Posts tagged urban fantasy

Fall into Magic – A Rafflecopter Giveaway – Win a $20 Amazon Giftcard

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To celebrate the pre-order of my latest box set, I’m holding a $20 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway  

Fall into Magic with 20 Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy Reads 

99c Pre-Order

Prepare to be swept away by 20 paranormal romance and urban fantasy tales from today’s NY Times, USA Today, and international bestselling authors! In this limited edition collection, you will find everything from witches to mages, shifters to vampires, demons, faeries, and much more!
 
 
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Including:

NY Times bestselling author Rebecca Hamilton & USA Today bestselling author Conner Kressley
International bestselling author Lia Davis
USA Today bestselling author JC Andrijeski
USA Today bestselling author Rainy Kaye
NY Times bestselling author Laxmi Hariharan
USA Today bestselling author Joanne Wadsworth
USA Today bestselling author J.E. Taylor
NY Times bestselling author SC Green writing as Steffanie Holmes
USA Today bestselling author April Aasheim
NY Times bestselling author K. de Long
USA Today bestselling author L.B. Gilbert
NY Times bestselling author Susan Stec
USA Today bestselling author Noree Cosper
USA Today bestselling author Angela Fristoe
International bestselling author AR DeClerck
International bestselling authors Gina Kincade & Kiki Howell
USA Today bestselling author LJ Swallow
NY Times bestselling author Calinda B
Award Winning author Kristin D. Van Risseghem
USA Today bestselling author Angel Lawson
 

ENTER HERE: 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

**Thank you all for entering. The winner was Denise J and has been contacted via email**

WELCOME to the Annual Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance Book Fair!

PRIZE

The annual UF/PNR Book Fair is a hosted by Genre Crave / Free Kindle Giveaway and aims to bring you ONE HUNDRED of today’s best undiscovered Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance titles along with a chance to win TONS of really amazing titles from today’s hottest authors in the genre.

There is truly something here for everyone! And when you enter our giveaway, we’ll connect you with even more great deals, freebies, and gifts from the participating authors!

THE PRIZE LINE UP:
Win ANY title in ANY format from ALL of the Authors in the image above

We will preorder them to ship directly to YOU!

CLICK HERE TO ENTER

New Paranormal Release from LJ Swallow ~ Torn Souls

Facebook banner Soul tiesThis week sees the re-release of the first two books my new adult urban fantasy series, Soul Ties and Torn Souls.

Torn Souls is available today and is FREE on Kindle Unlimited. Soul Ties released yesterday for 99c.

“Demons and angels, heaven and hell; they’re not what you think. And somewhere lost in the middle their war are people like me.”

Set in a city in the UK, this series follows the story of Ava, Keir, Jack and Dahlia as they struggle to find their way in the world where the lines between good and evil aren’t clear. Tied by events that bring them together, these enemies must learn to trust each other to survive in the war intensifying around them.

Torn Souls (Soul Ties #2)

Available on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited

Jack spends his life plugged into a fantasy online world he shares with his friends. Now he faces his hardest quest yet: leave home for college and live in the real world.

Jack’s fantasy crosses into reality when he discovers his new girlfriend is better at killing demons than he is. Only the ones she kills are real — and he’s not 100% sure she’s human.

Soul-hunter Dahlia’s role in the human world is to retrieve stolen souls from demons and return them to her superiors. Mixing with humans is an annoying necessity… However, when she meets Jack, she can’t avoid her attraction to him, or explain the strange connection they share.

She is drawn away from her life and into Jack’s, and makes a choice which ties her to his world forever. But leaving her world behind isn’t as easy as Dahlia thought. When her old life catches up with them, Dahlia and Jack are left facing a future they never imagined.

Available on Amazon (FREE on Kindle Unlimited)

http://bit.ly/tornsoulsUS
http://bit.ly/tornsoulsUK
http://bit.ly/tornsoulsAU
http://bit.ly/tornsoulsCA

Also available:

Soul Ties (Soul Ties #1)

Amazon:
http://bit.ly/soultiesUS
http://bit.ly/soultiesUK
http://bit.ly/soultiesAU
http://bit.ly/soultiesCA

iBooks
http://apple.co/1TC1HlM

Both books can be read as standalone but are best read in order

New Paranormal Release from LJ Swallow ~ Soul Ties ~ 99c Release Price

Facebook banner Soul tiesThis week sees the re-release of the first two books my new adult urban fantasy series, Soul Ties and Torn Souls.

