Blitz Tour: Haven’s War by Parker Williams (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title: Haven’s War
Series: Safe Haven #2
Author: Parker Williams
Genre: M/M Dark Romantic Elements
Release Date: June 26, 2017
Buy Now: Universal Link 

Hello Scattered Thoughts people!

This is a really interesting question. Haven, in both books, is totally different from anyone I’ve ever written. He’s dark, not afraid to hurt people if it gets him what he wants, and death is just a part of his job.

In Haven’s War, there is a part that affected me enough to make me stop writing for two months, because it was that painful to me. (Admittedly, I am not sure it will bother others, though one person who beta read the story said it really hurt her, too.)

Haven is a culmination of my dark thoughts. When I envisioned him, I was dealing with a coworker who was, to me, the epitome of evil (at least on the job). She threatened coworkers, acted like everyone owed her because she was lowering herself to do a job she considered menial. No one liked her. The thing of it was? She was good with the guests. Which, apparently, was enough to keep her employed, despite the fact she once said she wanted to take a manager out in the alley and beat the shit out of him.

So she was the focal point for Haven. She became Valerie (and her name just happened to be Valerie. Weird coincidence, huh?)

But book two? Haven’s opponent this time is someone who isn’t necessarily evil. But he’s still a monster. It took a while for me to bring the two halves together and write what I hope is a convincing bad guy who Haven needs to take off the board, but still makes you wonder if maybe things could have been different.

No matter what, I do love Haven. He’s dark, but he himself is damaged. He needs someone who provides him with something he’s lost, and to me that’s what Sammy does.


With Haven on an extended honeymoon with Sammy, bad guys around the world are breathing a lot easier. No one is better at permanently removing these lowlifes who target children—and the brutal murder of two teenage girls makes clear it’s past time to return to work. Haven’s first assignment back results in a new family member and a renewed sense of urgency to protect and avenge the innocent.

There is nothing ‘usual’ about the business of hunting predators, but when several of Haven’s fellow agents are killed, a pattern emerges. The hunters have become the prey, tools in a bitter vendetta for a perceived wrong.

Despite years of working alone, when the target shifts to someone unexpected, Haven calls in reinforcements—a friend to stand between the family he loves and a ruthless killer. Teamwork may be the only way to win this fight—unless it’s already too little, too late.

Haven tries to approach this as he would any other assignment. Find your enemy and make sure they suffer before you eliminate them. But when a member of his team goes off-book and ends up dead, everything changes. It’s no longer a battle.

Now it’s war.



PROLOGUE

He glanced up at the evening sky. A haze enveloped the quarter moon, giving everything an ethereal glow. Though the night would be considered sultry, it lent itself to romance, walking hand in hand with someone you cared for, sharing whispered words, promises that might last an evening or be the foundation for a lifetime commitment. These people had no idea how quickly something like love could be ripped away, how those things said to one another would be worth less than the air you spent on saying them.

He shook his head. Now he needed to focus, not lose himself in memories of what might have been if things had been different. God, how he wished things could have been different.

The street could only be described as quaint. Small houses, each nearly identical to the next, but with a few tweaks that marked them as individual. The place he focused on had a small flowerbed, bursting with a variety of a flower he knew, but couldn’t recall the name. Tulips, maybe?

The slate gray siding, the maroon shutters on the windows, and the solar-powered pathway to the door that lit up in beautiful colors at night. The overall effect could only be described as charming. A lot of love went into making the house something special. It reminded him of what he’d lost.

He’d taken refuge in a house across from the home for six days, getting the lay of the land, taking note of the occupants’ arrival and departure schedule. Then every night, he drifted off, thinking about the place. It had been a dream of theirs, to own a little farm of their own, where no one would send them off to the corners of the world to handle problems. And for one very brief instant, they’d achieved it. But that dream had died in more ways than one. One day it was there, the next it was gone, as ephemeral as if it had never existed.

He tugged the collar of his black jacket and wished for a cool breeze. The earlier rain had sent the humidity soaring, and sweat was building up under his bulletproof vest, matting the sparse hairs. What he wouldn’t give for a tall glass of iced tea about now. He tried again, lifting the bottom of the vest up, hoping to let a little air in to cool him down, but nothing helped. He glanced at his watch. He’d need to make his move tonight. No way could he stand to be in this place any longer. The memories and wistful dreams alone threatened to drown him, but this heat had him sweating to the point where even he could smell himself. When he grabbed a coffee at the convenience store down the street while his target was out, the man behind the counter had a hand on the phone. Probably thought he was a vagrant. He sure as hell looked like one. He hadn’t showered in days, and his dark blond hair felt greasy to the touch. The beard he’d grown over the last year hadn’t seen a razor either. He looked like shit.

When he heard the hum of an engine on the quiet street, he crouched down. Though his patience had long ago come to an end, he needed to see this through. He would wait as he’d been trained, even if every fiber of his being rebelled against the idea. Still, he was an assassin, and he had a job to do.

The woman—Sarah, according facts he’d assembled—slid from the driver’s seat, her blond hair pulled back into a ponytail. She laughed at something the other occupant shouted, then opened the rear door of the van. It took several minutes for her to get set, then she stepped away as a ramp slid down to allow the man in the back to wheel out and be lowered to the ground. She bent over and kissed him, then walked to the passenger side where she took a baby from the car seat. She held the child up, and then blew a raspberry on his belly, which caused the kid to laugh and wiggle. Regret tore through him. He wished there could be another way, but two months ago he’d approached the man—Daniel Tollifson—there had been angry words exchanged, as well as the threat of police involvement. He couldn’t allow that, because there would be no one else to take down his ultimate target.

He forced himself to focus on the here and now. He needed to remain detached. Better to not let facts like these intrude on his mission—a few weeks ago, he’d gone to Daniel, begging for information. He’d been rebuffed. That wouldn’t be the case today.

If the man wouldn’t help him when he asked, then he’d have to find another way to get his message across. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a photo of a man whose smile had never wavered. Terry had been his whole world, and then had been ripped away from him in a matter of moments. All he wanted had been the name of the person responsible. Why couldn’t Daniel see he wasn’t asking for much? How would he feel if it had been his wife? Or his child?

