On Tour with Prism Book Tours
(Annalisse Series #1)
By Marlene M. Bell
By Marlene M. Bell
Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Paperback & ebook, 294 PagesJune 30th 2018 by Ewephoric Publishing
People die, but legends live on.
New York antiquities appraiser Annalisse Drury recently lost her best friend to murder. The killer’s identity may be linked to her friend’s expensive missing bracelet—a 500-year-old artifact that carries an ancient curse, one that unleashes evil upon any who dare wear the jewelry created for the Persian royal family.
Weeks later, Annalisse sees a matching necklace at a Manhattan gallery opening. She begs the owner to destroy the cursed piece, but her pleas fall on deaf ears—despite the unnatural death that occurs during the opening. With two victims linked to the jewelry, Annalisse is certain she must act.
Desperate, Annalisse enlists the gallery owner’s son to help—even though she’s afraid he’ll break her heart. Wealthy and devastatingly handsome, with a string of bereft women in his wake, Greek playboy Alec Zavos dismisses Annalisse’s concerns—until his parents are ripped from the Zavos family yacht during their ocean voyage near Crete.
Annalisse and Alec race across two oceans to save his mother, feared dead or kidnapped. When the killer changes tactics and goes after Alec behind Annalisse’s back, can her plan to rescue Alec’s mother save them all?
Hold on for a heart-thumping, thrilling adventure through exotic lands in this fast-moving romantic suspense mystery by Marlene M. Bell.
Praise for the Book
"Debut author Bell delivers a great, slow-building romance, gently examining her characters' painful pasts." — Kirkus Reviews
"An irresistible page turner and a successful melding of thriller and romance. With a splash of international adventure and plenty of surprises, Stolen Obsession is an entertaining read and a great beginning to the Annalisse Series." — Self-Publishing Review, ★★★★½
Patting the cushion next to her, she managed a smile.
“Sit next to me. We’ve had a few horrible days, but I couldn’t imagine spending them with anyone else.”
He laughed and patted her knee as he sat beside her.
“Good thing my ego’s in check.”
“That’s twice today my attempt at humor’s bombed.”
He laughed. “It’s charming.”
“I’ll keep my day job. I mean, what used to be my day job. You know what I mean.” She half-closed her eyes counting the beats of her heart. “Hell, I don’t know me, anymore.”
Alec scooted over, leaving a small gap between them and patted his thigh.
“Rest your head. There’s no place we need to be right now.” He lifted just enough to extract his wallet and keys. They chimed when he dropped them on the glass table.
Her mind raced. What she should do? Keep sending mixed signals and wonder what he’d be like forever, or be honest with herself and go for it?
She scrunched the linen fabric on her hips and hiked her skirt high, then straddled his lap, wrapping her arms around him.
“I’d rather be here.”
The silver diamonds of his eyes shone back at her. He parted his lips and stared, willing to let her take what she wanted. Good thing. If he’d taken control, she’d likely lose her nerve. Annalisse shoved all thoughts aside except for his mouth. She wanted that mouth. She gingerly kissed his upper lip then sucked on his lower, biting it on the retreat.
He groaned and took her face in his hands, mashing his against hers. The kiss went from hard to savage as he stifled another moan and pulled her inward to new depths.
Sugared ice pulsed through her body.
Tearing her lips away, she nipped his ear lobe and whispered, “I don’t normally do this.”
“It’s new for me, too.”
Right. Plenty of women, in plenty of ways.
She hated tired lines. The kind he probably used on the harem before her. Annalisse leaned backward and cocked her head aside, watching him.
“What?” he asked.
“Not on my account. Keep the bullshit to yourself.” His face hardened and he dropped his hands.
“How can I convince you to have some faith? Man, who did the number on you?”
“Don’t say things that aren’t so.”
“Then what’s new about this?”
Annalisse shook her head, unsure if she was more frustrated with him or herself.
