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Release Date:†31st March, 2014

Severed Angel (Severed MC #1) by K.T. Fisher & Ava Manello

Published By: KBK Publishing

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Eve could never have imagined that her trip to Australia, where she is set to be maid of honor for her best friend's wedding, could turn from exciting to deadly so quickly.

Her sheltered and boring vanilla life comes to a screeching halt when she arrives in Australia and witnesses a shocking MC murder which puts her life in extreme danger. The Carnal MC are a dangerous and savage motorcycle gang who want Eve and will stop at nothing to seek their revenge.

Just when it seems her nightmare fate is sealed, Eve is rescued by the Severed MC and quickly falls for the club's Vice President Gabe aka "Angel". This could be just the diversion she needs. With her new protectors, Eve faces a whole new life she never could have imagined...

Gabe never wanted an old lady. One look at the beautiful Eve cowering at the hands of the enemy changes all that. Starting a war with the Carnal MC and having Eve in his bed is just the beginning.

When Gabe stakes his claim, he goes all in. War with Carnal MC is just the price of making Eve his, and only his. But love invites blood and tragedy in an MC's life.

Just when it's looking up for his MC and his new woman, a savage attack blows the lid off everything. Revenge possessed and determined can the hot tattooed biker save her from the danger that lies ahead?


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I slowly walk in the direction of the noise. I have no idea why, snooping didn't exactly do me any favors the last time. There are a few more doors down here, one door is slightly open and I can tell it's a pool room. There are three pool tables spread around and I find the reason behind the noise.

I've only ever been with one man at a time, in fact I've only ever been with douche-bag, but this girl has three.

My brain races with the possibilities of what three men could do to my body.† After reading so many erotica books Iíve certainly fantasized about the things Iíve read, but itís nothing compared to actually seeing it happen right in front of you.† Where Iím standing is dark, so even if they look upÖ they wonít be able to see me.† At least I hope not!

The woman is naked, legs spread wide and laying on her back on the table.† One man has his head buried between her thighs, another thrusting his cock deep in her mouth at the edge of the table, and the third is licking her nipples from the other side.

The sight is highly erotic and I'm immediately turned on. My eyes widen when they stop, flipping the girl over, dragging her down the table so one of the men can sit at its edge with her straddling his lap. The others take their positions, one behind her, the other standing above them all, giving the girl perfect access to his hard cock. Her moan fills the room as the three enter her, bumping and thrusting. I fight my own hands, biting on my lip. I am so turned on right now, I don't know what to do with myself. I think about running back to my room and taking care of myself, but I can't turn my eyes away from the scene acting out in front of me.

I catch movement to my side, shocked to see Angel glaring at me. "Like what you see?"

I stare wide eyed, I don't know what to say. I'm embarrassed he's caught me watching. He curses, looking back to the foursome.† The girlís moaning becomes louder and I step back. I'm still turned on, my underwear is soaked, even though I'm ashamed at being caught watching. Angel looks at me, snickering before storming into the room. What the fuck is he doing?†

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KTK.T Fisher

I love reading, it's my favourite hobby. I've always had ideas for my own books packed into my head so I thought I would write them out for people to enjoy

Stalk K.T. Fisher




Severed MC Australia

Ava ImageAva Manello

Passionate reader, blogger, publisher, and author. I love nothing more tag helping other Indie authors publish their books be that reviewing, beta reading, formatting or proofreading,

I love erotic suspense that's well written and engages the reader, and I love promoting the heck out of it over on my book blog.

I'm married, a mother, but most of all I'm me!

Stalk Ava Manello


Twitter: @AvaManello



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We're giving away one $10 Amazon GIft Card and one $5 Amazon Gift Card. †2 runners up will receive signed Severed Angel postcards.

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Severed Angel Full


What do you do when you come face to face with the devil know as Satan, fearing for your life.  Then in the next breathe come face to face with an Angel that will protect you with all that he is.

Eve, single mom from London, on a month long trip to Australia for her best friend  Teresa’s wedding to the President of Severed MC club.  Not following directions to the MC Clubhouse like she should, Eve ends up in the wrong town.  She is the only witness to an unspeakable crime.  Now in hiding at Severed MC Clubhouse, she learns what how life truly is as an MC Princess.

