Tiger Trouble by Marissa Dobson


Tiger Trouble by Marissa Dobson

Series: Alaskan Tigers, Book Twelve

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Release Date: May 23, 2017

Since stepping into the role of Alpha for the Texas Tigers, Tex’s sole focus has been on his members as he tries to help them heal from years of abuse and torment. Now, with Manetka Resort about to open, he’s taking a last minute trip to the Alaskan Tigers’ compound in search of guards to protect both the Elders and the clan. While there, he finds the unexpected—his mate.
Carleen comes from an enemy clan with a controlling and manipulative Alpha. Months of not belonging to a clan finally ends when she finds Tex, but it causes a divide between her and the only family she has left—her brother. Getting to know her mate forces her to realize there’s a bigger purpose for her, one in which she can make a difference.
With his many responsibilities, Tex isn’t sure he has time for a mate. Carleen is torn in different directions, too, and no matter what she chooses, she can’t please everyone. Happiness is something they both deserve, but can they get out of their own way in order to claim it?
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Chapter One

The Texas Tigers had been growing stronger with each passing day and their scars were fading. It had been an uphill struggle, but little by little, Tex was uniting the clan and slowly abolishing Avery from every corner of Manetka Resort. That’s why he was in Alaska. This trip would assist him when it came to steering the clan in the right direction.
Sitting in the balcony of the new training center, he was amazed by the work that’d been completed in the months since he had left. The new building housed everything the guards needed for their training, with the biggest area being the main gym—an open space with mats allowing for softer takedowns when practicing hand-to-hand combat. The balcony had been added so that the Alpha or trainers could watch without those below realizing they were being observed. His gaze scanned each of the guards as they partook in the practice fight, watching them closely to see how they handled themselves, while his thoughts circled around the clan. The journey before them was long and there would be obstacles they’d have to overcome before they’d remotely resemble a normal clan. They had been stifled for so long that they needed to learn to breathe again. Most of them weren’t psychologically or physically able to protect the resort yet. The damage caused by the former abusive Alpha—Avery—would need to be repaired over time.
If he wanted to keep his clan safe, he had to add strong members. Too many of his people were broken. For years, they’d been controlled until they had no will of their own. They were starting to realize that Tex wouldn’t treat them the way Avery had. For the first time, they were free to live their lives again. They didn’t have to worry about being abused for speaking their minds. However, like any Alpha, he still had the final say, and they needed to understand he had their best interests at heart.
Shifting slightly on the metal folding chair, he leaned forward and forced himself to focus on the action below him. Thinking about the clan and all the work ahead of them wouldn’t help him decide which guards would be the best to take back to Texas. They needed guards—actual guards who could protect them. He had a few, but not enough he trusted completely to protect his Lieutenant, Ben, and the rest of the clan.
“For his size, I’m surprised.”
Tex didn’t have to look at Rhett to know which guard he was talking about. He shifted his gaze away from Milo, who’d been sparring with another potential guard, and focused on what appeared at first glance a mismatched pair. Brody and Taber. At five-foot-six, Brody was the shortest candidate, yet he’d gone up against the Kodiak Bear, Taber.
“When they squared off, I somewhat discounted him,” Rhett said. “He doesn’t appear to be much of a threat.”
“Which is what we need. A surprise.”
That could work both ways. If someone underestimated Brody, it could mean safety issues for whomever he was guarding, but he was a strong possibility. This was why Tex had brought Rhett with him. As an Elder Guard, his priority was protecting Tex and Ben, while unofficially he’d become a trusted advisor to both men. Rhett was assigned as the Captain of Tex’s Guards, but whenever Ben left the resort, Rhett went along, assuming Tex wasn’t headed out on a mission. They needed more guards like him, not only for the Elder Guards but also to protect the members, resort, and the guests. Without more like him, the clan was at risk. With Manetka Resort scheduled to open in a few weeks, he needed to ensure he could protect his clan.
He’d been looking forward to the trip, hoping to catch up with friends he’d made during his time there. In the hours he’d been there, however, he’d only become more agitated. He was worried they wouldn’t find the guards they needed. He kept wondering what was happening back in Texas, and what the future would hold. Being in Alaska reminded him of how quickly things changed. Since he had left, they added the guards’ indoor training arena with viewing balcony, and the second floor Elders quarters would be finished in a few weeks. Time stood still for no one, but part of him missed the life he’d had here.
When Ben nominated him as Alpha of the Texas Tigers, he hadn’t thought twice. They needed him, and there was work to be done. He took the position without realizing it meant giving up what meant so much to him. The morning coffee chats he shared with Robin, and occasionally Harmony, had been times he’d treasured. Both women were happily mated, but he hadn’t been interested in them that way. The friendship they developed was important to him, and now, sitting in the guards’ training arena, he realized just how much he missed that.