Soul Ties is available today for the special release price of 99c.

“Demons and angels, heaven and hell; they’re not what you think. And somewhere lost in the middle their war are people like me.”

CaSet in a city in the UK, this series follows the story of Ava, Keir, Jack and Dahlia as they struggle to find their way in the world where the lines between good and evil aren’t clear. Tied by events that bring them together, these enemies must learn to trust each other to survive in the war intensifying around them.

SoulTies.EbookSoul Ties (Soul Ties #1)

Soul-hunters sent to capture Nephilim souls never return and Ava has no choice. Bring his soul in return for her freedom – or die trying.

Ava has retrieved hundreds of souls from demons and this mission doesn’t worry her. But Keir isn’t what she expected. Half angel, half demon and a hell of a lot hotter than Ava’s usual targets, she’s tempted to seduce him before she takes his soul – if he doesn’t kill her first.

As if battling a Nephilim isn’t enough, Ava faces another hurdle: getting past the strange human girl, Dahlia, who has an inexplicable hold on Keir.

The pair have secrets and when Ava uncovers the true fate of the souls she returns to her superiors her world is turned upside down. Ava finds herself in the middle of a war where the lines between good and evil are blurred and she only has two choices… Betray Keir and live, or join his battle and risk going to hell.

Amazon:
http://bit.ly/soultiesUS
http://bit.ly/soultiesUK
http://bit.ly/soultiesAU
http://bit.ly/soultiesCA

iBooks
http://apple.co/1TC1HlM

And here’s a video trailer I created…

Soul Ties: Video Trailer and Excerpt

Soul Ties releases on 26th May ~ 99c pre-order price

I’m really excited to have my new and improved paranormal series back in the world.

The books have been revised and re-edited and Najla Qamber Designs has created an amazing set of series covers.
I also created a trailer for the series which you may see around Facebook.

And see below for an exclusive excerpt!

 

Soul Ties (Soul Ties #1)

Soul hunters sent to capture Nephilim souls never return and Ava has no choice. Return with Keir’s soul to her superiors in exchange for her freedom – or die trying.

Ava has retrieved hundreds of souls from demons and this mission doesn’t worry her, but Keir isn’t what she expected.

Half angel, half demon and a hell of a lot hotter than Ava’s usual targets. She’s tempted to get closer to Keir before she takes his soul — if he doesn’t kill her first. 

As if battling a Nephilim isn’t enough, Ava faces another hurdle: finding a way past the strange human girl, Dahlia, who has an inexplicable hold on Keir.

The pair have strange secrets, and when Ava uncovers the true fate of the souls she returns to her superiors her world flips. She finds herself in the middle of a war where the lines between good and evil are blurred. Ava has two choices: kill Keir and trade his soul for her freedom, or help the man she loves and risk eternity in hell.

99c Amazon PRE-ORDER
RELEASES MAY 26TH

http://bit.ly/soultiesUS

http://bit.ly/soultiesUK

http://bit.ly/soultiesAU

http://bit.ly/soultiesCA

Torn Souls (Soul Ties #2)  release July 5th
TSEbook-Amazon

http://bit.ly/tornsoulsUS

http://bit.ly/tornsoulsUK

http://bit.ly/tornsoulsAU

http://bit.ly/tornsoulsCA

Excerpt:

“So what do we do with the soul hunter?” asks Dahlia.

“I don’t know. Whatever we do, they’ll just send another,” Keir replies.

“You could’ve disposed of her already, like the others; why the hell didn’t you?” Dahlia’s frustration is evident in her tone. “That might still be the best option, Keir.”

“Maybe we should tell Ava the whole truth; you told her half of it. She might back off then.”

My body slackens with relief. No mention from him about killing me. Yet.