Daniel disengaged himself from the ramp, and Sarah started to come around to the other side. It had to be now.

He’d run out of tears a lifetime ago, but again he wished he had another alternative. He didn’t. He raised the rifle and peered through the sights. The woman and baby had gotten too near the man, and he refused to hurt the innocent. Not like Terry had been. He lowered his weapon.

He waited while the two were engaged in conversation. She touched her husband’s face, then bent down to blow a raspberry on his cheek, which had them both laughing. She held out the baby to him and gestured to the chair. He frowned, shook his head, and waved her off. She laughed and stuck out her tongue, dodging the swat he attempted to lay on her ass, then strode to the house, singing something loud and only slightly off-key. Her husband yelled something about the neighbors, and she merely laughed. He could see the obvious love the two of them shared, and that made what he had to do even more difficult.

Regret tore through him. “I’m sorry,” he whispered, no longer sure who the sympathy was for.

She opened the front door, and her husband began to roll toward the house. Now would be his chance. Despite his misgivings, he had to take it. He again raised the rifle, closed one eye, and locked in on his target. The wheelchair stopped at the curb, and the man tried unsuccessfully to move it. He called out to Sarah, an edge of frustration in his voice. She laughed and took eight steps toward him when the trigger of the M24 he held in slightly trembling hands depressed, and a loud bang split the quiet suburban street. Less than a second passed before Daniel’s head exploded, blood and other materials spattering his wife and child. For a moment, she stood there, eyes wide. She gripped the baby close to her chest, and then screamed.

Before the echo died away, he had already scurried off into the night.

It wasn’t a perfect shot. He could hear Terry cursing at him, making him do it again and again until he got it right. But Terry had died, and though two years had passed, he would finally be avenged.

Daniel Tollifson had been the first, but there was no doubt he wouldn’t be the last. Though he didn’t want to kill anyone, there had to be a penalty for those who refused to help him get justice for Terry. He needed to track down and eliminate the person who’d been responsible.

No matter who had to die in the process.

 


(Warning: This may be considered a trigger for some people. The images used in the video are stock photos and not real pictures of violence against children.)

 


Parker Williams believes that true love exists, but it always comes with a price. No happily ever after can ever be had without work, sweat, and tears that come with melding lives together.

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A Stella Review: Of Love and Corn Dogs (Of Love and… #1) by Parker Williams

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RATING 4 out of 5 stars

of-love-and-corn-dogsWith more money than he could spend in ten lifetimes, Darwin Kincade still couldn’t keep death from stealing his lover. A little older and a whole lot wiser, flirting with his twice-a-week waiter is the perfect no-risk substitute for a real relationship. Until the night his routine is upended by the restaurant’s newest employee.

Ricky Donnelly loves people. While being a server isn’t his dream, he’s good at it. When a grumpy man is seated in his station, Ricky sees there’s more to him than he lets on, and when the man relaxes, he’s actually sweet.

As the two men bond over a discussion about corn dogs— something Darwin’s never heard of—he realizes how much he’s missed out on in his life. He vows to open himself to new experiences—including, perhaps, a chance at finding love again.

Not wanting anything to muddy their blooming relationship, Darwin hides part of himself from Ricky. He likes the look in Ricky’s eyes, unclouded by Darwin’s notoriety. Unfortunately, the truth can never stay hidden, and when it comes out, Darwin may lose any hope of holding onto the future they’ve begun to build.

Of Love and Corn Dogs by Parker  Williams is the light and easy read I was so craving when I  opened the file on my kindle. That’s one of the reasons why it was a winner to me.

The story between Rick and Darwin is sweet and so lovely. They fall for each other in an heartbeat, almost from the first time they see each other in the restaurant where Ricky is working, at least for a couple of more days. And then bad luck and a nasty man will force him to resign. While trying to find a new job to sustain himself and pay his school debts, the friendship with Darwin starts to develop in something more. Problem is Darwin forgets to tell Ricky he is a very wealthy man and when Ricky finds out how and where his new boyfriend lives, well let’s just say he’s not happy.

I appreciated a lot of elements in this story:  I liked the writing but it was nothing new because I already read (and quite enjoyed) other books Parker Williams wrote in the past. I loved the lightness and the easiness the plot had, how the MCs gave themselves to each other. Yes there was a little bump in their HEA because Ricky doesn’t need a knight to save him from his unlucky life, he’s a strong young man, used to taking care of his troubles alone. While Darwin, although his life is too full between his job and his wonderful brother, is pretty much lonely and can’t wait to give himself and everything he owns to Ricky. Plus there are some great secondary characters, starting with Maria and Henley, they are supportive and don’t waste a moment to cheer Darwin. What I really loved or better who I fell in love with was Ricky, maybe because I emphasized with him and his life so much, maybe simply because the author depicted a great character.

If you’re looking for a light, sweet and angst free story, don’t miss this new release by Parker Williams.

The cover art is not my favorite, but fits the story well.

Sales Links

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BOOK DETAILS

ebook, 154 pages

Published September 23rd 2016 by Parker Williams

ISBN13 9781941841471 

Edition Language English

Of Love and … series #1

A Stella Review: Haven’s Creed by Parker Williams

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RATING  3, 5 out of 5 stars

Havan's CreedAn act of violence destroys his family and ends the life he knows. To escape his haunted past, he joins the military, where, as a sniper, he is trained to kill with precision and detachment. When a covert organization offers him a new purpose, he becomes Haven, an operative devoted to protecting the innocent when he can and avenging them when he cannot.

After ten years of battling the evil in the world, the life no longer holds the attraction or meaning it once had, and he’s ready to walk away. Then he meets Samuel, a young man forced from the age of twelve to work as a sex slave. If ever a man had a need for Haven, it is this one.

Yet nothing about this growing relationship is one-sided. Sammy gives Haven a stability he’s never known, and Haven becomes the rock upon which Sammy knows he can depend.

When Sammy reveals something about the enemy Haven has been hunting for months, Sammy fears it will destroy what they’ve built and he’ll lose his home in Haven’s heart.

