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SHORE HAVEN

A ZOMBIE-APOCALYPSE NOVEL

The citizens of America know life in a post-apocalyptic world isn’t easy and leaves little reason to rejoice. Therefore, when Samantha’s baby sister graduates from college, a trip to Liberty Island seemed like the perfect way to celebrate. Nothing could have been more wrong.

Shore Haven, a newly built, self-contained refuge, was meant to be a source of security for what was left of America’s future. The compound’s founders, Jason and his uncle, Jasper, are shocked when a second, even more destructive event arises, causing them to open the facilities doors to the populace sooner than planned.

Samantha, Jason, and those few who survive soon discover they have more to fear than the dead rising, as the rest of the planet is determined to keep the turned from reaching their shores…no matter the price.

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15 

Chapter One

~~Samantha~~

 

 

“She’s turned,” a male voice behind me said.

My body wanted to sag in relief at hearing a human voice attached to the movement behind me that I’d been trying to ignore. It didn’t, though. It couldn’t and stay alive. I hadn’t heard any moans aside from those that were coming from the body in front of me, but that didn’t mean the dead wasn’t creeping up on me.

“I fucking know she has,” I said with a snarl.

I put a little more force behind the grip I had on the shopping cart in front of me, as my sister jerked, spasmed, and lunged for the newcomer and me from the other side of it. I’d had her pinned in the corner of the shopping center with the cart for a while, not knowing what my next move was going to be, but knowing that in that position one of the dead could easily sneak up behind me.

If I were honest, though, I’d much rather one of them kill me than my baby sister. The logical part of my brain knew she wasn’t my sister anymore, but that didn’t stop me from seeing her as such.

“Then kill her already,” the man said. His voice wasn’t as harsh as it had been at first. “Or I will.”

“The fuck you will. That’s my sister,” I said in a louder voice than I knew was wise.

The longer I stayed the way I was, the higher the chance I had of bringing more down on us, and shouting wouldn’t help matters.

“Shit,” he muttered. “Fine. Then we’re leaving you here with that thing.”

We? There was a “we.” I didn’t dare turn around to see for sure, but the mere thought that I wasn’t alone in the world was a relief.

“I can’t kill her, you asshole,” I said, surprising myself at the anger in my tone. I took a deep breath and continued. “I don’t have a weapon. I’m out of ammo, and I dropped my sword out there somewhere trying to get her away from the horde. She had a bat, but I don’t know where it is now. If I let her go, she’s going to come after me. I’m also aware of the fact that if I stay here like this one of them will find me and kill me. So, if you’ll be so kind as to hand me a weapon, I’ll put her down.”

I didn’t take my eyes off my baby sister as I spoke. Bile rose in my throat at the sight of her dead eyes and gray skin. My head spun a little at the thought of having to kill her.

Until that moment, I hadn’t encountered anyone I knew. Maddie and I had been on the island alone, playing tourists when the shit had hit the fan. She’d graduated from college in May, and the trip to the island was a graduation present from me to her. Some fucking present. If my parents were still alive whenever I made it back home, they were going to kill me for getting her eaten by a zombie.

“Don’t you dare give her a gun. She could have set a trap for us,” another male voice said from behind me. That person sounded big and young—a college football player or frat boy. The voice confirmed that the first man hadn’t been lying about the “we.”

“Yes, I’m risking my life to trap you, whoever and however many of you there are. You, whom I didn’t even know was coming,” I said. The last came out in a grunt as I shoved harder on the shopping cart to pin Maddie more firmly to the corner. The two men were distracting me, and my grip had slackened. I still didn’t dare to turn to look at them.

“Don’t be an ass, Russ. Why would she be trying to trap us? Here. Do you know how to fire a gun?” the first man asked me.

“Not well, but yeah,” I said, cutting my eyes to the man who had stepped up beside me and was handing me what I would find out later was a Ruger SR9c.

“I’ll hold the cart, and you point and shoot,” he said, placing the hand not holding the gun out to me on the handle of the cart.

I took the gun from him but didn’t trust him to hold the buggy, so I leaned forward, putting all of my weight into it. With two hands, I aimed the best I could with my sisterpushing from the other side to get to me and pulled the trigger. My arm jerked, and the shot went to the right of Maddie’s head. The bullet didn’t faze her. I took a deep breath and tried again. That time I got her in the shoulder.

“Jason, man, kill that thing and let’s go. We’ll be here all night attracting more of them if she keeps going on that way,” Russ said.

“He’s right,” Jason, who was the man who’d handed me the gun, said in my ear, and I jerked at how close he’d gotten to me. “You’ve got one more chance to take her down yourself. If you miss that time, that’s it. I’ll have to do it so that we can move on.”

