Cover Reveal: One Breath After Anotherby Bethany-Kris

ONE BREATH AFTER ANOTHER

by Bethany-Kris
Cover Credits: London Miller
The After Another Trilogy, book #2
Publication Date: October 5, 2020
Genres: Adult, Romantic Suspense, Crime Thriller, Organized Crime

Amazon: https://geni.us/OneBreath
iTunes: https://apple.co/2Y7njwM
Kobo: https://bit.ly/346K2N6
B&N: https://bit.ly/3h4aZoz

They say you can’t go back but …

Penny Dunsworth was broken.

Before she became the white ghost, she was already unrecognizable. A troubled teenage girl with monsters that couldn’t be slain, and an irrational crush on the only man she considered a friend. Her one crime was daring to think she might finally be free.

Luca Puzza was only trying to figure things out.

His days are balanced between his duty and worth. He can’t seem to make it all work, but that doesn’t stop him from trying. Somethings are just more important—like the girl with the haunted eyes who seems to trust him. He only ever wanted to help.

The past never stays where it belongs—why would it?

It’s the only thing left to warn about the future.

*

NOTE: One Breath After Another is book 2 in the After Another trilogy. It follows the same couple – Luca and Penny – from present to past, and back again. The books must be read in order. Be warned, the trilogy discusses a subject that may be triggering.

PROLOGUE.

Penny

Present Day …

THERE was something to be said for returning to a place where it all began … at least, in Penny’s world. One might think the start of her life—good or bad—had been at the New Jersey home tucked deep within a gated community where her parents kept a permanent residence until her father found himself locked behind bars for his misdeeds.

All the horrors of the three-level Victorian home were hidden by tall, green edges and a manicured lawn. The luxury vehicles that used to sit in the driveway, and the picture-perfect image her parents presented to the world kept suspicion at bay from anyone who dared to look beyond the pretty surface to find the cracked layers underneath.

And even so, that had been where her life began.

Right?

Wrong.

Penny’s life started somewhere else. Or what she considered to be the start of it, anyway. Was life really a life worth living if someone didn’t know what love was, or how to love? Was life at all important when one wasn’t really living it, only existing?

That came later for her.

Learning how to live, that was.

It was also every reason why instead of returning to New Jersey … she found herself back in New York. Or specifically, walking the bumpy, dirt path—one of many—that connected the forested area behind Rosalynn and Nazio Donati’s home and their rear property.

Was it too close for comfort?

Yes.

Was she being foolish?

Absolutely.

It was … more days than she cared to count since she went AWOL from The League. She didn’t doubt for a second that her former handlers already had a small army looking for her. She was a situation they needed to get under control, and they would certainly try to do just that by whatever means necessary.

It also changed nothing.

Penny was done following orders that would not serve her best interests, or the interests of the people who she had done this for in the first place. She wasn’t going to make it easy on The League—or anyone else that dared to get in her way—while she finished her business with Allegra Dunsworth.

She shouldn’t have come back to Naz and Roz when they would undoubtedly be the first place The League came to look for Penny. Very few others knew her past like her handlers did, though, so she was willing to take the risk. It wasn’t like she planned to stay for long.

And yet, despite it all, Penny couldn’t help but come back one more time before everything changed again. Before she changed everything.

She didn’t plan to show herself or even walk up and knock on the backdoor. Her adoptive family would never even know she had been there after she left. They deserved better than a random appearance and another disappearance. She threw their world into upheaval once just by being there and then again when she left without an explanation. There was no good reason to do it to them again. Even she knew that.

No, she just wanted to … see them.

Or their home, rather.

Remind herself why she was here in the first place and what brought her to the point that she was willing to … give it all up.

Her protection from being who she was. The family she desperately missed. A career that had allowed her both healing and retribution for the wrongs done to her. The chance to start over, or to be someone else, even.

To learn what came after

All of it and more.

Penny was giving it up—or any chance of it by doing what she had done, really.

Still, as she lingered at the edge of the forest, ten feet beyond where the treeline ended on Naz and Roz’s property, she couldn’t help but think it was still worth it. For them, and their life, even if it was one without her.

And for her, too.

For her peace of mind. Something she never had—not while her mother still walked and breathed.

Soon, Allegra wouldn’t.

Penny needed to start over first. Go back to the beginning and remember. To know that for a time, before all of this happened, she was happy. Or … she was starting to learn how to be happy in her own way. Until her mother ruined that, too.

Some things never changed …

Lost in her thoughts and still staring at the only home she had ever known, Penny was too distracted to hear the crack of twigs from her left. That was, until a little voice said, “Hey, Penny.”

CALLING ALL REVIEWERS, BLOGGERS, BOOKSTAGRAMMERS! YOU STILL HAVE TIME TO SIGNUP TO PARTICIPATE IN THE AFTER ANOTHER TRILOGY EVENTS!

SIGN-UP!