After a year I finally had a chance at reading a new book by Parker Williams. I have to admit as I read the blurb of Haven’s Creed, I was soon curious about it. I understood the story would have been something different from the usual fluffy romance I so love and so I wanted to give it a try.

What surprised me was how much I felt myself into the story, I found hard to put it down and I read it quickly. I liked the premise, the writing, the secondary characters and the development of the general story. That’s why I gave it a high rating, because  I liked it so much.

That said,  I had a lot of issues with Haven’s Creed, the most important one was that the book wasn’t exactly what I was expecting, I was waiting for something different and when I understood I wasn’t getting it, I felt so disappointed.

First of all, be aware, this story is extremely hard and violent, and it could hurt the sensibility of people not used to these kinds of themes. I had been cautioned about them and I started this book knowing it wouldn’t be strictly a romance but I was still hoping to get some kind of love story, in any way possible. The problem for me is that Haven’s Creed IS a romance, meaning the romantic part shadowed the fiction sections greatly, turning it into a simple love story with some violent elements (and not the other way around). And when you approach a reading knowing you are going to get something and then actually got another thing, the frustration is almost certain.

Also this narrative letdown also brought about some issues with the main characters. I was confused about Sammy. I was not sure how someone who went through hell like he did, could be so strong and dominant and open with his sexuality in his relationship with Haven. Not being scared of a new man felt unrealistic and extreme. And I was confused about Haven too. From the moment he met Sammy, he became needy and emotional, he started making mistakes during his job. There was a very improbable and pointless change in his personality that almost depreciated the whole first part of the story. Really a shame.

I was ready for violence, abuses, gritty scenes and a lot of blood.  I was ready for it to be emotional. I wasn’t honestly waiting for a HEA and for me there was one between Sammy and Haven. I was hoping for a love story and I’m happy I got it. But in my opinion the author should have been bolder and pushed more versus what the story promised.

Although it left me with a lot of not so good feelings, I gave Haven’s Creed 3,5 stars because it deserves them. The author was able to keep me glued to his words till the end and I can’t ignore this.

The cover art by Laura Harner could have worked but I already saw this cover around for another book, so to me it’s nothing new.

Sales Links:  Smashwords | All Romance (ARe) | Amazon |

Book Details:

Published December 14th 2015
Kindle Edition, 256 pages
ASIN B0190XCAX2
Edition Language English

In the Mood for A Dark Thriller? Check out Haven’s Creed by Parker Williams (excerpt and giveaway)

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Haven’s Creed by Parker Williams
Release Date: December 14, 2015

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Parker Williams

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Today I’m very grateful to be visiting Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words. My name is Parker Williams, author of Haven’s Creed.

So, Parker, tell us a little about yourself, where you come from.

My name is Parker Williams (or Will Parkinson if you prefer). I live in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with my husband, our four dogs, and three cats.

How about giving our readers a sneak peak to characters from a work in progress?

Haven: At age fifteen, Haven killed a man. He did it to protect his sister and mother, but the aftermath changed his life forever. He cut himself off from the world and trained to be a sniper in the Army. When his skill got noticed by an organization who needed his expertise, he was pulled into his new life and given the codename ‘Haven’ as it was his job to protect the innocent. Should he be unable to protect them, then his job is to avenge them.

Samuel: Samuel was held as a sex slave before he was a teenager. He’s been kept a prisoner for over half his life, satisfying a perverse pleasure of those who kept him captive. He longs for freedom, but there are days he’d settle for death. When he’s left in a cellar, chained to the floor, he knows his time has come.

Haven is a bad man. One of the worst you’ll ever meet. He has done, and will continue to do, some awful things. But he does them to protect people. To save the children. But cracks are beginning to show in his armor. And bits of his soul are being torn away. The man whose job it is to rescue, may need someone to save him, too.

Thanks, Parker, for the insight and for stopping by.  Now for more about Haven’s Creed.

Blurb

An act of violence destroys his family and ends the life he knows. To escape his haunted past, he joins the military, where, as a sniper, he is trained to kill with precision and detachment. When a covert organization offers him a new purpose, he becomes Haven, an operative devoted to protecting the innocent when he can and avenging them when he cannot.

After ten years of battling the evil in the world, the life no longer holds the attraction or meaning it once had, and he’s ready to walk away. Then he meets Samuel, a young man forced from the age of twelve to work as a sex slave. If ever a man had a need for Haven, it is this one.

Yet nothing about this growing relationship is one-sided. Sammy gives Haven a stability he’s never known, and Haven becomes the rock upon which Sammy knows he can depend.

When Sammy reveals something about the enemy Haven has been hunting for months, Sammy fears it will destroy what they’ve built and he’ll lose his home in Haven’s heart.

Warning: This book contains violent and dark scenes
Pages or Words: 95,000 words
Categories: Contemporary, Gay Fiction, Thriller, some romantic elements, some dark and violent imagery

Excerpt

When I was fifteen, I killed my first man. Every time Arnie, the guy my mother was shacking up with at the time, drank, he got it into his head she was cheating on him. He’d start slapping her, and that turned into full-fledged beating within a few months. When he was done, he’d start on my sister.

There were nights she’d crawl into bed with me, sobbing. For the longest of times, she wouldn’t tell me what happened, but when I found blood on her pajamas, I knew. I’d tried to stand up to him, but he beat me badly enough that I couldn’t go to school for two weeks until the bruises faded. But I got off lucky. The things he did to Chrissy gave me nightmares. I’d hear her cry out and knew there was nothing I could do but hide in my bed, my pillow covering my head. He was bigger, meaner, and stronger than me, and he reminded me of that fact constantly.

The old lady never said boo about it. She always forgave him and tried to justify what he did by telling me how much stress he was under. How he was a good man and didn’t mean it. It was just the drinking, she swore. It was more like he was a bastard and she was his meal ticket.

I came home one night and found him whaling on her, my sister’s body crumpled in a heap, her head smashed in. The son of a bitch had a gun in his hand, slick with blood, and he threatened to kill them both, screaming he wouldn’t let her leave. She slapped him. It wasn’t hard, but it shocked him enough that he dropped the gun. I picked it up. He sneered at me and called me a weak-willed fag.

