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Saturday, December 16, 2017

The Movie Star's Red Hot Holiday Fling by Christine Glover πŸ’• FREE eBook Spotlight πŸ’• (Contemporary Romance)


Happy Holidays to you all!
We are excited to celebrate this holiday season with you and will be spotlighting a special steal of a deal each day from December 1st through December 25th.
So be sure to check back each day to see what special offer is up for grabs that day!


One dare and he’ll lose his heart…

Determined to qualify for the fire department’s grueling physical, former marine Jessie Sullivan never gives up, despite the pins in her leg. The last thing she needs is a tall, incredibly hot action movie star sharing her gym…and who makes her want to trade in her reps for some sexy physical activity. Of the naked kind.

Blake Johnston is more than just a Big Screen Sex Machine, and he’s willing to prove it. Especially to a spirited and sexy ex-marine like Jessie. But when a harmless dare leads to sizzling fireworks, Jessie and Blake’s workout ends up generating some serious heat between the sheets. And it’s more than Jessie could have imagined. Much, much more. But flings don’t last forever.

And in two weeks, Jessie will have to say goodbye to her red-hot Christmas fantasy…

 

For a limited time!
Please double-check the price before you buy!

    


Friday, December 15, 2017

ROMEO by Ruby Rowe πŸ’• Review, Release Day Blast & Gift Card Giveaway πŸ’• (Erotic Romantic Suspense)



Ava

I’m Hollywood’s leading lady, the daughter of a mafia boss, and my stalker’s sick obsession.
Griffin Scott is my new protector, my dominant, and my salvation.
I was taught that blood is thicker than water, but I’ll defy that belief for a future only Griffin can give me.

Griffin

I’m a man with dark secrets, the black sheep of my notorious family, and a bodyguard to the rich and famous.
Ava Lane is my client, a goddess, and a woman who consumes every ounce of my being.
I was taught that blood is thicker than water, but I’ll strike any deal necessary to keep her. I won’t give Ava up.

ROMEO contains explicit language and graphic sex, including aspects of BDSM.



Ruby, you NAILED IT!!!

This book is AMAZING!!! I daresay this is the BEST book Ruby has written to date. I couldn't put it down, and I kept saying, out loud, "oh my gosh, I love this book!"

Ruby wrote the suspense aspect PERFECTLY. She kept introducing characters and hinting at who MIGHT be ROMEO, and I was seriously guessing right up until the end at who it really was. I LOVED that!

And the emotions! Oh my gosh. I felt every drop of angst and and desperation and love and fear...the writing was fantastic!

And Griffin! Oh my...the way Ruby wrote his thoughts and actions and dialogue...I think I might be in love with him, too.

I also loved Ava. She knew her limitations, both in and out of the bedroom, but didn't let them define her. In fact, she strove to push beyond them while, at the same time, not taking any crap from anyone, even Griffin :)

I'll be the first to admit that BDSM is not my cup of tea, but I ALWAYS and will always read ANYTHING Ruby writes. Yes, this book has BDSM aspects in it, but true love is a much larger presence in this story and it was written so beautifully.

I. Loved. This. Book.

(I received a copy of this book in consideration of an honest review)

Please double-check the price before you buy


Nobody’s Baby But Mine by Gloria Silk πŸ’• Pre-Order Blitz & Gift Card Giveaway πŸ’• (Contemporary Romance)



What would you do if you were desperately trying to have a baby and discover that your loving, loyal husband has fallen in love with a gorgeous redhead at work, and may have got her – the other woman – pregnant?

Would you have it in your heart to forgive him, or would you run to your patiently waiting sexy-as-hell ex-lover?



