Category Archives: Shayla Black

Countdown to DELICIOUS!

Wicked Lovers, Book 3
Publisher: Berkley HEAT
Genre: Erotic Romance
Release Date: March 2, 2010
ISBN-13: 978-0-425-23242-2
Pre-order: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Borders |
| Indie Bound | Overstock
Pre-order Download: Kindle | Nook

He can’t control his desire.

Luc Traverson’s entire future is planned out—but there is one very sexy obstacle in his path: Alyssa Devereaux . She’s a former exotic dancer turned strip club owner and restaurateur. Recently, Alyssa and Luc shared one night of wild abandon that left Luc terrified by his loss of self-control—and Alyssa desperate for more.

And that’s just the way she wants it.

Fulfilling a promise, Luc is the guest chef for Alyssa’s restaurant debut. The sight of her makes Luc wild, so how can he survive a week without letting loose and ravaging her—especially when she’s begging for it? Luc’s desire for her explodes when he realizes he isn’t the only man desperate to have her. But one of the others is deadly. And that’s not the end of Alyssa’s secrets…which are as dark and mysterious and enticing as her fantasies.

Just over a month until the release of DELICIOUS!

I’m super-excited about returning to contemporary erotic romance after a long absence, and folks who have been waiting for Luc Traverson’s story will get their wish. March 2 is just around the corner!

To read the first chapter, click here and enjoy!

Holiday Favorites!

Happy Christmas Eve Eve – LOL! Or happy other holiday you might celebrate at this time of year. I’ve finished shopping (finally!) and I’ve got all my closest family around, so it’s going to be a wonderful holiday.

So many folks have treasured holiday traditions wrapped up in favorite foods, goodies that bring back fond memories of holidays past, filled with love and laughter. One such recipe belonged to my great grandmother. My mom remembers this from her childhood, as do I. This is a great breakfast food, and it’s easy to make.

1/4 lb butter (softened)
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup sour cream
1 tbs vanilla
Mix and beat for 3 minutes

2 tsp cinnamon
4 tbs brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
3 tbs butter (melted on top of batter)

Grease tube or bundt pan well. Pour 1/2 batter in. Sprinkle on half of filling. Then pour the other half of the batter on the filling. Sprinkle remaining filling on top. Pour 3 tbs butter (melted) on top. Bake at 375 for 40-45 minutes. Enjoy warm, cold, reheated – even freeze and defrost. Great stuff!

2010 is just around the corner. If you’re looking forward to something new or resolving to try a new-to-you author, here’s a list of my current and upcoming titles:

SEDUCE ME IN SHADOW ~ Doomsday Brethren 2 – Available now
POSSESS ME AT MIDNIGHT ~ Doomsday Brethren 3 – Available now
DELICIOUS ~Wicked Lovers 3 – March 2
“Mated” (a Doomsday Brethren novella) Untitled Anthology – September
“Her Fantasy Men” FOUR PLAY Anthology – October
ENTICE ME AT TWILIGHT ~ Doomsday Brethren 4 – November
EMBRACE ME AT DAWN ~ Doomsday Brethren 5 – December

I hope that you all have a great holiday season! Happy reading!

Hunter's Need…now available


Hunter's Need

I’ve posted the first chapter in its entirety at Scribd. You can read it here.

On Wednesday, 12/2, there’s a launch party @ bitten by books and you can enter to win book $$$.

Here’s one last, little excerpt from Hunter’s Need, and I’ve gotta admit…it’s one of my favorite scenes.


“I gave you your answer, Ana. Can’t you answer mine?”

I love you. She wanted to tell him, wanted to throw her arms around his neck and tell him, over and over. But she held back. This wasn’t right. Wasn’t good, not for him. Even back when she let herself daydream about having Duke in her life, she’d known it wasn’t right. Duke deserved better than her. He deserved so much more.

“This isn’t good for you.” She blurted the words out before she lost her nerve. Pulling away from him, she jerked her shirt back up but her hands shook too much to button it. Instead, she just held it closed between her breasts. “This is bad for you. I’m bad for you. You’ve got to know that. Even if you…even if you think you feel how you’re saying, you have to know I’m bad for you. I’m not the kind of woman you need in your life, Duke. I’m not strong enough. You need somebody strong. Somebody more like you—”

Duke reached out and hooked his hand in the front of her jeans, gently. She resisted. He jerked harder and she crashed into his chest with a startled, “Ooommph.”

“I know what I need,” he growled. When she would have argued, he covered her lips with his finger. “I know what I want, what I need. And it’s you, Ana. If I wanted somebody like me, I would have gone chasing after Kendall or half a dozen other women that I’ve met. I didn’t go after them, because I was too hung up on you and I have been, from the first damn time I laid eyes on you. I love you. I want you. I need you.”


He cut her words off with a hard, short kiss. “Don’t want to hear it,” he snarled. “I love you. You don’t get the right to tell me what I need, or what I deserve. That’s my call, princess. Now give me an answer—do you love me?”


If you’ve enjoyed the snippets, I hope you’ll pick it up…either at your local indie store, local bookstore… wherever. :o)

Want to order?





I’m doing a few signings to for the release… if you live in or near the area, would love to meet you!




Oxmoor Center

7900 Shelbyville Rd

Louisville, KY

* * * * *




604 East Spring Street

New Albany, IN

* * * * *

Barnes & Noble



9455 Civic Centre Blvd

West Chester, OH


It’s FINALLY here!!! POSSESS ME AT MIDNIGHT should be available everywhere in both print and eBook format. I’m putting up one of my favorite excerpts below…along with prizes.

Possess Me at MidnightDoomsday Brethren Series, Book 3 — Ice’s story
Publisher: Pocket Books
ISBN-10: 1416578463
ISBN-13: 9781416578468
Genre: Paranormal/Urban Fantasy Romance
Release Date: October 27, 2009
Scroll down to read the first chapter!
Order: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Borders
Books-A-Million | Simon & Schuster | Indie Bound
Overstock | Target
Download eBook: Kindle | Barnes & Noble
Fictionwise | Sony |Simon & Schuster

An apocalypse approaches in the new novel from bestselling author Shayla Black’s electrifying Doomsday Brethren series, as a magical warrior and a spirited witch ignite a smoldering passion that could destroy them both.

As a mysterious dark cloud drains the life of her beloved brother, Doomsday Brethren leader Bram, Sabelle Rion can think of little else. Still, every time she meets Ice Rykard’s intense green gaze, her body aches with need for the sexy warrior. Their attraction is explosive, incredible—and forbidden. As dangerous as he is unpredictable, Ice is her brother’s sworn enemy. But as Bram weakens, a more sinister force is gaining power. Evil Mathias and his ruthless Anarki army are on a bloodthirsty hunt for the Doomsday Diary. Sabelle must guard the potent book with her life—and Ice vows to protect the beautiful witch with his. Duty demands that Sabelle deny her lover’s fiery call of possession and mate with a man who can sway the magical Council against the impending rebellion. With the fate of magickind hanging in the balance, will she forsake the burning desires she can’t ignore or turn her back on her people for the courageous man she can’t resist?

Rated HOT! “The volatile emotions in this tale are truly combustible!” ~ RT Bookclub

“Captivating… POSSESS ME AT MIDNIGHT [is] a book you won’t want to miss.” ~ Romance Reviews Today

Recommended Read! “Page-turning magical suspense… Wring[s] emotion from every pore… leaves readers clamoring for more.” ~ Fallen Angels Reviews

“I could not stop reading. POSSESS ME AT MIDNIGHT is absolutely perfect.” ParaNormal Romance Reviews

“I love the angst and passion between Sabelle and Ice; it’s tangible and often breathtaking. Possess Me At Midnight is another exciting chapter in the Doomsday Brethren’s fight…” Joyfully Reviewed

“Totally rewarding and particularly satisfying.” Single Titles


“Better?” she asked.

Gingerly, he nodded. He looked white and exhausted and utterly depleted.

“Internal damage?”

“Healing.” He squeezed her hand. “I stopped the burn in time.”

A whole sentence. And now, he was breathing easier. His injuries were healing. “You’re certain?”

Again, he nodded. More a jerk of his stubbled chin than anything, but enough. “The damage stopped when you dragged me from the cellar. If you hadn’t come for me—”

“Of course I would.” Did he just assume she would leave him there to die?

“You could have run straight into danger, Sabelle.” He swallowed and fought for a breath, squeezed her hand again. “When I’m well, I’m putting you over my knee for that.”

Despite the gravity of the situation, her face flamed. “You’ll do no such thing.”

He rolled his eyes. “Don’t take away all my fun.”

A joke? He’d nearly died ten minutes ago, and now he was telling a joke. He didn’t wish her to know the extent of his injuries, clearly.

“Amusing, indeed.”

“Infuriating,” he corrected. “No more chances with your safety. On this point, Bram and I agree. You’re into magickind’s troubles too deeply.”

“I’ll tell you what I told Bram: I won’t sit about like some helpless princess while the rest of magickind fights. It’s my cause too.”

“Your funeral as well, if you’re not careful.”

“It could be anyone’s,” she argued. “Everyone’s. That’s Mathias’s doing. Not mine. Now, stop arguing and tell me how you feel. The internal damage has stopped?”

“Yes. I fought it off in the cellar, then you took me away. Between distance and your touch, I’ve improved.”

“Anything else?”

He hesitated. “My head. When the mine hit me, the force of it thrust me back. My head hit the wall. I heard a loud thump.”

Judiciously avoiding looking at the lower half of his very naked body, she gripped his large calloused hand in hers. Closing her eyes, she gathered up her power and summoned the siren in her. To Ice, she sent waves of healing, peace, sleep.

He growled. Suddenly, a wall shot up between them, blocking her well-meaning sentiments. Sabelle gasped. Where had that come from? Ice? Did he have the energy for that? Or was the mine still working its dark magic?