I nodded, conceding their point. I took another breath, aimed, and fired. That time I hit my sister in the forehead. The second her brain matter splattered the concrete wall behind her I turned and vomited. The cart rolled a few inches away from me and toward the body.

The people behind me didn’t say a word for a long time.

Russ finally said, “Jesus, you act as if you’re new to the apocalypse. Where have you been hiding since the shit hit the fan?”

“Shut up, Russ,” Jason said.

Looking at them from around my legs, I saw the one that I hoped was Jason take a step toward me.

“I’m all right,” I said, righting myself and turning awkwardly to face them. In the adrenaline rush of trying to fend off my sister, I’d forgotten about the gash in my right thigh. I stumbled a bit in my movements from the pain, and the four people who had been standing behind me went on alert. Two women had been with the two men, but they hadn’t said a word or made any noise until they saw my wound. All four, even Jason, began shouting and pointing their guns at me.

“Fuck, man, she’s been bitten,” Russ shouted.

I shook my head and grabbed the cart for support.

“We should shoot her now before she turns,” Russ said, taking a step forward.

“I don’t have a bite,” I said, between breaths. “I cut my leg on a broken cart trying to get to my sister when one of them attacked her. The wound is fresh and hasn’t been in contact with any of them.”

“Why should we believe you?” Russ asked.

“I don’t fucking know,” I said, resigning myself to the man getting trigger-happy and shooting me.

“Stand down, Russ,” Jason said.

“But…” Russ stammered.

“I said, stand down. You and Tera, see if any of the dead have followed us in here. Kayla and I will check her wound.”

“But…” Russ said again.

“Stop being argumentative,” the woman I assumed was Tera said, placing a steadying hand on the young man’s shoulder. Tera was about my age, early thirties. She had night black hair and beautiful mocha skin. She was about my height five foot six or so, but much thinner. At that moment, a month or more—I couldn’t be sure about time anymore—into the zombie apocalypse, I probably weighed in at two hundred pounds and dropping daily. I’d been a bit heavier than that before it all started. She couldn’t have weighed more than one-twenty-five/one-thirty. Too skinny, I thought, for her height, but at the rate we were going, we were all going to be too thin soon.

Russ muttered something incoherent but followed the woman out of my line of sight.

I slumped a bit more onto the cart, slowly, second-by-second, losing my strength, as the two left the area of the store in which we resided.

“Shit,” Jason said, rushing to my side. “Kayla, push that shit out of the way so that we can lay her down away from her sister and her vomit.”

The shit he was referring to was an overturned clothes rack. Kayla drug it out of the way, looked at me, then to the items hanging from the stand. She righted it, flipped through what remained, and snatched a few garments off hangers.

“Your jeans will have to come off,” she said, showing me the pair she’d selected to replace my current pair. I didn’t dare ask her the size of the pants only prayed they’d fit.

Jason removed my shoes while Kayla helped me peel off the jeans. The gash ran from just below my hip to my knee. The cut wasn’t bone-deep, but it was disgusting, and I was losing too much blood.

“We don’t have what we’ll need to take proper care of that cut with us,” Jason said, looking from the girl to my leg. His dark brown eyes showed his worry over the situation, but he also appeared determined to do what he could for me. I was just glad the man was keeping his eyes on my leg. I’d hate to have to brain him for looking where he shouldn’t.

“Will Jasper let us bring her to the compound in this condition?” Kayla asked, helping him clean and wrap my wound.

“He won’t have a choice if we show up with her. Besides, he sent us out here to find survivors, didn’t he?”

“I don’t think this is what he meant,” Kayla said.

“I’m sure it wasn’t.”

I tuned out their conversation and tried to ignore what they were doing. I searched the area for something to take my mind off the pain. My eyes kept wandering to my sister’s body. Resignedly, I focused my attention on their appearance rather than their voices.

Kayla was young—sixteen maybe—with short, curly brown hair and tanned skin. Jason was also my age, around six foot, thick, but not overweight. He had short, cropped brown hair streaked with gray. All four of them, I realized, were dressed alike in the black and gray coverall suits that were a cross between military garb and something the C.D.C. would wear when entering a highly infectious zone. They were loaded down with weapons. They looked like professional zombie killers and as if they belonged to an organization of some kind, but not any of which I’d heard. I couldn’t see any names or any insignia on their suits, but I wasn’t caring at the moment where they were from or who sent them.

“All right, miss, you’re going to have to lift your butt so that we can pull these jeans up,” Kayla said.