Guilty pleasure rippled through Rachel as she slowly relived the moments of yesterday’s lunch date with Brandon. A disturbing, mouth-watering vision of her ex-lover with only a deep chocolate brown bath towel precariously around his hips wafted into her mind. The coarse, dark hairs on his broad chest thick and manly... It was more tantalizing than the creamy wine and mushroom sauce Rachel was stirring at her stove. The simmering chicken morsels would be served on a bed of aromatic rice and vegetables, one of Jamie’s favourite meals. Her nipples became taut against her cotton top. The languid sensations swelled within her, making her lick her parched lips.
Phew, it was hot in the kitchen.
Their delicious Thai lunch had reawakened her fantasies of their younger escapades, even though on the most part Brandon had kept his word, dropping any mention of their history together.
Stop it. Leave those thoughts in the past where they belong.
Conjuring up Jamie’s image to replace the semi-clad Brandon, she hoped her husband’s mood had improved after their four whole days apart. He’d sounded like his usual self on the phone late last night, telling her of his flight details back from Aberdeen, with no reference to their argument. His work was obviously on the forefront of his mind.
Rachel’s pulse skipped erratically at the sound of Jamie’s key in the front door, then it opened and closed.
She nearly dropped the wooden spoon as he came into the kitchen. She recognized the expression on his face, seeing something alien, dangerous in his tired eyes, the set of his tight stubble-darkened jaw.
He strode towards her with purpose like a coiled spring kept in check within him. His determined expression heated her even more than her earlier musings. The bubbling aromas of the fragrant casserole were ignored. Her thudding heart sent her blood rushing to her ears as he ate up the final step between them and reached out to her.
Silently he wrapped his arms around her. His firm, warm mouth followed where he was staring, at her parted lips. He kissed her as if he’d returned from a decade-long war and their every moment apart had been agony. Groaning, he pulled her even closer to himself, as if needing to be this close, this intimate, this fast.
“Rachel…” He said gruffly, “I’m sorry…I missed you.”
She dropped the spoon on the granite counter. His tense bear hug brimmed with promises of unbridled passion. She nuzzled against his familiar warmth, his strength.
Deepening their kiss as if the world was on the verge of collapsing, he sighed as his mouth moved to her cheek, grazing the hollow of her throat and collar bone. He tugged at the hem of her too warm top, moving his lips away from her long enough to pull the cotton fabric over her head.
The static crackled between them, entwining them.
Again, his warm lips roved to the crevice between her breasts, anticipation melting the pit of her stomach like molten caramel. He was raising her skirt, caressing her hips, buttocks, her thighs, all the time kissing her throat, shoulders and exposed parts of her swelling breasts.
Breathing shallowly, her heavy lids fluttering open, she became half conscious of the darkness outside the windows. Panic rose as she realized Jamie intended to make love right here, right now: Imagining him picking her up on to the counter like they’d done years before.
Her breath caught. “Jamie...”
Flushed, he looked at her as if through a fog, his breathing rough.
She wriggled round in his hold so she could turn off the flames under the bubbling saucepans with shaky fingers.
“The bed.” He said as she turned back to him and nodded slightly.
Jamie’s smouldering expression sent shivers akin to fear through her already ready and hot body. She gasped as with one arm around her waist and the other under her knees, he effortlessly picked her up against his rising and falling chest. She felt tiny, feminine and safe.
Arms tightly around his neck, she welcomed his grating stubble of his hard jaw against her left cheek and temple. She inhaled his familiar male scent of car leather and subtle body cologne that still clung to him. His fast heartbeat sounded like an ancient drum as they escalated to their haven.
Rachel was exhilarated to feel his erection against her side as he gently let her feet touch the bedroom floor. A sliver of light from the hall illuminated Jamie’s strong body as he loosened and yanked his tie off. Shucking off his shoes, he unbuttoned and threw off his shirt, unbuckled his belt and shed his remaining clothes off in short, smooth, sharp movements. All the while his glazed eyes concentrated on Rachel’s face and contours. Her hungry eyes enjoyed the play of his muscles and his need for her as she unzipped her skirt and let it puddle by her feet.
Naked and fully aroused, he stopped her fingers from what he obviously wanted to do. He unhooked her bra and separated the straps off her shoulders down her arms. Then Jamie softly tugged at her panties. She loved the slight scraping sensations against her thighs and legs as he freed her of her last piece of clothing. He kneeled into her abdomen and she felt his lips and tongue kiss, suck and lave at the sensitive skin around her navel.
She groaned and was afraid she would fall.
Strong fingers moulded her hips down to her thighs and up towards her waist. Then standing he urgently but gently pulled her into him. His warm chest and arm muscles were hard, stimulating her bare flesh where they connected. His fervour made her want him even more.
