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6 Rave Reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled

Here’s the set-up:

Samantha Jacobs is ready to move on with her life. Easier said than done when her ex tried to burn her alive and left her with vicious scars as a reminder of how wrong love can go. With Alan serving hard time, Sam is free to pursue her bliss. She has her Vegas bar, the Lucky 21, her business partner and best friend and a sexy new neighbor who never shuts his bedroom blinds.
Detective Trevor Harrison is used to following his instincts. His gut tells him Sam is still in danger from her monster of an ex. Intending to keep watch over her from a distance, Trevor is totally unprepared when Samantha tells him she’s been watching him too. Can he maintain the necessary distance to protect the woman of his dreams or give in to sexual temptation hotter than even the desert sun?

Part 1 of a 5 part serial novel

5-Star Amazon Review

“From page one In The Bedroom delivered the hotness I’ve come to expect for Jenna McCormick. Mixed in with real characters and enough questions to keep me enticed to learn the ending, is plenty of damn good writing, fresh descriptions, and (dare I say it again) HOT sex. I’ve never been so turned on by the written word. The next installment is on my to-buy list!”

Don’t Miss These Titles By Jenna McCormick
Here’s the set up:

Torn between duty and desire, Trevor Harrison has sworn himself to protect Samantha Jacobs from her monster ex–and his own lusts. He could never be the man she deserves, not with his tarnished past. Is he strong enough to resist such luscious temptation?

After much soul searching, Sam is ready to toss her hat in the sexual ring and Detective Trevor Harrison is just the man to get the job done. But there’s more to her sexy new neighbor then meets the eye. Sam’s determined to know all of him, but the secrets Trevor carries could cost her everything….

Part 2 of a 5 part serial novel

*  *  *

In the Bedroom with the Rope 3: Coming Undone

Kindle Price: $2.99

Here’s the set up:

The stakes have never been higher, or hotter, for Trevor Harrison. Forced to choose between his job as a detective and his emerging feelings for Samantha Jacobs, Trevor makes a call he’s sure to regret, once again putting her needs before his own. Without the resources of Las Vegas Metro to back him up, Trevor scrambles to come up with a plan to keep Sam safe from her sadistic ex and help her rebuild her sexual confidence, no matter the cost. But his lies are about to catch up with them both….

Part 3 of a 5 part serial novel

(This is a sponsored post.)

Kindle Free Book Alert for March 30: Hundreds of brand new Freebies added to Our Free Titles Listing plus … Jenna McCormick’s Caught Up In You: Once in a Blue Moon (Today’s Sponsor – 99 Cents)

Powered by our magical Kindle free book tool, here are this morning’s latest additions to our Kindle Free Book listings. Occasionally a title will continue to appear on this list for a short time after it is no longer free on Kindle. ALWAYS check the price on Amazon before making a purchase, please! If a book is free, you should see the following: Kindle Price: $0.00
But first, a word from ... Today's Sponsor
McCormick's hints at a wounded hero with a dark story was enough of a tease to have me begging for more. I'm looking foward to more.
Caught Up In You: Once in a Blue Moon ( Edgeplay Part 1)
by Jenna McCormick
5.0 stars - 3 reviews
Supports Us with Commissions Earned
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here's the set-up:
BUSTED
Baily Sinclair is used to playing the cards she’s been dealt. When her only living relative falls ill, she puts her education on hold and takes over his job as head groundskeeper at the Rosemont. Her only decadence is her nightly swim, when she can shed her troubles along with her clothes, at least until a man shows up on the uninhabited estate and demands her surrender.

YOU’LL PAY FOR THAT
Held captive by a stranger, she can hardly believe when her body responds to his rough seduction. Especially when she realizes her secret lover is Connor Edge, the billionaire playboy. But there’s more to this man than makes the supermarket tabloids, a darkness he hides from the world and that Baily finds simply irresistible.
One Reviewer Notes:
...[T]his story is hot, hot, hot! You might be tempted to group this in the same category as the plethora of other BDSM stories popping up all over as of late, but it would be a mistake. Yes, there is a powerful billionaire corrupting an innocent PYT with sizzling chemistry between them, but what really has me sucked in is the underlying story. There is a mystery that I won't give spoilers about, but it is driving me crazy! I should mention that this is a serial, meaning this is a novella that only tells the first part of the tale.
Avid Reader
About the Author
A little fantasy goes a long way....
Born on Sanibel Island somewhere between the fifth and seventh bottle of Rosa Regale, Jenna McCormick writes big girl romance with a touch of out of this world fantasy. Her hobbies include scouring the Internet for the perfect pair of boots and stirring up trouble, much to the dismay of her alter ego. To learn more about Jenna, Please visit her website. http://www.authorjennamac.com/ A little fantasy goes a long way.... Born on Sanibel Island somewhere between the fifth and seventh bottle of Rosa Regale, Jenna McCormick writes big girl romance with a touch of out of this world fantasy. Her hobbies include scouring the Internet for the perfect pair of boots and stirring up trouble, much to the dismay of her alter ego. To learn more about Jenna, Please visit her website. http://www.authorjennamac.com/
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Caught Up In You: Once in a Blue Moon ( Edgeplay Part 1)
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The Wild Game Cookbook By Roger MurphyThe ultimate cookbook for making tasty recipes of the wild game using smoker and grill, and other cooking appliances use for smoking big game, birds, fish, rabbit, and small game. Offers detailed guidance obtained by years of smoking meat, also includes clear...
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How far would you go to protect your superpower?Sixteen-year old Mathilda Brandt just discovered hers: the ability to hear, control and even kill plant life. She will face a stark choice if and when the world learns about her new ability. Either she will have to put on the blue jumpsuit and become...
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Renegade: The Empowered Series Prequel
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Dublin is one of the most popular yet most expensive destinations in Europe. This book highlights free and less-expensive things to do for the traveler on a budget. Inside you'll find step-by-step walking tours, detailed maps, reviews the top free and paid attractions, historical and humorous local...
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Annilasia and Delilee are the tribes' only chance. Fighting an unknown evil, they plot against the chief. Will they unravel the mystery behind the plague or die trying?The Realms split apart, the Stones of Elation are lost, and warnings of dokojin drift among the tribes.The land and its people are...
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Sometimes the person standing in your way is your only hope...As the director of the Port Provident Animal Shelter, Becca Collins had devoted her life to helping the furriest residents of Port Provident. When a special Labrador retriever, Polly, needs her help on the eve of Hurricane Hope, Becca...
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Talk about sexy as sin... Arie Angelis is floored when she lays eyes on the handsome hunk seated at the head table at the holiday event she's catering. She literally can't take her eyes off him. She's always prided herself on being the consummate professional, but not this time. But, attracted or...
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The Superhero's Son returns in a brand new adventure!Eighteen-year-old Kevin Jason (Bolt) wants respect. Despite saving the world more times then he can count, older superheroes still treat him like a kid. Not helping matters is his own impulsive nature, which gets him into trouble as often as it...
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She loved me. I hate her.As a kid, she crushed my dreams to dust.She tore both of our families apart with one confession, ending any chance of happiness for either of us and setting off a ripple effect of chaos.Now she’s back as the new girl in school, and she doesn’t suspect the war that’s...
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This book explores the discourse on conflict prevention and peacebuilding by bringing together researchers from China and Switzerland over a series policy dialogues.The Charter of the United Nations, adopted in the immediate aftermath of World War II, is clear about the fundamental necessity for...
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Christmas in Faerie?I’ve lost track of time since I’ve been trapped on the other side of the veil. It’s okay, though—now that Rys has accepted that I’m his mate (even if I can’t be his ffrindau), I’m happier than I’ve been in a long, long time. I’m free, Lord Veron has finally...
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Kindle Free Book Alert for March 30: Hundreds of brand new Freebies added to Our Free Titles Listing plus … Jenna McCormick’s Caught Up In You: Once in a Blue Moon (Today’s Sponsor – 99 Cents)

