Take Me Book Blitz

Take Me

by Amber Lin & Shari Slade, Anna Zaires & Dima Zales, CD Reiss, Gemma James, Jenika Snow, Kendall Ryan, Lynda Chance, Pam Godwin, Pepper Winters, Shay Savage, Skye Warren

Publication Date: February 3, 2015
Genres: Anthology, Contemporary, Erotic, Romance

Blitz: Take Me Anthology

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Surrender to desire with 12 books by the hottest names in dark romance, including bestselling authors Pepper Winters, Anna Zaires, and Lynda Chance.

CD Reiss – Spin
Jenika Snow – A Beautiful Prison
Pepper Winters – Destroyed
Skye Warren – Trust in Me
Kendall Ryan – Unravel Me
Anna Zaires & Dima Zales – Twist Me
Shay Savage – Otherwise Alone & Otherwise Occupied
Amber Lin & Shari Slade – Three Nights with a Rock Star
Pam Godwin – Deliver
Lynda Chance – Marco’s Redemption
Gemma James – Torrent

These e-books would cost over $40 if purchased separately. This set will only be available for a limited time, so order your copy now!

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About the Authors

Please consider following the authors to find out more about their books…

Pepper Winters – Website | Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter

Skye Warren – Website | Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter

Kendall Ryan – Website | Facebook | Twitter

Pam Godwin – Website | Facebook | Twitter

Gemma James – Website | Facebook | Twitter

Amber Lin – Website | Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter

Shari Slade – Website | Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter

Jenika Snow –Website | Facebook | Twitter

Shay Savage – Website | Facebook | Twitter

Anna Zaires – Website | Facebook | Twitter

Dima Zales – Website | Facebook | Twitter

Lynda Chance – Website | Facebook

CD Reiss – Website | Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter

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One Kiss with a Rock Star Release Day

Release Day

One Kiss with a Rock Star

Half-Life #2

by Amber Lin and Shari Slade

Date of Publication: November 6, 2014

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About the Book

Half-Life bassist Krist Mellas is caught in a PR nightmare after his dirty sex video blew up online. His agent has the solution: a fake engagement with sultry pop princess Madeline Fox. Krist can’t think of anything worse than a charade with the bubblegum bombshell…except losing the band.

Madeline knows better than anyone what it means to live a lie in the spotlight. She’s determined to help Krist without ever letting him find out what it costs her—or about her girlhood crush on him. But after a smoking hot back alley encounter with him leaves her breathless, she can’t deny she wants the snarling bad-boy rocker.

In a world of glitter and diamonds where the kisses are fake but the climaxes are real, their facades start to crack. And the publicity storm may shatter them both.

WARNING: This book contains a scorching threesome, a dirty talking pop princess, and a surly rocker who hits all the right notes.

OneKissWithARockStar-AvailableNow

Purchase Links

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Excerpt

There was a moment, after the makeup artist and hair stylist had gone, before the choreographer and director had arrived, that Madeline was alone. The silence disoriented her, making her pulse heavy.

It was like stepping off a carousel, unsteady on her feet and squinting into the sun. Though in her case, she was unsteady on four-inch heels and blinking at fashion lights lining the wall. Her short puffs of breath expanded to fill the empty dressing room. Every piece of clothing that had been specially crafted and fitted to her body suddenly tugged and scratched and pinched.

The door slammed open—no knock—and her choreographer stood there. Just like that, the off-kilter moment was over, banished to the Island of Misfit Memories. She was Madeline Fox again, back in her groove. Adequate singer. Dazzling performer. She was a goddamn pop princess—and princesses never had to be alone.

“Oh, sweetheart,” Jimmy said in his customary affected voice. “You look fabulous.”

Doing a little circle to show off her costume, she preened. Literally preened since she had feathers glued onto her arms. “Are you sure I don’t look a little…avian?”

“Please. No one will be looking at your arms in that glitter bra. Every boy in the audience will have a hard-on the size of Texas.”

Madeline rolled her eyes. Jimmy had been saying that to her since she was fifteen. He got away with it because he pretended to be gay. A requirement for being successful in this business, or so he’d told her in a rare moment of seriousness.