Tex took his white cowboy hat off and dropped it on the seat next to him. The guards he’d been considering were all committed to Tabitha and her uniting the tiger shifters, leaving one less thing for him to worry about, but bringing in outsiders would be a challenge. How would his clan members react? Even the vetting he planned to do of those coming to Manetka wouldn’t eliminate every possible issue. All the more reason to have capable guards.
“What do you think?” he asked.
Minutes ticked by as he waited for Rhett to answer, allowing him time to continue reminding himself why he was there and why this was so important. He watched the guards closely as Styx, Milo, and Taber put them through their paces.
“Ty picked some good possibilities for you.” Rhett glanced down at the e-tablet he had in his hand, assessing each of the candidates participating in the training session.
Knowing there was more to that statement, he turned to Rhett and assessed his most trusted guard. Even though he had been through Hell with the rest of the Texas Tigers, Rhett came out better than most. His scars were minimal but the changes in him were astronomical as he embraced his freedom and his new role.
“But?” Tex asked when the guard remained silent.
“Dawson and Brody are my top choices.” He gave Tex a moment to find them in the group. “Dawson has a way of anticipating his opponent’s next move and being ready for it. If he can’t move out of the way, he blocks it. Brody’s like a boxer. He stays on the balls of his feet. This is allowing him to compensate for his size, giving him the ability to spring in any direction. An unknown opponent would discount him as a threat and believe he’d be easy to take down. His flexibility gives him an advantage. He’s a street fighter and he does it dirty. While others with martial arts training might take him down quicker, Brody’s going to do the most damage.”
“Going against Taber could have worked against him, but somehow he made taking on the bear look as if they were on a level playing field. Taber’s not only taller and outweighs him, but his arms are longer, so Brody has to get into his striking zone in order to hit him.” Tex turned from Brody and Taber, focusing on Milo and the candidate he was working with. “What about Thorn?”
“He’s got skills but needs polish.” Rhett tapped Thorn’s picture, bringing up his profile. “He’s formerly of the Mississippi Tigers. He left after his Alpha refused to commit to Tabitha.”
“The Mississippi Tigers are going to be a problem. I’m not sure Ty knows how to deal with them, but he’s going to have to deal with Lee sooner rather than later.” His gaze remained on Thorn as the man’s fist slammed into Milo’s shoulder.
In a fight, it was smart to go after the opponent’s weakness, but Thorn didn’t seem to realize it would only enrage Milo further. His injured shoulder kept him out of the field for too long. Even now he had to deal with the pain that came with it. When a shifter was injured, they could normally shift and heal, but Milo didn’t have the opportunity when the rouge sliced through his shoulder, severing some of the nerve endings and muscles. As an Elder Guard, he couldn’t allow a weakness to permit his enemy to overcome him during a fight, so he fought through it and the pain turned into fury. Which landed Thorn flat on back on the practice mat.
“We could have an issue with Thorn.” Rhett held the tablet out to him. “His sister is here, as well, and he’s seeking a clan for both of them.”
“It’s doable.” He scanned the file but it didn’t say anything more about the sister. “We’re meeting with each of the guards individually after they’ve showered and changed. If he’s still on the short list after we’ve spoken with him, we’ll meet with her, too. If we choose him, they’ll both have to make the commitment to me as their Alpha.”
“I’d like to work with whoever makes the short list separately before you offer them the opportunity to serve you. I want to test their skills myself.”
That was another reason Rhett was their top man. Not only was he willing to speak his mind, but he thought things through. The clan meant as much to him as it meant to Tex and Ben. “We’ll arrange it for tomorrow. Today’s going to be long enough without adding to your schedule. You decide the order, but let’s not alert them. I don’t want to give them the opportunity to prepare for it. I want to know what they’ll be like if they’re caught off guard.”
“I know you’re hoping to add at least one Elder Guard out of this group. I suggest anyone you’re considering gets an extra dose of surprise.”
“What are you thinking?” He raised an eyebrow at Rhett, wondering if he had a devious plan in mind.
“We’ll call on the one you’re interested in during the night. Wake them up and see how they manage. Lack of sleep is something Elder Guards have to deal with at times and this will give us a chance to see if he can handle it. If there’s more than one, we’ll do them back to back so they can’t alert the others.”
“Better yet, if they speak about what happened they’ll be eliminated from the running.” A whistle blew, letting the potential guards know the session was over. “Only those who get through the session, as well as the Alaskan Tigers Elders, will know what we’re up to.”
“Considering our short time frame, it will be the best way to give us insight into how they function under pressure. Bringing a new team in is going to be hard enough, but if they don’t work out, it’s going to be for nothing.” Rhett hit the power button on the tablet, darkening the screen, and stood. “My Queen.”
“I’ll never get used to being addressed like that.” Tabitha smiled as she came to stand in front of them, with Felix beside her. “Ty’s attending to something, but I wanted to find out how things went. Did any of the possibilities match what you were looking for?”