Then the barricade crumbled, and she felt Ice again. But this time, he sent her a blast of something else—desire that was thick, hot, screaming with lust and sex and need.

With a gasp, she pulled back.

A tired smile creased his face, and despite his exhaustion, his arrogance shone through. “Felt that, did you? I told you, I’ve no need for your happy sunshine and rainbows.”

“I sent you peaceful healing,” she argued. “You do need it.”

“Rubbish. I let you feel what I truly need.”

That overwhelming battering ram of desires and yearning? She placed a hand to her chest and forced herself to breathe evenly. Knowing he wanted her that badly staggered her. She blinked, looked at Ice, focusing on those green eyes of his that glowed with unquestionable want. Exhaustion still etched his face, and she knew that sending her any emotion had cost precious energy he didn’t have. Why bother?

“No one has ever bombarded me with their emotions like that.”

“You tell others what to feel and they abide?”

She frowned. “I try to be helpful and soothe the troubles or worries others have. I’m hardly forcing unwanted feelings upon them.”

“I didn’t want to sleep, princess.”

Sabelle felt her face flush again. “So I gathered.”

“Glad we’re clear.”

“Ice, you hardly have the energy to be wasting on such things. My touch has given you some, I suppose. But the sleep was to help you. I meant no insult. You must concede, your energy is dangerously low. Your magical signature is nearly transparent.”

He pressed his lips together and said nothing.

“Is—is that why you sent me the sexual vibrations?” She bit her lip and felt her cheeks flame up again. What was it about Ice that made her feel so feminine? “You need…energy?”

He stared, heavy, glowing, jaw clenched. “Sabelle…”

“You do.” She swallowed, studying his increasingly sheer magical signature. Normally a bold green laced with a fiery red. Black rimmed it, and she’d always worried that was a commentary on his sanity or his soul. But now, she could see straight through it all. And that frightened her. Without recharging, he would be unable to run, flee, help her evade Mathias. Yes, her touch, because he had Called to her, provided a bit of energy. But without a full dose of power, eventually he would die.

She eased off the bed and rose to her feet. With trembling hands, she pulled off her shirt. Instantly, she felt his gaze on the slopes of her shoulder, the curve of her neck, the lacy cups of her bra. His icy-hot eyes made her shiver. She locked stares with him, unable to look away.

Sabelle reached for the button of her jeans. Instead, he reached up and clamped his hands around her wrists. “Don’t.”

“But you need energy.”

“Yes, but—”

“You Called to me, so you can touch no other. And…I have no anger in me now to try to boost you that way. You want me and—”

“You know it. But I will be damned if I’ll let you make me into your next Lucan: a patient, a duty, a burden. What passes between us will never be an act you endure merely to heal me.” He squeezed on her wrists. “I would rather die.”

“Your pride is misplaced. My opinion is neither here nor there. Your life—”

“Will mean little if I have to swallow the bitter pill of being nothing to you. I hardly expect you to Bind to me, but I won’t have your pity.”

His passionate speech had used up more energy he could ill afford. The stubborn man! Frustration built inside her, a crescendo that trumpeted into fury. Ice could die, and he wanted to debate the meaning of an act intended to save his life? He sought to force her admission that she trembled for his touch before he allowed her into his bed. The energy exchange would be clean, simple, if he would merely accept her help. Did he not understand that crowding it with words and confessions would only make matters more difficult?

She tore her wrists from his grip, stepped away, and stripped off her pants and knickers. Her bra quickly followed. Ice’s eyes clamped onto her. His nostrils flared. His entire body tensed, and though she swore she would not look down, her gaze drifted across the harsh rise and fall of his chest, the undulation of his abdomen…and fixed on the hard stalk of his cock rising between his well-muscled thighs. A sudden gush of dampness slicked her intimately, where she now ached. She swallowed against the riot of sensations, a need unlike anything she’d ever felt.

If she admitted that to Ice, he would use this desire against her mercilessly.

Sabelle wanted to believe, more than anything, that Ice was motivated strictly by his desire to possess the witch he perceived as his mate. But niggling doubt made her wonder if revenge fueled him more.

“You have my help.” Her voice trembled as she sat on the edge of the bed next to him. “You need no more than that.”

Ice raised a dark brow. “You have no idea what I need.”

Before she could argue, he grabbed her around the waist and threw her under him, until her back hugged the sheets steeped in his warmth and earthy scent. He loomed over her, his shoulders blocking out most of the room’s light. She felt surrounded, enveloped. Overwhelmed.

“Did you come for him?”

His big, hot hands gripped her hips, and slid up her torso until his palms cradled her breasts. And his touch burned her. She bit her lip to hold in a gasp, but the aftershocks of their contact reverberated, crashing wave after wave of desire through her body. She softened. Her nipples peaked. She grew wetter.

He stopped. Sniffed. Smiled. “You want me.”

“My body is ready.” She dared not admit more.

His smile slipped, and he grunted. “Bloody answer me.”

Damn it all, she’d forgotten the question. “I’ve no idea what you’re talking about.”

“Lucan,” he growled. “Did you want him? Did he give you pleasure? Bring you to peak?”

Very direct questions. That shouldn’t surprise her. But she couldn’t answer him. No answer would satisfy him. In either event, he’d turn this into some sort of chest-beating competition. And the truth would only cause…issues.

“It’s hardly relevant. You need me, and I am offering. Nothing more or less.”

He flicked his thumbs across her nipples. Slowly. Back and forth. Until she gasped.

“I plan to make certain it is much, much more.”


To celebrate this release, I’m giving away a signed copy of TEMPT ME WITH DARKNESS and SEDUCE ME IN SHADOW, plus free reads from some favorite authors including Maya Banks, Gena Showalter, Sabrina Jeffries and others. 10 books in all! To register to win, SPREAD the word about POSSESS ME AT MIDNIGHT. Mention the book, series and release day (blurb appreciated but optional) on your Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, blog, message/bulletin boards, etc OR review the book on an online bookstore or personal blog. Comment on my blog with the link and you’re registered to win. The winner will be drawn on 11/3.

Hope everyone enjoys the release!

Fated – Free Doomsday Brethren e-Novella


They were meant to be together…but will magic tear them apart?

Find out in my my FREE Doomsday Brethren e-novella, Fated! Click here to reach the download link! Hope you all enjoy…

The next two books in the Doomsday Brethren series are coming soon. SEDUCE ME IN SHADOW on Sept. 29 and POSSESS ME AT MIDNIGHT on Oct. 27. Mark your calendars and get ready for reads that are “passionate” and “page-turning”, according to RT Bookclub. I’m counting the days until release!


seduce me in shadow_draft2Happy Thursday! The entire first chapter of SEDUCE ME IN SHADOW is now available on my Doomsday Brethren site for your reading pleasure! Here’s a bit for you…

When a villainous wizard escapes from exile, the devastatingly sexy Doomsday Brethren must defend all magickind in the spellbinding second book in bestselling author Shayla Black’s seductive new paranormal series.

Ex-Marine Caden MacTavish has shunned his magical heritage all his life, but he will do anything to heal his desperately ill brother, a Doomsday Brethren warrior in mourning for his missing mate. Posing as a photographer, Caden must convince firecracker tabloid reporter Sydney Blair to reveal the source of her recent exposé on a supernatural power clash. Unfortunately, keeping his hands off the sizzling redhead proves as hard as getting them onto the potent and mystical Doomsday Diary he discovers at her bedside. A bloody rebellion led by an evil, power-hungry wizard is imminent. If Sydney divulges the book’s existence, she will jeopardize magickind’s most deeply guarded secrets and become the ruthless wizard’s number one target. Caden has never trusted magic’s cruel and dangerous powers, but he will protect Sydney with his life and magic—even if it means risking his heart.

Chapter One

“We have problems.”

Caden MacTavish rolled his eyes. If Bram Rion thought that was news, it came two weeks too late.

Hovering on the edge of a bottle green armchair, Caden watched Merlin’s grandson slam the door to his palatial home office, locking the Doomsday Brethren into the edgy silence with him. Each were warriors in their own way, most magical. All had the kind of mettle that would have been welcome in the Marine platoon in which Caden had served.

Without Bram’s Hollywood smile, magickind’s Brad Pitt looked both jumpy and grave. In fact, all the wizards, and Marrok, the former immortal and King Arthur’s champion, looked grim. The tension ratcheted up, and Caden’s thoughts drifted to his absent brother Lucan, a Doomsday Brethren warrior.

Please God, let this end soon.

A loud crash upstairs thumped the ceiling, shook the walls. A woman screamed, terror bleeding from her voice. On the upper floor, a door crashed open, the shrieking grew louder, and footsteps pounded above him. She was running down the stairs. Heading out the door.

Tearing out of the library, Caden raced to the shrieking blond woman, ignoring Bram’s shout calling him back. He grabbed the frantic witch by her shoulders. Though likely over two hundred, she looked deceptively young. Her wide green eyes were frightened, as if she’d been playing a game of chicken with a barreling freight train.

“Wait. Please.” He caught her anxious gaze. “My brother—”

“I can’t.” Her voice quivered. “He’s big and feral and—snarled that I smell of another man. He ripped his ch—chains.” Her words broke with new tears. “And lunged for my throat.”

Caden closed his eyes and held in a curse. The fifth energy surrogate Lucan had frightened away in two weeks. Now what?

At the top of the stairs, Bram’s sister Sabelle appeared. Her lace shirt and golden hair were askew, but her demeanor was calm. “I have Lucan under control. Let her go.”

Instead, Caden clasped the witch tighter. If he released her, what would become of his brother? “He needs her. Without the energy she generates…”

Caden couldn’t finish the sentence. The thought.

“He’ll die.” Sabelle sighed. “He misses Anka so deeply that it’s unhinged him mentally. My Aunt Millie says she’s never seen a case of mate mourning this severe.”

