Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Crash Into Me ~ A Love in the City Romance by Dellani Oakes – Part 4


It took time, but he was finally able to get to a remote location on the outskirts of town, near a state park. Tabitha was still asleep, but he approached warily, helmet and goggles on to conceal his face. Taking a pair of wire cutters from his pack, he removed the security catch on the necklace.

Tabitha's eyes flew open. She tried to make a grab for him, only to find she was cuffed to the sink with her arms behind her. Snarling, she jerked her legs. They were attached to the stove on the other side. Both appliances were heavy steel and bolted to the floor.

"I just want the necklace, Princess," he purred, lowering his voice an octave, adding a Midwest accent, which was anything but natural. "I promise to call for help when I'm away. They'll find you in a few hours."

"I'll kill you, you bastard!"

"I apologize for this. I didn't count on the extra paranoia. Bye, Princess." He wanted badly to kiss her, but he was fairly certain she'd bite him. Also, some of the drug might linger on her lips—not to mention, he would deposit his DNA. Controlling his impulse, he gave her a saucy salute and was gone. The road was a little rutted, but the bike could handle it. Taking off with confidence, he was on his way.

Tabitha knew better than to fight the restraints. Trusting the man was telling the truth, she tried to get comfortable, not easy in this position. Despite the awkwardness, she dozed off.


Strange noises and flashing lights woke her sometime after moon rise. The doors of the van flew open and her black dress was dotted with red lasers. A phalanx of SWAT officers faced her.

"Stand down," one of them barked. "You all right, Miss Levi?"

"Yes. I'd kill for a scotch, neat."

The man chuckled as he hopped into the van with a key. Taking the handcuffs from her wrists, he put in an evidence bag and handed off to his second. The cord around her ankles went into another bag.

"You won't find anything on those. They wore gloves."

"You seem very sure." His eyes narrowed.

"I'm former Israeli military. I've been trained to observe."

"Do you think you could describe them?"

Tabitha paused, wondering what to do. Had she been faced with the question the day before, she'd have answered with an immediate yes. Now—he'd kidnapped her, tied her up, and had seen to it she was rescued. He hadn't harmed her, merely taken the necklace, which was heavily insured. The insurance company might cry, but they were well paid in premiums.

"Maybe. They were wearing helmets and goggles."

Why had she indicated more than one? The kidnapper had been alone. But such a job would have to included more people. Probably four or five. Her bet was the catering staff, since he had been her waiter. He'd covered his face and changed his voice, but nothing concealed his proud nose or sensuous mouth.

"Anything you can tell us. Voices, accents—build, height."

"I only talked to one. He was—kind."

"Kind?" the SWAT leader yelled. "He kidnapped you!"

"And set me free."

"He could have killed you!"

"He chose not to! All he wanted was the ruby."

Anton's team was anxious when he arrived at the remote rendezvous spot.

"You're almost two hours late!" Kirby, the chef, yelled.

"Unforeseen circumstances. I had to take the girl."

"What?" Dewey bellowed. He was the chemist who had formulated the knockout drops.

"Chill. I called the cops, and they'll have rescued her by now. And I had to run the necklace through the degauser."

They had all done the same thing with their loot. After an unfortunate robbery a few years ago, the company had placed trackers on all their jewels.

"Where's the hand-off?" Dewey asked.

"He hasn't called me yet." Moments later, his burner phone rang. Only five people had the number. He was with four of them. "Yes?"

"Peanut Museum tomorrow—"

"No way. We do this tonight. Come in the pedestrian entrance to the Peaceful Hill Cemetery. One hour. Don't be late, or I find another buyer."

His men shifted, obviously unhappy with that idea. Anton put a finger to his lips. "Do we have an accord?"

"Yes, damn you."

"No friends. I'm alone, you're alone. I'll know if you lie."

"If you're alone, how will you—?"

Anton hung up. "Dumb ass."

©2021 Dellani Oakes

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Sunday, July 25, 2021

Crash Into Me ~ A Love in the City Romance by Dellani Oakes – Part 3

 


"Are you sure these bikes are for you? They're a lot of heavy metal!"

"No worries, we can handle it. My name's Tony Lewis. Can you set those aside? I'll be by in an hour or so to get them."

"Sure thing!" Of course he'd be accommodating. He'd just made a $5,000 sale.

Anton's conversations with two other bike shops yielded the required number of bikes—four black, one blue. He would take that one. Another shop had the gear he needed for all five, so he started making the rounds in his innocuous blue Ford F-150. A few hours later, he was done. He'd already told his crew about the bikes. After they stopped laughing, they agreed it was a good plan.

