Blog Tour: Sweet Captivity by Julia Sykes

 

REVIEW
Andres was a man caught in a difficult life. Sam was the hacker FBI agent caught in his web. They are forced together by circumstances but bond despite them.Andres has some depth and complexity that show he was fleshed out well. Sam was more generic to me. Other than her profession, nothing of her personality really resonated for me. Together, however, their dynamic worked. The intimacy was sexy and progressed in line with the premise that was set up.

I’ve got to say that believability within the plot was a stretch for me. Yet, I still enjoyed it at execution. The pacing was done well and the flow was good through most of the book. The prose and grammar were solid.

Complimentary copy received and voluntarily reviewed.

 FINAL RATING: 3 STARS 
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I don’t like to be touched. I’m the hacker-geek-goddess of the FBI. When I’m hiding behind my screen, I’m a safe distance from everyone; isolated, powerful. No man has ever touched me, but when I’m captured by Colombian drug lord Andrés Moreno, I no longer have the right to refuse. He’s scarred and scary, and his cruel brother Cristian has tasked him with breaking me. I try to fight, but I can’t escape his strong arms and harsh discipline. He demands that I accept his touch, and my virgin body can’t help but respond to his masterful manipulations.

The longer I remain trapped with him, the more I come to suspect that I’m not the only captive in his brother’s home. Andrés’ scars go deeper than the wicked furrows carved into his flesh, his pain reflected in the dark demands he imposes upon me. His obsession is twisted and wrong, but maybe I’m twisted, too.

Do I want to be rescued from him? Or is he the one who truly needs saving?

I beat my fists against his lower back, thrashing like a wild thing. “No! Please.”
He ignored me, handling me roughly as he pinned my body down on the bench and strapped me in place. Tears dropped down my cheeks as the false image of him I’d built in my mind shattered. He wasn’t doting. He wasn’t nice.
He was unstable, insane.
And every small kindness he’d shown me had been a lie, a manipulation.
“What did I do wrong?” I heaved out on a sob as terror took hold of my mind. He’d been harsh with me, but he’d always been fair, in his own way. “I didn’t do anything. I didn’t. Please.”
Once I was fully bound beneath him, he paused and finally looked down into my eyes. His face was drawn, his scar puckered and twisted as he clenched his jaw tightly. He stared down at me for several agonizing seconds, then he drew in a deep, shuddering breath. He trailed his fingers over the leather restraints that held my body at his mercy, and his fierce expression eased. He reached out and brushed at the wetness on my cheeks. I tried to cringe away, but there was nowhere to go.
“Please,” I whispered brokenly. “I promise I didn’t do anything wrong. Don’t hurt me.”
“I’m not going to hurt you,” he promised, his accent thick. “Much,” he amended. “Hush now,” he said in his usual soothing tones as he stroked my trembling body. “This isn’t a punishment.”
“But you’re angry,” I said tremulously. “You’re going to hurt me.”
“I’m not angry with you,” he replied, calm settling over him as he continued to pet me. “My brother…” His fingers firmed on my skin, pressing too hard. He drew another deep breath and resumed stroking me, concentrating his attentions around the leather straps that held me down, as though seeing me helpless and at his mercy comforted him in some perverted way. “I need to accelerate your training,” he said. “My brother is not a patient man.”
I tensed. Andrés continued stroking me, his focus shifting to my hair.
“I’ll protect you,” he promised. “But I’ve been too indulgent with you. You must learn your place.”
“So you’re going to beat me,” I said in soft accusation.
“I’m going to train you,” he countered. “You will experience a little pain, but you will enjoy it. I know you will. You like your spankings. You’ll like this, too.”
“I don’t want you to flog me again,” I whispered.
“I don’t want you to be scared of me, cosita,” he said instead of responding directly.
“I thought you like it when I’m frightened,” I said bitterly, remembering all the fucked up things he’d said about my lovely eyes when I was crying from fear.
His lips firmed, and he cut his gaze away from mine. “That doesn’t mean I want you to fear me. But yes, a part of me likes your fear.”
“Please let me up,” I begged. “You don’t have to do this.”
His gaze snapped back to mine, hard with determination. “Yes, I do. It’s for your own good.”
I didn’t dare say how crazy that statement was. I was too intimidated, and he held all the power. He could do anything he wanted to me, and there would be nothing I could do to stop him.
He placed his hand on the back of my neck, lightly squeezing. In his messed-up world, this was a comforting gesture. At least, it seemed to comfort him. It was a demonstration of control, of ownership.
“You’ll like this,” he said. “You’ll see. You have to trust me.”
I bit back the retort that I’d never trust him. He might be calmer, but his mood was precarious, violence lurking just under his skin. No matter what he said about me enjoying whatever he was about to do, he needed to hurt me. I could see it in his eyes; I could see the all dark things that stirred in their black depths: desire, anger, pain.
Something about what had happened with his brother had triggered him, and he needed me to soothe him. If he were a normal man and we were in a normal relationship, I’d hold him and kiss him and tell him everything was okay.
But this wasn’t normal. He was my captor, and right now, he was on the edge of sanity. There was only one way the madness inside him would be soothed: my complete subjugation. Already, just having me bound and crying beneath him seemed to have quieted his more volatile emotions. Next, he’d extract pleasure from my screams.
I shuddered, my teeth chattering as cold terror settled into my bones.
He dropped to his knees beside me, his face leveling with mine. Through my watery vision, I saw his brow furrow with concern.
“Samantha,” he said my name almost hoarsely. “You’re okay. You’re safe with me.”
“I’m not,” I said, my voice hitching. “I’m scared. You’re scaring me. And you like it.”
“I don’t. Not like this. Please. Don’t be afraid.”
Please. I’d never heard him utter the word.
“I don’t want to be in here,” I whispered.
“All right, cosita. It’s all right. You’re safe.” He started murmuring to me in a stream of soothing Spanish, running his fingers along my chilled skin as he released me from the cuffs that trapped me against the spanking bench.
A relieved sob heaved from my chest when he lifted me in his arms and cuddled me close. My hand fisted in his shirt, and I turned my face against him as I wept and shook.
He carried me back into the bedroom and settled me on his lap when he sat on the edge of the bed. He held me while I cried, all the fear and pain that lingered inside me from the night he’d flogged me spilling out to soak his chest with my tears.
“Lo siento.” I caught the words several times as he continued to speak to me in low, calming tones.
I’m sorry. I knew what it meant.
That helped bring me back to my senses more than anything. My big, scary captor was apologizing. Blinking up at him, I studied his taut features. He seemed truly distressed, and when my sobs finally quieted, he pressed a tender kiss against my forehead.
“I was worried about you,” he rumbled, his arms tightening around me to pull me closer to his warmth. “I didn’t mean to upset you.”
“You did,” I countered quietly. “You wanted to see me cry. You wanted to hear me scream.”
His eyes flicked away from mine, and he tensed beneath me. “I do want those things from you, Samantha,” he admitted, his voice strained. “But not like this. I won’t break you. I won’t.” He still wasn’t looking at me, and he seemed to be speaking to himself as much as he was reassuring me.
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Julia Sykes is the USA Today bestselling author of the Impossible Series. She has always kept dark stories tucked away in her mind, so she was thrilled when she discovered that other people actually want to read them. Her books blend romance, suspense, and BDSM.
After spending four years living in England, Julia returned to her Southern homeland. She has recently settled down in South Carolina and spends her time petting her cat-children, reading, and binge watching TV with her husband when not writing. You can usually find Julia in Starbucks with a venti iced latte clutched in her hand.
Julia loves connecting with readers! Please feel free to contact her on facebook, through twitter, or email her directly at juliasykes193@gmail.com. You can find out more about Julia’s current and future projects at julia-sykes.com.
Author Links
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Release Blitz: Forget Me Not by Willow Winters

