Her Other Secret by HelenKay Dimon
Series n/a; standalone
Genre Adult Contemporary Romance
Publisher Avon Books
Publication Date June 25, 2019
Is it the perfect escape?
Whitaker Island is more than a getaway. For Tessa Jenkins, the remote strip of land in Washington state is a sanctuary. Fleeing from a shattering scandal, she has a new name, a chance at a new beginning, and a breathtaking new view: Hansen Rye. It’s hard not to crush on Whitaker’s hottest handyman. At six-foot-three and all kinds of fine, he’s also intensely private—and the attraction between them soon simmers dangerously out of control.
…or a private trap for two lovers?
After a devastating family tragedy, Hansen finds the pebbled shores of the faraway island to be an ideal refuge. Letting down his guard for the sexy, impulsive Tessa is an unexpected pleasure. But there’s another newcomer to Whitaker. He’s no stranger to Hansen. And when he’s murdered, the crime casts a threatening shadow. As suspicion falls on Hansen, all his secrets are about to collide with Tessa’s. Now the pasts they were determined to outrun are catching up to them. So is a killer who’s putting their love—and their lives—on the line.
Just as Hansen was about to ask for more details, Tessa started talking. “The unknown guy was in a suit as if he jumped off a boat in full work attire, including a tie, then washed up on the beach and kept walking. He had to see us, or at least hear us, so why walk away? Why hide from Hansen in the woods?”
Ben made a humming sound. “I agree. It’s strange.”
That was about as ruffled as Ben got but Tessa didn’t seem to appreciate it. “Gee, you think?”
Rather than let them wrestle this out, Hansen stepped in. The sooner Tessa told the rest of her tale, the sooner he could get Ben alone and ask what the hell happened to set Tessa off. She was nice to everyone . . . except Ben right now.
“Tessa also said the boat has been out there, no lights and no movement for more than twelve hours,” Hansen explained.
Tessa switched her gaze from the glare she had locked on Ben since they walked in, back to Hansen. “So, you were listening to me.”
He ignored that because the truth was he spent far too much time paying attention to her. She was impulsive and sexy, adorably cute and could talk on any subject forever. So, naturally, he wanted her. He couldn’t think straight some days because he wanted her so badly. But he wasn’t on the island to date . . . no matter how tempting she was.
A sassy, smart, sexy, and suspenseful story, as much filled with danger and twists as it is with sarcastic humor and adorable ardent romance.
Her Other Secret is just perfectly entertaining, fun, and engaging. It kept me on my toes throughout the tale, the cast of characters just a hoot, with their secrets, information they want to hide and are willing to go to the distance to keep the information hidden on an island that spreads gossip faster than light.
Tessa Jenkins is a heroine easy to like and admire and Hansen Rye is the perfect mate to her, a partner, companion, and lover. The spark between them is like a fourth of July fireworks, they just get each other in a lever few does. I loved the way they were equal, both protective, both willing to go to battle for the other and do anything to keep the other safe. Their pillow talk was endearing, and them together just adorable and lovely.
The suspense is breathtaking. The murder mysteries and how everything is tight to everything else, and how the past secrets and the protagonist's history all play into the crimes committed on the small island, kept the guessing game going on until the very last part of the story where everything unrattled and comes to life and death matter in a whole new way.
I love the cheeky dialog, the clever, and the utterly sarcastic, biting way the author uses words to paint the picture, the mood, and the characteristics of the protagonists. This story pulled me in from the very start and kept me lured into the twists of the tale until wee hours of the morning and the end was at the hand.
Unputdownable, addictive storytelling that charm and allure, leaving the reader enamored and anticipating for more. Loved it. Absolutely loved it!
~ Five Spoons
Tour Wide Giveaway
To celebrate the release of HER OTHER SECRET by HelenKay Dimon, we're giving away a paperback set of Her Other Secret and The Protector by HelenKay Dimon to one lucky winner!
GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS: Open to US shipping addresses only. One winner will receive a paperback set of Her Other Secret and The Protector by HelenKay Dimon. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Avon Books. Giveaway ends 7/15/2019 @ 11:59pm EST. CLICK HERE TO ENTER!
About HelenKay Dimon
Award-winning author HELEKAY DIMON spent twelve years in the most unromantic career ever - divorce lawyer. After dedicating all of that effort to helping people terminate relationships, she is thrilled to deal in happy endings and write romance novels for a living. Her books have been featured in Cosmopolitan Magazine and E! Online. HelenKay loves hearing from readers, so stop by her website at www.helenkaydimon.com and say hello.
The Sterling Wood Series Book 1
by Charlene Johnson
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Kingston Publishing Company; 1 edition
Publication Date: May 30, 2019
Lily Sommers reluctantly returns to Sterling Wood to attend her Uncle Jimmy's funeral - a town she left years ago.
Sterling Wood holds painful memories she’s tried to forget. One, in particular, is still raw and every time she returns pulls the scab off a wound that will not heal - Luc Pearson, the handsome high school sweetheart who betrayed her.
Seeing Luc again isn't the only problem she has to face in Sterling Wood. Someone is trying to kill her, and she doesn't know why.
She soon learns shocking revelations that could change the course of her life as a ruthless killer stalks her. Will the people closest to her be able to save her?
Things like that weren’t supposed to happen in Sterling Wood.
Charlene is a Waynesburg, Pennsylvania native. She went to Waynesburg High School and graduated Cum Laude from Waynesburg College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts. Currently lives in Sacramento, California where she spent the last 33 years working at Northrop Grumman.
Books have always been her passion. She started reading at an early age and progressed to full-length books by age nine. The first supernatural book series she read was Dark Shadows, and it sparked her interest in all things paranormal, with a spicy touch of romance mixed in for good measure. She also started writing poetry in grade school and continues to do so today.
Being an avid reader, the consummate daydreamer and an incurable romantic with a Cinderella complex, she started creating her own characters and story lines because she realized she had her own stories to tell.
She is married to John, who believes she can do anything. She has a son, Ty; a daughter, Danika; and four beautiful grandchildren, Aries, Victoria, Maya, and Tobias.
Besides reading and writing, she also enjoys photography, travel, music, and great movies.
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The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics by Olivia Waite
Series Feminine Pursuits
Genre Adult Historical Romance & LGBTQ Romance
Publisher Avon Books
Publication Date June 25, 2019
As Lucy Muchelney watches her ex-lover’s sham of a wedding, she wishes herself anywhere else. It isn’t until she finds a letter from the Countess of Moth, looking for someone to translate a groundbreaking French astronomy text, that she knows where to go. Showing up at the Countess’ London home, she hoped to find a challenge, not a woman who takes her breath away.
Catherine St Day looks forward to a quiet widowhood once her late husband’s scientific legacy is fulfilled. She expected to hand off the translation and wash her hands of the project—instead, she is intrigued by the young woman who turns up at her door, begging to be allowed to do the work, and she agrees to let Lucy stay. But as Catherine finds herself longing for Lucy, everything she believes about herself and her life is tested.
While Lucy spends her days interpreting the complicated French text, she spends her nights falling in love with the alluring Catherine. But sabotage and old wounds threaten to sever the threads that bind them. Can Lucy and Catherine find the strength to stay together or are they doomed to be star-crossed lovers?
It wasn’t until Lady Moth set the bundle of cloth down on the desk that Lucy realized: one, she had been staring, and two, there was quite a lot going on with that bundle of cloth. It was deep navy blue, rolled tight, and looked very fine indeed. “What is this?” Lucy asked.
Lady Moth sat in her usual spot on the sofa, but the way she leaned forward and the spark in her eyes had Lucy’s pulse racing with anticipation. “A little something I’ve made,” the countess said. She smiled, not without some anxiety. “A gift.”
Lucy sat straight up in astonishment. “A gift for me?”
Lady Moth’s laugh was always soft, as if it had been packed away in an attic for too long, unused. “Who else?”