The day of the caper started with a soft, dreamy misting of rain. The weather was due to clear before they started, so Anton wasn't worried. He had no contact with his team all day. He trusted them to be in position. If, for any reason, they couldn't be, they knew to contact him. He had chosen a team of men who had worked together before. They knew each other, and there was a bond of trust, which was necessary for this job.

Everything was in position and it was time to get to work. Anton drove to the meeting spot in a caterer's van. His team, dressed as chefs and waiters, joined him. Their bikes were stowed in a special compartment inside. They really were preparing food, with a special ingredient, a knockout drug. It was a low dose which would, they hoped, disable everyone enough for them to do their job. They carried tranquilizer blow darts just in case. Anton prided himself on being a thief, not a killer. He knew how to handle weapons, but had seen bad things happen when criminals carried guns. The blow guns and darts were plastic, as there would be metal detectors at the event.

The target for the night was the famous Tangiers Ruby. The 10 carat stone had a flaw in the center, a shaft of gold which looked like lightning bolt. The stone was priceless, but Butler had offered him ten million to steal it. Two million a man was a tidy sum. They had been paid half up front, at Anton's insistence. If anything went wrong, his men were still left with enough cash to be happy. Anton had a secondary goal, to walk away with as much loot as they could safely gather, and conceal on their persons. Some of the most beautiful gems in the world would be there that night.

The food, prepared by the chef on the team, was ready for circulation. They would use this time to determine potions of the stones they wanted. Models, heavily guarded, were wearing the rubies, diamonds and pearls.

The model chosen to wear the rubies had waist length, sable colored hair and pale skin. Tall and willowy, she had a long, lean throat, perfect for showing off the necklace. Hers was a true black gown, covered in jet black beads. Glittering as she walked, she circulated in a specific, heavily guarded area. No one could get closer than three feet from her. Anton knew, though the crowd didn't, that she wasn't just beautiful, she was lethal. Ex-Israeli military, Tabitha Levi was trained in a variety of combat skills. She didn't need the armed guards, but the insurance company insisted.

The other models were just that, nothing special. But Tabitha, she was unique, incredible. Anton had to admit, he had a bit of a crush. Crazy, as he'd never met her, but he'd studied her extensively; every article, personnel file, audio byte, or video he could find. He watched surreptitiously, as he circulated with trays of food. She noticed, but her eyes flickered past him as if he were part of the furniture. He knew he wasn't, though. Her gaze passed over him often, lingering. It wasn't his imagination—at least he hoped not.

"She made you?" the chef asked quietly, as he took up another tray.

"No."

"She keeps looking at you."

"Yeah." He chuckled.

His next pass, he carried a tray of beverages, near Tabitha's perch. Three uniformed men stood between them. Anton stopped.

"Sorry, guys. I thought the lovely lady might be thirsty. Non-alcoholic, sparkling juice. Scout's honor, not booze." He grinned, winking at her. A slight blush pinked her cheeks when their eyes met.

One guard lifted a glass from the tray, sniffed it and handed it to Tabitha. Anton offered drinks to the men, expecting them to refuse. Tabitha sipped her drink and smiled.

"Have some, boys. He's telling the truth."

They all accepted graciously, if gruffly. Taking his empty tray to the kitchen, Anton counted down the seconds. Since timing was everything, their glasses had been treated on the rim with the odorless, tasteless drug. Even if they didn't finish their drinks, merely touching it to their lips was enough.

A surprised gasp escaped a few throats as the first guests fell. The exclamation grew louder when others began to drop. A few were left standing, these got the dart.

Anton and the chef, rushed to Tabitha to remove her necklace, to find it was fastened with a special catch. Rather than waiting to undo it, Anton carried her, to the catering van. The others made a fast sweep of the room, finding easy pickings between models and guests. Seven minutes later, they'd filled their packs and shed their uniforms. Each wore biking gear beneath. From the crate, they got goggles and helmets. Uniforms and other gear, went into the packs. Kickstands up, they were gone. Anton was left with Tabitha, and her tricky necklace. He gave her another dose of the drug, securing her in the van. His heart fluttered. He'd never kidnapped anyone before. He was a thief, and prided himself on never doing harm. Feeling he had no choice, he drove away from the museum with his glittering cargo.

©2021 Dellani Oakes

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Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Crash Into Me ~ A Love in the City Romance by Dellani Oakes – Part 2

 

Popping open a beer, he wandered through his house. On the surface, it might seem like he was relaxed and unwary, but that was far from the truth. The beer bottle touched his lips, but he didn't drink. A small pistol rested in his other hand as he examined the house. It was as he'd anticipated—empty. In his business, it was always good to check.