More dreadful news. Where was the freaking light at the end of the tunnel? Bram and Sabelle had dragged him away from his peaceful life in Dallas two weeks ago; the hell hadn’t let up since. Frustration ate his gut like acid. He didn’t want to fail Lucan. Years ago, he’d been unable to save his younger brother. Damned if he’d let his older one die, too.

“If Lucan isn’t taking the energy to survive from these women, how can he have enough strength to fight them?”

“Primal rage,” Sabelle supplied. “When the surrogates come, it’s as if he’s defending an attack. It’s a delusion, and we can’t explain otherwise to him. All his senses, except smell, have shut down. Surrogates bring the smells of their other clients along unwittingly. Lucan fights back.”

“Maybe…it’s time to consider that he wants death,” Bram murmured behind him.

Fury slashed through Caden. What kind of friend even thought that? Caden had held the hands of fallen comrades in Iraq and prayed for their recovery…even as some rattled their last breath.

“My brother will not die like this! I will find Anka and bring her back.”

“It may be too late. Let the witch go,” Bram demanded.

“Please,” the scared blonde pleaded.

Caden shook with rage. He wanted to crush something, punch a wall, lash out at magic, which had again screwed up his life. But the sobbing witch in his grasp shrank back in fear, like he, too, was a monster.

For about the two hundredth time since returning to England a fortnight ago, Caden cursed magic. To a human male, the loss of a beloved wife could be emotionally devastating. But as a wizard, Lucan’s loss had reduced a perfectly sane person to a rabid animal. The man upstairs wasn’t the older brother Caden had idolized as a child.

Though he’d left his childhood home a dozen years ago and disavowed anything or anyone associated with magic, now that tragedy had struck, and he might lose his only remaining brother, guilt seared Caden. The thought of never speaking to Lucan again? Unthinkable.

He must restore Lucan’s mental health. To do that, he had to find Anka and return her to his brother’s arms—quickly. And clearly, the witch Caden currently detained couldn’t help.

With a sigh, he released her. “Go.”

She sprinted out and closed the door. Silence reverberated.

“Come back to my office,” Bram said.

Caden whirled on the wizard. “I won’t give up on my brother, damn you!”

With a twitch of Bram’s finger, Caden was magically hauled back into the office. Caden seethed with resentment slammed the door behind them. He opened his mouth to give the wizard a furious earful, but Bram held up a hand.

“I understand your frustration. But our difficulties aren’t merely about you and your family. These problems affect us all.” He gestured to the other three men in the room. “And the rest of magickind.”

“My brother is chained to a bed like a lunatic, Anka is missing, and we haven’t a single clue where she’s gone. We cannot make Lucan whole without her return. Nothing is more important.”

“I wish. Our other problems are many and grave.”

Ice Rykard, another of the warriors, was a big man, but when annoyance stamped his square, hollow-cheeked face, like now, sane people backed away. “You summoned me here to tell me what I already know?”

As Ice rose to leave, Bram blocked his path. “Something new has arisen. Prudence requires that we attend to it. All of us.”

Bram refused to help his brother, then sought his assistance? Caden would have laughed if he weren’t so furious. “I came only to find my brother’s missing mate—”

“Former mate,” Bram corrected. “Their bond is broken.”

“Involuntarily,” Caden stressed. “I’ve no doubt Lucan still regards Anka as his, and they were in love. Why would she not welcome him back? I’m here to find her so they can bond again, not solve your problems.”

Bram sighed. “Lucan is my best friend, and I want more than anything to make him whole again. But that is a mission of mercy. The other matters are of life and death.”
“If you do not help me find Anka, Lucan will die!”

“If we fail to act on this new problem, thousands, maybe millions, will die. Including Lucan.”

Sacrificing one for many. Bram had shoved this “necessity” down Caden’s throat before. His patience was wearing thin. Exhaling, he rubbed gritty eyes. Every day, worrying. Every night, not sleeping—he often paced, Lucan’s mad countenance swimming in his mind. Meanwhile, his brother’s “friends” worried about everyone else.

“Please.” Simon Northam, aka Duke, the youngest of the Doomsday Brethren, drilled him with a direct stare. “We need you as much as Lucan. The sooner we tend to these issues, the sooner we can help him.”

Caden felt four pairs of eyes locked on him. Except for the fact Bram had kept a roof over Lucan’s head, he owed these men nothing. He’d known them a mere fortnight, wanted nothing to do with magickind and their problems. But their stares accused him of abandoning them…and Lucan’s cause. Guilt twisted in his gut.

Blast them! He merely wanted peace and solitude since witnessing half his friends dying in Iraq. Of the few who had survived, two had returned home, only to commit suicide. Another was in prison, unable to make the transition from shooting terrorists in a desert shit hole to walking the dog in suburbia. The last had gone missing following a training exercise at his home base. The tragic death of Caden’s younger brother nearly two decades ago had proved that magic’s body count was even more shocking and heartbreaking. He’d had enough of loss, of death. As soon as Lucan recovered, Caden would return to his sedate life as a staff photographer for a Dallas newspaper. No one died taking pictures of city council meetings.

“The Doomsday Brethren means a great deal to Lucan,” Bram reminded.

Manipulative bastard.

“Besides, you may soon need us. Your magic is coming…”

Caden prayed that his sleeplessness was merely anxiety, stress, and not a harbinger of his own coming transition into magic. But there was no denying the electrical surges and flashes of emotion racing through his body of late. He feared the witching hour— in this case, his thirtieth birthday—was approaching. “Not if I can help it.”

“You can’t.” Bram shrugged. “If you have the magic gene, it’s coming.”

Marrok, the human warrior-giant who looked every inch a medieval knight, from the slash of straight hair that reached his shoulders to the sword strapped to his hip, frowned at Bram. “Does this new problem concern Shock? Have we yet heard from the varlet?”

The shadiest member of the Doomsday Brethren had been MIA since their battle two weeks ago with the evil wizard Mathias, who sought to control magickind with the help of his minions, the Anarki. During that skirmish, Shock had suddenly appeared to switch his loyalties to the other side. No surprise there, given the man’s dark background. Because Shock was both Anka’s previous suitor and cozy with Mathias, Bram thought he might be willing to divulge Anka’s whereabouts. Caden disagreed. Mathias had brutalized Anka after abducting her and forcing her to break her mate bond with Lucan. Shock had apparently done nothing to help her.

Bram, Ice, and Duke all shook their heads.

“Nothing? That is vexing,” Marrok snarled. “Surely he has told Mathias much about us.”

“It’s Mathias’s quiet that disturbs me,” Ice cut in. “Two weeks of it… Right dodgy. Makes me itch.”

If Caden cared about magickind, he’d agree. But his only mission was to determine what Mathias had done with Anka and return her in the hopes of restoring Lucan’s sanity.

“During our last battle, Olivia laid a bolt of power on Mathias that should have flattened the bastard,” drawled Duke. Clad head to toe in designer everything, he looked perfectly urbane and wealthy, the artful muss of his dark hair cut perfectly, just like his aristocratic features, all the way down to his cleft chin. “It appeared to deplete his magic and should have prevented him from rising again, but…”

“This is Mathias,” Ice finished.

Exactly. If Mathias regained even half his power, the small but determined cabal of warriors assembled under Bram’s direction were screwed, and every man in the room knew it. How could the Doomsday Brethren kill a wizard who had already returned from the dead once? He had an army of slaves at his disposal. Caden could count the Doomsday Brethren on one hand.

Bram winced. “I’m afraid, gentlemen, our problems are worse than that.”

Marrok muttered, “Would that we knew from whence Mathias found so many disposable recruits.”

Those were troubling, indeed. Mathias had stripped the souls from their human bodies to create walking dead Anarki, for the purpose of helping Mathias enslave magickind and destroy the Doomsday Brethren. During their last battle, the black-blooded zombies had been plentiful—and immune to magic.

“All true,” Bram conceded. “But I called you here to discuss something even more critical.”

Ice cast him a cutting stare. “Your magical signature tells me you took a human mate last night? A problem, indeed.”

Caden’s jaw dropped. Bram, one of the most pedigreed wizards today, had taken a human mate?

“Wouldn’t your grandfather be proud?” Ice sneered. “Merlin prized that pure bloodline. Pity.”

Bram charged toward Ice. “Shut your bloody mouth, you fu—”

“Cease!” Marrok grabbed him and held him back.

Caden was inclined to help. Bram and Ice were always at one another’s throats. If Bram needed wizards loyal to him for the Doomsday Brethren, why the devil had he picked Ice to join?

“Piss off!” Bram growled.

“We can fight no enemy if we are too busy fighting one another,” Marrok advised.

“Beating in the tosser’s skull would make me feel better.”

“What has you on edge?” Duke asked.

Caden wondered the same thing. Bram was usually the voice of sanity amidst all this magical muck. At the moment, he behaved as if he was crawling out of his skin, one step away from the mental ward.

“Where is your mate?” Ice added fuel to the fire. “I’d like to offer her my condolences.”

“My mate is none of your concern. However, the Book of Doomsday is.” Bram hesitated, then rolled his shoulders. “Last night, while I slept, she found it.”

“Found it? Lying about?” Duke demanded.

“It was hidden.” Bram rubbed the back of his neck. “She must have searched for it.”

An ominous gong clanged in Caden’s gut. Magickind wasn’t his issue, but if that book disappeared…everyone, magical and human, was at risk.

“She cozied up to you to find the book?” Ice looked ready to laugh.

Bram didn’t have to answer; the humiliation on his face did it for him.

“Shut up!” Caden glared at the stubble-headed wizard, then turned back to Bram. “What happened? Where is the diary?”

“She took it and disappeared.”

Bram’s quiet admission resounded through the room.

“Fuck,” Ice muttered.

