NEW RELEASE ALERT!! Claimed by Stacey Kennedy

CLAIMED cover - click to see my review on Goodreads

CLAIMED Book Blurb: 

A novel of erotic discovery and forbidden desire that goes beyond Fifty Shades of Grey. 

Presley Flynn is ripe to experience her secret fantasies… and Dmitri Pratt wants nothing more than to fulfill them. Once inside the elite Club Sin in Las Vegas, Presley is nervous but excited—and determined to surrender to her every desire. Dmitri is her Master, and his touch is like fire. With each careful, calculated caress, he unleashes her wildest inhibitions, giving her unimagined pleasure.

Presley is different than the other submissives Dmitri has mastered. The BDSM lifestyle is new to her, and so are the games they play at Club Sin. From the Start, Presley stirs emotions in Dmitri far beyond the raw purity between a Dom and the perfect sub. For the ecstasy they share goes beyond the dungeon, igniting a passion that claims the very depths of the heart.

CLAIMED is an erotic romance intended for mature audiences.

Find CLAIMED on Goodreads

ABOUT STACEY KENNEDYStaceyKennedy

Stacey Kennedy is an urban fantasy lover at heart, but she also enjoys losing herself in dark and sensual worlds. She lives in southwestern Ontario with her husband, who gave her a happily-ever-after. Together, they have two small children who can always make her smile, and who will never be allowed to read Mommy’s books. If she’s not plugging away at a new story, you’ll find her camping, curling up with the latest flick, or obsessing over Sons of Anarchy, Supernatural, True Blood and Lost Girl.

PURCHASE YOUR COPY OF CLAIMED:

Amazon  |  B&N  |  iBookstore  | Google Play  | Random House and other retailers

Connect with Stacey

Facebook | Twitter  |  Website

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEWAY

Stacey is holding a giveaway for a $50 Visa Gift Card and Author Swag.
It’ll run from August 5th to the 12th.

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

EXCERPT:

“Master Dmitri doesn’t expect sex.” Cora grunted. “You’ll keep your clothes on.”

Presley Flynn scanned the foyer of the snazzy mansion and looked for something to hold on to as her roommate, Cora Adams, hustled her down the corridor. With a little shove, Cora added, “You wanted this, remember?”

“Clearly, I’ve lost my damn mind.” Presley pushed back against Cora’s hands, trying to hold her ground.

The mansion was pleasant, with thick dark wood on the trim of the doorways and gentle burgundy-painted walls, but it did nothing to settle her nerves. Beneath her feet, located in the basement, was the elite BDSM dungeon, Club Sin. “Maybe I need to go to a therapist. Or skip that part and go straight to the nuthouse.”

Cora stepped in front of Presley, and her big blue eyes, lined with dark makeup, sparkled. Her long chocolate-colored hair fell over her black blouse, and her red lipstick covered pursed lips. “You told me you wanted to join the dungeon.”

Presley snorted. “You said I was a long-lost submissive who needed the lifestyle. Which, apparently, is so far from the truth, since why am I on the verge of puking all over this fancy hardwood floor?”

Cora smirked. “Please don’t puke on Master Dmitri’s floor.”

“Okay, great,” Presley muttered in total agreement. “See, it’s best I leave.”

She turned to get the hell out of the place when Cora grabbed her arm, pulling Presley back in front of her. “One chance, Presley, that’s all you get. If you leave now, you won’t be allowed to come back.”

Cora walked forward, and Presley found herself matching her stride. They passed a grand wooden staircase on the left, leading to the upstairs. A huge wrought-iron balcony curved around the entire upper floor, which led to numerous doors used for God knew what.

They strode by an oval-shaped dining room, and Cora added, “There’s a reason why you read so many BDSM erotic novels. There’s a reason why it turns you on. And there’s a reason why you made the decision to come with me tonight.”

Stopping near the doorway to the office that Presley had been avoiding for the last five minutes, she inhaled. “You’re right. I did come here for a reason.” To surrender to her every desire. “I don’t want to walk out the front door, but—” She pointed toward the office. “I’m scared shitless to walk through that door.”

“Of course you are.” Cora grinned. “Your darkest, most secret fantasies await you in that office.” Without another word, she spun on her heel and headed down the hallway in the opposite direction.

“Do you plan on coming in?”

Presley started at the powerful low voice that seemed to draw her forward, giving the fearful butterflies in her stomach a flutter of excitement. Her feet moved without thought as she entered the office, which looked much like a library.

Books filled the shelves at the far end of the room, along with a grand wooden desk. A computer and telephone and other office accessories sat on top of it. A sleek black leather couch was situated straight ahead, under the bay window.

“Ah, she finally decides to enter.”

Presley froze, as time halted. The man never raised his head to look at her, but he didn’t need to. His presence filled the room, making her entirely aware of him. He sat at the desk, his head bowed toward the paper he’d been reading. With the slight curve to his mouth, he stole the air from her lungs. He was hot.

As the owner of Club Sin and the president of Las Vegas’s top casino, Dmitri Pratt matched the mansion with his wealthy exuberance. Hard angles defined his jawline and cheekbones. His lips were lush and sculpted and his nose straight-edged. The sleeves of his black dress shirt were rolled up on his muscular forearms, displaying a tribal dragon tattoo on his left arm.

When she didn’t move, Dmitri stated, with his eyes still focused on the paper, “Take a seat on the couch.”

Exhaling slowly, she shed the tension in her chest as she made her way to the leather sofa and sat down. The coolness of the upholstery against her heated skin came as much needed relief. She crossed her legs, doing her best to portray confidence.

In front of this powerful and experienced man, she didn’t want to show her apprehension. In fact, she’d never been this uncomfortable around men, but Dmitri wasn’t simply a man. He sexually dominated women, and as a Dom, he did the kinky things Presley had only dreamed of fulfilling.

He signed the paper, then he lifted his head. Presley forgot the world around her, absorbed in him. His piercing blue eyes gazed over her from head to toe before his focus returned to her face. The depth of those eyes pulled her in with the intensity of how he watched her. No, how he studied her. He didn’t give her a quick look but a long examination.

Under his stare, her body went mushy and hot. Flames flickered through her veins as he stood from his chair and approached. Her fingernails bit into her palms as her heart rate increased. His muscular frame didn’t fit his fluid gait. Each step he took exuded authority, like a lion on a hunt, but appeared graceful, with controlled power.

She scanned the thickness of his shoulders beneath his black dress shirt, and she noticed how the fabric clung to him, detailing the valleys of his muscles. Glancing lower, she found the rest of him to be more of the same—powerful and masculine. His black slacks, held tight by a leather belt hung low on his hips, hugged his thick thighs.

Stopping in front of her, he stared at her with impressively intense eyes, and a strand of his stylish blond hair hung across his forehead. “So, you’re Cora’s friend? Presley, right?”

The commanding nature of his voice made her breathing erratic. This man had the capability of making her feel giddy as a schoolgirl, as if he were her secret crush who’d noticed her at last. “Yes, that’s me.”

Dmitri’s mouth twitched, and he tucked a finger under her jaw, tilting up her chin. “Welcome to my home, Presley.”

She shivered at the stern yet gentle hold. “Thank you.”

He slid a finger along her jawline, cocking his head, and his study of her touched the center of her soul, awakening her body in a foreign way. As if, for the first time in her life, a man looked at her and truly saw her. His examination made her bare, totally exposed to him, and unusually vulnerable.

Locked in a stare she couldn’t break free from, she wiggled in her seat, unable to stop herself, then she froze. After another shift, she couldn’t ignore the damp silk between her thighs. How was that even possible—nervous one minute to undeniably turned on the next?

Dmitri’s eyebrow arched, and that sexy smile returned. “Pretty little thing, aren’t you, doll?”

He removed his hold and she quivered, and her body hummed with desire. The memory of his touch remained. The path his finger had taken was scorched into her skin, and the heat within only intensified as she drew in his masculine scent, edged with sandalwood.

Watching the twinkle in his eyes increase, she cursed herself for being entirely too obvious. Or maybe she should curse him for being so talented at reading people. To calm down, she glanced around the office, looking for something to take her mind off of her response to him.

It was hopeless.

The home seemed like a fairy tale all in itself. Along the dark taupe wall across from her were four huge canvases forming a solid picture of a lone tree and a moon, reminding her that she was out of her element. “That painting is beautiful.” Enormous and expensive. “Did you pick it out?”

Dmitri followed her gaze for only a moment. “Do I look like the type of man who’d know about art?”

She licked her dry lips, staring at his sculpted mouth that held the mysterious smile, and she admitted, “Kind of.”

“No, doll, I couldn’t care less about it.” He winked. “That’s what interior decorators are for.”