“My name is Samantha,” I said and lifted my ass to pull on the jeans. To my surprise, they were a bit too big. Thank God. If they had been too small, I would have feltmortified. I know…I know, lying in the middle of a destroyed department store floor with zombies wandering around outside the building and an open wound in my leg was not the place to be self-conscious, but I couldn’t help it. Jason, being as attractive as he was, and Kayla, being as young and firm as she was, wasn’t helping me be rational.

“We gotta go, guys,” Tera said, rushing back to us. “We have a horde heading this way.”

“Shit.” Jason spat the words as he grabbed my underarm. “Can you stand?” he asked me.

“I think so,” I said, allowing him and Kayla to pull me to my feet. I was a bit wobbly. When I walked, I limped, but I could move. I would have to if I wanted to avoid what was heading our way.

“Where are we going?” I asked as they steered me toward the back of the store. I heard Russ’ boots pounding the hard floor of the store. The sound made my heart race. Kayla’s hand on me shook, but she didn’t make a noise.

“The place we’re staying at is about three blocks south,” Jason said, pulling me faster alongside him.

“If we can get into the alley around back we might be able to sneak past them,” Russ said, passing us without a look back to see if we were following him.

“My hero,” I said mockingly at his disappearing back.

“It’s an every-person-for-themselves’ type of world now,” Tera said, though I noticed that she kept pace with us.

“If that’s the case, you guys should go on without me. I’m the injured, slow one, and the one not part of your group. I don’t matter,” I said through ragged breaths.

Looking at my physical state at the time, I wasn’t the most fit person on the planet. I could walk at a good pace without losing my breath but wasn’t ready for the near running shit we’d have to do daily to survive. Honestly, I was surprised I’d lasted as long as I had.

“I’m not leaving you behind,” Jason said, “but you’re right. Tera, Kayla, go on ahead with Russ. Help him clear our way. Samantha, was it?”

I nodded.

“Do you still have that Ruger I gave you?” Jason asked.

I looked at him quizzically. I had no idea what a Ruger was.

“Do you still have the gun I gave you?” he asked, barely concealing his annoyance.

I nodded and held up the gun.

“I’m not leaving you,” Kayla cut in, looking scared at the suggestion.

“You have to,” he said, as we exited through the bay doors.

Tera didn’t argue with him. She grabbed Kayla and pulled her toward the sound of Russ’s gun. Reluctantly, Kayla let go of me. When she turned toward Russ, she didn’t look back.

Jason pulled me to a stop behind a row of dumpsters to allow me a breather, and so that he could check my bandages. The smell of blood would attract any stragglers not caught up in the horde.

“You don’t have to do this,” I told him.

Despite the situation, I couldn’t help but look down to where he was kneeling in front of me and wrapping more gauze around my pants leg.

“I know I don’t. But I choose to. There aren’t many of us left…the uninfected I mean. If I left even one person alone to die, I’d be helping them kill us off. You’ll live if I can get you stitched up.”

“That’s a big if. Too big of one for you to risk your life. Go. Leave me. The place my sister and I were staying at isn’t but a few blocks that way.” I pointed in the opposite direction of where Jason and his people were going.

“You can keep telling me to go, but I’m not leaving you. Now, is that too tight?” Jason asked, patting the inside thigh of the leg he’d just wrapped.

“No.”

“Can you move forward for a bit? I think the others have moved the horde further south. We should be able to make it nearly to Shore Haven without much trouble if we go now.”

“Shore Haven? I’m not going to Shore Haven. They say that’s where all this shit started. Where the virus started. Why would you want to go there?”

“This didn’t start at Shore Haven. I don’t know who created the virus, but it wasn’t my uncle.”

“Your uncle?”

“Never mind that for now. We have to move.”

I reached out and grabbed his hand. I was shaking—more scared of going to that monstrosity of a complex than facing the horde.

“Jason,” I said, letting my fear seep into my words. “Are you sure it’s safe?”

He reached up with his free hand, cupped my face as a lover would, and said, “I’m sure. I helped design it. Now run.”

The second the words were out of his mouth, one of the infected rounded the corner of the building, seeming to sniff the air. Jason gripped the hand I was holding a bit tighter, and we took off in the best example of a run I could manage.

We made it one block from one of the complex’s many entrances where we could see Kayla standing with a door open, picking off those that were in our way when a group ambushed us. I was able to make two kill shots before one tackled me to the ground. My head hit the concrete with a crack, and I was out, thanking God for the quick death or at the least unconsciousness so that I wouldn’t feel the bite or suffer through the change.

Coming Soon!

Leaving Liberty_Reynolds_with Text _1-4-2018.jpgSadie refuses to be trapped on a zombie-infested island for the rest of her life. Every day she leaves the safety of the hotel she’d holed up in when the outbreak began to kill the turned and to find a way off the island. Every day she finds nothing but death and destruction…until one day she doesn’t. 