5 Stars For Today’s Romance of The Week Free Excerpt: Jenna McCormick’s Caught Up In You: Once in a Blue Moon (Edgeplay Part 1)

Last week we announced that Jenna McCormick’s Caught Up In You: Once in a Blue Moon (Edgeplay Part 1) is our Romance of the Week and the sponsor of thousands of great bargains in the Romance category: over 200 free titles, over 600 quality 99-centers, and thousands more that you can read for free through the Kindle Lending Library if you have Amazon Prime!

Now we’re back to offer our weekly free Romance excerpt, and if you aren’t among those who have downloaded Caught Up In You: Once in a Blue Moon (Edgeplay Part 1), you’re in for a real treat:

5.0 stars – 3 Reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here’s the set-up:
BUSTED
Baily Sinclair is used to playing the cards she’s been dealt. When her only living relative falls ill, she puts her education on hold and takes over his job as head groundskeeper at the Rosemont. Her only decadence is her nightly swim, when she can shed her troubles along with her clothes, at least until a man shows up on the uninhabited estate and demands her surrender.

YOU’LL PAY FOR THAT
Held captive by a stranger, she can hardly believe when her body responds to his rough seduction. Especially when she realizes her secret lover is Connor Edge, the billionaire playboy. But there’s more to this man than makes the supermarket tabloids, a darkness he hides from the world and that Baily finds simply irresistible.

And here, for your reading pleasure, is our free excerpt:

I rise with the sun, as usual, but feel worse than before I went to bed. Memories from the night before kept me thrashing until dawn. Would my mystery security man tell Mr. Edge who I was and what I’d been doing? Would he convey my remorse for crossing the line?

My hair still smells of chlorine so I take a hot shower, wincing at the stinging along the abraded parts of my body. My knees and shins are raw from where I’d pressed them into the concrete, and the palms of my hands and the left side of my face haven’t fared much better.

Though the weatherman predicts it’ll be in the upper nineties, I pull on jeans and leave my hair down, hiding the marks from last night’s shenanigans as best I can. I rarely wear makeup. Working outside, I’d sweat it off before noon. After toasting a bagel and brewing a pot of coffee, I slather my fair face with sunscreen and pull a Yankees ball cap on, then set off to meet the landscaping crew at the front gate.

A black convertible sits in the circular drive, along with an extended edition black SUV. My stomach cramps and I regret eating the bagel when a man wearing a tight black T-shirt and black slacks emerges from the passenger’s side of the SUV. Could this be the person who caught me?

“Ms. Sinclair?” The voice is smoother, lacking the rough edges of my assailant. The fact that he turns my name into a question clinches it.

“That’s me.” I smile and try not to look nervous. Or guilty.

“Mr. Edge would like to see you in his office this afternoon.”

Crap. I started to sweat. “Okay, what time?”

“Three o’clock, Ma’am.”

“I’ll be there. Now, I’ve got to go let the landscapers in.”

He steps back and I pick up the pace, my brain scrambling for purchase. Edge is going to fire me, maybe even have me escorted from the property. Pops is my only family. I have nowhere else to go.

Serves you right. Snarkarella pipes up. You played fast and loose with his security man and the bastard told him everything.

Shoving her bile aside, I move to the gate and try to not let my anxiety get the best of me. As Pops use to say, there’s no time to fret, there’s work to be done.

A new copse of flowering shrubbery has been ordered for the estate gardens and grabbing a shovel, I literally dig right in, working up a decent sweat. Rosasharn is an easy shrub to maintain if put in properly, and it flowers in several different colors. I’ve acquired several hundred saplings from a nearby nursery as part of the landscaping budget and plan to plant two rows of them leading up to and around the dolphin fountain in the back yard.

By midday, sweat runs down my back and my jeans are filthy. I pause to take a hit from my water bottle. On the east lawn of the estate, mowers run in a telling drone, making that neat chessboard pattern on the expansive front lawn.

I will miss this place, not just because it’s the only home I’ve ever known, but also because I’ve put so much of myself into it. Even before Pops started deteriorating so quickly, he lost interest in planning the grounds, but he’d already passed the love down to me. I’m the one who arranged for the installation of the stone wall separating the east and south lawns. I winterized the gardens on the south lot and made the call to take down the tree with the fungal infection that caused it to lose its leaves last fall. I know every type of plant growing on these twelve acres.

Looking around, it hits me like a ten ton anvil from above. This might be it, my last day, my last project here. Needing to sit down, I move toward the bench by the fountain and stare at the dolphin spouting water from his blowhole.

 At first I think panic is making a buzzing sound, but soon realize the noise is coming from the cell phone stuffed deep in my pocket. “Hello?”

“Ms. Sinclair? This is Rebecca Green from Golden Oaks.”

“Is my grandfather all right?” Rising to my feet, I move away from the chatter of the lawn crew.

“I’m sorry to tell you, but he fell this morning. He’s been transferred to Vassar Hospital.”

The world spins around me and I can’t think over the roaring of my blood. “Has his doctor been called? Do we know how bad it is?”

“I’m sorry, that’s all I know.”

I disconnect the call without saying goodbye and sprint for the cottage and Pops’s rusted-out pickup that looks like hell but runs like a dream. Ten minutes later I’m on the road, heading down route 44 into Poughkeepsie. Using my handsfree device, I call the doctor who’s been treating Pops and discover he’s already been notified. His office assistant tells me he’ll meet me at the hospital.

Since I’ve lived in this area all my life, I know Vassar Hospital well. A few of my friends from the nursing program at Dutchess Community College work here now, just as I would if I hadn’t taken over for Pops at the Rosemont Estate two years ago.

The nurse at reception directs me to a waiting room on the radiology level. Too agitated to sit, I pace back and forth while I wait, figuring, better to move my body than get lost in my own head. It’s too easy to imagine a worst-case scenario. Doctor Fletcher arrives a few minutes later. “He’s all right, Baily. It’s not a break, just some bruising.”

I let out a relieved breath and sink into a nearby chair. “Do we know how it happened?”

