. From straddling the back porch railing as a wild cowgirl, to saving the world as Wonder Woman complete with homemade bullet stopping bracelets. She was always taking what she read and making it as real as she could, now if she could just find the wolf shifter of her dreams…
Love of reading began at an early age, due to a first-grade teacher living next door, and her own father reading bible stories to her before bed each night. It was cemented in elementary when she discovered scholastic books, specifically Marguerite Henry’s Misty of Chincoteague. Her love of horses and reading has never diminished, even after her husband took her to Chincoteague Island for their honeymoon.
Finding her a true comrade in Alicia Dawn, Hope forged on an adventure in Role Playing that continued to feed her imagination till it became a living thing. With Alicia’s encouragement, they turned their friendship into a writing partnership that will last well beyond the Magical Forces series.
The mother of two daughters, she has always tried to instill the love of reading into their lives. Now with grandchildren running around, she will continue to instill the love of reading into their lives by sharing treasured stories.
Alicia’s Contact Info:
Your average 9-5 work-alcoholic that took care of every day business. After 10 long years of having no life, outside of home and work, she found Facebook as so many others had. Always having the passion, since she was in the fourth grade, to read and write, she got drawn into the Role Playing world. Living, via roleplay, a place where stories picked up and continued on even after the book was done. This was a whole new world.
Loving that the stories, she had devoured and loved to read were now never ending. She became captivated by all the tales that others with the same passion created, and Role Played out on Facebook. Getting drawn into something that she had never done before, but always in back of her mind wished she could do, Alicia started Role Playing on Facebook in 2010, meeting Nikita Jakz along the way, and many other fascinating people.
After a year, she decided to be an adventurist and create her own characters. Not unlike what all authors do, when creating those awesome books that she had coveted and devoured when they came out. Joining a group of independent writers. A lot of voices were yearning to be wrote and she got busy working on letting them out!
With four books self-published in paranormal and one in young adult, she is working on a new paranormal series with writing partner Hope Daniels.