I looked at the gun I held in my hand. The instrument of my revenge. The means to saving my sister.

“Give me the gun, you fuck. It’s not a dick, you wouldn’t know what to do with it.”

The bullet I put in his forehead showed him how wrong he was. He lay on the floor, blood bubbling from the wound, and his eyes locked on mine as he took his last breath. I wanted that fucker to know it was the weak-willed fag who had done this to him.

Buy the book:

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Meet the Author

Parker Williams believes that true love exists, but it always comes with a price. No happily ever after can ever be had without work, sweat, and tears that come with melding lives together.

Living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Parker held his job for nearly 28 years before he decided to retire and try new things. He enjoys his new life as a stay-at-home author and also working on Pride-Promotions, an LGBT author promotion service.

Where to find the author:

 

Tour Dates & Stops:

14-Dec

Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Multitasking Mommas, Rainbow Gold Reviews, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, The Fuzzy, Fluffy World of Chris T. Kat, Cate Ashwood, Wake Up Your Wild Side

15-Dec

Love Bytes, MM Good Book Reviews, Book Lovers 4Ever, A.M. Leibowitz, 3 Chicks After Dark

16-Dec

Divine Magazine, Cathy Brockman Romances, Unquietly Me, Louise Lyons, KathyMac Reviews, Havan Fellows

17-Dec

Bayou Book Junkie, Inked Rainbow Reads, Happily Ever Chapter, Nephy Hart, Iyana Jenna, Lee Brazil

18-Dec

The Blogger Girls, Carly’s Book Reviews, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Mikky’s World of Books, Tara Lain, Emotion in Motion

19-Dec

Sinfully Addicted to All Male Romance, Book Reviews, Rants, and Raves, BFD Book Blog, Jessie G. Books

21-Dec

Joyfully Jay, Molly Lolly, Bonkers About Books, Open Skye Book Reviews

Final

 

Giveaway

Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: $30 gift card from All Romance eBooks.  Link and prizes provided by the author and Pride Promotions.
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A MelanieM Review: The Devil’s Due (Pulp Friction 2015 Book 19) by Parker Williams

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Rating:  5 stars out of 5   ★★★★★

The Devil's Due coverArtie Middleton and Ben Nelson have faced everything thrown at them and come out stronger individually and as a couple.

They’ve lost friends, and learned the painful lesson that nothing good comes without a price. Now, Artie’s unwitting part in an insane plan to destroy all supernatural beings has pulled him front and center into a battle for survival.

When Ben becomes a pawn in the scheme, Artie must decide what he’s willing to risk to protect his family. It’s a question that must be asked when the devil finally demands his due.

Four books have seen Artie Middleton and Ben Nelson come together in love and devastating loss, find a new family in a strange group of supernatural friends, along with their human families that remain alive.  Now everything they have, their love, their lives, everyone’s future has been threatened and they must destroy it once and for all.  Now we find out how high the cost will be.

Parker Williams has the ability to wring the emotions out of a reader by the end of a story.  It didn’t matter that the last one, High Stakes, was only 40-some odd pages, I felt limp as a dishrag from all the sobbing and loss.  This story makes it all worthwhile.  This is the grand finale and Williams makes all the heartbreak, all the angst that has gone before not only palatable but, I can’t believe I’m saying this, meaningful and right.

Wonderful, absorbing plots need equally great characters and here we have a marriage of both.  Williams has developed the characters of Artie and Ben over four books, giving each man more interesting layers and depth to him, letting the readers watch them grow together and sort of grow up as the relationship developed.  We committed to them as they committed to each other. And that made the danger and pain that happens to them far more real and heartbreaking.

Terrific characterizations extend past the main couple to stellar secondary ones such as Tempeste and even a flatulent ghost dog who hogs the bed.  There are so many here to give your heart to, including a new one at the end of the story.

No details (as much as I would love to reveal them), that wouldn’t be fair.  But the author sets Ben and Artie on the road to finally confront the demon behind all the fiendish events and deaths that have been happening all over New Orleans.  But nothing goes as planned.  With all their friends involved, strategies are hurriedly devised, and moment by moment the suspense and absolute horror is ramped up until you are sure all is to be lost…

I was tucked into my bed with the popcorn, and dogs, and yes, glass of wine and didn’t touch any of it until the book was done. What a thrilling ride of a story!  Yes, the devil got his due and then some.

And then there was that ending. How I loved this story and series.  Artie and Ben, and yes Tempeste too.  They stole my heart.  Pick up this series and let them steal yours too.

Need a new addiction?  Grab up Parker Williams’ Four of Club series (Pulp Friction 2015).  Read them all at once in one major binge read or one at a time, either way, you will find yourself hooked.  I highly recommend this book and series. Happy Reading.

Cover art is lovely and perfect for the story.

Sales Links:   All Romance (ARe) | Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 66 pages
Published November 13th 2015
ASINB017ZBD120
edition languageEnglish

 

About Pulp Friction 2015

Lee Brazil ~ Havan Fellows ~ Parker Williams ~ Laura Harner

The Pulp Friction 2015 Altered States Collection.
Four authors.
Four Series.
Twenty books.
One supernatural finale.

Spend a year with the creatures that go bump in the night…fighting for their rights to exist and protecting the innocents of The Big Easy. A diverse group of friends trying to find their place in a world they never had to “fit” into before.

Although each series can stand alone, we believe reading the books in the order they are released will increase your enjoyment.

Round One:
Drawing Dead ~ Blind Stud ~ The Devil’s Bedpost ~ Diamonds and Dust

Round Two:
Dead Blind ~ Stud Player ~ Up the Ante ~ Diamond Draw

Round Three:
Dead Button ~ Blind Man’s Bluff ~ Devil’s Playground ~ Diamond Edge

Round Four:
Dead Man’s Hand ~ Blind Hearts ~ High Stakes ~ Diamond Flush

Round Five:
Dead Money ~ Under the Gun ~ Devil’s Due ~ Diamonds Down and Dirty

A MelanieM Review: High Stakes (Four of Clubs #4) by Parker Williams (Pulp Friction 2015 #15)

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Rating:  5 stars out of 5      ★★★★★

High Stakes coverBen Nelson marvels at the resiliency of his lover, Artie Middleton. He takes everything life throws at him and comes out the other end stronger than ever. It’s with this strength in mind that Ben tosses Artie a curveball that will change both of their lives forever.