Dmitri deftly turned and strode toward the watercooler in the corner of the office. Presley frowned at his back. Perhaps she had misread him and he wasn’t as fancy as she’d thought, since he seemed amused by her response.

After filling a tall glass with water, he returned to her and offered her the glass. “Here, drink this, love.”

“Thanks.” She accepted the glass, and settled the cool glass on her lap, not sure she’d get the water down her dry throat.

Dmitri leaned in and gazed into her eyes dead-on. “I didn’t give you the glass to hold. I gave you the water because you need it. Drink up, Presley.”

The stern set of his jaw indicated he wouldn’t relent, so with a shrug, she sipped the water. The cool liquid rushed through her mouth and down her throat, easing the tightness as she swallowed. Maybe she needed that more than she’d thought. He gave a firm nod. “Better.”

As he sat next to her on the couch, his thick thigh brushed against hers, and a spark blasted through her, causing her cheeks to warm. The side of his mouth once again curved as he stared at her blush before those intense eyes zeroed in on hers. “Now, then, tell me a bit about yourself.”

“Well—” She focused on their conversation and away from how incredible his body felt against hers. “My parents are still together and have a good marriage. I grew up in Apple Valley my entire life, but I moved to Vegas about four months ago to live with my ex.” She took another sip of the water and realized she’d almost opened a door she didn’t want to go through. Gathering her thoughts, she looked at her hands, clenched around the glass, and continued. “That’s a story not worth repeating.” No way in hell would she tell him about her ex-boyfriend, Steven Moser, on whom she wasted eight years of her life. “Let’s see . . . I’m twenty-five and have no kids.”

Dmitri raised his ankle over his knee, drawing her focus to him, and she noticed his body shaking in silent laughter. Maybe, with Steven on her mind, her defenses were already on high alert. Or perhaps Dmitri made her feel way too inexperienced and even too nervous in this erotic adventure she’d entered, but her glare came fierce and instant.

He frowned. “Would you like to try that again?”

“I have nothing else to say.” She shifted against the couch, realizing now that she deserved his mirth. In this place, she might as well have a halo over her head. “That’s all there is to know about me.”

“No, Presley.” His eyes were dark, firm, and cold. “In my house, my guests don’t glare at me.”

Had he honestly noticed her glare? Most times when she glared at Steven, he didn’t see it or didn’t care enough to ask what had upset her. “I—”

Dmitri’s eyes narrowed. “If I’ve upset you, tell me, so I can address it. Don’t give me nasty looks that I don’t deserve, considering I’ve hardly said a word.”

The authority in his voice made her insides quiver. It was the meaning in his statement that spoke to something deep inside her—I see you. Even if what she’d done bothered him, he didn’t overlook any of her actions. For the first time in a long time—possibly ever—she wasn’t a shadow, a person everyone passed and never truly looked at, and that made her speechless.

However, at his firm look urging her to continue, she took his advice and asked, “What did you find so funny?”

He dropped his ankle from his knee and turned to face her. “Your little rundown there.” His stern expression melted away to a charming smile, drawing her full attention to his kissable mouth. “I didn’t mean for you to tell me everything about yourself, as if I were hiring you.”

Just kill me now!

His eyes softened, as did his voice. “I meant for you to tell me why you want to join the dungeon, considering you look incredibly nervous.”

She almost rolled her eyes but stopped herself. “Right, I guess that’s what you’d want to know.” Shoving her embarrassment away to fret over later, she put on a brave face and lifted her chin. “Well, I read a lot of erotic romance books and . . . um . . . Cora has told me about the lifestyle, and you see, it . . . ”

With a gentle hold, he gripped her chin, tilting her head downward. “Arouses you?”

He dropped his hand and she nodded, and the water in the glass rippled in waves from the tremble of her hands. Gripping it tightly, she bit her lip, which didn’t ease the flickers of mortified tremors.

“What about BDSM arouses you?”

His intense study reached into her soul. She squirmed against the leather couch, and her skin flushed wicked hot. “Err . . . the sex stuff.”

One sleek eyebrow lifted. “The sex stuff?”

She followed the line of his brow along the masculine contours of his face. While his eyebrow arch looked simple enough, it portrayed a statement of curiosity, and he was beautiful. “You know, being tied up, dominated . . . and um . . . other stuff.”

Dmitri considered her in a way that made her feel as if he noticed every flaw on her face. “I’m going to be blunt with you, Presley.” Before she could inquire what he meant by blunt, he added, “I’d appreciate if you stay quiet while I talk. After I’m done, we can discuss what I’ve told you.” He waited for her nod, then he continued. “A Club Sin submissive can be restrained with ropes, cuffs, chains, or anything that can be used to bind a person.” His grin became devilish. “Doms enjoy being creative.”

Sweet Jesus!

“In a scene, you might be flogged, paddled, whipped, spanked, or caned. You could find yourself tied to a Saint Andrew’s cross, tossed over a spanking bench, or attached to any other device located in the dungeon.”

Damn her body for flushing at those choices, and damn his wicked expression declaring enjoyment. She took a big gulp of the water, which this time didn’t help the dryness in her throat.

His eyes twinkled. “If it’s within your limits, you might have intercourse in the dungeon or be asked to give oral sex; if your Dom is especially pleased, you could find yourself climaxing in front of a crowd.”

Her mouth dropped open, but he seemed not to realize or care. He added, “This isn’t a sex club meant to have vanilla sex. At Club Sin, you are the submissive and are treated as such.” Drawing in a deep breath, he allowed her a minute to process before he said, “There are no slaves at Club Sin. We have submissives who, outside of the dungeon, are equal in every regard. In the dungeon, you are the bottom in the relationship and will need to accept that. You don’t make decisions. You don’t ask questions. You do what your Dom tells you to do.”

A shiver slid down her spine. Not at what he said, exactly, but how he said it. The heated look in his eye and the stern tone portrayed a confidence that her lower half appreciated. Which had been part of the battle, excitement at the thought of a man controlling her, yet she’d been raised to have a voice and thoughts. Meshing the two desires and wants was confusing at best.

His head tilted. “Submissives at Club Sin are expected to be submissive only while in a scene. Meaning you’re not expected to be in high protocol at all times in the dungeon, as in kneeling at your Dom’s feet and avoiding eye contact. These are the rules I’ve put in place at Club Sin, because they’re what I prefer. To be a member, everyone must follow that rule.”

He once again let her process it all before he said, “Of course, you are to respect all Doms with proper address; mind your manners; and be respectful to other submissives. But we are not a club that expects high protocol, unless that’s something your Dom requires of you for a punishment.” That ridiculously sexy eyebrow arched again. “Do you understand?”

Presley nodded and wiggled in her seat, trying to ignore the heat swirling between her thighs. All of what he said were things she’d read about, fantasized over, and the idea that she’d play the submissive role made her burn.

“Some submissives like things others don’t, and that’s why you outline your limits when you sign the dungeon’s agreement. That part of play at Club Sin is nonnegotiable. Your limits will never be broken. If you want to change a limit, you’ll have a sit-down with me to discuss it. I may agree without hesitation, or I might request that I watch you in scene first if the limit change is drastic.” He casually picked a piece of lint off his pants. “What you do in your private life is your business. Here, in the dungeon, what you do is my business, since I’m the owner of Club Sin. All clear?”

She nodded, managing to close her parted lips, but she was unable to look away from his eyes. There, in their depths, she found something so intoxicating, so centered. Dmitri appeared to be the most put-together man she’d ever met in her life, so sure of himself and his choices, and that was even sexier than his muscular frame and gorgeous face.

He flicked the piece of lint onto the floor. “If you don’t follow what has been asked of you, you will be punished. If you refuse your punishment, you will be escorted from the dungeon and not allowed to return.”

Her breath became trapped in her throat, and as if he read her concern, he added, “A punishment can be a spanking with a hand or a paddle, a night spent wearing a gag, or whatever the Dom thinks is appropriate for your disobedience. But no punishment would ever exceed your limits. One thing you can count on is your punishment will be fair.” He tucked her hair behind her ear, smiling gently. “Now tell me how you feel about what I’ve told you.”

“It’s . . . well . . . I . . .” She swallowed, shifting through all the confusion coursing through her veins. Her body burned so hot that she wanted out of her skin. Her mind warned her how insane it was to agree to something that could, in fact, lead to a punishment.

After a moment, she realized the winner of the internal battle was glaringly obvious, because it was why she’d come here tonight. “God forgive me, I liked it.”

Dmitri gave her a long look before he threw his head back with laughter. Her embarrassment quickly turned to anger, and she stood so fast that the water spilled on the floor. “Stop laughing at me! This isn’t funny.”