One Breath After Another: https://indiesage.com/one-breathbk/

One Second After Another: https://indiesage.com/one-secondbk/


Amazon: https://geni.us/OneStep
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Google Play: https://bit.ly/2Y6xUIi

ABOUT BETHANY-KRIS

Bethany-Kris is a Canadian author, lover of much, and mother to four young sons, one cat, and two dogs. A small town in Eastern Canada where she was born and raised is where she has always called home. With her boys under her feet, snuggling cat, barking dogs, and a hubby calling over his shoulder, she is nearly always writing something … when she can find the time.

To keep up-to-date with new releases from Bethany-Kris, sign up to her New Release Newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/bf9lzD

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Release Blitz: Thieves & Liars by Rebecca Wilder

Title: Thieves & Liars 
Author: Rebecca Wilder
Genre: Romantic Suspense

Add on Goodreads
COVER 



BLURB



We’re thieves and liars. Con artists and grifters, a hacker, and a hitter.

PURCHASE


About Rebecca

Love Stories That Linger | Romance Author
Also writes under the name Shaw Hart.

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Release Blitz: One Step After Another by Bethany-Kris

ONE STEP AFTER ANOTHER

by Bethany-Kris
The After Another Trilogy, book #1
Publication Date: September 14, 2020
Genres: Adult, Romantic Suspense, Crime Thriller, Organized Crime


Amazon: https://geni.us/OneStep
iTunes: https://apple.co/349Ui7p
Kobo: https://bit.ly/3122Qvl
B&N: https://bit.ly/3gY9hVA
Google Play: https://bit.ly/2Y6xUIi

He finds the unfindable, but she’s terribly good at hiding …

Penny Dunsworth is dead.

Well, she should be—a piece of her certainly is. The broken girl she once was no longer exists. Now a trained assassin for The League, she’s turned into the worst nightmare for the monsters who once haunted her every waking moment. She has to be … it’s the only way to keep her past safe. That is if she can keep it from catching up.

Luca Puzza is chasing a ghost.

He’s never once been able to catch her in the five years that he spent searching. Until now. The promise he made to find the girl who disappeared without a trace turned into an obsession that changed his life. But the woman he was looking for is only a shadow of who he finds. She’s dangerous … for his heart and life, and so are the secrets she’s protecting.

One can only play with monsters for so long before they start to notice you’re not the same. In this world, predators can just as easily become prey.

Except she stopped being a victim long ago.
And it’s time for this to end.

*

Note: One Step After Another is book one of the After Another trilogy following the same couple over a journey that takes them from present, to past, to future. The books should be read in order. The trilogy discusses triggering topics that may be uncomfortable for some. Please be advised and read at your own discretion.

“Where are we going?” Penny asked when they rounded another corner.

“Not far now. Ditch the wig.”

What?”

Luca ripped off his leather jacket and handed it over, barking, “Put this on and ditch the wig—now.”

She did as they came to a dank alley with only one door and several trash dumpsters. Moving in front of the dark green metal door that had clearly seen better days with all its dings and scuffs, Luca banged his fist five times against the middle. There wasn’t a handle on the outside but that was common for this place. There was only one official entrance but even that was hard to find.

Which was the point.

He banged on the door again.

To no avail.

Yet.

“This is a dead end,” Penny hissed at him.

“Only on the surface,” he replied. “Just trust me. We need a minute. That’s all.”

“We don’t have a minute. They were right behind us!”

Quiet.”

She’d tossed the wig into a dumpster. His jacket fit her well, though. The shouts from outside the alley gave away the fact that the chase wasn’t over yet, and if he didn’t figure out something soon, then …

Fuck it.

Luca banged on the door one more time and then he moved for Penny. He didn’t give her time to react before he reached down and ripped three holes into her black tights. Exposing her thighs and knees, he rubbed his hands into the dirt on the ground and marred her creamy, white exposed skin to dirty her up.

“What the fuck are you doing?” she asked, the pitch of her tone raising to a level he had never heard.

“Shut up and play along.”

“Play—”

He flipped up the hood of his sweater, thrust his hands into the messy braid that had fallen from her wig to mess it up even more, and then slammed her back into the brick wall of the building. The instinct of self-preservation kicked in for Penny, making her fist Luca’s sweater when her burning gaze met his.

Fight or flight.

He knew that all too well. Too bad he couldn’t give her the opportunity to do either.

Luca banged on the door right beside them one more time. “We just need another minute. That’s all.”

“You’re going to get us kill—”

No, he wasn’t.

Trust was earned, though.

“Hey, I hear something over here, man!”

Luca didn’t have any more time to prepare Penny for what he was going to do next, so he just did it. His lips crashed down on hers without warning. Her hands flexed harder into his sweater, simultaneously pushing him away but then pulling him closer when her eyes blew wide, and she realized what he was doing. The fast exploration of his hands down the curves of her hips came to a stop at the tight cinch of her waist, and he felt every single shiver that he earned from her for it, too.

He liked it.

Didn’t want to admit it.

But he did.

