YOU! GUYS!!! I don’t know if you know, but I absolutely adore birthdays! As such, I saw that today is Stephanie Tyler‘s birthday so I emailed her a while ago asking her to visit us at ALBTALBS — and she agreed! *Squee!* You don’t really want to hear from me though, so heeeeere’s Stephanie!
Limecello was nice enough to invite me to share a teaser from my upcoming Romantic Suspense called Surrender that comes out April 2nd. It’s the first in my new Section 8 series, and since today’s my birthday, it makes it that much more of a celebration!
Here’s the blurb for Surrender:
On the run and living for revenge…
Desperate, fearless, and hunted.
For ex-Navy SEAL Dare O’Rourke, Section 8 was legendary. The son of one its missing members, he grew up in the shadow of its secrets. All he knew was that it was a cabal of operatives discharged from branches of the military and reassigned to extremely dangerous, off-the-books international missions. And their handler, who answered only to the president, was as shrouded in mystery as the missions themselves.
Nothing can stop them. Nothing can break them.
Now, the handler of Section 8 has given extreme orders: kill any remaining members, along with their families. It’s then that Dare makes a startling discovery: the existence of a long-lost half sister named Avery he was never meant to meet. Determined to fight for their lives and find their missing father, Dare and Avery bring together the last members of Section 8 for one last mission: to avenge their families, and to survive.
I love starting a new series – they’re all connected, because in my mind all these men especially know one another from the military or black ops world. So Lonely is the Night, which is Shadow Force #5, leads directly into Surrender. Today, I’d love to give you all an opportunity to win an eCopy of Surrender. I’ll pick two winners from the commenters—all you have to do is talk a little bit about whether or not you like love triangles in your books.
Below, I’ve also given you a chapter from Surrender – it’s focused on Avery, who’s Dare’s half sister and Key, who becomes an important part of Section 8. This is an exclusive excerpt, picked specially for Limecello 🙂
Teaser from Chapter 11 of Surrender by Stephanie Tyler
Gunner had more private tattoo appointments coming in, and so he left Avery upstairs, alone and restless. She nursed the beer he’d left for her as she stared out across the small balcony. She’d opened the French doors enough to hear the music floating in, noted the bar across the alleyway and decided that she’d be safe enough there.
It was time to try out her new look anyway. Cops didn’t lay in wait in college bars looking for America’s most wanted, and the assassins themselves wouldn’t make a move in the crowd. If there were more, and if they’d followed her.
She couldn’t handle being a prisoner any longer.
There was the small matter of the alleyway itself, but it appeared to be a nicely crowded pathway to the bar. She climbed down the fire escape easily after pulling on a tank top and sandals and followed the groups of laughing people.
The heat, the bodies, the music—all of it came together in one giant cacophonous swell that carried her into the bar with the rest of the revelers.
She wondered if it was always like this on week- ends or if she’d just gotten lucky. Ordered a drink and swayed a little bit to the music. Turning down an offer to dance was easy enough the first time, but gradually the men began to get more persistent.
“Look, I just want to hang out here,” she told the guy who wouldn’t let go of her wrist. She finally pushed at his shoulder hard enough that he was momentarily stunned.
Defending herself was going to get old. She couldn’t draw so much attention to herself, and she would if she continued to kick this guy’s ass.
As she began to back away again, he lunged. And then he disappeared, replaced by a man who had a golden smile and an easy air, although she suspected there wasn’t anything truly easy about him.
He’d taken the man out without breaking stride. Eventually, the bouncers would pour the pest out onto the sidewalk, but for now, he weaved into the crowd.
“You were doing all right.”
“Then why’d you step in?” she called above the din.
“If you were gonna wrestle, I wanted it to be with me.” His grin disarmed her. The thought of being caught in his stronghold made her blood run warm. Two days in New Orleans and two men had given her this reaction; no one should come to this city without some kind of chaperone or chastity belt. “You okay, chère?”
The man’s dialogue was authentic, came from deep inside, although there was no innocent southern farm-boy thing going on here by any stretch of the imagination.
He was blond, his hair longer than Gunner’s. His face held the scruff of several days’ worth of not shaving, and she rubbed her cheek against it lightly. He laughed, put an easy arm around her waist and bought her another shot. She accepted, told herself firmly that it was the last one. Of course, that didn’t count the famous hurricanes that were designed by their very nature to knock her flat on her ass.
“What’s your name?” she asked him finally.
“Does it really matter?” he murmured. She wanted to think it didn’t, but it did. It always would. She was a damned romantic, like her mom, no matter how she fought it, which was why she didn’t get involved. A few one-night stands were all she’d had over the past two years.
“If I said it did?” she asked, heard the husky want in her own voice.
“It’s Key.” He looked at her. “And you?”
“Glad we got that out of the way.” His mouth came down on hers, and she melted into him. She’d had the perfect amount of alcohol, and the crowd seemed to swell around her like a protective hug. She was anonymous, and for the first time in months, she felt safe.