He slowly looked at her. His eyes had darkened. He rose to his feet with a powerful grace, taking the glass from her hands, and slamming it on the end table with a clunk. “To your knees.”

In a swift move, she dropped to her knees, cringing when she connected with the hardwood floor. The second the pain eased, she realized what he’d asked and what she’d done.

Had she honestly responded to Dmitri without a single thought? Was she seriously kneeling for the man at his feet? And why had he told her to kneel? Because she snapped at him, or maybe she’d glared again? Her mind raced to understand what had happened in the last couple of seconds, but failed miserably.

Dmitri’s shiny black shoes rested in front of her, and his rich masculine scent wrapped around her. He didn’t move, nor did he say a word.

She did the only thing she thought would be appropriate in this extremely awkward moment. She whispered, “I’m sorry.”

Review: The Cat’s Meow by Stacey Kennedy

TheCatsMeow cover - click to see on GoodreadsThe Cat’s Meow

Witch’s Brew Book One

by Stacey Kennedy

Urban Fantasy Romance

Publisher: Entangled Publishing

ISBN: 9781622668571

Release date: December 13, 2012

BLURB:

When a magical presence is detected around a recent string of feline slayings, Libby, an enchantress, is determined to discover who is behind the odd deaths. But being a witch gifted by the Goddess won’t protect her from the talented warlock the Coven sends to assist her. Kale weaves a spell more powerful than any she’s ever seen–and he’s sexy as sin. But why he’s even needed for such a simple mission is beyond her.

While having some muscle around can’t hurt her investigation, fighting her growing attraction for Kale is worse than a hex, especially considering she knows he—and their Coven—are hiding something from her. When she turns up clues that point to something far more sinister than slaughtered cats, though, the elusive warlock isn’t the her only concern. She now has a political rebellion on her hands, too. And when the truth about who she really is begins to surface, the only person Libby can trust is herself.

SJ’s REVIEW:

Such a fun read. Stacey created fabulous characters in this book. They each draw you in for a page turning read. First there is Libby, she’s such a smart ass and gosh I love her, and then there is Kale, the mysterious tempting warlock. There is also the best friend, Peyton. At one point she says to Libby, “Responsibility first.” Peyton snickered. “Sexual fantasies later.” Yes, these girls are fun and they both tug at your heart when they get into trouble.
There is tons of mystery surrounding Kale and the evil brewing in Charleston. It’s incredibly entertaining to watch Libby, in all her sass, rise to the challenge. However, The last thing Libby ever wanted was to have another warlock in her life and now her life may depend on trusting one. When Kale can’t tell Libby the truth he pushes her in a different way and points out, “But your body trusts me, doesn’t it?” Oh, he’s a wicked warlock and I love him too.
The end is completely satisfying and a page turning joy to read. Stacey has weaved a great book here and I’m very much looking forward to the next in this series.

note from S. J. : I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review.

LINKS:

GoodreadsAmazon | B&N | Books on Board

Cover Reveal: Claimed (Club Sin, Book One) by Stacey Kennedy

Claimed cover - click to see on GoodreadsCLAIMED

Club Sin, Book One

by Stacey Kennedy

Publisher: Loveswept (Random House Publishing Group)
ISBN: 9780345548306
Release date: August 5, 2013

Below you’ll find the book’s description, pre-order buttons, a giveaway, and information on Stacey. Don’t forget to click the pretty cover to see it on Goodreads. Enjoy!

Book Description:

A novel of erotic discovery and forbidden desire that goes beyond Fifty Shades of Grey.

Presley Flynn is ripe to experience her secret fantasies . . . and Dmitri Pratt wants nothing more than to fulfill them. Once inside the elite Club Sin in Las Vegas, Presley is nervous but excited—and determined to surrender to her every desire. Dmitri is her Master, and his touch is like fire. With each careful, calculated caress, he unleashes her wildest inhibitions, giving her unimagined pleasure.

Presley is different than the other submissives Dmitri has mastered. The BDSM lifestyle is new to her, and so are the games they play at Club Sin. From the start, Presley stirs emotions in Dmitri far beyond the raw purity between a dom and the perfect sub. For the ecstasy they share goes beyond the dungeon, igniting a passion that claims the very depths of the heart.

Claimed is an erotic romance intended for mature audiences.

PRE-ORDER BUTTONS:

Amazon | B&N 

a Rafflecopter giveaway <~~ click here for your chance to win an eBook!

About the Author:staceykennedy

Stacey Kennedy is an urban fantasy lover at heart, but she also enjoys losing herself in dark and sensual worlds. She lives in southwestern Ontario with her husband, who gave her a happily-ever-after. Together, they have two small children who can always make her smile, and who will never be allowed to read Mommy’s books. If she’s not plugging away at a new story, you’ll find her camping, curling up with the latest flick, or obsessing over Sons of Anarchy and Game of Thrones.

Website – http://www.staceykennedy.com/

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/AuthorStaceyKennedy

Facebook Fan Page – www.facebook.com/StaceyKennedyFanPage

Twitter – https://twitter.com/#!/Stacey_Kennedy

Goodreads – http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3473046.Stacey_Kennedy

Cover Reveal: WEREWOLVES BE DAMNED by Stacey Kennedy

StaceyKennedy_WerewolvesBeDamned_coverWEREWOLVES BE DAMNED

A Magic & Mayhem Novel

by Stacey Kennedy

Publisher: Entangled Publishing

Release date: April 15, 2013

Book link <~ takes you to Stacey’s site

Goodreads

Book Description:

Nexi Jones—part witch, part guardian, and wannabe kick-ass warrior—can’t throw a punch or conjure the simplest magic. But that doesn’t stop her from hunting the werewolves who slaughtered her human family. She’ll have her revenge, but only if Kyden, the elite guardian, would get the hell out of her way.

Kyden can’t decide if Nexi wants to get herself killed or if she just has no clue what she’s doing. But her father made it clear: keep Nexi safe…or else. Of course, the more Nexi runs toward revenge, the more she needs Kyden’s aid, and as she grows into her power and confidence, so does his desire to protect her. The only problem? She’d rather he dropped dead.

But when a vampire paints a bull’s-eye on Nexi’s back, she’s hard-pressed to deny Kyden and the help he’s offering. Even if it means getting her revenge will be a little bit harder. At least it will still be as sweet.”

About the Author:

staceykennedyStacey Kennedy is an urban fantasy lover at heart, but she also enjoys losing herself in dark and sensual worlds. She lives in southwestern Ontario with her husband, who gave her a happily-ever-after. Together, they have two small children who can always make her smile, and who will never be allowed to read Mommy’s books. If she’s not plugging away at a new story, you’ll find her camping, curling up with the latest flick, or obsessing over Sons of Anarchy and Game of Thrones.

Website – http://www.staceykennedy.com/

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/AuthorStaceyKennedy

Facebook Fan Page – www.facebook.com/StaceyKennedyFanPage

Twitter – https://twitter.com/#!/Stacey_Kennedy

Goodreads – http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3473046.Stacey_Kennedy

Teaser:

 I’ve found you, fur ball.

Nexi peered from behind the large oak tree and spotted the small log cabin nestled in the thick forest. The porch light cast a warm glow into the night. Fog settled over the lush grass, and the night was dark, eerie.

Stepping away from her hiding place behind the tree, she strode forward and gripped the dagger tightly in her hand. Keeping the silver blade pointed outward, she climbed the cabin’s porch steps, taking each one slowly to avoid detection.

Once she arrived at the front door, she wrapped her hand around the door handle. Rich hunger for revenge burned in her veins and made her intent on one thing: to slaughter the werewolf who escaped the night of her parents’ murder. Not caring what awaited her, she stormed inside, dagger pointed, ready to kill.

The simple cabin had two large brown couches near a wood-burning stove, a kitchenette behind the living room, and a quilt-covered bed resting in the back. And that was it; there were no other rooms to investigate. No secret hiding places she could see.

No damned werewolf.

She cursed, shut the front door behind her, then trotted down the steps to return to her hiding spot. On her way across the yard, she glanced at the space to the right of the tree, which looked much like a heat wave, indicating that the portal to the Otherworld remained.

In some places around the world—or the Earthworld, as supernaturals had called it—there were permanent portals to the supernatural realm. This portal had only appeared because Nexi had travelled to this cabin from the Otherworld. Once she passed through the portal again, the gateway would vanish.

Magic had its perks. Quick travel was one of them.

Nexi shook her head at how normal all this magical stuff seemed now. Just over a month ago she’d never believed in anything that went bump in the night. Now she knew all those things existed, and in fact, she was one of them.