Doctor Fletcher looks perturbed. “Someone left the door to the parking area open when they were unloading a supply truck, and he wandered out and fell down the incline leading to the main road.”

Closing my eyes, I drop my head into my hands. “He could have been hit by a car.”

“The staff has already been chastised and the orderly who propped the door open reprimanded.” The doctor places his hand on my shoulder. “Have you thought about upgrading him to a better facility? I could recommend some excellent ones that deal exclusively with Alzheimer’s patients. They’re better prepared to cater to Thomas’s particular needs.”

Of course I’ve thought about it. Problem is, I can’t afford it. “I wish I could.”

The doctor escorts me to the room where Pops is resting. His heart monitor beeps a steady reassuring rhythm. Sitting in the chair beside the bed, I take his hand. Paper thin eyelids lift. His gaze is foggy under the heavy medication. “Hiya, Pops.”

He smiles and closes his eyes again. “Tired.”

“It’s the meds,” Doctor Fletcher tells him. “Does anything hurt?”

“At my age, everything hurts,” Pops says wryly, a ghost of his old self. “Beats the alternative though.”

“We’re going to keep you overnight for observation.”

Doctor Fletcher pulls me aside.

“Thank you for getting here so quickly.” I smile up at him, my constant advocate. Doctor Fletcher has been with me throughout the downward spiral of Pops’s health and I appreciate everything he’s done.

His gaze fixes on my face. “Is everything all right with you, Baily? You sleeping okay?”

I think about my moonlight swims, about being pleasured the night before by a total stranger and how it was such a relief from the nonstop heartache and worry of my daily life. Except that by letting it happen, I inadvertently made things worse.

Glancing at the clock on the wall, I gasp at the time. “Shoot, I was supposed to be at a meeting forty five minutes ago! I’ll be back later.”

“Drive safe,” Doctor Fletcher calls out as I hurry toward the nearest bank of elevators.

Snarkarella is in fine form the entire thirty-seven minute drive back to the estate, mentally flagellating me for standing up my boss. Soon to be ex-boss.

“It was a family emergency,” I reason aloud as I turn up the drive. It’s ten to five. I’m almost two hours late for my meeting with Mr. Edge. “I’m sure he’ll understand.”

Actually, I’m sure of nothing. I’m unable to decide if I ought to duck into the cottage and change out of my grubby clothes, or if that will only compound the problem.

In the end, I decide that my extreme tardiness is more offensive than my bedraggled physical state. As head groundskeeper, Mr. Edge must be aware that I work for a living. Doubtful a clean pair of jeans or even a dress would change the outcome of today’s meeting.

I take the stone steps two at a time and enter the cool foyer. Marble tiles and a vaulted ceiling give the entrance to the house that grandiose feel. An antique mahogany table and a gilded mirror sit to the right of the double doors. A curving staircase straight out of Gone with the Wind leads to the second story, eye level with the crystal chandelier. Pausing by the mirror, I do my best to scrape my out-of-control hair away from my face. Humidity wreaks havoc with the natural curls, giving me that wild Man of Borneo effect.

Snarkarella snorts in derision.

Just as I recognize that I might have to search the entire house for Mr. Edge, the click of heels comes from the back hallway.

“May I help you?” A beautiful brunette raises one sculpted eyebrow in my direction. She’s wearing a gray checked sheath dress, with a wide cherry red belt. Her waist is about the size of one of my thighs. Red four inch heels and a red beret perched jauntily on her head match the belt. Her accent is distinctly French, and her tone implies she believes me to be beyond help.

“I have an appointment with Mr. Edge.” I offer a pleasant smile which she does not return.

“And you are…?”

“Head groundskeeper.”

Lined brown eyes grow bigger until they almost pop from her head. “You’re Thomas Sinclair?”

“Baily Sinclair. His granddaughter.” That is all this snooty pill will get from me. Edge sure has plenty of guard dogs, the Rottweiler from last night and now a perfectly coiffed French Poodle. Who is this guy?

“Wait here.” She pivots on her heel and sashays to the back of the house. I deliberately refuse to look in the mirror again, not wanting to acknowledge the world of difference between myself and the poodle. At least I’m not a condescending troll in disguise.

“Ms. Sinclair, I presume.”

My heart stutters in my chest at his voice. The man from last night. Slowly, I drag my attention up his body, which is just as broad and solid as I imagined it to be, until I reach his face.

One I recognize from supermarket tabloids. How many times have I stood staring at that same face, believing he couldn’t be half as handsome in person as the magazine portrayed? I was wrong—he’s even better in the flesh, more compelling, those blue eyes piercing, the aquiline nose and perfectly set cheekbones a work of art. His smoothly shaven chin is at odds with the stubble scrape I experienced against my skin last night. And his mouth….

My brain shorts out as I look at his mouth, remembering all the things he did to me last night.

Holly hell, I’m working for Connor Edge, the billionaire playboy!

Enjoy it while it lasts, Snarkarella pipes up.

 

~*~

I’m not sure which fact is keeping me frozen. Maybe that the elusive Mr. Edge is a well-known celebrity? Or more likely, that he’s the same man who bent me over the edge of the pool and pleasured me until I came all over his face last night. Thinking about the specifics of that makes my sex squeeze with longing.

“Excuse us, Ms. Dupree. This won’t take long.”

The waif smirks at me knowingly and saunters off. Gripping my elbow, Connor Edge steers me into the nearby parlor and closes the door behind us. Releasing me, he gestures toward an antique beverage service cart. “Care for a drink?”

Despite being named after an Irish whiskey and cream based liqueur, I’m not much of a drinker, but decide I’ll make an exception under the circumstances. “Whatever you’re having.”

He pours a few fingers of amber liquid from a crystal decanter into a snifter and hands it to me. His movements are steady, unhurried, his mood impossible to read. Will he apologize for last night, or get right on with the canning?

I take a whiff of the alcohol, wondering is it’s a sip or slug drink.

“Cognac,” he murmurs, startling me. I didn’t realize he was watching me. “I usually reserve it for after dinner, but I’m not eating until much later.”

“Thank you.” I shift in my seat and bring the glass to my lips. The small sip has a sweet flavor, but burns as it slides down my throat. Okay, I can now scratch sipping brandy off my bucket list.

He sits down in a leather wingback chair directly across from me. It’s hard not to feel grubby in comparison to his perfectly pressed slacks. I take another fortifying sip and wait for the inevitable.

“Ms. Sinclair, I do not like to be kept waiting.”

My gaze flies to his. That’s it? Not a word about last night? “I’m sorry, I had a family emergency.”

The way his blue black hair falls across his forehead, those piercing eyes and the snifter of cognac, his shoes that probably cost more than my truck, all scream Masterpiece Theatre. The Andersons have money, anyone would have to in order to own Rosemont, but their fortune is nothing compared to Connor Edge’s.

“Does this emergency have anything to do with why Thomas Sinclair is nowhere to be found?” His voice is smoother than it was last night, more refined and lacking the distilled sexual heat that burned me to a crisp. Today he’s all business.

