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Title: Blind Love
Author: Kishan Paul
Release Date: June 2, 2015
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
She doesn’t need a hero. But a sexy Marine…that’ll work.
At twenty nine, psychologist Lauren Baxter has a successful counseling practice. Since becoming legally blind at fifteen, her world has been a blurry mess of colors. Her greatest fear is also her ultimate reality. One day that fuzzy realm will forever turn black. Refusing to let blindness define her, she builds a life for herself with her dog, Jack Sparrow, and best friend, Sunny Daye.
Lauren has no tolerance for pity or for Superman swooshing down and rescuing her. She is capable of saving herself just fine. That is until Gabe, the great smelling, former Marine, from Texas moves in next door. Her attraction to him is immediate and, unfortunately for her, mutual.
When Lauren’s ex-husband shows up begging for another chance, she is confused and fragile. She also finds herself in the arms of her secretive neighbor. Little does she realize that her decision for a steamy roll in the hay with Gabe will suck her into his mysterious past, thrust her ex-husband back into her life, put her in the middle of a murder investigation, and place her life in danger.
Gabriel Briggs has the weight of the world on his shoulders. Short term flings are all he can afford for more reasons than one – reasons he never plans to share. Until he moves in next door to the beautiful, green eyed, feisty, Lauren. One night with her and he’s reconsidering promises he made almost a decade ago. When a woman from his past is murdered, his world is turned upside down. Secrets are revealed and innocent lives are threatened. Can Gabe win Lauren’s love and save her life before it’s too late?
Product Warnings: Contains a blind therapist who doesn’t consider herself impaired; a meddling, erotic-novel-writing best friend; a hot ex-Marine with a shady past; and a loyal guide dog that howls “I love you” and is probably the sanest one of the bunch.
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Her chocolate German shepherd, Jack Sparrow, nudged her leg as soon as she approached the front door. After rubbing his neck, she grabbed hold of his harness and stepped outside.
A beautiful mix of greens and blues touched with red swirled around her. After several blinks, her eyes adjusted to the brightness. She pointed in the direction of the neighboring townhome.
“Jack, Mrs. Rourke’s door.” A pang of guilt ran through her. She and her former neighbor had been close until Lauren placed her in a nursing home. It was one of the hardest things she’d ever done, but when an eighty-five-year-old woman sat in one’s kitchen butt naked talking about the weather, it left few options.
Jack tried to warn her but she ignored him and sent the poor dog to the backyard. She cringed at the memory of Mrs. Rourke’s bare skin under her hands when she hugged the old woman; it was one she wouldn’t soon forget. Since the episode, Lauren made a concerted effort to pay better attention to her guide dog’s whimpers and barks.
Together they made their way across the lawn. Once at the door, Jack sat down and waited for her to do the rest. Taking a deep gulp of fresh Denver air, she held it for a few seconds before slowly releasing.
Calm and patient.
That’s the person I am and that’s the person he’ll see.
Lauren felt the wall for the doorbell and pressed the plastic control. A few dozen doorbell presses later, realization hit. If he’s banging away in there, how’s he going to hear the doorbell? She slammed her knuckles into the wood for what seemed like an eternity but still no response.
Okay, time for Plan B. Since her home connected to the demolition man’s, they shared a common backyard.
He rose, maneuvering them back. Together, they marched into their townhouse, through the living room, and out the backdoor. Jack guided them across the lawn, straight to the offender’s patio. She banged her knuckles against the glass pane. After they were raw and felt like they were on fire, his hammering stopped. A few minutes later, she heard the sound of plastic blinds shifting. Lauren plastered on her biggest smile and waved. Metal slid against wood and the door opened.
The faint smell of sandalwood mixed with cedar filled her lungs. It was the same scent she’d gotten whiffs of the past four weeks since he’d moved in.
“Can I help you?” His soft Southern drawl flowed through her skin, warming her face. The image of a shirtless man in a cowboy hat and jeans leaning against the doorjamb popped into her head. For a moment, she forgot why she’d come.