A single question from Ben’s lips has Artie rushing headlong toward his happily ever after. One that he never thought he’d have and is now being served to him on a silver platter. He has it all—friends, family, and a future. But even a gifted psychic can’t see everything, and Artie is about to get a wakeup call.

Things he thought to be true about his past aren’t as clear-cut as he believed. His history with some of the people in his life runs deeper than he realized. And he’s about to learn a previously unknown threat from his childhood has returned to rip it all away.

Artie soon finds that in this game, the stakes couldn’t be higher: the lives of everyone he loves.

We’ve reached book four in the latest Pulp Friction series and we all know what that means if you’ve read any of the previous series.  It’s time for some serious angst and despair.  Boy, does Parker Williams and High Stakes deliver that in, well, clubs. Can’t very well say spades can we?

Using the poker game analogy, the stakes of the games are raised up even higher still.  Within these 60 pages, Parker Williams fills in more of Artie’s history and family background, along with a connection to another character’s past.  The author uses this information not merely to inform but to scare the living bejeezus out of us with the ramifications it brings.

If any book has a purpose in a series (and this one surely does), its to show the closing in of evil around our small gang of knights gathering to do battle.  And the odds aren’t looking good.  The despair pours off the descriptions, and the angst flows even over the most joyful of scenes.  And that ending?  A shocker to the soul.  That one went beyond a mere gnashing of teeth and tearing of the hair into the “Oh Nooooooooooo!” *cue to  screams of disbelief*.

I did not see that one coming.  When you can hide something like that event in the small clues stashed away in bits and pieces throughout the tale, well, that’s wonderful storytelling.  Well done, Mr. Parker!  Still devastated but well done.

Two more books to go.   One more by Parker Williams and then the series finale written by all the authors and combined story lines.  I can’t wait to see how they are going to pull this off.  I  am totally perplexed about the whole thing.  The villains, the subplots, and just how its all going to work itself out.  Am I a happy camper?  Yes, I am.

All the stories are short, so it easy to catch up if you need to start at the beginning of a series.  There are four of them that are connected here.  I have them all listed at the bottom of the review.  Use it as a TBR list if you haven’t already.

Love paranormal romance?  Murder mysteries?  Supernatural beings?  Why not combine them all in the style of a pulp fiction series?  They have it all here.  Now I just can’t wait to see how it will all end.

I highly recommend this series and all the interconnected series its attached to.

Cover art by Laura Harner.  I’ve been ambivalent about these covers from the start.  But I really like this one.  Especially with the shadows that can be taken a number of ways.  Great job.

Sales Links:  All Romance (ARe)  | Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 65 pages
Published September 13th 2015
ASINB015DBPJHE
edition languageEnglish
seriesPulp Friction 2015 #15, Four of Clubs #4
other editions (1)
High Stakes (Four of Clubs #4) (Pulp Friction 2015, #15)

 

☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠

About Pulp Friction 2015

Lee Brazil ~ Havan Fellows ~ Parker Williams ~ Laura Harner

The Pulp Friction 2015 Altered States Collection.
Four authors.
Four Series.
Twenty books.
One supernatural finale.

Spend a year with the creatures that go bump in the night…fighting for their rights to exist and protecting the innocents of The Big Easy. A diverse group of friends trying to find their place in a world they never had to “fit” into before.

Although each series can stand alone, we believe reading the books in the order they are released will increase your enjoyment.

Round One:
Drawing Dead (Jack of Spades: 1) by Lee Brazil
Blind Stud (King of Hearts: 1) by Havan Fellows
The Devil’s Bedpost (Four of Clubs: 1) by Parker Williams
Diamonds and Dust (Ace of Diamonds: 1) by Laura Harner

Round Two:
Dead Blind (Jack of Spades: 2) by Lee Brazil
Stud Player (King of Hearts: 2) by Havan Fellow
Up the Ante (Four of Clubs: 2 ) by Parker Williams
Diamond Draw (Ace of Diamonds: 2) by Laura Harner

Round Three:

Dead Button (Jack of Spades #3) by Lee Brazil
Blind Man’s Bluff (King of Hearts #3) by Havan Fellows
The Devil’s Playground (Four of Clubs #3) by Parker Williams
Diamonds Edge (Ace of Diamonds #3) by Laura Harner

Round Four:

Dead Man’s Hand (Jack of Spades 4) by Lee Brazil
Blind Heart (King of Hearts 4) by Havan Fellows
High Stakes (Four of Clubs 4) by Parker Williams
Diamond Flush (Ace of Diamonds 4) by Laura Harner

A MelanieM Review: The Devil’s Playground: Four of Clubs Three (Pulp Friction 2015: Altered States Book 9) by Parker Williams

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Rating:  4.75 stars out of 5

The Devil's Playground CoverThey say the course of true love never runs smooth, and Detective Ben Nelson is learning the truth of that adage in a big way. Two months ago, his lover Artie Middleton was tortured by demons determined to claim the psychic’s special gifts for their own. Now the same friends who helped Ben with the rescue are making a strong case that something about Artie isn’t right. When Artie verbally attacks his best friend, Ben is forced to acknowledge the unbreakable barriers surrounding Artie’s mind.

Searching for someone with the right gifts to help, Ben encounters a woman who insists there’s only one way—and one person—who stands a chance at saving Artie. What Ben finds when he goes on his solo rescue mission may very well mean both of their deaths, as they confront the evil that has made Artie’s mind the Devil’s playground.

Round Three stories are always a joy to read! Although not my favorite ones (that would be Round 5 and the finale), it comes close.  There’s always a mini explosion or three, and somewhere within the plot, the readers will get a small, yet so satisfying emotional payoff for all the angst and heartbreak that has  gone before.  That’s The Devil’s Playground by Parker Williams, book three in his Four of Clubs series in the Pulp Friction Altered States Universe.