“Yes,” I say.

His blue eyes narrow. “Are you playing some sort of game, Ms. Sinclair?”
How can he ask me that after what he did the night before, turning me on to prove a point? “No, Sir.”
A small smile toys with the corners of his lips, but disappears so quickly I think it must be my imagination. “Then tell me why you are here, doing his job for him?”

In all the photographs I’ve seen, I never imagined Connor Edge to be so…intense. Part of me wants to tell him everything. Another part wants to lash out over his tactics. Why did he refer to himself in the third person, instead of simply telling me who he is? “With all due respect, it’s a private matter. I’ve been doing this job for the past two years for peanuts, and I do it better than anyone else in three counties. Now, I apologize for the pool incident—”

“Pool incident?” Dark slashing eyebrows draw down.

Enough is enough already. If he isn’t going to cut to the chase, then I sure as hell will. “Yes, you and me in the pool last night, like an erotic game of clue. Ring any bells?”

He goes very still. “What are you talking about? I’ve never seen you before a few moments ago.”

My mouth falls open. “You seriously don’t remember?” Was that even possible?

Slowly he shakes his head. “I arrived shortly after midnight and went to bed.”

“No,” I state carefully, wary of contradicting him. “You came down to the pool and caught me swimming. Naked.” Snarkarella gives me a mental forehead slap for tagging on that last part.

Setting aside his drink, Conner stands and moves toward the window. “You are sure it was me?”

I didn’t see his face, but the strong build and the rough voice, along with the air of command, were spot-on. “Unless there’s someone else around here who sounds exactly like you.”

“Sounds?” One eyebrow goes up. I’d never thought of a man’s eyebrows being sexy before, but the jet hair along Connor Edge’s brow ridge has me rethinking my stance.

“It was dark, and you kind of snuck up on me. Grabbed me from behind.”

“And?”

“And what?” I ask.

“What happened next? I must have said something, since you recognize my voice.”

This has to be the most bizarre conversation I’ve ever had. “You asked who I was, didn’t believe me when I told you. You accused me of trying to seduce Mr. Edge.”

He turns to face me at that. “Is that exactly how I phrased it? Referring to myself in the third person?”

I nod. “Yes.”

“What happened next?”

My teeth sink into my lower lip as I relive the ecstasy of his rough pleasuring. “You, uh, did some stuff. To me.”

Way to be articulate, Snarkarella hisses.

Edge is also unimpressed, considering the blank look he shoots at me. “Define, ‘stuff’.’”

“Sexual stuff.” My face grows hot. Would he just fire me already and get it over with?

Turning back to face the window, he asks, “Did I hurt you? Do anything against your will?” Though the questions are fired off in a nonchalant way, his hands ball into fists at his sides.

“No, nothing like that.”

His relief is palpable. His posture relaxes, shoulders sagging a bit as though a heavy burden has been lifted. Good lord, does he actually think he goes around raping women and forgetting about it?

“So it was consensual.”

Oh, now he’s just rubbing it in. “Yes.”

He nods as if it’s perfectly acceptable to fuck with his groundskeeper. Or more aptly, the groundskeeper’s granddaughter. “Tell me about it.”

I’ve had enough. “No.”

Both eyebrows shoot towards his hairline. “No?”

Placing my empty snifter on the end table, I rise to my feet. “Look, you can fire me if you want, but no way will I sit here and let you embarrass me first. Now, I’ve had a lousy day, and I want to go home and take a hot shower and veg out. So am I fired?”

“No.”

“No?” It’s my shot to turn the word into a question.

Standing with his feet shoulder-width apart, Edge clasps his hands behind his back at standard parade rest. “Technically I can’t fire you, since I don’t employ you.”

“Oh.” Somehow, that doesn’t reassure me.

“You find talking about sex unsettling?”

I blink, surprised by his shift back to that topic. “Not as much as the fact that you don’t remember it. And it wasn’t sex sex, it was more…” I wave my hand in a circular pattern while looking for the right words.

He finds them first. “Oral sex?”

Sure my face is the color of my hair by this point, I bite my lip and nod.

“Stop that,” he snaps.

“I’m sorry?”

Edge gestures to my mouth. “Biting your lip. Don’t do that.”

“Why not?”

“Because it makes me want to slide my cock between your lips and fuck your mouth.”

Said mouth falls open, but I snap it shut just as fast. Here’s the man I met the night before, rude, demanding, and barely leashing a wave of liquid lust.

Heat rises in me, embarrassment morphing into desire. It’s beyond ridiculous, me and him, but it’s already happened. He made it happen. I wait for him to make a move, though I don’t know how I will respond if he does.

“I apologize for my crudeness,” he says after a time.

“But not the intent?” My mouth waters, imagining the force of his hands holding my head in place while he uses me to pleasure himself. I barely suppress a shiver. That kind of roughness has never appealed to me before, but last night he awakened something in me, something wild that only he could tame.

If he even wants to. This whole conversation has a surreal quality to it. He’s my boss, but he’s not, my lover, but not.

Slowly, he shakes his head. We stare at each other for a beat, his gaze locked on mine. I can read nothing from, him, like he’s hiding behind some kind of wall. Can he be telling the truth about not remembering what he did, like some sort of selective amnesia? Or is he just setting me up for a huge fall?

I remember the way his knuckles turned white when asking if the sex was consensual. My gut tells me he’s not playing with me, and I’ve always trusted my instincts before.

A knock sounds on the outer door, and the poodle calls out, “Your ride is here, Mr. Edge.”

Edge closes his eyes, breaking the spell between us. “I have to go.” Straightening his tie, he moves toward the door.

“What about the job?” I ask his retreating back.

He pauses with the door cracked open. “You’ve been less than forthcoming with me, Ms. Sinclair. You may keep filling in for your grandfather until his return. As for the other…” He looks at me over his shoulder, the intensity of his navy irises pinning me in place. “We will speak of it again soon.”

Striding out into the hall, he says something briefly to the poodle before heading out. I move to the window and watch him descend the steps, to a waiting limousine. An elegant blonde woman wearing a slinky silver cocktail dress steps out. I can’t see anything beyond her slim figure and the back of an updo. She wears silver spike heels and a hand with polished red fingertips, which she splays on Edge’s chest when he  bends down for a  kiss.

I want to look away but can’t. Even with a belly full of what feels like oiled snakes slithering around. What are their evening plans? I wonder about it, about the woman’s relationship to him, while watching the limo pull out of the drive. What must it be like to live so elegantly, to have a reason to own a cocktail dress and someplace to wear it?

“They are probably doing it right now,” the poodle speaks up from behind me. Her voice is soft with misery. I can tell she and Edge have had a sexual encounter. Women usually go nuts because of a man, and after spending time with him, I can easily envision Connor Edge driving a woman past the point of sanity. Her possessiveness is more cloying than her perfume.

Stowing my hurt, I say, “It’s none of my business if they are.” Other than the remark about fucking my mouth, he’s given no indication that he’s attracted to me. Connor Edge probably seduces women in droves and throws them back just as quickly. “I got what I came for.”