Angel/Gabe VP of Severed MC is sent to find Eve after she is lost.  He has an undeniable attraction and desire to protect her.  He hasn’t felt this strong for a female in the past 5 years.  He is use to getting what he needs from the club whores.  Unsure what to do Angel tries to keep his distance from Eve at the Clubhouse but as the threat to her life comes to a head, Angel will do anything to protect her.

As the clubhouse is placed on lockdown, Eve and Angel must learn to deal with their feeling for each other.  Can Eve give her whole heart to Angel?  Can Angel deal with the demons that consume his past and come face to face with the one true evil, Satan?

As an MC book lover, I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  There was just enough drama in all directions to keep you intrigued as to what would happen next.  Looking forward to book 2 in this series. 

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Truth Or Dare
Lea Baker fell in love with Colby Davis four years ago. The problem? He sees her as one of the guys.
After the party from hell, both of them will be forced to face their true feelings for one another. Once the truth comes out, everything changes.

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About Sloan Johnson
sloanSloan Johnson is a big city girl trapped in a country girl’s body. While she longs for the hustle and bustle of New York City or Las Vegas, she hasn’t yet figured out how to sit on the deck with her morning coffee, watching the deer and wild turkeys in the fields while surrounded by concrete and glass.

When she was three, her parents received their first call from the principal asking them to pick her up from school. Apparently, if you aren’t enrolled, you can’t attend classes, even in Kindergarten. The next week, she was in preschool and started plotting her first story soon after.

Later in life, her parents needed to do something to help their socially awkward, uncoordinated child come out of her shell and figured there was no better place than a bar on Wednesday nights. It’s a good thing they did because this is where she found her love of reading and writing. Who needs socialization when you can sit alone in your bedroom with a good book?
Now, Sloan is a tattooed, purple haired mom of two kids, one of which was a thank you present to her husband for letting her get a Staffordshire Terrier with more anxiety issues than Sloan has, which is saying something. She’s been kicked out of the PTA in two school districts and is no longer asked to help with fundraisers because she’s been known to lose herself in a good book and forget that she has somewhere to be.

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As a novella, enjoyed seeing how Lea and Colby came to terms with their feelings for each other.

Lea has been in love with her best friend Colby for years.  She has not had the courage to tell him how she feels.  She’s been sitting back watching him date all the other girls in town.  She wishes he felt the same way but will not jeopardize her friendship with him for the sake of her heart.

Colby best friends and roommate to Lea needs to leave town so that Lea can find a man worthy of her.  He thinks she deserves so much more than he can give her.  Although he won’t admit his feeling for her.  He loves her enough to leave town.  He would also rather have her as his best friend than lose that with a romantic relationship.  

Once they admit that they love each other, they are given a few weeks before Colby has to make a decision to move to Nashville to follow his dreams and leave Lea at home while she finished school.  Will their love be able to handle a long distance relationship?

Super cute novella.  They were both intriguing characters.  Maybe a little stubborn to admit their true feeling for each other but enjoyed the story.  Of course when things were getting good the book was over.  Just leaving you wanting more of Lea and Colby.

Men of Inked Series Book #1
Suzy’s a control freak and has her life mapped out - work hard, find a man with a stable job, and live happily ever after. She’s content with the status quo, but her plan comes to a screeching halt when he enters her life and turns it upside down.

City gave up on love when his heart was crushed in college, preferring to be the typical bachelor. He spends his nights hopping from one bed to another and his days working at his family tattoo shop, Inked. A chance encounter on a dark road makes him question what he had sworn off forever – a relationship.

