Excerpt Reveal: Amber to Ashes by Gail McHugh

amber to ashes excerpt

Amber to Ashes by Gail McHugh

Amber to Ashes by Gail McHugh
Series: Torn Hearts #1
Publication Date: June 9th 2015
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From the New York Times bestselling author of Collide and Pulse comes a gritty new novel about a shattered young woman who unexpectedly falls for two best friends.

They were a storm I never saw coming, an unforeseen heartbreak on the edge of a dangerous cliff.

Amber Moretti’s life changes in the span of minutes. An orphaned outsider, she is desperate to start fresh the moment she walks onto campus. In the time it takes to cross the university’s dining hall, she meets two men who bring color, air, and light to her darkened world.

They became my addiction, each a needle to my next hit, my high.

Brock Cunningham’s appeal is dizzying, a potent force Amber can’t deny. A green-eyed smooth talker, he instantly attracts Amber. It doesn’t take long for him to consume her every thought, her every breath.

Ryder Ashcroft, a blue-eyed, tattooed, and pierced bad boy, turns Amber off immediately—that is, until he kisses her, stealing a piece of her heart, her soul.

They were as opposite as fire and ice, yet I ached for them equally.

Never knowing she could be broken down in so many unexpectedly beautiful yet petrifying ways, Amber finds herself falling for both men.

Immoral? Maybe. I say undeniable. Uncontained.

But one devastating event changes everything, shattering each of their lives…and Amber isn’t sure she can recover from it.

Buy Links:
Amazon US • Amazon UK • iBooks • Nook • Kobo

Now here’s an excerpt from Amber to Ashes! ❤

excerpt button

“What are you, Casey?” Ryder asks over his shoulder as he scrubs his hands with antibacterial soap.

“Your little cancer warrior,” she answers with a small smile.

“That’s right.” He dries his hands and turns, a proud grin cracking his mouth. “The bravest one ever.”

I grab Casey’s hand and hold it tight, knowing nothing I’ve ever seen, heard, or felt compares to what she’s facing. This child’s living with a fear I can’t comprehend. One that’d slay all of my fears put together.

“Ready?” Ryder asks, his tone soft and caring, everything it should be.

Casey nods, clenching my hand. My heart swells, anxiety building thick in my throat as Ryder slips on a pair of medical gloves and cleans the area around her port with Betadine swabs.

Casey looks at me, the cool blue of her eyes misting over. “Are you scared of needles?”

“No,” I say, running my free hand along the back of her neck. “Are you?”

“I used to be.” She sighs, a single tear slipping down her face. “But not so much anymore.”

It takes everything in me not to drag her little body off the table and run out of the apartment with her. I wipe the tear from her cheek, my need to hide her away, sheltering her from the sinister storm she’s in the middle of, growing with each unsteady breath.

“A little cold,” Ryder warns before spraying the anesthetic on her skin.

“Hurry, Ry,” Casey pleads, her voice weak yet panicked. “It doesn’t last that long.”

“I have to make sure you’re numb, Case.” Ryder ducks his head and stares into her eyes, trying to keep her focused on the silly faces he’s making.

His tactic works.

Casey’s tiny giggles bounce around the kitchen, their musical notes blocking out the sound of Ryder popping the cap off a weird-looking needle. With a small, clear tube like a tail—and plastic wings stretched out on either side—it reminds me of a dragonfly. Ryder presses his gloved finger against Casey’s port a few times, his attention honed in on her face as he says, “Knock, knock.”

“Who’s there?” Casey smiles at me, completely unaware that Ryder’s pricked her skin with the needle.

“Aardvark.” Ryder pushes the medicine through the syringe, his attention cutting between Casey’s face and the needle.

“Aardvark who?” she manages, a thin sheen of sweat dotting her upper lip.

“Aardvark a hundred miles for one of your pretty smiles.” Ryder pulls the needle from her chest, and before she can blink, he rests his lips against her forehead, kissing away her remaining fear.

Close to immobile, my heart tugs, the magnitude of what this man means to this little girl—what they mean to each other—scraping tears up my dry throat. I swallow the sound before it can leave me, warmth pinching my stomach into a beautiful knot as I observe them.

“It’s over?” Casey asks, uncertainty flashing in her eyes.