A reprieve. More time to figure out what to do about myself and Pops. Connor Edge and his dirty, alluring mouth are not part of my grand scheme.

I tell myself that, all the way back to the cottage.

 Continued….

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5.0 stars – 3 Reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled

Here’s the set-up:

BUSTED
Baily Sinclair is used to playing the cards she’s been dealt. When her only living relative falls ill, she puts her education on hold and takes over his job as head groundskeeper at the Rosemont. Her only decadence is her nightly swim, when she can shed her troubles along with her clothes, at least until a man shows up on the uninhabited estate and demands her surrender.

YOU’LL PAY FOR THAT
Held captive by a stranger, she can hardly believe when her body responds to his rough seduction. Especially when she realizes her secret lover is Connor Edge, the billionaire playboy. But there’s more to this man than makes the supermarket tabloids, a darkness he hides from the world and that Baily finds simply irresistible.

One Reviewer Notes

“… All the fun of being swept off your feet by the dashing, yet tortured billionaire, and the sex. Oh my GOD, the sex is just fantastic. What I love about McCormick’s writing is that every story takes you on a roller coaster ride and pulls no punches. She doesn’t hesitate to go in for the kill. And this delicious introduction to the Edgeplay universe doesn’t disappoint. I’m on the edge of my seat waiting for the next installment. No pun intended, Mr. Edge.” – Amazon Reviewer, 5 Stars

About The Author

A little fantasy goes a long way….
Born on Sanibel Island somewhere between the fifth and seventh bottle of Rosa Regale, Jenna McCormick writes big girl romance with a touch of out of this world fantasy. Her hobbies include scouring the Internet for the perfect pair of boots and stirring up trouble, much to the dismay of her alter ego. To learn more about Jenna, Please visit her website. http://www.authorjennamac.com/
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A Free Excerpt From Jenna McCormick’s B Cubed One: Born, Our Romance of the Week!

Jenna McCormick’s B Cubed One: Born:

by Jenna McCormick
4.7 stars – 3 Reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here’s the set-up:

Born: Natural born humans are precious few and dwell in darkness. Bred: Genetically engineered slaves who are the protectors of the Born. Borg: The cybernetically enhanced enclave that split from the Born humans. These three factions are all that remains of the human race after the world stopped turning. Scavenging in the darkness for what little is left, the war between them rages on though few know why. It begins with a child’s prophesy and can only end when they unite. Or die. B Cubed Book One: Born. From the moment he spies her silhouette cast by the bonfire, Cormack understands what it is to yearn for something he will never possess. Breds are made to provide for the natural born humans, dig their homes deep beneath the surface of the earth and to protect them from the ever-present cyborg threat. A Bred who reaches beyond his station will be recycled immediately, yet Cormack cannot get her visage out of his mind. Until he unearths a box, buried long before the earth stopped spinning. Task Mistress Allora has no wish to brutalize the Bred worker she finds hoarding treasure, but as a servant of the colony that raised her from infancy, she is duty bound to report anything unusual to the Overlord, even if it costs the blue-eyed man his life. Yet something about the way Cormack watches her forces Allora to reevaluate her understanding of right and wrong. For this genetically engineered soldier is her only protection against the cyborgs who seek what they have discovered, a journal written by the prophetess Cassandra and a way to end the warring between the factions forever.

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The author hopes you will enjoy this free excerpt:


Cassandra’s Journal

November 15, 2011

The new doctor said I need to keep a dream journal, to keep track of my visions. He doesn’t understand they come all the time, whether I’m awake or sleeping. I agreed because I had to, but what he doesn’t know is that I am keeping two. One is make believe, all about ice cream and pony rides, boys I like and mean kids at school. Normal stuff—things he wants to see because then he’ll say I’m fixed and won’t call CPS on Mom and Daddy.

This one is about what I really see. The darkness, the burning buildings and the enormous deserts. In my dreams the Earth doesn’t spin anymore, a machine made it stop, and billions of people spun off into space. Those who remain are nomads, following the darkness so they don’t die from exposure. Using artificial light sources, they set up farming communities near the few freshwater lakes that have not been swallowed up by the polar oceans.

Usually, I float over the scorched landscape, the one great supercontinent surrounded by the two polar oceans. I see the piles of bleached bones on the light side, they span for miles, stretching back through time. Then, I find the survivors. They live in small clusters, the Born colonies as they call themselves. They are the descendants of those that did believe the prophesy and went deep underground. The Bred do all the work though, people grown like crops. The Born are too few, too important to do manual labor. They must carry on their lines and police the Bred.

Last night’s dream was different though. I’ve never been in the dream before, but this time I viewed the world through the eyes of a man. He was tired and sweaty, but his fingers had turned almost blue with tilling a new field for planting. Since the world is dark for half the year there are no real seasons anymore. Light and dark, hot and cold. Crops are grown year round inside plastic tents.

His job was to prepare the hard ground to take seeds after the structure was enclosed. The shovel burrows into the soil and clangs against something hard. He looks around, but he is the last one left, having given up his meal privileges for one of the children. The Breds must earn their food through work, but he has skipped many earned meals to help feed an ill child. I can feel his hunger, his stomach aches. He’s almost to the point where eating would make him sick and there aren’t any in this camp that would give him a meal. If he grows too weak to work, he will be recycled for usable parts.

Curious, he drops the shovel and uses his hands to dig around the metal thing, finding the edges. It’s a box, like the size of a lunchbox but thicker. The supervisors will have him flogged if he doesn’t report anything out of the ordinary, but he is angry and tired and thinks maybe he was supposed to find this.

There are too many Breds in the barracks at this time of day so he goes to the barn. I can smell the hay and the poop that the animals have made since the last time their stalls were mucked out. The horses have all been tended for the shift, no one else is inside.

Settling down in an empty stall, he runs his dirty hands over the smooth surface. The metal is rough and cold after being in the ground so long. I can feel how fast his heart beats inside his chest and want to beg him to open the box.

“You there! What are you doing?”

He jumps at the sound of her voice and glances up. It’s the woman, the supervisor he’s seen on barracks patrol. She has a reputation for being cruel, but he can tell she is not from the look in her eyes. He has known cruel Borns before, the ones that punish the Bred just because they can.

She is beautiful, with red-gold hair that she keeps tucked inside her warrior’s helmet. He has only seen her without it once but he remembers it vividly, how she looked in front of the bonfire.

Will she have him flogged? He looks down at the box again. If he is going to be whipped, he will give her a reason.

“Don’t!” I scream when he reaches for the latch.

She uncoils the whip from her belt. “You leave me no choice.”

He pivots away from the blow, offering his scarred back, still cradling his treasure. The whip whistles and the sharp crack wakes me up. My back hurts and when I looked in the mirror this morning I have a scar between my shoulder blades.

Chapter One

“What are you doing?” The Bred asked Allora as she bent down to examine his back. He was no stranger to a sound lashing, his back an intricate web work of scar tissue that stood out in sharp relief next to his golden skin tone. Shit, she wished he would have just handed over the box when she’d ordered him the first time.

