Monday, February 27, 2023

After Midnight by Shari Nichols #ExclusiveExcerpt #UrbanFantasy

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After Midnight
Raven’s Hollow Coven 
Book Four
Shari Nichols

Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: City Owl Press
Date of Publication: 2/7/2023
Number of pages: 160
Word Count: 40, 000

Tagline: An ancient curse has kept astrologer Brooke Howe from finding true love until she crosses paths with a sexy-as-sin chef who may hold the key to changing her destiny. 

Book Description: 

An ancient curse has prevented astrologer Brooke Howe from finding true love. She hides her longing by matching others, with the hope of someday changing her fate. When Nico Denopoulos, the gorgeous younger brother of a friend, struts into her shop seeking a soulmate, she’s immediately drawn to his magnetic presence and his romantic heart. She can’t deny the intense sensation that she knows the sexy-as- sin chef, but can’t figure out why.

An ugly divorce has kept Nico laser-focused on the opening of his new restaurant. He’s been single for years, but now loneliness has crept into the cracks of his heart. Fearing that he‘s grown bitter, he has high hopes that Brooke can help him with his problem, except for one thing— the more time he spends with her, the more he wants her—in every possible way.

As much as Brooke wants to believe Nico is the real deal, she fears that when the seasons change, so will his feelings. She’s terrified of falling for him, and despite her best efforts to resist him, they’re inextricably drawn together. She can’t help but wonder if he may hold the secret to reversing the curse and changing her destiny. A secret from their shared past life will either bring them closer, or tear them apart forever.

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Exclusive Excerpt:

“Step onto my shoes.” Nico took Brooke’s hand in his and rested the other at the small of her back. They moved to the music like they’d been dancing together for years. He pulled her close and she became languid in his arms.

“Where did you learn how to dance?”

“I took lessons once upon a time,” he murmured. “I’ve been waiting all night to hold you in my arms.” The rhythm of their breaths mingled together.

Brooke got the sensation of falling even though he held her tight. “This night has been magical.”

“For me too.” Nico lifted her chin up with his thumb and gazed at her lips. Hunger burned in his dark eyes. “I can think of a few ways it can get a whole lot better. I’ve been dying to kiss you all night.” He bent his head and his lips brushed against hers, sweet and tentative at first. Butwhen he sucked on her lower lip, she moaned and opened for him. His tongue swept into her mouth in deep velvet strokes, scorching her clean. He tasted like wine and chocolate, sweet and decadent.

His fingers moved to her waist and brushed across her skin in the most sensual way. She dug her fingers into the lush strands of his hair as the kiss raged on. Tilting his head to the side,   he deepened the kiss, making her toes curl. The lush sweeps of his tongue forced her to draw breath.     

A low primal groan escaped from his lips, and she didn’t think she’d ever heard anything sexier in her life. The drugging taste of his mouth stirred her hunger. She could see herself becoming an addict, always looking for the next fix. She’d always dreamed of a lover kissing her like this, making her burn, and the more time she spent with him, the more she couldn’t get over the sensation that she knew him before, in a past life.

Nico pulled away and his lips fastened to her neck. He trailed open-mouthed kisses along her collar bone.“I want you, Brooke, so damn much it hurts. I have from the first second I laid eyes on you. I’ve been fantasizing about you for months, but I was conflicted because I was with someone else. It also made me realize that she wasn’t the one.” 

Her chest heaved. I want you too, Nico, but this is all happening so fast.” She didn’t jump into bed on the first date, but his sultry kisses fired something wild and wanton in her blood. 

“This isn’t like me.” He pressed his forehead to hers. “Getting to know you has only made me want you more.”

Her knees weakened. She’d never experienced this kind of passion before. This wasn’t only about attraction. She liked him… a lot, which made this even more complicated. After tonight, she’d probably never see him again. But how could she deny her mind and her body from the sizzling chemistry pulsing between them?

“All I could think about while I was making tonight’s dessert was licking the chocolate off your bare skin,” he whispered close to her ear, making her shiver.

 What could she say to that?

“Come home with me, Brooke,” he rasped, pressing another sensual kiss to her lips. “I know we should wait, and that I should woo you properly. If we have sextoo soon it might start this relationship off in the wrong direction, but all I can think about is being inside you.”

Nico’s raw, honest words made her ache and aroused her even more. A voice in her head told her to cut bait and call it a night, but another voice told her she might not ever get this chance again. She preached romance and spontaneity to her clients all the time so why shouldn’t she experience it for herself? Placing her hand on his chest, his heart pounded in the same wild rhythm as hers. “How long does it take to get to your place?”

Scorching heat flared in his eyes as Nico squeezed her ass. “We can be there in fifteen minutes if I speed.”

A rush of desire flowed through every cell and nerve ending. Their scorching need for each other melted the last of her defenses away. “What are we waiting for?”



About the Author:

Shari Nichols is a multi-award–winning author who grew up in a small town in Connecticut where haunted houses, ghosts and Ouija boards were commonplace, spurring her fascination with all things paranormal. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, getting her MA in Creative writing, doing yoga, or sharing a meal and a glass of wine with her family and friends. She lives in New Jersey with her husband of thirty years.

Shari shakes up the ultimate supernatural cocktail, combining witchcraft, vampires, suspense, and spice into an irresistible paranormal potion." (InD'Tale Magazine) 

"Amazing characters, romance, and suspense. What more can a lover of paranormal romance hope for?" (Linda Tonis-Paranormal Romance Guild.)

Her novels have won the following awards: The Beverley Award, New York Book Festival Honorable Mention, Paranormal Romance Guild Reviewers Choice Finalist Best Book, Paranormal Romance Guild Reviewers Choice Finalist Best Series, Paranormal Romance Guild Reviewers Choice Winner Best Book, Paranormal Romance Guild Reviewers Choice Winner Best Series, Golden Leaf Finalist Best Book, Golden Leaf Finalist by a New Jersey Author, HOLT Medallion Finalist. Literary Titan Silver Medal Winner. 

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