Search

justlovemybooks

Book Blog (Romance & More)

Tag

Dark Romance

New Release! ~ “Bad Blood” Corrupt Gods Duet Book One, by Authors: Cora Kenborn & Catherine Wiltcher, #DarkRomance is #AvailableNow

Release Date: May 12


Thalia Santiago is the daughter of my enemy.

A beautiful rebel with a single cause.

Impulsive.

Fearless.

And ripe for her father’s undoing.

 

I recognized her the moment she stepped into my casino.

I watched her start the fires that burned her pretty fingers, and then I poured gasoline on the flames.

Now she’s in my debt, and her dues are a shiny gold ring and a vow of deception.

 

I’ll bend her.

I’ll break her.

I’ll turn our mockery of a marriage into a battlefield.

And that river of bad blood that flows between our two families?

I’ll make it an ocean of hate.

Grab Your Copy Here
Meet Cora Kenborn

Cora Kenborn is a USA Today Bestselling author who writes in multiple genres from dark and gritty romantic suspense to laugh-out-loud romantic comedy. 


Known for her sharp banter and shocking blindsides, Cora pushes her characters and readers out of their comfort zones and onto an emotional roller coaster before delivering a twisted happily ever after.

Cora believes there’s nothing better than a feisty heroine who keeps her alpha on his toes, and she draws inspiration from the sassy country women who raised her. However, since the domestic Southern Belle gene seems to have skipped a generation, she spends any free time convincing her family that microwaving Hot Pockets counts as cooking dinner.
Oh, and autocorrect thinks she’s obsessed with ducks.

Connect with Cora Kenborn

Meet Catherine Wiltcher

I’m an International Bestselling Author of ten dark romance novels, a stage 4 cancer thriver, and a self-confessed alpha addict! My writing is best described as sinfully sexy, and my characters always fall hard and deep for one another.

I live in the UK with my husband and two young daughters… But if I ever found myself stranded on a desert island, I’d like a large pink gin to keep me company. Cillian Murphy wouldn’t be a bad shout either…

Movies & stuff…

 

Before I started writing, I worked for seventeen years in the TV and movie industry. I started my career on the hit UK ITV show ‘Blind Date’ before moving into Music TV (MTV, T4) and then movie and drama production, with a brief (three year) flirtation at the BBC’s Natural History Unit thrown in there as well.

 

I’ve been really lucky to travel all over the world with my former job, working with the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, MTV, Walden Media, Warner Bros & 20th Century Fox, amongst many others. All my experiences have helped shape my stories – from the amazing places I’ve visited to hanging out with some really fun A-listers. 


Connect with Catherine Wiltcher

Hosted By:

Cover Reveal: “Ensnared by Silence” Embattled Dreams Book Three, by Author H.J. Marshall, #DarkRomanticSuspense ~ #HJMarshallAuthor @rrrpromotion @readreviewrpt

 

 

 

Ensnared by Silence by H.J. Marshall
 
Pre-Order Today!
 
 
Series: Embattled Dreams; Book 3
Genre: Dark Romantic Suspense
 
 
Follow the Author
 
 
 
If misery loves company, why was I better off alone?
 
I was saved from a nightmare and left in the darkness, suffering through my pain alone. No family, no home, and no one to care if I lived or died, I walked through life with a fake smile and a hardened heart. My silence spoke a thousand words, but no one heard them … until he saw past my pain and helped me discover my voice.
 
He healed the broken parts of me and twisted my pain into pleasure, giving me experiences beyond my wildest dreams. With his touch, I found a peace that gave me hope for the first time in my life. But hope can be dangerous when real monsters still circled, just out of sight.
 
Those who broke me are there waiting to destroy the good parts of my life, damning me to anguish and despair. As the past catches up with me, buried secrets from the past shake my foundation to the core, and the monsters won’t stop until they pull me back into the nightmare.
 
Once the truth is finally revealed, will the nightmare overtake me, dragging me back into the darkness? 
 
When I finally speak, will anyone believe me, or will I be destined to live in silence?
 
