Cover & Excerpt Reveal
After the Crash Book Four
Lisa Anton was a world-famous fashion model before her plane crashed in a post-apocalyptic future where women are precious and rare, and technology is only a memory. Offered as a prize in a Bride Fight for the best fighter to take home, Lisa becomes the wife of a man she barely knows. Gorgeous and passionate in bed, her new husband tells her he loves her. But does he?
From the moment he saw the blond beauty, Eddie Madison was determined to make her his wife. Beating a dozen other men in the Bride Fight was child’s play for him. Learning to be a husband is a bit trickier. She wants his complete trust, but Eddie has spent his entire life guarding a secret that could destroy their happiness. Is protecting his secret more important than winning his bride’s love?
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: March 18, 2013
Publisher: Liquid Silver Books
The cool expression Lisa put on froze on her face. It felt as if it might crack and fall off. She’d tried to keep her eyes on the square below her, but couldn’t bear to watch Eddie fight. His opponent was a few inches taller, probably around six-two or six-three, with short, receding dark hair and thick muscles a layer of fat couldn’t hide. He looked bigger and stronger than Eddie.
What would she do if Eddie lost? Only the winner would go on to fight again, until one man was left, and that would be her new husband. All her fingernails were broken, which distressed her yesterday. Now she was glad. They weren’t long enough to cut into her palms when she clenched her fists. Every time Lisa heard one of the men land a punch, her hands clenched tighter. The crowd of men was either dead silent or cheering madly after the meaty thud of flesh against flesh signaled a successful strike, probably watching as avidly as the Romans had the games in the Coliseum, and with as much blood-lust.
An extra loud roar dragged Lisa’s eyes back to the square. Eddie stood, his chest showing fist-sized red marks that would become bruises, and the tall dark-haired guy was face down on the floor, shaking his head and trying to get to his knees. Ray’s voice shouted Eddie Madison was the winner of the first bout. The tension in Lisa came out as a choked laugh. Eddie flipped a quick smile up at her before giving his opponent a hand up.
Oh, God. That was only the first fight of the first round.
Lisa never knew how she survived the next hours. The theater had started out cold, but the press of bodies, sweating fighters and testosterone heated the place up as well as a furnace. The heat came with the nauseating odor of sweat and blood. The tears were hers. She tried to control herself, but every time Eddie was kicked, punched or bitten, she flinched. The fact he delivered more punches and kicks than he received was scant comfort. She hated to see men brutally beating each other, bleeding and sweating and tearing into each other like savages. Watching Eddie bleed for her hurt.
Her last boyfriend, Brent, had been a big boxing fan. He dragged her to several boxing matches. She hadn’t been able to stand that, either, and those fights were polite games compared to this. She told Brent she didn’t like it, but he laughed and took it for granted she would come anyway. And she had. She was never able to tell the men in her life no. She could stand up for herself as a model, especially with her agent’s backing, but her personal life was a wreck. It took a lot for her to finally dump a guy. Just a month ago, she kicked Brent out and promised herself to not get involved with a man for at least a year.
Look at her now—a prize for the most brutal fighter to take home.
The fights passed in a blur of barely suppressed tears and clenched fists for Lisa. Eddie kept winning. She looked over at Carla frequently, but the other woman seemed to be interested in anything and everything except the fights below them. Lisa could barely stand to watch, but when it came down to only two men left to fight to win her, Lisa set her teeth hard together and forced her eyes to focus on Eddie.
Eddie’s hair hung in sweat dampened ringlets, and his torso was blotched with vivid bruises. His handsome face was blessedly free of the blood that smeared his opponent’s. The other man was probably ten years older than Eddie, with dark curls cut very short and a thick muscular body covered with a dense mat of body hair.
Eddie had to be exhausted, but he still moved with the smooth grace that made him appear to flow without effort. Every now and then he crouched, quivering, before he sprung on his opponent. The other man didn’t have a chance.
Lisa wasn’t sure how it happened, but in a minute Eddie’s opponent was down and Ray shouted that Eddie had won her. Her mask cracked under the onslaught of tears as she gasped, “Thank God!”
Her guards bunched around her to take her out of her balcony to the theater floor where Eddie waited for her. He was sweaty and bruised and beautiful. Even with his hair clinging wetly to his neck and his lower lip puffy, he was beautiful. His grin was white and triumphant as he swept her into his arms and backed her into the narrow stairwell to the balconies, crushing her between his sweat covered chest and the wall. The noise of the crowd was muted.
“Oh, God, Eddie,” she gasped into his ear. “I was so scared.”
His split knuckles left smears of blood in her hair when he pushed it back to kiss her. He let a small hiss out as his lips touched hers. She flinched at the sound.
“Are you all right?” Her eyes clung to the purpling bruise on his cheek and swollen crack at the corner of his mouth. “You look like it hurts.”
“I’d like to say it looks worse than it feels, but I’m not sure about that.” His cocky grin was interrupted by a wince as the crack at the corner of his mouth opened and a thread of blood ran toward his jaw. “But it was worth it. I won you. You’re my wife now.” One of his hands clenched hard on her shoulder, the other framed her face with utmost gentleness. "This is the happiest day of my life."
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