“Why are you questioning this? She wants your soul!”

“She has doubts. I’ve seen it in her eyes.”

“Don’t be so bloody stupid, Keir. Ava’s trying to seduce you, like the others. She’ll say whatever it takes to get you in a weak enough position. The soul hunter won’t give up on this, because if she does, she may as well be dead. They won’t take her back if she fails.”

“You didn’t,” replies Keir quietly. “You’re alive.”

Ah. More of Dahlia’s secrets. I attempt to listen, but can’t hear anything of the low conversation that follows.

A couple push the double-doors open and a tall boy with his arm slung possessively over a smaller girl’s shoulders wanders past. The adoration in her eyes as she looks up at her boyfriend spikes my regret. I can’t spend time becoming close to anybody; a reminder of the loneliness of my life. The boy removes his long scarf and wraps it round the girl’s neck, pulling her to him. The girl giggles and pushes her hands into his hair as they pause for a kiss. Stomach plummeting further, I turn way, pretending to look at the notices pinned to the wall. I ignore the rising conflict: I don’t want to grow close to anybody; they’ll die or disappear. The only person who ever managed to touch the edges of my heart was Daniel, and he was out of bounds. Now he’s dead.

Cool air blows into the hallways as the door swings open again. Hairs lift on the back of my neck at the awareness somebody stands behind.

“Ava.”

I turn almost bumping noses with Keir, whose face is centimetres from mine. I’d forgotten the impossible blue of his eyes, pulling people into his Nephilim trap.

Not me.

“You cut your hair,” I say, flicking my fingers toward his head.

“And yours is a different colour.”

Memories of the night in the alley fly into my mind again. Our bodies don’t touch this time, but the strange energy flows between us. Positive there’s a desire flickering across his eyes, I close mine. Make him move away with his tricks. I take a deep breath. Wrong move because his clean scent sends more memories scattering across my mind, and heat spreads through me.

Keir’s mouth turns up at one corner. “I knew you were listening. Dahlia didn’t.”

If he’s expecting me to show surprise and yield, he can forget that. I lift my head and poke my tongue into my cheek. “So what did you decide? I think I missed the crucial part, where you decided if you were going to dispose of me, as Dahlia so delicately put it.”

“We didn’t decide anything, Ava.” Keir lifts an arm and sets his palm on the wall behind me.

Dizziness creeps in, as he winds his enchantment around and pulls me in; his lips hovering close to mine.

“If you know who I am, why I came, why didn’t you kill me in the alley?” I ask.

“You came to take my soul, correct?” I nod like a stupid kid, the one I haven’t been since before the Caelestia took and trained me. “You haven’t tried yet, why?”

The fog from his proximity clouds, and I struggle for a believable answer; one which could keep me alive. Instead, the truth falls from my mouth. “Because I want to know what you’re doing. Why you’re killing demons.”

“I don’t believe you. I think it’s because you haven’t had a chance to kill me yet.”

“I think you do believe me because you know I heard what you just said to Dahlia. You said you’d seen my doubts.”

Keir touches my hair and the sensation sparks across my scalp. “Your hair looks pretty this colour.”

I blink at his change of subject. “Yeah.”

He trails fingers toward my cheek and my stomach tightens. Stop. This is my strategy. I turn on the seduction, not the demons. Not him. I should be repulsed, but I’m far from, and I struggle as if his hold were physical.

“Do you know why I didn’t kill you that night?” he whispers, fingers settling on my lips.

I yank my head away from his touch. “No.”

Keir stops abruptly and steps back with the same look as the last time we were as close. Confusion. Desire. Anger. “Nor do I. Next time you might not be so lucky.” He grips the handle of his rucksack, lowering his voice. “Stay away from us until you decide what to do, and then we can end this.”

As he leaves, Keir pauses, hand on the door handle as he looks back. “This won’t end well for you, Ava.”

I jump as the door slams shut behind him. Spell broken, I turn away and smack my palms against the wall, holding my forehead against the cool bricks. How does he bloody do this? Silence me? Keir digs out the hidden Ava, the vulnerable girl I buried when I left the Fated and became a soul hunter.