A night of passion and lust causes them to question everything. Is City the knight in shining armor to the damsel in distress? Can their relationship survive when a fantasy falls apart and a secret comes out that changes everything?
“Do you swear?” I asked as she set the glass back on the bar.
“What?” She gaped at me.
“Do you swear? Simple question. You’ve said ‘heck’ and ‘friggin’’ so far, but nothing dirty.”
“Oh, um, yeah, I swear.” Her cheeks turned pink and a small smile spread across her face. “I’m just used to watching my words with the kids around all day.”
“Prove it,” I said as I stared in her blue sapphire eyes.
“What? Why?”
“Cause I need to know if it’s in you. Are you all good girl or is there more under there dying to come out?” I hid the smile and laughter that was so close to breaking free from my lips. The pink of her cheeks spread across her face. I know I embarrassed her, but fuck, I needed to know if I stood a chance.
“Yes, I swear. What do you think I am? I’m not a child, City.” She glared at me as she raised the drink to her lips and wrapped them around the rim. Fuck I wanted those lips wrapped around my shaft, taking me deep and sucking me off.
“Never said you were, babe. Do you drink besides tonight?” I asked, now smiling because I knew she was upset. I liked the fire I saw in her eyes when I pointed out her good girl qualities – she obviously didn’t like being labeled.
“Sometimes. I’m just responsible. I don’t drink and drive. My dad used to be a cop and it was drilled into my head at an early age.” The words she spoke hit me like a ton of bricks. Drunk driving was the one thing in the world that caused my blood to boil.
Good girl teacher with a cop father? Just my luck. “Nothin’ wrong with that. Virgin daiquiris aren’t always your thing, then?”
“Why? Do I have to be a drinker? I mean does it make me less of an adult?”
“No, Suzy. Just trying to get a feel for who you are – what you are.”

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Being the daughter of a big-city mayor, twenty-one year old Skye Summers has giant shoes to fill in her first real job out of college. With the public spotlight on her family, and her dad’s expectations running high, she jumps at the chance to work side-by-side on an important project with her sexy new boss.

Playboy entrepreneur Landon Steele has built a successful entertainment PR firm and broken more than a few hearts along the way. He’s counting on his enthusiastic new assistant to help him expand his business into LA… until he discovers she’s a pampered rich girl who’s in the public spotlight as much as his famous clients. Still, he agrees to give her a chance, and soon the two are heating up the bedroom as well as the boardroom.

But when Skye’s ex-boyfriend threatens to reveal a dangerous secret from her past, her job, relationship with Landon, and her father’s career are suddenly all on the line. Will she be forced to leave Landon? Or will she pursue her heart, regardless of the cost?

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EXCERPT #1 – Skye’s POV

We had to work late to finish the final prep for our trip to L.A., and because there had been a problem with the heat in the office all day, it was completely sweltering. 
“Are you sure you wouldn't rather do this at your place or mine? It's so hot in here,” I said when I entered his office.
“Here is fine. We'll manage.” He’d taken his suit jacket off, removed his tie, rolled his shirt sleeves up and undone several buttons, revealing a small portion of his muscled chest.
I'd taken off the opaque tights I'd worn under my dress earlier that morning, as well as the tailored jacket I wore over my mod-style tank dress. I was still overheated so I'd tossed my hair up into a messy bun on top of my head. If anyone came into the office, we certainly didn't look like a professional pair.
“Where do you want to start?” I asked. I put a mock copy of the handouts I'd put together for his speech in front of him on his desk.
He picked one up and looked it over. “These are good. Have them sent over to the printers and shipped to the hotel in L.A. so they arrive before the conference.”
“Will do.”
“What else do we need to go over?” he asked.
I came around to stand beside his desk and placed some notes in front of him that I’d put together for our meeting with Calder Fox. “I thought you could look these over and see if there are any other points you think are worth mentioning. I talked to some of the Account Reps and listed some examples of the crisis management work our office has done in the past.”
Calder was a child star turned up-and-coming movie star who'd recently fallen from grace. Everyone was slating him as the next Tom Cruise, but his reputation had taken a nosedive with the recent revelations of how he was spending his free time. A recent rehab stint hadn’t helped.
Landon looked over the papers and seemed happy with what he saw. I loved seeing him like this...professional businessman, in control, and completely focused on what he was doing. The cologne he wore slowly permeated my senses the longer I stood beside him. I loved that smell. It was so sexy and so...Landon.
He picked up a pen off his desk and went to mark up my notes. He began writing but the pen had run out of ink. He swirled it around in a circle on the page as if some ink would magically appear. “Damn. This one's out. Can you pass me that one?” he asked distractedly, pointing to the other side of the desk.
I reached over to grab the pen. As I was about to hand it to him, it slipped from my fingers and fell to the floor. I started to bend over to get it when Landon said, “I'll grab it.”
I went back to looking at the notes on the desk, trying to figure out what he thought needed correcting when I felt his hand's feather light touch against my ankle. I stilled immediately. It must have been a mistake. He had to have accidentally brushed against me when he was reaching for the pen.
What happened next was no accident. 
He ran his hand from the inside of my calf up to my knee and back down again. I sent up a small ‘thank you’ prayer that I had decided to shave that morning. 
I glanced down to my side. He was looking up at me with half-drawn lids. I didn't say a word and couldn't move as he continued his slow assault on my senses. 
My breath quickened and my dress suddenly felt altogether too restrictive. This time when he brought his hand back up my leg, he passed over my knee until his hand was up under my skirt, mid-thigh.
“Your skin is so smooth. It's like silk or cashmere or something. I've never felt anything like it.”
My pussy throbbed in anticipation, wanting him to touch me there. How could it not? His large hands climbed a little higher but still weren't touching me where I needed him to most. I swear, if he didn't do something to ease the ache soon, I was going to go bat-shit crazy.
I let out a rough exhale of air and leaned forward, placing my hands on the desk in front of me so that I was slightly bent over. That must have been all the invitation he needed. When his hand finally crept back up my leg, he brought it all the way up to the juncture of my thighs.
I glanced back at him again. He was seated in his chair, still with one hand all the way up under my skirt. His large erection was pushing against the seam of his pants. It was such a turn-on to think that I did that to him—that I put him in that state. 
His fingers made contact with the silk of my thong and rubbed lightly from front to back. The slight friction gave me little satisfaction. It was all I could do not to grab his hand myself and push him roughly against me.
Without warning, he removed his hand and stood up. “Don't move,” he said with an authoritative tone. He adjusted himself before he began to walk toward the door. God, watching him touch himself, even just that little bit, was so freaking hot. He closed the office door, flipped the privacy switch for the glass, locked the door, and turned back to look at me.
I hadn't given a second thought to the fact that his office door was open. It was late and everyone had gone home, but who knew whether security or the cleaning staff were around? I was normally a girl who examined every angle and every possible outcome before I did anything. I just completely lost my head around this guy. 
Landon said nothing as he made his way back over to me, but the look on his face was one of possession. He wasn't asking for permission for what he was about to do. He was taking what he wanted.
About. Fucking. Time.