Satisfied he was alone, he warmed some dinner and drank his beer. Images flashed through his mind, as he continued to refine details. It was an advantage he had over his contemporaries, the ability to memorize even the most intricate details. All he had to do was see the blueprints once, and he had it for life. It was the same with any surveillance. There was no need for surreptitious photography, he collected the details in his mind, leaving no incriminating evidence to dispose of.

His phone rang. Glancing at the screen, he gave it a swipe with his thumb. He didn't speak first, leaving that burden to the other person.

"We need to talk," the sharp, supercilious woman's voice snapped.

"Hello to you, too. To what do I owe this call?"

She snorted and he could picture her rolling her eyes. "The talking...."

"Talk."

"In person."

"I'm not available right now. I'm out of town."

"What?" her voice became flat and toneless. "But we need to talk, A—" she'd almost said his name. He had very strict rules about that.

"Oh, gotcha." He chuckled. "That kind of talk."

He would have liked to communicate with Clarise as well, but non-verbally, until the end when she screamed his name.

"I'm sorry, my lovely. Work."

"Don't tell me. I don't want to know," the sharpness was back.

"Do you like the gifts I've given you?"

She sniffed—also sharp. Clairise had the most expressive nostrils of anyone he knew.

"Because, if I don't work, I can't buy the things you enjoy. You have expensive tastes." This was one thing he liked, and loathed, about her. He'd begun to feel the need to cut the ties. But not mid-job.

She didn't know details of his work, but knew it was slightly shady. He never told her anything, never introduced her to his friends—not that he had many. Anton was a man who preferred his solitude. It was easier, and safer, than lying. In his early days, he'd said he did online trading. Not a complete lie, he built his own portfolio. After a couple people demanded his services, he quit saying that.

"Fine," Clarise had a pout in her voice. "Whatever. I miss you," her voice softened.

"I miss you, too," But not enough to go home. He wasn't all that far from her—the other side of the city, in the next county. However, he'd said he was out of town. If he went to her now.... Not worth it. The sex was good, not spectacular. She wasn't shy, and enjoyed experimental sex, which had kept him around longer than usual. There was no emotional connection, though. Many times, like now, he didn't even like her much.

"I need to go," he said simply.

"When will you be back?"

"Sometime next week."

"I really miss you."

"What's going on, Clarise?"

"Nothing." she hung up.

"Annoying woman!" Holding the phone in both hands, he strangled it. She brought out that impulse a lot. At least he never acted on it, preferring to take it out on inanimate objects. He'd already started to cut ties with her. There was nothing to keep him in town. He could work from anywhere. After this job, he would lie low for a few months. Here, was as good as anywhere.

Finding himself hungry and at loose ends, he set out for a nearby town to get a meal. He was far enough into the country that restaurants wouldn't deliver. Instead of his sports car, he grabbed the keys for his pickup truck. Driving to Franklin, he stopped at the Sonic and had a meal in his car. Once he was back home, he went through his security routine again and got ready for bed. Locking his bedroom door, he lay down and was almost instantly asleep.

Morning sunshine washed the bedroom in a golden glow. He didn't have to be up yet, so he snuggled deep in the bed again, smiling as he found the right spot. An hour or so later, he got ready for the day, and set about finding the last element to make his plan work. A search on his phone gave him a list of numbers to call.

"Hi, I'm calling to see if you have any Raleigh Stuntman bikes for men?"

"I do. I've got three, red, blue and black. Which color...."

"Well, to be honest, I'm buying them for our bike club. I need five."

"Oh, man. I can't get any for a few weeks. It took nearly a month to get these."

"Tell ya what. I'll take the blue and black ones. Our team colors are blue and black."

"I hope that's not indicative of your riding style," the man laughed.

"Sadly, it kinda is. A couple of us are real clumsy."

©2021 Dellani Oakes

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Sunday, July 18, 2021

Crash Into Me ~ A Love in the City Romance by Dellani Oakes – Part 1

The black sports car zipped through traffic like a grasshopper on a hot skillet. Finding a space, it cut off a car in the middle lane, a truck on the left, and finally charged across two lanes to the right. Surprisingly, no one honked or even seemed perturbed by the behavior. Taking the change in traffic flow in stride, they kept going.

