Friday, September 18, 2020

Book Blitz + #Giveway: Stunner by Marteeka Karland @marteekakarland @XpressoTours

Marteeka Karland
(Bones MC, #9)
Publication date: September 14th 2020
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

Suzie — College isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Rather, the other grad students aren’t. I’m the youngest grad student at MIT and to say other students resent me for it is an understatement. To top it all off, I miss my Stunner. He’s been with me after the darkest moments of my life, helping me pull myself back together. He’s seen me at my worst, now I want him to see me at my best. Now, if he’d just return my calls, I might be able to get myself around the mean girls (and boys) at school.

Stunner– To say I’ve got ghosts in my past and skeletons in my closet is the understatement of the century. Suzie deserves a man more suited to her station than me, and she definitely deserves a man who’s not a stone cold killer. I have my uses. Protecting her body, heart, and soul is one of those. I just never expected to fall for the woman after the girl grew up.

Now, not only has she run into a foul and vindictive f*cktard, my past has caught up to me in a huge way. My past associations rise up and there may be no way to keep from being swept back up into the madness. All I truly know is that I won’t let any of it touch Suzie. Even if it means giving her up. Forever.

WARNING: Explicit violence which could be triggers for some readers. Explicit sex that might offend some readers. As always, you can expect a HEA with no cheating.


Suzie lay on the small couch in her apartment staring at the computer chat screen. She’d debated whether or not to call her parents all afternoon. Everyone in the building was gone. She was the only holdout. She’d thought most of the grad students would want to take advantage of the lab space and vacant library to work, but she’d been wrong. Maybe they were just trying to get away from her. More than one of them had referred to her as “Little Miss Goodie Two Shoes” on more than one occasion. Also among the insults were brown noser, suck up, kiss ass, and several other things she just ignored. It wasn’t her fault she’d rather work than hang out with people she didn’t know in bars that weren’t nearly as safe as the Boneyard. Maybe she was a wimp.

Finally, unable to take the isolation a moment longer, she pulled up her mother’s name from the contact selection It took several seconds but Angel answered the call, Cain right beside her.

“Hi, sweetheart!” Angel’s eyes were bright and excited and so full of love Suzie had to blink several times to keep the tears at bay.

“Hi, Mom. I miss you guys!”

“We miss you too, honey,” Cain said, his smile warm and engaging. When Suzie had first met the man, she hadn’t thought him capable of such a look. He was so hard and rough, but he was a protector through and through. That meant he protected her physically as well as emotionally. Which meant he’d learned to genuinely smile on occasion. For her and Angel. “How’s school?”

She tried to keep the uncertainty out of her expression and her voice. “It’s OK. Taking some getting used to. It might be MIT, but people are mostly interested in partying.”

Angel gave her a puzzled look. “And you’re not?”

“Not really. I’ve got several projects going on and classes to teach. It’s hard to keep up with all of it.”

Cain immediately took up the camera. “If you’re not ready for this, Suzie, I’ll come get you.”

“No! It’s not that! I love the work. The more I do, the more the professors put on me. I think they like that I follow through. I’m actually doing more math-related classes than astronautics.” She smiled brightly. “But math makes the world go ’round.”

Angel giggled. “It certainly does, baby.” There was a small pause as Angel glanced up at Cain. Her dad was about to say something, but Angel interrupted him. “So, you wanting to come home for Fall Break?” The question was asked casually, but Suzie could tell her mother wanted her to come home. Suzie did, too.

“No. I have a lot of work to do. I just wanted to touch base with everyone. How’s Cliff and Daniel?” It was a deflection. She could tell Cain saw it, but Angel just wiped her eyes once and plowed on.

“They’re good. Both are coming home next weekend and starting their training with Cain, Bohannon, and Sword.” Angel beamed, obviously proud of the boys, but mostly just glad they were coming home.

“They do well enough, I’ll hire them at ExFil.” Cain looked even more proud than Angel.

“What about Hannah and Gunnar? They posing a takeover yet?” Suzie was still deflecting, but, like everyone else in the club, she loved the little ones more than life itself. When she was home, she spent most of her time with the babies and Willa, Helen and Trucker’s baby. She was surprised none of the other ol’ ladies had children yet, but she knew most of them were now actively trying. They all giggled about it -- and the fun in trying--every time they got together.

Cain laughed. “Not yet, but it was touch and go for a while. I actually expect Hannah to break off and start her own chapter soon. Might even start an offshoot of ExFil.”

“That sounds about right,” Suzie agreed, smiling affectionately.

“They’re definitely positioning themselves for either that or a hostile takeover,” Angel added. “Could be either.”

Again, there was a silence, her parents still smiling but looking at her expectantly. Finally, she took a breath, careful to keep her smile in place. “Stunner wouldn’t happen to be around, would he?”

Angel looked up at Cain, her smile faltering. Cain’s grin remained firmly in place, but Suzie knew enough to see the strain and worry in his eyes. “He’s fine. Had a small scuffle last night but walked away without a scratch.”

Suzie knew her dad well. He was telling her the strict truth, but was holding back more than he wanted her to know. If she pushed, they might figure out her interest in Stunner was more than that of a treasured friend. If she didn’t, she’d worry herself into a panic attack.

“I-I tried to call him, but he wasn’t answering his phone.”

Angel gasped slightly, and Cain turned the camera away from her, moving a little distance away so Suzie couldn’t see her mother. “He’s probably got a lot on his mind, baby. Don’t take it personal. He’ll see you called and get back with you.”

“What’s going on?” No way she could keep herself from asking. Something was way wrong, and her heart sped up, her mind going in a thousand different directions. Most prevalent was the question as to if there was a woman involved.

“Pig showed up at the Boneyard last night with Kickstand. Pig and Stunner got into a bit of a scuffle. You know how Stunner hates Pig. Anyway, I finished it. Pig won’t be back, Kickstand is on probation, and Stunner decided he needed some space.”

Suzie felt the blood drain from her face. “Where’d he go?”

“Didn’t say. I suspect he’s on his way to Palm Beach. Got a call from Thorn this morning asking if everything was good. Stunner probably reached out to them as a courtesy. Thorn finally got the deal closed on that old firehouse he wanted to buy a few months ago. They’re moving the club, and Stunner will be a big help to them in the muscle department.”

“H-he went to Florida?”

Cain frowned. “Yeah, baby. But he’ll still be there if you need him.”

She wasn’t so sure. He’d barely spoken to her since she started MIT. Had he decided she was grown up enough he could finally get on with his life? That she didn’t need his protection anymore?

“O-OK. Just…” She took a breath. “If you talk to him, tell him to call me?”

“You got it sweetheart.”

Author Bio:

Romance author by night, emergency room tech/clerk by day, Marteeka Karland works really hard to drive everyone in her life completely and totally nuts. She has been creating stories from her warped imagination since she was in the third grade. Her love of writing blossomed throughout her teenage years until it developed into the totally unorthodox and irreverent style her English teachers tried so hard to rid her of. Now, she breathes life into faeries, space hunters, werewolves, vampires, shapeshifters, and a few just plane ole ordinary people. She loves to see the awkward, self-conscious band geek get the captain of the football team and make him beg for it.