Whenever Keir looks into my eyes, I’m transparent. Keir has the advantage and he knows.

21 Shades of Night ~ 21 Bestselling Paranormal Books for 99c

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**21 bestselling paranormal romance books. 99c only*

I am so, so excited to be part of this amazing boxed set of Twenty-One Exciting Paranormal and Urban Fantasy stories. With ONE MILLION WORDS of romantic paranormal fiction (yep, you heard that right!) this boxed set will light light up your night with vampires, witches, warriors, and more! This limited edition omnibus is packed with today’s NY Times, USA Today, and International Bestselling authors to create a collection you won’t soon forget. With 100 hours of reading, you’re paying a penny per sixty minutes of enjoyment.

Includes the newly revised edition of my paranormal romance, Soul Ties.

And we want YOU to be part of the excitement. Here’s how –

a. Grab this collection today before it’s gone for good!

**99c. Click NOW to order. Limited Time Only**

Nook | Amazon | Kobo | Apple

b. Click below to join our thunderclap and help us spread the word

“Preorder 21 Shades of Night for $0.99 and light up your evening with vampires, witches, warriors, and more! http://thndr.me/eJvw0v

c. Join our Facebook Party where things are already heating up with this awesome giveaway! I can’t tell you exactly what’s in the giveaway… it’s a super secret swag pack. You’ll see it when it comes. Paperbacks, jewelry, bookmarks, and more, all in a unique tote bag!

So. Here’s how to win.
  1. Preorder 21 Shades of Night at your e-retailer of choice, and comment here letting us know you did.
  2. Tag someone in the comments who you think would enjoy sinking their teeth into this PNR/Urban Fantasy bundle. You can tag as many people as you like- one entry per person that you tag.
  3. Share the link to this giveaway, and comment here letting me know where you did/how many times, if you are sharing to multiple pages or groups. You’ll get one entry per share.
  4. Tweet the link to this giveaway, and comment here letting me know that you did. One entry per comment/tweet.

You can enter as many times as you like! This giveaways gonna run for two weeks. Let’s get the word out! 21 Shades of Night is gonna rock your world!

Yay! That’s exciting now isn’t it? See you then at our Facebook party here . And don’t forget to pre-order your copy of 21 Shades, just 99c for limited period of time on links below

Nook | Amazon | Kobo | Apple

 

Fall Into Fantasy: The Curse Merchant by JP Sloan

Welcome to the Fall Into Fantasy Tour, where we are keeping your mind off any end-of-summer blues and welcoming the cooler weather by introducing you to some incredible fantasy reads to curl up with and giving you plenty of chances to win awesome prizes!

Week 5: The Dark Choir Series

Book One: The Curse Merchant

By J.P. Sloan

Dorian Lake spent years cornering the Baltimore hex-crafting market, using his skills at the hermetic arts to exact karmic justice for those whom the system has failed. He keeps his magic clean and free of soul-corrupting Netherwork, thus avoiding both the karmic blow-back of his practice and the notice of the Presidium, a powerful cabal of practitioners that polices the esoteric arts in America. However, when an unscrupulous Netherworker interferes with both his business and his personal life, Dorian’s disarming charisma and hermetic savvy may not be enough to keep his soul out of jeopardy.

His rival, a soul monger named Neil Osterhaus, wouldn’t be such a problem were it not for Carmen, Dorian’s captivating ex-lover. After two years’ absence Carmen arrives at Dorian’s doorstep with a problem: she sold her soul to Osterhaus, and has only two weeks to buy it back. Hoping to win back Carmen’s affections, Dorian must find a replacement soul without tainting his own. As Dorian descends into the shadows of Baltimore’s underworld, he must decide how low he is willing to stoop in order to save Carmen from eternal damnation… with the Presidium watching, waiting for him to cross the line.

Buy it from: Amazon
Barnes
& Noble
Add it Goodreads
ABOUT J.P. SLOAN
J.P. Sloan is a speculative fiction author, primarily of urban fantasy, horror and several shades between. His writing explores the strangeness in that which is familiar, at times stretching the limits of the human experience, or only hinting at the monsters lurking under your bed.