“Come on, sweetie. Your devil awaits you.”

She clapped her hands together, barely holding in her squee. She hadn’t been sure Krist would come. Even though he owed her. Even though she’d sent their mutual agent to ensure that extra push. “Ward came through for me?”

Right on cue, Ward entered stage right. Alex Ward had a man’s name and the personality of a shark. In short, she was the perfect agent. “I always come through for you. You’re the best, and you deserve the best.”

“Aww, I bet you say that to all the multiplatinum artists.”

Ward didn’t deny it. But then, she might not have heard. She was currently speaking into her Bluetooth while tapping the tablet propped over her arm.

The important thing was Madeline would get to see Krist today. She’d get to kiss him. And now she was nervous.

She was never nervous.

The spicy scent of warm chai hit her like an orgasm. “Fuuuuck. Someone is about to be my best friend.”

A latte cup was lifted from behind Jimmy’s head. Her assistant. God bless assistants, really. Especially this one, who’d brought her chai. Piper? Penelope? Was it a boy or a girl? Not that it mattered. Madeline swung both ways.

But before she could grab hold of the cup, her voice coach was there with her endless litany of rules and regulations. No smoking. No drinking. No deep throating. Blah blah blah. And definitely no chai before a performance.

“Hey,” Madeline said, pouting. “I’m not even going to be singing.”

Her agent glanced over. “Oh, we changed that. We want some vocals off the main track for a director’s cut. That one’s going on YouTube.”

Jimmy winked. “A little improv goes a long way.”

All righty, so she would sing. In front of Krist Mellas, bass player and vocalist for Half-Life. Her stomach turned over as she grabbed the chai and took a drink. It wasn’t spiked, so the assistant whoever-the-fuck was clearly still in training mode. Big girls got a shot with their latte, and Madeline had been a big girl since she turned fourteen on the set of KidMania five years ago.

The sea of people pushed her along.

No one specifically told her to move. No one asked. They just moved, and she had no choice but to move with them. She didn’t want a choice. This was easy. This was mindless. Swivel your hips and sing until it hurts.

This was her life.

From ONE KISS WITH A ROCK STAR by Amber Lin and Shari Slade

Also by this Author

Book One in the Half-Life Series

Three Nights with a Rock Star (Half-Life #1)

When Hailey crashes a Half-Life after party, she expects to find the bastard who knocked up her little sister. Instead she meets the sexy front-man who agrees to give her access to his crew if she gives him access to her body.

All Lock demands in return is three days of complete control over the Sunday School teacher. With a contract, because he’s been burned before. One misstep could send the band—and his tenuous sobriety—up in flames.

Hailey and Lock push each other’s limits… Against the penthouse window. Backstage. In the limo and on the elevator. But as the contract counts down, neither are ready for the party to end.

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What People Are Saying

“This book will ROCK YOUR SOCKS RIGHT OFF!” – Red’s Hot Reads

“Three Nights with a Rock Star has the love story, the push you up against a door sex, and the holy hell I can’t believe they’re doing that ménage sex, but it also has the sweetness of family and the heartbreak of possible betrayals, broken friendships, and leaked sex tapes. I cannot wait to read Krist’s story, One Kiss with a Rock Star!” – Hines and Bingam’s Literary Tryst

“The chemistry between Lock and Hailey is blistering. Sparks flew the first time they saw each other. It was nice to see that both main characters had issues to work through to be able to maintain a relationship between them.” – Cocktails and Books

“Three Nights With A Rock Star was right up my ally, I loved every minute of it! From the sexy lead singer Lock, to the cute mousy Hailey. I’m more than looking forward to the next book One Kiss with a Rock Star.” – Books Unhinged

 Teaser-WindUpAbout the Author

Amber Lin writes erotic romance with damaged souls and deep emotion.

Her debut novel, Giving It Up, received The Romance Review’s Top Pick, Night Owl Top Pick, and 5 Blue Ribbons from Romance Junkies. RT Book Reviews gave it 4.5 stars, calling it “truly extraordinary.” She has been published by Loose Id, Carina Press, and Entangled.

Amber married her high school sweetheart, birthed a kid who’s smarter than she is, and spends her nights writing down her dirty thoughts. In other words, life is good.