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I fell in love with a boy a long time ago.

I was only a small girl. Scared and frightened, I was taken from my home and held against my will. His father hurt me, but he protected me and kept me safe as best he could.

Until I left him.

I ran the first chance I got and even though I knew he wasn’t behind me, I didn’t stop. The branches lashed out at me, punishing me for leaving him in the hands of a monster.

I’ve never felt such guilt in my life.

Although I survived, the boy was never found. I prayed for him to be safe. I dreamed he’d be alright and come back to me. Even as a young girl I knew I loved him, but I betrayed him.

Twenty years later, all my wishes came true.

But the boy came back a man. With a grip strong enough to keep me close and a look in his eyes that warned me to never dare leave him again. I was his to keep after all.

Twenty years after leaving one hell, I entered another. Our tale was only just getting started.

It’s dark and twisted.

But that doesn’t make it any less of what it is.

A love story. Our love story.

Robin
Twenty years ago



I’m so used to this room.  I don’t know how long it’s been, but I don’t bother to count the days anymore.  I don’t hope for Mama to come find me anymore.  I know it’s useless now, and it only makes me more upset.

The only solace I have is lying beside me.  I speak without thinking, just saying what’s on my mind to break up the silence in the cold room.  
        “I wish I were a bird.”  I blink at the faint light shining through the small window so high up on the cinder block wall.  “Then I could fly away.”  My voice lowers to nearly a whisper and I turn on the hard ground, facing the boy at my side.  I tuck my arm under my head and swallow the lump in my throat as I avoid his gaze.  It’s such a serious look in his light gray eyes.  I can hardly stand the chill that runs through me.
Some days I think he’s angry with me.  I can’t shake the thought that he hates me; that he hates being stuck here with me, both of us helpless and at the hands of his heartless father.