 

 

 
 

Now Available on KISS: “Candy Boys” “Caveman” “Storm” ” Micah” & “Asher” by Author Jo Raven are all available to read on KISS!! Genre: Contemporary NA, YA Romance

★✩★ NOW ON KISS ★✩★ 

KISS is a new readers app and JO RAVEN has Candy Boys, Caveman, Storm, Micah & Asher are all available to read on KISS!!

Purchase Links:

Candy Boys – https://read.writekiss.com/details?book_id=6044b2e9124a1d63c91f7e13

Caveman – https://read.writekiss.com/details?book_id=60793aea3065c2244a161043

Storm – https://read.writekiss.com/details?book_id=606d4c82c17b677d196752e2

Micah – https://read.writekiss.com/details?book_id=607939e6e0e345715c39ccc3

Asher – https://read.writekiss.com/details?book_id=60460408209ce3739b607482




KISS is a new and exciting way to experience Romance stories of all genres. Enjoy serialized quality content from NYT and USA Today bestselling authors, available right from your phone.

KISS has hundreds of titles and authors to choose from, including new and exclusive content from some of your favorite voices!

Best of all, you can choose just how much to read with our pay-as-you-go format!

Where can I download it? 

IOS: https://apps.apple.com/…/kiss-read-write…/id1508942129

Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details…

@Jo Raven

 @DS Promotions
#readonkiss #Books #readersofinstagram #authorsofinstagram #keepreading #romance #book #reading #bookstagram #booklove #booklife #bookaddict #indieauthor #kindlereads #bookish #fiction #instabooks #romancereader #bibliophilelife #joraven #candyboys #asher #caveman #storm #micah #joraven #dspromotions

Blog Tour: “The Secrets We Keep” by Author Selina Marie, #DarkRomance is #AvailableNow #NewRelease ~ #SelinaMarieAuthor @bedandbookspr

TITLE- The Secrets We Keep

AUTHOR- Selina Marie
GENRE- Dark Romance
RELEASE DATE- April 29th, 2021
Blurb

How many secrets and lies can a person take before they crack? Well, it looked like I was about to find out…

I endured the life I lived for the girl with the blonde hair and blue eyes, the girl I idolised growing up. My sister went missing two years ago and I would not stop my search to find her.

In one night, my life changed forever when the hero of my story saved me from the evil who slept down the hall.

When Lukas Elin came crashing into my life, my world and everything I thought to be true came unravelling at the seams. He was everything I should have tried to avoid but throw electric chemistry and logic in a boxing ring together, and logic loses every time.

Penderal bay is crawling with liars, and even the heroes hide truths too dark to penetrate the surface.

Some men live in glass houses, their secrets hiding deep beyond the reflection.

How can you really tell though, if the man you have foolishly given your heart to is the hero in your story, or the villain?

Purchase Now
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Author Bio
Selina Marie is a British Author of New Adult & Dark Romance. She lives with her two daughters, fiancé, and kitten in the South of England. Selina drinks way too much tea and loves to gently torture her readers with plot twists that will make you want to throw things at her face.
Selina brings you angsty, sexy, dangerous, bad boys with a twist, and badass heroines you’ll fall in love with.
Thank you for joining me on this wild ride! I hope you enjoy!

Author Links

New Release: “Jagged Line Paradise” by Author: Brynn Ford, Genre: Contemporary Romance with Dark Elements, is #AvailableNow ~ @brynnfordauthor @GiveMeBooksPR