Connect With the Author

Website // Twitter // Facebook // Goodreads

 

Shari Slade is a snarky optimist. A would-be academic with big dreams and very little means. When she isn’t toiling away in the non-profit sector, she’s writing gritty stories about identity and people who make terrible choices in the name of love (or lust). Somehow, it all works out in the end. If she had a patronus it would be a platypus.

Connect With the Author

Website // Twitter // Facebook // Goodreads

Danger & Desire Sale Alert

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A box set you don’t want to miss out on!

FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY

Get this set of ten full-length books for .99 cents!!!

About Danger and Desire:

Hold on tight for ten full-length books of intrigue and passion from New York Times Bestselling and award-winning authors. Men in uniform, sexy spies and pulse-pounding action fill over 750,000 words of this limited edition boxed set.

New York Times Bestseller Katie ReusSensual Surrender
RITA Award Winning Author Carolyn CraneAgainst the Dark
USA Today Bestseller Pamela ClareSkin Deep
New York Times Bestseller Dianna LoveDeceptive Treasures
Dee J. AdamsAgainst the Wall
USA Today Bestseller Norah WilsonGuarding Suzannah
USA Today Bestseller VK SykesLethal Confessions
Amber LinGiving It Up
USA Today Bestseller Misty EvansDeadly Pursuit
New York Times Bestseller Kaylea CrossSinged

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The individual novels cost over $35 in total and have more than 2,000 5-star reviews on Goodreads.

This set is only available for a limited time, so grab your copy NOW!

 

Get Danger and Desire for only 99 cents!!

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Praise for Danger and Desire

“Against the Dark is briskly action-packed, genuinely suspenseful, wryly witty, and hot. Plus it has a villain who’s so evil it’s quite a satisfying thrill when he gets his comeuppance.” – Dear Author, for Against the Dark by Carolyn Crane

“Action packed, sexy and lots of fun. I definitely recommend this one.” – Smexy Books, for Against the Dark by Carolyn Crane

“I loved, loved, loved this book. Jay was an incredible hero, strong, determined, caring and above everything else a protector.” – Sofia Loves Reading, for Sensual Surrender by Katie Reus

“Sensual Surrender has a quick start and just keeps going until the very end. Jay and Ellie are a great couple.” – Books N Kisses, for Sensual Surrender by Katie Reus

“Skin Deep is another fantastic read by Pamela Clare. It was such a beautiful tale to see these two people find their happily ever after with partners that deserved their affection.” – Riverina Romantics, for Skin Deep by Pamela Clare

“Their story is truly a beautiful love story. This book was very good with action, drama, and lots of tenderness.” – Shooting Stars Reviews, for Skin Deep by Pamela Clare

“This was an action-packed and pulse-pounding read with some surprising, gasp-worthy twists and turns. I was caught off guard more than once by developments I hadn’t seen coming and moved by characters who left an impression.” – One Good Book, for Against the Wall by Dee J Adams

“…leave you breathless… DECEPTIVE TREASURES is the fifth book in the SLYE TEMP series and is just as compelling as the first four books.” Billie Jo, Romance Junkies, for Deceptive Treasures by NYT bestseller Dianna Love

 

Danger and Desire is only available for two more weeks. Get it before it’s gone!

 

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Lin, Amber: Betraying Mercy

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Amber will be awarding a $10 gift card to Amazon to a randomly drawn winner via the rafflecopter at the end of this post. Please click the banner to visit other stops on this tour.

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Can she be more than a mistress?

With a tarnished reputation, Mercy Lyndhurst expected to become the Earl of Rochford’s mistress, not his wife. Immediately abandoned by her husband after their wedding, Mercy transformed herself from commoner to countess, vowing to protect the lands and people her husband was forced to leave.

Over the past six years, William has restored the family fortune all the while tortured by his memories of Mercy…and the dark night he killed a man. When a threat draws him home, William learns just how much has changed—including his wife. While the passion still flares between them, he fears he has wounded her too badly to regain her trust. But as the danger grows they must unite to save the estate…and possibly their marriage.

