Burn in Your Blood by Lili St. Germain ~ COVER REVEAL

Sometimes, we lose ourselves in the devastation of love.

But sometimes, we find ourselves there, too.

ROME

Avery Capulet. The forbidden fruit. The apple of her Daddy’s eye. The newly-minted Queen of California’s criminal underworld. And now, the missing girl nobody can find.

I know where she is, though. Kneeling before me with her mouth on the end of my cock, tears spilling from her eyes as the last bit of her dignity bleeds from her. I don’t want the pound of flesh that the girl who betrayed me delivers, but I don’t have a choice.

Avery Capulet. Moaning underneath me, as pain merges with pleasure, skin to skin as we do what we can to survive. In the dark, in the wild, we’re like animals. I try not to love her. I try so damn hard. But the war waged inside my heart was won a long time ago, by a girl who should have known better than to trust a man like me.

AVERY

Rome Montague. The boy from my past. The man in my nightmares. The dark, secret lover who makes me feel things I never knew I could feel.

Love and pain can both drive you insane. I fight, and I fight, until all I can do is surrender. Be pulled under. Submit, until I barely recognise myself.

Rome Montague. When he looks at me, I forget the lies that destroyed our past. When he makes me come apart underneath his touch, I forget where we are, and that a faceless enemy pulls our strings like marionettes.

The outside world beckons bright, teasing us with mirages of safety and respite.

But the light of day is a cruel lie.

Because once we find a way out of the dark, we both realize that our nightmare has only just begun.

***  PREORDER NOW ~ RELEASES AUGUST 28  ***
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San Francisco is going to burn if the coveted princess of California’s criminal underworld isn’t returned to her family in one piece … 

 Avery Capulet is missing.
 Taken by a madman. Kept in the dark.
She might not survive.
He’ll use her body. Destroy her mind. All before he ever lays a hand on her.

 Rome Montague is a drug dealer. A criminal. A thief.
And he needs the secrets Avery and her family are keeping – even if it means cutting them out of her pretty Capulet flesh.
Rome Montague is missing – but nobody will miss him.
Not that it matters; After the things he’s done to this girl, he doesn’t deserve to be found.

 * * * * * * *

 Prepare to step into the dark and bloody underworld of California, as Lili St. Germain brings you a modern retelling of Romeo and Juliet, in the same vein as her bestselling Gypsy brothers series.

 The CALIFORNIA BLOOD series, set in the criminal underbelly of San Francisco, follows two warring families who are ruled by blood, power and twisted desire.

Amazon US | iBooks | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Amazon CA

Lili writes books about vengeful girls and villainous men. Her USA Today bestselling Gypsy Brothers series focuses on a morally bankrupt biker gang and the girl who seeks her vengeance upon them. The Cartel series is a prequel trilogy of full-length novels that explores the beginnings of the club, to be released worldwide in print and ebook in 2015 by HarperCollins.

Lili quit corporate life to focus on writing and so far is loving every minute of it. Her other loves in life include her gorgeous husband and beautiful daughter, good coffee, Tarantino movies and spending hours on Pinterest.

She loves to read almost as much as she loves to write.

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER | NEWSLETTER | AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE | GOODREADS

NEW RELEASE!! Verona Blood by Lili St. Germain

San Francisco is going to burn if the coveted princess of California’s criminal underworld isn’t returned to her family in one piece … 

 Avery Capulet is missing.
 Taken by a madman. Kept in the dark.
She might not survive.
He’ll use her body. Destroy her mind. All before he ever lays a hand on her.

 Rome Montague is a drug dealer. A criminal. A thief.
And he needs the secrets Avery and her family are keeping – even if it means cutting them out of her pretty Capulet flesh.
Rome Montague is missing – but nobody will miss him.
Not that it matters; After the things he’s done to this girl, he doesn’t deserve to be found.

 * * * * * * *

 Prepare to step into the dark and bloody underworld of California, as Lili St. Germain brings you a modern retelling of Romeo and Juliet, in the same vein as her bestselling Gypsy brothers series.

 The CALIFORNIA BLOOD series, set in the criminal underbelly of San Francisco, follows two warring families who are ruled by blood, power and twisted desire.

Amazon US | iBooks | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Amazon CA

Lili writes books about vengeful girls and villainous men. Her USA Today bestselling Gypsy Brothers series focuses on a morally bankrupt biker gang and the girl who seeks her vengeance upon them. The Cartel series is a prequel trilogy of full-length novels that explores the beginnings of the club, to be released worldwide in print and ebook in 2015 by HarperCollins.