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hostage cover.jpgAll Jason and his people wanted to do was get proof that they have a vaccine against the zombie virus to those threatening to destroy their world to keep the outbreak from spreading. But nothing ever works out as planned.

Add to Goodreads TBR

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Contact and follow Jennifer Reynolds

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jennifer.powell.reynolds@gmail.com 

 

 

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Sweet Temptations and Confessions…

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Release Date: 25/11/2016
 
Genre: Erotica/Drama
 
Word Count:15,903

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There were times Richard Martin loved his life. He had everything most men nearing middle age could want. A beautiful wife. A young son. All his hair.
He still has his hair, but not all is at it seems. His idyllic life was turned upside down when he and his family were forced to move from their home in Bristol to a small Gloucester flat because of Richard’s new job and now he finds himself beset on all sides. However that is not the sum of his problems. When his new supervisor, a promiscuous bombshell more than ten years his junior, sets her sights on him, she is by no means subtle about her interest in him, no matter who might be watching.
But temptation comes in many forms, and Richard has recently found his eyes lingering on the woman from down stairs who babysits for them. Was it his imagination, or were her skirts getting shorter?
In this first volume in L.M. Mountford’s sizzling debut series: Sweet Temptations, A naughty babysitter sets out to seduce her man. No matter what his wife might think, this tempting little wench is determined to rock his world…
 

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*Review*

Written in the British style and very descriptive. Richard is a married man, whose wife is very much the jealous type and maybe with reason? His boss’s hot daughter has no problem flirting with him in front of his wife and the sexy, young babysitter has the hots for him… and vise versa. This is a short story that will leave you hot and bothered.

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Links: 
 
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Author: L.M. Mountford
 
Genre: Erotica/Menage/Taboo/Dark Romance
 
Pairings: M/F/M, M/F, M/F/M/M/M

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Sylvia Day meets Colleen Masters in this sizzling erotic thrill ride of lust and sex and self-discovery that will leave readers wanting more. 
What is the measure of love? How far would you go to save the one you want but know you can never truly have? 
Mina Carring is a woman that has given up on love. A rising star in the bright lights of Hollywood, men come and go from her life, passing like ships in the night, yet there is only one for her, the one she’d let slip away because she shouldn’t want her stepbrother that way. But is it really so wrong to want someone, just because her father married his mother? However, when he is filmed in a compromising position that could ruin his life, Mina must step in. Now, powerless to escape as she heads down this path of lust and desire, torn between the dark delights of the handsome bad boy down the street and her adorable stepbrother who has always been there for her, she must confront the truth she has long tried to bury… 
A full length, 40,000+ word novel, Confessions is the stand-alone erotic drama from the Author of the sinfully delicious, Sweet Temptations Trilogy. Warning! It contains adult themes, harsh language, and graphic content and descriptions that might be disturbing to some readers.

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*REVIEW*

From the writer of Sweet Temptations: The Babysitter comes another hot erotica.
Sexy and fast paced, Confessions has a little something for most everyone. Multiple partners, M/F, M/M, Step-siblings…
L.M. Mountford has put his best work yet into this story, providing enough detail to give the book flow without taking away from the heat.

Mina discovers things about herself that shocked her… are you ready to witness her evolution?

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Secondary Colors

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Blurb:

Love is weakness.
Love is unkind.
Love is selfish.

BlackandWhite.jpg I know better than anyone else. Having made the mistake once before, I refuse to give myself to anyone, body or mind. My heart isn’t even an option. Fresh out of college, I plan to spend my final summer home in the small town of Aurora, New Hampshire with my loving, flighty mother and old friends, my eyes set on the future. That’s before I’m welcomed home by a beautifully flawed drifter, in search of his own. It’s hardly love at first sight. More like loathe. He creeps under my skin from the moment he refuses to acknowledge my existence.
But, it’s hard to deny there’s something in the way he watches me, the way his presence calms and electrifies me, bringing something dead inside to life again. He’s been jaded by his own loss and heartache. It’s burned into his very being.

I want to know Holt Turner—and that terrifies me to death.

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Universal buy link:

http://mybook.to/SecondaryColors

Social media links:

GOODREADS – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32595673-secondary-colors
FACEBOOK – https://www.facebook.com/AUTHORAUBREYBRENNER/
TWITTER – https://twitter.com/Aubrey_Brenner
Author bio:

Aubrey Brenner is a native Californian who enjoys spending time with her fiancé and their four-legged children. She always had a passion for story-telling and visual artistry. Through her writing, she’s able to showcase both.

*****Now Available for Pre-Order*****

*****On Sale May 28, 2016*****

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Outcast, Supernaturals Book 2, a paranormal romance.