Lucy shook her head, feeling silly, and reached out a hand. The fabric unrolled and revealed itself to be a generous shawl, and Lucy choked back a gasp.
She’d thought at first it was an ocean blue, but there in front of her was spread the whole night sky.
Each edge of the shawl glittered with comets, icy silver spheres made of spiking stitches, a few with long wispy tails of single strands stretching out toward the center of the fabric. Arranged in a line they formed shapes like classical columns, or arches on some Palladian monument. Between these edges was a vast, starry expanse, tiny glass spangles scattered across the blue like diamonds on velvet. Lucy’s trained eye picked out the familiar patterns at once—there was the boxy bulk of Ursa Major, and spiky Cassiopeia the jealous queen, and the broad shoulders of Orion the hunter. She looked back again in wonder at the comet border, marveling at the subtle color variation in the silk threads. Silver and white and gold and even a hint of palest green, each thread as precisely placed as a brushstroke on a portraitist’s masterpiece, giving the impression that each comet was still somehow streaking across the nighttime sky on their impossible journey.
She wanted to wrap the whole thing around herself like armor—and oh, wouldn’t it make the most of all her gowns in their simple lines and mourning colors? Her lavenders and greys would look restrained and mature, rather than simply undecorated.
“Do you like it?” Lady Moth asked.
Lucy looked up, English and French and the language of astronomy spinning madly together in her brain. “I am trying very hard not to cry on you again,” she stammered, “but it’s difficult—because this may be the single loveliest thing I have ever seen.”
Tour Wide Giveaway
To celebrate the release of THE LADY’S GUIDE TO CELESTIAL MECHANICS by Olivia Waite, we're giving away a bound manuscript copy of the book to one lucky winner!
GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS: Open to US shipping addresses only. One winner will receive a bound manuscript copy of The Lady Guide to Celestial Mechanics by Oliai Waite. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Avon Books. Giveaway ends 7/9/2019 @ 11:59pm EST. CLICK HERE TO ENTER!
About Olivia Waite
OLIVIA WAITE writes historical romance, fantasy, science fiction, and essays. Every first Thursday of the month she reviews romance old and new in the Kissing Books column for the Seattle Review of Books. When the birds are propitious, she sends out the Oliviary: a newsletter full of links, recommended books, and great pieces from all over the great wide internet.
You can reach out to her on Facebook, Twitter, or follow one of her glorious Pinterest boards. To pitch books for review, write to her at: email@example.com.
Ambush in the Everglades
by Petie McCarty
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publication Date: May 19, 2019
Plenty of action-adventure in this romantic-suspense tale. Photographer Kayli Heddon is given the biggest assignment of her career—a photo essay on the Everglades Restoration—and a special airboat safari is arranged, so Kayli can get her pictures. What she doesn't count on is being stranded alone in the Everglades with her handsome and unpredictable airboat guide. Kayli is forced to learn some tough lessons. Trust means everything in the dangerous River of Grass, and a skilled partner makes all the difference in your survival.
Skye Landers takes the airboat safari gig as a favor to his cousin who is called out of town. Skye doesn't expect the governor's photographer to catch his eye, but Kayli Heddon is unlike any woman he has ever met. He knows he should keep his distance, but common sense flies out the window whenever she gets near.
Unfortunately, Kayli thinks honesty is the most important thing in a relationship—any relationship—and Skye Landers is a fraud. When secrets surface from his past, Kayli and Skye are soon on the run from more than just alligators.
Pulling back a palm frond, Landers nodded toward the clearing beyond. Kayli eased closer to peer over his shoulder. His unique scent of male, sunscreen, and cologne tantalized her senses and left her light-headed.
She blinked and caught a blur of white. A wood stork hovered near the trunk of a small live oak and rocked slightly in place. Landers turned his head, which put his face inches from hers. She concentrated on the bird but could feel Landers wanting her to notice something.
“Oh, my gosh,” she whispered. The bird stirred at the sound. “He’s got a hook stuck in his beak.”