“Umm, hi, I’m Lauren.”
“Hello, Lauren.” The amusement in his voice pulled her out of her cowboy fantasy.
Jack nudged her leg, reminding her they were there on business, not to drool. “I live in the townhouse next to yours.”
“I see you two jogging the park in the evenings.” From the angle of his voice, he sounded about six feet tall. She could hear the smile in his words. When he shifted his weight, the doorjamb squeaked. She wondered if his shoulder leaned against it, like the half-naked cowboy in her head.
Thank God I changed out of my onesie.
“They have some nice jogging trails.” Her voice came out husky and she caught herself playing with her hair when she responded.
What the hell?
Lauren dropped her arm and grabbed a fistful of her jeans to curb her need to twirl, flick or touch her hair—or him for that matter.
“I maht have to try them out.”
Maht? Yup, definitely a country boy. Images of tight jeans and cowboy hats filled her thoughts.
He cleared his throat. “Would you like to come in?”
Her heart thudded and her palms moistened at the prospect.
“No, I wanted to ask a favor.”
“A favor?” The evil man continued his flirty tone, successfully melting her organs. “What kind of…favor?” The way he said the word had her brain exploring all the inappropriate things he could do with her—for her.
Stop it! You are stronger than this. Focus.
Lauren cleared her throat for the hundredth time. “I work from home and spend most of the day on the phone with clients.”
He chuckled. “Ahh. So putting in crown molding isn’t helpful, is it?”
Her stomach fluttered.
Speechless, she smiled and shook her head.
“Well, what time are you finished with work?”
“Five, tonight. But it varies.”
“So if I work on the molding after five…”
“I’ll be very grateful,” Lauren finished.
“How about giving me your number so next time I have a project I can find out your schedule before I start?”
Wait? Was that a line or sarcasm? He can’t be hitting on me.
No. It made total sense he needed her number. After all, sometimes she did have evening clients. “Okay, you want to get a pen?”
Lauren’s face heated.
Yup, he’s flirting.
She wiped her clammy palm on Jack’s back and rattled off the digits.
“I’m Gabe, by the way.”
“Hi, Gabe, and thank you.” She turned to rush away before she agreed to more than her phone number.
“Since you’re done with work at five, how would you like to go to dinner with me tonight?’”
Where to buy:
Blind Love Trailer: http://bit.ly/1JQAVju
“I absolutely fell in love with this story and quite honestly didn’t want to put it down or for it to end.”
-Bobbi of Bobbi’s Blog
“Lauren is both strong and vulnerable, and much the same could be said for Gabe. You have two people battling their own personal demons, lots of emotional baggage and an undeniable (and strong) mutual attraction that keeps pulling them together…Humorous banter, believable chemistry and a strong cast of supporting characters are just some of the things that make this book difficult to put down.”
-Nessie Strange author of Living Dead World series
“I love, love, loved this story. I am a huge fan of contemporary romance, and this was perfect. One minute I was crying, the next laughing…The story is very well written, the characters are well developed,…a must read for any romance lover. There is a little suspense, and you’ll want to keep some tissues near-by…Fans of Susan Mallery, Robyn Carr, Jennifer Bernard, and Jill Shalvis will love this novel.”
-Nicole of Books and Pearls.com
About the Author
From daring escapes by tough women to chivalrous men swooping in to save the day, the creativity switch to Kishan Paul’s brain is always in the “on” position. If daydreaming stories were a college course, Kish would have graduated with honors.
Mother of two beautiful children, she has been married to her best friend for over seventeen years. With the help of supportive family and friends, she balances her family, a thriving counseling practice, and writing without sinking into insanity.
Her novella, Taking the Plunge, is currently available in the Love Least Expected Anthology on Amazon.
I was voted Best New Author at the Smexy and Fabulous Beach Reads and Blind Love got second place in the same competition for Best Contemporary Romance. Blind Love is also voted the Best Book of June, 2015 on Goodreads and is one of the Top Ten Books of Playwire’s Reviews for June.
