Title: Damned When I Didn’t
Author: Cherie Colyer
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Death isn’t the end for eighteen-year-old Avery Williams, and her final resting place isn’t beyond the Golden Gates. No, the Queen of the Damned has plans for her and, unbeknownst to Avery, fought hard to gain possession of her soul. As Hell’s newest succubus, Avery is expected to siphon life from the living. It only takes a long, meaningful kiss, but for a virgin like Avery, kissing guys she barely knows isn’t something she’s comfortable doing. Avery focuses on the upside of her fate—she’ll be returning home, or so she thinks. When the Queen of the Damned cuts her off from her old life, Avery is determined to find a way back to her family and friends, even if it means facing Hell’s fury if she’s caught.
I kicked my sneakers off near the kitchen stools and dropped my purse on the floor.
“What’s your problem?” Cole asked. He stood a few feet from me, eyes narrowed.
“Nothing.” I breathed in deep, trying to calm myself. The stench of cheap perfume invaded my nostrils. I covered my nose with my hand. “You reek of imitation lavender and…and…onions.”
Cole tossed his keys onto the counter. Obvious confusion flittered over his features only to be replaced with the realization that I was referring to the scents of the waitress.
“You’re one to talk!” he spit back. “You stink of Sport Goofy.”
“Sport Goofy, I mean Marcus, barely touched me.” Cole gave off such a strong odor, I was sure the waitress had put her hands all over him.
Cole stepped closer, placing his hands on the counter on either side of me, caging me in.
“And I barely touched her,” he growled. “When a human’s life force flows from them to us, our souls grow brighter and—”
“We smell like them,” I said, finishing his sentence. He’d told me that once.
“And because our senses become sharper, we know when our kind renews.” The blue in his irises was more pronounced than I’d remembered. I bit my lip to keep from asking him if that was because of my heightened vision or because he’d renewed, as he called it. “Now, do you want to tell me what’s really bothering you?”
I felt my face warm, and I had to fight to keep my gaze from traveling to his lips. Did I want to admit that I was irrationally jealous that he’d kissed another girl? Nope. So, instead, I said, “Her smell makes me want to puke.”
“Eau de Jock is doing the same to me.”
“You’re the one who called Sport Goofy,” I reminded him.
He smiled, clearly happy that I’d called Marcus by the nickname.
“You’re the one who pissed off the Queen of the Damned,” he countered.
I twitched a shoulder. “I still can’t stand how you smell right now.”
“Fine!” He grabbed me just under my butt and lifted me over his shoulder. I screamed. He held my legs, keeping me from falling.
“What are you doing?” I grabbed his waist from my upside down position.
“You think I smell?”
“Reek. And you said I do, too! Now put me down!”
“Let’s fix that.”
He marched to the bathroom with me slung over his shoulder. The next thing I knew we were standing in the tub. He continued to hold me like a sack of rice.
He slid me down his chest so I stood in front of him with his arms keeping me from moving.
He reached behind me.
I glanced up at the showerhead, then to the knob next to me. “You wouldn’t!”
“Want to bet?”
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Professional network technician by day, novelist by night, Cherie lives a quiet life in the Chicago suburbs with her charming husband. She has four amazing sons who she loves dearly. Cherie magically weaves together stories with a paranormal twist. She’s the author of the Embrace series, Challenging Destiny, Damned When I Didn’t, and Friends to the End. She waltzed into the adult novel world with Merry Little Wishing Spritz. She’s delighted to be back with Salted Caramel Bliss with a Wedding Kiss.
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Bookbub author page: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/cherie-colyer