“Your mate once again amazed me. He picked some worthy candidates.” He rose from where he had been sitting and smiled at Tabitha. It had only been a few weeks since he had seen her last, but it seemed like so much longer. He owed a lot to her and Robin. They’d brought him out of his depression, given him the strength to continue, and encouraged him when they learned he wanted to be part of the group that took Avery down. More than that, they became his first true friends and showed him it was possible to trust someone. They would be there when he needed them, just as he’d be there for them.
“Wonderful. Styx and the others have been working them hard since they arrived, trying to get them in shape to do the job you need them to do. He has preferences as to who would be able to handle protecting you and Ben, but all of them are capable of being ground guards.”
“I wouldn’t expect anything less. I know you understand the challenges for our species, as well as what I’m facing with the Texas Tigers and Manetka Resort.”
“Opening the resort with some of the members living on the top floors is going to create an additional challenge for you and your team, but I know you can handle it. You have to trust yourself and those you’ve surrounded yourself with. If you ever run into any issues, you know we’re all behind you.” Tabitha placed her hand on his arm, giving it a light squeeze. “Have Jinx’s men finished the security measures?”
“Keycard doors are being installed now for all of the suites. Larry installed the passcode doors to the floors the clan will use and the elevators will be coded to access those floors, as well. There are security cameras covering every aspect of the public areas of the resort. The clan areas have cameras in the hall to ensure there are no unauthorized persons on the floor, but that’s it,” Rhett explained. “I’ve sat down with Ben, Barry, and Larry numerous times to go over the security measures. I’m confident that we’re doing everything we can in that area to ensure the safety of the Elders and the clan. What we’re lacking are additional guards. Hopefully, this trip will help us secure that, as well.”
“I hope so.” Tabitha nodded.
“Why don’t we go to the conference room?” Felix suggested.
“There’s someone waiting to see you, Tex.” Tabitha smiled, her eyes glistening with amusement. “Ty will join us shortly. The potential guards will be brought in one by one, as they’re ready, unless you have an order you’d like to see them in.”
“No. Whoever is showered and ready first is fine. The conference room would be great. We have something to discuss in private with you and Ty, anyway.” Tex waited for her to lead the way as eagerness rose within him. He wasn’t sure who was waiting for him, but he had no enemies at the clan. It must be someone he knew—a reunion with an old friend, perhaps?
* * *
Lingering in the back, hidden in the shadows, Carleen watched as Thorn fought against Milo. He was working so hard, doing his best to make the guard team for the Alpha who was visiting. The Alpha of the Texas Tigers wasn’t the only one who would come to inspect the potential guards, but for some reason her brother wanted to impress him more than the others. He wanted to be chosen for Texas but she couldn’t understand why. They were from Mississippi, so coming to Alaska had been a huge shock to her system. Now that she was there, she loved it. She loved the snow. The fluffy white stuff cooled under the pads of her paws and when she rolled in it, white dust floated around her. It was even more beautiful to watch as it fell.
She knew they couldn’t stay there, but she’d hoped they could live in a climate that had snow. The Ohio Tigers’ Alpha had been looking for additional guards, and so were the Connecticut Tigers. This wasn’t the only opportunity but she hadn’t been able to convince Thorn of that.
It was wrong of her to sit there and watch, hoping he’d mess up. Some little thing that wouldn’t put him out of the running completely, but might cause this Alpha to turn him down. Hoping for him to screw up made her feel horrible. He was her brother and they’d been through everything together. The thought of her wanting him to fail was wrong, yet she hadn’t been able to stop herself from wishing until she saw him.
There was no doubt in her mind the man holding her attention was the visiting Alpha from the Texas Tigers. He watched the men in the fight session with such intensity, but he didn’t seem to notice her. Staying hidden in the shadows, she observed him. The authority pouring off him made him stand out against the other man sitting beside him. He wasn’t big and muscular like she expected from an Alpha. His body was lean and toned. The contours of the muscles in his arms were well-defined, making her want to run her tongue along them.
What the hell? She shook her head at the very thought, but the image of him lying naked on a bed, only a sheet draped over his waist, lingered in her thoughts. She could see herself crouched over him, kissing his body, feeling his hard muscles under her fingers as she leaned forward to drag her tongue along the contours of his arms. As if he could feel her fantasy, he turned to look at her and their gazes locked. Shit.
This wasn’t normal for her. She never had thoughts like this about someone and it unnerved her. She barely noticed the whistle when it blew, ending the session and allowing Thorn and the others to head to the showers. She needed to get away and clear her mind. Forcing herself to tear her gaze away from the visiting Alpha, she scurried off in the direction from which she’d come. Desperate to escape, she ran down the steps. The safety of the two-bedroom cabin she shared with her brother was her only security. She couldn’t allow herself to feel this way toward anyone when her life was so uncertain. Fantasies might be a way to escape the pressures of the indefinite future, but she couldn’t afford to focus on one man, especially not an Alpha. There was too much at stake.
Racing back to the cabin, her brother’s words echoed through her mind: Alphas are off limits, Carleen. Don’t ever forget what happened to Lucy.
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Saved by a Lion – Marissa Dobson