His hot breath stimulated the sensitive folds of her ear, as he lowered his mouth and licked and sucked ever so tantalizingly at one of her most erogenous spots on the side of her neck. Goosebumps multiplied as his mouth continued downward to capture one breast, then the other, with his slow yet persistent tongue and fingers.
Her nipples hardened to attention, her breathing becoming shallower and faster. She forked her shaky fingers through his thick hair, manoeuvring his head to catch his mouth with hers, honey-like need swelling within her womb. Wet and ready for him.
Just as her knees weakened he picked her up and lay her on the bed against cool, silk-soft sheets.
Not breaking eye contact he dipped his head again to her breasts, further lavishing his tongue and lips around each areola and the curves of her breasts. Worshipping them. Until she wanted to scream with impatience and agonizing pleasure. Again, he trailed warm kisses towards her quivering tummy, circling her navel until she thought she’d die from the erotic tension escalating within her. And then his lips descended to her pubic bone.
Her breath catching in her throat she knew she was about to combust with unbearable pleasure. Her emotions and over-sensitized, fevered skin of every part of her body was on high alert.
He parted her legs with sure, caressing fingers and lowered his tongue to her inner thighs, and then to her moist centre. She held her breath. He licked her as if she were an exotic fruit he’d hungered for all his life. He watched her staring at him before the pleasure took over everything. She lay back, melting against the now too hot sheets.
She took in a much needed breath and then let it out. She raised her head to look at Jamie and the intense desire in his smile brought a myriad of feelings, of letting go of her remaining self-control. Jamie was king of her body and soul, and she loved it.
As delicious pleasure within her obliterated any conscious thought she surrendered wholly to the unrivalled ecstasy. Thrumming with waves of unrelenting rapture, at the mercy of her husband’s hands and mouth, her deep moans escalated into heavy low panting cries. Again and again. Until she couldn’t bear to be the only one within the orbit of such bliss.
Drawing her shaky, almost elastic body up she pulled Jamie’s head so he slowly rose above her. Leaving a trail of hot kisses on her jellied belly, her ribcage, right breast and neck, he stared down as he was finally above her. Supported on his elbows he kissed her deeply and again lowered his mouth to one nipple then the other. He groaned apparently in the same volcanic pleasure world he’d taken her to.
“Jamie, I need you inside me. Now. Please.” Her pleas came out desperate and wanton.
As he braced himself over her she couldn’t bear the split-second separation. She kneaded his straining biceps and shoulders as he manoeuvred himself between her legs. She luxuriated in the feel of his hard torso, rising and falling against her. Welcoming him, she wrapped her quivering legs around his waist and lower back and anticipated another full-fledged climax they were about to share together.
His erratic breathing rough, at last he entered her, slow but hard and steady, bringing another gasp of delight from Rachel. She smiled and then laughed with joy from such completeness in being in Jamie’s arms, inhaling his distinct scent now mingled with their lust and need. Her hungry fingers explored his sinewy shoulders and his straining back muscles, tightening her legs around his taut buttocks. She wanted him so deep inside her that she’d forget where her body stopped and his began.
She matched his every urgent thrust. His pleasure-filled eyes looked into hers as if needing to confirm she was in the same heaven he was.
Once again letting herself go, moaning out his name, she climbed the tip of the most exhilarating orgasm she’d ever had. She rose to new found depths, riding wave after joyous wave of bliss. Until she felt tears rolling down her temples and hairline. Her heart palpitated so erratically she was sure she’d die from too much love.
“Yes, Jamie, yes. I love you so much.” She whimpered.
Jamie’s laboured breathing matched hers. They were so attuned to each other’s needs. He looked down at her again this time as if he was seeing her for the first time in years. He groaned and then arched his back as if in blessed release. His sure strokes now forced her head closer towards the headboard. Their sweat-sheened torsos and limbs as well as their interlaced fingers bound them together.
Loving her soul mate’s heavy, pulsating body in and over her, to Rachel breathing right now was overrated.
“I love you....too.” He said almost inaudibly into her ear as their rollercoaster ride eventually calmed to a slow, throbbing, lulling stop.
Minutes passed and rolling beside her Jamie pulled her tighter to himself, into the magical chasm of their love. Their vibrating bodies sated. For now.
They had always had passion between them but not this heightened, frantic desire. Rachel smiled, her eyes shut as she nuzzled herself deeper into her husband’s embrace.
Life outside this room didn’t exist. Rachel realized that neither Brandon or her obsession with wanting to get pregnant had been on her mind since Jamie had entered the house.