She tasted like pure heat and felt like silk. Even with the dirt on his palms as a barrier between his hands and her body. Even with her trembling lips working against his. Her shuddering breath let him deepen the kiss, make it look real.

Even if it felt that way already.

He didn’t have a choice. That’s what he would keep telling himself, anyway. They only needed another minute and—

Yo—what the fuck are you two doing?”

One of the dumpsters had allowed Luca and Penny a bit of privacy from the two men standing at the end of the alleyway in the light. The shadows helped even more to keep them from further view.

He bared his teeth and glared. “Fuck off—I paid for this. Get your own.”

Luca knew how it would appear. A guy and a hooker in a dank alley next to a dirty dumpster. The dead end wouldn’t lead the pursuers to anything worth chasing. And those men weren’t really looking for him in the first place.

The two men passed a look between each other. Penny’s leg came up to hook around Luca’s hip, showing off one of the rips and dirt on her skin. Nothing else, though. It did, however, push their bodies closer together, doing nothing to hide the erection growing under his jeans.

Fuck.

Why was his throat so tight?

ABOUT BETHANY-KRIS

Bethany-Kris is a Canadian author, lover of much, and mother to four young sons, one cat, and two dogs. A small town in Eastern Canada where she was born and raised is where she has always called home. With her boys under her feet, snuggling cat, barking dogs, and a hubby calling over his shoulder, she is nearly always writing something … when she can find the time.

To keep up-to-date with new releases from Bethany-Kris, sign up to her New Release Newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/bf9lzD

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Cover Reveal: One Step After Another by Bethany-Kris

ONE STEP AFTER ANOTHER

by Bethany-Kris
Cover Credits: London Miller
The After Another Trilogy, book #1
Publication Date: September 14, 2020
Genres: Adult, Romantic Suspense, Crime Thriller, Organized Crime


Amazon: https://geni.us/OneStep
iTunes: https://apple.co/349Ui7p
Kobo: https://bit.ly/3122Qvl
B&N: https://bit.ly/3gY9hVA
Google Play: https://bit.ly/2Y6xUIi

He finds the unfindable, but she’s terribly good at hiding …

Penny Dunsworth is dead.

Well, she should be—a piece of her certainly is. The broken girl she once was no longer exists. Now a trained assassin for The League, she’s turned into the worst nightmare for the monsters who once haunted her every waking moment. She has to be … it’s the only way to keep her past safe. That is if she can keep it from catching up.

Luca Puzza is chasing a ghost.

He’s never once been able to catch her in the five years that he spent searching. Until now. The promise he made to find the girl who disappeared without a trace turned into an obsession that changed his life. But the woman he was looking for is only a shadow of who he finds. She’s dangerous … for his heart and life, and so are the secrets she’s protecting.

One can only play with monsters for so long before they start to notice you’re not the same. In this world, predators can just as easily become prey.

Except she stopped being a victim long ago.
And it’s time for this to end.

*

Note: One Step After Another is book one of the After Another trilogy following the same couple over a journey that takes them from present, to past, to future. The books should be read in order. The trilogy discusses triggering topics that may be uncomfortable for some. Please be advised and read at your own discretion.

“MISS Carter, whenever you’re ready.”

Regardless of how many times Penny Dunsworth used aliases—many times over her five years as an assassin working for The League—she had never really become accustomed to the revolving door of identities. It was part of the job. Expected, even. Yet, hearing another name that wasn’t hers still took Penny a second to answer.

“Thank you,” she told the driver currently holding the right side, rear passenger door open. “We won’t need further help, or the car.”

“I was told to be here at twelve to—”

“Excuse me,” Penny said, stepping out of the vehicle and turning her back to the man as she grabbed the edge of the car door. It forced the driver to move, but also allowed the other passenger in the rear seat to exit as well. “Hurry. We’re not drawing attention here, Delilah. Remember?”

Compared to Penny’s form-fitted black gown, matching hat—that was better suited for the beach than the formal dinner and event happening a few doors away inside the Manhattan hotel—Delilah’s white get-up was quite a sight as she left the vehicle. Well, Delilah wasn’t her real name, but it was what her papers said, and Marise liked the option when Dare handed over the five different identifications for the job. Choices were always good.

Today, Marise was Delilah. Penny was Georgina. And none of it was true.

The skirt of Marise’s white gown, made up of layers of chiffon, ruffled in the wind but not much. The silk cloak with the large hood that kept her blonde hair and most of her face hidden from any view up above—camera angles, mostly—kept the loose layers of the gown from blowing wildly.

Side by side on the street, Penny and Marise probably appeared to be total opposites. She towered over the girl’s four and a half feet by a foot and half in her patent leather pumps. Their gowns were a contrast in both color and style. Even their hair—Marise with blonde curls, and Penny in her pin-straight black wig—couldn’t be more different.

And yet despite those obvious physical differences, if anyone asked, the story was simple—Penny was Marise’s mother. Or … the identities they had taken on were a mother and daughter pair, for that matter.

