SMOKE AND MIRRORS IS LIVE!
Title: Smoke and Mirrors
Series: Fire and Fury #2
Author: Avery Kingston
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Formats: E-book and Paperback
Cover by: Avery Kingston
Editor: Writer’s Rebirth
Released: August 24, 2018
It’s a fight to love each other, but it’s a love worth fighting for.
Tori’s life had been defined by loss. The loss of her father. The loss of her innocence. And finally, the loss of her vision.
She prides herself on always rising above anything life throws at her, but losing the man she loves would ruin her.
Tori has always ferociously guarded her fragile heart, but she’s trying hard to let Scott inside her fortress. As her walls begin to crumble the shadows of her past begin to haunt her. Can she trust that Scott will still love her once he sees what lies within?
Tori longs to escape from the pain of her past and reclaim the art that is screaming inside her soul. But is her artistic career yet another loss she’ll never regain?
While Tori wrestles with her inner demons, Scott wages a war against his controlling nature; confronting his own fear of loss.
Scott wants Tori to promise her life to him. The problem is Tori’s unpredictable. Some days she’s a hurricane and other days she’s a light breeze. He walks a tightrope between protecting her and letting go, struggling to gain trust of her tattered heart.
Smoke and Mirrors is part two in Scott and Tori’s epic love story. You can read part one of Scott and Tori’s story in Chasing Fire. Both novels are full length books featuring a hot-as-hell alpha and a sexy artist who both have filthy mouths. Intended for a mature audience.
He set the paper sack down next to her and went back for the guitar.
She dug through it. “What—pray tell me—do you have in your bag of tricks?” She pulled out a candle and lifted it to her nose. “A candle?” Her nose crinkled as she took a whiff. “Smells citrusy.”
“It’s citronella, for the mosquitoes.” He plopped down next to her and laid the guitar on his opposite side as he lit the candle, placing it on a rock a safe distance from the blanket and any tall grass.
“Ooh, romantic.” She giggled as she reached down into the bag and pulled out the whiskey. She unscrewed the cap and took a swig. “Here I thought you were trying to create a mood.”
He took a mental picture of her lying on that blanket, her white dress slipping off her delicate shoulder. She was propped up on one elbow, with her knee cocked up, and the bottle of Jack hanging lazily from her other hand. She was his goddamn fantasy sketched into reality.
“Well.” She nodded toward him and took another sip from the bottle. “Are you gonna play for me or did you bring the guitar for decoration only?” Her mouth quirked up in the corner. “Because that visual is kinda lost on me.”
Scott reached over and grabbed the bottle from her, taking a swig of liquid courage. He didn’t know why he was nervous. He’d already played for her the other day, after all. A wave of vulnerability washed over him. Having her here in the twilight, in his secret space, looking so damn beautiful made his heart race.
He’d always prided himself on being fearless. Loving Tori was the scariest thing he’d ever done. The only thing he feared was harm coming to her. He took another gulp as the whiskey burned his chest.
“You have stage fright?” She challenged him.
“How will I ever get you to shut that smart mouth of yours?” Scott put down the bottle, leaned over and crushed his mouth to hers. She parted her lips, inviting him in and he threaded his fingers through those beautiful platinum locks, pulling her in deeper. The sting of the whiskey on their tongues mixed with the sweetness of her lips was an intoxicating contrast. Like everything with her, the kiss was a tug between two worlds; a delicate balance of light and dark, sinner and saint. He would sell his soul for her delicious kisses. Nobody in the world could ever make him ache as much as this woman did.
Tori’s hips rocked underneath him as her head tilted back, the moonlight highlighting her slender neck. His tongue raked across her skin—god damn she even tasted sweet. He’d brought her out here to romance her, take his time, but Tori had a way of making him lose every ounce of self-control. His cock pressed hard against his jeans, yearning to be inside her. His hands also seemed to have a mind of their own, for they traveled up her smooth legs, right under that pretty, white dress and in between her warm thighs. She parted her legs, inviting him to do as he pleased. His fingertips danced over the seams of her delicate, lacy panties—so tempted to rip them off and enter her. But no, it wasn’t time yet. He pulled back from her kiss.
“I’m head over heels in love with you, Tori,” Scott breathed as he caressed her cheek.
“Good, because I’m pretty damn fond of you.” She tugged on the brim of his Stetson and smiled warmly. “Thanks for dressing up for me.” Her eyes watered up with emotion as they wandered, looking for something they’d never find. She placed her hand on his cheek, rubbing her thumb across his lips. He smiled for her and grabbed her palm and kissed it. “It means so very much…” her voice cracked as part of her soul opened to him. She cleared her throat, lifting her chin. “Now about that song?”
“All right.” He sat up, grabbing the guitar next to him. He strummed each string, putting it perfectly in tune as he racked his brain on what to play for her. As he worked, he admired his girl, drinking straight from the bottle of Jack and he licked his lips, still tasting the sweetness of her skin and it came to him. He strummed the tune to “Tennessee Whiskey”, hoping that he could give it the bluesy soul that the song deserved. He skipped the opening lick, that riff would’ve been nice, but he was still rusty from years of not playing. Thankfully, the song had an easy chord progression, just A and B Minor.
He started with the opening lyrics acappella, then went into the tune, over exaggerating the down strokes to keep the bluesy rhythm.
A calm smile of recognition fell over her face and when he hit the chorus she chimed in at the perfect moments, in beautiful harmony.
He grinned, forcing himself not to stop singing to listen to her. This was the first time hearing her true voice. Sure he’d listened to her a handful of times; in the car, in the shower just goofing off, and at the karaoke bar. But this was different. She was raw, uninhibited, and so damn sexy.
Tori had this low, throaty, singing voice that was warm and seductive. Perfect for a song like this. Their voices molded together as the music filled his soul. In that moment, they were one person, one heart.
He placed the guitar on the blanket when he was done. “Damn, baby, that voice of yours…” He was lucky that he could finish. She took his breath away.
“Eh, I’m ok I suppose.” She waved her hand. “I guess that’s my dad in me. I got it from him.”
“He sang?” Scott was shocked. She never talked about her father. Ever. In the ten years he’d known her, all he learned of her father was that he was dead. “What was his name?”
Scott didn’t want to kill the mood, but getting her to bare her soul to him was a rare event. They could have sex any time.
“Christopher.” Tori reached over for the bottle of Jack and took a big swig. “So, where were we?” She gave him a sexy smile, and just like that, she closed herself off. She pushed the bottle toward him. “I think you need to catch up to me. I’m feeling a twinge of a buzz coming on here.”
Don’t press it. Baby steps.
He knew full well what it was like to try and pry those painful doors open. He could find out anything with his security clearance, if he wanted to, and God knows he’d been tempted. But his need for Tori to trust him had outweighed that temptation. He grabbed the bottle from her hand and took a swig, placed it down beside the blanket and reached over, cupping her cheek as he kissed her.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Avery Kingston writes sexy, emotional romance featuring wounded characters at a high heat level.
Avery is a wife to a man who’s demons play well with hers. Mom to a slew of crazy kids. Dog lover. Crazy cat lady. Artist. Free spirit. Lover of unusual beauty. Fitness junkie. Collector of boots and fonts. Angsty drama addict and avid wearer of yoga pants.
Avery is a military wife and a sucker for a good wounded hero story. She set out to write stories where the leading characters were smart, sexy, confident and strong. Avery began writing the type of romance novels she would want to read. Stories about real couples, wounded either physically or emotionally, with an open door into their steamy bedroom.
She loves her stalkers!