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Author: Maayan Nahmani

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: June 26, 2016

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In an instant, my world turned upside down
Because of one incident, my life will never be the same
Every day I struggled to breathe
Every day I went through the motions
I felt too much
I was numb
I was drowning
I was lost inside the black
So they made me go there
I was already there, watching from the dark
And then I met him
And then I saw her
He scared me to death
She took my breath away
He was darkness
She was my light
They whispered he can’t be touched
She was the only one I could touch
I couldn’t be with him, they needed me
I fucking needed her
So I told him I would be his friend
I told her I would be her friend. For now.
But I couldn’t resist him for long
She finally realized that she’ll always be mine
We were a hot mess
We were the perfect kind of mess
Then reality dawned on me
Then my demons broke loose
I was underwater, trying to break through to the surface
I reached out my hand, trying to pull her to shore
Could he really help me?
Would she accept me, scars and all?
This was us
This was our story

Author’s Note:
“This book is based on true events and contains sensitive subjects that may be a trigger to some readers, such as violence, abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder. It also contains a parent with cancer. It is recommended for ages 18 and up.”
Safe. No cheating/OW.

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Teaser 1


I pulled my car next to Dorian’s and turned off the engine. I couldn’t believe I’d actually come here. I was scared shitless to let someone in, especially now when all my attention needed to focus on one thing: my dad. Shaking my thoughts loose, I grabbed my purse, exited the car, and made my way over to where Dorian was waiting for me.

Stormy clouds drifted across the sky, hiding the moon and darkening the neighborhood. Dorian stood at the base of a street lamp where it illuminated his features, softening the rugged angles of his face. He was attractive in a rough-around-the-edges kind of way, but now – as I let myself really look at him – I thought he was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen.

He left me breathless.

“We should go up,” he said. “It’s getting cold.”

He took my hand and led me in the direction of his home. God, his home. The place where he lived. I was going to see where he slept, ate, and took showers.

Shut up… Don’t think about showers.

We took the stairs two floors up until we reached a wood door. After unlocking it, he waited for me to go in before him. As I passed the threshold, he said in an awful British accent, “Welcome to my humble abode.”


I looked back at him and grinned. I found myself loving playful Dorian. “Why thank you.”

When he turned on the lights, I sucked in a breath. I was here, and there was no turning back. I gave myself a moment to focus on the apartment. Floor to ceiling windows consumed the entire back wall. The living area was an open concept, providing a perfect view of the whole space. Dorian’s apartment was nothing I had expected. A Victorian chandelier with a modern twist hung from the ceiling over a rustic dining room table. And even though the space was open, it had a cozy feel. The warm tones of dark blues and light creams contrasted together beautifully to make the room feel inviting.

And beautiful. 

“So, what do you think?” he asked hesitantly. 

I eyed him as he looked everywhere but at me.

“I really like it.” Then I added, “I like it so much I’m afraid I might never leave.”

His eyes landed on mine in a flash and a smile spread across his full lips. “I’d love that,” he whispered.

He took a step forward and I took a step back. I knew that if he caught me, it would be the end of our friendship. I would cave. I would fall into his strong arms and never let go. I wasn’t ready for him.

He approached me, his pace steady and his steps sure. His eyes were fixed on mine, making it hard for me to breathe.

When I felt my back hit the wall behind me, I knew there was nowhere for me to go. I drew in a sharp breath.

Game over.

Waves of heat washed over me when he placed his hands on the wall beside my head. My tumultuous heart threatened to break out of my chest.

“Did you mean that?” he asked, his deep voice in my ear, rattling my thoughts.

My eyes fluttered closed. “M-mean what?”

“The song. Did you really mean that?”

His finger touched my chin and lifted my head. “Open your eyes.”

I shook my head. I wouldn’t be able to control what he would see reflected in them. And I had a feeling my eyes would tell him everything my mouth was afraid to say out loud.

That I was afraid.

That the world kept beating me down and there was nothing I could do to stop it.

That I didn’t know how to help my family. 

That I wanted him. Wanted to be with him.

“Open your eyes, sweetheart.”

I gritted my teeth, refusing to give in.

Heart beats and erratic breaths were the only sounds in the room. Then I heard him mumble, “Fuck it,” and without warning, Dorian’s lips crashed against mine. My eyes flew open and then they fluttered closed again when my hands found their place on his chest. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to push him away or pull him closer. He kissed me deeply and with purpose, like he had been starving for it. Then his touch became gentle. The pad of his finger ran along my cheek, and then I felt the brush of his lips against mine as the kiss softened, caressing them lightly. When he bit my bottom lip, I gasped. He soothed the stinging pain with his tongue, slowly grazing it until it found its way back into my open mouth. His hand traveled to my thigh, lifting it up and wrapped it around his waist. He pulled me closer, until I was glued to his hard body. With my other leg, I had to stand on my tiptoes, because he was so damn tall. I could feel his hardness on my stomach.