On the surface, anyway.

Beneath that, well, things were a lot darker. As was usually the way in their business. A person couldn’t play with monsters and never come face to face with one, after all. In all her twenty-three years, it was one lesson Penny almost wished she had never learned. Thing was, if she hadn’t learned it, then she wouldn’t be who she was now.

“Miss Carter, this way, please,” said the man in a three-piece black suit with coiled wire hanging down from the comm in his ear. He held open the front door of the hotel while another man, dressed similarly, stood a foot back in the entryway. Definitely not hotel security—more likely part of the team for the father of the man Penny would soon be visiting upstairs in a suite.

Penny smiled. “Absolutely. Delilah, follow me.”

Her partner on the job said nothing but didn’t hesitate to trail behind Penny who followed the two men dressed in black. The men didn’t speak to each other, or the women walking only two feet behind. Or to any of the many people milling about in the large entry of the upscale hotel. Music and laughter filtered in through the open doorways of the bar and ballroom decorated in lengthy, sheer drapes.

Penny took all of it in. And barely even moved her head to do it.

Besides, it wasn’t like she hadn’t been to a dozen of these kinds of events when she was younger. A wealthy family, too much privilege and power … of course, she had been dressed up and dragged to things exactly like this just because it was good for their last name to be tied to it all.

Not that she cared to think about it.

She never did.

Liar, her mind hissed as a hundred memories passed through her brain, making her heart beat harder and her chest tight. She was a liar because she thought about it too much.

Penny had just become better at hiding it. The League helped with that. Not that she was willing to admit the training they put her through had helped beyond anything more than teaching her how to kill another human in fifty different ways.

“Step inside,” the man to the left said as he and his partner came to a stop near the elevators. Only one was already open and waiting.

Penny moved into the open elevator at the far right of a bank of four. Marise didn’t need to be told to follow, nor did she raise her head enough to allow the cameras outside or inside the elevator to catch more than a shadow or the curve of her lips. The same way Penny’s hat kept her face from view despite it not really going with the outfit.

Win some, lose some.

“Floor eight, right?” Penny asked, smiling at the suits waiting outside.

“Floor eight. Suite eight-oh-one.”

She knew that, too.

At least the assholes could feel like they were really doing something more than just delivering a man’s fetish.

Penny hit the button for the appropriate floor and waited until the door closed before she hit another. Two floors lower than the eighth. “You’ll be fine—just get the hell out of here and make sure they don’t see you leave, huh?”

Marise passed her a look. “What if he has someone waiting up there? Another one of those assholes in a suit—one with a gun?”

That was cute.

Funny, even.

She could do these jobs alone except for when she couldn’t and needed a decoy. Say like another assassin who, when dressed up a certain way looked younger than she was. As far as Penny knew, Marise was somewhere in the range of eighteen years or so. About the same age Penny had been when she walked into The League five years earlier with a black folder in hand and no idea what would come next.

Except for tonight.

Because tonight, Marise—or Delilah—wasn’t supposed to look her age at all.

“Get off on the sixth floor,” Penny said. “No one will be waiting up there with him. They never have anyone. The entire point of what they do is the less who know, the better.”

Marise didn’t argue. She also got off the elevator on the sixth floor.

The rest, Penny could do alone.

Besides, she liked it that way.

CALLING ALL REVIEWERS, BLOGGERS, BOOKSTAGRAMMERS! YOU CAN NOW SIGNUP TO PARTICIPATE IN THE AFTER ANOTHER TRILOGY EVENTS!

One Step After Another: https://indiesage.com/one-stepbk/

One Breath After Another: https://indiesage.com/one-breathbk/

One Second After Another: https://indiesage.com/one-secondbk/

ABOUT BETHANY-KRIS

Bethany-Kris is a Canadian author, lover of much, and mother to four young sons, one cat, and two dogs. A small town in Eastern Canada where she was born and raised is where she has always called home. With her boys under her feet, snuggling cat, barking dogs, and a hubby calling over his shoulder, she is nearly always writing something … when she can find the time.

To keep up-to-date with new releases from Bethany-Kris, sign up to her New Release Newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/bf9lzD

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Book Announcement: The After Another Trilogy by Bethany-Kris

THE AFTER ANOTHER TRILOGY

by Bethany-Kris
Publication Date(s): (September, October, November)
Genres: Adult, Mafia Romance, Crime Thriller, Romantic Suspense

ONE STEP AFTER ANOTHER

by Bethany-Kris
The After Another Trilogy, Book One
Publication Date: September 14, 2020
Genres: Adult, Mafia Romance, Crime Thriller, Romantic Suspense

FULL BLURB COMING AUGUST 24th!

He finds the unfindable, but she’s terribly good at hiding …

One can only play with monsters for so long before they start to notice you’re not the same. In this world, predators can just as easily become prey.

Note: One Step After Another is book one of the After Another trilogy following the same couple. The books should be read in order. The trilogy discusses triggering topics that may be uncomfortable for some. Please be advised and read at your own discretion.