© Nobody’s Baby But Mine by Gloria Silk


To be released March 9

   


Thursday, December 14, 2017

Forevermore by Cristiane Serruya πŸ’• Book Blitz & Vacation Giveaway πŸ’• (Contemporary Romance)



A father desperate to save his little girl. A doctor fighting for a cure. And two broken hearts that can only be healed together.

Ava Larsen is too busy finishing her pediatric oncology residency to find love… and she knows what it feels like to have a broken heart. She assures herself that kissing the gorgeous alpha stranger the night before was nothing more than a dangerous yet delicious mistake— one she won’t repeat.

Widower billionaire Aleksander Maximilian is one of the most powerful men alive, but he’s helpless to save his daughter Olivia from cancer. Doctors have assured him it would be best to enjoy her last days at home. To make Olivia’s wish to spend her last Christmas on Lake Tahoe come true, he hires the best home care team in the business.

It turns out the head of the team is the breathtaking woman he shared an unexpected kiss which ignited sparks. But this is the worst time for Aleksander to have finally have passionate feelings for someone, not to mention it’s strictly forbidden to Ava to get involved with her patient’s father.

Tragedy brought them together. A miracle might rip them apart.

An emotional gripping love story of hope, redemption, and never giving up, Forevermore is the second book in USA Today bestselling author Cristiane Serruya’s EVER MORE Series. If you enjoy romances by Nora Roberts, Danielle Steel, Sylvia Day, and Maya Banks, then you will cherish this heartwarming, steamy contemporary erotic novel.
Sequel to So Much More, FOREVERMORE stands on its own, but reading in order guarantees a more enjoyable time.



Hello and thanks for hosting me. I’m so happy to be here with you and your readers today.

1. Write about what a typical writing day is like for you

Although I try to write every day, it’s not always possible. I like to write at night when everything is quiet, but my six-foot-six husband who is very jealous of my books—or should I say, jealous of the male lead characters?—demands I go to bed at a more…hmm…normal hour once in a while. ☺ I can write 10,000 words in a day—my best mark, so far—not a single character in others; delete whole chapter; write middle chapters—which will probably not be used—have a horrible writer block for days…that’s okay, it’s part of my author life. But then I can be hooked by the story and won’t stop until I finish it. ☺
But there are 2 things I need to write: peace and iced-tea.

2. What inspires your story ideas and characters

Real life and real people are my inspiration. For example, Forevermore was partly inspired by a friend of mine who entangled himself in a messy relationship with his daughters’ therapist; partly by a childhood friend of mine, JosΓ© Carlos, who died of brain cancer when he was ten years old. Forevermore came out beautifully—or so I like to think—and it’s my homage to all the children who didn’t get to see a new day dawning.

3. List your long term and short term goals as a writer/author

My goal is to keep writing and do it each day better. ☺ I want to publish around six romance in 2018: Royal Love, Last Royals Series #1, which was supposed to be a short story about a King looking for a bride, but turned out to be a full-length romance, and it’s already on pre-order. I am almost finished with Summer Love, a TRUST Series standalone romance, featuring Brazilian hunk Felipe EspΓ­rito Santo, who is brother to Sophia Leibowitz, my heroine in The Complete TRUST Series.
Evermore, Ever More #3, the love story of Benedict, who is blind, and a Russian pianist, Natalya, comes after Royal Affair, Last Royals Series #2; and to close the year, One More Dance, Ever More #4. Also From the Baron’s Diary, The Diaries #3, amid all of the others. Phew!
After that, only God knows. ☺

Last, the good news: there is a free romance, among other freebies, waiting for you on Cristiane Serruya Website.
Many of my books and series are on KindleUnlimited, you won’t want to miss out .Visit Cristiane Serruya's Amazon Page and read them all for free!
I love to connect with readers, so feel free to stalk me online: Facebook Author Page, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest. And follow me on BookBub, Amazon, and Goodreads.
Those who want to receive my sporadic emails about new releases and promotions can sign-up here: Cristiane Serruya Website and win a free romance, free cookbooks, and so much more!
Thank you for the opportunity to share my thoughts here and helping me promote my work.
Love,




CHAPTER 1

New York, Manhattan
Sloan Kettering Memorial Cancer Center
Monday, November 9, 2015
6:00 p.m.

