They say it takes 21 days to form a habit.
For 21 days she held on.
But on Day 22, she would have given anything for the sweet slumber of death.
Because on Day 22, she realizes that her only way out means certain death for one of the two men she loves.
A haunting tale of passion, loss, and redemption, The Paper Swan is a darkly intense yet heartwarming love story, textured with grit, intrigue, and suspense. Please note: This is NOT a love triangle.
A full-length, standalone novel, intended for mature audiences due to violence, sex and language. Subject matter may be disturbing for some readers.
Amazon ➜ http://amzn.to/1erRcxW
Barnes & Noble ➜ http://bit.ly/1LErAem
Kobo ➜ http://bit.ly/1MJrnFg
iBooks ➜ http://apple.co/1gPjxjn
I was still peering out of the stateroom window when Damian came in. He stopped in his tracks when he saw me. For one full, glorious second, he wasn’t in control. His gaze swept the length of my legs, over the hip-hugging shorts, and lingered on the swell of my breasts under the scandalous top. Ha! He wasn’t immune after all. He caught the smug look on my face before I could wipe it off, and his eyes narrowed.
I took one step back for each one he took forward, until I was jammed up between him and the wall.
God, he was intense. And deliberate. And he could say things with his eyes that made my knees tremble. One side of his face was bruised and distorted from where I’d hit him. He grasped both my wrists in one hand and pinned them above me. Every part of me felt flush with the heat emanating from his body, even though that was the only point of contact. He hooked a finger in the ‘V’ of my blouse, tracing the dangerously low cleavage. His touch was so soft, it was barely discernible.
“Skye?” He seemed hypnotized by the rapid rise and fall of my chest.
“Don’t play with scorpions unless you intend to get stung.” He yanked the neckline apart.
Round, glass buttons popped onto the floor and rolled around like eyeballs, astounded by the sight of my bare flesh.
“We’re harsh and predatory and full of venom.” He gnashed his teeth at me and ripped my blouse in two.
He tore off a strip and bound my wrists. Then he used the hanging trail like a leash and led me to bed.
“You’ve been trying to get a rise out of me for days. Now that you have my attention, what are you going to do?” He leaned forward, so close that I fell back onto the mattress, trying to get away from him. “Or is it that you want me to do all the work so your pampered pussy gets a taste of the other side, but you can tell yourself you didn’t have a choice?” He crawled up over me, slowly, until we were nose to nose.
I felt like hell was about to consume me. I could hear the men outside, gearing up to fill the tanks. Would they hear the sound of my screams?
“Would you like me to invite them in?” Damian secured my wrists to the bed post. “Do you really think you’d be safer with them instead of me?” He tore off another strip, giving me the chance to scream or yell or shout for help. When I didn’t, he tied it around my mouth.
He sank back on his heels, kneeling between my legs, and ran a finger from my neck to the front clasp of my bra. I stopped breathing. He moved on, trailing over my stomach, until he got to the band of my shorts. He toyed with the tab, enjoying the start-stop effect it had on my heart.
“Such a frightened little bird,” he said. Then he yanked my legs around his hips so I was flush with his rock hard arousal. “You should know better than to provoke me.”
Blog Tour: Used (Unlovable #1) by Lynetta Halat, Stacy's 5 Star Review, Excerpt, Playlist and Teasers
This is why I LOVE—Love triangles! Honestly you can’t get much better than Used if you want a true to its meaning good old-fashioned tear your heart out triangle! Throw in a girl who’s all kinds of messed up, with two hot Cowboy’s, and a rodeo/country theme and I’m hooked.
Denver Dempsey is one complex girl, full of self doubt and issues that have obviously plagued her judgment in life. Her Mother made her go through some crap that honestly would make anyone a little crazy. This is where her “Golden Boy” Greer comes in. Greer is the one that is so easy to love in this story. He and Denver have basically been connected at the hip since they were in the womb. The sweet story between these two is what initially grabbed my attention. They have the kind of friendship/relationship that every girl dreams of growing up. Greer is always there for his “Chicken” which is his affectionate term for her, even the way he describes chickens in relation to Denver is just the sweetest thing! He’s so quirky and sweet and loveable, which made me even more excited to read on, since I knew there would soon be another Dude coming in the picture to throw a wrench right through the sweetness that is Greer & Denver. I know…I’m sick!
Enter Ransom… He’s HOT, He’s a bull rider, He’s edgy, and He’s basically everything Greer is not. And Of course the troubled bad girl side of Denver is instantly attracted to him. Not that she is unaware of who he is. He’s been pretty well known throughout the Rodeo Circle’s over the years, and has chalked up quite the bad boy reputation himself. Sounds like a match made in heaven right? Or maybe a gasoline soaked rag just waiting for a torch is more like it. That’s exactly what these two have together, and the fiery chemistry between these two is off the charts hot!