“Yeah, kiddo. It’s over,” Ryder answers, his voice heavy with relief as he applies a small piece of gauze over her port. “You’re all set, warrior. Go get cleaned up, and we’ll get ready to leave.”

With Ryder’s aid, Casey slides off the table and heads for the bathroom, the bounce in her step less tangible as she slips around the corner. Quiet reigns, the events from the last few minutes whispering across my mind as Ryder looks at me with exhausted eyes. Stress lines cut across his forehead, wariness drowning his beautiful features. Overcome, I watch him swipe a tired hand over his face and turn, resting his palms against the counter. As though having no control over my body—a magnet pulling in my gut—I stand and move toward him, each tentative step I take carried out with shallow, quick breaths. I come up behind him, lift a shaky hand and tap his shoulder, my pulse lurching as he turns and meets my gaze. Our connection strikes, a bolt of emotions paralyzing us as we stare at each other.

I touch my fingers to his stubbled cheek, my conscience crying out that my actions are wrong, so very wrong, but my heart mutes the warning as I move my palm to the back of his neck.

His muscles go taut, restraint lighting the fiery blue of his eyes. “Amber, don’t.” The words come out not as a rough warning but a soft plea. “Don’t do this.”

“I have to,” I whisper, trembling. “You’re . . . amazing, Ryder. What you did for her, everything you do for her . . . I just . . .” I drop my eyes to his chest, my heart galloping as I register his hands gripping my waist. Their heat sears through me, a thrill jumping from cell to cell. “You’re tender, cocky, gentle, and an asshole all at the same time. You’re kind, giving, nurturing. You’re . . . everything.”

My lips find his, testing, teasing, barely touching. Our breathing comes faster, harder as I pull him down, our foreheads pressed together as we stare into each other’s eyes. “Please . . . I just . . . Just once more. That’s all I need.”

I think . . . hope.

With hunger demolishing all traces of restraint from his gaze, Ryder buries his hands in my wavy curls and looks at me a beat before capturing my lips in a slow, passionate kiss. I sigh into his mouth, my senses drowning in his familiar flavor as I fall in step with his calculated strokes. On a deep groan, he draws me closer, his tongue dipping in and out, out and in. Still, nothing about his touch is rough, yet everything in it screams that he needs me in this moment.

In this wicked space and time of his life.

Every lick and nip is a soft caress, like he’s trying to burn the sensation of my lips into his memory. My pulse hammers in staccato mode as I melt the full weight of my body into his. With my blood swimming through my veins, and sinking further into everything that is Ryder, I feel the emptiness of his soul slice through me. A dull ache pinches my heart, spreading its misery through my muscles as he cups my cheeks and deepens the kiss with a gentleness I never knew he possessed. My breath catches, wiped from my lungs as he glides his lips along my jaw, down the base of my throat. The cadence of his exotic growl slips through my ears, dizzying my head in the sweetest way.

“Christ, I fucking want you so bad,” Ryder whispers hoarsely. He drags his lips back to mine, his kiss urgent, greedy. However, he brings it down a notch, his movements revisiting slow, sensual, worshipping this moment for everything it is. Worshipping me for all I am. “So badly, peach. More than I’ve ever wanted anything or anyone. You drive me crazy. Your smell, skin, eyes.” He sucks my lip between his teeth, a groan punching from his chest as he runs his fingertips along my bare arms.

Goose bumps pop, deliciously pricking my skin as I tighten my grip in his hair.

“Your little giggles, pouts, personality. Every single fucked-up scar you own in and out. All of it. All of you.” He licks into my mouth, his tongue exploring mine with precision as his hands find my nape, their hold possessive. “Fuck. It should’ve been me. Not him. Me.”

And just like that, our moral compasses spring due north, Brock the center of its attention—our attention. We slowly break the kiss, our breathing choppy from the loss.

about the author button

Gail McHughA self-proclaimed chocoholic, married mother of three, and a lover of writing for as far back as she can remember, Gail McHugh is the author of two New York Times bestselling novels. The COLLIDE series (which includes COLLIDE and PULSE), was acquired by Atria Books on September 17th, 2013.

“The first of two sexy contemporary romances about a woman torn between her seemingly perfect boyfriend and a dark, mysterious stranger who will stop at nothing to have her.” – Publishers Weekly on COLLIDE, a Top 10 Romance pick!