To her horror, she had learned that her birth mother, Tillie, had been murdered by a power-hungry vampire, Lazarus.  All those years ago, her birth father, Drake, had protectively decided to block Nexi’s supernatural abilities. He had planned for her to live and die as a mortal. Now with her return to the Otherworld and the removal of the block on her true identity, there was no going back.

She was no longer plain, human, Nexi Jones.

She was Nexi Jones, part guardian, part witch.

Looking away from the portal and to her hiding spot until the werewolf returned, she hurried her steps. She wasn’t ready to return to the Otherworld yet. Not until she had the werewolf’s head as her wall ornament would she dare go home.

Just as she neared the tree, a woodsy scent that had nothing to do with the forest mixed with the citrusy aroma of aftershave. A blink of an eye later, the dagger she held was now at her throat, a hard body closed in on her back.

“You smelled lovely when you arrived.” The low voice by her ear held a faint English accent. “But I never imagined you’d be so pretty.”

The blade pressed into her skin, not drawing blood, but implying that if the werewolf chose, she’d be destined for the grave. “I’m…”

“Going to explain yourself.” He lowered the dagger, took hold of her arm, and jerked her forward.

In a few short strides, the werewolf tossed her through the threshold of the cabin, and slammed the door behind them. He sauntered to the couch, sat down, and regarded her. “Now then, darlin’.” His olive skin was stunningly flawless, and his chocolate-colored hair was spiked tall. “Why would a pretty lass like yourself plan to attack me?”

“Don’t move.” That charm wouldn’t fool her. “Stay right where you are.”

“My mouth is the only thing moving.” His slanted amber eyes raked over her. “Would you like me to stop talking?”

“No.” She hesitated then added, “Only your mouth can move. Nothing else. Tell me what you know.”

He gave her a long look. “I’d be glad to tell you anything you’d like, love.”

His kind face and soft voice wouldn’t trick her. He was a werewolf. She was certain, which was another oddity.

After the block on her supernatural abilities had been lifted, she could identify a supernatural creature as if knowing the difference between a brunette and a redhead. “Tell me why you killed my family.”

“That’s an interesting accusation.” He cocked his head, studying her with a frown. “But I think the more important question is who are you?”

She lifted her chin. “The lass who’s going to cut off your furry wolf balls.”

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Review: Corporate Temptress by Stacey Kennedy

I have a very special treat for you. Today I’m shining the spotlight on Stacey Kennedy and her latest release, Corporate Temptress. Below you’ll find all the book details, the beautiful cover (click it to see the book on Goodreads), the blurb, my review, excerpt, the buy links, Stacey’s bio and all the places you can find her on the web. Enjoy.

corporatetemptress_msr1Corporate Temptress

by: Stacey Kennedy

PublisherEllora’s Cave
ISBN: 9781419941092
Length: Novelette
Heat Level: Sizzling (BDSM Elements)
Release date: January 30, 2013
Price: $2.99

BLURB:

Evan needs to finalize the details of an important merger. Problem is, the deal has come to a standstill because of the rival company’s drop-dead gorgeous CEO. Frustrated as he is with the woman, Evan can’t keep his mind off Brooke’s overt sexuality. He demands she sign the paperwork or the deal is dead. But Brooke has demands of her own. She’ll sign the contract…for one night of no-strings sex.

That’s a lusty merger Evan can’t possibly refuse.

SJ’s REVIEW:

This is erotica done extremely well. I’m a big fan of Stacey Kennedy, love her voice. This is my first EC for men read and it’s obvious men will love reading this quick story told from the man’s POV. BUT, take notice ladies, you’ll love this too. It’s hot, yes, it’s smoken, plus the story has characters you’ll love. Brooke is definitely a temptress, she’s a powerful heroine and does not shy from taking what she wants. The story builds and builds and explodes at the perfect time. It’s quick, it’s hot, and it’s easy to recommend to both men and women. I give Corporate Temptress five-stars.

NOTE: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review.

EXCERPT:

Copyright © STACEY KENNEDY, 2013

All Rights Reserved, Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Inc.

Evan Marshall slowly stood from his seat, glaring down the long table of executives. “You accept now, or the deal is dead.”

Brooke Silverwood, CEO of Silverwood Bayes, a research and development investment company, leaned forward, giving him a full view of her cleavage. “I do believe we can do without the threats, Mr. Marshall.”

While this merger would bring together two powerful companies—his successful business, Marshall & Pasley, a research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare company, and Brooke’s multimillion dollar enterprise—the endless back and forth about the merger grated on his last nerve.

More to the point, each hour spent with her only increased his frustrations. He’d grown tired of being teased by her, whether she was aware of it or not. If something didn’t break soon, he’d bend her over that table, lift her skirt and bury himself deep into her cunt.

Too bad for him an ugly truth remained—business before pleasure, something he had to continually remind himself of. This deal would secure his company. His cock held no place in these discussions.

At his continuing silence, Brooke gave him a sassy smile then she glanced around the room, focusing on each of the men who made up her team. “Let me speak with Mr. Marshall alone for a minute.” Gesturing toward the door, she continued in her husky voice, “Leave us.”

Without hesitation, her team left the modern office and Evan snorted. Being a CEO of his own company, he could understand the power she held, but he wouldn’t have responded to her in that quick of a fashion.

Even over the past days, she held quite the presence and he admired that about her. But he wanted to teach the woman that not every man bent to her will. And he wanted to give her the lesson with her naked and beneath him.

Realizing his thoughts had once again traveled to a place he shouldn’t go, he stretched his neck, focusing his mind back into his brain instead of in his pants. He should never have offered to flesh out the details of the merger and should’ve sent his business partner Robert Pasley instead. Then he wouldn’t have suffered a 24/7 hard-on for days now, nor would he have spent every night and morning jerking off to ease the tension.

Robert had dealt with the merger up until this point, since he always managed the business end. Evan handled the employees and other in-office details. The partnership worked. This shit wasn’t anything he preferred.

As the thought raced through his mind, he also knew exactly why he’d come to New York City. His dick had led him there. That deep, sensual tone of Brooke’s on the telephone meetings had been the entire reason he came instead of Robert. He’d had to meet this woman.

Only problem?

The fantasy of her he’d built in his mind didn’t compare to the reality. He suspected that raspy voice wouldn’t belong to an attractive woman. Brooke, with her long, straight dark hair, womanly figure and pouty lips that he’d imagined sucking him off—a few times over—stunned him.

However, his marvel of her lasted a day. Now she merely frustrated him to no end, teasing him every day with her tight skirts, shirts that always fell open to show off her tits and her sexy legs.

Giving his head a shake to clear it, he watched her. Brooke remained at the head of the table, her baby blues lined with black makeup staying focused on him. “Mr. Marshall, I’m in agreement over the merger.”

“I’m glad to hear it, Ms. Silverwood.”

Her eyebrows rose at the obvious bite to his voice before her seductive grin slid back into place. “Before we close the deal, I believe there are some final details to work out.”

She stood from her seat then strode toward the door. His focus went straight to her heart-shaped ass clad in a black skirt, which hugged all her fine curves. Exactly how he liked his women; an ass that could take a pounding without fear he’d break her.

As he watched her strut, his dick twitched at the way her hips swayed. She might have moved with such grace without realizing it, but he didn’t much care. He’d love to see that body sliding so elegantly over his, drenched in sweat from a seriously good screw.

When she locked the office door, his semi-hard cock went rock-hard. What’s she up to? She turned back to him and her blue eyes had darkened, those sensual lips of hers parted. He straightened his back, tightening his fists at his sides as heat pooled into his groin.

“Now that we’re alone, we can agree on a few conditions.” Her voice had somehow grown throatier and his cock acknowledged the power her voice had over him by throbbing.

He followed her every step as she approached him. Those longs legs, perfect silky calves and fuck-me heels that brought his thoughts to X-rated places delighted him. “Conditions?”

She unbuttoned her suit jacket then tossed it onto one of the chairs. His mouth went dry. Her pink silk top hung delicately over her luscious frame. She had round and soft breasts that he could bury his face into and curves that no woman should possess, since they could be his undoing.

Once in front of him, she stared intently, angling her head up to meet his gaze, since she was a good bit shorter than he. “I’ll sign the deal. Merge the companies. But you have one condition to meet before I do.”

Am I imagining this?

The woman was a corporate temptress—not only did she succeed in business, but she succeeded in the art of seduction. He found himself captivated. From her husky voice to the confident twinkle in her gaze and even her choice of clothing appeared to tease a man. But was she coming on to him or was this wishful thinking?

He swallowed, refusing his instincts to grab on to her and see if her mouth tasted as good as it looked. “Again, what conditions?”

“The issue between us.”