Leigh Alexander has lived every day of her life feeling like an outcast amongst her family and the small-minded people of Pine Hollow, a secretive community to which her parents belong. When Danielle, Leigh’s younger sister, asks Leigh to come home for her wedding, Leigh’s torn between wanting to be there for her sister and saving herself from people who’ve despised her all of her life.
Knowing she’ll regret her decision, Leigh gives into her sister and goes home for what she hopes is the last time. Leigh was prepared for people to ignore her, for them to shun her, for them to point out all the ways she didn’t belong all because she wasn’t a size perfect, but what she hadn’t been prepared for was falling for Ryan Hart, a man who she will soon learn knows all of the secrets her family and the town of Pine Hollow refuse to tell her.
Revealing the truth about Pine Hollow and the rest of the supernatural world might be forbidden, but to save Leigh’s life, Ryan will tell her everything about who she is, or more importantly who she isn’t, even if it will forever change her life and the lives of every person in Pine Hollow.
#outcast #jenniferreynolds #paranormalromance #wip
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Chapter 1 ~ Waiting

 ~~Ryan~~

Thanking the gods that I wasn’t Dave’s best man and the one having to deal with my friend’s nervousness right that second, I paced the hall outside the wedding chapel located inside the hotel, dealing with my own jittering nerves. I’m sure those who saw me wondered why I was anxious. I wasn’t the one getting married after all. I won’t lie; a part of me was strung tight in anticipation for the event on Dave’s behalf. He and I had been friends since birth, and this was a big deal for him. We had gone through every life-changing event imaginable together, but this one was a big one, and with all of the upheaval surrounding it, I was terrified something would go wrong at the last minute.

I had heard of little else but Dave’s plans to marry his bride-to-be since he met Danielle a little over four years ago, not that I minded listening to my friend’s happy chatter. I was ecstatic for the man. If anyone deserved happiness it was him, and Danielle was a sweet girl. A bit shy and boney for my taste, but her mellow, easy going yet confident temperament was a relief in comparison to other women we knew. Most women in our pack were weak and submissive in the extreme. Danielle’s demeanor probably had to do with the fact that her parents were raising her and her siblings outside of pack territory and not under the strict rules of the Council, of tradition, and of the supernatural world in general.  

We—by we, I mean the males of our world—have a tendency to be overprotective and misogynistic. Most of this has to do with the fact that our men outnumber the women four to one in most species. In the past, those numbers were even higher, but in the last hundred years or so, they’ve evened out. Some of our women are taking on more roles in our world, but a lot of our older men still treat them as if they should be locked up in their homes birthing babies and nothing else, and without question the women submit to their will.

Thinking of Danielle’s differences turned my thoughts to why she was different and to why she lived in the human world and not in the supernatural one, and thinking of that person brought on an entirely new wave of nerves, as I anticipated seeing that particular female again, which made me pace faster. She was the real reason my wolf was about to jump out of my human skin, if the truth be told.

Danielle’s sister, Leigh, was human, voluptuous, delectable, and if I had my say, would be mine before the night was over. Despite the need for her coursing through my veins, the mere thought of her put me on edge. The jitters didn’t necessarily come from the way I felt about her, but from the way the rest of my pack felt about humans. Every conversation I had or had overheard the two days we were at the hotel revolved around how angry, revolted, annoyed the person or persons were that she was there. I kept my mouth shut for fear of causing the poor woman and her family any more trouble, but I had a hard time doing so. My family and pack weren’t mean people to each other, but to outsiders, they could be outright vicious. The Council trained them to be. To survive in our pack, you had to hate anyone who wasn’t pack, or the Council would be displeased, and it was dangerous to go against the Council.

I had only caught a few glimpses of Leigh over the last year as Danielle’s and Dave’s family planned the wedding. For reasons that pissed me off, a fact I had voiced many times to Dave but to no one else, Dave’s family had insisted that Leigh not be in the wedding. The pack Council had insisted that she not be there at all. Danielle fluctuated between begging them to let her come and threatening to leave the pack if they didn’t. Her persistence made them come to a compromise to allow her to come to the actual event as long as she stayed in the shadows. Up until then, her family had had to make excuses and be downright mean to their eldest daughter to keep her out of the preparations and town as much as possible.

I could tell that this had hurt Leigh but, at the same time, relieved her. She seemed to want to be on the outside of things. I had an idea why, and that pissed me off more. She didn’t see herself as worthy or beautiful enough to stand up in front of the chapel with her sister and all of the rest of the women in the wedding party. That view of herself came from the snide comments pack members have made in her vicinity over the years.