It was a death sentence he carried.
And, at the same time, it was a freeing edict.
“She has only two months, three at most. You should take her home.”
The words said in a soft and compassionate male voice a few minutes ago still boomed in Aleksander Maximilian’s mind as he made his way to Olivia’s hospital room.
Fourteen months ago, when he was first told that his now eight year-old daughter was suffering from what might turn out to be a terminal illness, he and his wife, Rachel, grasped onto hope with a stranglehold.
Thirty-nine years old at the time, he was already one of the most powerful and influential men in the United States, and if the statistics said there was a chance his daughter could live, then live she would.
He forced himself to smile before he pushed open the door and saw a sleeping Olivia and her inseparable golden retriever. Toddy raised his golden head, ears perked, and identified the intruder as Aleksander, then dropped his head back down on Olivia’s thigh.
One of Olivia’s private nurses, Sydney Campbell, rose from the chair beside her bed. “Good morning, Mr. Maximilian.”
“Hello, Sydney.” He brushed a hand over Toddy’s head. “Is she too tired again today?”
“Not really.” Sydney smiled and added, “She and Toddy joined the visiting dogs and other children and they had a busy morning. She’s just taking a nap.”
“You can take a long snack break,” he said to her, and when Sydney opened her mouth, he added, “I’ll message you if she needs something.”
“Please do.”
Aleksander loved that the staff here genuinely cared about their patients. Either that, or they do an excellent job of faking it. I’m becoming cynical.
He took off his jacket, put it on the bureau, and before he went into the adjoining bathroom to wash his hands, he turned back to Sydney and said, “We’re going home tomorrow.”
He saw sadness come over the young nurse’s face—but not surprise—as she nodded, and it just made the weight on his heart even heavier. So, there is really no hope at all.
He avoided looking at himself in the mirror as he washed his hands. It had been a few weeks since they informed him that Olivia’s brain tumor was not responding to chemotherapy, but he continued to hope while the doctors kept the treatment going.
Back in the room, he took Sydney’s seat and caught Olivia’s thin hand in his. The girl let out a contented sigh as if she knew her father was there but she didn’t wake up.
When he buried Rachel, barely one month after Olivia was hospitalized, he made a promise on her grave that he would move mountains and wouldn’t leave a stone unturned until Olivia was cured.
And he had unturned stones all over the world. From a German pediatric oncologist to a British neurosurgeon—including a Brazilian spiritual surgeon and a Canadian shaman—a parade of doctors—and curious practitioners of various healing arts. He’d flown all of them to Manhattan to consult his daughter.
Yet, all his wealth and influence had not provided a cure for her. Now, his sweet little Olivia had only two months—three, at most—to live.
I have failed you, Rachel. His lips turned down and he had to blink to whisk away the tears gathering in his eyes. I failed you both.
Before she left the room, Sydney paused by him and softly put a hand on his shoulder. “I’m so sorry, Mr. Maximilian.”
Aleksander swallowed the lump in his throat and whispered, “So am I, Sydney. So am I.”