Website • Facebook • Twitter • Amazon • Goodreads

Book News, Weekly Recap & Upcoming Releases! {11}

Cover Reveals!!

★ It’s the cover for the sequel to Sempre by J.M. Darhower! Sempre: Redemption (Forever Series #2) releases December 23rd 2013.

Sempre Redemption by JM Darhower

In this thrilling and sexy follow-up to Sempre, two young lovers struggle to keep their relationship intact after they become deeply enmeshed in the dangerous mafia-run crime ring they once tried to overthrow.

Haven Antonelli and Carmine DeMarco have been through a lot. Haven was taken in by Carmine’s father, and with his family’s help, she escaped a gruesome fate. However, saving Haven from the dark intentions of a mafia family cost Carmine a steep price: he was forced to swear loyalty to them.

Now, still passionately in love, Carmine and Haven must face the fall-out of Carmine’s forced service, as Haven discovers terrifying secrets about the family that enslaved both her and her mother—and why she matters so much in this intricate web of lies.

★ ACK it’s the cover reveal for the upcoming book #7 in the Kate Daniels series (one of my favorite series ever!), Magic Breaks! This comes out August 5th 2014 (too far away!).

Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews

No matter how much the paranormal politics of Atlanta change, one thing always remains the same: if there’s trouble, Kate Daniels will be in the middle of it…

As the mate of the Beast Lord, Curran, former mercenary Kate Daniels has more responsibilities than it seems possible to juggle. Not only is she still struggling to keep her investigative business afloat, she must now deal with the affairs of the pack, including preparing her people for attack from Roland, a cruel ancient being with god-like powers. Since Kate’s connection to Roland has come out into the open, no one is safe—especially those closest to Kate.

As Roland’s long shadow looms ever nearer, Kate is called to attend the Conclave, a gathering of the leaders from the various supernatural factions in Atlanta. When one of the Masters of the Dead is found murdered there, apparently at the hands of a shapeshifter, Kate is given only twenty-four hours to hunt down the killer. And this time, if she fails, she’ll find herself embroiled in a war which could destroy everything she holds dear…

★ Raine Miller has a new book coming out called Cherry Girl, which is a Blackstone Affair spinoff novella.

Cherry Girl by Raine Miller

Elaina Morrison has loved Neil McManus her whole life. She doesn’t remember a time when she didn’t love him. Through heartbreaking tragedy and years of separation, her love holds true…until life stomps all over her heart, shattering her perfect dream, teaching her how hard it is to let go.

Real life doesn’t have anything on romantic dreams though, as these two have learned repeatedly. It sucks big time, leaving painful scars in its wake.

But Neil isn’t giving up. He’s endured years of longing and sacrifice to wait for her. Always a soldier, he knows his way around a battlefield, and winning Elaina is no different. So that’s precisely what Neil is going to do. He’ll go in fighting, and make Elaina see what he already knows.
That she will forever be his Cherry Girl…

Better is the sequel to Good in the Too Good series by S. Walden, and releases November 19th 2013.

Better by S. Walden

Their relationship has been exposed, and now their lives are changed forever.

For Cadence Miller, the fast track to adulthood proves intimidating and frustrating. She’s a little girl lost—abandoned by her family and uncertain of her future. She doesn’t think she “fits” anywhere. She’s eighteen. She wants to be older. And the result is both comical and heartbreaking.

Mark Connelly will do anything to provide Cadence a stable, loving home—to be her protector. But he’s just as broken and lost, and his heart won’t let go of his past so easily. He knows he should share his secret with Cadence. He should trust that she’ll understand. But what if she doesn’t? What if their love doesn’t grow stronger?

What if it doesn’t get better?

Catch Me, a new novel by Claire Contreras (author of There is No Light in Darkness) comes out Fall 2013!

Catch Me by Claire Contreras

In the past, I’ve always been given everything I’ve wanted, but nothing that I truly needed. I’ve experienced a lot of things in my twenty-five years, everything except the one thing I want. It’s the one thing that can’t be bought. It can’t even be taken, it has to be given. And nobody has ever given it to me, not really anyway.

Not until him.

Music is the center of both our lives, but as he found his place in it, I lost my way. He soared, while I spiraled down a destructive path.
I lost myself in more ways than I can count.

The ironic thing is that I didn’t realize how lost I was until he found me.