“Patching you up, you ungrateful cur.” His eyes stayed shut as she produced the poultice gel from her utility belt and aimed the dispenser at the throbbing wound. “You ready to hand over your prize?”

He nodded once and she applied the gel immediately. He had not been so cooperative in the past; otherwise the supervisor on duty would have healed him right away. Breds were known to be thick-skulled, the only teacher they respected was pain but Allora saw no reason to let one suffer any longer than necessary.

“I just found it, out in the new field.” Still he didn’t let go.

His big body trembled in relief and she allowed him thirty seconds to regain his composure before making her demand. “Now, hand over the box.”

“I only wanted to see—”

Allora cut him off with a clipped tone. “Don’t make me repeat myself.”

He shuddered once and extended his hand. She didn’t reach for it right away, that was an ignorant move worthy of a new supervisor, not a second level task mistress. Instead she watched his face. Breds had no control over their emotions and Allora had some proficiency in understanding them.

Which is why I’m still alive.

She expected to see malice or a promise of retribution written across his features, but instead there was only a quiet longing. And he wasn’t staring at the box.

“Please, I want to know what’s in there.” Despite the please, he didn’t beg, just asking for his due.

Allora hesitated. There was no rule against a Bred witnessing a discovery. Oftentimes they were present when a new field yielded surprises. The regs stated that a supervisor rank or higher must control the situation. “All right, you can open it.”

He didn’t thank her, obviously a proud lug. Allora expected nothing more. Politeness was irrelevant as long as he obeyed. She watched him shift to his side gingerly, as if unsure whether her poultice would hold. She noticed the hollows under his cheekbones, the gauntness to his entire frame and asked, “How many meals have you gone without?”

He refused to meet her gaze. “Why do you care?”

She fingered her whip. “Don’t push me, Bred. I don’t want to beat you again, but insubordination will not be tolerated.”

This time he did look up, his bright blue eyes alight with an unholy fire as he stared at her. Allora had to steel her reserve to keep from backing away. His voice was low as he whispered, “There are those who need it more.”

Holding his stare, she dug into her hip pocket and withdrew a nutri packet. “I agree.”

He frowned, looking from her to the packet and back. She jiggled it impatiently and when he proffered his hand, she dropped it into his grip. He stared at it warily and she sighed, loathed to explain her actions, but knowing he would not eat until she did so.

“There is more than enough food to go around and I see no reason why any ought to starve.”

This time he did surprise her. “Thank you.”

The corners of her mouth curved upward. “Manners from a Bred? Will wonders never cease?”

“I have a name, Supervisor,” he muttered, opening the packet.

She raised an eyebrow at his distain. “As do I. I’ll give you a hint—it is not Supervisor.”

He nodded once. “I am called Cormack.”

Despite her best judgment, she had to ask. “How old are you, Cormack?”

He finished his meal and swallowed, his shoulders stiffening infinitesimally. “Thirty four.”

Double shit. Allora regretted her need to ask. At almost three and a half decades, Cormack of the bright blue eyes stood on the threshold of a minefield. Any transgression at all and he would be sent to the draining chamber, broken down into parts which could then be used to sustain Born humans. Or pressed down into the viscous fluid that would incubate a whole new generation of Breds.

“Well, Cormack. I am not a supervisor but a second level task mistress. It would serve you well to recognize the difference.” She tapped the infinity insignia on her lapel.

His eyes went wide. “Task Mistress? I have never encountered one of your designation before. Forgive me.”

Allora ground her teeth together. That was because most who reached the task designations no longer walked the planting fields, letting the supervisors handle the Breds. “It is not a punishable offence.”

Silence reigned between them and almost as though it had been choreographed, they both stared down at the box.

“Go ahead, open it.” Allora put a thin thread of command in her tone, hoping he understood that she was in no mood for games.

Cormack ran his hand lovingly over the grime-encrusted box, his slow caress denoting awe and wonder. Her body tingled in the most unusual places as she watched his long fingers fiddle with the latch, careful not to break it. She scowled, shifting her weight to ease her odd discomfort. What is the matter with me?

The locking mechanism gave way with ease, and Cormack licked his lips as he gripped the top of the strongbox. Allora’s own tongue darted out before she realized it. Glancing from her to the box and back again, Cormack studied her mouth in a most inappropriate way.

The constraints of her thermal gear grew tighter, her skin prickled against the layers of fabric. Her nipples, peaked from the cold, felt sensitive as his tongue emerged again.

“Get on with it already!” she snapped, unwilling to prolong this bizarre encounter. To feel urges for a Bred? The only lowlier disgrace would be to mount a Cyborg.

For a heartbeat she felt sure he would ignore her command and keep eye contact, see how far he could push her. She was too close to him now to use her whip and if he attacked, she’d have no choice but to inject him with the sedative in her gauntlet and have him hauled off to be drained.

Curiosity won out and he raised the lid to the metal box. His eyes went wide and he threw it to the side and scrambled away, curling into a defensive posture in the dust.

“What is it?” Allora frowned.

He flung himself at her feet, forehead touching her boots, hands trembling. “Please, I didn’t know.”

She glanced to where the box had landed and at the clear plastic bag that protected a book. Triple decker shit on a stick.

Chapter Two

Cormack watched in horror as the task mistress strode to pick up the book, his heart thundering against his ribcage. It had been going so well too, she’d been quick to strike but he understood he’d given her no choice. As a woman, she could not afford to be more lenient, lest the Bred take advantage of her.

Her beauty stunned him. Pale unmarred flesh, amethyst eyes and a curl of brilliant flame-red hair escaping the confines of her helmet. A dream, so vivid compared to the bleak landscape. For the endless moment when their gazes had locked he felt some sort of connection to her. Then he’d opened the blasted box. Even knowing what awaited him—he couldn’t help but stare at it, at her holding it. One quick glimpse of all he ever wanted.

And would never have.

He swallowed once, determined to take his punishment like a man. Perhaps his death would serve as a warning to others who found strange objects from the long deposed civilizations. Curiosity is not worth one’s life.

“Mother puss bucket, this is not my night,” she muttered. Taking off her helmet and setting it down he watched, enraptured as her red gold hair spilled free, lava flowing from a volcano.

In that moment, seeing her irritated expression and contemplating his own death, Cormack realized pride was not one of his strengths. “Please, Task Mistress. I’ll do anything. I am not ready for the journey to be over.”

She heaved a sigh, as though the weight of the world rested on her shoulders. “You know the law, Cormack. Any Bred found in possession of a book is to be recycled immediately. I may not agree with it, but I am its servant, my sole purpose to enforce for the greater good of this colony.”

He cast about wildly for anything he might have to barter. “Can’t we just…pretend this never happened? No one else has to know.”

A muscle jumped in her jaw. “I’ll know.”

Crawling to her on hands and knees, he swallowed before offering, “I’ll service you.”

