#MFRWHooks ~ Predator and Prey (@KA_Raines)

Welcome to MFRW’s weekly Book Hooks blog hop! To check out the other blogs in this hop, simply click the banner below or in the side bar. This week, I thought I’d share another excerpt from The Infiltrator, or the scene where Derrick and Keira are FINALLY about to get it on. Warning: This excerpt contains adult content, although it’s nothing too explicit.

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After stringing up a sheet in Derrick’s corner of the garage, Keira stepped back, admiring her handiwork. It wasn’t much, but it would afford them some privacy should the night rover find his way down here at this hour. Also, it muffled the light from the incinerator, leaving just enough of a glow by which to see. Satisfied, she began to undress. Her body hummed with anticipation, every nerve ending sensitized, her physical sensations heightened as she neatly folded her pajamas and placed them next to his cot. The hunting knife Derrick gave her went on top, her boots went lined up neatly next to the stack. As she climbed on top of the tattered but neatly smoothed quilt, clad only in a pair of ridiculously impractical panties—she didn’t bother asking Roz where she found them—she was so giddy with excitement she almost felt drugged.

Her heart hammered as she waited, warmth pooling between her legs and dampening the scant lace, all from mere anticipation of his touch. She was going to have him. She was finally going to have him. They had things to discuss—things that wouldn’t wait much longer—but they would consummate this thing between them first.

She laid back against his single lumpy pillow, hand roaming over her breasts. She pinched her nipples and bit her lip, trailing her hand lazily down her belly and between her legs. When she was younger, she had criticized her body harshly. But her body, while not as young as it once was, was strong. It was a tool that had enabled her survival, and she respected it. And she didn’t have any qualms about enjoying it—or about giving it over to Derrick for their mutual enjoyment. She didn’t dip her fingers into her panties just yet, but idly traced the dampness through the lace, lightly teasing herself. She was tempted to start without him as she thought about earlier that evening, before the alarm interrupted them. She recalled his words, raw and feral: “Wanna taste you.”

Did he think about that a lot? Tasting her? Did he fantasize about it? And she had no doubt in her mind that he touched himself while thinking about her. Because she thought about him…and she knew that he wanted her just as badly as she wanted him. She propped herself on her elbows, losing her patience and tempted to hunt him down, when she realized that he was watching her from the edge of the sheet she’d just strung up. In the dim lighting, his eyes looked almost dangerous, his expression rapt. He’d slunk in without her noticing, evidently frozen at the sight of her, halfway inside the barrier she’d erected, with the sheet draping over his back. He was bare-chested, droplets of water from his shower still gleaming on his chest and beard. He was beautiful. Keira sat up and wordlessly beckoned him, and he obliged eagerly, his expression turning predatory as he stalked toward her. When he stopped at the foot of the cot, she could clearly see, even in the semi-darkness, his sizable erection tenting his dark sweatpants. Her mouth practically watered as she crawled toward him on hands and knees, feeling every bit the predator herself, before raising fully onto her knees. Her arms slid up his bare chest before snaking around his neck, and their mouths met greedily.

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A virus has rendered humanity mostly extinct. Keira Starr is alone, staying alive by staying on the run, sleeping in empty gas stations and the trunks of cars long abandoned on the highway. The world is overrun by “Ghosts,” the mindless, bloodthirsty dead, but they are the least of her problems. She is being hunted by ragtag groups of ruthless men, independent contractors working for a mysterious human trafficking ring. When she is finally captured, she discovers that Derrick Caine, despite his gruff demeanor and appearance, may just have a different agenda altogether.

~~~

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#MFRWsteam ~ Ball’s in Her Court Now (@KA_Raines)

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Welcome to MFRW’s monthly Steam Hop, a blog hop for steamy romance writers! Click the banner to the left or on the side bar to view the other blogs in the hop!

For my entry, I chose an excerpt from my debut novel, The Infiltrator. To set the scene, Derrick and Keira barely escaped a pack of blood-thirsty Ghosts with their lives. Wet, cold, hungry, and emotionally exhausted, it’s the perfect set-up…

~~~

Keira sat up then—there was just room in the confines of the tent—and looked down as she watched him take a long, deep drag. As usual, she couldn’t read the look in his eyes because they were shielded by a fringe of dark hair, and there was something acutely masculine about the rugged set of his unshaven jaw. He had one arm casually bent behind his head, his bicep straining against the ripped cotton of his stained tee. “I’m going out on a limb here, Derrick,” she finally said. “I don’t have to go anywhere with you, but I am. I just wanna know what I’m walkin’ into.”