“Both of us.”  I clear my throat and chance a look up at him as I add, “I mean I wish we were both birds.”  I turn to gesture toward the far wall as I explain, “So we could fly through that window.”

The boy smiles at me, although I don’t think it’s genuine.  “But it’s closed,” he says in a voice so rough and low it makes goosebumps spread across my skin.  He clears his own throat, propping up his head in his hand and leaning on his elbow to look down at me.  My heart does a weird flip in my chest, fluttering when he leans closer to me.  I can feel the heat of his body.  He’s older than me.  He looks it, too.  I feel my cheeks heat with a blush and I look away, turning back to the window and pulling at the thin gown I have on.  It’s not enough to keep me warm down here and I know if I were just a bit closer to the boy, I’d be more comfortable, but I keep my distance.
“Well, what animal then?” I ask the boy, curling on my side and tucking both arms beneath my head.

He’s quiet for a moment, but then he answers, “A wolf could break it.”

I resist the urge to turn to face him, closing my eyes as they roll and a small smile forms on my lips.  A wolf could never fit through that window.

I decide to play along, feeling a warmth run through me as I hear him scoot closer to me.  He never touches me, but he likes to be close to me.  And I like it too although I don’t tell him.  “Well, you be a wolf and break the window, and I’ll be a bird.  Together we can run away.”

“I saw a wolf kill a bird once on TV,” he says, but the boy’s voice is devoid of emotion and the shock of what he said makes me turn to face him, sitting up and pulling my knees into my chest.

“Why would a wolf do that?”  I feel my brows pinch and my lips turn down; I know it’s obvious I’m horrified from what he said, and it only makes him laugh.
He shrugs his shoulders and picks at a spot on the concrete floor, a satisfied smirk on his lips.  Something about the look on his face makes my heart do that fluttering motion again and I find myself inching forward, my toes barely touching his thigh.  But we both notice that they touch.

“A wolf doesn’t have any reason to hurt a bird.”  I stare at him, but he still doesn’t look up at me.  “I don’t understand.”

The boy tilts his head to look at me and this time, the expression is something I’ve never seen before.  There’s a rawness in the light gray flecks, a heat on the outer edge where his eyes get darker.  Almost like a flicker of a flame giving his gaze an intensity that makes my body freeze, but not with a coldness, with a burning heat.

“I think he did it,” the boy starts to say, licking his lower lip and staring right through me, not caring that I can’t even breathe when he looks at me like that, “I think he did it just because he wanted to.”


Willow Winters is so happy to be a USA Today, Wall Street Journal and #1 Contemporary Bestselling Romance Author. She likes her action hot and her bad boys hotter. She certainly doesn’t hold back on either one in her writing!

Want a text alert when Willow has a new release? Text “Willow” to 797979!
Or if you prefer by email, Sign up for her Naughty List to get all the newest bad boy releases, sales, great giveaways and a FREE Bad Boy Billionaire Romance → http://eepurl.com/b2izzf


Willow started writing after having her little girl, Evie, December 2015. All during her pregnancy with Evie she continued to read and she only wanted to read romance. She was reading a book a day — sometimes two.

In January 2016 Willow was staying up late with Evie and just thinking of all these stories. They came to her constantly so she finally sat down and just started writing. She always wanted to do it so she figured, why not? Today Willow cannot be happier for making that decision!
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Release Blitz: Sweet Captivity by Julia Sykes

 

 

 

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I don’t like to be touched. I’m the hacker-geek-goddess of the FBI. When I’m hiding behind my screen, I’m a safe distance from everyone; isolated, powerful. No man has ever touched me, but when I’m captured by Colombian drug lord Andrés Moreno, I no longer have the right to refuse. He’s scarred and scary, and his cruel brother Cristian has tasked him with breaking me. I try to fight, but I can’t escape his strong arms and harsh discipline. He demands that I accept his touch, and my virgin body can’t help but respond to his masterful manipulations.

The longer I remain trapped with him, the more I come to suspect that I’m not the only captive in his brother’s home. Andrés’ scars go deeper than the wicked furrows carved into his flesh, his pain reflected in the dark demands he imposes upon me. His obsession is twisted and wrong, but maybe I’m twisted, too.

Do I want to be rescued from him? Or is he the one who truly needs saving?