NEW RELEASE
Title: Jagged Line Paradise
Author: Brynn Ford
Genre: Contemporary Romance with
Dark Elements
Release Date: April 15, 2021
BLURB
I left our hometown—a place she once called paradise—when we were just a couple of dirt poor teenagers. I left to flee the aftermath of a horrifying event that completely broke us. And now, ten years later, I’m going back to face the wreckage that I thought I’d put behind me—my father’s gruesome legacy, the trauma of our past, and the girl who survived it all without me by her side.
She hates me now for leaving her behind and I don’t blame her.
I don’t blame her, but I want her.
I want her, even though I know I should stay away from her.
I could be dangerous.
I am my father’s son, after all.
Content Warning: This book contains brief scenes of violence and is premised around a theme of trauma and healing. Some parts may be triggering to some readers—discretion is advised.
PURCHASE LINKS
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
EXCERPT
“What did you wish for?” he asks, picking the candle from the cupcake and licking the frosting off the end.
I’m momentarily distracted by the way he sucks the end of it into his mouth. My heart skips a beat and butterflies flap their wings like crazy as my mind drifts. I shouldn’t be thinking about my best friend’s tongue licking frosting off things…and places.
I shake my head and take the cupcake from his hand, working to peel the wrapper off as I turn forward to look at the mountain sunset. “You know I can’t tell you that. Then it won’t come true.”
He moves to sit beside me, hip to hip, with our legs dangling over the edge. He sets the candle down on the dirt beside him and pulls the hood of his sweatshirt up before shoving his hands into the pockets. I don’t know why he wears hoodies in the summer—it’s scorching hot until nightfall—but it’s kind of a signature look for him.
“But if you tell me what you wished for,” he says, “then I could make it come true.”
“Really?” I lick blue frosting off my finger before I set the cupcake wrapper beside me. “What if I wished for a million dollars?”
“Then I’d get it for you.”
“How?”
He chuckles. “I don’t know. But I’d figure it out if that’s what you wanted.”
I swallow hard though I haven’t even taken a bite of the cake yet. “You really have to stop being so nice to me.” I take a dramatically large bite of mostly frosting and say the next part with a full mouth and good humor. “You’re gonna spoil me.”
Andrés nudges his shoulder against mine. “You can’t spoil someone who’s already spoiled, brat.”
The way he calls me brat makes my spine tingle and I don’t know why. I’m glad the sun is falling behind the mountain line and darkness creeps in to hide my flushed cheeks.
“Did you make this?” I ask, glancing over at him to find him watching me, his eyes on my mouth as my tongue swipes frosting from my bottom lip.
His eyes lift to meet mine and he smiles. “I did. Are you impressed?”
“I am. You wanna bite?” I hold out the remaining half of the cupcake in offering.
His thick, dark eyebrows knit together as he looks at it. “Yeah. Sure.” He leans in and takes a bite from the side at a strange angle and his lips brush against the top of my finger.
It makes me flinch, but not in a bad way. It’s because of the way my stomach tightens at his touch. Touch isn’t foreign between us, it’s always been there—hugs and side jabs and the occasional playful wrestle. It’s just that things have felt different lately.
Good different.
Scary different.
AUTHOR BIO
Brynn Ford is an author of dark and dirty romance for daring readers. She is a lover of the dark, twisted, and playful and strives to bring the unmentionable aspects of passionate romance into her stories.
Brynn resides in the Midwest with her husband and sons, whom she expects will someday be embarrassed by their mom’s books. When she isn’t obsessively writing, you may find her binge watching favorite shows while eating far too much junk food or fanatically reading, always seeking to lose herself in the emotional roller coaster of a damn good story.
She is quite the idealist, despite her fascination with the wicked and warped aspects of humanity. Some of her stories may run out of words before a happily ever after, but she’s a firm believer that her characters continue to live on outside the pages in the minds of her readers. Stories don’t end just because there aren’t any more pages to turn.
AUTHOR LINKS

Release Blitz: “Stolen Hearts” By Author M. O’Keefe, Genre: Dangerous Romance, #AvailableNow ~ @MollyOKwrites @GiveMeBooksPR

 

 
 
RELEASE BLITZ
 
Title: Stolen Hearts
Author: M. O’Keefe
Publisher: Dangerous Press
Genre: Dangerous Romance
Release Date: January 12, 2021
 

 

BLURB

 

The flare of a cigarette, the sound of a stranger’s voice, and the handsome Irishman in the shadows–I wanted it all, but I wasn’t allowed to want. 

 

 
Ronan was danger and beauty, murder and mercy. To me, he was a mystery, but he was also the only man who ever knew me. 
 
In that single stolen moment before I had to give my life to someone else, I imagined myself with him, the man with scars and bruises. The one who knew what hurting meant far more than I did at that time. 
 
Instead I was given to another man, one who broke my soul right along with my bones. 
 
Through it all, there was always that memory of the man in the shadows, the one who said–not in words–that I was strong, that I could endure, that I was more than just a princess in a ballgown. 
 
Now Ronan is the only man who could keep me safe from two warring families that wanted my blood. The spark that started two years ago burned brighter with each touch, each glance, each kiss. He woke me from the nightmare, giving me life with soft touches and sharp words. 
 