“You have no idea where it is?” Caden struggled to pick his jaw off the floor. “Where she is?”


“Double fuck,” came Ice again.

The Doomsday Diary was the ultimate weapon in the magical war. If used properly, it was rumored to grant any wish, up to and including the world’s annihilation. People had died in Mathias’s quest to obtain it. Lucan’s life was in shambles because of it. The Doomsday Brethren had formed and were fighting a war to protect it. If Mathias obtained the book and used it to bring about doomsday—well, that was everyone’s problem.

“I second what Ice said,” Caden muttered.

“You had no magical protections on the book?” Duke asked.

“Of course. Against anyone magical. I never imagined a human would know of the book’s existence, much less that I had it. The only way she could know is if she’s Mathias’s pawn. I worry… What if he has the diary now? What will he do to her?” Bram paced, raking a frantic hand through his golden hair.

Marrok planted a friendly hand on Bram’s shoulder. “Use your bond to find her.”

With a shake of his golden hair, Bram sighed in frustration. “I can’t and I don’t understand why. I should be able to… It’s confounding me.”

“You touched her, aye?” Marrok asked. “Did you not use your powers to read her mind?”

“Yes…and no. I could read her body with my touch, but not her thoughts. I’ve never encountered such a woman before.”

Duke sighed. “What the devil should we do now?”

Panic? Caden kept the thought to himself.

“Not to add to our problems, but have you seen this?” Duke slid a newspaper in the middle of Bram’s desk. The bold black headline screamed Supernatural Forces Battle in South London Tunnel.

Bram glanced at the paper. “Out Of This Realm? It’s a rag. No one takes that rubbish seriously.”

Not true. Back home, several of the reporters at the Dallas Morning News were addicted to the paper’s imaginative stories. They were more creative than The National Enquirer.

“That may change after this issue’s lead article. The byline belongs to a reporter named Sydney Blair. She’s disturbingly close to the truth. Most news outlets wrote off the battle with Mathias as a foiled terrorist act, a gang initiation, or the work of a madman. Ms. Blair calls it ‘an ongoing clash between powerful factions within magickind.’”

Bram’s eyes bulged. “How the bloody hell does she even know there’s a magickind, much less an ongoing battle? Few in magickind know of Mathias’s return.”

Though Caden had eschewed magic long ago, even he knew the necessity of keeping magickind’s existence a secret from humans. Witch hunts, trials for heresy, and burnings at the stake weren’t distant memories for a society whose citizens often lived to be one thousand. The seventeenth century was, relatively speaking, last year. No one was naïve enough to think that technology was any insurance policy against genocide. People still killed what they didn’t understand.

“I consulted Peers and People of Magickind before coming here. I found no mention of her,” Duke said. “She is no witch, nor is she mated to a wizard.”

“Human? Mayhap she’s one of Mathias’s soulless minions,” Marrok suggested.

“If Mathias wanted to influence humanity, he wouldn’t take over a tabloid reporter’s mind to do it,” Bram assured. “Besides, if she’s still leading a human life, she could not do so looking like an undead Anarki. The other humans notice walking cadavers.”

“So she’s fully human,” Duke surmised. “And frightfully well informed.”

“Or perhaps…” Ice glared at him. “She’s getting her information from someone who rejected magickind and would celebrate its end.”

“Me?” Caden jumped in the big wizard’s face. “I’ve no love for magic, true, but I would never advocate mass murder. Besides, ending you all would mean my brother’s death. Would I be here saving him if I was willing to kill magickind?”

Duke nodded, the cooler head prevailing. “He’s right.”

Muttering, Ice backed away. Barely.

Turning back to the newspaper, Duke went on, “Whoever she is, she’s dangerous. The rest of the article is equally disturbing. ‘The bodies discovered in the tunnel are decomposed far beyond expected, given their recent deaths.’”

“This is no secret.” Marrok waved his words away. “The media has been scratching over that like a mongrel with fleas.”

“Listen further,” Duke barked. “‘Out Of This Realm has learned the bodies bear new wounds and fresh traces of gunpowder, suggesting they somehow fought in the battle, rather than merely being left behind as a macabre message. It appears as if they were actually more dead than alive prior to the battle, but able to fight due to evil magic.’”

“She’s guessing,” said Bram.

But even he didn’t sound convinced. Caden winced.

Duke shook his head. “Here’s more: ‘According to an anonymous source, there’s a mad wizard on the loose once more, allegedly fighting social injustice in the magical world. He’ll stop at nothing to tear down the establishment and replace it with his version of anarchy.’”

Caden shook his head. Poor magical bastards.

“Who is this anonymous source?” Bram demanded.

Duke laced his fingers together with quiet concern. “Ms. Blair claims it’s ‘a witch who recently found herself tangled in this magical war.’”

“A witch?” Ice spat. “Who knows so much?”

Caden’s heart stuttered and adrenaline charged. “Anka.”

“Or perhaps any of the other missing women, like Craddock’s daughter,” Ice pointed out. “But what witch in her right mind would spill sensitive secrets to a bloody reporter?”

Who knew? Still… “It could be Anka,” Caden insisted.

And possibly the first clue Caden had discovered to her whereabouts in a fortnight.

“Whoever her source, Sydney Blair knows there’s a magickind, that we’re at war, and that Mathias is supposedly fighting the Social Order,” Duke insisted.

“The moment anyone actually listens, humanity will hunt us. It’ll make the Inquisition will seem like a bloody holiday.” Bram raked a hand through his disheveled golden hair and continued to pace. “And if Mathias reads this, her life may well be in danger. We must handle this situation immediately.”

Bram leaned back against his desk. The morning sun slanted through the office’s open shutters, showing just how much strain the wizard was enduring. He swallowed, then pinned a wily gaze on Caden that made his blood freeze. “I know how we can deal with Ms. Blair. You’ve worked at a newspaper.”

Caden sent him a wary glance. “So?”

“Offer your services as a photographer and shut her up, before she reveals anything more about magickind.”

He didn’t want to get involved. “Why don’t you visit her and do that wizard mind-reading trick of yours?”

“Only works if I’m touching a woman—deeply. Now that I’m mated…well, I can no longer get that close to Sydney Blair, or any woman except mine. So you’ll have to go and pry information from her the human way.”

Caden’s thoughts raced. Perhaps he could placate them and help his brother. If he worked for Ms. Blair, he could discern if her anonymous source was Anka.

Bram smiled tightly. Bloody bastard had Caden by the balls and he knew it. In order to make Lucan whole, he must find his brother’s mate. At the moment, the reporter was his best—and only—lead.


“Have we come to the part yet where I spank you?”

Sydney Blair closed her eyes as the last notes of “Happy Birthday” echoed through the small conference room. Had her perpetually-randy coworker, Jamie, actually suggested a little light S&M with the entire staff of Out Of This Realm looking on?

A dozen of the newspaper’s employees twittered with nervous laughter, except her yummy new photographer, Caden MacTavish. Mortified, Sydney risked a glance at him. The taut arms bunched over his wide chest and the chilly blue of his watchful eyes made her wince.

Sydney slowly turned to the office lothario with a glare that let him know how little she appreciated his comment. He merely wagged his brows at her and grinned from ear to ear.

“Have we come to the part yet where you leave?” Caden countered.

The words somehow sounded polite. Caden had that upper crust Londoner sound, though muted by time elsewhere. But he could still say most anything and sound civilized. His current expression, on the other hand, rivaled Attila the Hun’s on a bad day.

“You think you should be first to have a go at her?” Jamie challenged Caden. “I’ve seen how you stare.”

Sydney went hot all over—from more than simple embarrassment. Caden lit her up like a millennium fireworks show. She’d be thrilled if the man had sexual thoughts of her. But in the few days she’d worked with him, he had not appeared to notice her more than professionally, despite Jamie’s delusions to the contrary.

“Bad Karma!” Aquarius, her flower-child assistant, scolded. “Mellow!”

Neither spared a glance for the little waif. Silver bracelets tinkling, Aquarius reached out to Caden. Whether she intended to soothe him or test his aura, Sydney didn’t know. She shot a warning glance at her assistant. Now was not a good time for her healing-crystal/save-the-world routine.

“You may find this concept hard to grasp,” Caden asserted, “but some men are capable of admiring more about a woman than what’s in her knickers.”

Jamie scoffed. “If he’s a nancy boy.”

Sydney smothered a laugh. Caden was definitely not gay. Despite that, she felt certain he’d never considered what went in her knickers. “Stop it, both of you! This is a birthday party, not a brawl.”

“What’s your wish?” asked Leslie from Circulation, trying to smooth the tension.

A romping shag with Caden, but since that wasn’t likely to happen… head reporter had a lovely ring to it. Sure, she worked for a paranormal tabloid that few took seriously, but it paid the bills. Soon, she hoped to make a name for herself writing stories that traditional journalists eschewed. And people everywhere would recognize her once she found proof of the supernatural. Until then she would write about the world she believed must exist—and her parents had utterly rejected. Besides, Out Of This Realm was a scream to work at. Where else could she collect a salary for chasing Ripper ghosts and conducting interviews at the London Psychic Centre?

Her personal life, on the other hand? Disaster. How did one manage to become a sad spinster at twenty-eight? The endless string of dates from her uni days had been replaced with deadlines and staff meetings. Her last boyfriend… His pretty face had failed to compensate for the fact he had the IQ of a dead houseplant and the emotional range of a pea. Perhaps she should wish for a man.

For Caden.

Yummy waves of chocolate hair with caramel streaks, fathomless blue eyes, a body that belonged in magazines—and a reserved exterior that made her long to know the man beneath. Too bad the attraction didn’t run both ways. She sighed.

“She can’t tell us her wish or it won’t come true,” Holly, her editor, pointed out, then faced Sydney. “Now stop fannying about and open your gifts.”