And now that he has, I have to wonder if he’ll stay around long enough to catch me.

Nikolai by S.L. Jennings is a Dark Light Series spin-off novella and releases in November 2013.

Nikolai by SL Jennings

Two centuries ago, I clawed my way into a world of immorality, filth and destruction. A world seething with secrets and lies, both mortal and immortal.

Complete and utter Darkness.

I know we’re supposed to be inherently evil, but something inside me refuses to fully believe our legends. Something that calls out for more…calls out for her. 

But there are rules. Rules that control the balance of nature. And if broken, it could destroy everything I’ve ever known. It could destroy me.

I am Nikolai Skotos, son of Stavros and Delia, and brother of Dorian, the heir of the Dark throne. I am one of the most powerful Dark forces to have ever walked this earth.

And I once was lost.
Now, I’m about to give it all up for the girl that found me.

*This is a PREQUEL NOVELLA for the Dark Light Series, NOT Book 3, to be read AFTER reading Dark Light & The Dark Prince*

Abandon is Cassia Leo’s new standalone novel set to release in January 2014.

Abandon by Cassia Leo

Tristan never gave a shit about the girls he used and abandoned. His manwhore ways were ingrained in him from birth. His past has always been a mystery his conquests have wanted to crack, but no one has been able to… until now.

Senia has always fallen for the wrong guys, but this time she’s fallen for the worst of them. Her attempts to guard her heart from Tristan’s charms and sexual magnetism only spur on his pursuit. And soon, the electric energy between Tristan and Senia sparks a fire too wild to contain.

Now Tristan must decide if he will abandon his old ways or if he will stay true to his past and abandon Senia instead.

Sixth Grave on the Edge by Darynda Jones has a cover! The Charley Davidson series is one of my favorites, and it’s SO hilarious! I highly recommend it!

Sixth Grave on the Edge by Darynda Jones

Few things in life can come between a grim reaper and her coffee, but the sexy, sultry son of Satan is one of them. Now that she’s agreed to marry Reyes Farrow, Charley Davidson feels like it’s about time she knows more about his past. With Reyes reluctant to open up, Charley decides to take matters into her own hands and investigates secretly when the official FBI file of his childhood abduction lands in her lap. Because what could go wrong with that?

Unfortunately, another case has fallen into her lap, too—one with dangerous implications. Some very determined men want to find a certain witness who is scheduled to testify against their boss, a major player in the local crime syndicate. If Charley doesn’t come up with an address in 48 hours, the people closest to her will start to disappear.

On top of that, Uncle Bob has a bizarre case involving random incidents of knifing in Albuquerque’s Old Town. He suspects supernatural forces are at play, but can’t solve the case without Charley’s expertise.

Good thing for Charley she’s used to multi-tasking and always up for a challenge…especially when that challenge comes in the form of Reyes Farrow.

★ It’s the new cover for When We Collide by A.L. Jackson!

When We Collide by AL Jackson

From the bestselling author of Pulled and Take This Regret comes a gripping new tale of loss and love.

William has spent six years running from his past and the last eight months trying to rid his mind of the dreams that increasingly haunt his nights. Trapped in a world of false ambitions and feigned affections, William knows he’s reached a breaking point and something’s going to give.

Maggie had lived her entire life without hope until one man showed her what it meant to be loved. He’d been her light in a lifetime of darkness. Six years ago, that darkness stole him away. Without him, she’s surrendered herself to an existence she doesn’t know how to escape.

When the family William left behind is struck by tragedy, he is called back to the one place he’s sworn to never return to again.

In a moment that will change his life forever, William comes face to face with the girl who, with one look, captured his heart. He is unable to ignore the buried desires and the hope for the future they’d once believed they’d have.

Now William is ready to fight to take back what had been stolen from him six years before.
But he never imagined what that fight might cost him.

A.L. Jackson gives you an intimate look into the lives of a family bound by an unseen connection in this new contemporary romance.

Snippets!!

★ It’s another teaser for Until You (Fall Away #1.5) from Penelope Douglas’ Facebook!

Her eyes were hooded, but she tried to keep going. “The scars on your back,” she started. “You said you had a bad summer, and that when you came back you wanted to hate everybody, but you haven’t treated anyone else as badly as—“

“Tate?” I cut her off and closed the inch left between us. My breathing turned shallow, and all I could see were her lips. “I don’t want to talk any more tonight.”