EXCERPT #2 – Landon’s POV

It was an unseasonably warm day for December in L.A. so the pool deck was busy. I was relaxing on the chaise inside the cabana after giving my drink order to the waiter when I saw Skye making her way across the pool deck. She had on a pair of sunglasses and a floral cover-up with long, billowing sleeves. When she reached the cabana, she smiled wide and dropped her beach bag onto the coffee table in the center. 
“The waiter just left. I didn't order for you because I wasn't sure what you'd want,” I said.
“I think I'm going to take a dip in the pool. Do you mind ordering me an iced tea when the waiter comes back?”
“Sure thing.”
She slid off her sandals and then proceeded to pull her cover-up off over her head. 
I was in trouble.
I was in so much fucking trouble if I thought there was any way I might get through this trip sleeping only a few rooms away from her when she looked like that.
Her swimsuit was a gold one-piece that had a slit all the way down to her belly button and a belt around the waist. I'd been imagining what she'd look like completely naked since I’d first seen her. This swimsuit was giving me a pretty good idea, but apparently my imagination hadn’t been doing her justice.
She smiled at me before heading over to the pool and diving in. It was clear she had no idea the effect seeing her in that tiny bit of fabric had on me. That or she hid it well. Now I'd be trying to hide the wood I'd no doubt be sporting all afternoon.
The waiter returned and I ordered Skye's drink. A few minutes later, he dropped it off just as Skye was returning to the cabana. He did a double-take as she came up behind him. I couldn't blame him but it still fueled my competitive nature, seeing another man appreciate her rocking body. Even if she wasn’t mine.
I tipped him a couple of dollars and said, “We're good for a while. Thanks.” Skye smiled her megawatt, draw-every-man-to-her-within-twenty-feet smile as he passed by her to leave. Fuck me, but I loved that smile. “How was the water?” I asked.
She grabbed a towel off one of the tables and began to dry herself off. “Warmer than I thought it'd be. We got lucky it's such a nice day out today.”
“The warmers help, too,” I said, motioning to the heater in the roof of the cabana.
“There is that.” She laughed, her entire face lighting up. 
She really was breathtaking...and pure...full of light. When I was with her, I forgot about the pressures of growing my business and my strained relationship with my father—everything else just faded into the background and I was just here with her…in the present. And none of the other shit mattered.
When she was done rubbing that damn towel over every inch of her porcelain skin, she came to sit beside me on the couch and grabbed her drink off the table. I watched as she took the straw between her lips. This had to be some form of foreplay torture. First the swimsuit, then rubbing herself down, and now this? As she sucked the liquid down, I began to get hard just thinking about what those lips would look like wrapped around the end of my cock.
I couldn’t watch her a second longer. I pulled the drink away from her mouth and she gave me a quizzical look. “We need to talk.”