Lili quit corporate life to focus on writing and so far is loving every minute of it. Her other loves in life include her gorgeous husband and beautiful daughter, good coffee, Tarantino movies and spending hours on Pinterest.

She loves to read almost as much as she loves to write.

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER | NEWSLETTER | AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE | GOODREADS

Verona Blood by Lili St. Germain ~ Excerpt Reveal

San Francisco is going to burn if the coveted princess of California’s criminal underworld isn’t returned to her family in one piece … 

 Avery Capulet is missing.
 Taken by a madman. Kept in the dark.
She might not survive.
He’ll use her body. Destroy her mind. All before he ever lays a hand on her.

 Rome Montague is a drug dealer. A criminal. A thief.
And he needs the secrets Avery and her family are keeping – even if it means cutting them out of her pretty Capulet flesh.
Rome Montague is missing – but nobody will miss him.
Not that it matters; After the things he’s done to this girl, he doesn’t deserve to be found.

 * * * * * * *

 Prepare to step into the dark and bloody underworld of California, as Lili St. Germain brings you a modern retelling of Romeo and Juliet, in the same vein as her bestselling Gypsy brothers series.

 The CALIFORNIA BLOOD series, set in the criminal underbelly of San Francisco, follows two warring families who are ruled by blood, power and twisted desire.

Verona Blood
By Lili St. Germain
Book One in the California Blood quartet
Release Day January 30, 2018

Amazon US | iBooks | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Amazon CA

AVERY

I need somewhere to wipe my palms, but the puffy skirt of my designer gown doesn’t seem appropriate.

“Avery Capulet, everyone!”

Five hundred pairs of eyes look my way as I sashay down the middle of the glass-ceilinged ballroom my father has decked out with nauseating arrays of flowers, of twinkling fairy lights and enough champagne to fill the San Francisco Bay that shimmers beyond the heights of our palatial hotel.

Really, that’s what it’s called: The Palatial Hotel. Because it’s like a damn palace built on the edge of the financial district, full of Austrian crystal chandeliers and Calacatta marble floors.

It’s unseasonably hot in San Francisco this year, especially since we’re in the middle of a heat wave. People in Southern California would probably laugh at us as they roast through their regular hundred-plus summer days, but in the North we’re a little more used to clouds and fog.

I could blame my sweaty palms on the heat wave, but it’s crisp and cold inside the hotel’s grand glass enclosure. Cold like a refrigerator. Like a morgue.

You’re daydreaming again, Avery.

I take a deep breath and focus on my father’s booming voice, forgetting about the crowd of family and my father’s friends. I feel like a head of cattle being marched through a market to fetch the highest bidder. Because although this is merely my twenty-fifth birthday and not an auction, almost everybody is here for one reason.

Money.

My money.

The money that, according to the antiquated rules of our family’s trust, cannot be accessed by women heirs until they marry.

Which is complete fucking bullshit. We’re living in the age of equality, yet, according to the Capulet decree, all women born bearing the Capulet name would be penniless unless they marry a man of their father’s choosing.

Arranged marriage in the twenty-first century? In America?

I almost wish somebody in the crowd would shoot me, put me out of my misery.  

“Think of all that money,” I hear somebody whisper as I walk through the middle of a parted crowd. I look in the direction of the voice, finding a guilty face staring straight back at me. Jacob Goldstein. Preppy guy, Ivy League, all that crap that people spend their lives and their fortunes making sure they’ve got. I went to high school with Jacob, the most exclusive prep school on the West Coast of the United States. He’s been trying to get into my pants since his voice broke and I grew out of my sports bra. Sorry, buddy, you were never on my shortlist.

Yes, I am the only child of the most powerful man in California. Daddy has enough collective money and assets to rival anyone on the Forbes rich list, but he prefers to be discreet with his fortune. If for no other reason than the fact that his wealth isn’t entirely honest. The Capulet family is the Rothschild family of the criminal underworld. Instead of owning and controlling banks, we own and control other things. Diamonds. Guns. Drugs. People. The crisp Benjamins in our vaults might be legal tender, but they likely weren’t obtained through legal channels.

And yes, we own hotels. Lots and lots of hotels. After all, you have to launder the money somewhere, right?

My family has so much money, you could never spend it all. It’s not in any one account or controlled by any one person, but we have enough money to burn piles of the stuff as tall as this building, and not miss it at all.

Many of the men eyeing me off in the crowd find that staggering wealth extremely attractive.