Buy Links:

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Betraying-Mercy-Historical-Romance-Amber-ebook/dp/B00JTPU42G

Barnes and Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/betraying-mercy-amber-lin/1119289880?ean=9781460338377

iBooks:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/betraying-mercy/id870403874?mt=11&uo=4

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Now enjoy an excerpt:

Unlike the night six years ago, Gerald opened the door. The old butler looked shockingly unchanged, as dignified and austere as ever, but William had seen the brief flash of surprise in his eyes, and joy.

Here was his childhood nemesis and his old best friend. William blinked, caught in the memories, but this was real. Not everything changed; not everyone had died. He hadn’t left a wife to fend for herself in a strange household.

“Lord William!” Gerald said, then caught himself. “My apologies, sir. Lord Rochford.”

William ducked his head, humbled by the rare show of discomposure. If William had been born of a different class, he could have embraced the man who raised him. “Hello, Gerald.”

An odd light in his eyes, Gerald examined William from scruffy head to scuffed boots. He lifted an eyebrow. “We weren’t expecting you, sir.”

Just like that, William was both chastised and absolved for the years of his absence. “Wrote me off for dead, I’m sure.”

“You’re too strong for that, my lord.”

William sucked in a breath, thinking of his family. They hadn’t been strong, they’d been fragile. He’d failed his entire family, and Mercy worst of all. “Where is the countess?”

“In the breakfast room, but—”

“What? Is she sick?”

Gerald raised his eyebrow, surprised. “No, my lord. She’s…different.”

Different, that was some explanation. And grave danger another. No one wanted to tell him what the hell was going on, so he’d have to see for himself. He probably looked like a wild animal right now, disheveled from travel and feral in his tiredness. He ought to make himself presentable, if he still remembered how, but he had to see that she was safe.

And maybe also how she was different.

His boot struck a discordant note on the floorboard as he entered the breakfast room. He stopped and stared at the picture of domestic elegance, as colorful as a painting and as foreign as a fairy tale.

The words caught in his throat. What’s wrong? Are you hurt? And then, when he had at least ascertained visually her relative safety, Did you think of me every night, as well?

Mercy, the Countess of Rochford, his wife, took a sip of coffee, her gaze glued to the book she held. Her black tresses coiled upward into an elaborate coiffure. A pale gold dress clasped her slim form and a collar of cream pearls graced her neck.

On her finger, the emerald ring he’d given her on that night sparkled innocently. His grandfather had given it to him. A strange gift to a young boy, but he’d hoarded it all the years since his death. Until that night. His one piece of wealth in the world, and he’d given it to her.

She looked every inch the lady. Well, she was one. A countess after all, but in every memory, every fantasy, he had seen the young waif. He had imagined her roaming the shadowed halls, like a ghost, but the woman in front of him was so very physical. Flesh he wanted to touch and blood he longed to heat. Desires so long repressed bubbled to the surface. Her beauty made him harden, but her elegance made his heart hurt.

“Don’t sulk, Owen,” she said, her eyes still on her book. “If you have something to say, then spit it—” When she looked up, her mouth froze in a pink little O that made his body come awake.

She looked at him, then at his clothes. His dingy garb suited a vagrant more than the captain of a ship, much less an earl. Her gaze returned to his face, lingering on the scar across his cheek, a souvenir from his first year at sea.

Well, let her look. She had grown into a beauty, whereas he had always been a monster. Now he looked the part. Would she condemn him right away? Would she tell him to leave? She should—no one knew better than her what he was capable of, and already he was undone.

Her mouth snapped shut and tightened. Anger? Fear? He wasn’t sure he could bear the last, but he wouldn’t have to, because her eyes were cool, like the ocean blackened by night. She wasn’t scared; that was him.

She inclined her head. “My lord.”

Had she fallen into hysterics, he would have known what to do. He could have tried to comfort her or order her to stop. That was all he had seen of marriage, but civility was nowhere inside him.

Yet he found himself straightening and offering a slight bow, the strings of his upbringing propping him into place. “My lady.”

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Amber Lin writes edgy romance with damaged hearts, redemptive love, and a steamy ever after. Her debut novel, Giving It Up, received The Romance Review’s Top Pick, Night Owl Top Pick, and 5 Blue Ribbons from Romance Junkies. RT Book Reviews called it “truly extraordinary.” Since then, she has gone on to write erotic, contemporary, and historical romances.