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Author Bio:

I have a soft spot for romance novels with happily ever afters and a HOT spot for alpha males! I currently live outside Toronto, Canada with my hubby, two small children and cat spawned by the devil. Life is busy, but never to busy for a good story and to share my love of reading and writing with others. Things I can tell you that sum me up...I'm a sugar and carb addict, self-professed Gandy Girl, a disaster in the kitchen, a LOVER of all music, I enjoy reality TV and I'm an early riser! When I have a moment to breath you can usually find me typing furiously on the keyboard to get my next story on paper, or curled up reading about someone else's HEA. 

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Picture Perfect Playlist:
Here's the link:

1. Telephone - Lady Gaga feat. Beyonce
2. Love The Way You Lie - Eminem feat. Rihanna
3. Hold On, We're Going Home - Drake feat. Majid Jordan
4. The Way You Look Tonight - Frank Sinatra
5. Call And Answer - Barenaked Ladies
6. The Reason - Hoobastank
7. Anti-Venom - USS
8. From Now On - The Features
9. Strong Enough - Sheryl Crow
10. Patience - Guns N' Roses
11. All Of Me - John Legend
12. When The Right One Comes Along - Clare Bowen & Sam Palladio
13. Nessun Dorma - Pavarotti

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Rumor Has It

B &N:

This is a fantastic second book from Elisabeth Grace. If you read Rumor Has It (which I HIGHLY recommend), you will know that this story is going to be a humorous story about finding love in a crazy place. Elisabeth has me laughing hysterically throughout this book. Both books work the perfect amount of humor and romance in them. They have the right formula for a perfect story!
Picture Perfect tells the story of Skye. She is an independent women whose parents are in the spotlight because of politics. When the story starts, Skye has just broken up with her abusive boyfriend. She doesn't tell anyone the real reason why they broke up. She is a private person and wants to keep things to herself and also not worry anyone. After the break up, her friends make her go for a Girl's Night at a  local bar/club. Skye is starting to get back in the swing of being single again. She is actually having fun. Dancing, drinking, flirting. Just when she thinks she is going to talk to the perfect guy... the grossest things ever happens to her. OMG I was laughing so hard. I cant even share it because I don't want to ruin it!!
Skye suddenly finds herself being helped out the gross situation by a hot stranger. Throwing caution to the wind, Skye and Mr Tall, Dark and Handsome began to go at it in the bar bathroom.  When Skye realizes this could be a bad idea, she runs. Never getting the guys name.
Skye doesn't  have to look far for her sexy knight in shining armor, because he ends up being her boss at her new job. Landon is one of the sexiest CEO's in town. He is rich and single and everyone loves him. Especially the ladies. 
Skye decides that she as Landon need to keep things professional, forget about what happened and move on from there. But that is easier said than done. These two have unbelievable chemistry. It was seriously off the charts. 
When Skye's ex starts turning up again, Landon becomes her protector. Landon is super sweet and unbelievably sexy the way he takes care of Skye.
Without giving the story away, there is drama all over the place in this book. Skye and Landon both has crazy ex's while onto of their professional relationship and family situations. 
I am pretty sure Landon in my new Book Boyfriend. He has everything you want all wrapped into one package.
This book has be laughing throughout. It was a great read. Elisabeth writes a great story. Both books I have read are serious must reads. 
She is one author I keep checking when her next book will be out next!!!

Title: Color of Danger
Author: Alexa Verde
Genre: Inspirational Romantic Suspense
Release Date: May 2014

Former runaway Mari Del Lobo works hard to save her struggling restaurant and to trust people again. Dallas surgeon Dr. Luke Goodman turns her world upside down with terrifying news. A recent murder has her late brother's - aka the Smiling Killer - signature and MO. When attacks on her escalate, Mari fights her growing attraction to the good doctor as fiercely as she fights for her life. To rescue herself and those she loves, will she be able to stop the murderer before he strikes again?
Luke couldn't save his fiancée from the Smiling Killer, but he'll do anything to prevent more murders, even ask help from the serial killer's sister. Finding a kindred tortured soul and the perpetrator's next target in Mari, Luke is determined to protect the stubborn ex-rebel. But Mari would rather face danger than risk the safety of the man she comes to love.

