Blog Tour: Deathless & Divided by Bethany-Kris
Deathless & Divided by Bethany-Kris The Chicago War #1 Publication Date: September 7, 2015 Genres: Contemporary, Erotic, Romance, Suspense
Synopsis: Lies and love. This is how a war starts.
A life for a life. That’s the mafia way. Damian Rossi owes his life to a man who is ready to collect. That payment comes in the form of an arranged marriage to the daughter of another leading family in the Chicago Outfit. He’s ready to follow through, even if that means making sure Lily knows she’s his.
Lily DeLuca isn’t being given a choice. Forced home to marry a man she doesn’t know and back into a life she’d rather forget, her world is full of half-truths, buried pain, and uncertainty. But Damian is nothing like she expects. His motives aren’t clear. Her beliefs are being tested.
When it comes to this world, no man can be trusted. Someone is ready to flip the Chicago Outfit on its side all for the promise of something better. But no one runs a clean game and these men play for keeps. When blood begins to paint Chicago red, four families will be divided by loyalty, hatred, and revenge. There is no hiding. There is no safety.
No one is deathless.
Buy Links for Deathless & Divided (The Chicago War, #1):
Deathless & Divided Playlist
Youtube Direct Link: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL55-I0Z8d9uvcnUDUiTl9w_owU-1b1jRz
Jason Isbell – Twenty-Four Frames
Lana Del Rey – Honeymoon
Selena Gomez ft. A$AP Rocky – Good For You
Hozier – From Eden
Kat Dahlia – I Think I’m In Love
Zedd ft Bahari – Addicted to a Memory
Rihanna – Skin
Christina Perri – The Words
The Kooks – See Me Now
EXCERPTS: Deathless & Divided by Bethany-Kris
Damian didn’t turn around as he said, “Eavesdropping is a bad habit you should break before it gets you into trouble, Lily.”
Lily bit her bottom lip. “Sorry?”
He shot her with a heated glance over his shoulder. The sight alone seemed to strike her in the chest with the intensity. “There are things you are better off not knowing.”
“I didn’t actually mean to eavesdrop.”
Damian smirked. “No, you were spying on me.”
Lily’s arms tightened around her frame again. She suddenly became hyperaware of Damian’s gaze raking over her figure with a slow intent. He didn’t hide his staring at all and his smug grin only seemed to grow into a sight of satisfaction the longer he took her in.
She felt unnerved under his surveying.
“I look like hell,” Lily said, unsure of why she even let the words out in the first damn place.
“You look incredible,” Damian said quietly. “Like you spent the night rolling in someone’s sheets, which I suppose you did.”
Lily laughed. “Just not with someone, huh?”
“Not by my choice, sweetheart.”
Damian was clearly playing for keeps in whatever game he had decided on.
Lily wasn’t sure she was ready for this.
Needing to get her mind away from the sexy, panty-soaking worthy place it had quickly gone to, Lily asked, “Is this usually what you do in the morning?”
“Talk on the phone?”
“No, work out.”
Damian nodded once. “If I have time, I try. It’s a good stress reliever.”
“What else do you do besides track girls down at clubs, work out, and watch news broadcasts on silent?”
“Are you asking about my job?”
Lily pursed her lips, her stare flitting between him and the spot where he’d answered the phone. “Yeah, I suppose I am.”
“I do what the boss wants me to do, Lily.”
“Anything?” she asked.
The second shiver that crawled up her spine came for an entirely different reason than the first. It was a hell of a lot colder, too.
Anything was vague enough for Lily’s imagination to run wild but pointed enough for her to understand without him directly saying it.
“So, you’re not like my brothers, right?” she asked.
“And I’m not like Tommas, either,” Damian said.
“That bothers you, doesn’t it?”
“A little,” she admitted.
“There’s a reason why they call me Ghost, Lily.”
“Yeah, because they never see me coming and they don’t hear me leave.”
Lily thought about Dino and the vague reasons she had been given as to why Damian was his first pick for her. Maybe aligning her with one of the most dangerous men was Dino’s way of keeping her safe. She wasn’t sure how she felt about that.
“Because you’re invisible,” Lily said.
“In the most important ways.”