His eyes latched onto hers heatedly as he exhaled slowly through his nose, and the almost animalistic way he was looking at her had her clenching her thighs together, instinctively seeking friction as the familiar warmth pooled low in her belly.

“Yeah?” he said at last, his voice that now-familiar throaty growl that made her insides quiver. “Then what’re you still doin’ here? No one’s forcin’ ya. Can’t say I’d blame you for walkin’ away, since you don’t know me—not really, and you sure as shit wouldn’t be the first.” His free hand snaked out then, lightly landing on her hip, somehow timid yet bold all at once. His fingertips scorched her as his thumb just grazed the flesh beneath the hem of her shirt. She watched as his hooded gaze flickered downward, landing on her nipples that strained against the flimsy fabric, before trailing further down to the simple cotton panties she’d taken from a Dollar General north of Texarkana last week.

She forced her breathing into a steady rhythm, feeling, strangely, both annoyed and aroused—annoyed that he had the ability to arouse her with a simple look. No man should have the sort of power over her. “And no one forced you to come after me. I can take care of myself.”

His hand squeezed her hip ever-so-slightly, his gaze slowly dragging back up to meet her eyes once more as his exploring thumb slipped just beneath the waistband of her panties. “Yeah. No shit.” His eyes were dark with lust, and he didn’t seem embarrassed by the massive erection that his boxer-briefs did nothing to hide.

They continued to make eye contact in an unspoken challenge, the tension heavy in the air between them, and Keira knew that he was waiting to see what she would do next. The ball was in her court. If she wanted him, all she had to do was take him.

She was aware that she looked a mess, and she was sure she must smell even worse. Yet she felt emboldened when she shifted and leaned over him in the next instant, not allowing herself to put too much thought into what she was doing as she draped one thigh over his hips, rubbing her center lightly against him. She continued to hold his gaze as she took the mostly-forgotten cigarette from between his lips and brought it to her own, inhaling deeply. She hadn’t smoked since her college years, when she started dating Kevin and he’d deemed it unattractive, and so she savored the nicotine. Her eyes never left Derrick’s as she slowly exhaled the smoke and pressed the cigarette between his fingers.

She felt irrefutably empowered by his ragged breathing, and by the heat of his impressive length that strained insistently against her inner thigh when she dragged her leg back over his and settled at his side once more. She smiled thinly, knowing that she had regained her power. If she wanted to, she could fuck him stupid and slip off quietly next time he slept. She had been on her own for a while now, and she preferred it that way. She didn’t need other people, and she certainly didn’t need him.

Buy HERE ~ Only $2.99 and always FREE on Kindle Unlimited!

3d Hardcover on transparent

A virus has rendered humanity mostly extinct. Keira Starr is alone, staying alive by staying on the run, sleeping in empty gas stations and the trunks of cars long abandoned on the highway. The world is overrun by “Ghosts,” the mindless, bloodthirsty dead, but they are the least of her problems. She is being hunted by ragtag groups of ruthless men, independent contractors working for a mysterious human trafficking ring. When she is finally captured, she discovers that Derrick Caine, despite his gruff demeanor and appearance, may just have a different agenda altogether.

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#MFRWHooks ~ “She’s Mine.” (@KA_Raines)

For this week’s book hook, I thought I’d share an excerpt from The Infiltrator. In this scene, Keira is evading Seekers, independent contractors working for a human trafficking ring in the wake of the apocalypse. When she’s awakened from her hiding spot in the dead of night, she discovers she’s no longer alone.