Seated behind the wheel of the black car, Anton Pepper concentrated on moving through the maze of vehicles as quickly as possible. Intent on his destination, he hardly noticed the cars he passed. To him, they were mere blips on the horizon, obstacles to get around. Reaching a less congested area, he stepped on the gas, and his Spyder leaped forward.

Schematics, blueprints, floor plans, time tables, equipment, everything was prepped and ready. Now, it was a waiting game. Timing was second only to patience. His phone rang and he answered with his hands free device.

"Yes?"

"We set?" the gruff voice demanded.

"Do I tell you how to do your job?"

"What?"

"Do I nag you?"

"What? No!"

"Then afford me the same consideration."

"I just want—"

"You hired me to do a job.

"And I paid you a shit ton of money."

"Which I'm earning. Trust me to do the job you hired me for. Don't micromanage, and no further contact."

"Ant—"

"And don't say my name!" He hung up. It was a mistake letting the client get involved, but Rick Butler had insisted on being part of the caper. He got off on the adrenaline rush of planning a job. He wouldn't pay for equipment unless Anton included him in the planning. He wanted to be in on the actual heist, but Anton refused. That didn't stop Rick from being a pain in the ass about it.

Anton normally wouldn't have taken such a job, but after meeting Rick, he knew he had to. The man was reckless, dangerous. Anton could curtail his more violent impulses, where another man might not be able to. The target presented an interesting challenge, and the pay was good. Taking Butler out of play was cream.

Anton was convinced that Rick would do something stupid, run his mouth at the wrong time, or possibly tell their plans on purpose, in order to enjoy their downfall. He was a thrill seeker with the heart of a trembling mouse. Because of this, Anton and his team had other plans that Butler wasn't privy to.

Making a final long, diagonal cross from left to right, Anton took the exit at high speed. Tapping his brakes, he took the nearly 360 degree cloverleaf turn faster than the posted limit, but expensive tires held the road with ease.

Reaching the downtown area, he slowed to a near crawl as he merged onto the congested street. Glancing at his clock, he made a mental note of the time. Quick calculations made him curse. Still too long. As he'd been saying all along, escape by car was extremely risky. Rick insisted. Anton suspected he wanted to be the getaway driver, but there was no way in hell that would happen. Equally as unlikely, an escape by car at all. This was going to require finesse. He'd love a helicopter, but was sure Rick would refuse—or, God forbid, want to fly it himself.

The car ahead of him screeched to a halt at an intersection. Their light was green, but a person on a bike peddled slowly across. Though others around him cursed, Anton smiled. Here was his solution. Bikes were easier to conceal than get away cars. They were light, maneuverable, and not hard to dispose of. The snarl of city traffic was nothing for a man on a bike. His team members were all athletic. A bike ride to a designated area, one free from the traffic snarl, would be nothing.

If the gig went as planned, they would be in and out so quickly, they'd have plenty of time to blend into the landscape. Smiling, his mind clicking into high gear, Anton left the city, heading to a house in the country.

Not exactly the suburbs, the house was surrounded by farms on three sides. Across the street was another home, set far back from the road. Covered in white tongue and groove siding, it was the original farmhouse in the area. As the years passed, the family sold off parcels of land. His property was from one of these sales.

Shortly before moving in, he'd made sure to introduce himself to the two elderly ladies across the street. The Roeder Sisters, Cynthia and Lydia, were delighted to meet such a handsome young man. While they shared tea and cookies, they filled his ears with local gossip. He might have started by meeting them for his own selfish reasons, but he found himself very fond of the two elderly spinsters. He had always had a firm policy of getting to know his neighbors. Some of his criminal colleagues thought he was crazy, preferring to keep a low profile, but he thought that made him look more suspicious. On several occasions, being the good neighbor had kept him out of trouble.

He pulled into his circular drive and clicked his garage door opener. The door scrolled up and he drove in, shutting the door before turning off his engine. Once it was closed, he let himself into the house. The alarm beeped as he shut the door, locking it once more.

©2021 Dellani Oakes

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Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Introducing Crash Into Me ~ A Love in the City Romance

I started this story when I was visiting my daughter, due to a hurricane. I didn't have a computer with me, so I sat down with a spiral notebook and pen. Usually, when I start a story this way, I type it out and finish on the computer. However, this story was flowing so quickly from my pen, I decided to finish it by hand. Boy, did it take a long time to type up! The method seemed to work, because I got this wonderful, intricate story from it.

Originally, it was set in the Suffolk, Virginia area (since that's where I was when I started writing) but I changed it up to take place in my city – hence its inclusion in the Love in the City Romance Series.

I hope you enjoy Crash Into Me!