Alexa Verde fell in love with writing at age eight when she penned her first poem. After publishing 200 short stories, poems, and articles in the five languages she speaks, Alexa has turned her creative passion to writing novels. Her 2014 debut inspirational romantic suspense, COLOR OF DANGER, is the first in her Secrets of Rios Azules series, set in a fictional small Texas town where rivers and emotions run deep and the richest family in town has a fine taste for food, jewelry, and murder. 

Part of the proceeds from the book will go to Brenda Novak's Auction for Diabetes Research at 


Just One More Romance

Just One More Romance Book Tours

Chira Kelly thought
she didn’t need anyone…until she met Ben.

Because of one ugly rumor, Chira lives as an outcast at her
school. Which is fine with her, because she works better alone. Always has,
always will. And at least she has her one and only true friend, Tasha. When
Tasha insists that they join a group to visit a possibly haunted abandoned old
schoolhouse, she's wary, but joins her friend. Because of that decision, their
lives are in jeopardy as a malevolent spirit targets the group. Tragedies and
accidents pick them off one by one, and Chira finds herself drawn to the one
person who can see the truth. But can he protect her?

Join the event!! We will be having some Harry Potter themed fun on Monday from 7-9 EST!!

Author Bio:

 In simple language, Pauline Creeden creates worlds that are both familiar and strange, often pulling the veil between dimensions. She becomes the main character in each of her stories, and because she has ADD, she will get bored if she pretends to be one person for too long. Pauline is a horse trainer from Virginia, but writing is her therapy. Her books have hit #1 on the Amazon Bestseller List and Armored Hearts won the 2013 Book Junkie’s Choice Award in Historical Fiction. First Impression: A Shadow Maven Paranormal is her first mystery. It’s a dark urban fantasy and will be released March 24, 2014.




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First Impression by Pauline Creeden

First Impression

by Pauline Creeden

Giveaway ends April 30, 2014.

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 She rips my hall
pass from her pad and points it toward the young man sitting across from her
desk. “Chira Kelley, meet Ben Oscuro. He’s new here and needs someone to show
him around. It just so happens he’s also a member of class 18B.”

