One of my favorite people in this business is author Chandra Ryan. I met her at Lori Foster’s Reader Author Get Together a couple of years ago. She’s one of the most genuine, kind, gracious, and delightful women I know. (Her husband, he’s pretty amazing and awesome too). If you’ve never checked her out, you should do so… You won’t be sorry.
Or so the saying goes. But, as tons of niche dating sites pop up on the Internet, it makes a person wonder if the age-old maxim is true. Can a person who lives in the country fall in love with someone from a big city? And if so, where would they live? Or are they better off just avoiding the whole situation and going with a site that weeds out all of the city dwellers?
I’ll be the first to say that I don’t know anything about the modern dating game. What I know about the old dating game (see someone attractive across the room, bat your eyelashes, hope they buy you a drink, get their number) probably wouldn’t even fill a thimble. I’ve been married long enough that the entire field has changed around me. But, being married to someone I would probably never bump into on the dating sites, it makes me wonder if niche is right when it comes to love.
My husband is from a different race, religion, and socioeconomic background than I. He loves coffee. I’d never really drank the stuff until we married and even now I drink more tea than coffee. He listened to alternative music. I listened to…well…whatever was on the radio. He was a bona fide geek and I was a flirt. He likes his food very spicy and I like not being in pain when I eat. We were about as opposite as opposite gets. So what niche site would we have met on?
And then I got to thinking about my newest release. Or would it be my newest re-release? Regardless, I don’t think there’s a site out there where Izzy and Jacob would’ve crossed paths. He’d be on the human sites and she’d be on the Community ones. He’d be on the law enforcement sites and she’d be on the ones for recovering addicts. He’d be on the justice ones and she’d be on the revenge sites. So where would a human and a shape shifter meet? Thankfully they didn’t decide to go niche.
Don’t get me wrong; I have several friends who’ve had lots of success on dating sites. Dating sites are wonderful, especially for busy people who don’t have the time to stand around and bat their eyelashes all night hoping for a drink. But if you’re registered on the site for coffee lovers, every once in awhile give a girl who loves tea a chance. She might know other, un-caffeinated, ways to wake you up in the morning.
Prequel to Bond Betrayed
Izzy has lived between two worlds her entire life—one filled with magic and darkness, the other populated by mundane humans. She was born into the magical world of the Community. But sexy, forbidden DEA agent Jacob belongs to the other.
He has no idea her world even exists.But that doesn’t mean he hasn’t noticed her. They’ve worked together for the past six months, attempting to bring down her drug-dealing half brother while driving each other crazy with pent-up desire. But now that it’s time to say goodbye, they both find it impossible to let go.
After one passionate night together Izzy realizes her mistake. She can’t bring him into her world. She has to end things before she gets too attached. When he refuses to leave, she must find a way to guide him through the darkness.
Inside Scoop: In this scorching urban fantasy, ink is thicker than blood.
A Romantica® paranormal erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave
Publisher’s Note: This book was previously published elsewhere and has been revised for Ellora’s Cave.
She ran her fingertips over her lips as she thought of the kiss. It’d been in that second that she’d finally seen what she’d been hiding from herself all these months. She wanted him and not in a momentary kind of way. If he were to share her bed, that’s where she’d want him to stay. But a relationship built on lies would never work and she couldn’t tell him the truth.
So it’s best for it to end like this. But the words were hollow. And even after repeating them a hundred times, they still didn’t help.
Tucked securely into her cozy apartment, she changed into her favorite black silk nightgown and started brewing a cup of tea while the melodic angst of her favorite singer filled the room. She should be in bed, but she was still too worked up from her brief exchange with Jacob to give in to her exhaustion.
She was just about to take a sip of her tea when the ringing of her cell phone stopped her. At first she was irritated by the intrusion. But when Restricted Number flashed across the screen, her stomach began to twist nervously. There was only one restricted number that ever called her. After answering the call, she brought the phone to her ear. “Agent Phinney.”
“I hope I’m not waking you.” Even over the phone, his deep voice had a rough edge to it that made her breath catch.
“No, I wasn’t in bed.”
“Good. I wanted to talk to you.”
“I don’t think—” She needed to make a clean break but her heart ached at the words she was about to say. She never got the chance to say them though.
“I’m standing in front of your door. Please, Izzy…”
She looked up at the door as the line went dead. Her heart raced at the thought of him being so close. Crossing the room, she practiced her well-rehearsed speech in her head. But her carefully memorized words disappeared as she opened the door. Her eyes swept over him hungrily, taking in everything from his tousled hair to the black t- shirt and tight jeans he’d been wearing earlier at the bust. He was easily the sexiest man she’d ever met.
His gaze slid over her before he picked her up by the waist and, kissing her passionately, then walked into the apartment. He closed the door with a quick kick once they were safely inside and then gently lowered her until she was standing on her own once more.
If you want to know more about Ink in the Blood there’s an excerpt on the Ellora’s Cave site: http://www.ellorascave.com/ink-in-the-blood.html
Or on my author website: www.ChandraRyan.com
Or you can download a sample off of Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Ink-in-the-Blood-ebook/dp/B00EAV3RIC/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1376355243&sr=1-3
Bad in all the Good Ways….
It was recently brought to my attention that I’m drawn to good guys in my romance novels. And when it was mentioned, I was shocked. I couldn’t believe it. My inner rebellious child screamed that they were wrong. After all, girls like bad boys! The ones with tattoos and motorcycles and don’t give a damn about what society says. Men who are slightly damaged and rough around the edges.