Me, I learned a long time ago that money doesn’t mean much. Beyond granting you food, and shelter, and warmth, money doesn’t do much at all. It doesn’t hold you at night when your father is still working, always working. It doesn’t help you trust anybody who might be a romantic possibility.

Money doesn’t bring your mother back from the dead after she dies giving birth to your stillborn brother when you’re twelve years old. It doesn’t help you understand why your older sister drowned in your backyard when she was about to be married off, leaving you to inherit the burden of everything she was better equipped to handle than you will ever be.

Money: I’m about to have more of it than any of these greedy fucks could imagine.

And I don’t want it.

Not a nickel. Not a penny. Not a dirty dollar bill.

But for my father, I will take it. I will assume the throne of the Capulet family. It’s my destiny, whether I want it or not.

Lili writes books about vengeful girls and villainous men. Her USA Today bestselling Gypsy Brothers series focuses on a morally bankrupt biker gang and the girl who seeks her vengeance upon them. The Cartel series is a prequel trilogy of full-length novels that explores the beginnings of the club, to be released worldwide in print and ebook in 2015 by HarperCollins.

Lili quit corporate life to focus on writing and so far is loving every minute of it. Her other loves in life include her gorgeous husband and beautiful daughter, good coffee, Tarantino movies and spending hours on Pinterest.

She loves to read almost as much as she loves to write.

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER | NEWSLETTER | AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE | GOODREADS

Verona Blood by Lili St. Germain ~ Cover Reveal

San Francisco is going to burn if the coveted princess of California’s criminal underworld isn’t returned to her family in one piece … 

 Avery Capulet is missing.
 Taken by a madman. Kept in the dark.
She might not survive.
He’ll use her body. Destroy her mind. All before he ever lays a hand on her.

 Rome Montague is a drug dealer. A criminal. A thief.
And he needs the secrets Avery and her family are keeping – even if it means cutting them out of her pretty Capulet flesh.
Rome Montague is missing – but nobody will miss him.
Not that it matters; After the things he’s done to this girl, he doesn’t deserve to be found.

 * * * * * * *

 Prepare to step into the dark and bloody underworld of California, as Lili St. Germain brings you a modern retelling of Romeo and Juliet, in the same vein as her bestselling Gypsy brothers series.

 The CALIFORNIA BLOOD series, set in the criminal underbelly of San Francisco, follows two warring families who are ruled by blood, power and twisted desire.

Verona Blood
By Lili St. Germain
Book One in the California Blood quartet
Release Day January 30, 2018

Amazon US | iBooks | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Amazon CA

Lili writes books about vengeful girls and villainous men. Her USA Today bestselling Gypsy Brothers series focuses on a morally bankrupt biker gang and the girl who seeks her vengeance upon them. The Cartel series is a prequel trilogy of full-length novels that explores the beginnings of the club, to be released worldwide in print and ebook in 2015 by HarperCollins.

Lili quit corporate life to focus on writing and so far is loving every minute of it. Her other loves in life include her gorgeous husband and beautiful daughter, good coffee, Tarantino movies and spending hours on Pinterest.

She loves to read almost as much as she loves to write.

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER | NEWSLETTER | AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE | GOODREADS

Gun Shy by Lili St. Germain ~ Sarah A’s Review

A stand-alone psychological thriller.

HAVE YOU SEEN THIS GIRL?

In the middle of a fierce snowstorm in Gun Creek, Nevada, seventeen-year-old Jennifer Thomas disappears without a trace.

The second girl in nine years.

Identical cases. Identical conditions. Only last time, the girl was found. Dead, stuffed in a well beside the creek that feeds the town’s water supply.

The killer was never found.

As the small town mobilizes and searches for newly vanished Jennifer Thomas, one suspect comes to the fore. But did he do it? Or is there something else at play? Something nobody could have anticipated?

For Jennifer’s friend Cassie Carlino, the worst is yet to come. As she pins MISSING posters to store windows and joins the search, she begins to suspect that Jennifer’s disappearance might be much closer to her than she could have ever imagined.

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo

Gun Shy is twisted and dark.  And sickening.  And I loved it.  It is absolutely not for the faint of heart, not for lovers of sweet romantic love stories, not for people with delicate sensibilities.  This is a book for the people who seek the darkest corners, who are driven by revenge and have a fascination with things good girls shouldn’t enjoy.  This book fed into the blackest, bleakest parts of my psyche and satisfied them in a way few things are able.