* * *
He watched her as she slept, taking labored breaths, and he wondered if he would be there, watching her like this when she took her last breath.
Her hair had once been long and dark-blonde but due to the series of chemo treatments, she had lost every strand. Even her eyebrows and long lashes had fallen out.
Olivia’s lashless eyes fluttered awake and her big blue eyes found him immediately.
“Good morning, Daddy,” she greeted with a yawn.
Her diagnosis still lingered heavily in his mind and Aleksander held back his tears. “It’s almost seven in the evening,” he said with a strained chuckle. “You’ve been asleep for a while.”
“Oh,” Olivia said, followed by another yawn. “Toddy and I played with a lot of friends today.” Hearing his name, Toddy perked up for a moment and licked at her hand and Olivia gently patted his golden head as a reflex. “And I’m still a little tired from my last treatment.”
“I know.” Aleksander debated telling his daughter that her doctors had declared her terminally ill, but decided against it. He saw no reason for Olivia to be dwelling on death although he knew he would have to talk about it sooner or later. Better later. “You won’t have to take anymore treatments from now on, or come to the hospital anymore. The doctors want me to take you home.”
He expected sadness and tears—Olivia was not a naΓ―ve girl, much on the contrary, and she knew what going home would mean—but instead, Olivia’s eyes brightened. “Nurse Sydney said I would have more energy for a while without the chemo. I’m so excited.”
“Excited?”
“Yes, that means we can go to The Cottage this year, right?” Olivia asked, referring to their country house in Lake Tahoe.
“The Cottage? Are you sure you’ll have the energy to go?” Isn’t she too sick to go so far from the hospital?
“I’ll have enough energy,” Olivia said with a smile. “I’m going to wear my prettiest clothes and twirl around and maybe even run outside. I can’t wait!”
Aleksander smiled then, a genuine smile that lasted only seconds, but even those seconds were a rarity since he’d learned that her treatments were no longer working. “Well then, I guess we’ll have to make sure you get to The Cottage before, uh, before you get tired again.” Before you leave me.
“Can we have a Thanksgiving dinner and a Christmas night and a New Year’s party, too?”
“You want parties?” Aleksander asked dumbly. After losing Rachel and now knowing he would lose his daughter, his only child, holiday spirit was the furthest thing from his mind.
“Yes! With roasted turkey, reindeers, and a real tree that we can decorate.”
“Sure, we can have whatever you want, Pumpkin,” Aleksander said. Whatever she asked for, he would grant it. He would give her anything money could buy, but all the money in the world couldn’t buy what he desired most.
“I’ll make a list of what we need,” she said, stretching out her hand for her new journal and pencil, which lay on the bedside table on top of the one she had finished filling up the day before.
Aleksander handed them to her with a smile. His little girl was an avid writer. Olivia drew pictures in her diaries, kept notes about what she was doing, and how she was feeling, and made lists about everything.
“Mr. Maximilian,” Sydney called through the door after a knock.
“Come in.”
She walked in with a tray in hand. “It’s time for Olivia to eat and take her medication.”
“Of course,” Aleksander said, standing.
Sydney placed the tray on the stand beside Olivia’s bed. “Oh, you don’t have to leave yet.”
“Yes, I know, but, well, I should get going. I’m meeting someone tonight, and I have a lot to do to prepare to bring Olivia home tomorrow.”
He saw the puzzled look cross Sydney’s face. It was a common look, one he could read without much effort. He thought of clarifying his phrase, reassuring Sydney that he wasn’t, in fact, meeting a woman, but he didn’t bother. He had no time and no interest to pursue women; and no energy to undo erroneous impressions.
“Enjoy your meeting,” was all Sydney said in response.
Aleksander kissed Olivia on the forehead then patted Toddy on the back. “Be good, Pumpkin. I’ll see you in the morning to bring you home.”
“Ok. Love you, Daddy. See you tomorrow.”
“Love you madly, Pumpkin.” Aleksander smiled brightly and nodded a final time to Sydney as he left.
He kept the parting smile on his face until he made it to the comfort of the back seat of his black BMW and his driver closed the door.
Only then, with his own image reflected in the closed partition, did Aleksander let the tears roll slowly down his cheeks.

* * *

Upper East Side, Fifth Avenue
Aleksander Maximilian’s penthouse
8:30 p.m.