He inhaled, catching a whiff of her sweet perfume, but beneath it, all he scented was aroused woman. “Issue?”

She slid her finger up his forearm in a slow, seductive caress and he tensed. “Now now, Evan. I never took you for a man who didn’t see things for how they are.” Her gaze followed the path her finger took and heat rushed through his veins. “You think I haven’t noticed how you fuck me with your eyes.”

Her blunt statement tightened his muscles. Women never spoke that like. Not unless he dreamed of it, then fantasized over it later. But what game was she playing? First she’d teased him for days and now she increased it? “Point being?”

“Well, you see,” her fingernail continued to trail up his arm, “for us to continue with this merger, we can’t have this distraction.”

That rich tone of hers drifted over him, making his desires rear up. The tickle from her nail awakened the part of him that wanted to bang her ruthlessly. Right now the merger happened to be the last thing on his mind.

“This deal will merge two top companies together and we need to focus to see it succeed.” Her gaze lifted and her tongue slid across her lip, drawing his focus to her luscious mouth. “How can we focus with this sexual tension between us?”

He paused, considering if he’d heard her correctly. Had the blood rushing to his cock somehow switched off his mind? “How do you want to fix that?”

She put her hand on his chest and as she slid it down his stomach, he gritted his teeth. That light touch of hers continued until she cupped his erection. “You get the merger.” She stroked him slowly. “I get this.”

BUY LINKS:

Elora’s Cave | All Romance | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Books on Board

BIO:staceykennedy

Stacey Kennedy’s novels are lighthearted fantasy with heart-squeezing, thigh-clenching romance, and even give a good chuckle every now and again. But within the stories you’ll also find fast-paced action, life-threatening moments, and a big bad villain who needs to be destroyed. She lives in Southwestern Ontario with her husband and two children. If she’s not plugging away at a new story—which is rare because her muse is annoying—you’ll find her camping, curling up with the latest flick, or obsessing over Sons of Anarchy, Supernatural and Dexter.

Stacey welcomes comments from readers. You can find her at:

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter

Goodreads ~ Amazon

@Stacey_Kennedy

Spotlight: Mystically Bound by Stacey Kennedy

I have a very special treat for you. Today I’m shining the spotlight on Stacey Kennedy and her latest release in the Frostbite series, Mystically Bound. Below you’ll find all the book details, the beautiful cover (click it to see the book on Goodreads), the blurb, excerpt (all of Chapter One!!!), the buy links, Stacey’s bio and all the places you can find her on the web. Enjoy.

Mystically Bound

Frostbite Book Three

by Stacey Kennedy

Genre: Urban Fantasy Romance
ISBN: 9781301901340
Length: Novel
Heat Level: Sensual
Release date:  January 31, 2013

BLURB:

Tess Jennings’ life is in chaos. Her ghost lover, Kipp McGowen, vanished into the Netherworld without a trace. Now, she finds herself in White Castle, Louisiana, surrounded by the Animus—a secret society of the supernaturally gifted. To make matters worse, they present her with an offer she cannot refuse.

If she helps solve the murder of their Grand Master, they will assist her in saving Kipp. Soon, Tess will land herself lost in another mystery she doesn’t want. But she will have to trust her enemies to gain what she most desires—a life with Kipp.

Only problem? People are hiding secrets and dark pasts. Tess will soon discover that nothing is as it seems. She might want to save Kipp from his ghostly state, but someone has decided it’s better for her to join him…

Copyright © STACEY KENNEDY, 2013

All Rights Reserved, Stacey Kennedy.

Chapter One

Find our ghost, and we’ll help save Kipp.

One statement took my already upside down world, spun it in a new warped direction, and sent hot slivers of frustration through my veins. Another mystery didn’t interest me. My to-do list toppled with one important checkbox to mark off: find my ghost lover, Kipp McGowen, and return him to his comatose body.

I glanced sideways at my friend, Gretchen. Her cinnamon-colored hair swept over the side of her face, deepening the grayish tones in her blue eyes. “Did I hear that right?”

She nodded tightly. “You did, and they’re waiting for your answer.”

What if I didn’t want to answer? What if I didn’t want to help anyone else? Hadn’t the time for someone to assist me—without my having to return the favor—been earned? Yet, here I stood in White Castle, Louisiana, presently cornered to use my gifts to communicate with the dead.

Couldn’t someone cut me a damn break?

Blowing out a frustrated breath, I scanned the mansion. Its fancy furniture, dating to the nineteenth century, had an overall charm with gothic detail and rich crimson fabrics. Even the scent of a spicy potpourri portrayed comfort. Sadly, the two people—excluding Gretchen—who currently awaited my answer, didn’t look friendly. Especially the crotchety man in his early forties, sitting in the dark wood antique wingback chair.

I finally admitted to myself that I couldn’t ignore them. “Sorry, can you repeat the question?”

Wayde Hagen’s light brown eyes blazed with a bottomless irritation I wouldn’t dare agitate. His thick, six-five frame put me on edge since next to him, I was a tiny woman. Though I attempted to hide the fact that he intimidated me, the coldness in his features, the sharp contours of his face, and his thin hard lips unnerved me.

“I don’t need to repeat myself.” His low voice echoed off the high ceilings. “Answer the question.”

I could only gawk at him. Were all the others so chilling?

Truth be told, I had no idea what to expect when I first heard of the others from Gretchen. The entire airplane ride to White Castle, I drilled her on the group she belonged to. She explained some were mediums, others psychics, and a few more were witches. But tonight, only two of the group greeted me—if you could even call it that.

While I sensed energy in the room, much like an elevated awareness, and assumed it meant all those present held some level of supernatural power, none held my abilities. Perhaps they might create a kick-ass spell, predict the future, or sense ghosts, but no one except me could see and talk to spirits.

Some might think I’d impress them, but Wayde’s ice-cold gaze declared otherwise. To him, I was an outsider, and well, I’d prefer to be outside than near him. “Let me get this straight. You want me to find a ghost, and if I do, you’ll help me locate Kipp?”

Wayde inclined his head. “That’s the offer.”

I restrained my snappy response, considering a morgue would’ve been friendlier than talking to Wayde. He wasn’t the first to disapprove of my loving a ghost and I doubted he’d be the last. But I didn’t much give a shit what he thought. “Why do you need me to find your ghost?”

Turning from the towering hand-carved marble fireplace with the blazing fire, the other woman, Amelia, smiled at me. She settled in next to Wayde and her crystal blue eyes warmed. Her shoulder-length honey-colored hair looked soft, leaving me to wonder what shampoo she used. Everything about this woman screamed gentle…and maybe a slight undertone of weakness. “Someone killed my father.”

Perhaps that explained why she welcomed me so easily, since the matter was personal.  “Your father?”

Her voice trembled. “Or I should say, our Grand Master.”

My lip arched as I glimpsed Gretchen, and she chuckled. “Alexander was our Grand Master. He ruled us for the last fifteen years.”

“Oh.” What else could I say? You’re strange. Or, why am I here?

Gretchen told me the secret society, known as Animus, was established in the eighteenth century. A group of supernaturally gifted had come together and formed the organization. Many of the founding members’ descendants remained.

To me, it sounded like an unfriendly cult, since I hadn’t received the warmest of welcomes. Not like I would call Gretchen a cult member to her face. She’d bailed my ass out of trouble only days ago. When a demon had come to Memphis to feed on innocent souls, I had been given the task to rid the world of it. Thus, Gretchen’s teachings of witchcraft. Her assistance had led to the demon’s banishment back to Hell.

Trust in Gretchen had been forged out of the weirdest circumstances, but it held strong. Perhaps I could see some logic in knowing others who lived a similar lifestyle, since without her, the demon incident might have turned out very differently, and not in my favor.

“I know we’re asking a lot of you,” Amelia continued, leaning her hip against the chair Wayde sat in. “My husband sensed my father, tried to make contact, and failed.” Tears welled in her eyes. “I don’t know why my father can’t get through. Or why he’s hiding from us.”

I gazed over her from head-to-toe. “Aren’t you a medium, too?”

“No, I’m a witch.” She glanced down at the hardwood floors, drawing in a long breath. “I’ve tried spells to grab his energy so my husband could read him, but something is wrong.” She lifted her head, and a tear slid down her cheek. “At first, we thought the feeling of my father’s presence was residue of his energy, but my husband has told me it feels stronger than that. Almost as if he lingers and can’t break through.”

“So, as we see it,” Wayde interjected, turning his hard stare to me. “You need our help and we need yours. It’s a fair trade.”