So whose team did I choose, Greer or Ransom? Let me start off by saying this… I thought when I started reading this book that I would love Greer, which I did, which I still do! But there is no denying Ransom’s pull to his character, he’s flawed and dirty and sexy and gritty! Which are all of the things that would normally pull me to the bad boy side of the fence right? That is the way I normally would go, but Lynetta has a way with her writing that definitely pulls you back and forth between your emotions so much that you, yourself don’t even know what you want, and in true Love Triangle fashion! I honestly loved every part of it. Even the part where Greer pissed me off! I obviously have issues myself, but I can’t help it!
This is the very first time I’ve ever read a Lynetta Halat book, and I can firmly say that it will most definitely not be the last! One of the things I loved the most was that the character development was so strong that I actually really felt deeply for all of them. Especially Denver, normally when a female character is so flawed and seems to have a tortured soul she ends up looking whiney or complacent. This was not the case with Denver. I really felt like she was constantly searching for something more during the whole book. And even though she has these two strong male characters in her life, that something was still missing. And in the end, I believe she’s still searching for answers.
I would definitely consider this book a mild cliffhanger, but nothing I can’t handle since I obviously love those too! I am REALLY looking forward to readingFREED, which is the second book in the series.
Shut Up, and Kiss Me
After a few minutes, Greer stretches out beside me and searches for my hand. Only his hand touches mine, but my whole being tingles. He threads his fingers through mine and runs his thumb over my palm. Something in me twists and splinters, shooting chills all through my body. My breath hitches in my throat because I can’t breathe around the knot that has formed there.
“You feel it too,” he says simply.
I close my eyes tighter, suddenly embarrassed by the fact that I’m not slick. “Yes,” I admit in a whisper.
“Look at me, Denver.”
Turning my head to the side, I open my eyes to find his blue-eyed gaze roaming over me. His eyes find mine, and we just take each other in. I want to say something, but I can’t think of one darn thing that sounds intelligent or even … sexy. Do I even want to be sexy for him? Yes. Yes, I do. I see stupid girls flirt with him all the time. I don’t want to be that girl, but I do want him to see me as a girl and not just his friend. Ironic, since I’ve spent my whole life telling him not to treat me like a girl.
“I want to kiss you so bad … but if I kiss you, it will change everything,” he says in that gravelly voice.
“Change is good,” I whisper.
Rolling to his side, his mouth is centimeters from mine. I can’t make myself move although I’m aching with want. But I haven’t been kissed—ever. And I haven’t kissed anyone since that time on the monkey bars in seventh grade when I stuck my tongue in Brian Thomas’s mouth on a bet. I shocked the shit out of him, and he didn’t even kiss me back. When the bell rang, he jerked back and hit his head hard, sending him to the nurse for the rest of the afternoon. Not my finest moment.
“I don’t want to lose my best friend,” he tells me.
I bring up my other hand and run it over his jaw. “You’re not going to lose me. No matter what. We’ll still be friends.”
“Relationships ruin friendships. We’ve seen enough of that.”
I shiver with that truth. “True. But we’re different. We’ve been together since before we were born. I can’t live without you, so I won’t hurt our friendship.”
Bringing our entwined hands up, he kisses my knuckles. “Me either. We’ll take it slow, all right?”
“All right, my golden boy,” I whisper.
The effect of my words is instantaneous; the blue in his eyes intensifies to boiling. He leans in, his lips brushing mine softly. “Denver,” he whispers against me. “I’ve always wanted to make you mine. Ever since I understood what that meant. I’ve never seen anyone but you.” And even though his eyes burn with passion, I hear a little tremor in his voice. Now, him always putting off those girls makes a whole lot more sense.
“I thought we were taking it slow,” I chastise, but I delight in knowing that he feels something more for me.
“I just want you to know that I don’t take this lightly. You’re the most important person in my universe. And I’ll do anything to protect us.”
His declaration unleashes a torrent of need in me, and I no longer want him to kiss me—I need him to kiss me. “Greer, will you shut up and kiss me, please?”
Since the dawn of time, Lynetta Halat has lived to read and has written innumerable stories and plays. A lover of good books, bad boys, and kickass tunes, she'd always dreamt of penning books that people could connect with and remember. She also has a secret penchant for wringing the emotions out of unsuspecting readers, and she collects reader's tears in much the same way that wine connoisseurs collect their favorite vintage.