Saved by a Lion by Marissa Dobson

Series: Crimson Hollow, Book Seven

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Release Date: April 11, 2017

Angry Arlene Mallory left the safety of the Crimson Hollow Tribe in search of revenge. Her family and friends put a bounty on her head because of her so-called betrayal. Screw them—she couldn’t stand by while they supported The Saviors and their determination to wipe out shifters. Her quest for revenge, however, isn’t going as planned.

For more than a year, Roger has been working his way up in the Crimson Hollow Tribe to become a trusted member of the team. His first big assignment is to find Arlene before she gets hurt. As a human with known ties to shifters she is in danger, so he needs to act fast. Failure has never been an option for him; not after all his hard work and dedication to his job.

Arlene wants the same love that her sister has with her mate, but when the opportunity presents itself, can she accept it? Can she put the images of him murdering someone with his bare hands out of her mind and accept him as the man who saved her from Hell?

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About the Author:

Born and raised in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area, Marissa Dobson now resides about an hour from Washington, D.C. She’s a lady who likes to keep busy, and is always busy doing something. With two different college degrees, she believes you are never done learning.

Being the first daughter to an avid reader, this gave her the advantage of learning to read at a young age. Since learning to read she has always had her nose in a book. It wasn’t until she was a teenager that she started writing down the stories she came up with.

Marissa is blessed with a wonderful supportive husband, Thomas. He’s her other half and allows her to stay home and pursue her writing. He puts up with all her quirks and listens to her brainstorm in the middle of the night.

Her writing buddy Pup Cameron, a cocker spaniel, is always around to listen to her bounce ideas off him. He might not be able to answer, but he’s helpful in his own ways.

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Until Sydney by Marissa Dobson


Until Sydney by Marissa Dobson

Series: Tanner Cycles Book One
Release Date: February 14, 2017

Forbidden fruit is so much more tempting…

The one woman Coal Tanner was never supposed to touch was the very same he couldn’t resist. She was his best friend’s baby sister, putting her strictly off limits. Not to mention, she was ten years his junior. Yet, she was the only person who made him feel alive, wanted, and everything in between. When he gets a call from his friend asking him to protect her, it’s not just her safety that’s on the line but his heart.

Sydney Manor wants to turn her life around after her family is ripped apart. Alone, she’s doing her best to start over, until a man from her past swoops in, trying to save her from the dangers lurking around her. How can he protect her when he knows nothing about the sordid things her family became involved with once he’d left town, years earlier? How can she pretend they are just friends when, unbeknownst to him, he’s owned her heart since he’d come to her rescue on the playground when she was six?

Now that life has thrown them together again, he might have a second chance if he can keep his doubts from forcing him to push her away again—even if it’s for her own good. Coal’s business has taken off, keeping him working long hours, giving him everything he ever wanted. But now that she’s back in his life, he realizes something’s been missing—her.

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Chapter One

Outside the office windows, the world went by unnoticed by Coal Tanner as he continued working late into the night. Work didn’t stop just because the day faded into darkness. He put his heart and soul into Tanner Cycles and his work was never done. There were always parts to be found and ordered, clients to contact, designs to be approved, and more. The business had exploded far beyond what he’d thought it would. While that meant he had to take on more of an administrative role, leaving the hands-on work to his brothers, he still received the same rush of adrenaline with each completed project.

His cell phone vibrated along his desk, stealing his attention from the computer screen. Unknown caller. For a moment, he debated not answering it. The only people who had his number were his brothers, and a few friends. Business calls went to his office phone first and if he wasn’t there, they would be directed to his cell phone. This call never came through his office, meaning it was either someone close to him or a wrong number. With everyone’s number that was important to him programmed into the phone, it was more likely the latter. Still, he found himself putting his work on hold and picking up the call.

“Hello?”

“Fuck, man, I thought you weren’t going to answer.”

“Jay?” Coal’s original frustration fizzled out as the voice of his old buddy drifted through the speaker. “How’s it going?”

“Not so good. I was locked up tonight, but that’s not why I called.” Jay paused for a moment and lowered his voice. “It’s Syd.”

“Fuck, man!” He dragged his hand through his hair and leaned back in his leather office chair. “Tell me you didn’t get her involved in your shit.” It was bad enough that his old buddy couldn’t clean his act up but to bring his sister down with him took the whole mess to another level.

“Nah, but she’s in trouble. If they can’t find me…” Jay hesitated. “You know what will happen. Fuck! You’ve got to help me. That’s my baby sister.”

Yeah, he knew what would happen. They’d go after anyone connected to him, which would leave Sydney with a bullseye on her back that she might not even know about. “Where is she? Still living at your old house?”

“Yeah. I know it’s a few hours’ drive from you, but I don’t have anyone else to call that can keep her safe.”

“What about your dad? Can’t he watch out for her?” With the mention of Mr. Manor, Coal’s chest tightened. He didn’t like the idea of Syd being alone with him, even if he was her father. Whenever he was strung out on drugs, he turned abusive and Coal wouldn’t force anyone to suffer that torment, especially not Syd.

“He’s been locked up for a couple years now. Guess I’ll be joining him…” There was noise on the other end and Jay’s voice rose a notch. “I’m begging, man—you’ve got to help her.”

“Don’t sweat it. I’m heading out now. She’s not going to be happy, but I’ll have to bring her up here with me. It’s the best way to protect her. I can’t be gone from the shop for months.” Coal hit the save button on the document he was working on and shut down the laptop.

“I don’t give a shit if you drag her away kicking and screaming. Just protect her. If anything happens to her—”

The line went dead and Coal tossed the phone back onto the desk. No doubt his time was up. Coal didn’t need Jay to finish the threat for him to know his friend would hold him responsible if anything happened to Syd. Jay wouldn’t place the blame on himself for getting into this mess and leaving Sydney at risk. He would only see Coal’s inability to protect her.