ONE BREATH AFTER ANOTHER

by Bethany-Kris
The After Another Trilogy, Book Two
Publication Date: October 5, 2020
Genres: Adult, Mafia Romance, Crime Thriller, Romantic Suspense

BLURB COMING SOON!

NOTE:One Breath After Another is book 2 in the After Another trilogy. It follows the same couple – Luca and Penny – from present to past, and back again. The books must be read in order. Be warned, the trilogy discusses a subject that may be triggering.

ONE SECOND AFTER ANOTHER

by Bethany-Kris
The After Another Trilogy, Book THREE
Publication Date: November 9, 2020
Genres: Adult, Mafia Romance, Crime Thriller, Romantic Suspense

BLURB COMING SOON!

NOTE:One Second After Another is book 3 in the After Another trilogy. It follows the same couple – Luca and Penny – from present to past, and back again. The books must be read in order. Be warned, the trilogy discusses a subject that may be triggering.

CALLING ALL REVIEWERS, BLOGGERS, BOOKSTAGRAMMERS! YOU CAN NOW SIGNUP TO PARTICIPATE IN THE AFTER ANOTHER TRILOGY EVENTS!

One Step After Another: https://indiesage.com/one-stepbk/
One Breath After Another: https://indiesage.com/one-breathbk/
One Second After Another: https://indiesage.com/one-secondbk/

ABOUT BETHANY-KRIS

Bethany-Kris is a Canadian author, lover of much, and mother to four young sons, one cat, and two dogs. A small town in Eastern Canada where she was born and raised is where she has always called home. With her boys under her feet, snuggling cat, barking dogs, and a hubby calling over his shoulder, she is nearly always writing something … when she can find the time.

To keep up-to-date with new releases from Bethany-Kris, sign up to her New Release Newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/bf9lzD

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Release Blitz: Cusp: A Renzo + Lucia Companion by Bethany-Kris

CUSP: A RENZO + LUCIA COMPANION

by Bethany-Kris
Renzo + Lucia
Publication Date: August 10, 2020
Genres: Adult, Romantic Suspense, Organized Crime. Erotic Romance

SYNOPSIS

Diego Zulla is all grown up. Or mostly.

On the verge of adulthood, with the choices that come along with it staring him right in the face, Diego has a decision to make. Risk everything to chase a dream all the way across the country or take the safer route that everyone else would choose for him.

He thinks he knows what he wants.

But does he really?

Life always has a lesson to teach. When balancing on the cusp of something great … jump.

Headfirst.
And unafraid.

*

Cusp is a 16k New Adult, Coming of Age Fiction companion novella to the Renzo + Lucia trilogy featuring familiar faces and some new ones, too. It should not be read as a standalone.

ABOUT BETHANY-KRIS

Bethany-Kris is a Canadian author, lover of much, and mother to four young sons, one cat, and two dogs. A small town in Eastern Canada where she was born and raised is where she has always called home. With her boys under her feet, snuggling cat, barking dogs, and a hubby calling over his shoulder, she is nearly always writing something … when she can find the time.

To keep up-to-date with new releases from Bethany-Kris, sign up to her New Release Newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/bf9lzD

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Blog Tour: Behind The Hill by B. Ivy Woods

Behind the Hill

by B. Ivy Woods
Publication Date: July 31, 2020
Genres: Adult, Futuristic, Romantic Suspense

Read for FREE in KindleUnlimited: Amazon | Universal Link

A computer programmer desperately searching for her best friend teams up with a PI who has an explosive secret that he must keep hidden.
It’s 2097 and Naomi Porter decides this will be her year. However, self-improvement goals are thrown out the window when the computer programmer’s best friend goes missing. When private investigator Reed Wright appears at her front door promising to help, the quiet life she envisioned is rattled. The easily understandable language of computers is replaced with chemistry that could set her life ablaze. As Naomi and Reed get closer, a complicated mystery begins to unravel. The answers could lead her into more trouble than she ever expected.
If you’re a fan J.D. Robb’s In Death books and other futuristic romantic suspense stories, grab the first novel in B. Ivy Wood’s brand new Behind The Scenes series now.

About B. Ivy Woods


B. Ivy Woods has been writing for as long as she can remember. After getting her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Environmental Policy and a Master’s in Energy Policy and Law and working in the environmental field for several years, she decided to become a stay-at-home mom. That is when thoughts of a writing career really took off. Although she competed in NaNoWriMo multiple times, 2019 was the first year that she won. This win inspired her to make writing a career. She self-published her debut novel in 2020.

Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Bookbub | Amazon

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Free Book Blitz: The Arrangement by Bethany-Kris

THE ARRANGEMENT

by Bethany-Kris
The Russian Guns, #1
Publication Date: March 17, 2014
Genres: Adult, Romantic Suspense, Organized Crime. Erotic Romance

A Russian boss. An Italian Princess.
The truth of their union would change everything …

The Arrangement

*

Nothing will stop the Bratva mob boss from taking back what’s his and once he has her, he’ll do anything to keep her.