A Louisiana native, Sloan relocated to the vineyards and cow pastures of Central Maryland after Hurricane Katrina, where he lives with his wife and son. During the day he commutes to the city of Baltimore, a setting which inspires much of his writing.

In his spare time, Sloan enjoys wine-making and homebrewing, and is a National-ranked beer judge.
Find J.P. Online:
J.P. Sloan’s Fistful of Fiction  Facebook  Twitter  Tumblr
Want to get involved with the Fall Into Fantasy promotional tour?

  • Don’t forget to join us at the Facebook party here
  • If you are interested in joining up as a blogger, you can always sign up here. We are happy to welcome more bloggers into the fold as the promotion continues. 
  • If you are an author or blogger and want to sign up to help with the party, please fill out this form.

Book Blitz: Between (Dark Intent #1) and Giveaway

BETWEEN LS Banner BB
 Book Details 
Title: Between
(Book One of the Dark Intent Series)
Author: Lisa Swallow
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
 
 
BetweeneBook copy
 BLURB

What do you do when two very different men enter your world and both have the power to kill you with a touch or a kiss? Can Rose trust either of them – or anyone in her new life after the accident which almost killed her?

Ghosts? Demons? Angels? Or something more? The supernatural you find living and working in this English city are a little different to those you usually find in the genre…

Rose survived the accident which killed her friend. The problem is the life she returns to scares her more than the night she almost died.

When Alek and Finn enter her world, Rose discovers the after-effects of the accident are worse than she thought. The slow recovery and fogged nightmares aren’t the only changes she needs to cope with.

Rose has an immediate and intense attraction to arrogant housemate Alek. This confuses her as much as the chilling effect of her mysterious work colleague Finn. As Rose struggles to cope with her new life, she learns that her connection to the two men threatens all their futures

Alek has lived years closed off from people. He didn’t expect someone like Rose to come into his life and challenge the reality he grips onto.

If Finn doesn’t fix the mistake he made, his life is in danger. His desire to help and protect Rose makes his task difficult, especially when she’s the mistake he needs to fix.

When Alek’s past catches up, Rose disappears. Trapped between the living and the dead, on the edge of Hell, Rose is unable to find her way back. Alek and Finn could help her – but are they prepared to risk the consequences?

BUY LINKS:

http://amzn.to/1rqvxIt (US)

http://amzn.to/1tKnHxE (UK)

http://bit.ly/1tKnXgd (Aus)

 