To stay up to date with upcoming releases, sign up for her newsletter: http://authoramberlin.com/newsletter

You can also follow her:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/authoramberlin

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Lin, Amber: Falling for the Pirate, A Men of Fortune Novel

Falling for the Pirate

Title: Falling For The Pirate

Author: Amber Lin

Release Date: July 21st, 2014

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About Falling For The Pirate (Men Of Fortune #2):

 

Falling For The Pirate CoverVengeance is a dish best served in bed…

London, 1812

After the deaths of his parents and a dark, troubled childhood, Captain Nate Bowen vowed he would have his revenge. But he never expected to have the tool of his revenge dropped so neatly into his lap. Juliana Hargate is not only the daughter of his enemy, but is destitute, very much alone—and exquisitely desirable.

And now that Nate has saved her life, she’s at his complete mercy…

Captive. All Juliana wanted was to clear her father’s name. Instead, she’s been struck with amnesia—unable to recall even her name—and imprisoned by a tall, imposing, and entirely unscrupulous pirate.A pirate whose eyes seem to look past her skirts and many petticoats, and whose touch sends delicious ripples of desire through her. With every passing day, she finds herself tempted to give him the very thing he’s determined to take…

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The Men of Fortune Series by Amber Lin:

#1 Letters At Christmas (novella) : Amazon / B&N

Excerpt:

It was warm in the room. Too warm. The blankets were suffocating, and someone had built a strong fire. She could smell the coal.

Coal. There was something about coal, but she couldn’t remember what. Her head felt foggy, as if filled with water, her thoughts adrift in the murky dark. There was something important she had to remember. Floating just beyond her grasp.

Cuts and bruises all over her body made themselves known as she came awake, as if they awoke too, one by one. Her palms burned, as though she’d fallen and scraped them. Her ankle throbbed—possibly she’d twisted it. Her side ached. What had happened to her?

If she held herself very still, the pain dulled to a muffled roar, just quiet enough that she could focus on other things.

Such as where she was.

And who she was.

Her eyes felt glued shut. She opened them by force of will and stared at a plain drapery striped with light and dark blue. Pretty; serviceable. She was almost sure she’d never seen it before. Almost, because she couldn’t remember what she had seen before. She could only feel certain she hadn’t.

The furniture looked heavy. Good quality. Not ornate.

That detail seemed meaningful to her. Not ornate. As if she had once lived somewhere that was ornate—with fancy tapestries and delicately carved furnishings. Somewhere much colder than here.

A faint memory of freezing water and sinewy shadows came to her, tickling her memory. Sinking, drowning. But nothing moved beneath her now, and her throat felt utterly dry. If she’d been in the water at some point, she was most definitely on land now.

She looked around, letting her gaze sweep the cozy room before landing on a large wooden chair. More to the point, the man sleeping in the chair.

His legs were spread wide—bracing himself, even in sleep. His shoulders were well above the back of the chair, his head leaning against the wall behind. He seemed too large for the furniture, like a grown man sitting on a child’s rocker in a nursery. Only, this chair was quite average-sized.

She had a sense of familiarity, of having seen him before. Which was strange, because she didn’t feel like the sort of woman acquainted with pirates.

And this man was most definitely a pirate.

He wore no jacket. She felt faintly scandalized, except he was also alone in the room with her. He was alone in the room with her, which was far worse than being in shirtsleeves. And if that weren’t shocking enough, the ties at his collar hung loose, baring a portion of his chest. Tanned. Sprinkled with dark hair. And wholly inappropriate for her to see.

She looked away—and right into his eyes. He was awake now. He’d been watching her examine him.

“Who are you?” Her voice came out low and rough. What had she been doing last night to make her voice so raw?

And had she been doing it with him?

The pirate stretched slowly, wincing as his body straightened into order. She had the sense he was rolling himself back up, as if he were a tree he had to trim just to stand upright.

“You asked me the same question last night,” he remarked.