Coal would drop everything to make sure she was safe. It didn’t matter, because there was no way he was letting her get caught up in the shit her brother left her in the middle of.

Shoving his laptop into his bag, he glanced at the clock on the wall, realizing it was past midnight. “Fuck.” It would take him at least twelve hours in the car, and that was with him breaking the speed limit and not hitting any traffic. He needed to get there quick if he was going to get her out of town before whoever Jay owed money to came looking for him. He grabbed his cell phone off his desk again and scrolled through his contacts. Knuckles.

The late hour didn’t faze him as he hit the button to call his old friend. Knuckles was a good guy, loyal to the family, and had been their pilot for more than ten years. There wasn’t a doubt in Coal’s mind that he could trust him to be willing to jump his aid now.

“Yeah?”

“Knuckles, I need a lift. How soon can you make it to the airstrip?”

“Tonight?” There was a hush of a female voice in the background, letting Coal know that Knuckles wasn’t alone. “Fine, man. Give me twenty. Will I be waiting for you? I have another run tomorrow afternoon, so I need to be back before then.”

“No, just drop me off in Pittsburgh. Then you can return, get some sleep, and be ready for Cal. File the flight plan. I’ll see you when you get here.” He didn’t give Knuckles a chance to respond before hitting end on the cell phone and placing it back on the desk. Who knew how long it would take him to convince Sydney she needed to get out of town? He wouldn’t hold Knuckles up when his brother, Callaway, needed him to pick up a cycle from Texas they were going to restore.

He left his laptop bag sitting by his desk and headed up the steps to his place. While his brothers shared a house on the other side of the landing strip, he preferred his privacy, so he’d turned the third floor of the warehouse into his own private condo. It had been used for storage but with some time, money, and a lot of cleaning, it had turned into a sanctuary where he could get away from work, at least as much as he would allow himself. He’d gather a few things in case he got tied up in Pennsylvania and once they were in the air, he’d arrange for a rental car.

Flying out of Pittsburgh’s airport with Syd would be too risky. Too many people could see them traveling through the terminals. He’d need to get her out of the city, possibly out of the state, before they could risk Knuckles flying them back to Minnesota. By then it would be easier to just continue the trip back by car, rather than wait for Knuckles. Especially if she’s fighting me every step of the way.

* * *

Every step Sydney Manor took in the old house produced a creak that seemed more sinister now that she was alone. It wasn’t the first time in her life she had been home alone, but this was the first time no one would be coming back to her. She was alone in the world and finding someone on the porch when she arrived home from work had left her uneasy. It was a friend of Jay’s but his cryptic warning told her he’d be trouble.

Terrified, she made sure every door and window was locked, before escaping to what had once been her sanctuary—her room. She needed to figure some things out. With her father and two brothers behind bars, how was she going to pay the bills, handle whatever legal fees they needed, and everything else? She needed to come up with a plan. Instead, all she could think was that she was the last Manor standing. All of the males in her family had ventured down the wrong route in life, while she’d vowed to stay out of trouble and away from the drugs that had ruined her family.

Maybe she needed to leave the area. The part of town they lived in had become so consumed by drugs and crime, it wasn’t safe there any longer—especially not without Jay or someone there. At eighteen having just graduated from high school a couple of months ago, surely she could find work somewhere else. A hundred bucks was all she had to her name, but there had to be something in this shit hole they called home that she could sell.

A fist pounded on the door, and fear rose within her. Without turning on a light, she reached over to her nightstand and grabbed the handgun she had placed there. The gun was her father’s, but he’d taught her how to use it years ago. He must have known he was going to prison and she’d be left with Jay. This had been his gift to her, so she could protect herself if the time ever came. Her brother had been into the same shit as her father so he had to realize that one day this would be her fate. They’d sheltered her, protecting her from the worst parts of their lives. Now, something about this whole situation screamed that she had been tossed directly into shark infested waters. What was she supposed to do?

The pounding on the door stopped, then resumed; whoever it was had gone to the back door. She wanted to creep out of her room and see who it could be but whoever was there in the middle of the night hadn’t come for a visit. They were coming because of something Jay had done. She didn’t want to die because he owed someone money, or someone wanted drugs. The hundred dollars she had in her purse was all she had. She couldn’t pay someone off.

The noise subsided and her breaths came easier. The person at the door would be back, though; she wasn’t going to get rid of her problems that easy. Knowing that she needed to get out of there, she eased off the bed and began to throw things into a duffle bag. There was no place to go but she couldn’t stay. She had to do something.

“Sydney.” The male voice was unfamiliar.

The stairs creaked and she pressed her back to her bedroom wall. She held the gun out before her, knowing she needed to relax, focus on the target, and be ready when he entered her room.

“Syd…” The soft, husky voice drifted through the door.

It can’t be. Maybe it was her ears playing tricks on her but she swore that voice belonged to someone she knew. Someone she could trust. With the gun at the ready, she couldn’t stop the dash of hope from blooming within her. Could he have known and come for her? All these years later, would he be her saving grace again?