He turned on the shower, and stepped in, hoping to wash some of the impotence away.
When he stepped out to grab one of the towels from the stack, his eyes caught his reflection. He barely recognized himself anymore.
His damp hair curled past his nape; a mop of chestnut longer than it had been since his early twenties, and his face sported more than the fancy devil-may-care shade of a beard.
He hadn’t seen his usual barber for more than a month. He felt no need for a three hundred and fifty-dollar haircut, or the collection of Italian suits and shoes which filled his dressing room in Manhattan. He was just a shadow of the sharply dressed businessman he’d once been. That man had been put on hold when Rachel died and Olivia had gotten worse.
But it wasn’t his hair or face that made him not recognize himself.
It was in his eyes.
The eyes of a man haunted by a future ghost. Preoccupied with something no one else could see, eating away at his vitality and leaving him hollow.
He ran a hand over his jaw and grabbed his electric trimmer.
Just as he finished trimming his facial hair, his phone screen blinked informing him of an incoming call from Thaddeus, his older brother.
With a sigh he answered, “Yeah?”
“You’re coming to Rose Bar with me tonight, right?”
He was not in the mood to go out. He never was, anymore. But when he pictured returning to his empty and hollow penthouse by himself the image filled him with depression. “Yes, Thaddeus.”
“Good. You need to get a bit of fun in your life. Helps fight depression.”
Aleksander rolled his eyes, not at all thrilled that Thaddeus was again sticking his nose where it didn’t belong. He was sick of being analyzed like a patient even though he could not say his brother’s analysis was off the mark. “I’ll stop by Blackthorn’s and I’ll meet you there.”
“And take that Ferrari of yours out of hiding,” Thaddeus said. “What’s the point of having all that supercharged horsepower and black metal tucked away in your garage?”
Aleksander sighed. “See you at ten.”
Perhaps the electric atmosphere would dissipate some of his dark mood. He needed to keep his spirits up Olivia’s sake.

* * *

Park Avenue
Markus Blackthorn’s penthouse
9:00 p.m.

“I have bad news, and I have worse news,” Aleksander said, looking at his partners. He continued when no one responded with anything other than concerned glances. “I won’t be able to help with the Russian deal for a while because things have taken a turn for the worse with Olivia. I just came from the hospital.”
“Here.” Markus Blackthorn, Aleksander’s partner, put a glass of Macallan whisky in his hand.
“Thanks,” said Aleksander, gulping it down without tasting it. He welcomed the stinging bite burning down his throat. Any kind of pain was preferable to the hellish torment of knowing his daughter was going to die.
“What did they say?” asked Benedict Lockeheart, his other partner.
“They want me to take her home,” he bit out, leaning his head on the back of the sofa and looking up at the towering ceiling of Markus’s living room. “They said…continuing the treatment would only prolong her life without improving the quality. That it’d be better if she spent her…remaining days in the comfort of her own home, surrounded by the people and things she loves.”
“Shit, man, I’m so sorry,” Benedict said, and out of habit, he moved his hand as if to comfort Aleksander, but then he let it fall back in his lap.
Aleksander put his hand over Benedict’s and squeezed. Ever since his partner had lost his eyesight in a criminal explosion at their pharmaceutical company, those telltale little gestures had been diminishing, but they still happened. “Thanks.”
“Have you told her?” Markus asked, sitting beside his wife, Hannah.
“In a way. I asked if she wanted to go home for a while.” Aleksander sighed. “Do you know what she told me? She wants to spend the holidays at Lake Tahoe. And she wants for us to have lots of parties, starting with Thanksgiving dinner, a Christmas night, and a New Year’s party.”
“And?” prompted Benedict.
“As soon as I find a trustworthy caretaker team—and a doctor—to take with us, we’re flying there.” He shook his head. “I’d rather have the same nurses who are already treating her. She likes them and it would be easier for me too, since they already know her…”
“Let me help, Alek,” said Hannah, speaking for the first time. “I’ll gather up this team for you tomorrow.”
He could hear the choked-up emotion in her voice. Hannah had lost her mother to breast cancer a few years before, and after marrying Markus, she dedicated a great part of her time to raising funds for research and volunteering in hospitals. Being pregnant now made her even more sensitive to his and Olivia’s problem. He straightened his neck and gave her a sad smile. “I appreciate it.”
“Tomorrow morning, I’ll talk with the hospital administrator,” she said, with the knowledge that money was a great help at a time like this. “What time will you be at the hospital?”
“Seven probably,” he said. “I like to be there for Olivia’s breakfast. The nurses say she eats better when I’m around.”
“I’ll be there too,” she said, trying to stifle a yawn. “Sorry. It seems I’m always sleepy.”
“Then it’s time to take my son to bed,” Markus pointed out, running his hand over Hannah’s already rounding belly. “We still have a few things to discuss.”
The men rose and she kissed her husband affectionately on the cheek, following up with Benedict. Then she stopped in front of Aleksander and gave him a tight hug. “I promise you this: Olivia will have all her parties.”
She might not have said the word—she might not have even thought it—but he heard it nonetheless: her last parties.