Viviana “Vine” Carducci’s and Anton Avdonin’s marriage was decided over two decades ago. The deal between leading mafia families had more on the line than anyone knew, even if the Bratva and Cosa Nostra shouldn’t have mixed. When Vine’s family is murdered and she’s left with nothing more than her grief to survive the mob world alone, she believes the arrangement won’t see the light of day.

Anton can’t allow the one woman he was supposed to love get away. At the possibility of her life coming to a quick end, he steps in with guns blazing knowing exactly what it might cost him: everything. But it’s been nearly a decade since their last meeting, and he can’t help but wonder if the woman he took back is the same girl he fell for all those years before.

Under his protection and love, Vine is unable to forget their shared moments a lifetime ago, or the future she knows they’re owed. When an old flame of Anton’s shows up to rip the veil off the carefully constructed secrets he’d been hiding, past lies surface, and Vine might just learn that nothing about her life was as it seemed. But, that’s nothing compared to the bomb about to blow. Can she see beyond the pain and blood it to take what she always wanted? And just how far will the mob prince go to keep her safe?

In a world where violence, deceit, and greed reign, your life is not your own, and sometimes, love has to be arranged.

Book 1 of The Russian Guns

Viviana couldn’t shake the feeling of a heavy pressure holding her down. Blinking rapidly, she breathed and attempted to see, move, or just do anything.

Nothing happened.

An ache had settled in the creases of her arms and legs. Bending them only served to settle the throbbing pressure deeper into her muscles. Pain radiated from the right side of her jaw as she opened her mouth to call out. With dry lips, a soreness that wouldn’t seem to disappear, and grogginess saturating her senses, she couldn’t focus long enough to remember where she was. Never mind what had happened that got her … here.

Where in the hell was she?

Breathing in, she could taste something familiar in the dark air. Like city air, gunpowder, cigars, and a woodsy cologne that reminded Viviana of home. Her fingers tightened in the blankets.

Hadn’t she been at the university dorms with Sam last night? Hadn’t she been drunk, and hadn’t Sam taken her home? Didn’t she go to that lecture in the morning?

“Sam?” Her voice was hoarse, words mumbled and barely intelligible. Her throat felt sore like she’d been screaming her lungs out for hours. “Sam, wake up.”

It wasn’t a second later that she heard shouts from somewhere outside her dark confines. A voice that resonated deep in her confused mind yelled angrily in a language Viviana couldn’t understand. A woman dressed in a grey-and-white uniform, her hair tied back, looked about as frightened as Viviana felt as she scurried past the opened doorway.

The shouts continued before something shattered, the sounds of tinkling glass spreading over the floors echoing down the hallway. The familiar voice grew scarily quiet as he spit his words out with sheer venom.

Viviana didn’t have to understand the words to know the man was livid; just barely hanging on the ledge of control. More than once growing up, she had heard that kind of anger while she stayed hidden in the safety of her bedroom. Her father’s voice carried through the house as he handled misbehaving men in the basement, or office, whichever served his purpose, depending on the soldier who’d done him wrong.

Forcing herself from the confines of the blankets, Viviana managed to get caught up in all the fabric and tumbled off the bed. Landing on the hard floor with a loud thump, she was surprised no one outside the room heard the noise. Crawling until standing was possible, she swayed on the spot, her legs feeling like a mixture of brittle sticks inside a bag of jelly. Nausea rolled through her insides like a tidal wave of sickness ready to drown and destroy.

Hangovers didn’t feel like that. Nothing felt like that. Unless death did. She wasn’t sure.

“Sam,” Viviana called out again, heading toward the lighted hallway.

Had he checked the hallway before leaving?

Just as she reached the door, something on a small stand caught her eye. The light from the hallway illuminated the framed photograph enough that she could discern the people being pictured. Finally, she remembered.

The face of Nicoli—a former boss of the Bratva, and an ally to her father—stared back at Viviana. Her shaky hand reached out to touch the photograph, snapping back almost at the exact instant she realized what she was doing.

There would be no photo of Nicoli in her dorm, nor would there be a picture of him in any house she visited. It was only then Viviana remembered the sounds of a silenced gun firing off three deadly shots. Sam hanging limp and dead off the edge of a bed. A man hitting her face and spitting words in Russian.

Pop.

Viviana shuddered.

Pop.

Blood bled red in her memories, but the too big T-shirt she now wore hung loose around her bare legs, unstained and pristine white.

Pop.

She was in a car with a Russian … Boris … terrified and trying not to cry.

“Anton.”

The name was thick on her tongue and heavy in her thrashing, thundering heart. Stumbling, she moved from the room and braced her hands on the wall, needing that solid ground to steady her swaying as she moved closer to the shouting.

Anton!”