Without a sound, the bedroom door handle turned and the door drifted open. Could she do this? Could she really pull the trigger? She didn’t know but her finger hovered over it. Give me the strength…

“Syd…” A man stepped through the open door and her heart skipped a beat.

“Coal!” Tears streamed from her eyes. She wanted to go to him and have him wrap his arms around her, but fear rooted her to the spot. How did he know she needed him?

“Damn it, why didn’t you answer me!”

“What do you want?” Suspicion crept into her words. Was he tied into the mess Jay was in? She knew he and his brothers had left the state and made it big but it didn’t stop the misgiving from tainting her thoughts. What was the big man behind Tanner Cycles doing slumming in her neck of the woods? Now that he was a rich man, he never came back to their old stomping grounds.

“Syd.” He stepped farther into the room. “I came for you. Get your stuff. We’re going somewhere safe.”

“I can’t…” She didn’t know why she said that. While she had dreamed about him coming and rescuing her from the mess she called her life, now that he was here, she was scared. But did she fear leaving everything she knew behind or her feelings for him? She wasn’t sure. He could have any woman he wanted. Why would he want her?

“Can’t?” He tipped his head toward the half packed duffle bag on her bed. “It looks like you were considering just that when I arrived.”

“They’re after me.” Her gaze drifted toward the window as she wondered if they were outside. Were they out there waiting for her to come out? Would they eventually make their way inside and find her? She couldn’t stay cooped up in the house forever. She’d have to go grocery shopping; after all, there was nothing left in the refrigerator expected a sour container of milk and Chinese food from three days ago. Damn you, Jay!

“I know. That’s why I’m here.” Watching her intently, he inched closer to her. “How about we put down the gun?”

“Huh?” She followed his gaze and realized she was still pointing the gun at his chest. “Shit!” Carefully moving her finger away from the trigger, she lowered it. In her heart, she knew she couldn’t shoot Coal, even if it turned out he was part of Jay’s mess.

“Give it to me.” He held his hand out for it.

“I might need it.” There was no safety on the gun and she already had one round ready in the chamber, just in case. “They were already here.”

He closed the distance between them and with one hand, he cupped the side of her face, while with the other, he reached for the gun that she now pointed at the floor. “Do you trust me, Sydney?”

“Yes.” The single word came out more like a squeak as she could finally take in the man before her. Before the darkness and shadows prevented her from getting a good look at him. The pictures in the magazines and online didn’t do him justice. His broad shoulders and thick biceps made her feel small. She wanted to reach around his neck and unravel the tie that kept his shoulder length, dark brown hair out of his face. In the years since he’d left the city, he’d transformed from a young man with an attitude to a man who was beyond sexy.

“Syd, are you listening to me?” He took the gun from her hand and placed it on the dresser.

“What?” She blinked away her thoughts and the anxiety rushed back. “I, umm…”

“Finish packing. We’re leaving.” He stepped back from her and she had to wrap her arms around herself to shake off the chill.

“I don’t have anywhere to go.” Even as she argued, she went to her dresser, pulling out the few things she wanted to take with her.

“You’re coming home with me.” He stepped to the window and glanced out at the street. “Take everything you need. You won’t be coming back here for a while, if ever.”

She tossed the last of her clothes into the bag before grabbing her purse and the money she’d hidden from Jay in her nightstand. “Maybe Jay will get out and…”

“I doubt it.” He stepped back from the window and nodded to the bag. “Ready?”

“Why do you doubt it?” While she could take a guess, she wasn’t even sure what he’d been arrested for. “He has to come back.” If he didn’t get out of jail and take care of whoever was looking for her, how would she be able to move on with her life? Wouldn’t they continue looking for her, until he squared things with them? She wasn’t sure if he owed them drugs or money but she had no doubt he owed them big for them to already be at the house looking for him.

“Syd…” As his gaze fell on her, the words faded away, and sadness shined back at her when she looked him in the eyes. “Fuck! I could kill him for putting you in the middle of this.”

“It’s bad, isn’t it?” The pieces of the puzzle were falling into place and she realized it was worse than she thought. If Jay had called Coal to get her out of the city, her brother wasn’t coming home anytime soon. But it wasn’t even that; it was the caution in the way Coal acted. He hadn’t turned on any lights and he stuck to the shadows as if expecting someone to be lingering around the house, watching for her. “They’re going to kill me because of him, aren’t they?”

“No, baby.” He wrapped his arm around her and pulled her tight against his body. “I’m going to protect you, but we’ve got to go. Do you have everything you want? Anything that’s not important we can replace once we get where we’re going.”

When she nodded, he stepped back, grabbed her duffle bag, and slid it over his shoulder. “Let’s go.”

She reached back to the dresser, her hand brushing against the butt of the gun when his arm wrapped around her waist and pulled her away. “Wait.”

“No.” He tugged her toward the door and when she fought him, he pushed her up against the wall. “Can you guarantee me that gun isn’t stolen? That it hasn’t been used in a crime? Damn it, Syd, I know what Jay’s been doing all these years. Tim…your dad…do you want to end up like them? Getting caught with a stolen gun…using the fucking thing…what the hell are you thinking?”

“I’m thinking about staying alive. Just because they’ve done those things doesn’t mean I’ve done anything wrong.”