 

 

I’d never admit meekly that I’d be a good girl and stop trying to fight my way free.
His full lips twisted in a slight frown, dragging his scar down in a fearsome slash across his face. I dimly noted that he would be handsome, otherwise. His stubble-covered square jaw was strong and masculine, his cheekbones high and defined. Heavy dark brows drew together over his onyx eyes, and his black hair curled softly to frame his rugged features.
But the scar that marred his cheek… It was difficult to look at; vicious and violent.
Instinct urged my gaze to flit around the room in its familiar anxious pattern. But his eyes. I couldn’t look away. His pupils were dilated, fixed on me. A slender ring of rich chocolate brown surrounded them, nearly swallowed by the darkness of his stare.
A light shiver raced across my skin, but I remained locked in his steady gaze.
His frown eased, one corner of his lips ticking up in a perverse smile. In a shockingly tender gesture, he tucked a stray lock of hair behind my ear. “So frightened, but so defiant. I’m going to have to restrain you, aren’t I?”
I jerked against his hold, but his grip remained iron around my wrists. “No.”
“So you won’t try to attack me as soon as I release you?” he asked, the twist of his smile letting me know the question was purely rhetorical.
I struggled again, and a frustrated noise that sounded a little like a growl slipped between my teeth. He laughed; a low, rumbling chuckle of dark amusement.
“Such an angry gatita. Maybe I should keep you in cage. Would that tame you?”
“I don’t need to be tamed,” I shot back, my anger bleeding over fear. “I told you the truth. I’m a federal agent. You said you believe me. If you do, then you know you can’t risk hurting me. My friends at the Bureau won’t stop looking for me, and if you’ve…” I couldn’t bring myself to say raped me. “If you’ve hurt me when they find me, they won’t show you any mercy. You have to let me go.”
His frown returned. “That’s up to my brother to decide. Until he does, you’re mine.” His fingers tightened around my wrists as he made the perverse declaration.
“You keep saying that,” I hissed out. “You’re fucking crazy, you know that, right? You’re—”
My next insult didn’t make it past my lips. He pressed his hand firmly against my mouth, his frown twisting with disapproval.
“You will learn to mind your language when you’re speaking to me,” he said coolly. “I need to get dressed, and you need to be quiet and behave while I’m gone. How comfortable you are while I’m out attending to my business is up to you. I can gag you and cage you, or I can leave you free to move around the suite. Make your choice.”
My eyes flew wide, finally leaving his face to search the room. Cage me? Surely he couldn’t be serious.
I sucked in a sharp breath through my nose. I’d been too distressed to notice before. Beneath the enormous four-poster bed were bars. Cushions and a blanket made it look like a second bunk beneath the big bed, but that was just my mind struggling to comprehend what I was truly looking at.
What kind of man had a cage under his bed? One that was clearly waiting to trap a frightened, unwilling woman?
“Choose,” he said, his voice gravelly. “Are you going to be a good girl for me, or am I going to have to cage you beneath my bed like a naughty gatita?” His cock jerked against my belly, and I shuddered.
I shook my head as best I could, but my movement was restricted by his firm hand on my mouth.
He studied me for a moment longer, then gave a small nod. The weight of his body finally left mine when he took a step back, and my shaky legs nearly collapsed without his support. He maintained his hold on my wrists above my head, keeping me upright until I managed to find my footing. Once I regained my balance, he lowered my arms, but he didn’t release them. He kept them trapped in one of his big hands as he moved back toward the bed, pulling me along in his wake.
“Please,” I gasped out, my eyes fixing on the cage as panic churned in my gut. “I don’t want to go in there.”
“I’m not going to put you in the cage,” he told me calmly. “You’ve already been punished for your transgressions. I told you: I might seem harsh, but I’m fair.”
“So you’re not going to lock me up?” I asked tentatively, my steps faltering as we reached the bed.
He smirked at me. “I didn’t say that.”

 

 

 

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Julia Sykes is the USA Today bestselling author of the Impossible Series. She has always kept dark stories tucked away in her mind, so she was thrilled when she discovered that other people actually want to read them. Her books blend romance, suspense, and BDSM.
After spending four years living in England, Julia returned to her Southern homeland. She has recently settled down in South Carolina and spends her time petting her cat-children, reading, and binge watching TV with her husband when not writing. You can usually find Julia in Starbucks with a venti iced latte clutched in her hand.
Julia loves connecting with readers! Please feel free to contact her on facebook, through twitter, or email her directly at juliasykes193@gmail.com. You can find out more about Julia’s current and future projects at julia-sykes.com.
Author Links
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Chapter Reveal: Sweet Captivity by Julia Sykes

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Coming September 12th

 

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I don’t like to be touched. I’m the hacker-geek-goddess of the FBI. When I’m hiding behind my screen, I’m a safe distance from everyone; isolated, powerful. No man has ever touched me, but when I’m captured by Colombian drug lord Andrés Moreno, I no longer have the right to refuse. He’s scarred and scary, and his cruel brother Cristian has tasked him with breaking me. I try to fight, but I can’t escape his strong arms and harsh discipline. He demands that I accept his touch, and my virgin body can’t help but respond to his masterful manipulations.

