WELCOME to the Launch Party for ZANE (Inked Brotherhood, #3). ZANE is a New Adult contemporary (erotic) romance by author Jo Raven. It’s book #3 in the Inked Brotherhood series – but can be read as a stand-alone title, as well.
We’re celebrating the release with giveaways of ebooks and gift cards on Jo Raven’s author page:
We’ll be celebrating all day, so join us to read steamy excerpts and teasers from ZANE and for the chance to win electronic copies of the book!
ZANE purchase links:
Amazon com: http://tinyurl.com/nkuy5jo
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/zane-jo-raven/1120634426
They call me Zen-man, the cool-headed one, the protector. I keep an eye out for everyone, take them in, find them homes. They think I’m the calm and collected one, the self-assured one, the one who knows the way. They think they see me. They think they know me.
But they’re all wrong, because inside I’m broken. I have a jagged hole in my soul I can’t fix, a festering blackness. I’ve been to the pits of hell, and nobody comes back unscathed. Life in foster care fucked me up, and now a thread is all that’s holding me together.
So I sleep around and never date, keeping chicks away. One day I’ll snap, and when I do, there’s no telling who I might take down with me.
All the same, there’s this one girl who won’t be scared away. Dakota. She’s hot, and I won’t deny I want her. But she keeps coming back, pushing me, trying to get me to talk, to open up to her.
She has no idea she’s playing with fire. When the demons come, she’d better be far away from me, just like everyone else.
This is book 3 in the Inked Brotherhood series which started with Asher. It is a stand-alone work. No cliffhanger.
He’s standing with his back to the wall, arms folded over his broad chest, his slanted eyes on me, hot and intense. His Mohawk is tall as ever, and the silver studs in his ears and the hoops in his brow glint. I scan him from his exotic face to the faded black T-shirt stretched over his pecs, down to his ripped jeans, and I struggle for breath.
Gah. He’s too handsome to be real. Too handsome to be interested in me. And yet here he is, and I can’t miss the bulge on the front of his jeans. He’s obviously hard, and the realization makes me feel hot. The tips of my breasts tighten painfully.
What is it about this boy that makes me lose my train of thought? Deciding I want to break through his defenses is one thing—but what he does to my body even with one look should be illegal.
“You came,” I blurt, and instantly wish I had swallowed my tongue instead.
He cocks his head to the side, eyes heavy-lidded. “Almost,” he whispers, and oh God, the boy is sexy as hell. “You have an awesome voice. Never heard anything like it.”
My face flames. “Thanks.”
I step off the stage, and he grabs my hand, steadying me. His fingers are callused and warm, his grip like steel.
“Hey, Koko, you okay?” Luke calls out.
“Fine. Just need a moment backstage. Yeah?”
“Koko?” Zane arches a dark brow at me.
“Yeah, the guys call me that.”
“I prefer Dakota.”
God, me, too, especially when Zane is speaking it in his low, warm voice.
Besides… ‘Koko’ brings back too many bad memories. I’m not that girl anymore, the girl who trusted Collin with her life and almost died for it.
I head toward the small backstage room, and he doesn’t release my hand. He follows me inside and closes the door, then turns the lock.
Before I ask what he’s doing, he slams me back against the wall, his muscled body pinning me, so that I feel every defined ridge and plane of his chest. He’s breathing hard.
Speaking of hard… The rod of his erection is trapped sideways inside his jeans, and its heat seeps through the fabric, branding my flesh.
“What are you doing to me?” he breathes, his strong hand trailing down my neck and slipping the strap of my blouse off my shoulder. “What the hell are you doing to me?”
I should stop him, but his fingertips send electric shocks down my spine. He lowers his face toward me, and my lips part in anticipation. He’s going to kiss me, I think, as his breath brushes the corner of my mouth—but he doesn’t. He trails his mouth over my cheek, along my jaw, under my ear. The touch of his lips—hot and soft—tortures me, arousing me more and more, as he bares my shoulder, and draws patterns on my skin.
I struggle to swallow a moan, my nipples pressed against his chest, tiny pinpricks of pain and pleasure. His hand tangles in my hair, tipping my head back for better access, and his mouth brands my neck, sending electric discharges right into my core. Fire coils low inside of me.
Oh God, I think I’m about to come just from his lips on my neck and his fingertips on my shoulder. I have to do something to stop him. Stop myself.
I place my hands on his chest. “Ink me, Zane,” I whisper.
His mouth leaves my neck, and when he looks down at me, his eyes are so dark with need they seem black. His breathing is ragged. “Don’t.”
“I want it.” It’s more than a game now, more than familiar teasing. I need his touch so much it’s scary as hell. I’m throbbing everywhere, and I feel wet between my legs. This has never happened to me before. It’s as if the ground has been yanked from under my feet. It’s like freefall, and I hate falling.
“Tell me what you want.” He braces an arm on the wall by my head and licks his lips. He doesn’t kiss me. Why won’t he kiss me?
“You know what I want,” I say.
He leans closer again, his male musk scent surrounding me, and how can I think straight when my hands are on his rippling abs, his mouth is inches from mine, and his hardness keeps pressing into my belly?
“What you want,” he drawls, “is for me to fuck you against the wall until you scream.”
I gulp. “No,” I lie, because the image… God. “What I want is a dragon tattoo.”
Immediately, like every time, his face closes off, his defenses slamming down hard, turning his eyes into flat mirrors. “And I said no.”
“Please, Zane. I want your ink on me.”
His intake of breath is sharp, and under my palms, his heart is racing. “My ink.” His nostrils flare. He looks like a tiger about to pounce. “On you.” His erection is more insistent now. He likes the idea.
“Yes. I love your designs, and I really want—”
He pulls away and turns me around. I yelp in surprise as he pushes me flush against the wall and draws my wild hair to the side. “I’ll ink you all right,” he whispers, and something fine and cool touches my bare shoulder.
I shudder. “What are you doing?”
“Inking you,” he bites out the words, and the sensation tickles. He’s drawing something, I realize, but what? With what?
“It’s not permanent, don’t worry.” His hand is sure, the lines flowing on my skin, faster and faster. Then he’s drawing letters, and I squirm, trying to see what he’s doing, but his other hand is pressing the small of my back, keeping me still. “Almost done.”
How did we go from almost kissing to ‘almost done’ and ‘not permanent’? What is he doing? I struggle again, and this time he releases me. He’s holding a ballpoint pen in his hand, and he throws it on a table in the corner.
“What did you do?” I demand, trying to see over my shoulder, going cross-eyed with the effort.
“Inked you,” he bites out the words, and turns around, yanking the door open. “That’s what you wanted, wasn’t it?”
Jo Raven writes New Adult erotic contemporary romance. She loves sexy bad boys and strong-willed heroines, and divides her time between writing and reading. When not cooking up plots, she putters in her cluttered kitchen and dreams of traveling to India and Japan.
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