But then I started to think about it. Really and truly think about it. All of the heroes I’ve created were indeed good guys. Jacob is a DEA agent, Reuel takes over leadership of a village, Kavin is a King’s Guard, and Isaac is an enforcer. But I still wasn’t convinced so I dug a little deeper with my newest hero, Isaac. Of all my heroes, he’s the shadiest and the most dangerous. If I could prove any of them is a bad boy at heart, it’s him.
Okay, Isaac is an enforcer—kind of the police of the magical. And it doesn’t get more ‘good guy’ than a cop, right? But he tricks Nikki into a blood bond. It’s illegal, unethical, and could cost him his job.
Doesn’t give a damn about what society says? Check!
But he bonds Nikki in the hopes of saving his sister, Molly. Does having good intentions count against him here? Okay, maybe we should just move along…
He’s covered from his neck down in ink.
Tattooed? Check and check!
But his ink is actually a hindrance. It leaves him vulnerable. And bad boys seldom leave themselves vulnerable to the world. Hmmm….
Slightly damaged and rough around the edges is a definite check, though. How could he be anything but damaged coming from his power-obsessed family? His own mother uses him to broker alliances among the powerful and the elite. That one I’ll give to him without contest. I’m not sure that’s enough to make him a bad boy, though.
Maybe you can help me decide. Want an excerpt on Isaac being bad? Here’s a taste:
Nikki heard the low growl of impatience, but it took a second for her to recognize it as her own. “You talk too much.” She covered his mouth with hers, silencing him.
The kiss was filled with challenge and desire, making it both hungry and vulnerable at the same time. His arms closed around her back as she deepened the kiss, pulling her closer, until every inch of her body was pressed against his. The feel of his skin under hers was intoxicating.
Pushing him away, she sat up and stared at him for a moment before lowering her mouth to his neck. Her tongue sought out and found his racing pulse. Savoring the lightly salty taste of his skin, she started working her way down to the sensitive spot where his neck met his shoulder. Biting him teasingly, she heard him moan as his hands clenched her thighs.
“You taste good.” Her voice was husky, seductive—intentionally so. Here, she was in her element.
“And what if I want to taste you?”
God, this was just what she needed. “Feel free.”
“No, I mean all of you.”
There was no mistaking his meaning. Their magic lived in their blood and, although she’d never shared hers with anyone, she’d heard it was an aphrodisiac. One hardly ever offered because it could also be used to enslave another.
But he couldn’t enslave her—couldn’t evoke the blood bond because he didn’t know her name. There was no way to bind another without their name. Also, a person could only place one blood bond in a lifetime. No one would waste something that precious on a one-night stand. She’d be safe. And the thought of his blood on her tongue made her quiver with need.
“Will you bleed for me?” she asked, her voice heavy with desire.
Sitting up, he pulled a small knife from a night table and ran it across his wrist. When he’d cut enough to provoke several drops of blood he held it out to her. The magic in their blood prevented blood-borne diseases, so she didn’t have to worry about that. But still, she felt suddenly nervous. She had no idea what to expect. The wave of desire that hit her at just the tangy smell of his blood was enough to overcome her nerves, though. Leaning forward, she touched the blood with just the tip of her tongue. His magic was a mystery, but the power of it rushed through her. She was flying with his strength, the constant anxiety and fear that ate away at her, gone. If this was how her sister felt on heroin, she could almost understand Izzy’s addiction.
Even with her head buzzing, she felt a small measure of her earlier concern return but she quickly brushed it away. He’d lived up to his end of the deal. And if he meant to hurt her, he’d had plenty of time not to mention opportunity already. But he hadn’t harmed her in any way. In fact, he’d given her one of the most pleasurable experiences she’d ever had.
“Your turn.” She held out her wrist to him boldly. Nothing in her entire life had ever felt this good. Not even the knife slicing through her skin was enough to dull the sensation, especially when the warmth of his mouth covered the wound. She’d been wrong. Having him take her blood was even better than taking his.
He sucked in a ragged breath as the warmth of his body left her. Opening her eyes, she stared at him as confusion began to chase away her desire. She’d never wanted to be closer to another person than she did with him at that moment. Why was he pulling away from her?
“Nicola Lillian Rathe, I bond you to me with the power of your own blood.”
It took a moment for the words to sink through the heady desire that was wrapped around her, but when they finally did, white-hot anger killed what was left of the seductive warmth throbbing through her and made her breathing hard and ragged with disbelief. “What?”
“You’re mine.” He said the words triumphantly, but there was a sadness in his eyes. Refusing to see it, she leapt for the knife he’d left foolishly close to her.
“Like hell I am.” Her fingers closed around the sleek handle of the blade. She wasn’t an expert on blood bonds by any standard of measure, but she did know if you killed the holder, it’d set the slave free.
“You can try.” He held his arms out, giving her a clean shot at his heart. She’d never killed anyone, but if it was to free herself she was pretty sure she could. She tried to force the knife toward him, but as excruciating pain exploded in her head she dropped it again. “But the bond won’t let you hurt me.”
Cursing, she brought her gaze to meet his. “Bastard!”
His sigh was exaggerated. “If you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all.”
The word asshole sat on her tongue, but no matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t say it.
The condescending prick was going to pay. Maybe she couldn’t hurt him directly, hell, now she couldn’t even call him names, but she’d figure out a way to make him pay.
And then there’s what he does with his cuffs… Oh, that’s definitely good!
Okay, so maybe I have a thing for good guys. And maybe, when a good guy is bad in all the best possible ways, that’s not such a bad thing to have.
If you want to know more about Isaac you can find Bond Betrayed on the Ellora’s Cave website and my author site:
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Thanks so much for coming by and seeing me today. And a huge thank you to Lissa Matthews for having me on her blog!