When last we left our heroes, Artie and Ben, things were dark and getting darker.  Artie was behaving strangely, asking for help and yet repudiating any that came his way.  And he was mean, deeply, hurtfully, vindictive.  Every the opposite of the character we have come to love.  Ben, his partner and lover, was distraught and at a loss for answers.  In The Devil’s Playground we finally get some answers, and they’re as ugly as we had anticipated.

Demons, a nefarious, unknown plan and a close circle of friends imploding from the inside.  That’s the heartbreak, the suspense and the element that  provides so many emotional layers to this story and series.  Parker Williams continues to remain true to the pulp friction format with a writing style that’s crisp, descriptions that make his characters and situations feel real and a plot that keeps the suspense and angst ratcheted up to high levels. .  He gives us moments of happiness and then  proceeds to break our hearts and that of his characters.  And of course, there’s a cliffhanger as well.  Be still my heart!

I consider this Pulp Friction series one of the top reads this year and that includes all the interconnected series that goes along with it. I have them listed below.  Put them all on your TBR  list!  I highly recommend them all.

Cover art by Laura Harner.  Simple, perhaps too simple.  I wish more elements of this story had been included to give it a punch its lacking now.

Sales Links:  All Romance (ARe) | Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details:

Kindle Edition
Published July 13th 2015
ASIN B011K2DZSU
edition language English

 

☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠

About Pulp Friction 2015

Lee Brazil ~ Havan Fellows ~ Parker Williams ~ Laura Harner

The Pulp Friction 2015 Altered States Collection.
Four authors.
Four Series.
Twenty books.
One supernatural finale.

Spend a year with the creatures that go bump in the night…fighting for their rights to exist and protecting the innocents of The Big Easy. A diverse group of friends trying to find their place in a world they never had to “fit” into before.

Although each series can stand alone, we believe reading the books in the order they are released will increase your enjoyment.
Round One:
Drawing Dead (Jack of Spades: 1) by Lee Brazil
Blind Stud (King of Hearts: 1) by Havan Fellows
The Devil’s Bedpost (Four of Clubs: 1) by Parker Williams
Diamonds and Dust (Ace of Diamonds: 1) by Laura Harner

Round Two:
Dead Blind (Jack of Spades: 2) by Lee Brazil
Stud Player (King of Hearts: 2) by Havan Fellow
Up the Ante (Four of Clubs: 2 ) by Parker Williams
Diamond Draw (Ace of Diamonds: 2) by Laura Harner

Round Three:

Dead Button (Jack of Spades #3) by Lee Brazil
Blind Man’s Bluff (King of Hearts #3) by Havan Fellows
The Devil’s Playground (Four of Clubs #3) by Parker Williams

A MelanieM Review: Scent of the Heart (Shifting Needs #2) by Parker Williams

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Scent-400x600 2Casey Scott grew up being told he’d never amount to anything, and despite the unwavering love and support from his best friend, Jake, the idea sticks in the back of Casey’s mind. When he discovers he has a unique destiny in an enclave where shifters and humans live together, he seizes the chance, wanting for once in his life to be someone special.

Tsvetok Yerokhin lost his parents to the evil ruler of the enclave when he was a boy. The responsibilities of raising his two younger brothers nearly overwhelmed him and self- doubt took over. When the new Alpha and his Protector arrive in time to save his life, Sev is grateful, but he’s even more shocked when he scents his mate with them.

Casey isn’t prepared for the feelings that sweep over him when he meets Sev, but he refuses to act on them because he’s straight. Still, there is something so alluring about Sev that Casey can’t help being drawn to him.

As the two explore the edges of their new discovery, an evil returns, determined to control the enclave or destroy it. The Alpha and Protector are powerless to stop it, but Casey holds the key to victory. If he can discover what it is, he has a chance to save them all. To be the hero.

Unfortunately, the hero has to be willing to make the ultimate sacrifice, and for Casey that means losing his heart.

Ever fallen in love with a secondary character?  Maybe two?  That happened for me in the first story of this series, Protector of the Alpha.  It was there that I met Casey Scott, best friend of Jake Davis. Casey ends up getting pulled into the drama and heartbreak that surrounds his friend and Jake’s mate, Zak.  The most human and confused of the three, he was the character who came across as the most accessible and vulnerable.  A secondary character, Casey grew in strength and depth until by the end of the story, he was their equal.

Except in accessibility. In that area, he continued to surpass them just because he was the most human.

Especially at the end, where it seemed he was the unlikely target of the ire of a skunk, one who repeatedly sprayed him to the others endless amusement.   Why was Casey the one who got “skunked”?  The last paragraph supplied only part of the  answer.  This book does the rest.  Who knew a skunk shifter could be so endearing?  Apparently Parker Williams, that’s who.

With Scent of the Heart, Parker Williams continues to build his isolated shifter universe in Alaska, filling in more of its past history and current status with its village inhabitants.  And for the most part, its a universe still on shaky ground.  Once the false Protector took over, the place became the site of torture, depravation, and constant terror for most of those who lived under his rule.  What that means exactly dribbles out in horrific details that surface throughout this story.  It cements Elizar and his wolf enforcer Kell as evils that must be defeated at all possible cost and highlights just how desperate and essential it is  that they, Jake, Zake, Casey and Hakim succeed in overthrowing him.

We bought into their mission and into these marvelous characters first, and now we see what has happened after they think they have achieved their goals.  Pretty realistically, some things are working out great, others not so much.  All three have resigned themselves to staying in Alaska.  For the most past, they like their lives and have shouldered their responsibilities but Casey is missing a relationship of his alone.  That answer to the hole in his heart is an endearing skunk shifter, Tsvetok Yerokhin aka Sev.  Sev matches Casey in his vulnerability and engaging personality.  But his past is full of pain and loss, just as Casey’s is, but in a vastly different way.  That comes into focus when it becomes apparent that he is the guardian of his two younger brothers and had had to do things he is not proud of in order to keep them alive.