Looking at her hands, Viviana noticed the blood that once stained her skin was now clean. Fingernails had been buffed, chips filed down, and the natural white crescents at the tips shined brightly under the light. Confused, she reached up to run fingers through her black hair. Instead of the tangled waves from this morning—or was it yesterday now?—she was met with no resistance. The locks felt clean and soft, brushed all the way through and hanging loose down her back.

Someone had washed her. They took meticulous care in cleaning any evidence from her hands and body, changing the clothes she wore and leaving her somewhere they thought was safe for Viviana to wake up in.

Was it him, she wondered. Was it Anton who did that for me?

Beyond the fear and nerves, something that scared Viviana even worse resided in the pit of her stomach: want. She wanted that. Wanted to know he had touched her. Cared for her. Worried over her. But she shouldn’t have wanted that at all.

Finally releasing her hold on the wall, she felt stable enough to walk on her own. Moving at a speed that was too fast for her still upset insides, Viviana made it to the partially opened French doors at the end of the hallway. With dark blinds covering the glass, no one on the inside noticed her approach, and the woman who had previously passed the doorway had long disappeared. The men’s voices became louder again, fury hissing with a burn between every word she couldn’t comprehend. Looking through a crack in the door, the sight staring back was shocking.

At least five men were inside the room, and while four stood upright, the one who had hit Viviana in her dorm—Viktor—was lying prone on the floor. With his head bent at an awkward angle, the barrel of a gun pressing to his right temple, Viktor gritted his teeth and continued to say the same phrase over and over in Russian.

“Boss, let it go,” one man said quietly. “He’s apologized, he’s never skimmed off his boys or done you wrong in the past. Your grandfather would have done the same.”

It wasn’t his face Viviana’s eyes were drawn to, or even the man that spoke in a language she could finally understand. Instead it was the hand holding the gun with a painful force. That hand didn’t shake; there was no hesitation in the action. She had the distinct feeling if those fingers that had once touched her skin so softly pulled the trigger, they wouldn’t find regret in that choice.

Eta ruka?”

Anton’s voice sounded darker than she had ever heard it. Hardened and cold, like shards of ice to her soul. Wearing only dark wash jeans that sat low around his hips, the waistband of his boxer-briefs were visible. The black hair, now kept a little longer than when she had last seen him, was wet and hanging over blue eyes. She couldn’t help but wonder if those eyes blazed a dark blue in his rage like they did when he fucked and loved.

Every muscle tensed and shuddered as anger rolled over his broad shoulders, the six-pack of abs clenching like the white teeth he bared when he growled out once more, “Eta ruka?”

Viktor nodded, raising the hand his boss had tapped with a boot. The chiseled line of Anton’s jaw grew impossibly harder as he breathed heavily through his nose. Something unknown washed through Viviana’s insides, sending her desire ramped up while fear prickled elsewhere.

“Do you think it is appropriate I let this go, Viktor?” he asked, warningly. The slight Russian accent in his dialect wasn’t nearly as thick as some of the men around him, but the more irritated his voice became, the more prominent it sounded. “Do you agree with your brothers that your actions should simply be overlooked because of your lack of past transgressions? Would that be to your liking?”

“I—”

“It is a yes or no question!” The barrel of the gun pressed harder against the older man’s temple. Viviana’s heart stuttered. “I don’t wish to hear your excuses, or apologies. I want a fucking answer!”

Viviana’s fingers tightened around the doorknob as Viktor’s voice turned quieter and he said, “Yes, I was wrong.”

Anton gripped the gun, and he tapped the piece three short times to the man’s head. “This hand,” he stated, his foot tapping against Viktor’s clenched fingers once more. “You hit her with this one, so open it up against the floor. Now.”

“Boss!”

“Would you like to be next, Boris? I should take a pound from you, too, considering you didn’t step in until after he’d smacked her around a little. I was very clear with my instructions. Neither of you idiots managed to follow them properly.”

Anton stood straight, turning to face Boris, and giving Viviana a view of the wide plains of his back and shoulders. Stretched with bands of muscles, his shoulders were strong, wide, and shuddering with barely contained fury. Black ink crisscrossed his skin in a tribal design and a black star resided on both of his shoulders between the inky licks of color.

“The orders were clear, and you allowed him to break my protocol. At the very least, you could have used that sedative before you took her from the dorm, and he did not have to end that bull inside the complex. Those are issues I have to fix now. Too sloppy for a brigadier of your age and knowledge. Both of you are losing the thirty percent share from your boy’s tributes this month, and maybe next, too. I haven’t decided, yet.”

“Yes, Boss,” Boris replied quietly.

Anton turned back to Viktor, the gun in his grip aimed and ready. Viviana choked knowing what he was about to do, but still unable to turn away from the sight. “Hand out,” he ordered again. With a shaky exhale, Viktor unclenched his fingers and laid his palm flat to the floor.