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On the fourth night at the cottage, she was jerked rudely awake by a scuffling from above. Her sleep-deprived mind struggled to push back the panic that crept in and settled around her like a dark cloud. One hand closed around the revolver—the one with which she’d first planned to murder her husband—on her stomach as she bolted upright. She trembled beneath her threadbare blanket, nerves frayed as she rose from her pallet, tiptoeing through the pitch black to the bottom of the staircase. She held the revolver with a steady grip while listening to the noises of the cottage above. She was exhausted from only sleeping in two-to-three-hour stretches, but her senses were now fully alert as she detected another distinct shuffling noise followed by the timbre of male voices. Three at least, possibly more.

Her eyes flashed to the single window above the crates stacked in the corner as she considered her possibilities. The frame was narrow, but Keira had been thin even before the world ended. She could simply kill the men in the house above. It was the first suitable shelter she had encountered for miles, and it was an unusually cold night for this early in the season. Even with a roof over her head, the threat of hypothermia was very real, especially since the rain had started again. The ground would be frozen over by morning. Not wasting any more time, she marched to the window and stuffed her meager belongings behind a crate. The men clearly hadn’t yet discovered the cellar door off the small kitchen, but it was only a matter of minutes. Keira would wait outside by the cover of darkness and observe them through the windows, gauge how many she was dealing. She would likely wait until they were sleeping, slit the watchman’s throat, and then slip back inside and silently kill the others. She had long ago learned to do what she had to, and she didn’t stop to think about it. If it was a cruel world before, it had become something unspeakable now.

Keira clamored through the window and pressed herself against the cold stone of the house, eyes darting frantically about. It was dark, the rain still coming down in icy sheets, shocking her system, and rendering objects in her line of vision little more than shapeless masses.

“Weapons on the ground, and hands where I can see ‘em.”

The voice came from in front of her and slightly to the left, little more than a low growl that caused an involuntary shiver down her spine.

Her eyes shot in the speaker’s direction and her hands instinctively tightened on the switchblade in her left hand and the gun in her right. Her heart stuttered as panic seized it in an icy grip. Yet outwardly she remained calm. She’d dealt with Seekers more than once, but she’d take the Ghosts any day.

“Easy there.” He was stalking toward her slowly, and the large blur grew distinct, shaping into a lean, powerful frame and broad shoulders. A weapon—a rifle—was aimed at her center mass. “Don’t wanna hurt ya.” He was mere feet away now. Keira couldn’t see his eyes beneath a mop of shaggy dark hair, plastered to his face by the downpour.

“Whatcha got there, Derrick? That a woman?”

Her pulse fluttered in genuine fear at the second voice; there was something in it that chilled her blood, something unmistakably hard—and well-suited for this world.

“Nah, man,” the first man snarled as the second jogged out of the tree line, aiming some sort of bow at her. The rifleman’s free hand came up, stopping his companion forcefully in his tracks as he attempted to move forward and get a better look at Keira. “She’s mine.”

Buy HERE ~ Only $2.99 and always FREE on Kindle Unlimited!

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A virus has rendered humanity mostly extinct. Keira Starr is alone, staying alive by staying on the run, sleeping in empty gas stations and the trunks of cars long abandoned on the highway. The world is overrun by “Ghosts,” the mindless, bloodthirsty dead, but they are the least of her problems. She is being hunted by ragtag groups of ruthless men, independent contractors working for a mysterious human trafficking ring. When she is finally captured, she discovers that Derrick Caine, despite his gruff demeanor and appearance, may just have a different agenda altogether.

M/F, erotic romance, dystopian, post-apocalyptic, sci-fi/fantasy

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#MFRWHooks ~ Sweeter Than Peaches (@KA_Raines)

For this week’s book hook, I thought I’d share an excerpt from The Infiltrator.

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He entered the kitchen, finding it abandoned since dinner had technically wrapped up an hour ago. Food was left on the serving line for the returning groups and for people coming off their watch rotations. Only a single server and dishwasher remained, the latter of whom was currently out in the hall playing a rather boisterous game of poker. The remainder of the kitchen crew had already finished up and gone back to their respective rooms to enjoy the remainder of the evening or else to get ready for their watches.

He found her in the back by the freezer, standing on the tips of her toes and reaching for a bowl of peaches on a high shelf. He moved up behind her stealthily, barely brushing his body against her back as he reached up and plucked a peach from the bowl.