“Still so naïve.” He tucked a strand of her hair behind her ear and shook his head. “The police know you. They know you’re connected to Jay. With him out of the picture, they’re going to be wondering if you’re picking up where he left off. Just like Jay took over from your dad. In the twenty minutes I’ve been here, I’ve seen two police cruisers. Do you think that’s a coincidence? Every single officer who knows your family is wondering if you’re in on it, too. They don’t have any proof, but you’re the last one left and look where you’re living. They’ll be watching you.”

“But I’ve never…” She tried to argue but he was right. Three months earlier, Jay was dropping her off at work and they were pulled over for speeding. The car was searched and Jay had drugs on him. He was arrested and she was questioned as if she was guilty by association. That was when she started putting money aside, with the intent on getting the hell out of town. Everyone who knew her family thought she was no good, just like them. “Why come back if you think I’m just like them? Surely you don’t want to tarnish your perfect appearance. Mr. Millionaire with it all together, what are you doing here? Slumming?”

The sound of glass shattering stopped him from giving an answer. Instead, he took her hand and pulled her down the stairs, toward the front door. “Stay behind me.”

“You don’t go toward the noise. That’s how everyone ends up dead in a scary movie. Shouldn’t we go back upstairs?” Upstairs they’d find them, but there, she had the gun. They could protect themselves. “I can’t run forever. Maybe I should just face them.”

“Bullshit.” At the bottom of the stairs, he glanced out the window next to the door before opening it. “Let’s go.” He pushed her out the front door, keeping her close to him, as a figure came out of the kitchen.

“Don’t fucking move!” the figure in black hollered at them as Coal slammed the front door behind them.

“Move!” He pulled her down the deserted street as bullets rang out behind them. They ran toward the car he pointed to, clicking the universal remote “Get in.”

As she climbed into the passenger side, she chanced a look back at the house in time to see a man lumbering off the porch, his weapon pointed in their direction. Coal got in the driver’s seat and started the engine. Moments later, gunshots echoed through the stillness of the night. Terror filled her, stealing her breath from her lungs.

“Coal!”

About the Author:

Born and raised in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area, Marissa Dobson now resides about an hour from Washington, D.C. She’s a lady who likes to keep busy, and is always busy doing something. With two different college degrees, she believes you are never done learning.

Being the first daughter to an avid reader, this gave her the advantage of learning to read at a young age. Since learning to read she has always had her nose in a book. It wasn’t until she was a teenager that she started writing down the stories she came up with.

Marissa is blessed with a wonderful supportive husband, Thomas. He’s her other half and allows her to stay home and pursue her writing. He puts up with all her quirks and listens to her brainstorm in the middle of the night.

Her writing buddy Pup Cameron, a cocker spaniel, is always around to listen to her bounce ideas off him. He might not be able to answer, but they’re helpful in their own ways.

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Through Smoke – Marissa Dobson


through-smoke

Through Smoke by Marissa Dobson

A Dallas Fire & Rescue Kindle Worlds Novella

Release Date: October 13th, 2016

Monica Robinson moved to Texas in the hopes of adventure, little did she know she’d find danger in that mix. Firefighter Smoke Wilson has never found a woman that could put up with his career or keep his attention long enough for him to try to balance the two. When circumstances throw Monica and Smoke together, can they conquer the past in order to make a future neither knew they wanted?

Buy on Amazon

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Excerpt:

The door exploded inward and through the smoke firefighters emerged. “Monica!”

Coughing she crawled toward them, the heat intensifying around her. Just a little further…fresh air… Someone hauled her into his arms, through the gear and face mask she couldn’t see who it was.

“I got her.” It sounded like Smoke but the muffling from the face mask made it hard to hear him.

“Paramedics are standing by.” The other firefighter said as she was carried out.

“Wilson, get another line.”

Wilson? Smoke are you here?

“Go on, brother, I’ve got it.” The second firefighter who rescued her jogged toward the fire engine.

“Let me down…” A coughing fit overcame her again and he raised her in his arms slightly. “I can walk.”

“Not a chance, darling.” Ignoring her demands he headed toward the ambulance.

Not caring who her rescuer had been before, she hadn’t bothered to look that closely, but now that she was out of the burning house and safe, she looked into his eyes. “Smoke.”

“Shh darling, you’re safe now.” He eased her onto the gurney before he squatted down in front of her and took his breathing mask off.

“Is this the woman you were talking to Fire about earlier?”

“Shut up Sam and help her.” Smoke eyed the paramedic for a moment before returning his gaze to her. “Blaze is on his way and I’ll be back soon. I’ve got to help the guys get the fire under control.”

“Go. I’m fine.” She put her hand up, stopping Sam from putting the oxygen mask over her face. “Thank you.”

“I’d always come for you.” He kissed her forehead, rose, and headed back to the other firefighters battling the blaze.

“My home…” She mumbled more to herself than anyone else as Sam placed the oxygen mask over her mouth.

“Things can be replaced. What matters is that you’re alive. Now lie back and let me look at your hand. Are you burned anywhere else?”

work-hard-play-harder

About the Author:

Born and raised in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area, Marissa Dobson now resides about an hour from Washington, D.C. She’s a lady who likes to keep busy, and is always busy doing something. With two different college degrees, she believes you are never done learning.