The longer I remain trapped with him, the more I come to suspect that I’m not the only captive in his brother’s home. Andrés’ scars go deeper than the wicked furrows carved into his flesh, his pain reflected in the dark demands he imposes upon me. His obsession is twisted and wrong, but maybe I’m twisted, too.

Do I want to be rescued from him? Or is he the one who truly needs saving?

 

The safety of my home had been shattered. Someone had drugged me, taken me. My memories of how I’d fallen into Cristian Moreno’s clutches were hazy, but there was no denying my terrifying new reality: I was in the hands of the vicious Colombian drug lord, and his knife was at my throat.
Toxic fear engulfed me, freezing the scream that had escaped me for mere seconds. Cristian stepped behind me so his brother’s camera could get clearer footage of the horror I was enduring. His big fist tangled in my hair, jerking my head back so I had no choice but to stare up into his cruel black eyes.
The cold tip of the knife scraped upward from the center of my throat, grazing over my skin as it traced a path under my chin. I stopped breathing when the flat of the blade swiped across the line of my lips. A high whimper slipped through them, the resultant vibration threatening to make the knife pierce my skin. As it was, the tightly packed nerve endings on my lips sparked as the cool metal kissed them.
The knife left my mouth, but I didn’t have time to suck in a panting breath before the frigid blade returned to my throat.
“You were in my territory today, watching my people. One of my men followed you home. Who are you working for?” he demanded.
“I’m FBI,” I said, my voice barely more than a whisper. With the knife at my throat, I could scarcely draw the breath I needed to speak.
He frowned at me. “A sniper made an attempt on my life a few days ago. The feds wouldn’t assassinate me. Who are you really working for?” The blade sliced a thin, stinging line across my throat.
“I really am FBI,” I said in a rush, the truth spilling from my lips. If he knew I was a federal agent, he wouldn’t dare hurt me. “My name is Samantha Browning. I’m a tech analyst. Well, I was. I’m a field agent now. I’m not trying to kill you. We’re investigating you. You have to know you’re on our radar. Please, I swear I’m FBI.” I was aware that I was babbling, but I couldn’t stop pleading for my life.
He considered me for a long, terrifying moment, weighing my fate. “You’re a tech analyst? That means you have access to all the evidence the feds have on me. If you’re telling the truth about who you are.”
“I am,” I said quickly. “You can’t hurt me. If you do, my friends will come after you.”
“I think I’ll give you to my brother, after all,” he mused. “He’ll make sure you’re telling the truth. I’d rather not mutilate you, if you’re going to be useful to me. Andrés has more creative ways of breaking women. And I’ll keep our little video to ourselves. If you are who you say you are, I’d rather your friends at the FBI didn’t know I have you.”
The knifepoint pressed against my cheek, just below my left eye. The pressure increased slightly, and I felt warmth bead on my skin. It slid down my cheek like a crimson tear. My eyes watered, and Cristian’s handsome face wavered above me.
“Maybe I’ll give you a scar to match my brother’s first,” he mused.
A deep growl sounded from a few feet in front of me, and I knew it came from Andrés. I couldn’t so much as glance in his direction; Cristian’s long fingers in my hair kept me immobile.
A sharp grin lit his features with amusement. “Apparently, he wants you mostly intact. Should I give him what he wants?”
The fearsome growl sounded again, a wordless warning. I shuddered, equally as frightened of the prospect of his desire to have me as I was of the knife piercing my cheek.
“Not the face, then,” Cristian said decisively. “But I think I’ll let Andrés see what he’s getting to work with.”
The knife left my face, but the blade instantly hooked beneath the top button of my shirt. It gave way easily as the sharp steel tore through thread. He continued to move the blade downward, trailing a sickening path between my breasts, over my navel, down to the top of my slacks. The fabric fell open with a flick of the knife, leaving me exposed in my white cotton bra.
A plea for mercy locked in my throat. I couldn’t speak, could barely breathe. My mind began to shut down, the adrenaline created by fear clouding my brain.
Cristian’s fingers tightened in my hair, giving me a bite of pain. “Stay with us, Samantha,” he ordered smoothly.
The world sharpened around me with cruel clarity just before pain sliced into me. The tip of the knife grated a torturously slow line along my right collarbone. The cut was shallow, but blood welled up as the blade scraped bone. The scream that had been trapped inside me burst out as pain seared through me. He hooked the blade beneath the little strip of cotton at the middle of my bra, parting the fabric and exposing me.
My scream choked off on a sob as terror mingled with humiliation.
“What do you think, hermanito?” Cristian asked with mild interest. “Is she pretty enough for you? She’s not a great beauty, but her nipples stand out nicely against her pale skin.”
My skin turned frigid, my flesh pebbling as ice sank into my veins. I vaguely recognized that I was going into shock as my entire body began to shake violently.
“And her eyes are quite lovely,” he continued in detached observation. “So much fear there. You like when they’re frightened, don’t you, Andrés?”
His low grunt in reply rolled around my mind, but my capacity for conscious thought had been ripped to shreds. The knife left my breasts to slice through the ropes that bound my wrists behind me. I slumped forward, my watery muscles incapable of holding me upright.
Strong arms closed around my shoulders, bracing me before I slid to the floor. I was dimly aware of my body being lifted. My head lolled back, and the last thing I saw before my mind short-circuited was Andrés’ fearsome, scarred face looming over me.
***
Stinging pain on my chest yanked me back to awareness, and I bolted upright with a gasp. Panic blinded me, but firm hands gripped my upper arms, pressing me back down against something soft that cushioned my body. I was no longer sitting on the unyielding metal chair. I recognized the feel of a mattress beneath me, and my torso was pinned down against it by a strong, masculine hold.
I squirmed and kicked, instinctively trying to fight my way free. I became aware of cool air against my breasts, and I realized I was still exposed. My heart hammered against my ribcage, and I doubled my efforts to fight off the man holding me down, my fingers clawing blindly. His hands easily encircled my wrists, trapping them at either side of my hips.
“Calm down, cosita, or I’ll have to restrain you.” I recognized the soft Colombian accent.
Moreno had me. He’d hurt me, stripped me…
Oh god. He’d given me to his terrifying brother. Andrés.
And now I was half-naked and helpless in his steely hold.
I couldn’t stop thrashing, my muscles rippling with effort to break free. My stomach twisted, nausea rising as the full horror of my situation came down on me.