His voice vibrated with sarcasm. He didn’t sound happy to greet her this morning. And, in fact, her sense of familiarity was completely misplaced if she’d asked for his name just last night.

“What did you answer?” she asked.

A glimmer of humor shone from his eyes before they went black again. Black like his hair. Black like the sea. He smiled, and the smile was black, too—with irony and annoyance. “I didn’t,” he said. “I’m not in the habit of explaining myself to thieves.”

 

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About Amber Lin:

Amber authorAmber Lin writes erotic romance with damaged souls and deep emotion.

Her debut novel, Giving It Up, received The Romance Review’s Top Pick, Night Owl Top Pick, and 5 Blue Ribbons from Romance Junkies. RT Book Reviews gave it 4.5 stars, calling it “truly extraordinary.” She has been published by Loose Id, Carina Press, and Entangled.

Amber married her high school sweetheart, birthed a kid who’s smarter than she is, and spends her nights writing down her dirty thoughts. In other words, life is good.

Twitter | Amazon Author Page | Facebook | Goodreads | Website

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Lin, Amber: Letters at Christmas

Letters At Christmas Cover

Title: Letters At Christmas

Author: Amber Lin

Release Date: July 7th, 2014

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About Letters At Christmas (Men Of Fortune #1):

Letters At Christmas CoverThree London Seasons. Three Christmases come and gone. Jilted Sidony Harbeck is done waiting for the inconstant Captain Hale Martin to return. Despite their whispered adolescent promises, he never wrote her a single letter. Now the scoundrel has returned, professing his love and a thoughtless bet to woo her, but she only wants him to suffer.

After three years at sea, Hale finally has the means to marry his best friend’s sister and the love of his life. But he only has three days to convince her of his devotion because he stupidly proposes a wager – he’ll convince Sidony to marry him by Christmas or he’ll leave her alone forever.

When Hale sets out to seduce her, the stakes are raised by a passion so intense that Sidony must risk her heart no matter the odds.

 

 

Letters At Christmas is the first book in the Men Of Fortune series. Pick it up for FREE until July 21st!

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Excerpt:

 

HARBECK HALL, LANCASHIRE, ENGLAND
1815

Your absence arrives most strongly at night, conjured by dreams and a gentle sway, with only a cold sweat and a canvas blanket for company.

The more Miss Sidony Harbeck of Harbeck Hall tried to avoid trouble, the more tightly it always seemed to ensnare her.

Sidony had plenty of time to lament this paradox as she sat stranded in the boughs of a frost-brittle tree. Spindly branches snagged on the thin wool of her dress. Her throat felt raw from shouting against the wind. No one came to her rescue.

The servants would be bustling inside, unaware that she was outside at all. Her brother had gone out hunting last night—the excuse he always gave when he visited his lover, a widow the next estate over. Never mind that he always came back freshly starched without having shot anything. At least Poppet was here for company.

The gray cat mewed plaintively from her lap.

“And whose fault is this?” Sidony muttered. “Really, you just decided to go for a stroll. Twenty feet off the ground.”

The thick, rippled windows had distorted her view of the high road and the long drive leading to the hall. So she’d opened them, and while she’d been sitting on the bench, staring out, Poppet must have slipped past her. She might not have noticed, her attention firmly fixed on the horizon, but he’d started crying at the top of his little lungs.

Disconcerted and distracted, Sidony had reached for him. She’d used a branch for leverage and snap—they’d both fallen. Now she was sitting on a sturdier branch, but too far off the ground to jump and too far below the window to climb back inside. It appeared neither she nor Poppet was injured. Her bottom had ached at first, but the cold had quickly numbed her.

Across the sugar-white fields, a smudge of black suddenly appeared. It moved along the familiar road, becoming larger and smudgier.

She scowled in mortification. No. He would not find her like this. She wouldn’t let him. With a surge of determination, she clutched Poppet against her side and scooted closer to the tree trunk. She would jump, that was all. If she broke her leg, well, at least she’d be out of the tree.

She whispered a small prayer under her breath. Poppet chose that moment to dig her claws into her breast. She shrieked and lost her balance. The cat fell. Sidony did too. With a desperate lurch, she tumbled sideways and firmly enmeshed the folds of her skirt into the surrounding branches, clinging to the trunk.