He was hard for me.

My mind awoke from its daze, and I began to realize what was happening. Even though I loved the feel of his lips on mine, I was mad. How could he do that? How could he kiss me without my permission, after he said he would only be my friend? After he promised me we would take it slow.

Suddenly, I was furious. 

I shoved him but he was a brick wall. He didn’t feel my pathetic attempts to push him away, so I pushed him harder and punched him across the chest. He brought my thigh down, grabbed my hands and pinned them to the wall above my head. He was like a man possessed. It felt like nothing in this world would make him stop kissing me.

Not even me.

An internal battle took place inside my head. I wanted to kick his ass, to punch him in the face for taking what he wanted without asking. For making me give in, for surrendering myself to the emotions that overwhelmed me. But even more than that, I wanted to cling to him as my heart stepped up its pace while his tongue circled around mine.

I needed more.

I lunged forward, but my captive hands prevented me from getting closer. I kissed him back with eagerness, my tongue connecting with his. His hands let go of mine and he cupped my face. We kissed as if we’d done this a million times before.

His fingers moved along my jaw, then up until they were buried in the roots of my hair. He tightened his grip and pulled me even closer, swallowing me whole.

My hands were busy doing their own touching. I began at the base of his stomach, feeling his abs flexing under my touch. My fingers rose until they reached his strong and broad chest, up to his collarbone, until they touched the scar on his chin. I traced its path, feeling the raw and carved place where smooth skin use to be. I tore my mouth away and kissed the jagged lines. He needed to know that it was a part of him and he was beautiful to me, scars and all.

His body stilled, but I carried on with my inspection. When I was satisfied I hadn’t missed a spot, I looked up and found him watching me, his eyes wet with unshed tears. They shined with sadness, acceptance, warmth, and affection.

I watched him intently as I braced myself to expose my soul to him. It was time. I would not run away anymore.

I opened my mouth and said, “I meant every word.”


Teaser 2


About the Author
I am twenty-six years old and I live in a small town in Israel.
My family and I were going through some difficult times not too long ago and one day I was confiding in my best-friend about everything. I didn’t know how to deal with it all. Then she suggested I should write a book about it. I looked at her as if she had grown another head and dismissed the idea on the spot. But the seed had been planted, and day after day, little by little, without realizing it – I started writing.
That’s how Underwater was born.
I found writing to be cathartic, healing.  Something that helped my mind unwind and put things in perspective. I discovered a magical world where I traveled between imagination and reality. Writing became my home and I never wanted to leave.
I love to read, write, listen to music, edit videos, and play the guitar. I am always looking for the next creative thing. I also like a good movie and a glass of wine.




Black by Aria Cole is NOW LIVE!

ONLY $0.99

Amazon US | Amazon UK

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black aria



A beast, alone with the horrors of his past, the scar on his face a constant reminder of the man he’s become.

A beauty, on the run with her life in a tailspin, finds herself on his doorstep seeking protection.

Deeply misunderstood and dedicated to his life of brooding solitude, Maxwell Black is hesitant to let Elle McKellan into his home where his hideous secrets hide. But he’s unable to resist the allure of this desperate stranger.

Soon the magnetism between them is undeniable, the temptation unbearable. Elle, reluctant to risk losing her heart to this dark and broken man, struggles against the sexual tension, only to surrender to the combustible heat between them.

When Elle’s life catches up to her and threatens to tear them apart, Maxwell will protect the precious love he’s found by any brutal means necessary.

Black is a sexy, modern spin on the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale and is intended for mature audiences.




Header Black by Aria Cole

Black is a contemporary version of the classic fairy tale of Beauty and the Beast.

Maxwell has been living isolated for years after a traumatic event that left him scarred in more ways than one. 

His subterfuge is his library, which is open to the public, and books are the only company he thinks he needs, or more so, that he trusts.

Books were the only things that had been with me through it all. I’d never found solace in people; I’d found nothing but pain and betrayal and lies. Books provided shelter and support and encouragement.

But deep down in his lonely existence, he wishes, longs for something more, or better yet, someone…

But sometimes, on the nights that my thoughts overtook me, I dared to hope for someone to share my life with. I dreamed of a girl with eyes that sparkled, a laugh that made me weak in the knees, and a heart so big she could fit mine in it. Someone who could see past the moody, abrasive demeanor, and the thousand quirks that made me a man unlike any other. 

Someone who could see past the scar and into my soul.

A revelation sliced through my heart. For the first time ever, I wanted to feel love. 