Extract

I spread my fingers on the table in front of me, concentrating on the cold linoleum table, and think what a stupid move it was to ask Finn where he was from. Of course, he’s going to ask about my home too, and then we’ll move onto what we did over the summer…
The music upstairs stops and the familiar sound of Alek’s boots stomp downstairs.
“Hey, Casper…” The grin I heard behind his voice disappears as he walks into the kitchen and sees us. His brown eyes narrow beneath the dark hair falling across his face. “Who’s this?”
“I’m Finn.” He holds out a hand to shake, a formal gesture I find very strange and one Alek doesn’t accept.
Alek looks at Finn as if he’s something I brought in on the bottom of my shoe. “How did you get in?”
“He’s my guest, Alek.”
“I don’t like your guest.”
Something strange is in the room with us, a tension thickening the air as the two guys regard each other. I gulp down my glass of wine and sigh at the testosterone. Finn and Alek are on the edge of each other’s personal space and stare at each other. Finn’s stance is less aggressive; hopefully one of them is mature enough to back down. Behind Finn, the wok sizzles and spits so I get up to stir the meal. Finn steps to one side, breaking his standoff with Alek.
“I’d better go,” Finn says to me.
“Yeah, good idea.” Alek’s voice is as low as Finn’s, and his features are arranged into an expression threatening enough to make me run. I almost do.
“Finn’s my friend,” I snap, “and you don’t get to tell me who I can bring home.”
“See you tomorrow, maybe?” Finn grabs his jacket and bag, then edges around Alek. They’re almost the same height, although Finn is stockier and for a horrible moment, I think one of them is going to punch the other. Finn lingers for a moment, with an impassive look at Alek, before disappearing down the hallway.
The front door shuts.
After a few moments of catching up with the situation, I move to the kitchen counter and pour another glass of wine, then slam the bottle on the table. “What the fuck Alek?”
“I don’t like him.”
Alek is still in the doorway; he hasn’t moved since he saw me and Finn, but at least the dangerous look on his face left with Finn. He’s staring toward the window, barely registering me. Who does he think he is?
“How dare you, you asshole! He’s my friend.”
“I said, I don’t like him,” he says through gritted teeth.
“Why? Do you know him?
“No.”
“This is my home, too. I invite who I like! Do you have to like everyone who comes into this house? You don’t own it!”
“I got a bad…vibe from him; I don’t want him here.” Alek’s tone is low and imploring.
“Well, I get a bad vibe from you!”
Alek remains in the doorway, and as I attempt to get past him, he stretches an arm across. “Stay away from him.”
“Don’t be such a dickhead.” My fingers itch to push him away, but I don’t want to touch him. “He’s a friend from work who I’m sharing a meal with! So you don’t like him. Tough.”
“Is he the only friend you have at work?”
“No.”
“Who else do you know there?”
I have no answer, because over the last few weeks Finn is the only person I’ve spoken to any longer than polite small talk to work colleagues. “People.”
“He’s the only person who shows any interest in you. Don’t you think that’s strange?” My neck prickles with annoyance. “Think about it, Rose.”
I don’t want to and I’m struck by the realisation he’s never called me by my name before. “No, you’re what’s strange. Excuse me.”
“Your meal…” He gestures toward the stove.
“Move.”
“Don’t go after him.”
“For fuck’s sake…” I mutter and duck under his arm.
Alek steps in my way and I back toward the wall. Out of the two of them, Alek unnerves me the most. He places a hand on the wall, trapping me and anger seethes in my stomach.
“Move!” I growl.
His scent engulfs me, pushing out my need to follow Finn. No, it’s not his scent, something different. Alek’s eyes are fixed on my mouth and although we’re not touching, the physical pull to him is unlike anything I’ve experienced before. Strangely, his face registers the same. I close my eyes; sure, he’s doing this deliberately.
“Move,” I repeat.
Alek’s hair touches my face as he leans toward my ear. “Don’t trust him.”
I pull my head back, so I’m looking at his face, ignoring the same intense energy between us as last time. “And trust who? You? At least he’s nice to me!”
Dropping his hand, Alek steps back. “Oh, I am being nice to you. You have no idea.”

CLICK!
a3e17-giveaway
 

NEW RELEASE: Between (Dark Intent #1)

 NEW RELEASE ~ 99c for a LIMITED TIME

Title: Between
(Book One of the Dark Intent Series)
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance

BetweeneBook copy

AMAZON PURCHASE LINKS: 

http://amzn.to/1oW4q79 (US)
http://amzn.to/1tKnHxE (UK)
http://bit.ly/1tKnXgd (Aus)

Rose survived the accident that killed her friend. The problem is the life she returns to scares her more than the night she almost died.

When Alek and Finn enter her world, Rose discovers the after-effects of the accident are worse than she thought. The slow recovery and fogged nightmares aren’t the only changes she needs to cope with.

Rose has an immediate and intense attraction to arrogant housemate Alek. This confuses her as much as the chilling effect of her enigmatic work colleague Finn. As Rose struggles to cope with her new life, she learns that her connection to the two men threatens all their futures

Alek has lived years closed off from people. He didn’t expect someone like Rose to come into his life and challenge the reality he grips onto.

If Finn doesn’t fix the mistake he made, his life is in danger. His desire to help and protect Rose makes his task difficult, especially when she’s the mistake he needs to fix.

When Alek’s past catches up, Rose disappears. Trapped between the living and the dead, Rose is unable to find her way back. Alek and Finn could help her – but are they prepared to risk the consequences?

The supernatural you find living and working in this English city are a little different to those you usually find in the genre..