She didn’t speak. He dared to glance up. Her unusual eyes revealed nothing of what she thought or felt—if she felt anything at all.

Taking her silence as a positive sign, he pushed forward, reaching out until one hand grasped her calf through the leather of her boot. “Have you never wondered what it would be like, to be pleasured by a Bred? No man would work as hard to bring you satisfaction. I vow it.”

“Do you do this often, Cormack? Barter your sexual services to the supervisors so they turn a blind eye?” Her tone was colder than outside the protective shield around the barn. He took a deep breath, inhaling the scent of fresh hay and aroused woman with his keen senses. She needed what he could give and oh, how he wanted to give it. All had not been lost yet, he could see her hesitation when she breathed, “I am not a man with an unruly cock to be tempted by such a proposal.”

“This would be the first time for me.” His fingers crept up to where the thin material of her stockings peeped out over the boot. Boldly, he caressed the delicate crease at the back of her knee for he had nothing to lose and everything to gain. “Can’t you imagine how incredible it would feel, to be tongue-fucked by a man desperate to please you?”

Because he touched her, he felt her tremble. So, she had been affected by his offer. He would not have made it with any other Born, but his task mistress…he could already taste her essence on his lips, imagine the silk of her wet flesh, hear her gasps and moans as he brought her to climax again and again.

“Release me,” she ordered. He lifted his head, staring up over her thermal plated armor. It had been molded to her curvaceous form and his hands itched to undress her, see all of her. His face was even with her groin and he breathed deeply, enjoying her feminine scent. If I’m going to be damned, I will damn well earn it.

Breds wore thin thermal cloth to cover their skin, not this hefty armament. It took him a moment to discover where the ties to her garments were located. She trembled in his arms. One of the horses whickered softly.

“I don’t want this,” she protested, but her body told a different tale. The ties gave way and her armor clattered to the ground. Beneath it she wore only a thin layer of fabric, too sheer to be thermally charged. The armor had hidden the full lushness of her curves beneath its bulk, the delicate flare of her round hips, the gentle swells of her breasts. She still wore her boots and the gauntlets. He feared she might stop him if he tried to remove either. And he wanted this taste of her, more than his next breath.

“Yes, you do.” Guided by instinct more primal than time herself, he dared to argue, nuzzling her mound through the fabric, moving slowly so as not to startle her, as if gentling a wild mare. Would her pubic hair be the same color as the flaming tresses above, or would they be darker, hiding the mysteries of her sex? His hands slowly bunched the fabric until he’d gathered it to her waist. Red, the same vivid red curls. He moved in even closer, letting his breath fall on her sensitive flesh.

She gasped and her gauntlets clattered to the ground, the book with them. Triumph roared through him along with an unbelievable giddiness. He wanted to fall on her like a ravening beast, part her folds and lick her madly. But he’d promised her a unique and incomparable experience.

An empty crate sat nearby. Turning it over he guided one of her boots to the top so he had enough room to maneuver between her parted thighs. Letting go of the dress, fabric billowed down, trapping him in paradise. He ran his fingers along the silk of her leg, his gaze fixed on her sex.

“You’re so beautiful,” he whispered as his thumbs parted her wider. “My mouth is watering to kiss you, to lap up your sweet juices.”

“You shouldn’t,” she whispered, but there was need in her tone as well.

He stared at his calloused hands, rough and cold from hard labor. She practically steamed with liquid heat. He sucked one finger into his mouth, warming and wetting the digit with his saliva as best he could. No, not good enough. His tongue was softer and he had to have a taste.

He touched her wet core first, groaning at his first perception of her sweet lube. She cried out in response and he went deeper, probing the entrance to her body before lashing her clitoris in a rapid fire rhythm. Cormack had performed this act countless times with countless lovers and yet this was a first for him. He wanted the taste and smell of her invading his senses as much as he wanted to live.

Her legs trembled and instinct took over as he gripped the swells of her ass, keeping her upright and holding her to him while he feasted on her sex. He looked up through the transparent swath of fabric and drank in every detail. Her eyes were closed, her lips parted as she gasped for breath. Her chest heaved, large luscious breasts tipped with erect nipples. Her belly quivered as did her thighs. His cock ached for release but he ignored it, determined to send her even higher.

“My delicious task mistress,” he whispered, dragging a finger down through her saturated flesh to swirl around her opening. He watched in fascination as her sex clenched, her breaths becoming shallower. His words turned her on as much as his touch.

“Cormack.” Her eyelids fluttered open and that sizzle of connection burned through him, just like before. Groaning, he swirled his tongue over her folds again, working a finger into her snug channel.

Cormack didn’t understand when his penetration of her sex stopped. His fingertip brushed what felt like a barrier, halting his exploration. What is this? He frowned and thrust harder. She gasped, her body tensing as pleasure drained out of her. His heart rate kicked up as he thought, she’s a virgin? Whatever he did next could mean life or death.

If she’d been one of the Bred he would suck her clit until she came then fuck her hard and fast, keeping her riding the peak waves to orgasm. She wasn’t of his kind though and he had no idea what the protocol might be. Don’t overthink it, just react.

“Did I hurt you?” he asked, withdrawing himself from beneath her skirts.

She shook her head once, her breaths ragged. “Get out and tell no one of this.”

Lowering his eyes, he nodded and fled.

Chapter Three

Allora watched Cormack go, fighting to reclaim control over her body. For a moment the phantom of his mouth caressed her sex again. Stubble scraping her inner thigh, his groan of ecstasy filling her ears as he pleasured her. His wet heat manipulating her own before cold air invaded, snapping her out of her stupor. Nothing felt as it ought, her heartbeat too fast, breaths shallow and her stomach filled with liquid fire. What have I done?

Wobbling on shaky legs, she retrieved her armor, righting her clothing as best she could without her maid. The hour had grown late and with any luck everyone would be busy feasting in the main hall so she could slip back to her room and wash away the evidence of this encounter.

He has to be drained. Bad enough that she’s let him take such liberties on her traitorous body, but she could not allow him to tell others of what had happened. Her reputation aside, if the Breds started offering sex in exchange for leniency, the Borns would lose control over their creations and no one would do the work they had precious little time to do.

Donning her helmet, she strode from the stable and headed toward the servant’s entrance to the tunnels the Born lived in this time of year, all the while compiling a list of reasons why Cormack had to die. It’s almost his time—his life will be over soon enough. A Bred who can’t work isn’t worth the sheets he sleeps in. The book sealed his fate.

The book.

Damn, she’d forgotten all about it, so lost in the new sensations cascading through her. Pivoting on her heel, she picked up her pace to a fast trot, needing to retrieve the cursed object before another Bred stumbled across it and shared in Cormack’s unfortunate fate.

Wind buffeted against her face as she struggled with the barn door. The shield must have failed again. Shivering, Allora could not help but wonder how much longer they could survive on the surface. Reports of glaciers forming had come in from a few of the northern colonies and even now, Breds dug tunnels beneath the surface, aiming for the earth’s beating heart, the only real source of natural heat left to them. And other dangers lurked below the liquid mantel. Could the planet sustain them? So many species were already dead or dying, the food chain crumbling from the bottom and working its way up.