“Don’t flash your wicked green eyes at me. Do you have any idea how deeply I want to know you? I want to be with you—but only when you’re ready. I’m taking us at a slower pace. I don’t want to mess this up.”
If Alec was the notorious playboy, his plan didn’t match her expectations. Didn’t she want him to go slow? Their few innocent kisses so far had been instigated by her. Because he didn’t want to push. Or she’d frightened him into believing she was too delicate to approach. It was time to stop judging him by the innuendos. She’d fallen for Alec—no matter his past.
“You want me?” she asked.
“Yes,” he whispered. Alec settled his hands on the bare skin of her thighs, running a thumb to the inside.
“Mom knows me. And she’s figured you out, too, Art Lady—the most awesome creature to bump into me in a very long while.”
She relaxed and guided his hand farther up her leg.
He held back, covered her hand with his, and tugged on her little finger. The desire on his face turned her into a puddle of want.
She all but melted on the growing ridge beneath his closed zipper.
Alec caressed her skin with both hands under her dress, around her to the flat of her back, lighting her sin on fire everywhere he touched her.
She leaned into him and closed her eyes, consumed by the rush of heat spiked with frost left by his fingertips.
“Umm.” She breathed, bending down to his lips. As she tasted the salty musk of his skin, she worked his belt loose and slipped the top button of his trousers.
Alec stiffened and pulled away to look down.
“We need to help you with that.” Annalisse smiled, using his zipper as a distraction from the electric charge that coursed her body.
Alec reached around her, and she leaned forward as he unzipped her dress and unhooked her strapless bra.
He dropped his head and planted a kiss on one breast and then the other, leaving tingles in his wake.
“I wanted sweet and slow, but I’m not sure that’s possible.” Alec traced the outline of her swimsuit on her breast. “That’s a mean sunburn. Are you hurting?”
“Right now, I wouldn’t exactly call it that.” She raised a brow. “But, if you’d asked me yesterday—” She reached down again for his zipper tab.
He grabbed her wrists.
“Not like this.”
Before she could protest, Alec had shifted her sideways and slid the coffee table across the room. He opened his wallet and removed three foil packets, tossing them next to his keys.
The number of condoms took her words for a moment, but she couldn’t stop herself. “That’s a bunch. Are you always this prepared?”
“I want to love you five times tonight, but I could only fit three in my wallet.”
Annalisse visualized a fatal gratification in his arms—one she could never come back from and be the same. Her thighs trembled and she clenched them together to stay the moisture he’d unlocked.
“Better to start out fresh before I get dirty.” Annalisse stood, pulling down her dress. “I’m heading for the shower.” Before I throw myself at you or throw up on the floor.
He laughed throatily. “Double entendres are such a trip. Maybe I should let you get fresh before you get dirty. Then you can teach me what that means.”
About the Author
Marlene M. Bell is an acclaimed artist and photographer as well as a writer. Her sheep landscapes grace the covers of publications such as, Sheep!, The Shepherd, Ranch & Rural Living and Sheep Industry News. Ewephoric, her mail order venture, began in 1985 out of a desire for realistic sheep stationery. A color catalog of non-fiction books and sheep-related gifts may be requested at www.marlenembell.com or www.texassheep.com. Marlene and her husband, Gregg reside on a wooded ranch in East Texas with their 50 head of Horned Dorset sheep, a lovable Maremma guard dog named, Tia, and 3 spoiled cats who rule the household.
- 1 Grand Prize winner will receive: One signed copy of STOLEN OBSESSION, One lined Journal with handcrafted pen, One set of Wool Dryer Balls, a Pair of Stolen Obsession style earrings and a $50 gift card from Amazon
- 4 winners will each receive: One signed copy of Stolen Obsession, One sheep bookmark, One lined journal and a pair of Stolen Obsession-style earrings-Gold-various styles
- US only
- Ends July 25th
- Ends July 25th