She stood there, grounded like a tree and waiting for the inevitable storm. She wanted my lips on hers. Her breathing and eyes on my mouth told me that.

Please don’t stop me.

Her skin was like touching cool silk, smooth like butter. I couldn’t wait for her hair to be in my fists.

And then she jerked, as if waking up.

“You don’t want to talk anymore?” Her strong voice broke the spell, and my legs tensed, waiting for her to hit me again.

“Well, I do,” she yelled, and I sprang into action when I saw her twist around to launch another key into the forest.

Hell!

Circling my arms around her body, I pulled her, struggling, into my chest. I don’t know what I was thinking. She was pissed, and she wasn’t going to get over any of it quickly.

But she was mine.

And she was going to realize that fact…even if I had to…

You don’t apologize. You don’t beg! My father’s words came back to me.

I hated almost everything he’d taught me, but that was one lesson I’d committed to practice. Apologizing was a sign of weakness.

But I wanted Tate’s love.

My heart only beat for her, and I’d rather spend my life hating, loving, fucking, and breathing her than losing her.

You need to apologize, dickhead.

“Shhh, Tate,” I whispered into her ear. “I won’t hurt you. I’ll never hurt you again. I’m sorry,” I said, closing my eyes as I swallowed the bitter pill.

“I don’t care about you being sorry! I hate you.”

Well, at least you feel something, I laughed to myself.

Still securing her with both arms, I used my hands to peel open her fingers and pry out my keys.

I let her go, and she stepped forward and spun around to face me.

“You don’t hate me,” I challenged with a grin before she had the chance to speak. “If you did, you wouldn’t be this upset.”

“Go screw yourself,” she spat back and turned, stomping away.

Where did she think she was going?

If she thought I was going to let her traipse home, in the dark, on a deserted road, she was out of her fucking mind!

Digging my feet into the ground, I took off after her, spun her around and threw her over my shoulder. She landed hard, her stomach caving to my shoulder, and I had a huge desire to keep her there and walk home.

Fuck the car.

Well, almost.

“Put me down!” She kicked her feet and punched my back, and I tightened my hold, willing my fingers to stay put.

Her ass was next my head, and goddamn, I wanted to take advantage of her position in her short skirt.

But in her current mood, she’d probably cut off my dick.

PLUS! Bully will be on sale during November and December for only $.99! Purchase here: Amazon

Bully sale

★ Ilona Andrews put up a new snippet from their new book, the Avon story, on their blog! Read it here. Plus, here is the inspiration for Adam Pierce, a character in the Avon story, who I’m hoping will be the hero in the new book, because he is one fine looking man…

★ Another teaser from Cinder X (Death Collectors, #2) by Jessica Sorensen! You can read it on her blog here.

★ You can read an unedited teaser from Gail McHugh for her new novel, Amber to Asheshere. Its anticipated release date is April, 2014.

★ Jennifer L. Armentrout shared a teaser from her Facebook for Sentinel (Covenant #5)!

Sentinel teaser 2

Other News!!

★ Jay Crownover has a fourth book called Nash, which set to release April 29th 2014.

Today is the day! I can finally stand on the highest mountain in Colorado and scream from the top of my lungs that Nash, Rowdy and Asa are officially headed your way!! So very excited to share the news with everyone. That’s right, my super awesome editor, Amanda and the team @ HarperCollins want the world to get a little more Marked.
In fact the worst kept secret in the whole world is that Nashis already available for pre-order and coming out in April, right on the heels of Rome.
I’m so very lucky and feel so fortunate that I get to share the rest of the boys with my readers. I can’t wait for all of them to get their HEA.
Nash is the nice guy, but every nice guy has his limits. Rowdy is the joker but all that humor and quick wit hides a lot of inner turmoil. And Asa, well I never thought he was going to make it out of Jet alive so we’ll have to see if he turns it around and gets his act together.
I really hope this early morning freak-out makes everyone as happy as it makes me. I have a big mouth and not being able to say anything about what was in store for the rest of the boys was KILLING me.
Xoxo
J

★ Samantha Young is going to have a fourth book in her On Dublin Street series!

FALL FROM INDIA PLACE (ON DUBLIN STREET #4)
Release date and cover reveal coming soon.

