Title: Secret Worlds: A Paranormal Romance Boxed Set
Authors: Rebecca Hamilton, Conner Kressley, Rainy Kaye, Debbie Herbert, Aimee Easterling, Kyoko M., Caethes Faron, Susan Stec, Linsey Hall, Noree Cosper, Samantha LaFantasie, J.E. Taylor, Katie Salidas, L.G. Castillo, Lisa Swallow, Rachel McClellan, Kate Corcino, A.J. Colby, Catherine Stine, Angel Lawson, and Lucy Leroux
Publisher: Bestselling Boxed Sets
Publication date: June 29th 2015
Goodreads Page: Secret Worlds: A Paranormal Romance Boxed Set
Limited Edition, includes:
Taken by the Beast by C. Kressley and R. Hamilton
Women who look a lot like Charisse are going missing. And the man this beauty is falling for may be the beast responsible.
The Forever Girl by R. Hamilton
Sophia gets more than she bargains for when she finally decides to trust a shapeshifter.
Summoned by Rainy K.
Dimitri can’t reveal the paranormal bond controlling him, and Syd won’t tolerate his secrets.
Purgatory by S. Stec
A sex-hungry myth with no name, no flesh, and no identity …unless it wears one of you.
The Pandora Principle by N. Cosper
As a descendant of Pandora, Cassi must discover if her lover is one of the evil spirits she hunts before all her friends die.
Heart Song by S. LaFantasie
When incredibly handsome Marren frees Relena, there’s a catch.
Changeling by D. Herbert
As a changeling and a witch work together to restore order in Fairy, they discover that love, like magic, casts its own spell.
Shiftless by A. Easterling
After years of suppressing her inner predator, Terra meets a shifter who forces her to reclaim her wilder side.
The Black Parade by Kyoko M
Poltergeist Michael is the key to saving Jordan’s soul from hell, but can she handle the cost of her salvation?
Haunting Echoes by C. Faron
Will Amaia’s clan kill her ex-fiancé before she learns whether he returned from the grave for love or revenge?
Braving Fate by L. Hall
Diana and Cadan fight demonic forces and a deadly passion that has lasted centuries.
Trinity Rising by J.E. Taylor
Damian and Naomi are desperate for victory against the devil, but one wrong step could trigger Armageddon.
Moonlight by K. Salidas
Good girls don’t wear fur, fight over men, or run around naked, howling at the moon. But Fallon’s not a good girl.
Lash by L.G. Castillo
Lash must choose where to place his trust–in a home he fought so hard to regain or in a forbidden love he can’t bear to lose.
Between by L. Swallow
Alek could kill Rose with a kiss. Finn, with a touch. Pulled into an intense affair with Alek, Rose discovers her connection to Finn threatens them all.
The Devil’s Fool by R. McClellan
When vampire Boaz gives Eve the one thing she never had–love–she falls into a world of greed and seduction.
Spark Rising by K. Corcino
A runaway Spark and the agent arresting her ignite a revolution to end their people’s enslavement while resisting the electricity between them.
Ruby’s Fire by C. Stine
On the run from a desert cult, Ruby must choose which handsome stranger to trust with her heart and her darkest secret.
Cursed by L. Leroux
Isobel has been hiding an uncanny ability her whole life–until the day she must use it to save herself from a madman.
Hunted by A.J. Colby
With Agent Holbrook’s help, Riley races time to stay ahead of a crazed werewolf killer.
Vigilant by A. Lawson
Ari stumbles into a world of crime and vigilantism while discovering the one man that sets her heart on fire.
Summoned by Rainy Kaye
I dislike having to murder someone. Kidnapping is worse. At least when I setup a kill, I know what’s coming. No connections, no honesty, no surprises. Everything I say and do are just steps to luring in my victim. Once the victim falls right into the trap, the next move is swift: crushed windpipe, fatal concussion, or a good ol’ fashioned headshot.
Kidnapping, on the other hand, is a little trickier. First, the victim has an opportunity to respond. I don’t like this. Sometimes they cry. Sometimes they manage to alert the authorities. And sometimes they escape, usually by inflicting bodily harm on me.
Dead people don’t retaliate.
The second major difference between killing and kidnapping is my conscience. I get in and out with a kill. We have no chance to bond.
Abductees require a little more one-on-one. As much as I try to keep the switch turned off, I can’t help but listen to their pleas and demands. And I usually realize I’m a jerk.
That’s exactly where I find myself one late afternoon in June. I prefer doing this at night, but moreover, I would prefer not doing this at all.
Instead, I have a belligerent nine year old girl sitting in the passenger seat of my Honda Accord, shackles on her wrists and ankles and a small stuffed bunny on her lap. She’s eying me in a way that makes me self-conscious. Like I’m the bad guy.
Probably because I am the bad guy.
“My dad will shoot you!” She glares at me. “He has lots of guns and knows how to use them good. He’ll shoot you.”
Right now, that feels more like a mercy than a threat. I focus on the road and say nothing.
“But you won’t die, and he’ll call the police, and you’ll go to jail!” She rattles her chains like a new specter trying out the haunting thing.
And she keeps rattling them.
I clamp my jaw and tighten my hold on the steering wheel.
The clanking grows louder. From the corner of my eye, I catch she is shaking the chains at me. She’s nine. She’s angry. This is all she’s got.
It’s annoying as shit.