She could feel Landers nod. His scent seduced at this close range, and she wanted to scream at the sudden desire to wrap it around her like a cloak. One day out in the sun, and she had completely lost her mind. She shook her head hard.
“What?” he whispered.
“Nothing. Can you help him, Landers?”
A smile twitched at one corner of his mouth. “How do you know it’s a him?”
“No self-respecting female wood stork would eat something with a fish hook in it,” she whispered back. “She’d check her food first.”
His jaw dropped, and she wanted to scream in exultation until she saw the grin start and his eyes darken. Apprehension sapped her mirth. Her mouth went bone-dry. Twelve inches separated his kiss-me-you-know-you-want-to lips from hers. Not far in the grand scheme of things.
Landers shifted. Ten inches separated them.
She hazarded a brief glance at his eyes. Pupils gone dark, no color.
“When are you going to call me Skye?” His voice had gone husky too.
The blur of white snagged their attention. The stork hopped, and they could see monofilament line attached to the hook and twisted around the bird’s legs, leaving him nothing but an awkward hop for locomotion.
Kayli stifled a gasp.
“He hasn’t been like that long,” Landers said, watching her.
This man could read her mind, and that alone should scare the devil out of her.
“How do you know?” she managed to ask and kept her eyes focused hard on the bird. She felt him turn.
“Because he’d have starved by now. Wading birds that can’t walk and stir up the bottom sediments for food soon starve.”
His face was close enough she could feel the change in temperature against her cheek. She imagined the press of her lips against his sultry mouth only inches from hers, and her insides turned all squishy. Dang, she yearned for another mind-numbing kiss from him.
You don’t really have a boyfriend, her heart reasoned.
You convinced this gorgeous man you did, in fact, have a boyfriend, her better judgment prodded.
What would he think if I kissed him right now?
Landers waited for her to turn and face him, but at this close range she didn’t dare. If she did, she would press her lips to his—hard. And she couldn’t. Had to be his move. He was the one to put distance between them after their first kiss.
Even the bird had shifted to stare in her direction, and his tiny dark eyes begged for help.
“Please help him.” She kept her eyes on the distressed bird.
“Skye,” he whispered in her ear. “Please help him, Skye.”
Lord help her, that felt like a kiss. She thought to jerk away from the warm breath against her ear for her own peace of mind and at the same time, wanted to press her ear against his lips. She couldn’t focus enough to draw air into her lungs. Her whole being focused on the warmth against her ear.
“Please help him, Skye.” Her voice sounded barely audible even to her own ears, which were probably a vibrant scarlet he couldn’t miss.
“Look at me.”
Why is he torturing me?
The stork shifted position and stared her right in the eye. She would do this for the bird’s sake. Right?
Slowly she turned her head. His incredible green eyes caught hers and held on. Her stomach lurched up against her lungs in anticipation.
Skye didn’t move. He only held her gaze captive.
A tiny shiver attempted to maneuver up her spine. No stare had ever felt more like a caress. Her insides had again turned to jelly, as though his muscled arms had actually held her close.
“Wait here until I check him out.” His warm breath brushed her cheek.
Kayli leaned toward him in his retreat, suffering an aching letdown. As she gulped for air, she watched Skye ease closer to the bird, step by silent step. The bird warily monitored his proximity and the soft shushing sound he made to keep it calm. Calling him Skye felt oddly normal. No, perfectly normal at this moment.
He shuffled to within a couple feet of the bird, which made no effort to hop away and somehow seemed to know the stranger had come to help.
“When I grab his beak and his belly, you run over and untangle the line from his legs as quickly and as gently as you can. Then we’ll try to get the hook.”
“Whatever you say . . . Skye.”
He slanted his eyes her direction and grinned without moving his head. Her stomach flip-flopped.
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Petie spent a large part of her career working at Walt Disney World—"The Most Magical Place on Earth"—where she enjoyed working in the land of fairy tales by day and creating her own romantic fairy tales by night, including her new series, The Cinderella Romances. She eventually said good-bye to her "day" job to write her stories full-time. These days Petie spends her time writing sequels to her regency time-travel series, Lords in Time, and her cozy-mystery-with-romantic-suspense series, the Mystery Angel Romances.