~ Dellani


Excerpt from Crash Into Me ~ A Love in the City Romance by Dellani Oakes

The black sports car zipped through traffic like a grasshopper on a hot skillet. Finding a space, it cut off a car in the middle lane, a truck on the left, and finally charged across two lanes to the right. Surprisingly, no one honked or even seemed perturbed by the behavior. Taking the change in traffic flow in stride, they kept going.

Seated behind the wheel of the black car, Anton Pepper concentrated on moving through the maze of vehicles as quickly as possible. Intent on his destination, he hardly noticed the cars he passed. To him, they were mere blips on the horizon, obstacles to get around. Reaching a less congested area, he stepped on the gas, and his Spyder leaped forward.

Schematics, blueprints, floor plans, time tables, equipment, everything was prepped and ready. Now, it was a waiting game. Timing was second only to patience. His phone rang and he answered with his hands free device.

"Yes?"

"We set?" the gruff voice demanded.

"Do I tell you how to do your job?"

"What?"

"Do I nag you?"

"What? No!"

"Then afford me the same consideration."

"I just want—"

"You hired me to do a job.

"And I paid you a shit ton of money."

"Which I'm earning. Trust me to do the job you hired me for. Don't micromanage, and no further contact."

"Ant—"

"And don't say my name!"

Monday, July 12, 2021

Under the Western Sky is a story that could have easily been ripped from today's headlines only it takes place in the 1970's ~ Under the Western Sky by Dellani Oakes

  Som

Now on half price SALE at Smashwords!

It's small town Nebraska in the late 1970's and life in the small Midwestern town is quiet and uneventful. That's what Libby Marshall and Bobby Menedez think until Bobby's cousin, Ramon is beaten by a group of white boys. Racial tension is high after the beating and it's soon revealed that something quite evil lies hidden Under the Western Sky.



Bobby Menendez has it tough, he is a Mexican teenager in a small town that has more than its share of racial tension. On top of that, he is dating Libby Marshal, a blond hair blue eyed white girl. This doesn't go unnoticed by the local bigots who are determined to make Bobby's life and everyone he loves, hell. Betrayed by his best friend, Bobby is left to face his enemies on his own all the while trying to protect Libby.

A plan is hatched and traitors close in on all sides while unlikely allies appear to fight at Bobby's side. Secrets are exposed and the people Bobby thought he knew, reveal their true nature. In an effort to protect themselves and preserve their "perfect" town, it is decided Bobby must die. This is when all hell breaks loose!

Under the Western Sky is a story that could have easily been ripped from today's headlines only it takes place in the 1970's. I could almost hear the hiss from the turntable as the Santana record played while Bobby and Libby danced together. Dellani Oakes does an awesome job at depicting the era as well as the issues that plagued that period.

Under the Western Sky is filled with action, romance and suspense which will leave readers glued to the pages or eReader which ever you prefer. I give it 5 stars.



Good read with a strong female lead ~ Chance - A Novel: Psychological Thriller (Sydney Jones Series Book 2) by Carolyn Bowen

  



They took her lover. Getting him back could be the last thing she ever does…

High-powered Atlanta attorney Sydney Jones never backs down from a case. So when her bodyguard and boyfriend is accused of murder, she’s determined to fight for him in court. Instead, the charges are suddenly dismissed, and he vanishes without a trace…

Suspecting CIA involvement, Sydney takes on a lawsuit with Chinese Black Society ties and finds a startling connection to her missing man. But as she digs deeper, she discovers that someone may kill to keep the secret.

Will this dangerous cat-and-mouse game reveal the truth or put a bullet in Sydney’s head?

Chance is the second book in the Sydney Jones psychological thriller trilogy. If you like fearless heroines, page-turning action, and shocking twists, then you’ll love Carolyn Bowen’s gripping story.



Review of Chance by Carolyn Bowen

Chance is a gripping psychological thriller that takes the lid off the underbelly of Atlanta, Georgia, the various cultures at play, the sleaze, the Chinese mafia. Adding to the intrigue, the involvement of the CIA. Meet tough, no-nonsense lawyer Sydney Jones, her beefy bodyguard-lover Walker and washed-up rock star Roxanne who attempts to lure Walker back to her side and ends up accidentally dead for her trouble. I particularly enjoyed the complexity of Sydney’s unexpected and unwanted pregnancy.