Shapeshifter genetics and metabolisms ensure that most shapeshifters keep a fairly trim and muscular figure. That doesn’t, however, mean that every one of our kind is physically beautiful or good-looking. In many cases, their personalities make them hideous, despite their outward appearance.

Everything about Leigh was beautiful. Anyone who could smile through all of what she has had to deal with has to have a strong soul. Anyone who could love their family after all said family has put her through has to have a beautiful heart. Her physical appearance was stunning as well. She had the most luscious breasts, a soft oval face, and sexy curves. The thought of her full body brought a low growl to my throat that I was thankful no one was around to hear.

Thinking of her voluptuous body shifted my emotions, but not in the right direction. I was no longer nervous about the wedding or of seeing her, but greedy to have her. If Dave hadn’t needed me there, I would have sought her out, offered to escort her to the chapel or to my room. I held myself back, though, knowing that that simple act would draw unwanted attention to her and cause problems for her and her family. Besides, by that time she would already be heading to the chapel if she wanted to see her sister get married.

Ten minutes before the wedding, she turned down the hall wearing a calf length, sleeveless black dress with a lace shawl. The sight of her bare legs and arms stopped my pacing and took my breath away. She had to be the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen. If only she had looked up at that moment to see me staring at her, she would have seen the raw need I had for her burning in my eyes.

She didn’t look up though. She kept her head down until she reached the door I was blocking. I startled her by asking if I could escort her to her seat before she could walk into me.

“Huh…what…” she asked, jerking her head up to look at me.

I stuck out my arm and asked again, “May I take you to your seat?” There were ushers inside the chapel, but I was sure one of Dave’s parents had issued orders for them to ignore her, and as snobbish as most of them were, they would obey said orders. Besides, with the way I felt, I’d kill any other man for touching her.

“I… Oh, no. That isn’t necessary. I’m sure I can find a place on my own.” She moved to sidestep me, but I was faster. I moved in front of her, grabbed the door handle with one hand, and placed my other on the small of her back to gently guide her into the chapel. The electrical jolt that ran through my body at that contact shook me and caused us both to pause for a fraction of a second. She gasped, then the heady scent of her arousal hit me, and I had to suppress a growl. I did slide my hand to her waist and grip her tightly, trying to tamp down my urge to bend her over a pew and take her.

The lustful feeling didn’t last long, fortunately. The noise inside the chapel dampened our emotions an instant later. She moved first, but my hand never left her body. If so many people hadn’t surrounded us—some were even the human hotel staff—the scent of our lust would have gotten the attention of the supernaturals closest to us.

I started to take her to the front where most of Danielle’s family was already sitting, but Leigh moved out of my grasp and to a seat in the back right corner mere seconds after we entered the room. I glowered at her but followed her to where she sat.

“Miss,” I said, purposefully not saying her name, because simply thinking it and watching her ass move in that dress made me harder than I’ve ever been before. “The rest of your family is up there.” I pointed to the first two rows.

Sighing deeply, she turned to me. A lifetime of anger, despair, hatred, and pain crossed her eyes. For a second, I thought she was going to spill those emotions, but in a blink, the tears cleared, and she smiled brightly, falsely up at me.

“That’s all right. I want to sit here. My family won’t mind. I won’t be hurting anyone’s feelings. Now, I’m sure Dave and the rest of the wedding party will be looking for you. Thank you.” She cut her eyes to someone behind me as she spoke and flinched.

“Please, you should go,” she said, when I didn’t move. Her eyes never shifted back to me.

Leaving was impossible at that moment. I was too angry to walk away. If I opened my mouth, did anything, said anything, I was going to ruin this day for my best friend. Despite how horrible his parents were, Dave deserved to have a wonderful wedding. I held my ground for a long moment, breathing in and out slowly, trying not to attack those who were causing the scent of fear and sadness that was emanating from her.

She cut her eyes back over my shoulder, sighed again, and took her seat, purposefully not looking at me. I looked to where her gaze had been and saw Dave’s mother and older brother glaring daggers at me. I smiled brightly as if I didn’t have a clue as to what was going on, then turned back to her, and said, “As you wish.”

I left the chapel quickly, needing some way of venting my anger and frustration and needing something to keep me from returning, snatching her up, and carrying her out of the room, this hotel, and this city. From the first time I set eyes on her, I’d wanted to shelter her, shield her, but those emotions paled in comparison to the new need that had overcome me the second I touched her. The one that told me to protect her with my life, to pull her against me and ensure that she was never outside arm’s reach again.