“The ways that keep me from getting caught,” Damian answered.
“Why would you do this to me?” Lily asked.
Betrayal stung the back of her tongue as bile spilled into her throat.
Dino tricked her. He said nothing about marriage or anything of the sort when he told her it was time to go home.
Of course, he didn’t, her mind taunted. You would have run.
She still could.
Dino seemed to pick up on her inner dilemma. “Your accounts have been frozen. You will not receive another penny of your shares or inheritance until you are married to Damian Rossi.”
“He’s a good man,” Dino said. “And if I didn’t pick you a husband, Lily, Ben was going to. I’m on a one-way train to prison for the unforeseeable future very soon. Theo will have little to no control at his age, especially where you are concerned. That would mean your welfare and choices are left to Ben. Is that what you want? Because if you think for one minute he would consider anything that you wanted, you are sorely fucking mistaken. Ben wouldn’t care—he’d use you for his gain and nothing more. Even if that meant marrying you off to an abusive prick or a man twice your age.”
“I’m a human being. I am a free woman, Dino,” Lily snapped back. “I can make my own decisions about my life without anyone’s input. I will marry who I want, not who you deem appropriate for me.”
“You know that’s not true. You might have liked pretending for the better part of your life like you’re not involved in la famiglia, Lily, but we both know better. Please understand why I did this.”
“Go to hell.”
Dino barked out a bitter laugh. “I’ve already got one foot in the door, Lily. I’m just biding my fucking time while I wait.”
Lily spun fast on her heel and pushed past Dino, needing to get away from him. She only took two steps before coming to an abrupt stop against the form of a familiar but still strange man.
Lily’s hands splayed across the man’s chest as she squeaked in surprise, not even realizing he had intruded on her moment with her brother. She felt her cheeks heat up because not only had he heard a very private conversation, but she was touching him, too.
He didn’t seem to mind.
The same steel-blue gaze that had regarded her earlier at the church looked Lily over once again. She swallowed hard, feeling the bands of his muscles roping across his pectorals under her fingertips jump. His lips pulled into a smirk that looked entirely too wicked for Lily’s liking.
Getting a close up look at this man was bad for Lily’s insides. He was fit with a body built like a boxer’s. The black suit he wore hugged his over six-foot frame perfectly and it only seemed to add to the confident, cool air he sported. A strange disinterest colored his features, but in his eyes, it seemed like he was looking straight through her.
She glanced down between their bodies, noting he stood relaxed and seemingly unbothered by the situation they were in. Even his hands were tossed into his pockets as if he were waiting for something and not like Lily was touching him.
His nonchalant attitude only added to his dark, mysterious demeanor.
Lily still didn’t know how he managed to slip down the hallway without her or Dino noticing or why he was as quiet and still as he was now. What game was he playing?
Who in the hell was this man?
Lily’s heart beat a little harder in her chest, remembering the name Dino uttered earlier.
His voice was a dark tenor dripping with richness. The one word slipped from his mouth without his lips even needing to move. She had the pleasure of hearing many accents in her travels, but his was something else entirely.
“Damian,” Dino said, bringing Lily out of her stupor. “Good to see you finally arrived.”
“Ran over a nail in the church parking lot and came out to a flat tire.”
“Ah, I see.”
Lily stepped back from Damian. His gaze didn’t move from her for a second, not even when he talked to her older brother like they were old friends.
“Hello,” Damian said again. “Lily.”
Lily snapped out of whatever daze she was in. “Hello.”
“It’s Damian,” he murmured.
“I know who you are.”
Damian lifted a single, dark brow high. “Oh?”
“You don’t seem pleased,” he said quietly.
“That I’m forced to marry a man I don’t know and don’t want to know?” Lily asked bitterly. “I’m sorry to disappoint you, Damian.”
Damian’s smirk grew into a grin. “You know me.”
“You do,” he interrupted before she could argue the point further. “Just not that well.”
Lily blew out her frustration in a breath of air, gritting her teeth. Resolve steeled her spine straighter and she reminded herself of what her brother asked her to do. Turning, Lily faced a stone-faced, unbothered Dino.
“I will make nice and play good at this dinner,” she said.
“Thank you,” Dino replied.