It felt good.
Key’s tongue teased her, and she wished she could go with him somewhere . . . anywhere, but that would be stupid and she’d already taken a chance tonight.
Key pulled her into a corner, away from the masses, where she could actually hear herself think, and then she looked into his face and realized that thinking was the last think she wanted to do.
Thinking was overrated. Highly so.
As if agreeing, he gave her another slow, sure kiss that tasted like the best of everything rolled into one. His hands held her waist, his stance still somehow protective, even as his body melded to hers in a slow dance of tumbling, riotous passion, as if the two of them were completely alone rather than in this crazy bar.
But that was the beauty of this place—for all intents and purposes, they were alone. And she stopped any last semblance of reason and let insanity win out for the time being.
Of course, it wasn’t long before she realized that Key had a gun and a knife. He could be military or a merc or a bounty hunter. Or a criminal.
None of the options were good. Did he recognize her? Was this all a setup?
She didn’t think that he would need to do this much work to get her in hand. The fact that she’d literally been in his arms and technically still remained a free woman was comforting . . . and still she had to extricate—and fast.
But his touch—he held on to her like a parched man in the desert who’d found the fountain of life and wasn’t prepared to let go. In the private corner that had become theirs she was trapped between his body and the wall in the most delicious way possible. And so she let herself go, wondering if she could orgasm from the kissing and light fondling alone.
She’d been trying for her entire life to figure out Darius’s hold on her mother—why she’d hated and loved this city and that man.
New Orleans and her surroundings were the keys to everything. Avery needed to figure out how to unlock the puzzle, to make sure she never made the same mistakes her mother had made.
New Orleans could be the death of her—its rhythms seemed to be in time with her heartbeat, her soul, and that was seductive and wrong. Wrong, according to her mother, who’d thrown all caution to the wind here.
Avery could love it here, and somehow that was so very wrong. So was flirting, drinking and dancing, but she didn’t care. For the moment, she was normal.
“You’re seeing two of me, aren’t you?”
He waggled a finger at her and murmured something in what she assumed to be Cajun French. “See, I don’t know what you’re saying. You might be telling me I’m the ugliest thing you’ve ever seen.”
“Yeah, that’s it, sugar.”
“So . . . what do you do?” she asked, and he held up his bottle of beer and pointed to it, asking her, “What do you do?”
“For tonight, the same thing.”
“And kissing me,” he said seriously.
“Do you live here?”
“In this bar?”
“In New Orleans.”
“Nah. Just passin’ through. On a road trip with my brother.”
“What’s that consist of?”
“Mainly looking for trouble. Tonight, I found her.” He pulled her close, and she looked into those hazel eyes and something tugged at her. He was happy tonight—that wasn’t a lie—but there was a sadness underlying his expression she couldn’t deny.
She guessed everyone had secrets. Sometimes, that was reassuring to know; other times, terrifying.
“What are you thinking about, chère?” The more he drank, the thicker his accent got, but he actually seemed to gain more control with each beer, each shot. In fact, he’d probably pass as sober even if given more than a passing glance, while she felt like she might tip sideways at the slightest push.
He laughed. “Want to know all my secrets?”
“Something like that.”
“I’m an open book. So live a little—come home with me.”
“I can’t,” she told Key.
“Not gonna show me your tits?”
“You don’t have any beads.”
“I have something better than beads,” Key promised, and dammit, she believed him.
She wouldn’t bring him back to Gunner’s and she
wasn’t going home with him, no matter how badly her body begged her to. And so after kissing him until she couldn’t breathe, she stroked his cheek and walked away.
“You’re really leaving me like this?” he called.
“Gives you something to look forward to,” she told him over her shoulder as she kept walking.
But Key wasn’t letting that happen. In seconds, he was on her again, kissing the back of her neck, luring her back in, and she knew she couldn’t—didn’t want to—resist. But right now that was all the same thing.
“I’m not letting you run,” he told her.
“Where are you staying?”
“Just around the corner. You’re safe with me.”
“You were in the military, weren’t you?”
Key gave her a small, slightly drunken smile and then placed a renewed interest in making sure she couldn’t resist him. And it took everything she had to do so. Granted, it took quite a while, until she was sure someone was going to tell them to get a room. They did little more than kiss, but every nerve in her body was on fire, the slow burn more arousing than fast sex could ever be.
“Gotta go, Key,” she told him. She was unsteady as she pushed away from him and walked away, out of the bar and his life, no doubt saving her from undeserved heartache.
And he let her.
Twenty minutes later, back at Gunner’s, she’d already showered to get Key’s scent off her. Her now short hair dried fast, and she lay there in the unfamiliar bed, the fan blowing on her, realizing she was still the same exact person after all.
What had she expected to change?
You can find information on how to order the book here.
Y’all know the drill! Two chances to win a copy of this awesome book! Tell me what you think! And also, be sure to bestow many fabulous birthday wishes upon the very special and awesome birthday girl! <3