Petie shares her home on the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee with her horticulturist husband and an opinionated Nanday conure named Sassy who made a cameo appearance in No Angels for Christmas.
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From the bestselling author of The Convenient Groom (now a beloved Hallmark Original movie) comes a heartfelt story of family secrets, forgiveness, and unexpected romance.
Following a painful betrayal, Maddy Monroe's love life is a wreck, and her restaurant career is in shambles. When her grandmother goes missing, she and her estranged sisters converge at the family beach house in Sea Haven, North Carolina. Being with uptight Nora and free-spirited Emma at the place where their family broke apart is a struggle, and undercurrents of jealousy and resentment threaten to pull the sisters under. In the midst of the storm, sparks begin to fly between Maddy and Gram's maddening neighbor, Connor Murphy.
As the sisters pack up the family belongings, memories of idyllic, slow-paced summers are resurrected. But long-buried secrets also come to light as Maddy discovers that all was not as it appeared that last summer in Sea Haven--nor today in the seemingly perfect lives of her sisters.
As family tensions rise and Connor causes tumult in Maddy's heart, the sisters must find a way to accept each other for the women they've become before the bitterness of the past destroys their hope for a future.
Denise Hunter is the award-winning author of more than 30 novels, including "The Convenient Groom" and "A December Bride", which have been made into Hallmark movies.
Denise writes heartwarming, small-town romances. Her readers enjoy the vicarious thrill of falling in love and the promise of a happily-ever-after sigh as they savor the final pages of her books.
Denise and her husband live in Indiana, where they raised three sons, and are currently enjoying an empty nest. In 1996, Denise began her first novel, writing while her children napped. Two years later it was published, and she's been writing ever since. Her books contain a strong romantic element, and her husband says he provides all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too!
Love, Life, and the Pursuit of Happiness by Sandra Hill
Series Bell Sound
Genre Adult Contemporary Romance
Publisher Avon Books
Publication Date June 25, 2019
Welcome to Bell Cove, North Carolina. Independence Day may have just passed in this small Outer Banks town known for its famous bells, but one ex-Navy SEAL has a declaration of his own to make . . .
Merrill Good knows there are many different kinds of exciting. There’s the adrenaline rush he experienced during his years in the military. There’s the thrill of starting up his own treasure hunting company. But topping them all is the surge of exhilaration he feels every time Delilah Jones crosses his path. Smart, voluptuous, and outspoken, Delilah is a bombshell with a secret that could explode at any moment.
Since Delilah moved to Bell Cove to take over her great-uncle’s Elvis-themed diner and motel, the locals have been nothing but friendly. And that’s a problem. The moment someone gets close enough to figure out her ex-con past, her future will be jeopardized. But keeping Merrill at arm’s length isn’t easy when the rest of her body has other ideas.
Add to the mix Delilah’s little girl who fashions herself “Little Orphan Annie,” a former showgirl grandmother with a gambling problem, a whole town full of quirky matchmakers, and there’ll be fireworks long after the Fourth of July . . .
“Merrill, are you all right? Do I need to call an ambulance?”
Her face was so close, he could feel her breath on his lips. Like a kiss.
A breath kiss?
He liked the sound—rather, the thought—of that.
And so he did what he shouldn’t, but what he’d wanted to do since the first time he’d seen her. He put hands on either side of her face and tugged her the few remaining inches closer. Then he locked lips with her in a kiss that was sweet and seeking and innocent as a hello.
But, hello, her lips were parted in surprise . . .
...and because fifteen years on the teams had taught him to grab any window of opportunity before it disappeared...
Seize the day!
...or because maybe she’d been wanting this as much as he had . . .
Okay, that’s a stretch.
Well, for all those reasons, and then some, the sweet kiss turned wicked. Wicked good.