She can be found at:
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Episode 6 by C.A. Szarek
“Can I ask you something?” Abby shivered as Reed rounded the desk and took a seat, those fabulous green eyes intent on the mini-lab instead of her.
She ignored the disappointment that crashed over her. Things had been hot. What was with the cooling off? Was he really going to play scientist, instead of trying to ravish her?
He finally looked up, and cocked his dark head to one side, then nodded. “Sure.”
“You’re a vampire, right?”
Again, he nodded. “Not a secret, the whole town kinda is.”
“Why do you have a limp?”
“The bullet was silver, and we didn’t get it out fast enough.” He shrugged as if it was nothing, but something darted across his handsome face and had Abby muttering an apology.
She jumped when he stroked her cheek and one corner of his mouth shot up. Abby hadn’t seen him move—again. She had to order herself not to lean into his touch.
“It was a long time ago, I assure you my skills aren’t lacking.”
“I wouldn’t have come to you if I thought they were.”
“Right. Well, let’s get started.” Reed rubbed his hands together, as if in anticipation and took his previous seat.
“Get started?” That was the second time he’d said that.
“Yes.” He hit some buttons on a machine. Red lights shone, and a whirring sound filled the room.
“I thought you were going to help me.” Abby winced at the desperation in her tone. Her heart sped up, and she fought the urge to look around. She was safe here—despite the fact she was with the most powerful vampire in town. Reed wouldn’t let anything happen to her, would he?
“No, I won’t.”
“You read minds, too?” Shit, she’d have to guard her thoughts.
He chuckled, and the warmth of it was like a caress.
Abby squirmed in the chair and squeezed her thighs tight. Desire settled low. She wanted him. A stranger. A vampire. Hoped like hell he couldn’t tell.
Reed’s smirk, and the flare of his nostrils said otherwise.
Her cheeks warmed, and he the fact that he’d not answered was palpable.
“You and I should work out just fine,” he murmured. His voice dropped. It was thicker, more appealing somehow.
“What’d you mean?” she whispered.
“I don’t want your money.”
She straightened, her longing shooting to anger, and Abby popped to her stilettoed feet. “You said you’d help.”
A slow, sexy grin bloomed across Reed’s delicious mouth. Fangs peeked out.
Abby’s heartbeat kicked up. She was in so much trouble.
“So what the hell do you want for payment? I’m not a sex slave. It’s not going to be like that, I don’t care who the hell you think you are.” Her voice rose with each demand, and Abby bristled when Reed came to her side and cupped her face.
He dipped down as if he was going to kiss her.
She stiffened, and cursed her disappointment to hell when his mouth stopped millimeters above hers.
“No worries, little seer, you’ll sleep with me.”
His confidence flared her anger, but Abby couldn’t pull from his hold. He wasn’t hurting her, despite the firm grip. “I will not. And you’re still being obtuse.”
Reed laughed. His green eyes twinkled.
“I needed your blood because it’s how you’re going to pay me. You’re going to bond with me.”
The story’s not over yet! There will be more.
The remaining 6 episodes will be released in August. So don’t forget to come back so you can read how the story ends.
Episode 5 by Luanna Stewart
Abby watched Reed’s eyes darken, and at the same time heard the door lock click into place.
Holy shit, batman. She’d heard stories about vampires being able to control stuff with thoughts, but she’d never witnessed it. The other vampires she’d met over the years had been too eager to stay under the radar, keep their secret powers secret.
“Um…what do you think you’re doing?” She had a pretty good idea, but there was no way in hell she was going to be this guy’s breakfast. Even if he was drop dead gorgeous. Damn, poor choice of words.
“Oh, I think you know exactly what I have in mind.” He crossed to a wall cabinet and took out a metal tray holding medical equipment. “But first we need to take care of preliminary screening.” He snapped on a pair of blue surgical gloves.
She tried to laugh. This wasn’t really happening, was it? “Shouldn’t we just ask each other about our sexual history or something?”
He grinned. “Oh we’ll get to that too. Now be a good girl and roll up your sleeve.”