A low sound of disapproval grated against my mind. His grip instantly shifted, tugging my arms over my head. He secured them there with one big hand. Something cool and supple encircled my right wrist. Metal jingled against metal as he buckled the cuff into place.
I twisted my entire body, trying to angle myself so I could kick out at him. Desperation clawed at my insides, and all my training left my head as animal terror took hold. My awkward attempts to resist him made no effect, and he quickly secured my other wrist.
Working in silence, he caught my left ankle, pulling it diagonally toward the bottom corner of the bed. My eyes finally focused and I watched in helpless horror as he bound my legs to either side of the four-poster, spreading me wide. I still wore my slacks, but I felt terribly exposed and vulnerable.
I thrashed against the restraints, but he pressed his big palm against my bare abdomen, pinning me down against the mattress and effectively ending my struggles. All I could do was jerk uselessly against the cuffs. Fear coursed through me. My fight-or-flight instincts had settled on flight, but there was nowhere for me to go. That didn’t stop my body from twisting like a wild thing, panic beating against the inside of my chest.
His dark eyes watched me with calm certainty as he simply waited. I wasn’t sure how long it took for my muscles to burn with exertion, and I finally gave up, my limbs trembling where they were stretched above and below me, laying me out before him.
“Are you done?” he asked coolly.
“Fuck you,” I seethed, my acid tongue the only weapon left to me.
Keeping me pinned in place with one hand, his other swiftly came down and cracked across the outer swell of my breasts, one after the other in rapid succession. My sensitive flesh instantly began to burn, and I cried out. I couldn’t escape the pain; I was trapped in place for the harsh censure.
Tears leaked from the corners of my eyes, and he finally stopped.
“I won’t tolerate insults,” he said, still unnervingly calm. It almost would have been less disconcerting if he’d shouted. “You will speak to me with respect. Do you understand?”
“No.” The refusal came out as a horrified moan.
“You will understand soon,” he said, utterly confident. “You’re frightened, but you will learn. For now, I’m warning you not to curse at me again. Tell me you’ll obey.”
The tears came faster, spilling down my temples and falling into my hair.
His face shifted to a forbidding mask. “Tell me.”
I couldn’t manage more than a fearful whimper, but I nodded shakily. I didn’t want him to slap me again, and I recognized that there was nothing I could do to prevent him from doing it if he decided he wanted to.
His countenance softened, his scar easing so it wasn’t as pronounced. “In the future, I will expect a verbal answer. You belong to me now, Samantha. Defiance will lead to punishment. Obedience will be rewarded. You choose whichever you want. I might seem like a harsh Master, but I’m fair. Your behavior has consequences, either painful or pleasurable for you.”
“Please,” I forced out past the lump in my throat. “I can’t… I don’t… Don’t…” I began to pant out the fragmented words as my breathing turned shallower, until I was gasping but not drawing in air.
His hands bracketed my face, shockingly gentle. “Breathe,” he ordered, his accented voice low and soft, as though trying to soothe a frightened animal.
I certainly felt like a panicked, primal thing; trapped and terrified.
His fingers threaded through my hair on either side of my head, massaging gently.
“Breathe with me,” he cajoled. He drew in a slow, deep breath and then blew it out on a long exhale. “Again,” he commanded, and I vaguely recognized that I’d obeyed and matched his breathing, my lungs too desperate for oxygen to resist. I sucked in another shaky breath, mirroring him. We repeated the process several more times, until I was able to breathe almost normally. I sank down into the mattress as my body went limp, all the fight going out of me as exhaustion sapped my mind.
“Better.” He nodded his approval. His gaze finally diverted from my face, and he reached for a damp cloth that he’d placed beside me on the bed. “You’re still bleeding,” he told me. “I’m going to clean you up. This will sting a little. Stay still.”
I couldn’t have moved away even if I still possessed any willpower to do so. One of his hands remained bracketed at the side of my face, his thumb hooking beneath my jaw to hold me steady.
The cool cloth gently touched my cheek, and I hissed in pain. Just as he’d warned me, the solution that soaked the cloth stung, and I knew it was more than water.
“Good girl,” he said, the warm praise in his tone fucking with my addled mind. I only recognized the comfort in it, unable to process the twisted nature of how he was manipulating me. Anything was preferable to the unrelenting terror that had utterly sapped my will and smothered all thought of resistance.
He continued his gentle ministrations, his dark eyes completely focused on his task as he cleaned the cut on my collarbone. Keening sounds eased up my throat, and he softly shushed me.
When he finished, he sat back and considered me for a long moment, his black eyes searching mine. Instinct urged me to look away, to escape his probing gaze. The intensity with which he watched me made it impossible for me to break eye contact. I shuddered violently, unable to bear his scrutiny.
His grip on my face shifted, and his calloused fingertips smoothed over the furrow in my brow.
“You’re hurting,” he remarked. “You didn’t do anything to deserve this.”
He reached for something else on the bed beside me, and I cringed when my gaze fixed on it: a syringe. I didn’t want to be unconscious again, helpless and unable to defend myself.
“My brother gave me this in case I needed to subdue you, but it will take away your pain. I told you, I’m a fair Master. I won’t hurt you if you don’t earn a punishment.”
“I don’t want it,” I managed to whisper.
“I decide what’s best for you from now on,” he declared calmly.
“Please,” I begged uselessly as he carefully slid the needle into my arm.
“Hush now, cosita,” he murmured. “You’ll feel better when you wake up.”
“No,” I slurred, the drugs making my tongue heavy within seconds.
His long fingers smoothed over my hair, petting me as I fell into darkness.
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Julia Sykes is the USA Today bestselling author of the Impossible Series. She has always kept dark stories tucked away in her mind, so she was thrilled when she discovered that other people actually want to read them. Her books blend romance, suspense, and BDSM.
After spending four years living in England, Julia returned to her Southern homeland. She has recently settled down in South Carolina and spends her time petting her cat-children, reading, and binge watching TV with her husband when not writing. You can usually find Julia in Starbucks with a venti iced latte clutched in her hand.
Julia loves connecting with readers! Please feel free to contact her on facebook, through twitter, or email her directly at juliasykes193@gmail.com. You can find out more about Julia’s current and future projects at julia-sykes.com.
Author Links
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Release Blitz: Most Valuable Playboy by Lauren Blakely