Tour Wide Giveaway
To celebrate the release of LOVE, LIFE, AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS by Sandra Hill, we're giving away a paperback copy of The Forever Christmas Tree by Sandra Hill to three lucky winners!
GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS: Open to US shipping addresses only. Three winners will each receive a paperback copy of The Forever Christmas Tree by Sandra Hill. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Avon Books. Giveaway ends 6/9/2019 @ 11:59pm EST. CLICK HERE TO ENTER!
About the Author
SANDRA HILL is a graduate of Penn State and worked for more than ten years as a features writer and education editor for publications in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Writing about serious issues taught her the merits of seeking the lighter side of even the darkest stories.
Lone Star Book 2
by Gerry Bartlett
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Lyrical Liaison
Publication Date: June 4, 2019
Scarlett Hall followed a job and a friend to Texas, but that cost her more than she’d bargained for. Now, wounded but determined to get past one of the worst days of her life, she decides she has to pull herself together. First step: cover up the physical scars left from her ordeal. That’s easy. But the emotional scars are proving harder to handle.
Then she meets Ethan Calhoun. This bad boy seems ready to make his own changes and might be just what she needs to start a new chapter in her life. When he offers her a job as manager of his new bar, she decides to go for it. A change of pace and a hot guy who makes her forget her troubles while she’s in his arms are a great cure. But it soon becomes clear that danger will be in Scarlett’s life no matter how many changes she makes. As Scarlett comes face to face with her worst nightmare, it seems happiness was just an illusion. Maybe Texas is just too much trouble.
Breathe. Turn the lock. She flipped the dead bolt and waited. Someone jiggled the knob, but it held. God. God. She sagged to the floor. Safe. Please let her be safe.
“Are you all right?” A man’s voice came from across the dark room.
No, she was not all right. What had she done? Locked herself in with him. Scarlett searched for a weapon. Shit. She didn’t even have her shoes.
“Calm down. I’m not going to hurt you.” He was coming closer.
“That’s what they all say.” Scarlett jerked her cell out of her bra. She’d started keeping it there after the attack. “Don’t come any closer. I’m calling 9-1-1.”
“And say what? That you broke into my bar?” He was too close. He hunkered down in front of her. “Ethan Calhoun. How can I help you?”
“You own this bar?” Scarlett hit reality. Hard. He was right. What was she doing here? She tried to catch her breath, her heart stuttering as she looked around. She stared at the long wooden bar across the room as she tried to regulate her breathing. The room was empty except for the man who just sat there, still too close. She wanted to shove him away. Common sense finally returned as she gripped her phone and realized he wasn’t making a move, just staring. Of course, she was acting crazy.
“Yeah, I do. Something scared you. Do I need to go outside and kick some butt?” He still hadn’t moved.
Scarlett checked him out. Tall, good-looking, a little young, but not too young. He looked like he could enjoy some butt kicking but would prefer something more civilized in his vintage rock band tee and jeans. She waited, still breathing in and out, her heart finally settling down. If he tried anything that screamed danger, she had her fingers on her phone. But he just sat there, patient and, damn it, kind. She finally made a decision.
“You can buy me a drink.”
“That I can do.” He stood and held out his hand. “Usually, it’s no shoes, no service, but I’ll make an exception if you tell me your name.”
“Scarlett Hall.” Scarlett took his hand and let him pull her to her feet.
“I have to warn you, I’m a head case right now.”
“Honey, I’m way too used to those.” He pulled her to the bar, then walked around and put two glasses in front of her. “Name your poison.”
“Tequila. I’ve had a rough day. Rough month, rough year.” She sighed. “Told you I was messed up.”
“Then you’ve come to the right place.” Ethan smiled and poured them each a splash of top-shelf tequila. “I think I’ve lost my mind too. Never owned a bar before. Now here I am probably about to lose my shirt. Moved to Austin because I loved going to college here. It’s a common thing with Texas exes.” He picked up his glass, waited for her to pick up hers, then clinked it. “Here’s to crazy.”