Something had happened to me when I placed my hand on her back, something magical…something I didn’t want to explore at that moment. Over the years, I had felt drawn to her when we were near one another, but I had thought it was mere curiosity of the unknown, but yesterday, things had changed. Being so near to her in the lobby, the elevator, her room, had intensified that pull. None of that compared to what I felt right then, though. My wolf kept screaming, mine, mine, mine, repeatedly in my head. He had never done that before with any woman.

I couldn’t think about any of that right then, I reminded myself. I just had to get through the day. When everything was over and Dave and Danielle were on their honeymoon, I would investigate those feelings.

Having said that, I couldn’t help stewing over the fact that Leigh hadn’t deserved to be treated the way my pack had treated her. By the look in her eyes, she needed someone to love her, and I didn’t think I was going to be able to hide my feelings for her from her or my pack for too much longer.

Hearing one of Dave’s brothers call my name from the hall, I rushed to where the wedding procession was lining up. I stood behind Allen, Dave’s brother and best man, my arm locked with Tiffany, a tall redheaded bridesmaid with no hips, small breasts, and cute freckles. She was Danielle’s cousin. Tiffany was adorable, and at one time, I had contemplated asking her out, but then she spoke, showing me who she truly was, and that thought had dissipated.

We had been at a birthday party for Danielle when I had talked to Tiffany for the first time. A minute after I thought of asking the girl out, Leigh had walked into the room, and she had been all I could think about the rest of the day. Even though she has never spoken more than a few words to me in all the years I’d known her, she has stayed on my mind.

Tiffany’s comment, the one that had made me instantly dislike her, had been about Leigh. That comment had been my first glimpse at what Leigh’s life was like amongst my people. I had been so shocked by what Tiffany had said that I hadn’t been able to respond to it in time. Danielle had told her to shut her mouth, then she had left the group to meet Leigh to keep her away from us. I barely had time to make eye contact with Danielle’s beautiful sister before Danielle had steered the woman away, looking back at us with a snarl.

Tiffany had turned her appalled look my way as if I shared her outrage, but I turned from the girl in disgust. I hadn’t known then who Leigh was. I had seen glimpses of her a time or two at different social events, but she hadn’t stayed long enough for me to inquire about her. That night, I had turned to Dave and asked all about her as if I hadn’t a clue who she was, so that he wouldn’t sense my interest in her.

“That’s Danielle’s sister,” he had said in a low whisper even though we were already out of earshot of most of the supernatural beings in the room.

“Why haven’t I seen her around all that much?” I asked.

“Danielle says that even though they haven’t told her our secret or hers, she knows she isn’t one of us, so she usually only pops in at family functions for a second to say hello to her family, then heads back to wherever she lives,” Dave said.

“Just because she isn’t one of us doesn’t mean she can’t spend her sister’s birthday with her,” I said, scowling.

“No, but who wants to be somewhere they aren’t wanted?”

“Why would she not be wanted? Because she isn’t pack doesn’t mean she isn’t loved and wanted by her family.”

“Look, I don’t know how they feel. I assume they love her or they wouldn’t have kept her, but you have to admit she’s different, and having her around is a bit inconvenient, and, well, look at her.”

“What do you mean, ‘look at her?’ I am looking at her. She’s beautiful. Outwardly, she doesn’t look any different than the rest of us.”

“Yes, she does. Look at her.”

“What? Just because she isn’t stick-figure Barbie, like those girls,” I pointed to Tiffany and a group of other girls gathered around a table talking, “doesn’t make her different.”

“Man, I don’t know what’s gotten into you, but let it go. She’s of no consequence to us, and in a few years, she’ll be little more than a faded memory to everyone in this room.”

Not believing that my best friend could be such an ass, I turned from him and went in search of Danielle and her sister. I hadn’t known it at the time, but Dave had been playing a part, pretending to go along with the status quo, to keep the peace. I had every intention of introducing myself to the girl and doing my best to prove to her that we weren’t all so hard to like. My search proved fruitless though. By the time I caught up with Danielle, her sister had left, but not before giving her the birthday present she had brought.

“Happy birthday, birthday girl,” I said, giving the love of my best friend’s life a one-armed hug. “Whatcha got there?”

“A present from Leigh.” My heart broke at the sight of the tears that were flowing down her cheeks.

“Your sister’s here. Where is she? I haven’t officially met her yet,” I said, all but cutting off the rest of her sentence, wanting to jump right to the Danielle introducing me to her sister part of this conversation.

“She left,” she said, looking down at the gift in her hand so that I couldn’t see the tears in her eyes. “She couldn’t stay long. She only wanted to give me her gift.”

“Doesn’t she have to fly into town? Could she not find an earlier flight so that she could spend more time with you?” Danielle didn’t react to my judgmental tone. She simply looked at the lilac-colored paper, sighed, and tucked the gift away to presumably open later before going to find Dave.