“But I’m not marrying that man.”
Dino’s expression didn’t waver. “It’s not your choice.”
“I am not marrying him, Dino!”
“Yes, you are,” Damian said.
The words rolled over Lily’s skin like liquid gold. She could feel the pulse of his breath on the back of her neck.
This would be a great deal easier if she didn’t find him attractive.
And why the hell was he agreeing to this, anyway?
“In two months, whether you agree or not, you will be my wife, Lily DeLuca.”
Lily couldn’t help it; she shivered.
Lily hugged the dress shirt tighter around her frame, well aware it did nothing to hide the expanse of her bare legs as she padded down the short hallway of an unfamiliar apartment. With sleep-tousled hair, weary eyes, and a sinking feeling in her stomach, she kept moving to find the sweet smell of coffee wafting.
She remembered the night before clearly. She hadn’t tumbled into an unfamiliar bed out of drunken stupidity, but instead, climbed under Damian Rossi’s sheets without so much as an argument. Then again, he took the guest bedroom.
Why he just didn’t take his own bed and gave Lily the guest bed, she wasn’t sure.
The tiny kitchenette gave a view of the large living room. Lily damn near tripped over her own two feet at the sight of Damian bare-chested with track shorts riding low on his hips. With every pull as he lifted his fit, muscled frame over the bar set between the doorjamb of a connecting room, his body barely reacted to the exercise. Like it was nothing at all, he did several sets of chin-ups while he watched a news program turned on low.
Lily’s throat went dry.
The expanse of his muscled chest drove straight down over a railroad path of abs into the hard cut V of his groin. Damian’s skin was clean of any ink and other than a small scar on his right pec, his body was unblemished. The slightest sheen of perspiration dampened his skin while his dark hair fell over his gaze glued on the flat-screen. Any female within the vicinity of this man looking like he was right then would probably throw themselves at him. He was the perfect vision of a male personified. Sex on fucking legs right there in flesh and blood.
Even Lily found herself shifting on the spot and rubbing her thighs together to soothe the sudden ache between her legs.
What was wrong with her?
I want you to come to me willingly.
Lily sucked in a breath and forced the sudden desire pooling in her stomach away.
She couldn’t help but wonder how this ridiculously attractive man seemed to go as unnoticed around people as he did. How could he slip into a crowd and disappear when he practically screamed for someone to look at him?
“Why did you join the Outfit?” she asked, honestly curious.
“I didn’t know anything else and I didn’t really want to. It was the only family I ever trusted enough to want to protect.”
His frank, straightforward answer took her by surprise.
“Do you still protect it?”
Damian smiled. “The most important parts. The parts I think should be kept.”
Lily didn’t respond because she really didn’t know how to. Damian tugged off his suit jacket and loosened his tie before kicking off his shoes. When Lily still didn’t make an effort to remove her own heels, Damian bent down, lifted her right foot and slid off the stiletto. His fingers ghosted along the arch of her foot before he dropped it back to the floor and repeated the motions with her left side.
Instead of standing when he was done, Damian stayed down on his one knee as the warmth of his hands skimmed over her calves. His touch traveled higher until his palms rested along the back of her thighs and the tips of his fingers pressed into the hyperaware skin under her dress. Desire swept over her senses like a tidal wave, dragging her under the current quickly. She didn’t think it was a devastating feeling but instead, heady and lovely.
“It’s been a long day,” Lily said.
“I suppose I should thank you for taking care of me today.”
Damian’s lips curved into a sinful smirk and his blue eyes glimmered with wickedness. “I didn’t mind.”
“And that kiss was … nice,” Lily said. “Before the whole killing thing, you know.”
“So you said.”
“I’d like to do that again. With you, soon.”
“Now?” he asked. “Because here, I’m not liable to stop at kissing your mouth, Lily.”
Lily laughed, feeling so off-kilter it wasn’t even funny. “Aren’t you supposed to protect my honor or something until the wedding?”
“That was not discussed and you’re old enough to make that decision. Not that I think something physical would be bad between us—I told you I wanted that, anyway. What was discussed, was that the marriage would happen, regardless of how it came about so long as it did.”
“You’re not such a bad pick,” Lily admitted.