I said I love this book, but I think I might hate it also.  I’m not sure.  Honestly, I’m not sure of anything right now.  I don’t know if I was supposed to love any of the characters or hate them.  And I definitely feel both ways about most of them.  Every feeling I had while I was reading this book was warped and stretched and transformed into something else.  I don’t trust anything I thought I knew about Gun Creek or its residents.

Cassie’s story is not romantic, even the love she feels is not romantic.  Her love is tainted, broken, deranged.  Her life molded by some of the most horrific things a person can experience.  She took those traumas and honed them into something sharp and unfathomable.  I found her to be so intriguing, so irresistible; I wonder if a little of Cassie doesn’t live inside of me.

When I think back and ask myself if there is anything more I would have liked from this story, I’m hard-pressed to commit to anything.  Would I have loved to have seen a more complete conclusion to a couple of storylines? Yes.  Do I think that the ambiguity of those storylines was intentional? Yes.  This book isn’t a romance and shouldn’t be treated as such.  Those storylines played their parts, and when they’d moved the characters to the place they were supposed to be, they were left as they should have been.

Despite many recommendations from my friends, this is the first book I’ve read by Lili St. Germain, and she blew me away.  From stylistic formatting choices, to interesting imagery, to the intricate and demanding prose she wrote with, I appreciated the outside the box approach she took when writing Gun Shy.  Ms. St. Germain challenged me with this book, it was not an easy book to read, and I admire her for testing me with it.

After reading this entire book, I’m stunned.  Just astonished by every single part of it.  I am sure that I will keep thinking about Gun Creek and Cassie and Damon and Leo and everyone in this book for some time to come.  The experience of this book was so delightfully unsettling; I have plenty of material to ruminate on for ages.

 

Lili writes dark, delicious romance full of love, lust and revenge. Her USA Today Bestselling Gypsy Brothers series focuses on a morally bankrupt biker gang and the young woman who seeks her vengeance upon them. The Cartel series is a trilogy that explores the beginnings of the club, published through HarperCollins.

Lili quit corporate life to focus on writing and so far is loving every minute of it. Her other loves in life include her gorgeous husband and beautiful daughter, excellent coffee, Tarantino movies and spending hours on Instagram.

She loves to read almost as much as she loves to write.

Facebook | Twitter | Website | Amazon | Goodreads

Gun Shy by Lili St. Germain ~ Chapter Reveal

A stand-alone psychological thriller.

HAVE YOU SEEN THIS GIRL?

In the middle of a fierce snowstorm in Gun Creek, Nevada, seventeen-year-old Jennifer Thomas disappears without a trace.

The second girl in nine years.

Identical cases. Identical conditions. Only last time, the girl was found. Dead, stuffed in a well beside the creek that feeds the town’s water supply.

The killer was never found.

As the small town mobilizes and searches for newly vanished Jennifer Thomas, one suspect comes to the fore. But did he do it? Or is there something else at play? Something nobody could have anticipated?

For Jennifer’s friend Cassie Carlino, the worst is yet to come. As she pins MISSING posters to store windows and joins the search, she begins to suspect that Jennifer’s disappearance might be much closer to her than she could have ever imagined.

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo

CASSIE

The center of town is teeming with reporters when we arrive. The mood is somber, self-conscious, even. Can an entire town be collectively self-conscious? They’re shy, that’s for sure. We don’t get a whole lot of visitors in Gun Creek. Certainly not ones who stick microphones in your face and blast you with questions while you’re still half-asleep.

Damon parks the patrol car right across the front doors of the police station, his face drawn and tense. It must be a fucking nightmare, being in charge of an entire town like this. Especially when something like this happens.

I can only imagine how bad things are going to get at home if they don’t find this girl soon.

“These people are fucking vultures,” he mutters, and I make a noise signaling my agreement. He gets out, opening my door for me.

I muster up a plastic smile as Damon holds out my purse, the strap dangling on his outstretched finger.

“Thanks,” I say, taking the bag and slinging it over my shoulder. I put my oversized dollar-store sunglasses on my face, the day already too bright for me to bear.

“You okay?” Damon asks.

“Always,” I reply, walking away from him before he can say anything else. I should ask him if he’s okay, but that would mean pretending that I care.

I have something important that I need, something immediate.

I’m an asshole because I know I should care about the fact that a girl I’ve grown up with is missing, but I have more pressing personal matters.

