Title: Bullies like Me
Author: Lindy Zart
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If you can make it out of Enid High School alive, you can make it through anything.
Alexis is the new girl at school, and she’s ruthlessly bullied. Hopeless, and drowning in her present reality, she takes pills—lots of pills. She’s sent to a mental health facility, where she meets a boy. Only the boy can’t save her, and no one can save her from herself.
Nick has secrets. He wants to open up to Alexis, but there’s the dead boy who haunts him. In his dreams. While he’s awake. He wants to be brave, but he can’t tell her about his past, and he can’t leave the facility.
Melanie rules over the school, until a nobody named Lexie tries to disrupt her reign. She won’t allow that. She also can’t stop it. She plummets into notoriety, but she’s determined to take them all with her. The girl, the boy, and their secrets.
Nick’s arm brushes against mine as we cross the street, and he flinches.
I grit my teeth, holding in my irritation until we reach the beginning of the path. Then I slam my hands on my hips and glare at him. “Okay, what is your deal? If you really didn’t want to be with me today, why didn’t you just say it?”
He opens his mouth.
My glower deepens.
“I don’t like being out in public. I don’t…like being around people,” he says after a pause. “I like to be alone.”
I throw my arms up in frustration. “Then why did you agree to this?”
Nick steps closer. “But I like to be with you more than I like to be alone, and even though I don’t like to be around people, I like to be around you—probably more than I should. How could I say no to being with you, even if it’s in a setting I despise?”
“That’s messed up,” I say, shaking my head, even as a warm glow fills my insides.
“I’m messed up.”
“You’re not, not really.”
He lowers his head, taking my hands in his. Examining them. It feels like fire and ice when we touch. Sparks and frost. “You have no idea, Alexis.” Nick threads our fingers together, lifting our hands between us, and looks at me.
“Tell me,” I whisper, feeling like I can’t breathe. My air is caught somewhere within the magnetic pull of blue-green seas. Who needs to breathe anyway?
“Someday,” he promises, and then, with our hands still entwined, he leans forward and kisses me.
His lips are soft, firm. Magic. Tasting of dreams and hope. And grief too. I’m kissing not only Nick, but his soul as well. I feel his heartbeat with my lips. I taste the feelings he has for me, and they are overwhelming. Catastrophically beautiful. The kiss lasts long enough to rearrange everything inside me, to steal my breath, to give it back. To let me know Nick has the power to ruin me. To let me know I’d probably let him.
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USA Today bestselling author Lindy Zart writes in a multitude of fictional genres because, well, her brain requires it so she stays somewhat sane. She has been writing since she was a child, but luckily for readers, her writing has improved since then.
She lives in Wisconsin with her family. Lindy loves hearing from people who enjoy her work. She also has a completely healthy obsession with the following: coffee, wine, pizza, peanut butter, and bloody marys.
Disclaimer – This book and review are intended only for those 18 years and older
Today, we are featuring The Devils Who Would Be King, the fourth and final installment in Nina Mason’s historical erotica series Royal Pains. Set in Scotland and England during the Restoration period, Royal Pains follows the political, religious, and erotic exploits of the Duke and Duchess of Dunwoody.
Here’s the blurb:
Their loyalty, faith, and love will be tested like never before…
Maggie, pregnant and missing Robert like mad, invites Gemma Crosse to help ease her loneliness, only to get swept up in a whirl of naughtiness and heartache. Meanwhile, rebellion is brewing to the north, where her husband is acting as a spy for the king, who grows drunker with power by the day.
Will Maggie and Robert’s love be strong enough to weather the coming storm? Or will the winds of change blow their world apart?
Buy the book now in Kindle or paperback!
Haven’t read the first three books in the series? No worries. You can buy the first book right now for only 99 cents! Check out all four books in the series here: Amazon.com. They’re also available for free through Kindle Unlimited.
Here’s an excerpt from The Devils Who Would Be King:
When Maggie returned to the bedchamber, she found Robert waiting just inside the door. Before she could say aught to him, he captured her mouth with such passion she fell back against the jamb, needing its support as she reeled under a dizzying rush of desire.
It felt wonderful. Glorious. Better than anything else in the world. She ran her hands slowly up into his hair, over his stubbled jaw, across his hard shoulders, and along his strong arms. Yes, he smelled ripe, but his stink was pure raw male animal musk. She found it far more arousing than offensive. Moving her hands around to his back, she pulled his body firmly against hers, feeling all over again how much she had missed him.
Playing house with Gemma had been all well and good, but her friend was not Robert. No one was, or could ever take his place in her heart or in her bed. Suddenly ashamed of her behavior, she broke from the kiss.
Flushed and short of breath, she said, “Forgive me.”
“For what?” he asked, eyebrows drawing together.
“You were jealous when I went to bed with Juliette. I should have guessed how you would feel about Gemma, whatever you might have claimed to the contrary.”