Extract

I spread my fingers on the table in front of me, concentrating on the cold linoleum table, and think what a stupid move it was to ask Finn where he was from. Of course, he’s going to ask about my home too, and then we’ll move onto what we did over the summer…
The music upstairs stops and the familiar sound of Alek’s boots stomp downstairs.
“Hey, Casper…” The grin I heard behind his voice disappears as he walks into the kitchen and sees us. His brown eyes narrow beneath the dark hair falling across his face. “Who’s this?”
“I’m Finn.” He holds out a hand to shake, a formal gesture I find very strange and one Alek doesn’t accept.
Alek looks at Finn as if he’s something I brought in on the bottom of my shoe. “How did you get in?”
“He’s my guest, Alek.”
“I don’t like your guest.”
Something strange is in the room with us, a tension thickening the air as the two guys regard each other. I gulp down my glass of wine and sigh at the testosterone. Finn and Alek are on the edge of each other’s personal space and stare at each other. Finn’s stance is less aggressive; hopefully one of them is mature enough to back down. Behind Finn, the wok sizzles and spits so I get up to stir the meal. Finn steps to one side, breaking his standoff with Alek.
“I’d better go,” Finn says to me.
“Yeah, good idea.” Alek’s voice is as low as Finn’s, and his features are arranged into an expression threatening enough to make me run. I almost do.
“Finn’s my friend,” I snap, “and you don’t get to tell me who I can bring home.”
“See you tomorrow, maybe?” Finn grabs his jacket and bag, then edges around Alek. They’re almost the same height, although Finn is stockier and for a horrible moment, I think one of them is going to punch the other. Finn lingers for a moment, with an impassive look at Alek, before disappearing down the hallway.
The front door shuts.
After a few moments of catching up with the situation, I move to the kitchen counter and pour another glass of wine, then slam the bottle on the table. “What the fuck Alek?”
“I don’t like him.”
Alek is still in the doorway; he hasn’t moved since he saw me and Finn, but at least the dangerous look on his face left with Finn. He’s staring toward the window, barely registering me. Who does he think he is?
“How dare you, you asshole! He’s my friend.”
“I said, I don’t like him,” he says through gritted teeth.
“Why? Do you know him?
“No.”
“This is my home, too. I invite who I like! Do you have to like everyone who comes into this house? You don’t own it!”
“I got a bad…vibe from him; I don’t want him here.” Alek’s tone is low and imploring.
“Well, I get a bad vibe from you!”
Alek remains in the doorway, and as I attempt to get past him, he stretches an arm across. “Stay away from him.”
“Don’t be such a dickhead.” My fingers itch to push him away, but I don’t want to touch him. “He’s a friend from work who I’m sharing a meal with! So you don’t like him. Tough.”
“Is he the only friend you have at work?”
“No.”
“Who else do you know there?”
I have no answer, because over the last few weeks Finn is the only person I’ve spoken to any longer than polite small talk to work colleagues. “People.”
“He’s the only person who shows any interest in you. Don’t you think that’s strange?” My neck prickles with annoyance. “Think about it, Rose.”
I don’t want to and I’m struck by the realisation he’s never called me by my name before. “No, you’re what’s strange. Excuse me.”
“Your meal…” He gestures toward the stove.
“Move.”
“Don’t go after him.”
“For fuck’s sake…” I mutter and duck under his arm.
Alek steps in my way and I back toward the wall. Out of the two of them, Alek unnerves me the most. He places a hand on the wall, trapping me and anger seethes in my stomach.
“Move!” I growl.
His scent engulfs me, pushing out my need to follow Finn. No, it’s not his scent, something different. Alek’s eyes are fixed on my mouth and although we’re not touching, the physical pull to him is unlike anything I’ve experienced before. Strangely, his face registers the same. I close my eyes; sure, he’s doing this deliberately.
“Move,” I repeat.
Alek’s hair touches my face as he leans toward my ear. “Don’t trust him.”
I pull my head back, so I’m looking at his face, ignoring the same intense energy between us as last time. “And trust who? You? At least he’s nice to me!”
Dropping his hand, Alek steps back. “Oh, I am being nice to you. You have no idea.”