Nibbling my lip, I considered the proposition and glimpsed at the crackling fire, focusing on the bright orange flicker in the flame. I’d give my pinky finger to find a way to locate Kipp. Not only did I miss him, but his disappearance made no sense. By all appearances, he’d just up and vanished without a single trace or a solid reason. I needed answers, not theories or heartbreak.

The Animus had the power to find a solution. I wouldn’t sit around and pity myself any longer. If I didn’t agree, there’d be no moving forward.

Looking from the fire, I focused on Wayde. “Find Alexander, ask him who killed him, and that’s it? No catch or read-the-fine-print hidden secrets?”

Wayde snorted, and sat up a little straighter in his seat. “Precisely.”

I found ghosts all the time—or they found me—and Amelia’s sadness proved this one recently died. The task didn’t seem overly difficult, but as the thought crossed my mind, I knew better. Usually easy turned out to be some hazardous mission I never should’ve accepted. “Before I agree, tell me how you can help me.”

No hint of deception showed in Wayde’s gaze. “I’ll show you the way to cross through the veil into the Netherworld.”

While hearing Wayde might hold such knowledge elated me, since Gretchen had zero answers and I was fresh out of ideas, believing him was another matter. I turned to the witch I did trust. “Possible, or a lie?”

Gretchen studied me a moment, her brows drawn together, before she finally said, “The Animuspossess witchcraft that dates to the very beginning of its creation. Anything is possible with the right spell.” Her head tilted, and her expression became knowing. “A spell I don’t have access to.”

Perhaps before, I’d doubted her, since all this witchcraft stuff seemed bogus. Now, I couldn’t reject the idea that anything was possible. Since meeting Kipp, everything had been something upward of bizarre.

The list was endless—Kipp was a ghost, but actually wasn’t dead, and in fact, lay comatose in a hospital; my recent experience with magical spells, and banishing a demon back to Hell; and the most implausible of all, I had fallen madly and deeply in love with a spirit.

When Gretchen told me coming to the Animus was our best shot at helping Kipp, I figured we’d pull him out of the Netherworld, not send me into it. “How do you know—without a doubt—that you can help me cross into the Netherworld to search for Kipp, and I won’t get killed in the process?”

Wayde’s eyes twinkled. “I know.”

“Yes, good and all,” I retorted. “But how do you know?”

Running a hand through his jet-black slicked hair, Wayde shifted in his seat and crossed an ankle over his knee. “We are the Animus. The knowledge you need is within our reach. I promise to share it, if you help us.”

At my snort, since that reassured me about as much as someone holding a dagger at my throat saying they weren’t going to slice my head off, Gretchen interjected. “A promise by a Grand Master is exactly that, Tess. You can trust him.”

Yeah, right.

Something she said interested me, though. I turned to Wayde. “You’re the new leader of this…bunch?”

He nodded. “In his will, Alexander requested I take over. This home always belongs to the Grand Master, so when he passed, the house was gifted to me.”

I scanned the, more or less, American Castle in slight awe. Gretchen said it had sixty-four rooms within the three stories. From what I’d seen already, the mansion had ornamental iron railings, fifteen-foot ceilings, and innovative features. Wayde was a lucky man. “Fair enough.” I glanced at him. “But you need to do better. I won’t help unless I know, without a doubt, you’re telling me the truth.”

Wayde frowned.

“A binding spell might be the best choice,” Gretchen offered. “It’s a solution to the problem. Not only will you,” she looked at me, “feel the truth behind his promise when he does the spell, but you’ll also know he has to uphold it.” She glanced at Wayde. “And this will ensure Tess holds up her end of the deal.”

Wayde hesitated, then gave a firm nod. “I’m in agreement.” He stared me down. “Will that suffice for you?”

As Gretchen had told me once, magic had to be conjured in truth, honesty, and full belief or it wouldn’t work, which left me hopeful. If Wayde agreed to the binding spell, that meant he didhave the answer I needed to get to Kipp. “Possibly,” I answered Wayde, then said to Gretchen. “But first, how does the binding spell work?”

“Exactly as it sounds,” she replied in her sweet, soft voice. “Wayde will be bound to uphold his promise to help you cross into the Netherworld, as you are bound to find and talk to Alexander.”

Another positive, but my non-magical brain needed more answers. “What will happen to him if he breaks his promise?”

“His soul will become tainted.” Gretchen’s eyes darkened, voice thickened. “He’ll grow sick and eventually die.”

“Meaning I could grow sick and die, too?” At her tight nod, I groaned and considered the pact. Did I want to enter into an agreement that could kill me if I reneged on it?

Did I even have a choice?

At my silence and obvious hesitation, Gretchen smiled. She hadn’t guided me wrong yet. I firmly believed she never would. Besides, if I didn’t help them, I’d lose my ride into the Netherworld. I didn’t even need to think it over. “All right. I’m in.” I hesitated. “Wait. This isn’t a blood promise, is it?”

BUY LINKS:

Amazon | B&N | All Romance | Smash Words

BIO:staceykennedy

Stacey Kennedy’s novels are lighthearted fantasy with heart-squeezing, thigh-clenching romance, and even give a good chuckle every now and again. But within the stories you’ll also find fast-paced action, life-threatening moments, and a big bad villain who needs to be destroyed. She lives in Southwestern Ontario with her husband and two children. If she’s not plugging away at a new story—which is rare because her muse is annoying—you’ll find her camping, curling up with the latest flick, or obsessing over Sons of Anarchy, Supernatural and Dexter.

Stacey welcomes comments from readers. You can find her at:

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter

Goodreads ~ Amazon

@Stacey_Kennedy

Spotlight: The Cat’s Meow by Stacey Kennedy

TheCatsMeow_FullSizeThe Cat’s Meow

Witch’s Brew Book One

by Stacey Kennedy

Urban Fantasy Romance
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
ISBN: 9781622668571
Release date: December 13, 2012

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter

Goodreads ~ Amazon

@Stacey_Kennedy

A good witch always has a kick-ass back-up plan.

Libby is an Enchantress—a witch gifted by the Goddess to conjure spells. When a magical presence is detected around a recent string of feline slayings, Libby takes the case to uncover the reasons behind the odd deaths. Much to her displeasure, the coven also sends a sexy warlock, Kale, to assist her.

While having the muscle around proves to be useful, fighting the attraction between them is worse than a hex, especially considering Kale is keeping secrets. But soon, Libby has bigger problems than the elusive warlock when her spells turn up clues that point to something far more sinister than slaughtered cats.

Now Libby has landed herself in the midst of an uprising. She trusts no one and isn’t safe—not from the warlocks stirring up trouble. Not from the worrisome rebellion she can’t escape. And certainly not from Kale, who is weaving a very dangerous spell over her heart.

BUY LINKS:

Amazon | B&N | Books on Board 

BIO:staceykennedy

Stacey Kennedy’s novels are lighthearted fantasy with heart-squeezing, thigh-clenching romance, and even give a good chuckle every now and again. But within the stories you’ll also find fast-paced action, life-threatening moments, and a big bad villain who needs to be destroyed. She lives in Southwestern Ontario with her husband and two children. If she’s not plugging away at a new story—which is rare because her muse is annoying—you’ll find her camping, curling up with the latest flick, or obsessing over Sons of Anarchy, Supernatural and Dexter.

Stacey welcomes comments from readers. You can find her at www.staceykennedy.com.

EXCERPT:

Copyright © STACEY KENNEDY, 2012

All Rights Reserved, Entangled Publishing.

Chapter One

Fur. Guts. Blood.

I scrunched my nose as my spaghetti dinner threatened to make an appearance at the sight of the slaughtered black cat on the forest floor. The kitty’s stomach gaped open and its intestines spilled out along the ground, as well as other grossness I’d rather avoid.

Not how I intended to spend my night, or any night for that matter. I turned to my fellow witch, Peyton. “Of all the hobbies to take up, taxidermy isn’t something I’d peg you as interested in.”

Flicking her blond bouncy curls over her shoulders, her baby-blue eyes narrowed on me. “This isn’t a time for jokes, Libby.”

Not as if her wrath had the desired effect; an angry Peyton looked as deadly as a growling puppy. She placed her hands on her tiny waist, pursing her lips. Too bad, I only paid attention to her cute knee-length black baby-doll dress, a tad jealous I didn’t own it. “Look at the poor kitty. Its guts are hanging out.”

“Yes, I see that.” Even if I wanted to pretend I didn’t. In fact, I would have preferred to enjoy the dark night surrounded by the rich earthy scents of the large trees hugging the trail. Sadly, that wasn’t an option. Once again, I glanced down at the disgustingness at my feet.

From all viewpoints, this appeared to be an open-and- shut case. “Looks like a wild animal wanted a snack.” Evil warlocks, I’m there. A dead cat was not a priority. “You better have a good reason for bringing me here.”