Sydney looked at the gifts on the table, but her gaze strayed to Caden, who continued glaring at Jamie.

He was a puzzle, that one.

From the moment Caden had walked in the door, he’d been fixated on that battle in the South London tunnel a few weeks back. He’d said her story about the magical war was utter rubbish…but asked a load of questions, especially about her source. Not that Sydney would tell him—or anyone else—the woman’s name. Impossible, anyway. She didn’t know it.

Aquarius distracted the tense crowd by shoving a bright pink floral-wrapped box into Sydney’s hands. From the number of packages stacked on the small round table in the conference room, it looked as if everyone had brought her something.

“You shouldn’t have gone to such trouble.”

“We want to show you how much we appreciate you,” said Leslie.

Aquarius started pouring cups of her infamous home-blended herbal tea as Sydney unwrapped gifts. A pair of delicate silver earrings, a relaxing massage at a local day spa, and a sumptuous Italian silk scarf trimmed in blue crushed velvet. Jamie gave her a gift certificate for a large pizza and a Blockbuster card—both of which he’d likely insist on sharing. Caden had given her a somewhat impersonal card and a small box of nice chocolates. She would have preferred a hungry kiss.

Wrapping paper and greeting cards littered the table when Sydney at last got to Aquarius’s package. The young woman was practically vibrating with excitement. “Open this! It’s from me.”

“You baked and organized and still got me something? You shouldn’t have.”

With the butterfly tattoo on her shoulder and her mesh and lace top, Aquarius didn’t dress like a normal assistant and refused to make coffee—too full of chemicals and caffeine. She wasn’t good with a computer…yet. But Aquarius had a knack for stories, for juggling Sydney’s hectic schedule, fielding the editor-in-chief, soothing paranoid readers and keeping internal chaos at a minimum. And despite being total opposites, she and Aquarius had become good friends. Sydney smiled at the thought.

“Are you two going to start snogging or are you going to open that?” Jamie hollered.

After tossing another glare at Jamie, Sydney turned to the gift. It was square and slightly heavy, wrapped in buttery yellow linen.

“Open it. Go on,” she whispered.

An odd anticipation revved through Sydney as she plucked at the silky white bow and tore open the wrapping to reveal…a book. An old-fashioned book. A red leather cover with gilt framing and some sort of scripty-looking symbol on the front. Sydney tried to hide her confusion.

Caden elbowed in and gave the book a very hard stare.

Aquarius laughed and urged her, “Read the card inside.”

With a shrug, she opened the cover to reveal. Hmm… An empty book with ever-so-slightly yellowed pages and a little white square of paper with a formal-looking script that read:

On these magical pages, spill your sensual fantasy,
In a mere day’s time, your wishes will become reality.
A kiss, a touch, a whisper, whatever you most desire,
In the arms of your lover, pleasure will burn hotter than fire.

If you’d like to read the rest of chapter 1, click here.

I’m so excited to finally start sharing some of these next two Doomsday Brethren titles with you all. I’ve heard from many of you that 13 months between titles seems like forever, and I agree. Working my butt off to bring you stories in the series as fast as I possibly can.

In the meantime, read the excerpt and and leave a comment here. I’ll choose 3 winners a three-chapter electronic sneak peek of the book by Monday. Comment quickly!

I’ll be back next month with more information about my FREE Doomsday Brethren eBook, Fated, which will be out soon.

A REALLY Hot Summer!

Not only is it over 100 degrees here, but my air conditioning went out. So I’m sitting at my desk, sweltering… I’m also contributing to the summer heat with my latest trade paperback release, STRIP SEARCH, which hits shelves July 7!

Strip SearchBerkley HEAT
ISBN-10: 0425229254
ISBN-13: 978-0425229255
Genre: Sexy Contemporary Romance
Re-Release Date: July 7, 2009

Pre-Order: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Borders
Buy eBook: Amazon Kindle

Read an Excerpt

The best way to go undercover is take it all off….

A sexy CPA goes undercover as a male stripper in the mobster’s Vegas club to nail a Mafia kingpin. The perk? The club’s owner. Sure she’s got some unsavory connections, but how can anyone with those legs be all bad?

She’s got a head for business, but is out of practice in the pleasure department. If anyone can strip her of her inhibitions it’s the new guy who’s stirring her wildest g-string fantasies. But besides the sizzling sexual chemistry they have in common, they both have secrets. They learn quickly that, with the mob closing in, what gets exposed is as irresistible as it is dangerous.

Road to Romance Reviewers ChoiceJoyfully RecommendedPassionate Plume Finalist


5 out of 5!Ms. Bradley has penned yet another explosive hit. Spine-tingling action and edge-of-your-seat danger… a gripping tale that will stay with you long after you close the book.”
— Coffee Time Romance

5 out of 5! “HOT, HOT, HOT!!! The characters are very well written, the plot is fast paced and never boring and the sex is incredible. This is a great book for your summer reading and one of my top picks!”
— Romance Reviews Today

Reviewer’s Choice Award.STRIP SEARCH packs a hell of a wallop, is an exciting, steamy and magnificent story. If I had to rate this book out of ten, it would certainly get a fifteen! Twists, turns, titillating and explosive sexual chemistry and memorable characters—readers can’t ask for more.”
— Road to Romance

Golden Rose Award. “STRIP SEARCH is a real page turner and you will want to keep a special place on your keeper shelf free for this book. You really don’t want to miss the wonderful story.”
— Love Romances

“Spicy hot love scenes, powerful emotions, and terrific characterizations deliver a superb story.”
— Rendezvous Magazine

Recommended Read!STRIP SERACH is delicious… Ignore the sugary cover because inside is a thrilling, erotic and searing read! I highly recommend STRIP SEARCH…”
— Joyfully Reviewed

“Are you ready for the ‘hottest’ read of the summer? If so then, STRIP SEARCH is the book you do not want to miss. Ms. Bradley has definitely given readers a book for the keeper shelf… Readers will be unable to put this book down.”
— Romance Readers Connection

5 out of 5!STRIP SEARCH is … definitely worth reading—repeatedly. I congratulate Ms. Bradley on her work of art.”
— Just Erotic Romance Reviews

5 out of 5!STRIP SEARCH kept me spellbound and on the edge of my seat from the time I started reading it until I read the very last word. As far as heroes go, Mark has to be one of my favorites.”
— Romance Junkies

Bradley has created a hot and steamy fire bed of romance… Readers who like a lot of heat and passion with one of the hottest hero hunks around should make sure they put STRIP SEARCH at the top of their list.”
— Romance Designs



“How do you feel about spending every night surrounded by adoring women eager to worship your body?”

Mark Sullivan stared at his brother-in-law across the desk in the posh Manhattan office as if he’d lost his mind. “Is this a trick question?”

With a rueful smile, Rafe said, “I got a call from my pal Norton over at the FBI yesterday. He needs a little freelance work done.”

“Really? Is that regulation?”

“It’s a favor. I owe Norton for keeping my ass out of a sling while I was…bending the law to prevent you from doing ten to twenty in beautiful Leavenworth.”

“Then I owe him, too. Big time. But why don’t you want this. He asked for you, right?”

Rafe hesitated. “This is a little beyond my realm. You know my business is primarily electronic security. This case really needs a CPA, my man, and that’s you.”

“Okay. What’s up?”

“Norton wants to send in a civilian, someone who has fewer rules to follow, someone fresh. The FBI has an agent in this location already on a separate case but…they suspect something is up, that maybe the agent has gone rogue. They haven’t heard from this person in nearly three months.”

“Got a name?”

“Nope.” Rafe shook his head. “Norton wouldn’t spill it, just in case the agent is even deeper undercover or has temporarily stopped communicating because things are hot. In either event, watch for signs and steer clear.”

“Sure.” Mark grinned. “When do we get to the part with the adoring women?”

“Ha! I knew that would get your attention.” The smile slid off Rafe’s face. “We’ll come back to that. Have a seat.”

Frowning, Mark stared at his sister’s husband and lowered himself into a black leather club chair. The jagged Manhattan skyline jutted up into a gray sky, but the sight did nothing to distract him now. Why the secrecy? Why the formality?

“Okay, I’m sitting. What’s this about?”

“Here’s the deal: The Feds are chasing a Mafia connection. Money laundering. If they can figure out where the money is coming from and where it’s going, they hope it will net them a big fish.”

“Makes sense.” Mark shrugged. “So why are you looking at me like I’m a big game hunter and you’re about to tell me guns have been outlawed?”

“The tip came from your ex-wife, Mark. She finally gave up some information about her connection. With her trial starting soon, she’s looking for a plea bargain.”

Apparently she valued her plea bargain more than her neck. While he was glad she was finally cooperating, it didn’t surprise Mark that Tiffany failed to grasp the fact her freedom would be worth nothing if she was dead. Appreciation for lasting things had never been her strong suit. She’d certainly valued quick, easy money more than their marriage.

“So what did Tiffany say?” Mark finally asked.

“She didn’t have the guy’s name, just a description and the name of the place he worked at the time of their connection. She claims her contact told her he would gain control of the money pipeline this summer.”

“Okay.” Mark realized Rafe held a manila envelope in his hand and wore a reluctant expression. “What’s in the envelope?”

“Nothing, really,” Rafe said, looking away and tossing the brownish rectangular envelope on his desk. “Just some papers and… Nothing.”

“Bullshit.” Mark stood and crossed the space in three long strides. “When I came to work with you, we agreed up front to complete honesty. Don’t go back on your word now, man.”

Rafe rolled his eyes. “Now I know why your sister can sniff out even the tiniest white lie. You trained her too well, damn it. I can’t even surprise her for Christmas, while she managed to blow me away with the announcement that she was pregnant.”

“Stop trying to sidetrack me. What’s in the envelope?” Mark said through gritted teeth, feeling his temperature rise.

