First up, cover and blurb!
Thieves of Aurion, book 2
Coming Aug 13
Avily Donahoe has dated way too many losers trying get over Jerrick Hunter, the man who taught her everything about the life of crime she left behind. Now he has the balls to show up and ask her to pose as his sub, complete with skimpy leather outfit, to get inside a no-faes-allowed sex club?
Oh, hell no. If anyone’s going to be wearing next to nothing, it’s going to be Jerrick…as her bitch.
Five years ago, Jerrick realized the lonely kid he’d taken under his wing had grown into a tempting, desirable woman—and he’d cut her loose. If gaining her help now means hitting his knees with a leash and a collar, so be it.
But soon their front escalates into an all-too-real erotic game where the prize is the one thing that tantalizes him beyond reason. Their hearts aren’t the only thing they’ll lose if they fail. It could mean the end of everything—and everyone—they know and love.
Warning: This book contains male groveling, the occasional blindfold and feather tickler, wicked sex magic, and a fae thief who isn’t afraid to wear ass-less chaps when the job calls for it.
Every inch of Jerrick’s skin was on fire. Never his favorite sensation to awaken to.
“Welcome back to the living, Mr. Hunter.”
Wooziness blanketing his sluggish brain, Jerrick pried his eyes open and recoiled at the intense light shining in his face. Wincing, he struggled to block the assaulting glare. His arms and legs remained uncooperative, cold metal from the chair beneath him breaching his T-shirt and jeans.
What the bloody hell? He strained against the odd lethargy imprisoning his limbs, and the punishing bite of leather digging into his wrists rewarded his efforts. Disbelief froze him. Why the fuck was he tied to a chair?
Odd fragments of memory skated the edges of his consciousness. Dark parking lot. Metallic jingle of keys hitting pavement. Flash fire of agony igniting his cells. Everything after that remained hazy.
“I apologize for the restraints and the use of the electrolizer gun. Unfortunately, they were my only means of gaining your cooperation.” The same disembodied voice from earlier broke through Jerrick’s puzzle piecing, making him squint against the blinding splash of light.
This man had used a weapon on him? That was the cause of the debilitating pain and his jumbled memory? “You obviously don’t know me worth shit if you think this is going to win my cooperation.” He intended to make that crystal clear in five seconds, once he was free of these bindings.
He tested the strength of the leather restraints and found his captor hadn’t cut corners. Only way out of here would be through his fae magic. Calling up a quick spell to dissolve the bindings, he wrenched his arm. No visible discharge of his magic where there should have been. The restraints remained uncooperative and rigid.
“As you see, the electrolizer has scrambled your conjuring circuits. The effects are completely temporary, I assure you.”
Jerrick slashed a murderous glare in the direction of the light. “Here’s an assurance for you, motherfucker. No weapon in existence will keep me from snapping every bone in your goddamn body.”
“No, Mr. Hunter, I don’t believe you’ll do anything of the sort. Especially since I’m all too willing to make this personal.” Abruptly, the blazing light vanished.
Eyes stinging from the blinding-white pinpricks floating in his vision, Jerrick attempted to track the source of the nearby voice. The shadowy figure moved to the right, and Jerrick’s gaze fell on the individual roped and gagged in the chair adjacent to him. A bare bulb swung on a linked chain, its lazy pirouette illuminating a pale face gaping at Jerrick beneath the sickly trickle of light.
Lex Tarker—Jerrick’s go-between for his most recent heist. Another disjointed memory clicked into place. He’d met Lex earlier at the Twisted Thorn. They were crossing the parking lot moments before the electrolizer sent Jerrick to his knees on the unforgiving pavement.
He grunted. “If it has anything to do with him, you’re shit out of luck. I barely know the guy.”
“No, but I believe you’re well acquainted with Avily Donahoe.”
The calmly sinister statement managed to tear Jerrick’s attention from Lex. He whipped his head around, searching for his captor, but the son of a bitch stood beyond the periphery of his vision.
“She’s a lovely little thing.” The voice echoed ominously, hinting at the vast dimensions of the room. “Shame if an accident befell her.”
Blood iced in Jerrick’s veins. Another fractured memory slipped through the cracks, this time linked to the precise moment before he’d stalked from the restaurant.
Avi. She’d been there. A tempting beacon shining brighter and more off limits than ever. He’d watched her laughing and flirting with her date, the overwhelming desire to stake his impossible claim on her a pounding refrain inside his brain.
Wait, had this son of a bitch been at the restaurant tonight too? Had he hurt Avi? Was she tucked away in another room, scared and defenseless?
Cold rage swept through Jerrick. If anything happened to her, no force on the planet would keep him from tearing his adversary limb from limb.
“Now I’ve got your attention, here’s how this will play out. My associates and I require your assistance with a small matter. Refuse, and the outcome won’t bode well for Ms. Donahoe.”
Every muscle in Jerrick’s body tensed with the desire to rip the bastard apart. “What do you want?”
Hollow footsteps rang directly behind Jerrick. “There’s a man—a scientist—whose work is of extreme interest to us.” Different voice. Male again, but with a lilting accent that marked him of Frittonian descent. Like the other bastard, impossible to tell if he was fae or human.
“Specifically a formula he was in the stages of developing before he met an untimely death,” the other man elaborated. “We need you to steal his formula for us.”
Untimely death, my ass. More than likely this asshole and his colleague had something to do with it. “You want me to break into his lab,” he said flatly.
“Afraid it won’t be that easy.”
When is it ever? Jerrick leaned his head back, but it continued to spin with disturbing images of Avi huddled in some dark, dank place, frightened and alone. Terrifying as that possibility was, there were others he couldn’t even bring himself to consider.
“According to our inside men at Kiantu Laboratories, Casper Winston’s formula never made it to the lab. Which means he worked on it somewhere else. Some place we need you to find.”
“What is this formula?”
“That information is unimportant to your job.”
Jerrick’s patience resembled a brittle twig. One misstep and it’d snap. He hauled in a deep breath, struggling to maintain a modicum of cool. For Avi’s sake, he had to keep his shit together. “How am I supposed to steal something if I don’t know what the fuck I’m looking for?”
“Locate his research files. We’ll take care of the rest.” A whisper of noise sounded to the left. “Do we have your cooperation, Mr. Hunter?”
“Don’t have much choice, do I?” Jerrick stretched his fingers. The strain didn’t ease.
“Glad we understand each other.”