“An animal didn’t do this. There’s magic present.” She fiddled with the hem of her incredibly cute dress. “Besides, it’s the fourth gutted cat in three days.”

I paused at that bit of weirdness. I had dealt with at least a hundred cases in the five years I’d worked for Charleston’s coven, and out of all of those cases, none had ever involved animal murders. Four cats in three days was staggering.

I sighed, beginning to understand my presence there. “Four, really?”

Worry darkened Peyton’s eyes. “Each death the coven has sent me to, there has been this weird magical presence.” She rubbed her arms, shaking her head at the dead cat. “It’s peculiar.”

The leaves beneath the cat’s body were soaked in enough blood that I assumed it had been killed at this location. To my disappointment, even with that knowledge no answers materialized, and actually more questions were raised. “If this is the fourth cat, why is this only coming up now?”

“At first, it didn’t seem malicious and no human deaths resulted from the dead cats.” She shrugged. “Now, with this many felines dead, it could be an animal ritual.”

“Possibly,” I agreed. Charleston’s last case of a warlock tapping into dark magic happened only a week ago, but it got cleaned up quickly enough and the warlock received his death sentence. Compared to that, a few dead cats wouldn’t concern the coven, but then why did it now?

Furthermore, why hadn’t the coven contacted me? Peyton held the ability to sense magic’s presence. I am an Enchantress, a witch gifted to work spells. We both held an important role in the coven, as did every witch and warlock who worked for them. Peyton located the scenes tainted with magic, I found the offenders, other witches assisted with different gifts, and warlocks killed the guilty.

If the coven had been as concerned as Peyton seemed now, I would’ve been brought into this a lot sooner. They would’ve requested I take on the case to search around and see if I discovered a reason behind it. That I knew with total certainty. The coven didn’t take chances on these things. The longer we waited to act on someone who harbored evil, the higher the chance they would succeed.

“The coven clearly wasn’t worried about the past deaths, so what’s happened to change their opinion?”

Peyton nibbled her lip. “They didn’t think much of it before because the level of magic isn’t dangerous. Strong, yes, but not dark.” She continued to rub her arms, shifting uneasily on her feet. “I’ve been watching over the matter to see if things worsened, but the only change has been more deaths.” She tilted her head. “One cat can be shoved aside as maybe someone who practiced their magic. This many deaths can’t be overlooked.”

The coven obviously requested that she see if the levels of magic had increased. Yet, why did Peyton call me and not the coven? An order had never come to me in this manner before and it made me curious. “Who told you to ask me to come here?”

“Glenda.” Peyton grimaced at Fluffy. “There’s a reason behind this. The Goddess is warning me.”

I refused to look at the mangy beast and attempted not to inhale the odor of decomposed flesh beneath me. Instead, I scanned the area. Within the dark night the old trees around me created shadows. The stars above twinkled in the sky and the damp grass below my boots glistened with dew. A typical night for me—I hadn’t seen a sunny day in the five years I’d been employed by the coven.

Danger happened during the witching hours of midnight to three in the morning because magic held the most strength then, so the coven stuck to the night shift. I’d become so accustomed to it I never missed the days I had lounged in the sun anymore.

On a sigh, I continued to ponder the fluff ball at my feet. If magic were present, clearly someone had either spilled its blood as an offering to dark magic, or simply practiced a spell to kill. Either one sucked, at best. Resolved I’d get nowhere in discovering the truth right now, I moved along. “What does the coven expect me to do about this?”

Peyton rolled her eyes, giving her customary flippant look. “Find who’s responsible.”

I snorted. “What am I, a pet detective?”

“Yes, Lib, that’s exactly what you are.” She frowned. “Must you be a smart-ass all the time?”

I grinned. “I must.”

She ignored my dig—as usual—and carried on in a hurried tone. “Stop stalling, conjure a spell, and fix it.”

“You know I can’t—it’s dead.” I glanced at the cat and groaned. Yes, still very dead. “The coven would wring my neck if I brought it back to life.”

The role as Enchantress with the coven came with one rule—never step out of white magic boundaries. Resurrecting a dead cat hit the no-no list. My job within the coven: stop those who went against the coven rules to protect human lives, since the last thing we needed was the human population going out on a witch hunt. The coven existed to keep witches in Charleston safe. That one law ruled my life.

Peyton’s shoulders slumped and her eyes saddened. “Okay, okay. I know we can’t, but it’s so sad, the poor little kitty.”

My best friend at her finest: her soft heart in this cold magical world had never changed over the years. Yet Peyton’s innocence had once been damaged by loss and pain over the death of her mother, and ever since she’d been emotionally fragile. Three years ago, I’d seen her go into a deep depression at the death of a teenager, and it took her a good month to recover. I would give my life to ensure she stayed away from anything that could damage her again.

Especially now, seeing the vulnerability in her eyes, confirming that any death still rattled her. “Who’d do this?”

“Someone after a higher power.”

At the low velvety voice, I glanced over my shoulder, scowling at the approaching warlock. The coven’s muscle came after I found the offenders. I preferred no help, so his presence at my scene awakened my inner bitch.

Not to say I didn’t realize their worth to the coven. I might be brave, but I couldn’t kill, and warlocks held that desire in spades. However, his presence this early in an investigation meant this matter leaned to the serious side. The coven wouldn’t have called him in if something wasn’t up. More to the point, called in a warlock I’d never seen before. Two strikes against my coven on the “what the hell are they doing” meter.

“Go away.” I pushed the bitch to the forefront of my voice and snapped, “I’ll call the coven when I’m done.”

“I’m looking for Libby Jenkins.” The warlock stopped a foot away by a fallen tree, ignoring my demand, and in the same low voice with a slight Southern accent said, “Would that be you?”

I grunted, not at all impressed with the confidence he exuded, either in his voice or his powerful posture. Doubly annoyed, in fact. “I’m Libby. You are?”

As he took a step into the moonlight, the shadows of the night left his face. He appeared relaxed, shoulders back in his black T-shirt, chest out, and chin lifted. Typical I am a fine specimen of man.

His eyes were a shadowy gray and his face was defined by hard angles, from his high cheekbones and sculpted jaw to lips that seemed carved out for a serious smooch. His chocolate- brown hair reached the bottom of his ears, all scruffy and sexy-like, and he filled out his pair of faded blue jeans well enough.

Not like that impressed me either. Warlocks tended to be pretty. Maybe to some I’d be easy on the eyes with my small frame, longish light-brown hair with honey and auburn highlights, and my dark-blue eyes. But it came from the magic, not a natural gift. Besides, witches aged the same as the humans we lived among. We just tended to do it a little more gracefully, and typically lived to be over a hundred.

The warlock’s focus swept over Peyton as if he took a measure of her before his firm gaze returned to me. “I’m Kale Griffin. The coven requested I join you on this case.”

Great. What serious danger had I landed myself in? “They what?”

Sure, Kale looked nice, but I didn’t want—or need—his help. The idea of being teamed up with a warlock interested me about as much as if someone pulled out my hair strand by strand. Besides, never in all the years I had worked for the coven did they team me up with a warlock, which only made me wonder why they’d done it. I thought back over the past cases I’d worked. Perhaps some cases took longer to solve than others, but why in the hell had they sent me a babysitter now?

With more confidence than I felt, I returned his look of challenge, and had the urge to take my clenched fist and send it into his flat stomach. “Go tell the coven I refuse your help.”

His eyebrow arched, an emotion close to amusement crossing his face. “The choice isn’t yours. I’ve been instructed to take over this investigation.”

My already hot blood took a nosedive. I might abide by the coven’s orders, even if I had no idea what they were up to now, but it didn’t mean I had to like it. This brute needed to get one thing straight. “We are taking over the investigation.”

He smirked. “Is that so?”

Damn the warlock for making the smile look sexy and damn me for noticing it. “Yes, that’s so.” Warlocks could kick some serious ass, and the coven needed them, but they were so haughty and always the ones to grab the glory.

Of course, I might be—scratch that, was—the only witch in Charleston to dislike warlocks, since most swooned over them. Well, the witches did. Non-magical folk lusted after their hot butts, never knowing what they were up against.

After the Salem incident, we magical folk kept our powers to ourselves and hid from the humans for good reason; a repeat in history wasn’t on anyone’s to-do list. Especially not mine.

Inhaling to shed my frustrations, I fought my gag reflex as I drew in the cat’s putrid scent. “Know this, if you get in my way I’ll hex you.” I poked his chest and met taut muscle.