Two years ago, Ronan gave me strength, but he took something in return. I never gave him my heart, but hearts like mine are made to be stolen.

 

 
 

 

 

 

 
 
PURCHASE LINKS
 
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
 
 
 

 

 
EXCERPT

 

He was beautiful. I mean, like inarguably. It was simply fact. A law of nature. Dark hair. Blue eyes like the sky at noon. Dark scruff along his hard, square chin. He wore a tuxedo with the tie pulled loose. An angel kicked out of heaven for the trouble he caused. 

 

There was blood on the collar of his white shirt. Blood from any number of wounds on his face. A black eye. A split lip. A tiny butterfly bandage over a cut on his cheekbone. 
He was beautiful, and he was savage. 
“What happened to you?” I whispered. 
He touched the cut on his lip. “You should see the other guy.” 
I stepped forward, drawn by the joke attempt. His eyelashes. The sudden urge to be on a side of kindness. Either side. Any side. Just to experience it however I could. “Who hurt you?” 
His eyes snapped to mine, sharp and bright, and my skin prickled. Uncomfortable and aware. 
“No one,” he said, ice cold despite the blood on his collar. The black eye and split lip. “Not for a long time.” 
I thought he was joking, and I smiled, but his face was resolute. Calm in its strength. He wasn’t joking. He wasn’t being sarcastic. He’s been beaten, but he was telling me it didn’t hurt him. 
Like he’d made a choice, and that was that. Pain didn’t matter. 
“It’s that easy?” I whispered. Scared in my belly because it was only there that I could acknowledge that I knew what was coming for me was going to hurt. 
“No,” he said and his hand, the one with the scar, the one I’d touched, brushed my cheek, his thumb at the edge of my lip. “It’s not easy. It’s very hard. But it’s how you survive.” 
His thumb pressed against my lip, and I gasped, my lips parting. I could taste the salt of his skin and everything in me screamed to leave. This wasn’t just foolish, it was dangerous. For him. 
For me. Especially for me. 
But I couldn’t move. He pressed and pressed until my teeth cut into my lip and it hurt. 
It hurt, and he kept pushing. 
It hurt, and I stood there. Taking it. 
Why was I doing this? Why was he? It felt like a warning and a lesson, and it felt real. Like the grass under my feet. Like the booze in my belly. Not at all like the threats inside that house, whispered and insinuated. The pain, the taste of blood and salt from his finger. The look in his eye willing me to stillness. 
So. Real. 
“Don’t let them hurt you,” he said. 
His words broke the spell and heart pounding, I stepped back but I didn’t leave. Like a fool, I stayed. 
He didn’t have to be a Morelli to be trouble. Or to get me in trouble. 
This man was lethal. And so attractive it hurt. It actually hurt. 
“Who are you?” I asked, licking the blood off my lip. Hoping for a lingering taste of him. 
He shook his head. “I am no one.” 
Someone came to stand in the doorway, breaking up the light, casting a shadow across the stranger’s beautiful face. Both of us turned to look. 
“Jesus, Princess,” my Irishman whispered when he saw who was standing there and he must have realized who I was. 
“Poppy?” It was the Senator, and I went cold. Tried so hard not to, but head to toe the chill settled over me. “Everything all right?” 
“I’m fine,” I said and smiled to prove it. He always believed my smiles. Everyone did. They were very good smiles. Or maybe he just didn’t care. 
“We’re about to make the announcement,” the Senator said, and he summoned me with his fingers. A kind of snapping thing like you’d do with a dog, and I told myself, like I had for a while now, that it wasn’t personal. It was actually the opposite of personal. He treated everyone like that. That that made me feel better wasn’t something I was actually proud of. But I was seeking comfort from any corner. 
“I’ll be in in a second,” I said. I wanted to say goodbye to this stranger. To these quiet moments of rest. 
Or maybe I just wanted to pull my leash as taut as possible, to see how far it would stretch. 
“Poppy?” The Senator smiled when he said my name, but the steel was there. That terrifying sharpness. Turns out my leash didn’t stretch far at all. 
“You heard her,” the Irishman said from the shadows. “She needs a second.” 
“I’m sorry, who are you?” Jim stepped into the light; he was smiling but it was the razor’s edge. Jim was blonde and blue eyed. He wore glasses that made him look smart. He worked out just enough that the suits he wore looked good. 
Everything about him inspired comfort and confidence. 
Voters loved him. 
I’d never been so scared of someone in my life. 
“I’m coming,” I said, and I stepped into the light with Jim Maywell the junior senator of New York who was 28 years older than me, and at midnight, we were announcing that I would be his wife. 
Jim grabbed my hand too hard. But I expected it, and made my hand as small as I could in his. There was a trick to it funneling my fingers, so he couldn’t grind the bones together. I’d learned that fast. I wondered if that would be interesting on my application to the catering company. 
Experience: eating canapes off trays and mitigating the pain my fiancé wanted to inflict on my body. 
We stepped off the small patio into the doorway with the sound of the party filtering through the walls. 
Don’t do it, I told myself. Don’t look. He’s not for you. Not ever. 
But of course I couldn’t stop myself, and I looked back over my shoulder, but the Irishman was gone. 
Nothing was left of him but the taste of blood in my mouth.