Whatever it was, Rafe wanted to hide it bad. Since coming to work with his brother-in-law, they’d been nothing but even, equal. After a rocky introduction, they’d settled into a great working and familial relationship.

So this shit just pissed him off.

Rafe sighed and reached for the envelope. “Don’t look at this. It’s really unnecessary. What you need to know is, the guy we’re after is Caucasian, stands just at six feet, is somewhere between twenty-eight and thirty-five, has dark brown hair and brown eyes, no distinguishing tattoos or birthmarks.”

“Gee, that narrows the suspects down to ten percent of the male population. Hell, that could almost describe you. Let me see what’s in the envelope.”

Without further comment, Rafe sighed and handed Mark the packet.

First, he withdrew a piece of paper with a candid headshot taken out on the street during a cloudy day, along with a small bio. “Blade Bocelli? This is the guy we’re after?”

“With the description Tiffany provided, I called a PI who owed me a favor. He narrowed the list of suspects down significantly. This is the most viable one. Bocelli is a mid-level thug, but he has a direct line to the upper echelons of the Gamalini Family, we think, through Pietro DiStefano. Bocelli’s brother was Mafia, but he went to prison a few years ago for murdering a federal prosecutor. Anyway, it appears Blade Bocelli is the dude the Feds want to nail.”

“Great.” Nodding, Mark reached inside again and withdrew an eight-by-ten glossy photo.

The breath left his body in a single rush. Tiffany.

Mark stared at the picture of his ex-wife, taken during their marriage, as evidenced by the fact she was wearing the wedding ring he’d put on her finger one rainy November afternoon. She had her skirt hiked up to her hips, her black high heels spread wide and a dark-headed man standing between them, his pants loose about his hips. Black leather stretched across the man’s wide back and shoulders as he held Tiffany in place with a white-knuckled grip. In the heat of the moment, her red hair had fallen askew and her mouth opened wide.

“Son of a bitch,” he muttered.

“You didn’t need to see that, Mark. Seriously. I tried—”

“It’s not as if I didn’t know she cheated.” But it didn’t keep the sight of it from curling rage through his stomach. “Some computer tech head, the janitor at the bank, now this guy. That’s the least of her crimes, really.”

Tiffany didn’t have the power to hurt him now, nearly a year after their divorce. Shock, at times. Annoy, every time.

She’d only married him to frame him for embezzlement so that she could launder money for the Mafia and take her cut. A year ago, when he’d first learned the truth, it had devastated him. The knowledge he’d meant nothing to her beyond the means to a profit had flattened his heart. He’d loved her—or thought he had.

Today, she was just a stinging reminder of his failure to see her for what she was, his piss poor ability to recognize what true love wasn’t, and his really, really bad taste in women.

“I’m sorry,” Rafe muttered. “Look, if this case is too personal…”

Too personal? Being humiliated and duped was personal. Catching the jerk who helped orchestrate his downfall—that sounded like a good time.

“No, I want it. If this Blade Bocelli is the scumbag who helped Tiffany on her way to prison,” while plowing his way between my ex-wife’s thighs, “and he’s laundering money, he deserves to do hard time.”

Rafe slapped him on the shoulder. “You’re a better man than me. If I saw a picture like that of my wife with another man, I’d dismember him slowly and painfully.”

“My ex-wife, thank you very much. Besides, you don’t have anything to worry about. My sister would never do that to you. She loved you, even when you were too stupid to know you reciprocated.”

“Point taken.” Rafe smiled. “So, want to hear your cover? This is the part where the adoring women come in.”

Mark tossed the offending picture of Tiffany and her Mafia thug lover onto Rafe’s desk. “Finally, a subject of great interest. Lay it on me.”

“You’re going to Las Vegas. Blade Bocelli appears to still be living and working at the same Vegas nightclub he started at last year, shortly after it opened.”

“What do we know about the club?”

It’s called Girls’ Night Out. It’s actually a male strip joint. Hence the adoring women.”

Mark hesitated. “I’m going in as the accountant, right?”

Rafe’s cat-ate-the-canary smile warned him that something was deeply wrong. “The club is actively seeking dancers. I hope you don’t have two left feet.”

Mark stood. “Wipe that freakin’ smirk off your face. I’m not going in there as a male stripper and taking off my clothes so bored housewives can shove dollar bills down my G-string.”

“It’s our only in.”

Cursing a blue streak, Mark paced to the other side of the room and gazed absently over the midtown view. “I’m a hell of a lot better prepared to demonstrate karate than shake my booty. I’ve never done anything like that.”

“We have two weeks to prep. I’ve got a line on someone who’s `retired’ from the biz and can teach you what you need to know.”

“But an exotic dancer? C’mon…be serious.”

“That’s the gig. You want to catch this guy or not?”

Mark stewed in silence, contemplating all the ways he’d make an idiot out of himself on stage wearing nothing but a scrap of cloth with a piece of string up his ass.

“Oh, and before you answer, let me introduce you to one of the major perks of the case,” Rafe said, cutting into his brooding.

Rafe reached into the packet again, this time to extract yet another photo. Only this one was of a woman in brief denim shorts and a red tank top, holding a pen and a few pieces of paper. Her head was turned toward one shoulder, facing whoever had been holding the camera, her expression looking slightly off-guard. Dark hair framed her face, drifted halfway down her back. Slanted blue eyes looked a bit wide and startled, while full lips parted in question.

Mark grabbed the photo and stared harder. She had a face beautiful enough to qualify as a starlet’s and a body tempting enough to belong to the Devil’s daughter. Immediately, his imagination turned unruly. He pictured himself parting her lips—with his tongue, with his cock. Her cleavage peeked out above her tank top, and his pants grew a tad too tight as he thought about peeling it off, holding her pert breasts in his hands, and kissing her nipples. Brown? Pink? Coral? Didn’t matter. He wanted her.

“I thought she might get your attention.”

“Who is she?” Mark demanded

“The club’s owner, famous New York party girl Nicola DiStefano, Pietro DiStefano’s niece and…your new boss.”

A smile crept across his face. “Seriously?”

“Before you start thinking about what a cushy assignment this is, there’s one catch: The Feds think it’s likely Nicki is in the dark about her club being used by Bocelli to launder money, probably for her uncle, a big-time Mafia man. But they don’t know for certain that she’s unaware, so she can’t know her place is being investigated.”

“No problem. I’ll maintain my cover.”

“Which reminds me, you’ll be going in as Mark Gabriel. I’m having a phony driver’s license and social security card made for you as we speak. But it’s a bit more complicated than that. You’ve got to get into her club’s books and study them. Find out what’s going on, see if there are any patterns, try to glean who might be behind it all. To do that, you’ll have to earn her trust.”

“Earn her trust. How?”

Rafe sent him a sly grin. “Be creative.”

Mark had ideas, juicy, salivating, lustful ones…though not deeply ethical. Being a guy, Rafe’s mind obviously ran in the same direction.

“C’mon. What are you suggesting I do, fuck it out of her?”

“Whatever works.”

He rolled his eyes. “So while I’m working for her, I get her to trust me. Fine. I’ll find a way to get it done.”

“It’s still not that easy. The job isn’t just yours. You still have to…ah, audition.”

* * * *

“Bring in the next victim,” Nicki DiStefano called with a long-suffering sigh.

Within moments, her younger half-sister Lucia appeared, thick auburn hair restrained in an elegant French twist and white librarian sweater perched on her shoulders. Nicki laughed as she stared down at herself. The black bra she hadn’t realized she was wearing was visible through her yellow tank top, and her diamond navel ring winked in the club’s dimmed lights.

“So how was the first audition?” Lucia asked.

Nicki pushed aside all thoughts of the ways she and her half-sister were different and realized this was one thing they would agree on wholeheartedly.

She made a face at Lucia. “Blech! He’d been watching too many old Michael Jackson videos, I think.”


Lucia laughed, managing to sound so refined and mature, despite being a mere twenty-three, more than three years Nicki’s junior. Then again, earning a Ph.D. the same year she could legally drink, rather than learning intimately the inside of every nearby evening hot spot, did make Lucia more mature. Nicki had never finished college…but she’d sure known every nightclub worth knowing in New York. She grimaced at the realization and shoved the thought away.

“All the crotch grabbing…” Nicki said with a shudder. “I think he liked the self-touching for an audience way too much. Put a whole new meaning to the song ‘Beat It.’”

With a hand over her mouth, Lucia stifled another laugh. “Well, maybe your second candidate will be an improvement. He’s certainly very easy on the eyes.”

With that cryptic comment, Lucia disappeared. She might be a refined history professor, but that twinkle in her eye was pure mischief. Maybe her sister was being facetious.

“Bring him on,” Nicki called.

A moment later, the stage door creaked, then slammed shut. Dang it, she really needed to buy some WD-40 for that…

Oh. My. God.

Through the stage door and past the black curtain, her second audition entered the room. Nicki lost her breath—and the ability not to gape like an utter idiot.

Who was this Adonis dressed in a crisp white collared shirt and black leather pants? A glance at her list told Nicki that his name was Mark Gabriel. Such an innocuous few syllables to term the embodiment of every sexual fantasy she ever remembered having.

The room felt warm suddenly as he stepped onto the stage, under the dimmed lights, a worn leather backpack slung over one shoulder. Lord, he was huge—very tall, broad, bursting with muscle. Blond hair an amazing golden color hung past his collar. His eyes—green? Maybe darker?—pierced her as he nodded.

“Miss DiStefano.”

Wow, his deep, powerful voice alone was orgasm-inducing. Would he be offended if she told him she wanted to take Polaroids so she could fantasize about him the next time she spent a lonely morning with her battery operated boyfriend? And could she get an MP3 of him saying her name, just for effect?

“C—call me Nicki.”

Was she actually stuttering? He hadn’t danced a step, and she was acting like a groupie. Most likely, he got that a lot.