She was used to weird shit, given the weirdoes she hung around with, and the even weirder weirdoes she encountered as Sitara. She rolled up the sleeve of her blouse and turned her head away.
“This won’t hurt a bit.” He chuckled as he tied a strip of rubber around her arm. “Well, this part won’t hurt. And I’ve yet to hear complaints from my other…lovers.”
“I’m not hiring you to be my—” She jumped as the needle pierced her flesh. So much for not hurting. She dared a glance at her arm and was surprised to see him filling a third vial. “What the hell do you need all that blood for?”
He deftly finished and sat again behind the desk. Seeming to ignore her question, he divided the blood from one tube into other tubes and added drops of various liquids. Then, he pulled off his gloves.
“Now, we have time to chat. When was your last sexual encounter, and with whom?”
“Look, I want you as a bodyguard, not a gigolo.” Not that she would kick him out of her bed, but he was taking all the romance out of it.
Without seeming to move, he appeared at her side, clasped her arms and pulled her from the chair. His nostrils flared as he leaned closer. Close enough for her to feel the cold heat from his body. Whoa, that didn’t make any sense. How was heat cold?
“I don’t smell a man on you.”
All she could do was shake her head. She looked into his eyes, dark and mysterious, and couldn’t look away. A feeling of peace, contentment, comfort filled her mind, and body. Hell, she felt fabulous, like she was floating on a warm cloud of massaging brilliance. He lowered his head toward her neck, and she tensed. Shit, this was really happening, and she didn’t care. She wanted to stay on the cloud. But, all she felt was the soft brush of his lips.
“Relax, my sweet. You will know when it’s time.” He gently bit her earlobe and released her arms, letting her settle in the chair. She wanted to cry.
He glanced at the small laboratory atop his desk and smiled. “Yes, very good. Let’s get started.”
Bits and Pieces is a new category on the blog for sharing occasional tidbits or more complete pieces of my writing.
What I’m posting today is a bit I wrote over a year ago. It has not been edited and is definitely on the rough side.
So you’ve been warned: Read at your own risk. 🙂
Naked, her creamy thigh opened. She had dreamed of this day.
Months of planning, sneaking, and chaste kisses, the wait was
Wet and impatient, the ache had become unbearable.
Hot and slick between her breasts, Felicia gripped her husband’s wrinkled skin and pushed him away from her sore shoulder. Passed out, he did not stir from the change in position. She wiped his drool off with a satin sheet and wrapped her firm body with a plush robe.
She stepped onto the balcony. The weight of her diamond ring tipped her conscience. She lifted her hand and hesitated.
This is what she had wanted.
Episode 4 by Angie Daniels
Reed was usually all about business, but once Abby started gnawing on her bottom lip, he’d barely heard another word she’d said. They were full, lush, and parted slightly, revealing the tip of her tongue as she drew the flesh between her teeth.
She had no idea the things he yearned to do with that delectable mouth.
And then, there was her feminine scent that was driving him fucking nuts. The fragrance was amber and lemongrass with the faintest hint of blood. She’d recently cut her leg—probably shaving—sending his appetite burning.
Damn, he’d love to kiss her wound and make it all better.
Hunger roared through him as his eyes perused a slender frame with enough tantalizing curves to make a man want to drop to his knees and give thanks… among other things.
Watching her, smelling her, Reed felt a rage of heat rushing through his veins that landed right smack at his groin, causing his cock to throb something fierce.
While she explained her dilemma, he found himself imagining how wild and wicked Abby could behave once she lost that restraint. She seemed to be the type of woman who possessed fire and will, and he wanted to know what turned her on. Already, he anticipated hours and hours of wicked pleasure.
Oh, he could hardly wait.
“Have you heard a word I said?” Abby barked, bringing him back into the conversation.
Reed slowly rose from the chair and frowned. “No, I’m afraid I have not,” he began, and when her eyes flashed dark fire, a smile curled his lips. “However, once we’ve discussed price, and you agree to my terms, then I’m all ears.”
