Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Title: Crucible
Series: Born to Sin #1
Author: Franca Storm
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Tropes: Damaged Hero/Age Gap/Forced Proximity
Release Date: October 11, 2023


Some burn in the fire, others are forged in it.

I’m justice.
I’m deliverance.
I’m punishment.
Ultimately, I’m a dealer of death.

It’s exactly what they need from me.
To push back the enemy.
To keep them all safe.
I’m always one step ahead.
Until her.

She wasn’t meant to be here.
She’s tempting a cruel twist of fate.
Now he’s got her in his crosshairs.
He’ll feed off her vulnerability.
He’ll make her a victim of his obsession.

If I can’t pull her out, she’ll drown in the dark.
She’ll become as twisted as the rest of us.



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“You’re just a little freaked by what I showed you the other night.”
A little freaked?” I asked with disbelief. “Don’t you think that’s playing it down just a ton?”
“No, what I think is that you overreacted. And you’re still overreacting.”
“Trying to gaslight me is your strategy here?”
“Not what I’m doing. It’s just the reality of the situation. It unsettled you and instead of dealing with it and accepting it, you’re running.”
“I’m cutting my losses, that’s all.”
“I made a mistake. I was in a bad headspace when I came to you. I appreciate everything you’ve done, all the time you’ve put into training me and—”
“Stop!” he thundered, his voice echoing harshly off the walls of the empty gym. “Don’t use that stoic, business tone with me, like I’m just some trainer to you.”
“I’m sorry, but this is the way it needs to be.” I reached out to open the door behind me, but he was there in a flash, slamming his hand to it, forcing me back against the wall.
He slapped his hands down either side of my head, boxing me in.
My pulse quickened as he leaned in close and I inadvertently breathed him in, that fresh, minty cologne infusing my senses. That was the least of it, honestly. As much as I wanted it to be simple and to believe it was just adrenaline from his sudden, aggressive move, it was a whole lot more than that. It couldn’t have been more complicated or conflicting.
He had me trembling with the overwhelming nature of it as he growled at my ear, “I was very clear that there’d be no more running, Kar. I told you this was on.”
“I know, but things have changed.”
“You’re right on the precipice. That’s what this freakout is all about. If you back away now, you’ll regret it. You’ll be turning your back on who you really are, the person they’ve all kept you from becoming for way too long already.”
“I see now that it was for the best.”
“You’re afraid what you saw in me is in you. And it is. It’s fucking there all right. And I’m here to tell you that it’s the most freeing thing in the world. All that power… there’s nothing else like it.”
“I don’t want it.”
“You are it! Stop fucking denying it! Stop!” He smashed his fist into the wall behind me. “They caged you! Don’t you see that? They kept you from all of this! Adam’s still doing it now. He wants you to question it, it’s his voice in your head. People like us can’t be subjugated!”
“Rick, I—” I went to push off the wall, but he slapped his hand to my chest, knocking me back against it. “I need to go, let this settle with you, and—”
“I told you once that I won’t let you go. I meant it.”
Oh my God.
“I don’t think you really want me to,” he said, getting right up close again, pushing his hard body into mine. He grasped my chin with his bloodied left hand, forcing my eyes right to his. “You want to know what it’s like, don’t you?” he breathed, as his other hand fondled the waistband of my bootcut pants, that amethyst ring of his scraping against the fabric. “To be with me?” With one decisive jerk of his fingers, he pulled them open and slid his hand inside beneath my panties. I jolted at the sudden feel of his rough fingers dragging through my folds. “To have me unleash all over you, to coax the same from you.” He thrust two fingers deep, making me cry out. “To give into that animalistic need and fucking well revel in it.”
“Rick,” I gasped as he started to slide in and out at a teasing, torturous pace. I honestly wasn’t sure if I wanted him to stop or continue, or even up the ante. The aggression, the fear, the stimulation, and the pleasure he was eliciting from me… it was all an overwhelming contradiction.
“There’s not just the fight to experience. There’s also this. Nothing will ever compare.” His eyes flashed. “No one.”
The pointedness of his comment wasn’t lost on me for a second. “He’s got nothing to do with this.”
Rick twisted his fingers inside me, making me buck against the wall. “God!”
“Sure he does.” He tightened his hold on my chin to a painful grip. “You’re here with me, but part of you is still there with him.”
His thumb started strumming my clit, sending jolts of pleasure through me that had my whole body shuddering. He was overstimulating me, overwhelming me on purpose, making it harder and harder to maintain steady thought and focus.
“What would he think if he knew I had my fingers deep inside your sweet cunt? If he knew you were soaking my hand, your body surrendering to me like this?”
“You want my goddamn darkness, Kara. Admit it.”


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Franca writes emotional and gritty reads about alphas with a dark side and the kickass women who turn their worlds upside down.

A Marvel and DC fan, you’ll often find her binging on superhero shows and movies. Away from that heart-pumping action, she’ll relax with a good book, or work on conquering her next 1,000-piece puzzle.

She writes to alternative and hard-rock with her storyboard of inspiration by her side and some tasty snacks along for the ride. A cross between a pantser and a plotter, she’s happiest when she’s fully immersed in crafting her fictional worlds.


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