I finally focus on
the boy. He doesn’t look up at me, and his disheveled dark hair is just long
enough that it hides his eyes. But he pushes himself up from his chair, and his
slim form towers over me. He’s at least six-feet-two and his uniform is almost
as crumpled as his hair. He swings his backpack onto a strong, square shoulder
and nibbles his full bottom lip. His smooth olive skin and dark hair make him
look like a foreign rocker, and there’s something about him that seems vaguely
“Here’s a copy of
his class schedule. When you’re not in the same class, I want you to leave a
few minutes early and help him find the next class room. That’s your job for
today. Got it?”
I swallow back and
resist sniffling again. Taking the hall pass and the copy of the schedule from
her, I say, “Um…sure.”
“Excellent. Robin,
you’re off the hook.”
The office aide pumps
a fist in the air before returning to file more papers in the cabinet. The
secretary’s chair squeals a dismissal, and Mrs. Campbell picks up her phone,
returning to her duties without another word.
Ben pulls open the
office door and stands to the side to allow me to go first. The hallway that
was empty only a short while ago is now full of students and their continuous
conversations. With a shrug, I eye his class schedule quickly. Except for
second and sixth period, we have exactly the same schedule. He’s in all of the
advanced classes, too. Only he has gym for second period and Latin for sixth –
opposite of my schedule, except I take French.
Piece of cake.
I glance up at him
again, and his eyes meet mine. My breath hitches. His intense gaze makes me feel
like he’s measuring me. The dark pools of his eyes seem deep and bottomless,
but there’s something strange about them. They’re brown, but he has colored
contacts. Why would anyone color their eyes brown?
My heart flutters.
A sniffle escapes me before I can stop it. Ugh. I clear my throat and start in
the direction of first period. “Follow me.”
We elbow our way
down the freshman hall toward the second floor, but before we start up I point
down the way. “Do you know what your locker number is?”
Ben nods and
pushes his backpack on his shoulder farther.
I wait for a
second and then smile. “What is it?”
“706.” He has a
slight accent, and his voice is deeper than I expect. I suppress a shiver at
the jolt the musical timbre of his voice sends through my body. I’m resonating
like a tuning fork. I really want him to speak again with every fiber of my
being. What’s with me?
“Uh…okay.” I
swallow, trying to regain composure. I take him to the general area of the
locker. “Here it is.”
He looks at it,
nods, and returns his hard gaze to me. Is he always so stiff? Probably just
nerves from being new.
“I know you don’t
have any books to put in it, but do you want to try out the combination?”
He lifts one
shoulder in a shrug and spins the combo quickly through the three numbers. I
purposefully avert my eyes so he knows I’m not peeking. He opens the locker
wide, nods toward me, and then closes it again.
“Great. We have
first period over here.”
“You and I have
the same first period?”
My body vibrates
again, and I blink hard. So glad my back was to him so he couldn’t see the
effect his voice has on me. I swallow and face him. “Actually, yeah. Our
schedules are very similar. It’s a smallish school, so there’re only a few
tracks that juniors can be on.”
He nods, and his
eyes are half lidded as if he’s bored already.
I lead him toward
our classroom. “We don’t really have assigned seats, so you can pretty much sit
anywhere you want. I’ll show you to the gym at the end of class. I have French
next, but it’s not too far from there.” 
I lead him to the
front of the class, and my friend Tasha gives me a wan smile and raises her
eyebrows, looking back and forth between me and Ben. She mouths, Who’s that?
I roll my eyes and
put up one finger toward her to let her know I’ll tell her in a minute. Then I
turn to the teacher. I hand him the schedule from the office. “Hi, Mr. Scott,
this is Ben Oscuro, a transfer.”
Mr. Scott’s kind
blue eyes smile at us both. He sets down the Mountain Dew he was drinking and
offers Ben a wide grin. He puts a hand out for him to shake. Ben hesitates but
takes the hand in what looks like a firm grip. Mr. Scott shakes his hand
afterward. “That’s some grip you’ve got there.” He laughs and leans down to the
bottom drawer of his desk and hands Ben a geography text book.
With a nod, I
return to Tasha and squeeze into the desk next to hers. I’m at Jackson Hall
partially on my father’s insurance money partially on scholarship because my
stepdad works at the school. What he does, I don’t know, because I’ve never
seen him. Because of all this, I’m somewhat of a social pariah. My only real
friend is Tasha Brown, a pariah herself, being one of the few African-American
kids in the school. Still she tends to be more popular than me, because at
least her family has the money they’ve made in the night club and music
business. But then there’s that rumor…
“So who is the new
hottie?” Tasha hops up and down in her seat.
I shake my head at
her. “You are one big hormone, you know that? Sure, he’s cute, but is there any
guy in the room you don’t consider a hottie?”
Tasha scans the
room with her hand on her chin and a very serious expression on her face. Her
hair is in the typical pigtail braids she usually uses to play up the uniform.
She has on no sweater, and her shirt is one size too small, the buttonholes at
the front  stretched to expose part of
her red bra. Finally she returns her gaze to me. “There’s only one guy in here
that doesn’t rank hottie.”
“Really? Who?”
She leans in
conspiratorially and whispers, “Mr. Scott.”
I nearly choke on
a laugh as I eye the middle-aged, balding teacher at the front of the room. But
I have to admit, Jackson Hall is a prep school. And there's no one who can
afford to make their children look their best more than the wealthy. I guess if
I take my father’s words to heart, it’s better to be the poor kid in the rich
kids’ school…than the other way around. Right?
Tasha’s smile
returns, and I follow her gaze to figure out why. Ben Oscuro walks down the
aisle between us and takes the desk right behind mine. The hairs on the back of
my neck stand on end. I close my eyes and take a deep breath. He smells like
pine and mint, and it reminds me of the outdoors. When I open them again,
Tasha’s smile has grown impossibly wider. She leans towards me and whispers,
“What was that you said about hormones again?”
I shove my elbow
toward her, but she dodges me with a giggle.

 Hope to see you all there!!

Brought to you by the Release Day Diva


Jessica Gibson