The narrative has a strong forward drive that makes for very fast reading. Written in third person personal, the story flits seamlessly from character to character in a fluid jump cut style, an approach that takes a moment to get used to but works well. Bowen’s pastiche of character-led vignette’s adds to the tension, lending a sense of urgency. Sacrificed is the deep point of view of the contemporary thriller – this technique applies especially to psychological thrillers – and Chance is light on dialogue and long action scenes, again, key drivers of the thriller genre. Nevertheless, Bowen has deployed a narrative style that captures the reader and keeps them turning the pages until the very end. Well written with good plotting and pacing and enough intrigue and twists to keep you on your toes, Chance will keep you guessing, waiting for the pay off at the end. Recommended to those after a lighter read in the thriller genre. Chance will also appeal to those after strong female leads.

Review by Isobel Blackthorn


Soulless and exiled from Heaven the Dark Knights have spent millennia protecting humanity ~ His Soul to Save (Dark Knights of Heaven Book 3) by TW Knight

     




Soulless and exiled from Heaven the Dark Knights have spent millennia protecting humanity from Lucifer and his demons. But the longer they live the closer they come to joining Lucifer’s ranks in Hell. Their only hope is to find their soul keepers, and love. After an attack by a demon left her injured and weak Amber Fitzpatrick welcomed the attention and caring of her rescuer Jacob—until he turned into an abusive monster. The night Amber flees the possessive, extraordinarily toxic relationship Jacob reveals his true demonic nature. Zach has more than Lucifer’s minions to contend with. Each day brings him closer to Hell. For fifty years he’s walked the thin line between sanity and giving in to his dark urges. Urges that go against his calling as a healer and a teacher. Every battle drives him closer to the edge, feeds his inner demon and pushes him to find a permanent solution to death. When Zach meets Amber he sees a chance for salvation. But Amber’s experience with Jacob makes her afraid to start any kind of relationship with Zach, especially discovering he’s not that different then the man she walked away from. Can she set her fear aside and save Zach before she loses him to the darkness forever?




5 Star Review of His Soul to Save by TW Knight

Another great installment in the Dark Knights of Heaven. While the book could stand on its own, I strongly recommend reading it after the previous two. It really does help put all of the pieces of the puzzle in the right places since there are a lot of plot points that tie to the previous books. It’s one of the traits of the series I love. Everything ties together. No characters ever really leave once they’ve had their chance to shine.

Overall, this is my favorite Knight by far. I am a sucker for a tortured soul and the fact that Zach is also incredibly smart, caring and wears glasses just makes him even more lovable. I spent a good part of the book wanting to do nothing but hug him.

Amber is a fantastic heroine. The way she’s introduced to everything and how she reacts is that of a new reader to the series. To me, it seems like Amber is the woman I’d be if in that same situation. She’s strong, caring and stubborn. She refuses to be left out of her own life any longer. Love a strong female lead and you’ll love her.

His Soul to Save

T W Knight has done it again! This book is every bit as good as the first two! It brings Zach and Amber together to help fight the devil and protect the rest of their "family". The devil is determined to pull another fallen angel into the darkness but has seriously underestimated their strength to resist! Will he finally win or will he be set back on his heels to lick his wounds again? I experienced every emotion while reading this book! I laughed at the characters and cried for them! I cursed and held my breathe!! I love TW Knight's style of writing and look forward to reading more from her!

Left Me Again Wanting More!

Just as His Soul to Hold and His Soul to Keep, you'll be putting off those household chores to turn the page! Round three in the Dark Knights, TW Knight does it again. A glass of wine, a comfy blanket and a copy of His Soul to Save made a whacky winter tolerable


Sunday, July 11, 2021

Fragrance Lingers ~ A Love in the City Romance by Dellani Oakes – Part 39

 


"Great! I'll race you! Winner gets the first back rub!" He took off before she had a chance to react and was halfway up the stairs before she took the first step.

"No fair, you cheated!"

"All's fair in love and back rubs," he chided her as he slipped off his jacket and started to unbutton his shirt. "But if it will make you happy, I'll rub your back first."

"Great!" She took her coat off and pulled her turtleneck sweater over her head.

Cole came over, rubbed his hands up and down her back as if drying them on a towel. "Okay, you got the first back rub. Now it's my turn."

"Cheap, very cheap! Okay, Mister. Pants off and lie on the bed."

He dropped his pants and she pushed him face down on the bed, straddling his muscular thighs. She started to rub his back and felt the tension under her hands. He sighed deeply as she continued her massage.

"You aren't falling asleep on me, are you?"

"No, I promise. Damn that feels good! I didn't realize how much I was feeling the last few days, until now."

