by Anni Fife
GENRE: Contemporary Erotic Romantic Suspense
Chased by her criminal kingpin father, Katya Dalca runs to New Orleans and straight into the arms of Luke Hunter. Sucked into the carnal world of the French Quarter, she succumbs to Luke’s potent sexuality. He not only steals her breath, he steals her heart and the only leverage she has against her father. She is left with no choice except to pick up the pieces and rebuild her life alone.
Undercover DEA agent Luke Hunter thought his newest assignment—recover a stolen flash drive to gain the trust of the Russian mob—was like any other. But his target brings him to his knees, and after one taste of her intoxicating beauty, he's in too deep. Doing his job means walking away, leaving his heart behind with nothing but a promise to reunite. It's a promise he can't keep.
When Katya's past reaches out and her world unravels, her only hope is the one man she is most vulnerable to—Luke.
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The smell of beignets wafted up and distracted, I lifted the bag and took a deep breath. Whoosh! Fine sugar blew up out of the bag and coated me.
“Shit, honey, you look sweet all over.”
Oh, just great.
Blinking sugar out of my eyes I looked up. And up. He was tall, well over six foot. Midnight-blue eyes rimmed by a deeper blue-black smoldered lazily down at me. “You’re holding the best beignets in the world. You gonna stand there or you going to take a bite?”
“Umm.” Jeez, Katya. Say something.
“Here, let me hold that for you.” He took the coffee from my hand. “Go on, babe. Take a bite. It’ll be the best thing you’ll ever taste.”
Still struck dumb, I did what he asked and lifted a beignet out of the bag and took a big bite. Oh! It was like sinking my teeth into a sweet pillow of ambrosia.
I nodded and stared back at him. Then, without uttering a word, I stuffed the rest of the beignet into my mouth. He grinned at me, shaking his head. “Want to wash it down with this?” He held out my coffee.
My fingers brushed against his. Yikes! I couldn’t stop the slight tremor caused by his touch. I took a gulp of coffee - half rich chicory, half hot milk - and finally found my voice. “Would you like one?” I offered the bag of beignets to him.
“Would be like taking candy from a baby,” he grinned. “But don’t worry, I’ve got my own.” He dangled a packet like mine in front of me.
Then we both stood there and smiled at each other while we gorged on sugary donuts. He would reach for my coffee to free my hand. Then after I ate some fluffy yumminess, he’d hand it back to me so I could take a sip. We swallowed the last of our beignets and licked our fingers.
I didn’t even know his name, yet I was more turned on than I had ever been in my life.
Last year, Anni Fife closed the door on a twenty-year successful career in television production, to fulfill her lifelong passion, writing. In the space of one month, she closed her business, packed up her city life and moved to a small seaside village. ‘My writing has always been constrained by client briefs,’ Anni says. ‘Now, I finally have the opportunity to write to the beat of my own heart.’ LUKE’s Redemption is Anni’s debut novel and she hopes you enjoy it as much as she loved writing it. Anni loves to spend hours walking on the beach searching for pansy shells, more hours drinking red wine with her gal posse, and the most hours writing romance novels filled with women you can relate to and men you love to dream about. She is currently working on her second novel, GRAY’s Promise.
Anni is published by The Wild Rose Press.
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This is a difficult one as my favorites change all the time. This list is made up of diverse books that are definitely not all of equal literary caliber, but they have made an impression on me, for one reason or another. I have excluded books from my childhood, as they would only succeed in filling up the list and leave no room for adult books! Hope you enjoy…and please share your own favorites with me in the comments section below. (My books are listed in no particular order…)
1. The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy
How can I ever forget the Wingos of Colleton, South Carolina? Tom Wingo, who broke my heart with his anguish, and driving need to save his sister, Savannah. And Savannah, whose memories of her mother made me cry my way through several boxes of tissues. I’ll never forget her sitting with her brothers and mother, as they watched the moon rise. And three-year old Savannah calling out, "Oh, Mama, do it again!" The richness of the prose, the people and the colourful south, turned Pat Conroy into a master.
2. Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh
Nalini Singh holds a special place in my heart. I attribute Slave to Sensation as the reason I’m a romance author today. A few years ago, my sister called and said I just had, had, had to get myself to the bookshop and buy Slave to Sensation. I balked. The last time I’d read a romance was in my early twenties. But my sis wouldn’t let up. Thank goodness. It was easily one of the best romance novels I’d ever read. Nalini creates sensual paranormal worlds that are so easy to relate to, they feel real. And I still find myself picking this book up to read again … and again.
3. Tempting the Beast by Lora Leigh
Oh, my goodness. This was one of the first erotic romance books I ever read. And once I consumed one of Lora Leigh’s paranormal hot hot hot Breed’s stories, I have been forever hooked.
4. Half of a Yellow Sun byChimamanda Ngozi Adichie This Nigerian author is so young, yet she writes like an angel. That’s why she won the Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction in 2007 for this equisitely written novel. Set against the backdrop of the horrific Biafran War, her characters literally jump off the page and into your heart.
5. She Comes Undone by Wally Lamb Mr Lamb takes years to finish his novels and no wonder. His characters are filled with a depth and humanity I can only aspire to reach. The man is sheer brilliance on a page. This masterpiece is a coming-of-age story of note. Equally hilarious and heartbreaking, Wally Lamb understands his young heroine as if he had been her in another life.