 

 
 

 

 

 
 
AUTHOR BIO

 

M. O’Keefe is the darker, more dangerous pen name of bestselling author Molly O’Keefe. She is the USA Today Bestselling author of the Everything I Left Unsaid series and the upcoming Stolen Hearts. To find out more visit www.molly-okeefe.com
 
 
AUTHOR LINKS
 
 
 
 

Release Blitz ~ “The Devil’s Vow” Series: Vows and Vengeance Duet #1, By Author Bella J, Genre: Dark Romance, Release Date: November 16th 2020 ~ @BellaJ_Author @GiveMeBooksPR

Title: The Devil’s Vow
Series: Vows & Vengeance Duet #1
Author: Bella J.
Genre: Dark Romance
Release Date: November 16, 2020
BLURB
Daniela 

I was never a beloved daughter. Only a prized possession to be kept in a gilded cage until my father was ready to trade. 
It was my duty, carved in stone and written in my blood that one day my virtue would be exchanged for an alliance. And now, that day has come. 
Gian Silvestro, heir to the Silvestro empire, will accept me as his wife and seal my fate with a kiss that holds a thousand promises. But to him, our vows only mean one thing…
I am bound to him…and shackled to his hate.

PURCHASE LINKS
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Free in Kindle Unlimited
EARLY REVIEWS
“Yet again Bella has produced a masterpiece in writing!” ~ World of Books 65 

“Wow! This Dark romance was addictive.” ~ Reading in the Red Room 
“DARK, TORRID AND ENTICING!” ~ Donna, Goodreads Reviewer 
“I absolutely DEVOURED this book and right off the bat, I will tell you that this is a TOP 2020 FAVE.” ~ Lydia H. 
“My dark romance loving heart is in pure bliss. The Devil’s Vow by Bella J. was a beautifully twisted and gloriously sinful arranged marriage mafia romance. It has one of the most lethal and gorgeous antiheroes I ever read with equally sassy and fierce heroine. Dark. Depraved. Debauched. Dramatic. Perfection!” ~ PP’s Bookshelf 
“Bella J you have done it again with The Devil’s Vow. This book is full of all the dark and twisted things we have grown to love about our dark books.” ~ Red Hatter Book Blog
AUTHOR BIO
All the way from Cape Town, South Africa, Bella J lives for the days when she’s able to retreat to her writer’s cave where she can get lost in her little pretend world of romance, love, and insanely hot bad boys.

Bella J is a Hybrid Author with both Self-Published and Traditional Published work. Even though her novels range from drama, to comedy, to suspense, it’s the dark, twisted side of romance she loves the most.
You can sign up for her newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/gmA7Mf
AUTHOR LINKS

RELEASE BLITZ “Doc” Series: Ruthless Kings MC #7, By Author K.L. Savage, Genre: Dark Romance/Romantic Suspense, Release Date: November 4, 2020 #AvailableNow ~ @klsavage_author @GiveMeBooksPR

Title: Doc
Series: Ruthless Kings MC #7
Author: K.L. Savage
Genre: Dark Romance/Romantic Suspense
Release Date: November 4, 2020
BLURB
She holds a special place in my heart.

