Danger and Desire Boxed Set
Publication date: September 15th 2014
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense
Hold on tight for ten tales of intrigue and passion from New York Times Bestselling and award-winning authors. Men in uniform, sexy spies and pulse-pounding action fill over 650,000 words of this limited edition boxed set. This set is only available for one month, so grab your copy now!
New York Times Bestseller Katie Reus - Sensual Surrender
RITA Award Winning Author Carolyn Crane - Against the Dark
USA Today Bestseller Pamela Clare - Skin Deep
New York Times Bestseller Dianna Love - Deceptive Treasures
Dee J. Adams - Against the Wall
USA Today Bestseller Norah Wilson - Guarding Suzannah
USA Today Bestseller VK Sykes - Lethal Confessions
Amber Lin - Giving It Up
USA Today Bestseller Misty Evans - Deadly Pursuit
New York Times Bestseller Kaylea Cross - Singed
Interview with VK Sykes (Vanessa Kelly)
What is the one thing your readers would be most surprised to learn about you?
That I’m actually part of a husband and wife writing team who put out books under the pen name of VK Sykes. Many of our readers found us through my Vanessa Kelly historical romances, so some of them did already know that I co-write contemporary romance and romantic suspense with my hubby. But others had no idea and were really surprised to find out that we write together—especially romance novels. It’s always fun to read a review that mentions how realistic our male characters are when it’s clear the reader doesn’t realize that a man co-authored the manuscript. I wouldn’t say that it’s not occasionally frustrating to have to work with a writing partner, but the benefits outweigh the negatives. Randy is very good with plot and characterization, but he doesn’t enjoy layering in emotional subtext or writing sex scenes. So that’s where I come in. I guess you could say our writing tasks fall along gender-related lines, but we’re okay with that!
What comes first, the plot or characters?
Definitely the characters. Although plot is obviously important, readers generally love—or hate—a story because of its characters. I think most people would have trouble remembering the details or the exact sequence of events in books like To Kill a Mockingbird or Gone With The Wind, but they sure remember Scout and Atticus Finch and Scarlet O’Hara. In Lethal Confessions, it was the villain who got us started. Once we had a clear picture of him and what he was all about, we were able to imagine the type of hero and heroine who could stand up to and ultimately defeat him. Plot is certainly important as the vehicle for story—in other words, how the characters react and change in response to the twists, turns, and challenges thrown at them through plot.
Tell us about a favorite character from a book.
My most favorite character in the world is Amelia Peabody from The Amelia Peabody Mysteries by the fabulous Elizabeth Peters. Amelia is the most outrageously confident, decisive character one could ever hope to meet between the pages of a book, a classic depiction of the non-nonsense, late Victorian heroine who marched through life in a determined effort to improve the world. Naturally, Amelia often gets it wrong, but she’s also fearless, indomitable, smart, hilarious, fiercely protective of those she loves, and eternally optimistic. I think she’s one of the most brilliant characters ever created. Randy’s favorite fictional character is probably Jack Reacher from Lee Childs’ great series.
What are your favorite TV shows?
Right now both Randy and I are totally hooked on Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, and The Black List. I lean toward The Walking Dead as my fave, and Randy would probably come down on the side of Breaking Bad. But all three shows share the same characteristics: strong, flawed, but incredibly engaging characters, high stakes, smart writing, and some very dark humor. Good or bad, you care about these characters and want to find out what’s going to happen to them. All three shows are master classes in how to create riveting stories. Plus…zombies. Anything with zombies pretty much gets my vote.
Do you write in multiple genres or just one?
Between the two of us, we write in three genres: contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and Regency-set historical romance. We love all three, although we both wish that we had more time to write romantic suspense. We do have the first draft of a sequel to Lethal Confessions, and we hope to get that book finished sooner rather than later. My next historical romance, Tall, Dark, and Royal, comes out in November, and we also have a new contemporary romance series debuting with Grand Central in February. It’s the Seashell Bay Series, and it’s set in a lobster fishing community on a small island off the coast of Maine.
What is your favorite meal?
If left to my own devices, I would probably eat chocolate cake 24/7. Since that’s not realistic, I think I’d have to come down on the side of brunch, which encompasses most of our favorite foods—eggs and bacon, pancakes, French toast, home fries…what’s not to love? I guess that makes us pretty boring in the world of foodies, but we’re more into comfort food than exotic culinary adventures.
V.K. Sykes is really two people – Vanessa Kelly and Randy Sykes, a husband and wife team who write USA Today Bestselling contemporary romance and also romantic suspense. Randy excels at plot and characterization, but tends to fall down on the job when it comes to that pesky old thing called emotion. That’s where Vanessa steps in. She usually writes the sex scenes too, since Randy is a bit uncomfortable when it comes to that sort of stuff. Vanessa also writes award-winning Regency-set historical romance for Kensington Zebra under her own name. You can check out their books at www.vksykes.com and also have a look at Vanessa’s bestselling historical romances at www.vanessakellyauthor.com.
Excerpt from Singed by Kaylea Cross
He leaned even closer, placed his hands on the counter on either side of her to cage her in, all the while holding her gaze. “No,” he said again, softer this time.
A spurt of panic flickered in her eyes. She tried to duck out from under his arm but he blocked her easily, pinning her hips with his own. Her head snapped up, those wide gray eyes filled with shock as she felt his erection pressing into her belly. She jerked her eyes away, swallowed again. “Let me go. Right now, Gage, I mean it.”
She was strung so tight she was on the verge of shattering. A volcano about to erupt. And God, he’d love nothing more than to incinerate in the ensuing explosion with her. He wasn’t worried about her hurting him. Whatever she could dish out, he could take it and more. “No.”
His calm tone acted like a trigger. With an inarticulate sound of rage, she twisted and shoved at his shoulders. Gage caught her wrists and quickly shifted her away from the counter, backed her up against the kitchen wall and pinned her there with his weight. He had only a moment for his brain to register the feel of her soft curves molded to him before she began struggling, trying to shove him away. Not happening.
He held her there, refusing to back down. Her teeth were bared, eyes narrowed, breath coming in short gasps. Low, animal sounds came from her throat as she fought and got nowhere. He could tell it infuriated her more that he’d subdued her so easily, overpowered her with his greater strength. Recognizing she couldn’t win, after a minute or two she stilled, quivering with fury, every line of her luscious body rigid with anger and outrage. With him so close she was forced to tilt her head back to look into his face. The warm puffs of her uneven breaths bathed his skin.
“Fuck you, let me go,” she snapped, her voice ragged, tight with emotion.
Hands holding her wrists on either side of her head, he waited for her to calm down and meet his gaze. At last she did and he could see the turmoil written there. All the anger and pain, the physical need she was trying to hide from him. Her sweet citrus scent, intensified by her increased body heat, swirled around him. He could get drunk on her so easily. Just lean down and put his mouth to the rapidly thrumming pulse in her neck, taste that soft, fragrant skin.
Holding her gaze, he let one heartbeat of charged silence spread between them. Another. Letting her know without words that he was fully capable of keeping her like this for as long as he wanted. His body was primed, begging him to grab her, tear that tight black skirt and top off her and force her to vent everything that was eating at her from the inside, replace it with white-hot sexual release.
The throb between his legs bordered on painful. He shifted his hips against her and bit back a moan at the feel of her against his erection, noting the way her pupils expanded and her nostrils flared. The evidence of her arousal kicked his lust into high gear. Gage forced himself to take a single, calming breath, waited until the roar in his ears subsided. If this was the last time he got to have her, he was going to make it one hell of a goodbye.
Staring straight into her eyes, he released her wrists and murmured, “Turn it loose.”
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