As if its not enough for them to adjust to all the changes going on in their lives, it turns out that they are mated, shocking when neither has been attracted to men before.  This book is all about changes, fundamental upheavels in outlook and status that both characters must undergo and adjust to if both are to survive.  It’s a dramatic and heart-stopping journey and I loved every bit of it.  Parker Williams has made us care deeply about these men and the village they live in.  Our hearts are as engaged as Casey and Sev’s in their journey to love and HEA, a path fraught with peril and even death.

And its not over yet.  The end, of course, brings another intriguing (if foreseen) element and the jumping off point for the next story in the series.  Its delicious and frustrating because it will make you want that story now…and it’s not even written.

Until I  get my hands on that next story, I recommend that you pick up and settle into reading the first two books in Parker Williams’ Shifting Needs series.  It has romance and so many different types of shifters to love along with drama, hot sex and endearing characters you can’t get enough of.  Now if only that third book would magically appear…

Cover art by Laura Harner.  I like the woods element but the design is different enough from the first story that it doesn’t exactly pull them together. Only the framing of the title serves to brand the series, not the graphic.

Sales Links:    All Romance (ARe) –  Amazon    Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook
Published June 15th 2015 by Smashwords Edition
ISBN139781941841204
seriesShifting Needs #2

Shifting Needs Series in the order they were written and should be read:

 

M/M Shifter Spotlight: Parker Williams on Writing Shifters & the Scent of the Heart (Shifting Needs #2) by Parker Williams (author interview and giveaway)

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Scent-400x600 2

Scent of the Heart (Shifting Needs #2) by Parker Williams
Series should be read in order
Release Date: June 15, 2015

Banner300x250

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Parker Williams
Cover Artist: Laura Harner

Sales Links:   All Romance (ARe)SmashwordsAmazon

-Our Interview with Parker Williams-

We are happy to have Parker Williams here today to talk a little about the allure of writing shifters and romance.

Parker, why do you love to write about shifters?

Parker Williams: I love shifters. They’re powerful. They’re quick. They heal fast. But they also find that special someone who completes them, and a bond forms, putting them together for life. To me that’s the ultimate love story, and usually one of them is definitely in charge in the relationship. I do love alpha characters.

My favorite shifter series is from Silvia Violet. She gives me so many goose bumps from he way she writes them. No matter how powerful, they always have a weak spot, some chink in their armor that people can exploit, but they also are the ones who step up to save the day.

When I decided to try my hand at a shifter story, I wanted to do something a little different. In my world, only a human can be the Alpha, because only a human has no allegiance to one shifter race over another, so he can decide fair and impartially. That’s where Zak came in. He’d been groomed for the job since he was a child, having sacrificed many aspects of his life, because his guardians told him that one day he would need to know all these things.

But Jake… Oh gods, I loved Jake. He wasn’t sure what was happening to him when he smelled that delightful aroma that was Zak. Jake didn’t know what a shifter was, didn’t even believe such a thing was possible, but after he scented his mate, his body began to change.

I think that’s what I like best about it. In my world, shifters are two souls who share one body. They’re aware of each other, but each has their own needs. Jake is the exception. His jaguar is an essential part of him, and his mind is in control while he’s in the jaguar’s body.

But for those who never gave a shifter book a chance, pick one up. If you like powerful alpha men, you may very well find yourself fin love with shifters, too.

Thank you, Parker…now more about Scent of the Heart.

STRW Author BookSynopsis

Casey Scott grew up being told he’d never amount to anything, and despite the unwavering
love and support from his best friend, Jake, the idea sticks in the back of Casey’s mind. When he
discovers he has a unique destiny in an enclave where shifters and humans live together, he
seizes the chance, wanting for once in his life to be someone special.

Tsvetok Yerokhin lost his parents to the evil ruler of the enclave when he was a boy. The
responsibilities of raising his two younger brothers nearly overwhelmed him and self-doubt
took over. When the new Alpha and his Protector arrive in time to save his life, Sev is grateful,
but he’s even more shocked when he scents his mate with them.

Casey isn’t prepared for the feelings that sweep over him when he meets Sev, but he refuses to
act on them because he’s straight. Still, there is something so alluring about Sev that Casey can’t
help being drawn to him.

As the two explore the edges of their new discovery, an evil returns, determined to control the
enclave or destroy it. The Alpha and Protector are powerless to stop it, but Casey holds the key
to victory. If he can discover what it is, he has a chance to save them all. To be the hero.

Unfortunately, the hero has to be willing to make the ultimate sacrifice, and for Casey that
means losing his heart.

Pages or Words: Approximately 69,000 words

Categories: Contemporary, M/M Romance, Romance, Paranormal, Bisexual, Fiction, Gay Fiction, New Adult

STRW Spotlight Book Excerpt

“This night is shot,” Casey mumbled. “Hakii, if you’re there, I’m sorry. I need to find him. I’ll try to be back as soon as I can. Oh, and if you’re not there, I hope you’re getting a damn good laugh at me talking to myself.”
The night air had chilled considerably. Casey threw on a sweater and hurried to the Alpha’s house. Before he could pound on the door, it swung open. Jake stood there wearing nothing at all.
“Oh god, my eyes.”
Jake sighed. “You’ve seen me before. A lot, if I recall correctly.”
“And every time I do, I remember that I need to create eye bleach.”
Jake faked a laugh. “Yeah, you’re hilarious. What do you want?”
“A guy came to my house tonight. His name is Sev, and I think he’s in trouble.”
All humor fled from Jake’s face. “What happened?”
Casey told him about the visit. “He…called me his mate. What the hell is that about?”
“Later. We’ve got to find him.”
In an instant, Jake transformed into a beautiful black jaguar. Zak came rushing to the door. “What is wrong?”
Before Casey could answer, Zak grabbed a heavy coat and squirmed into it. “Jake will track him. You will come with us.”
“Zak, he called me his mate. Why would he do that?”
“You worry about this now? I do not see where this matters. If you prefer, you may stay behind.”
Casey sobered immediately. “No, you’re right. I’m sorry.”
They tracked Jake as he hurried to the woods. When they heard him roar, Zak and Casey ran to the edge of the forest. Jake had transformed back to his human form and, man, was he pissed.
“Come out here, now,” he demanded.
There was no movement, but Casey heard a clicking noise, followed by the familiar stamping of feet.
“You spray me and I swear to the gods I will neuter you. Put your damn tail down and face us as a man, Sev.”