Keira jumped in alarm and wheeled around, one hand shooting to the base of her throat. “Jesus, you scared me.”

“Shouldn’t let your guard down—not even in here,” he admonished. “An’ I ain’t Jesus.” He took a bite from the peach, not bothering to put any distance between their bodies as he stared down at her wide eyes and parted lips. Lips that looked even sweeter than the peach. He wanted to take a bite, but he refrained. “Whatcha doin’ back here?”

“They were out of fresh fruit,” she said, swallowing noticeably. “I was making you a tray…and they only had the canned stuff left out there.”

He grunted. “Mighty thoughtful of ya.” He took another bite from the peach, the deliciousness exploding over his tongue as the juice drizzled down his chin.

They were staring at each other, the heated tension between them as thick as butter when Keira leaned up rather abruptly, her tongue darting out and tracing the trail of juice that had escaped his mouth. He growled at the raw, wet feeling of her tongue on his unshaven jaw, which elicited a jolt straight to his crotch. His hands going to her hips, he roughly hefted her up onto the countertop while squeezing her ass and stepping between her legs that instinctively splayed for him.

“You stayin’?” he growled, lips on her ear as he nipped her lobe—hard.

Keira gasped at the sweet pain, hands going around his back and working their way under his tee while her legs wrapped tightly around his waist. “Haven’t decided yet,” she whispered, a tremor in her voice, and it was obvious that it had taken her a moment to process what he was asking.

Her whole body trembled against his in clear anticipation, and Derrick growled again, overwhelmed by the idea that she was as desperate for him as he was for her, but he was conflicted. This couldn’t end well. He wanted her to stay, but he didn’t know why. He didn’t want to want her to stay, and if they did this it would fuck up his head even more. He couldn’t give her what she deserved; he simply didn’t have it in ‘im. And he wouldn’t use her to scratch an itch, either.

With a force of will he hadn’t realized he possessed, he took a half-step back, and her legs slid from around his waist, releasing him only reluctantly. She literally moaned in disappointment and bit her bottom lip.

Fuck. He had to leave. Now. ‘Cause if he didn’t, there was no going back. He was gonna fuck her right here on this countertop, and that would be that, consequences be damned.

Derrick picked up the abandoned tray of food on the counter next to her as she stared up at him with lust-clouded, confused eyes. Her chest was still heaving when she slid to the floor on noticeably shaky legs.

“Nah,” he growled, more certain of his words than he had been of anything in a long while. “Y’ain’t leavin’. Are ya?” He took another bite of the peach, turned around, and left her there staring after him with ill-disguised yearning. He didn’t know where this was going, and he didn’t know why he cared, but fuck if the woman hadn’t already fucked up his head. He was gonna eat, get himself off again, and then sleep for a goddamn week—and put off the inevitable for as long as he could.

Buy HERE ~ Only $2.99 and always FREE on Kindle Unlimited!

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A virus has rendered humanity mostly extinct. Keira Starr is alone, staying alive by staying on the run, sleeping in empty gas stations and the trunks of cars long abandoned on the highway. The world is overrun by “Ghosts,” the mindless, bloodthirsty dead, but they are the least of her problems. She is being hunted by ragtag groups of ruthless men, independent contractors working for a mysterious human trafficking ring. When she is finally captured, she discovers that Derrick Caine, despite his gruff demeanor and appearance, may just have a different agenda altogether.

M/F, erotic romance, dystopian, post-apocalyptic, sci-fi/fantasy

Thanks for stopping by! I’d love to hear from you!

Kari

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Cover Reveal ~ Arresting Jeremiah by Amber Daulton (@AmberDaulton1)

Title: Arresting Jeremiah
Author: Amber Daulton
Series: Arresting Onyx (book 2)
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Cover Reveal: September 23rd, 2020
Release Date: October 14th, 2020
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Length: 98k
Heat Rating: 5 Flames

Tags: woman in jeopardy, man in jeopardy, single mom, family, violent ex, investigations, police procedural, criminals, gangs, drugs, urban romance, HEA, no cliffhangers, standalone, series

Blurb

Injured Parole Officer Jeremiah “Jim” Borden never expected Calista Barlow, the sassy blonde waitress he’s craved for months, to ring his doorbell. She slips into his heart—and his bed—but he’s obsessed with a gangland investigation that threatens his career and maybe even his life.