Horses started as the door blew shut behind her, the wind shield flickering from lack of solar power. The splintered wood had been thoroughly warped from the six months of nonstop sun that had just ended and was barely any sort of barricade for the violent winds sweeping down from the north to buffet the structure. Some of the larger settlements had dug subterranean stalls for their livestock but with only a few dozen Bred doing the heavy lifting, Allora knew her colony couldn’t spare the laborers for such a task until the barn would no longer suffice.

Bending down, she scooped up the book. It was not an official publication, which would immediately have to be catalogued by the Born librarian for historical purposes. No, the cover had not been emblazoned with a title and when she opened it, saw that the words were not computer generated but written in a spidery scrawl. She flipped to a random page.

December 7, 2017

I know you are reading this, Allora.

She blinked, fumbling the book, dropping the bag altogether. No way could I have read that right. Sucking in a deep breath, she straightened the book and started again.

Yes, Task Mistress Allora, I’ve seen you and your discovery of my journal.

By the time you read this, my time will have ended. Your time is about to begin.

“’Tis madness,” though she whispered aloud, Allora couldn’t look away, enraptured by the words on the page.

I know nothing that I write within these pages will convince you immediately,

I could not even convince my own parents that I saw the future. It is my curse,

to see what is to come and live on unable to change it. From this point on,

your purpose is murky, your decisions yet unmade.

There are many possible futures for the world, Allora.

And all of them start with you.

For now, take my journal and hide it. No one else needs to shoulder this burden than the ones that already do. Hurry, now, before the overlord finds you.

The mention of the overlord jerked her out of the surreal haze that seemed to engulf her ever since she’d entered the barn. Slipping the book back in the plastic sheath, she hid it inside her armor and sprinted for the tunnel.

The clattering of clay dishes and cups was a dull roar compared to the jovial sounds of the colonists. As per usual, Borns sat and talked and laughed while Breds scurried about doing their bidding. Allora kept her head turned away, but she was not fast enough.

“Where have you been?” The thunderous boom of Overlord Mag’s voice echoed throughout the caverns. Even the torches appeared to flicker at the question, as though they too feared displeasing her adopted father.

Squaring her shoulders, she whirled to face Mag. His fat, trout-like lips curled in disgust and she could smell the liquor on his breath. How he could sleep, when every day he consumed her weight in alcohol while Bred children cried themselves to sleep from hunger was beyond her.

“Doing the rounds, Overlord.” The last time she’d used his name he’d struck her so hard, her jaw had been dislocated. Mag deserved her obedience, but she would prefer to be as far away from his stench as possible. “There were reports of wild dogs raiding the harvest bins and—”

A slashing motion of his hand cut her off before she could make up a phony report. “I’d hope you would have dressed for dinner, since we have company. But the soldier maiden is not without her virtues, eh, Gaul?”

Gritting her teeth together, Allora turned to face the bulbous blond who reached no higher than her chin. And that was without her boots. Gaul smirked up at her. “We were just discussing our possible colony merger. It seems that your group has a bounty of untapped…assets.” He looked directly at her breastplate as he formed the last.

Forcing herself to endure this humiliation, Allora lifted her chin. Would Mag ever tire of playing matchmaker for this swollen troll? Gaul must hold something of value, for every Born woman in the colony had been offered to him as soon as she came of age. First Allora’s two adopted sisters, who had found Born husbands of their choosing, much to Gaul’s irritation. Now, it was her turn.

Turning her cool gaze on Mag she said, “May I consult with you in private, sir?”

He nodded once, blustering out orders to Breds who scurried about refilling food troughs, and clay goblets.

Not even a week back in this place and already the Borns had settled in to their typical sloth-like lifestyles. Allora shook her head, knowing there was nothing she could say to change his stance and knowing she needed to try just the same. “Father, why do you not change the supervisor rotation? We have more than enough—”

Mag slammed his goblet down on a stone table and whirled to face her, backing her up against the tunnel wall. “Shut up or I’ll cut out your impertinent tongue! Born women are not supposed to work at anything other than pleasing their men. We have Bred to do the work and the men will supervise the Bred.”

Allora lifted her chin, though she wasn’t about to meet his bloodshot gaze. “So why was I allowed to be appointed Task Mistress?” She cringed as the question came out, wishing she could call the words back inside and tuck them away.

“Because no Born male in his right mind would have you and your odd ideas!” Mag sniffed and gripped her shoulder. “Lucky for us, Gaul has no mind and a large hive of tunnels we could access if a civil union was in place. Stupid sod sees nothing but a pair of big titties. A word of warning, daughter—learn to curb your tongue because if you ruin my merger I will cut it out.”

Her suspicions confirmed, Allora shrank from his touch. “So I am to be sold off like some prize heifer?”

He wagged his index finger in her face. “You are to be married off in a joining of clans. We are holding a banquet tomorrow night. The official announcement will be made then, so long as all the arrangements have been reached by that time.”

Allora swallowed. “What if I have no wish to wed?”

A muscle ticked in his jaw. “By colony law, that is your right. But, you will be disowned from my family. I doubt any would take in a rootless wench with no kin.” His gaze roved over her in an assessing manner, his sneer telling he found her lacking in every possible way. “Wear something appropriate to your station because you are about to be promoted from Task Mistress to fiancé.”


Click Here to Buy B Cubed Book One: Born

Jenna McCormick’s B Cubed One: Born is our new Romance of the Week!

Jenna McCormick’s B Cubed One: Born is here to sponsor our list of free Romance titles in the Kindle store:

 

by Jenna McCormick
4.7 stars – 3 Reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here’s the set-up:

Born: Natural born humans are precious few and dwell in darkness. Bred: Genetically engineered slaves who are the protectors of the Born. Borg: The cybernetically enhanced enclave that split from the Born humans. These three factions are all that remains of the human race after the world stopped turning. Scavenging in the darkness for what little is left, the war between them rages on though few know why. It begins with a child’s prophesy and can only end when they unite. Or die. B Cubed Book One: Born. From the moment he spies her silhouette cast by the bonfire, Cormack understands what it is to yearn for something he will never possess. Breds are made to provide for the natural born humans, dig their homes deep beneath the surface of the earth and to protect them from the ever-present cyborg threat. A Bred who reaches beyond his station will be recycled immediately, yet Cormack cannot get her visage out of his mind. Until he unearths a box, buried long before the earth stopped spinning. Task Mistress Allora has no wish to brutalize the Bred worker she finds hoarding treasure, but as a servant of the colony that raised her from infancy, she is duty bound to report anything unusual to the Overlord, even if it costs the blue-eyed man his life. Yet something about the way Cormack watches her forces Allora to reevaluate her understanding of right and wrong. For this genetically engineered soldier is her only protection against the cyborgs who seek what they have discovered, a journal written by the prophetess Cassandra and a way to end the warring between the factions forever.

 

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