Her first novel, Every Rose, was the perfect catalyst to launch her into the world of publishing, effectively burrowing her way into the hearts and minds of readers throughout the world. Everything I've Never Had was her follow-up adult romance novel. Now, she has penned Used, a New Adult Romance that she hopes sinks its teeth into you and doesn't let go.
Her love of the English language prompted her to pursue a Master's degree in English from Old Dominion University in Virginia, where she also minored in snark and interpretive dance. She lives somewhere along the Mississippi Gulf Coast with her adorable husband, two amazing sons, and two loveable dogs. When she's not writing riveting stories, she likes to focus on her macramé art and her scouring of eBay, where she buys locks of hair from her favorite rock stars, most especially Bret Michaels and Dave Grohl.
Goodreads author: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6969980.Lynetta_Halat
Goodreads book: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18587171-used
Heath was a rock star god. The tight lines fanning outward from his silver eyes classified him as a pissed off rock star god.
“Wanna tell me what you did this time to get the platinum treatment?” He indicated the jail cell, while ramming his fingers through his shaggy, jet-black hair.
Preferring to shrink into the shadows and avoid a confrontation with him, Sam took a deep breath and rose from the bench. She stepped away from the metal seat to draw closer to the bars dividing them.
She’d expected her brother, Jason—Jase—to ride to her rescue. Like always. Her foundation. Predictable. Dependable. Rattled by her sibling’s abandonment, she ogled the skull on Heath’s shirt, mortification overwhelming her.
If Heath was Jase’s replacement, then he’d been serious when he said ‘don’t call me the next time you’re arrested.’ She’d assumed he yelled that in anger. She was surprised he’d bothered to offer aid at all.
Gut hollow at her brother’s desertion, she cleared the ache out of her throat and asked, “Can’t you just bail me out and we’ll forget this ever happened?”
Knowing he wouldn’t go for that suggestion, Sam swallowed hard and shuffled her feet. Disappointing Jase was one thing, but letting Heath down was an entirely different matter. She’d crushed on the man since her tenth birthday when he’d given her a heart-shaped jewelry box. Didn’t matter he’d been too old for her at a mature fourteen. That infatuation hadn’t waned with age either, but only grown stronger. Not that he showed her a stitch of interest. To him, she was nothing more complicated than a kid sister.
His digits curled around one of the bars. The tattoo lettering on his left knuckles fit his current disposition--ired. On the other hand the letters H-O-T-W graced his knuckles. If read together, they spelled out the name of his band: Hot Wired.
“Not this time, Samantha.”
She cringed. The only time he broke out her full name was when he was upset or disappointed with her.
“You been drinking?”
“You know I haven’t.” Just shy of twenty-one, in her world getting liquor wasn’t an issue. Neither was alcohol her preferred drug of choice.
She rolled her eyes, the question too stupid to warrant a response.
“This type of publicity is bad news for the band.” She’d heard that one before. None of her recklessness damaged Hot Wired’s career. Not that she sought to hinder their mega stardom. She wasn’t that selfish, she just struggled with controlling her impulses on occasion.
Therapy failed to help. Yelling spawned further rebellion.
Living under the umbrella of the band’s fame grew tiresome. Her life should be her own, to live however she pleased. Weary of the media hounding her, she craved going back to a time when nobody knew her name. A normal life like when she’d been a kid.
She’d grown up on daydreams of the band making it to the big times. They won the lottery of recording deals, while Sam discovered stardom came at a high price. Along with that knowledge came the freebie of all lessons…fantasies were often better than reality. The last time she’d visited the mall without a trail of vipers eager to report her purchases she’d been fifteen.
Was it too much to ask to have a date the world didn’t scrutinize? Even the loss of her virginity made headline news. That act should’ve come with the expectation of privacy. Thanks to the tabloids, Jase almost burst a blood vessel over that exploitation.
Once she’d picked her nose in public on purpose because a rag-reporter stalked her. Scratched her butt on another occasion. Gave them something to write. Those were the photographs and articles that gave her incentive to laugh.
“The only reason they’re not pressing charges is because of Jase.”
“Thanks for the reminder.” Along with it came the reminder that her brother sent Heath instead of coming himself.
Despite the news-hounds, she got out of a lot of shit thanks to her brother’s identity. This incident would be all over the rags and Internet before morning.
‘Hot Wired’s drummer’s sister is at it again!’ They’d go on to paint her wild and immoral comportment.
Have at it you fucks. Can’t hurt me any more than you already have, but what about the band?
Distance from Hot Wired would aid all of them. She’d get her peace of mind back, and they’d be devoid of the rebel-rouser in their group.