The darkest part of it.

A part I never show anyone.
From the moment we met, I wanted to show her all my scars, the need I hide inside.Joanna.
The woman who wears long sleeve shirts on a hundred-degree day.
She’s been away at college and when she comes home, I plan on making her mine. One phone call.

A broken voice.

Time stands still.
And everything changes.

My plans goes up in smoke when I find her.

Drip.
Drip.
Drip.

Rivers run red. My heart stops.
My chance with her hangs in the hands of fate.
I’ve turned a blind eye to the help she needs.
What kind of doctor does that make me?
No more. I’ll be everything for her.

Doctor. Friend. Lover. Husband.

But I’ve learned, everything means nothing if she doesn’t start caring about herself.
Especially when there is more to her now than there ever was.
I’ll carve scars into her enemy and break my oath as a doctor to bring her JUSTICE.
PURCHASE LINKS
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Free in Kindle Unlimited
TRAILER
ALSO AVAILABLE
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Free in Kindle Unlimited
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Free in Kindle Unlimited
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Free in Kindle Unlimited
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Free in Kindle Unlimited
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Free in Kindle Unlimited
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Free in Kindle Unlimited
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Free in Kindle Unlimited
COMING SOON
Releasing December 4
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
AUTHOR BIO
K.L. Savage decided they were tired of looking for the kind
of books they wanted to read. They had an itch that needed to be scratched, and
as every girl knows, nothing scratches better than an alpha.

They write about gritty, alpha males, sometimes their dark sides, and the women
they love.
If you have the same itch, their alpha males should fix that.

AUTHOR LINKS

RELEASE BLITZ ~ “Blood and Wine” By Author Margot Scott, Genre: Dark Vampire Romance, Release Date: October 29, 2020 is #AvailableNow ~ #MargotScottAuthor @GiveMeBooksPR