Poppet landed on his feet in the snow below her. He paused and licked his foreleg—as if washing off the human scent. Then he walked demurely around the back of the house, where the cook would probably give him a bowl of warm milk.
Sidony really hated cats.

She tried to straighten, but this new position was even more precarious than the last. Burning cold beneath her legs gave the troubling implication that her skirt had ridden up in the back. Drat it all. She batted branches away from her hair until the neat upsweep drooped heavily to one side. If given the chance, she desperately promised the fickle gods of Fate, she would go inside and never, ever, think of him again.

Really.

Truly.

Except, that would be impossible, as he’d be here any minute.

A rumble from the lane drew her attention. She froze. Time for a new plan. She would remain very still until he’d gone inside. He wouldn’t notice her. Eventually, someone else would find her and help her down. Or she would freeze to death. At this point, she wasn’t picky about the outcome, as long as he didn’t see her like this.

She regretted her choice of festive green dress, which rather stood out from the winter-gray tree and grayer brick behind. Green complimented her fair complexion and hazel eyes, but this fact only made her feel worse, as if she’d been trying to impress him. She also regretted her entirely coincidental perch by her bedchamber window, as if she’d been waiting for him. Which she certainly hadn’t been doing. Never, never, never again.

Voices murmured from around the house, along with all the stomach-clenching sounds of a carriage stopping and a passenger disembarking. The soft crunch of snow grew louder. She studiously trained her gaze on the white horizon.

“Hello, Sidony.” Hale.

She chose not to look down. It seemed safer that way. “Good afternoon.”

A telling pause. “Why are you in a tree?”

“Fresh air is an important component of physical fitness and mental stability.” Or so the ladies’ magazine had reported. “You may go inside now.”
“I would very much like to go inside. It’s been a long journey. And yet, I find myself reluctant to leave you here. In this tree. Can you come down?”

“Of course I can come down. I would have to be very stupid to climb a tree that I couldn’t climb down from.”

“Yes, precisely.” Another pause. “Though it occurs to me that you might not have climbed up. Your window is open.”

“How do you know that’s my window?”

She flushed as her question brought to mind the nights he had been in her room.

“How about this?” he asked reasonably. “In the interest of my mental stability, I’ll help you down. Then if you want to climb the tree again, I won’t stop you.”

Fine, she reluctantly conceded. Better than freezing to death. Marginally. She held out her hand, wishing she’d thought to wear gloves. He was wearing them, of course, and the leather was cool and soft against her trembling fingers. She’d intended to go slowly and carefully, but as soon as he grasped her hand, he pulled. A slight tearing sound came from her dress, and then she was suspended in his arms, clinging to his neck.

She suddenly had more sympathy for Poppet’s predicament; claws would be useful about now.

“Are you all right?” he asked.

Her dress was ripped. Her hair undone. Her pride beaten and shriveled. “Perfectly well, thank you.”

“Of course you are. Sidony Harbeck always lands on her feet.”

She reminded herself it was a compliment. Hale had always liked cats.

As she looked up at him, the brilliance of his smile stopped her cold. It was a nice, handsome smile, but that wasn’t the danger. Those dimples that she had always thought of as adorable had deepened, and were now tanned…and dashing. Debonair, even. When had that happened?

He nestled her comfortably in his arms, with her head tucked beneath his chin, thankfully relieving her of the sight. Instead, she looked at Harbeck Hall, the family estate, through new eyes as they approached. What did Hale think of the new slate turrets? No doubt they looked pedestrian to a man as well travelled. The entire moors must appear plain compared to exotic lagoons or snow-capped mountains.


About Amber Lin:

Amber authorAmber Lin writes erotic romance with damaged souls and deep emotion.

Her debut novel, Giving It Up, received The Romance Review’s Top Pick, Night Owl Top Pick, and 5 Blue Ribbons from Romance Junkies. RT Book Reviews gave it 4.5 stars, calling it “truly extraordinary.” She has been published by Loose Id, Carina Press, and Entangled.

Amber married her high school sweetheart, birthed a kid who’s smarter than she is, and spends her nights writing down her dirty thoughts. In other words, life is good.



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