A strange, unreadable look crossed his face before he stepped away from her and averted his gaze. “How funny that you should bring up Juliette, for I encountered her in my travels.”
“Juliette?” Maggie frowned and furrowed her brow, unsure she’d heard him correctly. “Was she not hanged?”
“No.” When he returned his gaze to hers, she was sure she saw guilt there. “King Louis bribed the judge to release her.”
“King Louis?” she asked, growing uneasy. “Why would he pay to free a Huguenot?”
“Because she is not a Huguenot,” he told her with growing fervor. “She is Romish, like us, and has been working in secret for her king and country. I ran into her in Orkney, awaiting the rebel ships. We joined Argyle’s forces together, posing as man and wife to protect our covers.”
“Man and wife?” she repeated, shocked again. “Did you..?”
“God, no!” He laughed, though nervously. “I was as faithful as the day is long—not that it was easy, given the sleeping arrangements.”
Though relieved he had not cheated on her, Maggie could not let such an inflammatory aside go unremarked upon. “Whatever do you mean by that?”
Before he could answer, someone knocked on the door. Presuming it was the servants with the hot water, Maggie pulled out of Robert’s embrace and went to let them in. After directing them to the bath closet, she went to check on Gemma and wee Jamie. Both, to her delight, were sound asleep. With any luck, they would not stir until morning, giving her hours yet to celebrate her husband’s homecoming.
Returning to the bath closet, she watched the maids fill the tub, offering instructions when necessary. When all was prepared to her satisfaction, she sent them away before returning to Robert’s bedchamber, where she found him seated upon the needlepoint settee in the window alcove, removing his boots and stockings. As he reached around to unfasten his cravat, he looked up to find her watching him.
“Shall I remove the rest?” The wolfish grin he gave her set her blood afire. “Or would you prefer to do the honors?”
“Let me,” she said, excited by the idea of peeling off his clothing, layer by layer. Doing so would afford her the chance to discover his body anew.
He got to his feet and stalked toward her like a predatory animal. When he was only inches away, he spread his arms wide and laughed. “I’m all yours.”
She started with his waistcoat, working the buttons out of their holes in silence. As much as she wanted to inquire further about Juliette and their sleeping arrangements, she wanted him naked even more.
When the waistcoat was off, she tugged his shirttail free of his breeches. Sliding her hands inside his shirt, she relished the feel of his flat belly and muscular chest. Locating his nipples, she gently pinched them between her thumb and forefinger.
Groaning with pleasure, he shut his eyes.
She pressed a kiss to his stubbled chin before unbuttoning the ruffled cuffs on his sleeves. When they were open, he lifted his arms so she could pull the shirt off over his head. Trembling at the sight of his naked chest, she kissed and licked each of his nipples to hardness before moving to his breeches. As she untied the ribbon closures, she did everything in her power to tempt and arouse him. When his breeches fell, she wrapped her hand around his c**k.
“Oh, Rosebud, my sweet seductress,” he breathlessly whispered. “You certainly know how to drive me wild with desire.”
She gave his erection a few ardent strokes before letting go. Yes, she knew how to inflame his passions, but she also knew when to back off to prolong the seduction.
He stepped out of his puddled breeches and kicked them aside before gripping her shoulders. “Now, it is my turn to undress you,” he said with a devilish grin. “For I should like you as naked as a nymph whilst you give me my bath.”
*I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.*
The Devils Who Would Be King by Nina Mason is the fourth and final book in the Royal Pains series, which follows the love between Maggie and Robert, Duke and Duchess of Dunwoody. Like the previous books, The Devils Who Would Be King is not short on toe-curling romance scenes or political intrigue. While Robert is away on a mission for the king, Maggie finds solace in Gemma’s company. I love how Maggie has become such a confident woman and is able to experiment to find what she truly desires. The women not only enjoy all manner of antics in the bedroom, they also work to have the lives they want despite the time period. One of the things I enjoy about this series is that the women in the book fight, albeit subtly, against the oppressive system of the 1600s. Robert is a man who is easy to fall in love with, and he only becomes more wonderful in this book. He loves his family more than anything, and that makes him a character I couldn’t help but enjoy. The historical characters and political intrigue give this steamy book even more layers to enjoy, making it a book that’s difficult to put down. If you enjoy hot romance (and I do mean HOT) with a side of court intrigue, then this is a series you must read. It is the perfect end to a fantastic series!
Here’s more about the author:
Nina Mason is an incurable romantic who strives to write the same kind of books she loves to read: those that entertain, edify, and educate. She has two series out at present, Royal Pains (historical erotica) and Knights of the Tarot (erotic PNR/UF). She also has published three stand-alone novels: Sins Against the Sea, The Queen of Swords, and The Tin Man. The latter two are not available at this time.
Born and raised in Southern California, Ms. Mason holds a degree in journalism from California State University at Fullerton and currently lives with her family in Woodstock, Georgia. To contact Ms. Mason, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.