Title: Blood and Wine
Author: Margot Scott
Genre: Dark Vampire Romance
Release Date: October 29, 2020
BLURB
A slow-burning descent into darkness and desire… 
Betrayed. Imprisoned. Alone. 
For decades I have suffered as a reluctant blood donor. Caged like an animal and drained of my strength to enrich the Radcliffs and their winery. I’d forsaken all hope of escape—until the winemaker’s daughter returns to the family’s estate.
A drop of my immortal blood is all it takes to activate her psychic talents. Now we’re connected, and all that remains is convincing her to seek me in the darkness.
Bribe. Seduce. Deceive. 
To claim she’s too young is an understatement. But a starving man doesn’t have the luxury of waiting for fruit to ripen. I’ve awakened her gifts, and now it’s her turn to replenish me.
I will have my fill of the winemaker’s daughter. Then I will take revenge on her family.
Author’s note: Please be aware that this book contains scenes of violence, gore, and rough sexual contact, as well as an age-gap pairing spanning literal centuries. If you find drastically inappropriate older man/younger woman romances squicky, do yourself a favor and skip this book.
PURCHASE LINKS
99c for a limited time!
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Free in Kindle Unlimited
EXCERPT
I inhale the perfume of lilacs, and watch the horses grazing among the vines. Then I remind myself that it’s October, and there aren’t any horses on the grounds anymore. 
That’s how I know I’m still dreaming.
I’ve been a lucid dreamer since I was little, capable of controlling my consciousness at whim while asleep. It’s the one Greyson-like talent I’ve been blessed with, and it’s not even that interesting.
A burst of laughter calls my attention to a couple drinking champagne on the patio. I approach them. They ask if I’m wearing that to the party, and it’s not until I notice how they’re dressed—her in a silk blue wrap dress with ruffles, and him in a fedora and striped jacket—and the way their silhouettes dissolve slightly into the air around them, that I realize they aren’t just stand-ins manufactured by my dream engine.
They’re ghosts. My mom tried describing them to me, but it’s one thing to hear about something and another to actually see it with your own eyes.
Ghosts don’t look the way you might expect, all white-sheeted and billowy. Neither do they resemble rotting corpses. They look like shimmery versions of regular people. A little fuzzy around the edges, maybe, but otherwise normal.
The clamor of horn-heavy music playing elsewhere on the estate coaxes me to step barefooted into the grass. I make my way toward the sound. Sure enough, there’s a party in full swing in the grand foyer. I peek through the windows at the crowd of ghosts having a grand old time, drinking, laughing, and dancing.
I stay and watch for a while and listen to the band play, until a man in a waistcoat comes up behind me and asks if I have an invitation. I run into the field, glancing over my shoulder to make sure I’m not being chased.
A woman in a white dress watches me from a second-story window. I’m not a hundred percent certain, but I’m pretty sure she’s watching me from the room I’m staying in. She’s too far away to note the details of her face, but her hair is long, dark, and straight, like mine. I blink and she’s gone, and her absence unsettles me and sends me galloping further into the grapevines.
The sky hasn’t changed since I awoke into the dreamscape, giving the vineyard a sense of timelessness. Now that I’m away from the house, I make my way down the rows of vines slowly, skimming my fingers over the leaves.
This place isn’t so bad without Edward and his awful relatives making me feel unwelcome. It would’ve been even nicer to have come here with my mother; I could’ve listened to her tell her own stories.
A crow soars overhead and then drops into a cluster of trees. That’s when I spot the man standing with his back to me among the vines.
“Hello,” I call out, moving a little closer. He turns his blond head slowly, like he’s not sure if he heard me. I call out again, “Hello, sir?”
When our gazes meet, I stop advancing. His eyes are so blue they’re almost turquoise. I’m already lost in them, and I just got here. He studies me curiously, like he’s never seen a girl in a Blind Melon tee shirt before.
“Did you say something to me?” he asks.
“I said hello.”
The man looks around, like he’s making sure I’m not actually talking to someone behind him. He’s a pretty big guy, fit and brawny. Maybe he’s the ghost of a laborer, I think, though his clean shirt and fair skin would suggest he’s not one for toiling in the sun. I’d guess him to be somewhere in his mid-thirties. I wonder how long it’s been since he passed on, then remind myself he isn’t real. This place looks like the vineyard, but it’s not the vineyard. There’s no reason my mind couldn’t dream up ghosts just as easily as it cooks up impatient servers.
“How long have you lived here?” I ask. Mom also told me that ghosts sometimes forget they’re dead, and when they do, it’s best not to remind them. Nine times out of ten, whenever there’s an aggressive haunting, it’s because a ghost is confused, or hasn’t yet come to terms with their situation. This man appears lucid enough, and his silhouette is surprisingly crisp, but I figure it’s better to play it safe.
His lip curls slightly. “I’ve been here much longer than I’d like to be.”
“Oh. That sucks.” I’m not sure how else to respond.
Two rows of vines separate us, but even that distance and a coating of golden scruff aren’t enough to mask the fact that he’s handsome. His face is angular without being pointed, his lips full, yet defined. The longer I look at him, the faster my pulse starts to race. Heat floods my face as I force myself to stop gawking at him like some wannabe groupie.
“I’m just visiting my dad,” I say, hoping he won’t notice the tremor in my voice. The man says nothing. When I allow myself to glance his way again, he’s no longer standing in the same spot.
He’s right beside me.
I stagger back a few steps.
“How did you do that?” A dumb question, considering ghosts don’t have to follow the laws of physics in the real world, let alone the nonexistent rules in my dreams.
I hold my breath as the man reaches out to touch my cheek. Somehow his eyes are even bluer this close up.
“How is this possible?” He strokes the sides of my face.
“Anything’s possible in a dream,” I say. He shakes his head in disbelief, like I’m the ghost in his dreams.
“This is why he wants you,” he says, and I have no idea what that means.
“Who wants me?”
His gaze lifts over my shoulder, in the direction of the house.
“It’s time to wake up, Mariah.”
“Why?” And how does he know my name?
“You have a visitor.” He grasps my shoulders firmly enough to pinch and shakes me.
I’m jolted awake, for real this time.
It takes me a second to recall where I am—in bed, in the guestroom, at Red Cliff—and half a second more to realize that I’m not alone.
AUTHOR BIO
Margot Scott likes long nails and short, sexy reads, rainbow sprinkles on vanilla ice cream, and rainy days spent in bed with her furbabies. When she’s not writing forbidden-love stories about bearded older men, you can find her browsing Pinterest for pictures of pink things.
AUTHOR LINKS

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