With indifference, Kale watched my finger hit his hard, delicious pectorals. Seeing that my action unsettled me more than him, I withdrew my finger and shoved my hands into the pockets of my skinny jeans. His head slowly lifted, and when his eyes settled on me, they had darkened. “Warning noted.”

The weight of his smooth voice melted across me like a warm bath. I bit my lip and refocused my thoughts to my angry position. “Good.” My voice sounded harsh, pleasing me since on the inside I’d become gooey. “As long as we understand each other we won’t have a problem.”

Peyton stifled a laugh by coughing. No doubt she’d taken notice of Kale’s attributes too. “I guess I should be…uh… going home to Jace. Call me…ah…” Her eyes twinkled as she fought her smile and turned. “Just call me later, Lib.”

I snorted softly, only imagining what she’d go home and tell her boyfriend, Jace, about this moment. I could do without him having the knowledge that I tried to dominate a warlock and failed miserably, even if Jace was the only warlock in existence I tolerated. “Let me know if the coven contacts you again,” I called after her.

“Will do.” She waved a good-bye, striding down the trail, and her laughter followed her out of the forest.

I watched Peyton until she faded into the shadows before I finally looked at Kale. He regarded me with such a probing look it became all the more irritating. “Before we start, I need to give the cat a proper burial. Which I’m sure you won’t understand since you’re a big ol’ bad warlock.”

His gray eyes sharpened, voice equally so. “You appear to have misconceived notions about warlocks.”

“Sure I do,” I muttered, grabbing the cat by the tail and ignoring the guts flapping in the wind. Without a glance back, I headed out of the forest.

The trees passed by in a blur as I hightailed it out of there. The sooner I got to my SUV, the sooner I could stop pretending I wasn’t holding a dead cat. Thoughts of Kale’s arrival worried me and I didn’t like it. Had the coven hired a new warlock without my hearing of it? While that wouldn’t surprise me, since I tended to stay away from the coven unless I had to be there, it did shock me they didn’t throw a welcoming party for him. Moreover, why would they send a new warlock to me, and not one experienced in Charleston?

If the matter were serious, which I suspected it was if he was there, then why were they taking chances? It didn’t add up. This, I’d get to the bottom of. For now, I focused on getting rid of the stinky cat.

Kale followed behind me for only a moment before he easily caught up with his lengthy strides. When he settled in next to me, he slowed down since my five-foot-five frame couldn’t match his six-foot-three, and he stayed silent.

Fine by me.

At the edge of the forest, I spotted my black Benz parked on the grass near the entrance. My SUV wasn’t anything sporty like I’d prefer, but my M-Class sport utility vehicle made sense. The SUV was safe, big, and powerful. All good things to have in my line of work. Besides, it also had a big-ass hatchback to put things like dead cats in.

I grabbed the keys from my pocket and clicked the button to open the back. Scanning the area, a missing object grated my last nerve. I glanced sideways at Kale. “You didn’t drive here?”

He shook his head.

Terrific! The bitch of it, he had to come with me. “How’d you get here, then?”

“Walked.”

The silence continued.

Once at my SUV, I reached into the side compartment of my hatchback and drew out a garbage bag.

“I’ve got that.” Kale stepped next to me and took the bag, holding it open while I dumped the cat in. The kitty plopped into the bag and Kale tied the red string to close it, then he threw the bag into the back. It landed with a heavy thud.

I glared at him, even if his helping me came as a shock since no warlock had ever offered to help me before. “Couldn’t you have been a bit gentler?”

“It’s dead.” His eyebrow lifted. “I doubt it noticed.”

A sassy retort hung on my tongue, but I ignored my impulse to rise to the bait. “Warlocks.”

I left said warlock behind, making my way over to the driver’s side of my SUV while Kale got into the passenger seat. Careful not to touch anything with my dirty hands, I settled into my leather seat and grabbed my hand sanitizer from the cup holder, drenching my hands with it.

I could only imagine what I would have seen on the cat’s tail if I had looked hard enough, but I shoved the images of maggots from my mind to settle my woozy stomach. I dropped the sanitizer in the holder, then I started the SUV and headed off in a hurry.

On the outskirts of town, leading back into Charleston, the streets were relatively quiet. For the most part, if any people were out and about they would be downtown to enjoy Charleston’s nightlife. Most around here, including warlocks and witches, lived a relatively normal life. Sadly, I wasn’t among them, and my “normal” involved a hunt for evil before it became danger.

In my hopes of keeping conversation to a minimum, I cranked the radio station, drumming my fingers on my thigh to the alternative song blasting through the speakers.

Kale didn’t appear to have the same wish. “Do you plan to tell me where we’re going?” I turned the music down and he continued, “With a gutted cat, no less.”

Glancing out of the corner of my eye, I noticed how his body filled my seat quite nicely. Too bad warlocks were men I avoided—I found getting with a warlock always led to disaster—because this warlock would be one to have some fun with.

While his looks might tempt me, the decision came years ago when I’d had enough of their egos, their need to be the tough guy, and their tendency to have their own agenda. My last attempt to respect warlocks ended at the age of twenty when one broke my heart. Since then, the only warlock I could stand was Peyton’s boyfriend, and even he walked a fine line of always needing to prove himself to me.

Lately, I’d stuck to the non-magical man, but those relationships hadn’t led to anything serious, nor did they belong on my fantastic memories list. Where warlocks had too much stuff, non-magical folk didn’t have enough. Needless to say, it’d been months since I heard the word date and my regions south had declared death a while ago.

I cleared my mind of unimportant things and set to answering him. “We’re going to Magnolia Cemetery.”

“I see.” He turned in his seat and set his hard stare onto me. “You’re an Enchantress?”

The rich nature of his voice made funny things awaken in my dead regions. Perhaps my libido wanted to be reincarnated. I quashed the thought with a fierce no. “Mm-hmm.” Two could play at the game he presented—if he wanted to assign labels, so could I. “You’re a Ward?”

“Correct.”

Not like I needed the confirmation. Any warlock who worked for the coven received the title. “What’s your talent?”

“Runes.”

I jerked my head to look at him and the car swerved before I straightened the wheel. “You draw runes?”

A hint of a smile turned up the corners of his mouth. “You look surprised.”

“I am,” I admitted with no shame. “I haven’t met a Ward who holds the talent of rune magic.” Glancing back at the road to avoid a crash, I shrugged to downplay my awe. “At least, not any from Charleston.”

“We are few and far between,” he replied, cool and collected.

My breath seemed lost in the state between shock and bewilderment. He appeared to hold back on the interesting talent. Intriguing, considering most warlocks I’d met would gush at the opportunity to prove their abilities over mine. My curiosity about the warlock next to me rose, especially since I needed to discover the reason he’d been assigned to the case. “How long have you lived in Charleston?”

“Not long.”

Oh, this made no sense at all. We had our own Wards, who were talented in their own right, so we didn’t need Kale. I waited two breaths for him to answer, but he didn’t oblige me. “Where are you from?”

“Down south.”

I blinked at his indifferent voice, keeping the wheel tight in my hands to ensure the SUV went straight, but looked at him. “Do you plan on telling me anything about you?”

“I just did.” He gave a halfhearted shrug. “I’m a Ward, who draws runes, and I live down south.”

I snorted loud enough to ensure he heard it. Elusive might be an understatement when it came to Kale Griffin. I almost laughed at the situation; I wanted warlocks to shut the hell up, and now one did and I’d rather he talked.

Figures!

I had to wonder if he did it to get a rise out of me, since warlocks tended to do that, too, which is why I bit back the rest of my questions. He might want to play that game, but by the Goddess I wouldn’t feed into it. I slammed the accelerator down, ignoring the sexy warlock next to me. We had bigger problems.

The dead cat stinkin’ up my SUV reminded me of that.

Cover Reveal: Mystically Bound by Stacey Kennedy

Mystically Bound 

Frostbite Book Three

by Stacey Kennedy

Urban Fantasy Romance
Length: Novel
Heat Level: Sensual
Release date: COMING SOON

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@Stacey_Kennedy

Click the pretty cover to see Mystically Bound on Goodreads

Tess Jennings’ life is in chaos. Not only has her ghost lover, Kipp McGowen, crossed into the Netherworld, but she’s the newest member of a secret society. And they want her to start work immediately. Upon arriving in White Castle, Louisiana, she is presented with an offer she cannot refuse.

The Grand Master has been murdered and Tess must solve the crime by locating his ghost. The reward—a magical spell to save Kipp. But as Tess dives deeper into the case, the more danger surrounds her. Not everyone wants the murder solved, and she is caught in the crossfire.

Soon, Tess finds herself knee-deep in a hunt for a spell, a race to locate a killer, and a journey to the beyond. Will Kipp finally take a living breath, or will Tess take her last?