I hope you’ve been following along as I’ve been sharing serialized excerpts from my latest release, Kissing with Fangs! Check the schedule below to start from the beginning!
To set the scene for today’s excerpt: When her workplace burned down, Claudia should have taken it as a sign to move on—and not just professionally. She’s been secretly in love with her mysterious boss, Anthony, for years. There’s no way she should help him rebuild his business if she wants to keep her heart intact.
The flames that destroyed Anthony’s beloved bar are nothing compared to the heat he feels every time he lays eyes on Claudia. But he can’t have her. He has some powerful enemies and it would be too easy for them to use Claudia as a pawn.
Anthony tracked down his beautiful bar manager at her apartment and found her drunk, mourning the loss of her job...and him!
Hours later, Claudia’s intercom buzzed. Anthony considered waking her to answer it, but Claudia looked so angelic sleeping in his arms. He edged out of her delicate grasp and laid her down gently.
Who would come to see her at five in the morning?
He touched the intercom speaker button and whispered. “Who is it?”
After a brief delay, a woman’s voice said, “Is this Claudia’s apartment?”
“May I ask who you are first?”
An impatient male voice called out, “It’s her parents. Who the hell are you?”
Oops. Caught in a girl’s apartment at 5:00 a.m. by her parents. That hadn’t happened in a while. Anthony glanced over at Claudia, who was softly snoring. The apartment was still as disheveled as it had been when he first saw it. If he was concerned for her after seeing that, her parents certainly would be.
“Give me a few seconds to wake her,” he said.
An oath from her father was cut off halfway as Anthony let go of the buzzer. He used his vampiric speed to clean up the apartment. Finding the trash can under the sink, he grabbed the bucket and loaded it with empties until it wouldn’t hold any more. Then he simply hid the rest of them. He zoomed around the room once more, putting pillows back on chairs, mascara side down, and placing the empty pizza boxes on the kitchen counter.
He stopped to appraise the job he’d done, and everything seemed neat. Then he shook Claudia. “Wake up. Your parents are here.”
She protested with an agh.
He shook her harder and called out, “Claudia, wake up!”
At last, she opened her eyes and blinked. “Anthony? What are you…” Then she groaned. “Oh, yeah. I remember now.” She looked shaky as she pushed herself up to a sitting position.
The intercom buzzed again.
“Your parents are here.”
“What?” She shot to her feet and swayed.
Anthony grabbed her arm and clasped her around her waist to steady her. “You need to buzz them in.”
“No. They’re in Florida.”
“They’re here. If you don’t let them in, I’ll have to.”
“No! They can’t know you’re here. Quick. Hide in the bedroom.” She pushed at him, but he didn’t move.
“It’s too late. I answered the intercom the first time it buzzed.”
She hit him. “Why did you do that?”
He turned her toward the door and marched her over to it. “Let them in. They’re probably as worried about you as I was.”
She sighed. “Okay, but first I need to make sure it’s really them.” She leaned on the intercom button and said, “Mom? Dad?”
A soft click was followed by her mother pleading, “Open the door, honey,” and her father bellowing, “What kind of daughter lets her parents stand on the sidewalk while she—”
Claudia let go of the intercom and buzzed them in. “That’s them all right.”
“I’d better go,” Anthony said.
Claudia glanced around her apartment and her eyebrows rose. “You cleaned up after me?”
“Just a quick tidying up.”
She rested a hand on his arm. “Thank you.”
Anthony held her gaze for a moment. Something unspoken but deeply meaningful passed between them. He was fairly sure it was more than gratitude on her part. It certainly was on his.
A hard knock on her door broke the spell.
“Time to face the music—or the cacophony,” Claudia muttered.
Anthony buttoned his suit jacket a moment before she opened the door to reveal a bedraggled-looking couple.
“We drove thirty-six hours straight to get here, young lady,” her father blasted. “You’d better have a damn good excuse for not answering your phone or emails.”
Her father turned his anger on Anthony. “Are you the reason she was unreachable for a week?”
“No, Dad,” Claudia quickly said.
Someone upstairs opened their door and yelled down, “It’s five o’clock in the friggin’ morning. Shut the hell up and let people sleep!”
Claudia opened her door wider. “Come in and try to calm down.”
When her parents were inside the apartment, Anthony extended his hand. “I’m Anthony Cross. I was concerned about her as well.”
Her father stared at Anthony’s hand. At last he grasped it and shook twice. “Your hand is cold. You must have arrived just before we did.”
Her mother added, “Even if he’s been here all night, she’s a grown woman and allowed to have a boyfriend, dear.”
Anthony didn’t quite know how to respond to that. Should he let Claudia’s father think they were a couple? Fortunately, he didn’t have to confirm or deny. Claudia jumped in.
“He’s not my boyfriend. He’s my old boss.”
“Old boss?” her father said. “Did he fire you? Is that why you look like hell?”
She sighed. “No. He didn’t fire me. The fire fired me.” Claudia faced Anthony straight on and shot him a poignant look. “The building that housed the import-export business burned down.”
Import-export? Was that code for “my parents don’t know I worked in a bar”?
“Oh! Were you hurt? Is that why we couldn’t reach you?” her mother asked, wringing her hands.
Anthony glanced at his watch. He had to get going in order to make it to his lair in Chinatown before the sun came up. It would happen about 5:44 a.m. at this time of year.
“Excuse me for interrupting, but I have to go,” Anthony said.