As she rubbed, he told her everything that had happened to him, and how he'd managed to get there. When he was finished, she told him everything that had gone on with her.

She rubbed and kneaded awhile longer until he wiggled beneath her. She got up on her knees and he rolled over pulling her back down. She could feel him firm between her legs, the thin material of her panties and his boxers separated them. She burned inside for him.

"Mara," his throat was tight. "God, I've missed you!"

"Me too, Cole!"

"Promise me something."

"Anything!"

"We won't be apart again. Not ever."

"I want that too, Cole. More than anything. Kiss me and make the world go away."

"I can do that." He grinned, kissing her for all he was worth.

Cole tried to keep himself under control. He had missed her so much, anticipating this moment, that he wanted to take all of her in at once. That would have been selfish, so he slowed down, finding new ways to delight her. Her enthusiastic moans told him he'd been successful.

Completely satiated, they lay side by side, clinging to one another happily. Cole let his fingers trail over her body, tracing circles down her back and thighs.

"I had no idea I would ever miss anyone as much as I missed you," he told her. "Every second of my trip was worth it, just to be with you again."

"I never even dreamed I'd have someone like you," she told him shyly. "I thought my life was full with a great career and a wonderful family. I didn't think I needed or even wanted a man. It took you to prove me wrong," she smiled and kissed his forehead.

"I don't ever want us to be apart again, Mara. I want to wake up every morning with you beside me."

"Me too, Cole."

"But you're tied to the job, babe. How are we going to work around that?"

She smiled, kissing him sweetly, deeply, fully. "I've already been thinking about that," she told him. "Phoebe and I are going to start our own firm. She's been by my side all this time, I owe her that."

"Where would you set up your office?"

She snuggled closer to him, pulling him tightly against her. "I was thinking here, to be near family."

"Oh," he looked down, not meeting her eyes.

"With a branch office anywhere you'll be," she smiled.

Cole looked up at her, his eyes sparkling. "You mean that?"

"I go where you go. I wouldn't have it any other way."

They kissed a long time, savoring one another's lips.

"I'll need to contact some people I know, for financial backing. Doing this won't be cheap."

"Look no further. " He gazed confidently in her eyes. "Red and I will be your backers. In fact, I know some other people who would gladly finance your new enterprise."

"Really? Oh, Cole, I couldn't ask you for money...."

"Think of it as an investment in our new life together. You don't have to ask me for a thing. I give it to you freely."

He kissed her again, his body warming to their embrace. He made love to her again, confident now that everything was somehow going to work out right. Afterward, the scent of her perfume clung to him. Inhaling deeply, the fragrance lingered in his nostrils, as he fell into a contented sleep.


THE END

©2021 Dellani Oakes

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Wednesday, July 07, 2021

Fragrance Lingers ~ A Love in the City Romance by Dellani Oakes – Part 38

 


Kirk took his cue from Cissy, and rose taking the bill from the table. "My treat," he said. "I know you ladies invited me, but I've had such a great time, I insist."

"Kirk, I was thinking it's still early. Maybe we could go out for drinks? I know this really quaint pub around the corner from my apartment."

"I'd like that, Cissy. Nice meeting you both," he spoke rapidly as Cissy pulled him toward the cash register.

Mara and Cole waved absently, eyes only for one another. He leaned in, kissing her gently, his touch full of meaning.

"Did you like the song?"

"I loved the song," she told him honestly. "I was thrilled with the song and the flowers. Thank you."

"You're welcome, Mara."

"You'll be the talk of the office for the next five years," she told him.

He chuckled softly, brushing hair out of her face. "Let's split, Mara. I just want to get you alone."

"Oh, I'll have to go by Toby's first and run to the hospital." She explained about the baby being born.

"Can't one of your brothers do it?"

"I suppose, I didn't think to ask them."

"Ask. Please?" His eyes held so many promises, she couldn't refuse.

She called Paul who agreed to feed the pets and get the suitcases for Toby and Olivia.

"Have fun, sis!" He lowered his voice to a whisper. "Go be bad."

"Thanks, bro!" she giggled, blushing deeply.

Mara and Cole drove at a leisurely pace to her apartment. As they passed buildings she'd worked on, she pointed them out to him proudly. When they reached her building, he parked in front of it.

"This is my masterpiece," she told him. "This building made my career."

"You live here?" He was amazed. It was an incredible edifice that had been refurbished to perfection.

"Yes, up there." She pointed to the top floor. "The entire floor is mine. I call it my penthouse. Come see!"