Calista doesn’t trust easily, not with a daughter to protect and the stalker who keeps calling her. After her violent ex-boyfriend returns, she finds solace in Jim’s arms.

Jim may have to forego his need for answers to protect the ready-made family he adores, but how will he and Calista escape an unseen enemy that is always one step ahead of them?

Tagline – When threats escalate, will Jim and Calista succumb, or fight for a love they can’t deny?

PreOrder Links

Amazon ~ Barnes and Noble ~ Apple ~ Kobo ~ Google Play ~ Universal Link

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Excerpt

He hated to upset Calista all over again, but he had to know. “What were you thinking when you tried on the necklace?”

Air whizzed through her teeth. Silence stretched between them as they walked toward the diner. She sighed, her voice soft. “No offense, but I don’t know or trust you enough to let you in that much. I’ve made some mistakes—things I don’t want to talk about. Give me some time.”

Trust? He couldn’t blame her for that. If he demanded to know her secrets, he had to tear down the barbwire he’d erected around his.

No. That couldn’t happen. His life depended on his silence. Did her private thoughts and memories hinge on life and death too? His stomach twisted. Nothing bad would happen to her, not if he was around to stop it.

“What can you tell me?” Hell, only an asshole would ask something like that without opening up in return.

“The necklace reminded me of something I once wanted more than anything. Not the pearls itself, but what it represented. I couldn’t have it because I wasn’t good enough.” She pulled from his grasp and wrapped her arms around her middle.

“I’m sorry I forced you to try on the necklace. I thought you liked it. All women deserve something that makes them feel pretty.” The stench of oil filled his nose, and he sneezed. He glanced at the noisy passing cars and pulled Calista farther back along the sidewalk, away from a puddle in the road, before a vehicle splashed them. “I understand about lack of trust and the need for secrecy. I hope someday you can tell me what happened, but I do know one thing, even if you never tell me. You were good enough. You always have been and will always be.”

Her blue-green eyes widened. She traced her fingertips over his smooth jaw, leaving sparks in her wake.

“You’re so kind. I almost believe it when you say it. God, I wish I’d met you years ago, Jeremiah.”

“Why do you call me Jeremiah? Everyone else calls me Jim.”

“It feels more personal, as though you belong only to me. I may have to share Jim with the rest of the world, but Jeremiah—the strong, kind man I’ve admired over the past several months—is all mine.”

Her admission branded him like a fire poker to his skin. If he were alone, he’d beat his chest and roar. No woman had ever wanted to claim him. No one but her ever called him Jeremiah.

He coughed, clearing his throat. “Friday is only two days away, but I can’t wait that long. Let’s get in my car and go to a park, somewhere private, to talk.”

“Talk? Is that code for necking like teenagers?”

“I’m game if you are, but I don’t want to be rushed. We’ll have time for kissing and touching later.”

She pecked his cheek. “We better go before the rain starts again.”

He grasped her hand and they hurried back to the diner.

Official Book Trailer for Arresting Jeremiah

YouTube – https://youtu.be/jIsVXB1B_Pg

Great news! Arresting Mason, book one in the Arresting Onyx series, is on sale for .99 cents. Limited Time Only!

Find it here: https://books2read.com/u/m2vvY7

Release Tour Sign Ups

I’m working with the wonderful Maia from Silver Dagger Tours to host the release of Arresting Jeremiah. Readers, authors, and bloggers alike—we would love to have you on board for the month-long tour, beginning on October 14th.

There is also the option to review before the book goes LIVE!

Find out more here: https://www.silverdaggertours.com/tour-sign-ups/arresting-jeremiah-tour-sign-ups

About the Author

Amber Daulton is the author of the romantic-suspense series Arresting Onyx and several standalone novellas. Her books are published through The Wild Rose Press, Books to Go Now, and Daulton Publishing, and are available in ebook, print on demand, audio, and foreign language formats.

She lives in North Carolina with her husband and demanding cats.

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