 

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Outcast (Supernaturals Book 2)Outcast by Jennifer Lynn Reynolds

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Yet another fabulous read from Jennifer Reynolds!
Outcast is a great story, part two of the series, it touches base with characters from the first book enough to give fans a glimpse of how their lives are going without delving so deep that you absolutely have to have read the other, although I do suggest it because it adds to the experience and is also a fantastic book.
The journey that Leigh travels in Outcast is heartwarming, the tale of a young woman finding herself and of course, falling in love with a sexy shifter.
A sweet, hot and fun read, I highly recommend this book and this author to anyone who enjoys paranormal romances.
View all my reviews

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Jennifer Reynolds is a native of North Alabama. She has a Master of Fine Arts degree from National University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of North Alabama.

She is a multi-genre author who focuses mostly on post-apocalyptic novels and paranormal romances. She’s released four novels (Alone, a post-apocalyptic novel, Shifter, a paranormal romance, HIM, a suspense thriller, and Resistant, a zombie-apocalypse romance), one novella (Saying Goodbye, a paranormal love story), and two short stories (Charles Wallace’s Favorite Toy, a general fiction piece, and In the Dark, a horror piece) and has two more novels (Marked and Destined, both are paranormal romances) scheduled for release in the next year.

Aside from spending her days immersed in the fictional worlds she creates, she’s a stained glass hobbyist.

Jennifer can be followed on any of the websites below.

Jenniferlynnreynolds.com Goodreads ~ Smashwords ~ Amazon ~ Twitter

Pinterest ~ TSU ~ Tumblr ~ Instagram

Coming Soon!

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Outcast by Jennifer Lynn Reynolds

Leigh Alexander has lived every day of her life feeling like an outcast amongst her family and the small-minded people of Pine Hollow, a secretive community to which her parents belong. When Danielle, Leigh’s younger sister, asks Leigh to come home for her wedding, Leigh’s torn between wanting to be there for her sister and saving herself from people who’ve despised her all of her life.

Knowing she’ll regret her decision, Leigh gives into her sister and goes home for what she hopes is the last time. Leigh was prepared for people to ignore her, for them to shun her, for them to point out all the ways she didn’t belong all because she wasn’t a size perfect, but what she hadn’t been prepared for was falling for Ryan Hart, a man who she will soon learn knows all of the secrets her family and the town of Pine Hollow refuse to tell her.

Revealing the truth about Pine Hollow and the rest of the supernatural world might be forbidden, but to save Leigh’s life, Ryan will tell her everything about who she is, or more importantly who she isn’t, even if it will forever change her life and the lives of every person in Pine Hollow.

Review

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Yet another fabulous read from Jennifer Reynolds!
Outcast is a great story, part two of the series, it touches base with characters from the first book enough to give fans a glimpse of how their lives are going without delving so deep that you absolutely have to have read the other, although I do suggest it because it adds to the experience and is also a fantastic book.
The journey that Leigh travels in Outcast is heartwarming, the tale of a young woman finding herself and of course, falling in love with a sexy shifter.
A sweet, hot and fun read, I highly recommend this book and this author to anyone who enjoys paranormal romances.

View all my reviews

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Shelly Santiago and Grant Alexander have known one another for years. Nothing ever more than friends, and sometimes not even that since they are complete opposites. But what happens when they start to realize the building attraction they feel for one another? Will Grant be able to keep his promise to his late wife? Will Shelly get what she’s always wished for?

Wishing For You will take you on moonlit walks on the beach to remind you that it is never too late for love! 33k words, standalone, no cliffhangers! One-Click Today!!!!
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The Irrevocable Series Sale
 
March 11th – 13th
 
Only 99 cents
 
Sci-Fi/New Adult
 
Samantha Jacobey
 
 

Bailey Dewitt is
on a crash course with Armageddon. Orphaned, she and her young brothers find
themselves living with their renegade uncle. Part of a group of survivalists,
she is terrified to discover they are preparing for the end of the world! Could
they be right – is mankind headed for a global disaster of his own making?
While Bailey
struggles with that question and what she should do about it, Caleb, a man from
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Anyone who knows me could tell you, I am a friendly kind of person, never met a stranger and take up conversations any where at any time. I work hard, and my mind never seems to shut down, as I wake up often in the middle of the night with ideas pouring out and demanding to be dealt with. Of course that means much of my books were written in the middle of the night. 
I grew up and still live in the great state of Texas where everything is bigger, where we have warm weather and a central location. I love my state, my town, and my family, which includes my four sons, my significant other, and many friends as well. 
I have thoroughly enjoyed writing the books that are currently available and hope you will enjoy reading them just as much. And of course, there will be many more stories to come.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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