Sales Links:

STRW Author Bio and Contacts

Parker Williams believes that true love exists, but it always comes with a price. No happily ever after can ever be had without work, sweat, and tears that come with melding lives together.
Living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Parker held his job for nearly 28 years before he decided to retire and try new things. He enjoys his new life as a stay-at-home author and also working on Pride-Promotions, an LGBT author promotion service.

Where to find the author:

Connect with Parker on: Twitter: @ParkerWAuthor
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/parker.williams.75641
Or you can visit his website: http://www.ParkerWilliamsAuthor.com

STRW Spotlight Contest Header

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: $25 gift card and a skunk Beanie Baby. You must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Link and prizes provided by the author and Pride Promotions.

Rafflecopter Code:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Tour Dates & Stops: June 15 – 19, 2015
15-Jun
Bayou Book Junkie
My Fiction Nook
Inked Rainbow Reads
Nephylim
Amanda C. Stone
Cate Ashwood

16-Jun
Havan Fellows
Emotion in Motion
Wake Up Your Wild Side
TTC Books and More
Christy Loves 2 Read
Because Two Men Are Better Than One
The Blogger Girls

17-Jun
Happily Ever Chapter
Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words
Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews
Bike Book Reviews
Divine Magazine
Prism Book Alliance

18-Jun
Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents
Lee Brazil
Molly Lolly
Multitasking Mommas
Love Bytes
Up All Night, Read All Day
Butterfly-O-Meter

19-Jun
The Novel Approach
MM Good Book Reviews
Rainbow Gold Reviews
Cathy Brockman Romances
Full Moon Dreaming
BFD Book Blog
3 Chicks After Dark
Carly’s Book Reviews
Iyana Jenna

A MelanieM Review: Protector of the Alpha (Shifting Needs #1) by Parker Williams

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Protector400x600Adopted at an early age by a wealthy family, Jake Davis has always seemed to have an easy life. Even in college he was blessed with good grades and an apparently clear path to a pro football career. Good thing his best friend keeps hanging around to keep his head from getting too swollen.

Zakiya Incekara has always been…odd. Being fluent in six languages and having a flair for international cooking should open the world to him, but those skills leave him isolated.

When Jake sees Zak for the first time, with water beading down his slender form, something inside him shifts, and it hungers for Zak. To have him. To claim him. And Jake knows that whatever it is, it won’t be denied.

When they are approached by a man who claims knowledge of a secret past they share, Jake and Zak are thrust into a world they would never have believed existed. The forests of Alaska might seem an odd place to find your destiny, but these men will meet the challenges head on, as they learn that sometimes you have to make sacrifices to be Protector of the Alpha.

There are so many little surprises awaiting readers in Protector of the Alpha by Parker Williams and none can be divulged because they are spoilers (big and small).  That makes writing this review a tad frustrating, trust me, it really does.  Parker Williams doesn’t go for the typical here. That in itself delighted me when my expectations were upended as to where the story and characters were going.  The discarding of the expected starts with the main characters.

Jake Davis is a muscular, athletic to the point of perfection, hot man on campus.  Adopted by a wealthy family when a toddler, Jake has sailed through his life so far, even if it meant the odd nightmare or so.  But suddenly everything in Jake’s life starts to go so very wrong.  And its starts with another young man new at school.

Zakiya Incekara speaks 6 languages, cooks like a high paid chef, and has the (hidden) martial arts skills of a master.  All that, a small physique, delicate features with long black hair,combined with a small town collegiate atmosphere, make Zak not just the weird boy on campus but a target for bullies.

Then Jake meets Zak and both lives turn upside down forever.  As well as those lives of the people around them, especially Jake’s best friend since childhood, Casey Scott.

I loved all three characters, each as different from the other as can be.  Jake who would be obnoxious, except his personality is kind, protective, and fair.  Zak could be overly quirky except he comes with his own fair amount of past pain and uncertainty.  And  Casey, well, I think most people are going to adore Casey because it’s so easy to relate to him.  Casey has stood in Jake’s shadow for his entire life and thought college would be his ticket to being his own man and to making his own reputation.  Until his father informs him that he will be going to the same college as Jake, no argument and no questions.  The resentment Casey feels and the guilt because it involves his best friend is a situation and emotional state the reader will believe in and understand.  Yep, adore all three.

The mystery you are anticipating creeps into the story slowly at first and then rapidly as events start to shatter the calm of their lives on campus.  Death and anguish are soon to follow as is a journey for all into their pasts and nightmares of their youth.  Then the run to safety is on and so is the pace of the story and the action of the adventure.

Williams tightens his focus on these young men to the extent that others in their story feel less substantial.  And perhaps that’s necessary because the secondary characters here for the most part are temporary ones.  With a few exceptions.  I wished for a little more backstory at first, but that arrives with quite a few shockers of its own so it’s a tricky balance that the author needs to achieve between giving the reader a firm foundation and not revealing too much before the narrative calls for it.  Parker Williams manages that here.  I loved being lured into the new world along with Jake, Zak, and Casey.  It made me their companion and never was I so happy to be along for the ride.

There are some light hearted moments to break up the dread and awfulness that meets them along the way.  Williams is also setting the stage with the characters and events to come in the next story.

Protector of the Alpha was a wonderful read.  It was fun, suspenseful, sexy and full of adventure.  I can’t wait for it to continue in Scent of the Heart.  I highly recommend this story to all that love romance and shifters in love.

Cover art by Laura Harner.  Lovely cover.  I loved the simplicity of the outline although that embellishment around the title was a little too fancy for me.

Sales Links:  All Romance (ARe)  –  Amazon    Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook, 195 pages
Published November 10th 2014 by Smashwords Edition
ISBN139781937252939
seriesShifting Needs #1

Shifting Needs Series in the Order They Should be Read:

  • The Protector of the Alpha (Shifting Needs #1)
  • Scent of the Heart (Shifting Needs #2)