From #1 NYT Bestselling author Lauren Blakely, comes the swoony and oh-so-romantic title…MOST VALUABLE PLAYBOY.

In MOST VALUABLE PLAYBOY, the NFL starting quarterback Cooper Armstrong needs his best friend’s sister to pretend to be his girlfriend. Violet is willing, but neither one expects their boyfriend-girlfriend scrimmage to turn into a full-contact sport so quickly. Find out if their fake play will become the real deal or if they can turn back the clock to when they were just friends in this sexy new standalone sports romance!

Now available on all retailers! Get your copy delivered now!

 

✮✮✮ MOST VALUABLE PLAYBOY is here! Grab your copy today! ✮✮✮

Hands down, my favorite thing in the world is to score. Touchdowns.

Don’t let the fact that I’m the leading pick in the Most Valuable Playboy charity auction fool you. These days, I’m only a player on the field. I’ve kept my pants zipped all season long — and it has been long — because nothing’s more important than leading my team to victory every week. Except maybe escaping from the team owner’s recently-widowed and handsy-as-hell sister who’s dead set on winning more than a date with me.

Enter Violet and a well-placed Hail Mary.

She’s my best friend’s sister with a smile as sweet as cherry pie and a mind that runs quicker than the 40-yard-dash. After Violet saves the day with the highest bid, I don’t even give her a two-minute warning before I kiss her in front of the whole crowd and then announce that she’s my girlfriend. Which would be fine except my agent tells me we have to keep up the act while he’s negotiating my contract.
Violet takes one for the team and pretends to be mine, but our boyfriend-girlfriend scrimmage quickly turns into a full contact sport, and I want it to go into overtime. The problem is — I’ve been riding the bench for years.