Being the first daughter to an avid reader, this gave her the advantage of learning to read at a young age. Since learning to read she has always had her nose in a book. It wasn’t until she was a teenager that she started writing down the stories she came up with.

Marissa is blessed with a wonderful supportive husband, Thomas. He’s her other half and allows her to stay home and pursue her writing. He puts up with all her quirks and listens to her brainstorm in the middle of the night.

Her writing buddy Pup Cameron, a cocker spaniel, is always around to listen to her bounce ideas off him. He might not be able to answer, but they’re helpful in their own ways.

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Swift Move by Marissa Dobson


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Swift Move by Marissa Dobson

Series: Crimson Hollow, Book Four

The Crimson Hollow Series is on Kindle Unlimited for a limited time.

Unable to put the past behind her, Swift is overcome by terror and a thirst for revenge. Believing she has nothing to offer the tribe, she leaves behind the only home she’s ever known, but in a world filled with humans, this only makes matters worse.

Brett Oaks has just joined the Crimson Hollow Tribe, taking a position in the guard. Things turn out much as he anticipated until he is sent to bring back one of the tribe members and comes face to face with his mate. She reeks of fear, but he also senses something else.

She’s tired of living like she is but will she trust him enough to let him help her? There is more to life than what she has experienced. He’s ready to show her, if she’ll only open up her heart to him.

$0.99 on Amazon or Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited

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Excerpt:

“You’re in danger out here.” Brett leaned against the dresser, his arms crossed over his chest as he was careful not to knock over the television that sat on the surface. “The longer you stay out here, away from the tribe, the more danger you’re in. None of the other members are close enough to be able to aid you in an emergency.”

“You can’t stay locked in your room all the time. Your beast wants to be let out so it can roam. It won’t be long before someone figures out you’re a shifter. You’ll be in danger. You need to come home,” Noah added.

The men shared a look before Brett stepped away from the dresser and came to squat before her. “Jase sent me with Noah for a reason.”

“You mean because you’re my mate?” Saying it aloud made her chest tighten. Again, she reminded herself she couldn’t deal with a mate and everything that union meant when she found herself in this predicament. “Jase knows who will mate with whom as long as he’s met both of them and he loves to throw them together in an unexpected situation. Like he did with Sin and Garret.”

“I didn’t understand why Sin and Garret stopped by my place right before we left. It seemed out of place for them to show up to tell me how they’d met but when you opened the door, the pieces fell into place. Jase knew we’re to be mates and their story was to show me that if we allowed this to happen naturally, things would work out.”

“You don’t want me. Trust me, I’ve been through some awful shit and I’m messed up. That’s why I can’t go back to Crimson Hollow.” She dragged her hand through her hair, tugging the ruby red strands away from her face. “I think both of you should leave now.”

“Not a chance.” Noah shook his head. “You two have some things to discuss. I’m going to make a run for some food. Anything special you want, Swift?”

“You’re leaving?” She stared up at him, her eyes wide, and her heart beating a little too fast with fear.

fiesty

About the Author:

Born and raised in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area, Marissa Dobson now resides about an hour from Washington, D.C. She’s a lady who likes to keep busy, and is always busy doing something. With two different college degrees, she believes you are never done learning.

Being the first daughter to an avid reader, this gave her the advantage of learning to read at a young age. Since learning to read she has always had her nose in a book. It wasn’t until she was a teenager that she started writing down the stories she came up with.

Marissa is blessed with a wonderful supportive husband, Thomas. He’s her other half and allows her to stay home and pursue her writing. He puts up with all her quirks and listens to her brainstorm in the middle of the night.

Her writing buddy Pup Cameron, a cocker spaniel, is always around to listen to her bounce ideas off him. He might not be able to answer, but they’re helpful in their own ways.

WebsiteFacebookFacebook Fan GroupTwitterPinterest Newsletter</

✰ Back from Hell – Marissa Dobson ✰


✰✰ Back from Hell by Marissa Dobson ✰✰

Series: Marine for You

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#MarissaDobson #BackfromHell #MarineForYou #LaborDaySale #99Cents #MilitaryRomance #Military

#OneClick: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00XWEBKDW#nav-subnav

#Synopsis:

Lance Corporal Kyle Phillips’s life has been blown apart by an IED explosion. All the work he put in at boot camp is worthless. Now he feels he’s half the man he was before, with nothing to offer. His life fell apart in that one brief moment and everything he worked for was gone. Better men than him died that day, and now he must come to terms with being chosen to live.

Staci Pence volunteers at a Veterans Affairs hospital in hopes that she could do something good. She had seen what the war had done to her father and in the end, he had taken his own life. Now she is using her own grief to save others. Her newest patient is Lance Corporal Phillips and while he believes he’s damaged goods, not worthy of living, she’s determined to show him otherwise.

Kyle had gotten to the point that he wished he’d died on that battlefield instead of living the life of half a man. That was until a woman with whiskey brown eyes and a feisty side strolled into his room looking to save him. Can he make peace with what has happened and open himself to the love Staci offers?