“Crazy.” Scarlett threw back the shot. She wasn’t about to turn to alcohol to solve her problems, but she liked Ethan’s smile and that was a start. She needed her purse and her shoes. She had to go back and apologize to Casey. And she wanted that damn tattoo. She shook her head when Ethan offered her a refill.
“No, I’ve got to go back next door.”
“To Casey’s? You getting a tattoo?” Ethan walked her to the door.
“If I can find my nerve.” Scarlett looked around. The only light came from the dusty windows and a laptop on the bar. No furniture yet, so obviously he wasn’t ready to open.
“Want me to hold your hand?” He grinned.
Scarlett could imagine that. For the first time since the abduction, she didn’t want to throw up a stop sign as soon as a man showed interest. And Ethan was definitely interested.
“No, thanks. This is something I have to do myself.” She handed him her phone. “Can I call you if I need moral support?”
Lone Star Book 1
A million-dollar idea. A city girl in the country. And a man who brings out her wild side…
Anna Delaney is thrilled to leave Boston for Austin, Texas, when her small tech company is bought out by a conglomerate. Born into a family of over-protective brothers, this is her chance at true independence—and a name-making professional breakthrough.
Even when gorgeous billionaire rancher King Sanders forms a one-man welcoming committee, Anna insists that she doesn’t need a tour guide—or another bodyguard. But after she narrowly escapes a kidnapping attempt, she can’t say no to King spiriting her away to someplace safe…and very private.
Someone wants the valuable software Anna’s developing, and King is determined to keep her safe until the culprit is caught. The hunky cowboy lights her up brighter than the Lone Star sky at night, but neither one of them is prepared for just how wild Texas can get—and just how hard they’re willing to fight to stay together…
Gerry Bartlett is a native Texan who lives halfway between Houston and Galveston. She has an antique business on the island and in Alvin. When she's not treasure hunting, she loves heading to the Texas capitol of Austin where she attended the University of Texas. She's managed to set most of her Real Vampires series there and now a new Lone Star Suspense series, coming in November. She also loves writing about her hometown of Houston in her contemporary Texas Heat series.
She lives with Jet, a whippet, who keeps her company when she's at the computer. Gerry collects cookbooks, but rarely cooks, and little boxes that she brings back from her travels. She also has a weakness for purses and posts pictures of her latest finds on Pinterest. When she has time, Gerry loves to read just about anything with a happy ending. Check out her reviews on Goodreads.
This former elementary school teacher is lucky enough to have more than twenty published novels. You can read more about Gerry at http://gerrybartlett.com and sign up for her newsletter there for news and giveaways. There are also dozens of articles for aspiring authors on her website under the Perils of Publishing tab. Once a teacher, always a teacher. Whether it's contemporary or paranormal, Gerry Bartlett writes romance with a Texas twist.
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From NYT and USA Today bestselling author Julie Ann Walker comes an epic tale of sacrifice, friendship, and the awe-inspiring power of love.
Maggie: Ten years ago, Cash Armstrong stole my heart. Then he promptly joined the army—dragging my best friend with him—and left me crying on the front porch in a red sequined prom dress. Now he's back. They're both back. Cash, the one who still has my heart. And Luc, the one who saved my life.
Cash: How do you know if you’re at the end of the beginning or the beginning of the end? That's what I've been trying to figure out since a traumatic brain injury made me "unfit to serve." I'm back in New Orleans, and picking up the shattered pieces of my past means I must confront where my life's journey began... and where it all might end.
Luc: Long ago, Maggie May was mine. Not mine in the way you might think. She was mine because she was my only friend. Then Cash came along and we became brothers by something stronger than blood. We became brothers by choice. When tragedy struck, I was forced to make a decision that changed all our lives. I thought, after ten years, it was safe to come back home. I was wrong...
The “In Moonlight and Memories” trilogy debuts July 1st!
And always remember, “The greatest of loves can begin in the simplest of ways...”
The IN MOONLIGHT AND MEMORIES trilogy
by NYT and USA Today bestselling author, Julie Ann Walker, is finally live!