How can a guy like me, who finally has a chance to prove his worth on the field, convince the girl she’s most valuable to his heart?

MOST VALUABLE PLAYBOY is a brand new standalone sports romance written in the guy’s POV!

 

Amazon Amazon UK Audible Audio on Amazon

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10% of the proceeds from the release day sales along with a portion of pre-orders across all retailers of MOST VALUABLE PLAYBOY will be given to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund and Houston Humane Society to help those in need from the natural disaster.

 


✦The audiobook is narrated by Zachary Webber! Grab your copy today! http://adbl.co/2gbiHT2


 

 

“Lauren Blakely is a master at writing sexy, engaging stories that draw you in and make you fall in love with her characters. A definite go-to author for me!”
NYT Bestselling Author Melanie Moreland

 

“Lauren Blakely never ceases to amaze me with her sense of humor, her talent to write fabulous heroes and heroines and to pull an A game with a male POV. Most Valuable Playboy is a real treasure.
Becca at Little Read Reading Hood

“The slow burn, the teasing, the kisses, OH THE KISSES!!! MOST VALUABLE PLAYBOY exceeded all of my expectations. Lauren Blakely has a knack for making a reader fall for her characters.”
Jess at Jo and Isa Love Books Blog

 

Add it to Goodreads here!

 

 

✮✮✮ Enter to win this amazing MOST VALUABLE PLAYBOY GIVEAWAY! ✮✮✮

Lauren’s Most Valuable Playboy Team Spirit Prize Package Giveaway! This bundle is valued at $450 and includes a Coach Handbag ($300 value) and $150 Stub Hub Gift Card to use for tickets to the game, your favorite concert, or theater performance.

http://laurenblakely.com/valuable-playboy-giveaway/

 

About Lauren Blakely:

A #1 New York Times Bestselling author, Lauren Blakely is known for her contemporary romance style that’s hot, sweet and sexy. She lives in California with her family and has plotted entire novels while walking her dogs. With fourteen New York Times bestsellers, her titles have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Lists more than eighty times, and she’s sold more than 2 million books. In September she’ll release MOST VALUABLE PLAYBOY, a standalone sports romance. To receive an email when Lauren releases a new book, sign up for her newsletter! laurenblakely.com/newsletter

 

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Cover Reveal: A Saving Grace by Annie Stone


A grave injury leaves Hunter in a dangerous state. A place where he can no longer see the light. In anything. But Mackenzie can’t—and won’t—accept that.

So she sends him a reason to live. With that comes unforeseen difficulties.

Once again, Mackenzie sees firsthand how strong Hunter’s love and determination can really be. But is that enough? Will their lives ever be the same again?
Coming September 28th
I’m a contemporary romance writer, who likes her men tattooed, her women independent and her coffee strong.

My stories are all about love, but some are of the romantic kind, some of the sad kind and others of the very steamy kind. So if you can stand drama, foul language and sex, you came to the right place.

Love, Annie
Author Links

Cover Reveal: Sweet Captivity by Julia Sykes


Coming September 12th
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I don’t like to be touched. I’m the hacker-geek-goddess of the FBI. When I’m hiding behind my screen, I’m a safe distance from everyone; isolated, powerful. No man has ever touched me, but when I’m captured by Colombian drug lord Andrés Moreno, I no longer have the right to refuse. He’s scarred and scary, and his cruel brother Cristian has tasked him with breaking me. I try to fight, but I can’t escape his strong arms and harsh discipline. He demands that I accept his touch, and my virgin body can’t help but respond to his masterful manipulations.

The longer I remain trapped with him, the more I come to suspect that I’m not the only captive in his brother’s home. Andrés’ scars go deeper than the wicked furrows carved into his flesh, his pain reflected in the dark demands he imposes upon me. His obsession is twisted and wrong, but maybe I’m twisted, too.

Do I want to be rescued from him? Or is he the one who truly needs saving?
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AP  new -about the author.jpg
Julia Sykes is the USA Today bestselling author of the Impossible Series. She has always kept dark stories tucked away in her mind, so she was thrilled when she discovered that other people actually want to read them. Her books blend romance, suspense, and BDSM.
After spending four years living in England, Julia returned to her Southern homeland. She has recently settled down in South Carolina and spends her time petting her cat-children, reading, and binge watching TV with her husband when not writing. You can usually find Julia in Starbucks with a venti iced latte clutched in her hand.
Julia loves connecting with readers! Please feel free to contact her on facebook, through twitter, or email her directly at juliasykes193@gmail.com. You can find out more about Julia’s current and future projects at julia-sykes.com.
Author Links
ArdentProse_LogoMain.jpg