The Blurb:

The New York Times bestselling author of On Dublin Street and Down London Road and Before Jamaica Lane returns with a story about letting go of the past and learning to trust in the future…When Hannah Nichols last saw Marco D’Alessandro, five long years ago, he broke her heart. The bad boy with a hidden sweet side was the only guy Hannah ever loved—and the only man she’s ever been with. After one intense night of giving into temptation, Marco took off, leaving Scotland and Hannah behind. Shattered by the consequences of their night together, Hannah has never truly moved on.Leaving Hannah was the biggest mistake of Marco’s life, something he has deeply regretted for years. So when fate reunites them, he refuses to let her go without a fight. Determined to make her his, Marco pursues Hannah, reminding her of all the reasons they’re meant to be together.…

But just when Marco thinks they’re committed to a future together, Hannah makes a discovery that unearths the secret pain she’s been hiding from him, a secret that could tear them apart before they have a real chance to start over again…

★ Wendy Higgins (author of Sweet Evil) shared with us on her blog two new books she’s writing! One is a YA contemporary romance called Kiss Collector and the other a YA fantasy/magical realism romance called The Great Hunt. But these books are NOT set in stone yet!

Blurb for KISS COLLECTOR:

All around her, seventeen-year-old Zae Monroe sees boys using girls for their own pleasures. After being cheated on by the only guy she’s ever loved, and then watching her parents’ marriage crumble, she becomes anti-love and pro-fun. It’s time to turn the tables on the stupid boys of the world. It’s time for girls to be a little selfish and take what they want. Zae’s preferred pleasure happens to be kissing. Athletes, musicians, poets, and potheads–their lips are all on her agenda.  When she and her best friends have a contest to see who can kiss the most boys during the summer before their senior year, Zae keeps her eye on the prize while the other girls fall left and right for their victims. It’s not until the sweet guy from her English class rejects her drunken advances at a party that she gains perspective on the reasons behind her boy hatred, and starts to wonder if she wasn’t wrong about the male race…or at least one of them.

★ The third book in the White Rabbit Chronicles series by Gena Showalter is called The Queen of Zombie Hearts!

★ Kristen Proby gives us a Happy Halloween from the Montgomerys! You can read it here.

★ Olivia Cunning has an update about Sinners at the Altar! You can read about it here.

★ Samantha Towle’s book Trouble has a release date! It comes out November 20th 2013.

Weekly Recap

Reviewed on the blog this week:

Don’t forget to check out the giveaways listed on the blog on the right!

Upcoming New Releases (so many good ones!):

  • Sentinel (Covenant #5) by Jennifer L. Armentrout (comes out today! SO excited to read it!)
  • Consumed (Devoured #2) by Emily Snow
  • Four Seconds To Lose (Ten Tiny Breaths #3) by K.A. Tucker (I still need to read book 2, but I’m excited for Cain’s story!)
  • Declaration of Courtship (Psy-Changeling #9.5) by Nalini Singh (<3 this series)
  • Texture of Intimacy (Psy-Changeling #10.5) by Nalini Singh (Nalini Singh is the best)
  • The Edge of Always (The Edge of Never #2) by J.A. Redmerski (I wasn’t too into the first book, and I’m hoping Andrew’s POV will be better)
  • Jagged (Colorado Mountain #5) by Kristen Ashley (I’m reading book 2 now and really liking it! But the books in this series are just so long)
  • Born Wild (Black Knights Inc. #5) by Julie Ann Walker
  • Mine (Real #2) by Katy Evans (SO GOOD. Loved it!)
  • Champion (Legend #3) by Marie Lu (OH GOD I cannot wait for this! I’m hoping my preorder will come on the day of its release!)
  • Daylighters (The Morganville Vampires #15) by Rachel Caine (haven’t read this series in forever and there are 15 freaking books! I don’t think I’ll ever catch up…)
  • Kinked (Elder Races #6) by Thea Harrison

Sentinel by Jennifer L. Armentrout Consumed by Emily Snow Four Seconds To Lose by K.A. Tucker Declaration of Courtship by Nalini Singh Texture of Intimacy by Nalini Singh The Edge of Always by J.A. Redmerski Jagged by Kristen Ashley Born Wild by Julie Ann Walker Mine by Katy Evans Champion by Marie Lu Daylighters by Rachel Caine Kinked by Thea Harrison