“Nicki,” he returned smoothly.

Was it her imagination, or were her panties actually turning damp?

“And you’re Mark?” she managed to say in a somewhat even tone.


Not a big talker, apparently. That was just as well. All she really wanted to do was look at him…fantasize about touching.

Wait! It’s an audition, not a grope fest, logic screeched. Wishing that logic would keep its nose out of her thoughts, she returned her full attention to Mr. Yummy-Enough-to-Drool-On.

“Ever done this sort of work before? I didn’t get a resume from you.”


No explanation. No offer to get her a resume. Interesting…

“Where are you from?”


Which explained the gorgeous golden skin. “That’s a long way from Vegas.”

“Looking for a change of scenery.”

Nicki hesitated. Something in Mark’s face, a certain tenseness maybe, seemed to say it was far more complicated than having grown tired of looking at palm trees and beaches. But it really wasn’t any of her business. The man was here for a job. If she hired him and he did it well, then the rest, his past, whatever—it didn’t matter.

“Can you dance?”

He shrugged one massive shoulder, even as his lips—oh, how did she miss that scrumptious mouth earlier?—curled up in a smile. “I get by.”

Lord, he gave her the tingles. Why was she interrogating him? He could stand perfectly still and make them both a small fortune. A fortune she desperately needed, if she ever wanted financial independence and freedom from the tight press of her Uncle Pietro’s thumb.

Still, it wasn’t in her nature to take anything at face value, especially men, even if her hormones were doing the mambo.

“Can you flirt?” she asked. “This job requires it.”

As if she had challenged his very manhood, Mark set down his backpack, eased off the stage, and strode toward her table. He didn’t swagger—it would have been too cheesy on him. He…prowled, as if hunting someone. Her, by the look on his face.

And what a face it was. Square jaw, square chin, covered with a fine five o’clock shadow.

As he edged closer, Nicki realized his eyes were neither green nor brown. They were somewhere inbetween, like moss growing over rich earth. They were gorgeous, and she wondered if he was aware of her awestruck stare. Lord, bury her in a hole now if he was.

Mark sat on the edge of her table, leaned forward, and sent her an amused smile.

Dimples. Real, live dimples creasing each side of his face. On any other man, they might have looked girlish. On him, oh no. He looked all man. She’d died and found heaven.

“I can flirt, if I have to. I’d rather just talk to you. About you.”

It had to be a line, and she’d be stupid to be affected by it. Ignoring her speeding heartbeat, Nicki cocked her head and regarded him with what she hoped was a cool gaze. “That’s laying it on a tad thick.”

He leaned in. “It’s being honest. I Googled you before this meeting. You run with quite a crowd. What was it like hanging out with Paris Hilton at parties?”

“Relatively dateless. And once she got into home movies…well, then I really couldn’t compete,” she said flippantly.

“So all the men you met in the past were stupid?”

“Excuse me?”

“To be more interested in a careless bimbo than you, they’ve got to be stupid. To run a business takes some guts, brains, and substance.”

A burst of pleasure flushed her body at his words. For years she’d wondered why men failed to see the qualities of a woman beyond her waistline, ass, or breasts. Maybe this guy did. And maybe he was blowing sunshine up her skirt. She couldn’t deny, however, that he was good.

“You have the most interesting eyes,” he murmured. “They’re so blue and exotic next to your beautiful olive skin.”

“My dad was both a typical Italian and a typical man. I got his skin. Everything else, I got from my mother. She was half Norwegian, half Chinese.”

“No kidding?” His smile widened. “That’s a unique combination.”

“My father liked possessing unique mistresses. She was a beautiful woman.”

“So is her daughter.”

Boy, he looked at her. Right at her. With those vivid hazel eyes, he stared, taking her in. She didn’t want to be affected by his praise or his gaze on her. It was stupid, unprofessional.

You don’t always get what you want, a pesky voice in her head reminded her.

“You going to dance for me, or you going to sit here and gab all day?”

“Whatever you want, boss.” He winked and turned away.

From his backpack, Mark extracted a CD and placed it in the portable player located stage left. Moments later, a rich, sexy techno rhythm filled the air. To the beat of the music, he strutted to the front edge of the stage, his expression mysterious, arrogant, as his gaze locked on to hers. For a man who stood about five inches over six feet, he moved with a slick grace, a smooth prowl. Generally, if a man was a good dancer, he was also good in—

Get your mind out of the gutter, girl. He’s here to audition, not light your fire!

Nicki knew she should be more jaded. She saw this kind of stuff all the time. Every night, in fact. But something about Mark made being impervious utterly impossible. She had no idea why he affected her more than any other hottie working here. But when a bump of his hips had her catching her breath, she couldn’t deny that he did.

A large hand raking through the pale sheen of his hair as he prowled closer had her heartbeat racing. The pure sex attitude and intent stare had her lamenting every last moment of her two years of celibacy.

But when he grabbed the edges of his shirt and ripped them wide, exposing a chest bulging with muscle and abs rippling with definition, Nicki pretty much lost her mind.

The white shirt hung loose on his wide shoulders, stark against his golden skin. Every muscle in his sleek torso bunched as he took a deep breath. His incredible pectorals tightened as he raised his hands from his sides.

They stopped at the waistband of his pants.

His gaze honed in on her again, rich with promise and knowledge. This man knew a thing or two about sin. His thumb glided down his fly, directly down the length of a bulge a blind woman couldn’t miss.

Nicki sucked in a breath and held it.

A reproachful half-smile taunted her just before he yanked on his shirt, stripping it clean away from his body, exposing miles more muscle heaped on his beefy shoulders. A Celtic knot tattoo encircled one of the hard swells of his very healthy biceps. Even his thick forearms, lined with wide veins, attested to his strength and vitality. Holy cow, he looked like he could bench press her Crossfire convertible.

He grabbed his shirt in his large fist and, with it, stroked his way down his chest, throwing his head back to expose the long, strong column of his throat.

Lying to herself was useless. She’d love to be the one to put ecstasy on his face. And thinking that about a prospective employee was about as smart as cranking her air conditioning on and flinging her doors wide to the Vegas summer.

Mark fastened his hot gaze on her once more. He tossed his shirt away with a snap of his wrist and strutted closer, so close she could see a rivulet of sweat sliding down his corded neck. There was no doubt this time; her panties were definitely damp.

Wearing nothing but a naughty smile from the waist up, the Adonis look-alike gyrated his hips in a deep, lazy movement, demonstrating a sure rhythm to the music. The perfect rhythm, in fact, for—

Stop there, she told herself. For God’s sake, she was a grown woman who’d had her fair share of gorgeous men. What was her problem?

Besides not having had a flesh-and-blood man in so long her sexual skills had moved from rusty to corroded beyond salvage?

The notion that sex was like riding a bike seemed too easy, especially when confronted with a man who could probably win the bedroom Tour de France, blindfolded. Not that she’d ever know personally.

Suddenly, he turned away. Nicki’s eyes widened at the sight of his naked back and leather-clad ass. Views of his front and back were equally drool-inducing. No doubt, he got a woman both coming and going…and coming again.

Bad, bad girl.

She drew in a deep breath. Now would be a good time to get her head on straight, rather than mooning over an auditioning man like a thirteen-year-old with her latest Teen Beat magazine. Mark Gabriel was here to serve a purpose, potentially to make her money. Business, her club’s future, financial independence—those were her priorities. Period.

But then he grabbed his leather pants at both sides and pulled. Suddenly, he wore a small black G-string that showed his taut, sculpted ass. And well…the future seemed really far away.

Aware that her mouth gaped open, Nicki closed it. Again, he swung his hips. The muscles in his legs and backside moved in fluid harmony. Every shift in his position showed off his rippling back to perfection.

Where had this guy come from, Hunks R Us?

Finally, he turned and faced her, arms swinging at his sides, as he and his taut belly undulated closer. Now she had to peer up at him, and the new angle had her wishing she had invested in a video camera. It also gave her a really up close and personal view of the fact he wasn’t small anywhere.

Resisting the urge to wipe her sweaty palms down her jeans, she sat on her hands instead, to restrain herself from the powerful temptation to touch. Her panties had gone beyond damp.

Mark smiled, as if he could read her mind.

He dropped to one knee in front of her on the raised stage, and they were nearly eye-level. His gaze seemed to say that he would love nothing more than to master her body, grant her every midnight fantasy. Everything below her waist wholeheartedly accepted.

The music throbbed around them, hot and insistent. He reached out. Toward her. Closer, closer, those long fingers and that broad palm came. He held a lock of hair that framed her face between his thumb and forefinger and slowly drew it through his grasp. Then he feathered his thumb along her jaw as he stared deep into her eyes, as if she was the most fascinating creature in the world.

Her heart all but stopped. Her skin tingled. Everything between her legs ached. She’d run out of adjectives to describe how amazing Mark Gabriel was—a first for her.

With a wink and a dimpled smile, he stood, swung his hips once more, and struck a bodybuilder’s pose that delineated every muscle of his mind-blowing body as the music stopped.

Nicki didn’t know whether to clap madly or run to the stage to attack him, ripping off her clothes as she went. Or send him away before she indulged in the latter.

Instead, she sat stunned, mute.

Mark uncurled from his pose. Casting her a quick glance as if to gage her reaction, he casually gathered his clothes and music, then hopped off the stage. He stood right in front of her, glistening and gorgeous and—oh God—she could smell him now…pine forest, a hint of sweat, and a whole lotta man.

She exhaled and pasted on a smile. “Well done.”

The smile toying at the corners of his mouth displayed his amusement. “Thank you.”