She’d mentioned changing her last name and moving back to their Southern roots in the small Alabama town where she’d been born. Jase had gone bat-shit crazy at the suggestion and went on and on about how their parents would be rolling over in their grave at her abandoning the family name.
The name-change idea had been discarded. Swept under the rug like a dust bunny never to be spoken of again.
Torn between two worlds, Sam was suffocating. Living with someone she couldn’t have in a world where she didn’t belong.
She sank back down onto the bench and lay down on the uncomfortable metal, staring at the ceiling. “Go away, Heath. I’m not in the mood for a lecture.”
A sigh came from him, followed by a long pause. She anticipated he’d argue, but she focused on the water spot marring the tiled ceiling and prepared herself to fight back.
The sound of his retreating boots hitting concrete echoed in the room. His exit surprised her, but relieved her too. Faced with his disappointment, she vowed again she’d terminate her criminal behavior.
She settled the backside of her wrist against her forehead. She made that promise to herself often and botched the good intentions each time.
After a moment, a new set of footsteps approached the cell. Even with her eyes closed she determined the intruder wasn’t Heath. In a room full of guests, she could identify his gait. Heath’s solid steps and long stride made for a unique swagger that bespoke his self-confidence. Celebrated his rocker status. Watching him walk compared to admiring art. Ogling his ass as he strode away…eye-gasms.
This individual’s fast-paced walk reminded her of the peppered rounds of gunfire. She waited for the person to speak. The clink of metal striking metal and locks disengaging snagged her attention. She turned her head. The thirty-something deputy swung the cell-door open. “You’re free to go, Ms. Collins.”
Sam rolled off the bench and grinned at the officer as she sidled past him. She’d bragged as they booked her that they wouldn’t hold her long and the charges wouldn’t stick.
In the lobby, Heath waited for her with his hands shoved in his jeans pocket. His shaggy-butchered hair shadowed his eyes, doing a good job of hiding his expression, but the hard line of his jaw indicated he’d married his irritation. Lectures were sure to come.
Looking at him, no one would guess he rocked the panties off chicks worldwide. With his long-sleeved, pull-over black shirt, sporting a white skull, his snug well-worn jeans and scuffed boots, he appeared as average as any hard American worker.
That’s what I need to warm my cold bed. Average. Not my brother’s best friend and rock star god.
There was nothing average about Heath Fangor—Fang to his band mates and the world. Neither would he seduce her. Not even as a one-time gig. The man and his fucked up principals…or maybe they were her fucked up principals because she couldn’t say for sure if she’d enter into a one-night-stand with him if he begged for one. She wanted more, and a one-nighter would be difficult to live with.
“Thanks for the bail out, Fang.” She breezed past him with all intention of snubbing him, but he caught her arm. He held on tight, giving her a warning glare when she tried to jerk free.
“Don’t be ungrateful, brat.” He towed her toward the elevator.
“Thanks for the autograph, Fang!” She glanced back at the deputy who’d released her from the cell. He waved a piece of paper at them, grinning ear-to-ear.
Heath shoved her into the lift. The moment the doors shut, he slammed his palms down on either side of her head. Sam sucked in a breath, her eyes frozen on his sexy-ass mouth. The bottom lip was slightly puffier than the top, nice and pink, and wet. He’d probably licked them, which explained the sheen. She had naughty fantasies with them as the star of the show navigating her body. The damage she suspected they could accomplish created a slippery situation in her panties.
A slight tilt of his lips before he said, “Eyes on mine.”
She refocused and locked onto his silver gaze. The accusations she saw there struck her like a blow to the gut. Looking away would be easier, but Heath had a way of holding her to a higher level with just a penetrating stare. His expectations were tall, and she despised him for having such grand aspirations for her.
“What’s gotten into you? Base diving—”
“That was fun. You should try it.”
“—bar brawls, knifing chicks in Miami—”
“Hey! I was found innocent of that allegation!”
Elevating his eyebrows, he called her statement a lie without uttering a word.
“—and now you’re adding grand theft auto to your long list of offenses.”
Gracen is a hopeless daydreamer masquerading as a “normal” person in southern society. When not writing, she’s a full-time basketball/football/guitar mom for her two sons and a devoted wife to her real-life hero-husband. She’s addicted to writing, paranormal romance novels, movies, Alabama football and coffee…addictions are not necessarily in order of priority. She’s convinced coffee is nectar from the gods and blending coffee and writing together generates the perfect creative merger. Many of her creative worlds are spawned from coffee highs. To learn more about Gracen and her writing or to leave her a comment, visit her at the following sites:
Website | Facebook