“Okay! Stop it!” I reach for the middle chain to still her.
She shrieks. High pitched, icepick to the eardrum shrieks.
I snap my hand back to the steering wheel. “Please stop.”
She shrieks louder. Dear God.
She silences. Her eyes are fixed on me though.
I’m supposed to be the bad guy here. Probably a good idea to say something bad guy-ish.
I got nothing.
My conscience sneaks in, whispering questions about what is going to happen to her after delivery.
Ransom, I decide. She will be held for ransom.
Truth is, I will never know.
I bet she is in a lot of extracurricular activities. Star of her class, ringleader of her friends, exasperation to her parents.
They don’t know she’s missing yet. She was heading home from school when I cut her off at a crosswalk, slapped the chains on her in the backseat, and peeled away. I am a pro at this.
If I didn’t know better, I would think she was too. She sang. In the backseat. At the top of her lungs. The Song That Never Ends.
Come to find out, that song never ends.
So we struck a deal. She would stop singing, and I would let her ride in the passenger seat.
It was a compromise. Her first offer was that I let her go.
Nice try, kid.
She juts her chin. “Where are you taking me?”
“A big house.” I bat my hair out of my eyes. “A mansion. With lots of expensive things. There’s maids and cooks. Huge yard with a pool that might as well be a lake. Has a waterfall and everything.”
“Is there a pony?”
“Well, there’s—” I stop and glance at her.
She’s fuckin’ with me.
I groan and slouch in my seat. Not very bad guy-ish, but I think she’s already figured out I’m a poser.
“Look, just be quiet, will ya?”
She starts screaming again.
Mental note: bring a gag next time.
The thing is, I’m not afraid of the cops. They’re more of a nuisance than anything.
Want to scan my record? Go for it. Leo Hartz is clean.
And my real name, Dimitri Hayes? I do not exist.
I don’t have fingerprints—they were seared off—and any of my DNA in the federal system links to long discarded aliases.
Thanks to me, cold cases litter the desks of investigators across the nation.
I frown. Hopefully another file isn’t going to be added soon.
The city gives way to desert: packed dirt, patches of dry brush, and a few tall cacti. Purple mountains stand against the empty sky.
After ten minutes or so, I roll down her window a quarter of the way. We could both use some fresh air.
The drive isn’t over yet.
Despite her shackles, she manages to push herself up on the door and wedge a hand in the crack. The stuffed bunny rolls to the floorboard. She ignores it and tries to force the window down farther. Probably thinks she can leap out. Wouldn’t surprise me if she tried.
“You need to sit,” I say, voice even.
“I’m planning my escape,” she says, matter-of-fact.
“I see that. Can you stop?”
“If you kill me, my dad will track you down.” She drops back into her seat and looks at me again. “He’ll track you down and kill you back.”
Great, I picked up Liam Neeson’s daughter.
“Yeah, I’m not worried about your dad, ‘kay? Just be quiet.”
“What’s your name?”
In the eight years I’ve been doing this, I’ve never had such an inquisitive victim. Normal kids freak out. I just drug the adults. They’re too difficult to move otherwise.
I’m not exactly built for hauling around people against their will. When I learned what I would spend the rest of my life doing, I tried to pack on a few pounds. I was fifteen, and the job description didn’t make pumping iron a thrill.
So I traded in the weights for a couple of guns and a supply of benzodiazepines. I won’t use the benzos on the kiddies, though. Too dangerous.
I turn onto a dirt road, and the car bounces along. Hondas get great mileage, but they aren’t designed with this terrain in mind.
Not a big deal. When the Accord finally gives out, Karl will have another vehicle waiting for me. Whatever I need, I get. It’s not as exciting as it sounds, especially since I can’t draw attention to myself.
No fancy rides, no fawning ladies. Just a nondescript car and all the ammo and tranqs a guy could want.
Up ahead looms solid metal gates set in a twenty-foot high brick wall.
My passenger goes quiet. I have stopped making sense of her words a while ago. The gates roll to either side, and she sits forward into the dash.
“Wow.” Her voice is a soft breath.
For a moment, she has forgotten she’s going to die.
Wait, held for ransom. That’s the story, and I’m sticking to it. I might believe it with enough whiskey. As soon as this delivery is over, I’m heading straight to the bar. The trip back from the mansion is the worst part, though. The silence. The thinking.
I press on the gas and drive up the long carport. On either side, the landscaping is like a mirage. Tall arching trees. Manicured hedges whose maintenance alone cost more than the upkeep on my car. A pond that would look impressive if I didn’t know there really is a pool with a waterfall on the other side of the estate. And the pool is nothing compared to the tennis court, the ten-car garage, and the empty horse stable.
The mansion itself stands three stories high and sprawls so far I sometimes wonder if anyone has ever walked it end to end. There’s at least a dozen covered patios with stone archways. I can’t even guess how many balconies.
Uniformed men bust through one of the four sets of double-doors and head straight for my car. My passenger screams. This time, it is real terror.
The men yank open the side door and drag her out. Not so much as a nod at me. They carry her back the direction they had come, disappearing into the mansion.
I will never see her again.
The stuffed bunny is still on the floorboard. I lean over to pick it up and toss it into the glove compartment.
During the drive back to the city, I sing The Song That Never Ends to drown out my thoughts.
— Rainy Kaye’s Author Secret —
I’m trying to convince my HOA to let me have a goat.