He shifted right, directly into her line of vision, so that she was suddenly staring at his rigid six pack and ample…attributes. Hot tamales, he was temptation on two legs. It would be so easy to indulge her craving for a little afternoon delight and put an end to the lengthy celibacy that suddenly constricted like a spiked collar. His golden skin sliding over thick muscle just brought on fantasies of the power he could bring to bed, the—


Great, he’d caught her staring. Well, duh! She’d been as subtle as a dog panting after a whole pile of juicy bones. She glanced again at his…package and figured any analogy that contained the word “bone” was just a bad idea right now.

Clearing her throat, she stood and met his gaze. “Sorry. Zoned off for a minute. Remembering some things I left unfinished in my office.”

And if you buy that, I’ve got a bridge to sell you…

“I know you’re busy. Sorry if I kept you too long.” He shrugged into his shirt.

“It’s fine. Um, since all I have is a name, I’m going to need some contact information. I’ve got a few more auditions over the next few days, but I’ll call once I’ve made a decision.”

He gave her the number to his cell phone as he donned his pants. Thinking it was a shame to cover up such awe-inspiring scenery, she scribbled his number greedily. Gee, if she called him during a weak moment and lured him into great phone sex, would he know it was her?

“I’ve got caller ID. I don’t always answer the phone, but for you I will.”

Nicki bit her lip to hold in a gasp. Had he read her mind?

No, he wants a job, you idiot. Focus!

“Address?” she asked.

He hesitated. “I just got into town yesterday, so I don’t really have one. Once I find a job, I’ll be looking for a place. For now, I’m staying at a motel.”

“No sweat. I’ll just…call.”

“I’ll look forward to it.” He extended his hand in her direction.

Oh, goody, she was going to get to touch him. Even if he only offered her a handshake instead of an invitation to do the wild thing. Her belly knotting, she folded her much smaller hand in his. Lightning singed its way from her hand, up her arm, straight to her chest the instant he touched her. From the moment she’d set eyes on him, she’d known he had potent written all over him in big red letters. His handshake more than confirmed it. The knot in her stomach tightened…just like her nipples.

Lord, what would happen if the man kissed her, spontaneous combustion?

“Thanks for coming out.” She hoped her smile looked nice and impersonal, as if she were talking to her uncle or old Mr. Piedmont who bagged at the grocery store a few blocks away.

“My pleasure. And hopefully yours, too.” He winked.

Oh, yeah. If the gods were kind, he had no idea just how much.

Hope you enjoyed and that your summer is full of the kind of heat you want! *wink*

New Covers – Doomsday Brethren

I’m so excited, I couldn’t wait to share my new covers and backcover copy!

Doomsday Brethren Series, Book 2
Publisher: Pocket Books
Release Date: September 29, 2009
ISBN 13: 978-1416578444
Genre: Paranormal/Urban Fantasy Romance
Pre-Order: Amazon | Borders | Simon & Schuster
When a villainous wizard escapes from exile, the devastatingly sexy Doomsday Brethren must defend all magickind in the spellbinding second book in bestselling author Shayla Black’s seductive new paranormal series.

Ex-Marine Caden MacTavish has shunned his magical heritage all his life, but he will do anything to heal his desperately ill brother, a Doomsday Brethren warrior in mourning for his missing mate. Posing as a photographer, Caden must convince firecracker tabloid reporter Sydney Blair to reveal the source of her recent exposé on a supernatural power clash. Unfortunately, keeping his hands off the sizzling redhead proves as hard as getting them onto the potent and mystical Doomsday Diary he discovers at her bedside. A bloody rebellion led by an evil, power-hungry wizard is imminent. If Sydney divulges the book’s existence, she will jeopardize magickind’s most deeply guarded secrets and become the ruthless wizard’s number one target. Caden has never trusted magic’s cruel and dangerous powers, but he will protect Sydney with his life and magic—even if it means risking his heart.

Possess Me At Midnight CoverPOSSESS ME AT MIDNIGHT
Doomsday Brethren Series, Book 3
Publisher: Pocket Books
Release Date: October 27, 2009
ISBN 13: 978-1416578468
Genre: Paranormal/Urban Fantasy Romance
Pre-order: Amazon | Borders |Simon & Schuster

An apocalypse approaches in the new novel from bestselling author Shayla Black’s electrifying Doomsday Brethren series, as a magical warrior and a spirited witch ignite a smoldering passion that could destroy them both.

As a mysterious dark cloud drains the life of her beloved brother, Doomsday Brethren leader Bram, Sabelle Rion can think of little else. Still, every time she meets Ice Rykard’s intense green gaze, her body aches with need for the sexy warrior. Their attraction is explosive, incredible—and forbidden. As dangerous as he is unpredictable, Ice is her brother’s sworn enemy. But as Bram weakens, a more sinister force is gaining power. Evil Mathias and his ruthless Anarki army are on a bloodthirsty hunt for the Doomsday Diary. Sabelle must guard the potent book with her life—and Ice vows to protect the beautiful witch with his. Duty demands that Sabelle deny her lover’s fiery call of possession and mate with a man who can sway the magical Council against the impending rebellion. With the fate of magickind hanging in the balance, will she forsake the burning desires she can’t ignore or turn her back on her people for the courageous man she can’t resist?

The covers aren’t absolutely final. The verbiage will be added to and/or changed. But the images are set. I’m really thrilled. What do you think?


I’m thrilled that on Tuesday, March 3, one of my favorite books will re-release in trade paperback: BOUND AND DETERMINED. Let me give you the 411…then a little story to go along with it.

Berkley HEAT
ISBN-10: 0425226905
ISBN-13: 978-0425226902
Genre: Sexy Contemporary Romance
Re-release Date: March 3, 2009

WANTED FOR KIDNAPPING: A bubbly blonde with a penchant for trouble. May be armed (with good intentions) and dangerously seductive…

Kerry Sullivan is running out of time-and patience. With her brother wrongfully accused of embezzling millions, she can’t face one more humiliating hang-up from the man she’s begging for help. Rafael Dawson may be one of the top electronic security experts in the country — and the only man who can prove her brother’s innocence — but his phone manners are appalling. Damn Yankee. Too bad kidnapping the man isn’t an option. Or is it?

There’s nothing Kerry wouldn’t do for her brother. There are lots of things she longs to do to Rafe Dawson when he’s lying tied-up and naked in her secret hideaway. Rafe is certainly something to look at, but Kerry’s brother’s life is riding on her pulling off the impossible: getting this man who’s always in control to lose it. But when the tables get turned, Kerry finds herself at Rafe’s mercy. And the only way to get her way is to let him have his way — with her…

Click here to read an excerpt.


***Top Pick***
“Shelley Bradley has outdone herself with this highly entertaining read. Falling in love should be so much fun!” — Romantic Times Magazine

“BOUND AND DETERMINED is steamier than a Florida night, with characters who will keep you laughing and have you panting for more!”
— New York Times Bestselling Author Susan Johnson

“A searing, frolicking adventure of suspense, love and passion…A must read!”
— New York Times Bestselling author Lora Leigh

“Plenty of chick-lit wit… In BOUND AND DETERMINED, much sexy fun is had by all.”
— New York Times Bestselling Author Angela Knight

“BOUND AND DETERMINED is a flawless story that grips a reader from page one and doesn’t let up… Ms. Bradley’s imaginative storylines and irresistible characters keep her readers coming back for more… Don’t miss it!”
— Road to Romance

“BOUND AND DETERMINED had me laughing out loud one minute and reaching for a glass of ice water the next… a definite Perfect 10.”
— Romance Reviews Today

“This fast paced romantic adventure will take you on the hottest ride of your life.”
— Coffee Time Romance Reviews

“You simply won’t want to put BOUND AND DETERMINED down once you turn over the first page. Ms. Bradley simply shines… A fabulous book I’m not likely to forget in a hurry.”
— Aggie, Just Erotic Romance Reviews

Okay, so now for the story I promised. Notice I said re-release… The new cover and the review quotes above should give you some idea that this book is sexy, maybe even erotic. Definitely not your grandmother’s Harlequin. (And must say here, I’m not dissing Harlequin at all, but this isn’t something they would have published back in the day…) So imagine my horror when the book was first released in 2006 with this cover:


Nothing about this says sexy suspense with a wicked edge of humor. Not one thing. When I pointed this out to my editor at the time, she said, “We think this is very sexy.” Really? Have you been living under a rock?

I unaffectionately began calling this cover “Virgin Barbie and Guido go to the Prom”. *sigh* I’ve heard complaints that this heroine looked 12, but I pictured her much this way. No, my major complaint is him and his…attire. That guy isn’t bad looking, but he’s not Rafe. And Rafe would NEVER, EVER wear that shirt or the “pimp chain” many others pointed out.

This time, when Berkley decided to re-release the book…I got to pick the cover. Thank goodness. So, just like the book itself, its cover has a story that finally ends happily. Oh, and part deux, as my husband likes to call it, STRIP SEARCH re-releases, again with a MUCH improved cover, in July. I can’t wait.

Happy Birthday to Me

So it’s that day of the year I get to celebrate being a year older. Whopee… 🙄 But as my dad says, “You want to be another year older or you want the pine box?” Okay, put like that, another year older sounds great. 😆

As a birthday present, the lovely people at have made my second Doomsday Brethren title, SEDUCE ME IN SHADOW, available for pre-order! The book is out September 29, but you can make sure you don’t miss the next adventure now! If you haven’t started the series yet, TEMPT ME WITH DARKNESS, the first of the Doomsday Brethren titles, is out now!

Other than that, I’ll be writing today. Still trying to finish Doomsday Brethren 3, POSSESS ME AT MIDNIGHT. And I’ll be sticking near my phone. My father-in-law has been in critical condition for nearly a week. I’m hoping we see improvement soon, but every day seems to be something different. Then tonight, looks like we’ll be going to the local hibachi place for dinner. Weather is nasty today, so we’ll just have to see.

In the meantime, here’s a little something I can share with you. Enjoy!