Monday, July 13, 2015

VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR with EXCERPT and GIVEAWAY - NEVER LOVED (Dark Obsession #1) by Charlotte Stein:


TITLE: Never Loved
SERIES: Dark Obsession
SERIES PLACEMENT: #1
AUTHOR: Charlotte Stein
AGE GROUP: New Adult
GENRE: Romance
RELEASE DATE: July 21, 2015
PUBLISHER: Loveswept
FORMAT: eBook
PAGES: Approx. 240
TOUR COORDINATED BY:
Tasty Book Tours

BOOK BLURB:
Perfect for fans of Abbi Glines, the first novel in the Dark Obsession series tells the story of a beautiful wallflower who falls for a chiseled street fighter—and learns just how dangerous love can be.

Beatrix Becker spent most of her life under the thumb of her controlling, abusive father. And now that she’s free and attending her dream college, she has no idea how to act like the normal crowd: partying, going on dates, even having a conversation. Then she meets Serge Sorensen. Big and surly with a whole host of riotous tattoos, Serge is supposed to scare the hell out of her. But beneath his harsh exterior, Beatrix discovers a kindred spirit who knows what it’s like to be a misfit. Most exhilarating—and terrifying—is what he does for a living: illegal street fighting.

There’s nothing like the rush Serge gets from the intense athleticism and brutal glory of combat—though his chemistry with Beatrix comes close. Slowly at first, he introduces her to his world, where he lives by instinct, passion, and desire. He even helps her out with her equally traumatized brother. But when Serge gets in too deep with the wrong people, he ends up paying in blood. And suddenly, just as Beatrix has been drawn into Serge’s perfectly sculpted arms, she’s thrown once and for all into the fight of his life.


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EXCERPT
     I wake to the sound of banging, though I can’t quite place it at first. My half-dreaming mind tells me it’s my brother jumping on the bed, and for one delirious moment I react to that and not the reality. I have an almost-eaten piece of pizza in my hand, and I hurl it in his direction.
     Before realizing that he isn’t here. The banging is coming from some other source—road work maybe, or a rowdy neighbor. My brother’s building is a complete and utter shithole—despite our hefty inheritance—so someone having an almighty fight at five a.m. isn’t out of the question. People have fights in the hallways all the time, which just makes me wonder what I’m doing here. At some point, I have to accept that Tommy isn’t my responsibility anymore. We’re no longer little kids locked in the basement together.
     He’s a dog, suddenly free of its collar, who now likes to go out and do all the things he was once denied, and if I keep trying to stop him from hurting himself, I’m going to end up being murdered. Maybe pretty soon. Maybe more than pretty soon. Maybe in thirty fricking seconds, because now that I’m conscious I can tell the banging isn’t coming from another apartment. It’s coming from the direction of Tommy’s flimsy door, and it’s much, much worse than I initially thought.
     I can actually see the wood vibrating every time someone hammers on it. The hinges are making this terrible squeaking sound, and in a second they’re going to give entirely. Just a little more effort and my murderer will easily punch his way in, and then what? I’ll have to defend myself from some drug dealer using half a slice of ham and pineapple. He’ll demand money I don’t have and want revenge for things I haven’t done, and I won’t even be able to explain because my mouth has gone all dry and weird.
     My tongue is practically stapled to the roof of my mouth. Standing is completely out of the question, though I know I have to do it. If I want to make a run for it, I need my legs. I’ll never make it down the fire escape without them unless I somehow create an elevator out of a pizza box in the next couple of minutes—which seems very unlikely.
     I can barely come up with a sane plan, never mind a complicated one involving contraptions. I’m actually considering jumping out of a four-story window, so it’s probably a good thing that the banging abruptly stops. In fact, it stops so abruptly it almost seems as if they’re trying to make a point:
     Don’t fling yourself out of a window over imaginary danger.
     And they’re right, too. I don’t even know if the person outside is bad or good. Maybe they just really want to talk to Tommy. Perhaps they have pressing issues. Hell, maybe it’s Tommy himself, bleeding and half-naked and missing his keys. The very least I can do is check before I take any drastic action.
     Though once I have, I wish I hadn’t.
     It’s the big guy.
     Somehow, impossibly, it’s the big guy. I can’t even blink and look back and turn him into someone else. There’s absolutely no way to mistake that haircut, or those tattoos, or the eyes that suddenly burn through wood and glass. They’re real and they’re right there, and the second he looks my heart tries to suffocate me. It just jerks right up into my throat until all I can think is:
     He won’t have to strangle me with his bare hands.
     He’ll just look at me and I’ll choke to death on my own internal organs.
     “I know you’re in there, girl.”
     Or maybe he’ll simply speak and turn me to stone. It certainly feels as if this has happened, after that voice booms through the door. My body petrifies and melts all at the same time, and not just because of the sound of him. There are his words, too—good Lord, those words he said.
     He knows I’m in here. He knows the way maniacs know someone is hiding in a cupboard as they stalk around the house with a big knife. And if I don’t open up soon, he’s going to do the same kinds of terrible things that maniacs do. I can tell he is. That has to be the subtext of a statement like that, and even if it isn’t, there is another problem.
     He has something slung over his shoulders—something that I first mistook for a bag of some type, or maybe a pool cue. He’s certainly carrying it that way, at least. The thing is practically draped around his neck, and he’s hooked both arms around either end. I’ve seen countless guys do the same thing in bars, while waiting for their turn at the table.
     Only it isn’t a slight stick of wood in a dark covering.
     It is a person.
     It is Tommy.
     He has Tommy draped over his shoulders.
     “So you gonna let me in or what?”
     Is he serious? He sounds serious, but then again, serious is probably his default state. I can’t imagine anyone hitting whimsy with a voice like that, so maybe this is just his idea of a joke. He doesn’t really expect me to do it.
     Surely he doesn’t expect me to do it.
     “I ain’t standing out here all day.”
     Oh, God, he does expect me to do it. He thinks I’m going to just open the door and let him waltz inside with my dead brother in his arms. And then after he’s done with the waltzing, he probably imagines I’m going to lie down for my own brutal stabbing. Maybe he’ll even ask for my help when my leg bones prove too tough to saw through.
     Though I know I’m just being ridiculous now.
     And a second later, he confirms it.
     “Look, girl. It took me a deal of time to fish this moron out of the jam he was in.
     So if you could just let me dump him inside and get along with my business, I’d appreciate it.”

About the Author...

Charlotte Stein has written over thirty short stories, novellas and novels, including entries in The Mammoth Book of Hot Romance and Best New Erotica 10. Her latest work, Run To You, was recently a DABWAHA finalist. When not writing deeply emotional and intensely sexy books, she can be found eating jelly turtles, watching terrible sitcoms and occasionally lusting after hunks. For more on Charlotte, visit: www.charlottestein.net

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