Abby tilted her head to one side and sent curls bouncing around her face as she threw him an arched look. “Money is not an issue.”
Before he could respond, she slid the leather strap off her shoulder, unzipped the purse, and emptied the entire contents onto the cluttered wooden desk with a loud thump. Eyes wide, Reed stared down at the large bundles of cash. There had to be several thousand dollars right before his eyes, and yet the money was nowhere near as tempting as the woman sitting across from him.
“I think that should be more than enough,” she decided, her brown eyes glittering confidently.
“Really?” he murmured. As he gazed at her, Abby then made the mistake of nervously nibbling on her bottom lip again, only this time her teeth sank into the tender pink flesh, drawing just the slightest drop of blood. However, for a vampire it was more than enough to cause his lips to curl back and his fangs to show as he snorted a laugh.
“No, I’m afraid that won’t work,” Ó he began as he rounded the desk, taking one step and then another. “I want something else.”
“Something else?” Abby repeated, and then Reed heard the sharp intake of air as it hissed through her teeth. It was clear she knew which direction the conversation was headed.
“Well, what are you waiting for? Tell me what you want,” she demanded breathlessly.
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Episode 3 by Mina Khan
Good thing Abby had plenty of experience with challenges. She didn’t like them necessarily, but she never backed off from one. Squaring her shoulders, she met his glare and smiled. “We’ll see about that.”
A glint of interest sparked in his eyes as his lips twitched into a shadow of a smile. A smile that did nothing to cut the dark broodiness of his features or the thick tension in the room. Just made him look more…big, bad, and dangerous. She swallowed as her heart sprinted. Were those fangs peeking out over his full sensuous lips? Oh, yes. Good, so he really was a vampire.
“Not that you don’t have a smokin’ hot bod, but why does it need guarding?”
Heat rushed across her skin at his blunt words and roaming gaze, but she kept her chin up. “Perhaps I should have introduced myself by my professional name, Sitara the Seer at your service.”
He guffawed at that. “You don’t look much like your pictures.”
Yeah, well. Uncle Dave, her manager, guardian, and only-living relative, insisted on stage presence. He thought exotic and mysterious sold better so the fancy name, the heavy makeup, the gaudy jewelry, and dressing in silk, and gauze outfits straight out of somebody’s harem fantasy. Everything about Sitara the Seer was a sham except for the ability to see the future.
Still smirking, Reed crossed beefy arms across his impressive chest. “So tell me what am I going to do next?”
“You’re going to offer me coffee and a seat.”
“Because that’s what the Universe is showing you?”
“No,” she said. “Because that’s the polite thing to do.”
“I like you.” He grinned and waved at a pair of straight back chairs sitting in front of his desk. “Make yourself comfortable. How do you take your coffee?”
“Black,” Abby said, lowering herself into a seat. Her skirt slid up as she crossed her legs. His eyes widened and followed every move. A very female sense of satisfaction filled her and she turned away to hide her smile.
Within moments, he’d placed her coffee by her and claimed the big leather chair on the other side of the desk. He leaned forward, hands clasped. “So what’s the story?”
She sipped her drink, letting the bitter taste, and rich, smoky aroma fortify her. “I have a regular client, let’s call him Mr. X.”
Reed raised a raven brow. “Mr. X?”
Abby flashed him a pointed look and continued. “He usually wants me to pick lottery numbers or race horses, favorable dates for business and such things. I knew he was involved in some shady deals, but this time…” She choked up on the rest of words and had to take another swallow of coffee.
“This time?” Reed picked up a pen and tapped on the desk top like a demented woodpecker.
She swallowed and met his cool green gaze. “He asked me if he should go into a new international venture. This time, I saw death. Not his, but that of other people at his hands.”
Reed made the time out sign. “Wait, you expect me to believe you actually saw a vision.”
“Yes, and because of that vision I’m now in danger.” Was that breathy voice coming from her? She cleared her throat.
“You told Mr. X you saw him murdering people?”
“Of course not.” She bit her lip. “I may have shouted out “Murderer!”
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