Closing his eyes, he apologized once more in his mother tongue. Anton kneeled down to thrust the gun against the back of the man’s hand. “You will apologize to her. You are not to speak to her directly, or indirectly, without my immediate presence and permission. I do not want to see your face before I request it, and I suggest you stay away from my clubs and homes until this has blown over. Are we clear?”

“Yes.”

“Yes, what?” Anton barked.

“Yes, Boss.”

Without a second of indecision, Anton pulled back the hammer on his gun. Viktor flinched, and she felt suffocated by the realization that a man was about to be shot for hitting her. Bile rose in Viviana’s throat as she pushed open the door and stumbled through. With it came the attention of every man in the room, and the appearance of their guns pointed directly at her.

ABOUT BETHANY-KRIS

Bethany-Kris is a Canadian author, lover of much, and mother to four young sons, one cat, and two dogs. A small town in Eastern Canada where she was born and raised is where she has always called home. With her boys under her feet, snuggling cat, barking dogs, and a hubby calling over his shoulder, she is nearly always writing something … when she can find the time.

To keep up-to-date with new releases from Bethany-Kris, sign up to her New Release Newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/bf9lzD

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Review: Abducted by K.I. Lynn

Length: 259 pages

Published: May 5, 2020

Rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Source: purchased but it’s available with kindle unlimited

Releasing as part of the 2019 Sinister Fairy Tales Collection!

The mafia never lets you go.

I thought I was safe, free, but I never expected to find myself locked in a cage.

I’m in his territory. His prison.

The beast.

A fate worse than death awaits me if I can’t get away, so when the opportunity of salvation presents itself I grab it, even if I’m unsure if I can trust the hand I’m holding.

The only way out is through, exposing secrets and spilling blood.

Things aren’t how they appear. Nobody is what they seem.

Not even me.

My thoughts 💭

This was an interesting read. Domenico and Ella/Ari were cute. He’s the beast and she’s the beauty. She doesn’t mind being in a cage as long as it’s with him. They complimented each other perfectly. They also had a lot of secrets and some stuff could’ve been avoided had they given each other all the facts instead of half. I liked the book.

New Release! Essence Of Fear by Bethany-Kris

ESSENCE OF FEAR

by Bethany-KrisA Boykov Bratva NovelPublication Date: June 22, 2020Genres: Adult, Romantic Suspense, Organized Crime. Erotic Romance, Standalone

The allure of fear is learning to love it.

Viktoria Boykov has heard it all—cold they call her. The spoiled bratva princess. She knows very well what people say when her back is turned. She doesn’t mind; let them talk. It’s better for people to assume what they want about her than for them to know the truth … until him.

Pavel Kotov knows what people say—death they call him. The Boykov dog. He’s heard all the whispers locked away in the cells of the Compound. As the reaper for the bratva, his life owned by someone else, he knows what they say doesn’t matter. His life has never mattered … until her.

He’s terrifying.

She’s terrified.

Viktoria only wants to keep running from her past. Pavel doesn’t have a life to run from. Freedom is the one thing they both crave—for entirely different reasons. But this life is vicious, and scars like the ones they wear will never fade.

Together, they could have everything.

Or are they just pawns to a bigger game?

*

Note: Essence of Fear is a Boykov Bratva standalone.

“What is the card for?” she asked.

Pav hummed under his breath and eyed her from the side. “A party to celebrate something beautiful.”

“So, you really do need a generic card?”

“I suppose.”

It took her all of three seconds to find a generic card with the usual congratulations stamped on the front, and the usual platitudes on the inside. She grabbed the matching envelop, and handed it over to Pav, too. He took them with the same smile as before.

“There you are.”

She turned to walk away, but it was his hand quickly curving around her wrist that stopped her. She froze all over, and a small tremor worked its way through her sinew. Air sucked fast and sharp into her lungs.

At the same time, she enjoyed the warmth of his palm against his skin. She liked the way his fingers tightened against her skin, and the pressure of his fingertips pressing into her racing pulse point. There was no way to hide the way his touch both terrified her and confused her.

Excited her.

Viktoria looked back at Pav but said nothing.

He quirked a brow. “I was going to say thank you.”

She nodded. “You don’t have to.”

Now, let me go.

The words came out in her mind, but not out of her mouth. She wanted to say them, and she didn’t want to say them at the same time.

How strange …

Da. I was going to say it, but now I want to say something else.”

Viktoria wet her bottom lip, muttering, “So, say whatever it is, then.”

“You’re still scared of me?”

She blinked.

Her mouth worked, though.

“Yes,” she whispered.

ABOUT BETHANY-KRIS

Bethany-Kris is a Canadian author, lover of much, and mother to four young sons, one cat, and two dogs. A small town in Eastern Canada where she was born and raised is where she has always called home. With her boys under her feet, snuggling cat, barking dogs, and a hubby calling over his shoulder, she is nearly always writing something … when she can find the time.

To keep up-to-date with new releases from Bethany-Kris, sign up to her New Release Newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/bf9lzD

WebsiteBlogTwitterFacebookGoodreadsPinterestMailing ListAmazon Author Page

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