Breaking free from a world where everyone views you as a little girl is tough work. Alayna has been fighting to be seen as a woman since she came home from college. When the beast that haunts Alayna’s dreams catches her in his private library, things start to change.
“Roses will lead you to her.” Those simple words have tortured Marcus for years. He has hidden the man behind the beast, showing the world only what he thinks they want to see—until he finds the one who can accept him.
Untamed passion brings Marcus and Alayna together. Will a secret break them apart?
As soon as we crossed into the tent, the burn of strong incense made my eyes water. Madame Miranda was sitting at a small table complete with Tarot cards and a crystal ball. She was old and craggy, and when she spoke, her coarse voice made a chill run up my spine.
“I’ve been expecting you boys. I have something to tell you.”
Since it was Myles’ idea to enter the tent, we made him go first. My brain was too foggy from cheap beer to process what she was saying to him, but he went as white as a ghost and shot out of his chair.
“Marcus, come sit down and give me your hand,” she said, and my heart picked up. How does she know my name? “Do as you are told, beast!”
Shit. She knows my nickname too, I thought.
I sat across from her, and she grasped my hand in hers, running her dry, bony fingers along my palm.
“Yes, Marcus, you are quite a beast. But you will find your soul mate in due time. Roses will lead you to her.” She looked up at me and as her eyes bored into mine she gripped my hand tighter. “But be careful, beast. If you keep secrets from your belle rose, your love will fall like petals in winter and you will risk losing her forever.”
He surprised me when he finally said, “Would you like another shot?” The way he said the words made my alcohol-swimming brain believe that he might have meant something else.
“I’d love for you to give me a Tequila-O.” My eyes went wide when I realized what I had said. “I mean, I’d love another shot.”
Seeing that the bartender was on the other end of the bar, Marcus reached across the bar and snagged a bottle of Jose, pouring me a perfect shot. He slid it across to me and I slammed the shot back, keeping my eyes closed while Jose did his work, burning a line down my center.
The sound of Marcus’s deep voice brought me back to reality “Tessa tells me that you designed the themes for the different rooms here. Do you have a favorite?”
I felt heat rush into my cheeks from more than just the Tequila-O, and I sent a silent prayer that the flashing lights of the club had covered it up for me. “Lust is my favorite.”
Marcus slowly moved closer to me. With one hand resting on my bare thigh just above my knee and the other behind my neck, he pulled me toward him as he bent down and whispered in my ear, “Lust is my favorite too.” Then he released me and walked away, leaving my skin cold and empty where his hands had been.
Claudia currently resides next to the mountains but dreams of the beach. She is married to her lost then found again high school love. She has a teenage daughter who gives her stomach aches from laughing so hard together.
Claudia has an almost super human ability to obsess over whatever strikes her fancy. She spends her time between adding to her ever growing tattoo collection, writing, and perfecting the Tequila-O with her always present 7 bottles of Jose.