I’d just never found a woman brave enough to love a man like me.

But he could barely dare to dream for that. In reality, he had no hope that this woman existed, much less that she would ever cross paths with him.

But the proof that dreams do could true appears right at his doorstep…

Elle is on the run, lost and alone, she doesn’t realize she’s searching for something, or someone, to give her life a new meaning, a new direction, something to hold on too. And this brings her right to Maxwell’s library, looking for a job, but finding herself with a new task, breaking down the walls he, due to his dark past, has built around himself.

Teaser 1 Black by Aria Cole

Elle knows all too well about painful pasts. If there is one person that can understand him, and see beyond his scarred, rough persona, it’s her.

I knew all too well about scars. How they were ugly and deformed from the outside in. Daunting slashes scraped across layers of delicate flesh. Maxwell wore his scar on his face, I wore mine on the inside. Mine festered and did not heal. My scars destroyed me and made me run; his seemed to have destroyed him and made him hide.

But healing a soul isn’t the easiest of journeys and it’s proven by the rough path they had ahead of them.

With so many mental roadblocks, even their strong instant pull is not enough, and with the secrets they both keep, Trust proves to be their biggest challenge.

Elle was such a sweet and loving character, a real mirror of the Beauty in the classic tale. Even with her sad past, she has an incredible amount of hope, and when she meets Maxwell, see can see right through his facade, that reflects a loneliness much like her own. With him, the first time in her life, she feels safe.

Teaser 2 Black by Aria Cole

Their attraction was immediate, and shocking for both of them, but Maxwell is the one who truly struggles to give in. After so many years of isolation, and the nature of the tragic event from his past, it’s very hard for him to give trust to someone else, specially someone that, for him, seems to good to be true, and appear at a too perfect timing.

He hadn’t counted and didn’t believe in what Fate had reserved for him…

Even with all the drawbacks the couple had and the secrets they keep, which translate into a slow building relationship, something the had no change to fight was their physical pull, the insta-lust was immediate, and it wasn’t long before we got some sizzling hot, sexually charged scenes. Beware: a cold shower or a industrial sized fan may be needed! 😉

“So fucking sexy bent over, your pussy bared for me. You’re so fucking wet, sweetheart. Love seeing you so wet for my cock.”

They literally couldn’t keep they hands of each other, which is awesome and gives us a true erotic romance. And his beastly character sure did transport to those scenes scenes, in a very deliciously dominant way. And boy, did the man have a dirty mouth on him (and I freaking loved every word out of it)!

Teaser 3 Black by Aria Cole

Contemporary fairy tale is one of my favorite genres, and I have to say I loved this approach. For a debut novel, it’s amazing the quality of the writing and character development. The story captivates from beginning to end, transporting us to that small town and that very special library, where most of the book develops.

Both characters were amazing, the storyline completely focuses on them, with almost no interaction with other people, and given it’s a short story, I think it was a smart decision. I just wished that it hadn’t taken that long for Maxwell to come to terms with his feelings and his error of judgment of Elle’s intentions (which caused me to hurt along with her for too long). I understand these distrust and roughness were made to go along with his Beast similarity, but by extending his reactions and sometimes far too callous behavior towards her in such a short story, caused, in my opinion, the shift of attitude towards the end to be less credible and too sudden. And don’t get me wrong he also had some sweet and tender moments.

“You’re the only thing that matters to me; protecting you, keeping you, being with you.”

But his suspicious mind and dark side were constantly fighting to take over. That idea would have worked perfectly in a longer story or for a shorter period, but here it became to forced. And don’t get me wrong, I love this type of read-in-one-sitting type of story and would not change that! Besides that minor lack of character development / too sudden personality shift, I adored and enjoyed the hell out of it!

Black was the perfect story to indulge in some erotic romance, and contains all the elements I look for in this type of book: insta-love / lust, an OTT alpha Hero, possessive and protective and some off the charts HOT sex scenes. It has all this, and so much more! Aria Cole delivered a fantastic debut book, and I can’t praise and recommend it enough, so much so, that I became an instant fan and my stalking following was guaranteed! I can’t wait to put my grabby hands on White!!!

My beauty.

My love.

My Elle.

ARC kindly provided by the author via TRSoR Promotions 

in exchange for an honest review

About the Author

aria cole profile pic Cole is a thirty-something housewife who once felt bad for reading dirty books late at night, until she decided to write her own. Possessive alpha men and the sassy heroines who love them are common, along with a healthy dose of irresistible insta-love and happily ever afters so sweet your teeth may ache.

Aria’s new release BLACK is the first in her modern fairy tale series. For a safe, off-the-charts HOT, and always HEA story that doesn’t take a lifetime to read, get lost in an Aria Cole book!

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