I need to take care of myself, first. I head for the diner, fifty feet away, already late for my shift. I push past reporters, hanging eagerly at the doors they’re forbidden to cross. They have to hover outside in the snow for their pound of flesh, their soundbites, their newsworthy quotes from Jennifer’s distraught friends and family. I see Casey Mulligan, a girl I went to school with, twirling a strand of long blonde hair around her finger as she musters up a couple of fat tears for a news camera, and it strikes me, just like last time, that the people who get the most attention in this world are the ones who least deserve it.

Still, I’m glad it’s not me. Last thing I want is a camera in my face. I slip by, unassisted, unseen, an invisible girl with a hollow spot inside me. I notice the crates of milk that get delivered to Dana’s every morning are still stacked out front and I grab one as I approach, throwing my purse on top and bracing my stomach muscles to carry the thirty-odd pounds worth of liquid weight. One of our regulars holds the door open for me and I smile in thanks, lugging the milk crate through the diner and toward the cold storage out back.

I’m making my way down the main entrance, past rows of tables and customers talking feverishly about Jennifer, my arms full of milk bottles when it happens.

I see him. Him.

I stop.

My arms stop functioning. I drop everything; the milk crate, my purse, my practiced neutral expression. The purse wafts to the floor, the milk bottles hurtle down with an unceremonious crash, and blue plastic lids burst off and go skittering in every direction.

I sink to my knees, in shock. People are looking at me, but I don’t pay attention to them. I’m too busy fixated on the green-eyed ghost standing in front of me. The splinters in my knees sting like fire-ant bites, and I curl my legs to the side, coming to a sitting position.

“Shit!” Leo says, dropping his backpack to the ground and crouching in front of me. “Cass. Cassie. Are you okay?”

My entire body is alight, little pinpricks along my skin that make me dizzy. The feeling spreads like wildfire, across my chest and through my limbs until I’m overwhelmed and frozen on the spot, sitting on my ass in the middle of the diner, voices and whispers all around.

I watch in fascination as milk spreads in a puddle in front of me, like spilled blood. It rushes at me like a miniature tsunami as a painful buzz begins in my head.

“You’re gonna pass out,” Leo says, his words sounding far away as he reaches out a hand to help me up. “Jesus, Cassie, you’re white as a sheet.”

I hold my hand out, the conviction in my reach laughable, and it’s like that moment of electricity that people talk about. I can feel it build in my fingertips, that arc of some invisible thing that wants to join with his invisible thing, but then a hand wraps around my wrist and yanks my arm away before I can make contact with the boy — no, with the man — I thought was still in prison.

“Did he hurt you?” Damon’s voice in my ear breaks my dream-like state. I open my mouth to say something and decide against it, swallowing air instead. I shake my head.

“How’d you get on the ground?” Damon asks, shaking me a little.

“She fell down,” Leo says, his arm no longer outstretched. He takes a step away from me, and Jesus, it hurts. He looks anguished. “She dropped the milk and she fell down.” I can’t stop looking at him. I can’t bear to look at him.

The milk has reached me. It seeps across my right knee, curled underneath me; the backs of my thighs, my palms. It’s ice cold, and I can feel myself shaking.

Damon is crouched next to me, his hand on my cheek, diverting my attention to him. “Are you all right, Cassie?” he asks, helping me to my feet, his tone gathering more urgency with each question I don’t answer. Amanda is picking up the milk bottles beside us, piling them high in her arms as I continue to stare at Leo. He’s… different. He has tattoos now. He looks exactly the same but entirely reconstructed. He’s eight years older, I realize. A third of his life, gone. A third of mine. It feels like it’s been forever. It feels like it’s been no time at all.

Deputy Chris appears, looking between me and Leo with uncertainty. Why didn’t anyone tell me? How the hell did Leo just materialize from thin air in the Grill?

“Cassie,” Damon snaps, and I know he means business.

I nod. “I’m fine. I’m okay.” I think of where I was going before I saw fucking Leo. Pills. Purge. “I need a minute.”

“I’ll take you home,” Damon says, his hand on the small of my back as he starts to guide me toward the front doors. I panic, pushing him away.

“You have a missing girl to find,” I say quickly. “I’m fine, really. I just need some aspirin.” And a fucking gun, so I can put myself out of my misery.

“I’ll walk you there,” Damon says, ever the hero. If they only knew, I think to myself, as Amanda opens the staff room door and ushers us inside.

“Give us a minute,” Damon says, giving Amanda a concerned look. She nods, closing the door and waiting out in the hallway as Damon closes the blinds and twists the lock on the door.

“Didn’t think he’d have the balls to show his face in public,” Damon says, and that’s when I understand.