She unlocked the street door and they entered a foyer that had been made to look like the original warehouse office. The next door opened into a wide hallway with hardwood floors and wainscoting. A crystal chandelier hung from the ceiling.

"Believe it or not, that was found in a closet full of junk on the top floor. We never found out where it came from, but it was too beautiful to pass up." She led him to the broad, curved staircase.

"This stairway actually came from a condemned brothel down by the bay. The building was too messed up to even think of renovating, so we did some very judicious salvaging. It was built the same year as this building, by the same contractor. We couldn't do any better than that."

"It's a walk up?" He gazed at the stairs despondently.

"No, there's an elevator, but I thought you'd like to see the staircase."

Cole looked around, hands deep in his pockets. "Okay, I've seen it. Where's the elevator? I'm not a patient man, Mara."

"This way, oh impatient one." She took his hand and led him to the elevator. "It's the freight elevator but it's been rebuilt and brought up to code. We couldn't keep much but the grate. The rest was eaten through by termites."

The elevator was hand operated and took a few moments to get warmed up enough to move past a slow crawl.

"Maybe the stairs would have been faster," Cole teased as they finally got to her floor.

"Close your eyes," Mara told him. "I want to surprise you. When I decided to buy this, I made it to suit myself. Wait till you see!"

Cole obediently closed his eyes and allowed himself to be led into the apartment. She closed the heavy metal door behind them with a clang.

"Open!"

The room was on three levels and went all the way to the roof. The first level was the living room, kitchen and dining area. The second was the office and TV room and the third was her bedroom. A metal staircase zigzagged up to the top floor and a small spiral stair led out to the roof. The city sounds were muffled up here, making them seem very far away.

Everything was stark and modern in dark metal, wood and glass. The kitchen had a central island with a sink and gas stove built in. The range was separate, in the opposite wall. A steel side by side refrigerator nestled snugly by a large pantry.

"The pantry doors are from a saloon leftover from the river boat days. I found them in pieces and had them rebuilt. All the original pieces were there. It fit together like a jigsaw puzzle."

"This place is fantastic, Mara! It's incredible!" He looked around for a few moments, completely awed. He walked to the staircase and trotted up to the next floor, looking around as if he was searching for something.

"What's wrong, Cole? Can I help you?"

"Yes," he told her flatly, standing with his hands on his hips. "Where the hell is the bedroom?"

"Up there" She pointed to the second flight of steps.

©2021 Dellani Oakes

To Buy Dellani's Books

Tuesday, July 06, 2021

If you want a good, steamy read, "A Night In Daytona Beach" is a good buy and a good read ~ One Night in Daytona Beach: #17 in Tirgearr Publishing's City Nights Series by Dellani Oakes


He hadn't seen her in 10 years, but there she was, dressed in black leather, straddling the Harley. Draven Wick is back home, on a break from filming his vampire themed TV show, when he spots Jamie Humphrey at a Bike Week raffle. The love of his teen life, Draven never thought he'd see her again. Rekindling their romance after 10 years is the easy part. Unfortunately, Draven has been blamed for the death of a notorious bike gang leader. Staying ahead of the police, and the biker gang bent on revenge, takes Jamie and Draven to the brink of disaster.





Who writes a strip tease scene with Marilyn Manson playing in the background? Author Dellani Oakes that’s who! This is by far my favorite book she’s written yet! . . . the story is thrilling with bikers, sex and witty dialog that most romance/erotic books lack. IMHO. If you want a good, steamy read, "A Night In Daytona Beach" is a good buy and a good read. ~ Christina

• • •

"Full Throttle" engine pounding mystery & Sexual Encounters of the Best Kind!
One Night in Daytona Beach is a whirlwind adventure of skimpy, black leather clad Biker Chicks and badass Gangs enjoying Biker Week in the famous Florida locale. Author Dellani Oakes’ novel will take you into the underground world of motorcycle gangs and hot, raw sex. This story is “Full Throttle” engine pounding mystery and sexual encounters! ~ Sleepless in San Carlos

• • •

I thoroughly enjoyed this well-written, steamy, fast paced novel! Having been in Daytona Beach during the approach of Bike Week, it was fun to read a story set there; full of motorcycles and nasty bike gangs, intertwined with the romantic reunion of two former lovers! Ms. Oakes is a talented author with a gift for description and dialogue, and I look forward to reading more of her stories!! ~ Sherrill S. Cannon



Old Time Religion ~ A Love in the City Romance by Dellani Oakes – Part 5

"This is Ms. Whitley. Her mother's a parishioner at St. Blase. I'm filling in for Father Charlie today." "Yeah, I h...