Claudia smiled gratefully. “Yes, I suppose you must be tired. Thank you for listening to me, uh, talk your ear off.”
Anthony was glad his suit wasn’t rumpled and it looked as if talking was all he’d been doing, but how would Claudia explain her appearance?
“I’m glad we talked. I’m sorry I got you out of bed by arriving so late. I’ll call you soon so we can continue putting together a plan to get the business back up and running.”
She waved away his fake apology. “Oh, don’t worry about getting me up. I’m just glad you’re including me in your plans to rebuild.”
“I couldn’t do it without you.”
Her parents smiled and seemed to buy into their explanation. Whew. Not bad for a cockamamy story on the fly. He shook hands with both of them, waved to Claudia, and left.
He’d have to zoom back to his place. Public transportation wasn’t fast enough. Standing on the sidewalk, he checked for witnesses, and dammit, the garbage truck was rumbling down the street and people were scrambling to get their trash out in time.
Panic gripped him as he noticed the dawn approaching and pictured his bad self, bursting into flames in the sun.
Be sure to follow the entire blog tour to get a sneak peek at Kissing with Fangs, and opportunities to win all three books in the Flirting with Fangs series along the way:
Scene 1: Ashlyn Chase’s Website: http://www.ashlynchase.com/kissingwithfangs.html
Scene 2: 3/6 Under the Covers Book Blog http://www.underthecoversbookblog.com/
Scene 3: 3/7 Casablanca Authors http://casablancaauthors.blogspot.com/
Scene 4: 3/11 Debbie's Book Bag http://debsbookbag.blogspot.com/
Scene 5: 3/12 Star-Crossed Romance http://star-crossedromance.blogspot.com/
Scene 6: 3/18 The Reading Café http://www.thereadingcafe.com/
Scene 7: 3/20 Fresh Fiction http://freshfiction.com/pages.php?id=blog
Kissing with Fangs (Flirting With Fangs - Book 3) by Ashlyn Chase
Publication Date: 03/04/2014
Genre: Paranormal Romance
(Received for an honest review from Sourcebooks Casablanca)
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Indiebound
Ashlyn Chase on the WEB: website, twitter, facebook, goodreads
Books in the series:
Flirting Under a Full Moon (2013), How to Date a Dragon (2013), Kissing with Fangs (2014)
Coverart: Click the Image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.
There's Something He's Never Told Her...
When her workplace burned down, Claudia should've taken it as a sign to move on—and not just professionally. She's been secretly lusting after her mysterious boss, Anthony Cross, for years. There's no way she should agree to help him rebuild if she wants to keep her heart intact, and yet it's impossible to stay away...
The flames that destroyed Anthony Cross's beloved bar are nothing compared to the heat he feels every time he lays eyes on Claudia. But he can't have her—it's against paranormal law for a vampire to date a human. Besides, he has some dangerous enemies, and one in particular already has her sights on Claudia. He owes her the truth—both about his feelings and his vampire nature—which means their lives are about to get hotter than ever...
Ashlyn Chase brings readers the final book in her Flirting With Fangs series, Kissing With Fangs. This book wraps up the series with a neat little bow. All of the questions readers have pondered over are answered as the series comes full circle. Ashlyn Chase fans always enjoy her light paranormal romances and the humor she injects into every book. Kissing With Fangs is not exception, but also deals with some heavy issues like alcoholism and seriously deranged ex-girlfriends. Readers who are looking for something different in the paranormal scheme of things will really enjoy this series!
What I liked:
This series reminds me of a joke. A werewolf, a dragon and a vampire go into a bar... LOL! I loved the fact that each book in the series focused on a different paranormal character, yet they were all interactive. They can all be read as standalone's but that takes so much away from the overall arc of the series. I think Chase knows how to make these supernatural characters seem human, with just a little quirk here and there and that makes them so much more approachable than some paranormal characters.
Readers who have read Ashlyn Chase's Strange Neighbors series, or the first two books in this series, will be quick to tell you that Chase's books are not normal paranormal reads. They are infused with humor. It radiates off the pages and Chase does a fantastic job of making the darker subjects seem light. In Kissing With Fangs one of the main characters has a dark secret, that isn't taken lightly, but humor still plays a part in seeing hope for the future. I love that element of lightness about Chase's writing.
I loved Anthony and Claudia together. Both of them had secrets. She was an alcoholic and he was a vampire. She has her demons, but so does he. They were a perfect match for each other, despite their obvious differences. Anthony has been a very mysterious character in the series up to this point, and I think readers will love finding out more about him here. His bar Boston Uncommon was haven for supernaturals until it burned down. The factions that have been at peace now threaten from every side. I loved Anthony's protective nature. Claudia is posed to become a pawn in the game because of Anthony's affection, but she can stand her ground. She's fighting an addiction, how difficult could warring supernaturals be? It was a super combination that Chase brings to the table.
What I didn't like:
Who am I kidding? I liked everything about this one from the characters to the setting and right down to the psycho ex-girlfriend. It was a light fun read that I would recommend to anyone who likes paranormal romance, but wants something a little different.
You gotta read this one!
Kissing With Fangs is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.
I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!
About the Author:
A multi-published eBook author, Ashlyn Chase specializes in characters who reinvent themselves, having reinvented herself numerous times. She has worked as a psychiatric nurse, and for the Red Cross, and has a degree in behavioral sciences. She lives with her true-life hero husband in beautiful New Hampshire.
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