I feel the blood drain from my cheeks as I realize. He knew. He knew Leo would be here today. I ask him with my eyes, searching, imploring. His expression tells me everything.

“You could have warned me,” I whisper.

His eyes narrow. “I considered it. Figured it was better you didn’t know in advance.” He pauses. “Didn’t expect you to fall to your knees in front of him.”

“Fuck you,” I seethe.

Damon’s jaw twitches. “I’m sorry,” he offers, almost as if he’s suggesting an apology rather than delivering one.

I reach for the lock, twisting it and cracking the door open. The temporary quiet we’ve had is pierced by the excited noise of a diner who’s just witnessed the tragic reunion of two star-crossed lovers, or maybe they’re all just gossiping about the missing girl.

“Jennifer,” I hiss at Damon. One word. It works. He shakes his head, his blue eyes fucking burning with anger, but he leaves.

Holy shit. As soon as he’s gone, I close the door again. I don’t bother locking it — who’s going to find me in here? Leo’s long gone if he’s got any sense, and as much as I don’t care about anything, the thought of Amanda having to mop up the milk I spilled makes me so fucking guilty I can barely breathe.

Pills. Purge. Yes.

I go into the staff bathroom, a small tiled square off the main staff room, and start to throw up as soon as the door is closed. I don’t even need to stick my finger down my throat — I’m so full of adrenaline from seeing Leo, I just open my mouth and everything comes out. It’s the kind of vomit that gets in your nose and burns behind your eyes and makes you cry with the way it chokes you.

When I’ve emptied my stomach and I stop gagging, I clean myself up, my head feeling like it might split in two. I’m so hot I think I might burst into flames. I take off my cardigan, my fingers clumsy and damp, and use it to wipe my face.

Pills. Yes. I go back out to the staff room, seeking whatever pharmaceutical bliss I can rummage up from my staff locker. I didn’t switch the overhead lights on when I first came in, and the windowless cave is dim, the only illumination coming from the slightly ajar bathroom door and the fluorescent strips that line its ceiling.

The staff room is empty. Except… it’s not.

Leo. He’s here. Somehow, the only person here with me is the one person I shouldn’t be anywhere near.

He looks at me with eyes that have seen violence since I last gazed into them. I know because I recognize the hardness inside his soul; it matches mine.

My face is a blank canvas, but inside I’m screaming.

Not with fear. With longing. And shame. I want the boy who destroyed everything to pick me up and take me into the bathroom and put his hands all over me. I want him to erase every trace of the last decade. Under my shirt, my nipples stiffen, and shame pools in my belly.

I shouldn’t want to be anywhere near this boy after what he did, but I do.

“I’m sorry,” Leo says. His voice. Oh, God. I don’t remember his voice being that fucking beautiful. It’s deep and full and if it were a food, it’d be honey. He’s not a boy anymore. He’s a man now. A stranger.

His face falls as he gestures to my stomach, concerned. “You have blood on your shirt,” he says, pointing from a safe distance. “Did you cut yourself when you fell?” He looks remorseful. Like he thinks the blood on my shirt is his fault.

My heart sinks. I shake my head tightly, tears springing to my eyes.

“Not my blood,” I say, my voice coming out like a squeak. Leo looks confused.

“The dog,” I stammer. “Rox. She — she—”

“I saw her yesterday,” Leo says, his eyes wide as he looks from my eyes to the blood on my shirt. I didn’t even realize it was there. I’d been wearing my sweater until I took it off just now.

“She’s dead,” I say. “I’m sorry.”

Leo takes a step back. Something passes over his face, a darkness, a fleeting suspicion. “How?” he asks.

I don’t know how to answer that. So I don’t. I push past him and start walking to the kitchen, as fast as I can, because I don’t have an answer for him. My shoulder burns from where I grazed his arm on the way out of the staff room. He might have ruined my life, destroyed my family, taken my future in one careless night — but Leo Bentley still makes me burn like hellfire.

Lili writes dark, delicious romance full of love, lust and revenge. Her USA Today Bestselling Gypsy Brothers series focuses on a morally bankrupt biker gang and the young woman who seeks her vengeance upon them. The Cartel series is a trilogy that explores the beginnings of the club, published through HarperCollins.

Lili quit corporate life to focus on writing and so far is loving every minute of it. Her other loves in life include her gorgeous husband and beautiful daughter, excellent coffee, Tarantino movies and spending hours on Instagram.

She loves to read almost as much as she loves to write.

Facebook | Twitter | Website | Amazon | Goodreads