Readers are calling this series, “breathtaking,” and “a love story for the ages.”
To celebrate, Julie Ann is doing three giveaways.
Read on to discover how you can enter to win!
1) Enter to win this adorable New Orleans-inspired coffee mug
(in honor of the setting of In Moonlight and Memories)
by signing up for Julie Ann’s occasional newsletter
(The winner will be randomly selected on Friday, July 5th, and contact via email.)
2) Enter to win a $100 Amazon gift card by posting about the
In Moonlight and Memories trilogy on one of your social media accounts.
Be sure to tag Julie Ann on Facebook @julieannwalkerauthor,
or on Twitter @JAWalkerAuthor,
or on Instagram @julieannwalker_author.
(The winner will be randomly selected on Friday, July 12th,
and contacted via the social media post.)
3) Enter to win a $200 Amazon gift card by leaving reviews
for the In Moonlight and Memories trilogy at any of the major retail sites
like Amazon, B&N, Kobo, iBooks, etc.
All honest reviews count, the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Simply take a screenshot of your reviews or grab the links
and email them to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, July 21st.
(The winner will be randomly selected on that day and contacted via email.)
A little about Julie…
Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Julie grew up in a house full of women – she has three older sisters. As you can imagine, there was no lack of drama… or romance. Her mother enrolled her in a book club as soon as she began to read and it was the small spark that ignited her voracious appetite for the written word.
Because of Julie’s early immersion in literature, she found writing came quite naturally. In high school, she won multiple writing contests and was the proud senior editor of The Tiger’s Tale – her school newspaper.
During her college years, however, she longed for a challenge. “Reading and writing felt like second nature to me, so I looked for a way to flex my mental muscles,” she recalls. After receiving a Bachelor of Science degree, Julie began teaching advanced high school mathematics.
“I loved working with the students and facing the challenges of the classroom, but I longed for the occasional snow day when I could race to the local book store, buy two or three new novels, and curl up in front of the fire to read.”
It wasn’t until a fortuitous move to Chicago that Julie once more returned to her first passion.
Now Julie loves to travel the world looking for views to compete with her deadlines. When she’s not writing, she enjoys camping, hiking, cycling, cooking, petting every dog that walks by her, and… reading, of course!
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Welcome to Hope Bay, a small Australian seaside town where dreams come true, some souls come to mend, some to start again, and family and friends mean everything. Be prepared to laugh, cry, and live!
Working at the local GP Practice was a new beginning for RN Emma. Then along came her new boss, and suddenly her peace of mind - shaky to start with - was thrown into turmoil. Not only does she find him attractive, but she has a secret - a secret that could have unpleasant consequences.
Why, oh why, did he have to come along now?
Shane was instantly bowled over by the pretty, curvy nurse, and not just because she knocked him off his push bike at their very first meeting. It’s going to take more than charm to win this woman’s heart, but he’ll do whatever it takes.
He hadn’t planned on using her cat to get to her, but a man’s got to do what a man’s got to do.
But when he discovers her secret, will he believe her…or will any chance at new beginnings and love turn to ashes?
This story hit me directly to my heart and mind, on several occasion I laughed until I cried and then laughed again. The tale is whimsical and sassy, it ardently embraces life, and I miss the world she created after the book was over. These, Angela Verdenius' stories, are the books that cheer me up, inspire, and take away from any book-slump I fall into.
One of the reasons I love these books so earnestly is the characters. They are just like us, they have faults and weaknesses, they have curves and scars, they have succeeded and failed, they live normal lives in a small town community that knows them, embraces them as they are, and gives them a good, solid ground to grow to be the best version of themselves.
Emma and Shane have an unexpected and rather funny meet-cute, yet the chemistry is immediate, and the connection between them is not only on a physical level, but they also want to get to know each other as colleagues and friends. I adored how the relationship developed, how they found their way to each other, and how Emma's secrets were resolved. It felt real, it felt genuine, and the way Shane won Emma over both cracked me up and made me swoon.
The group of friends Emma and Shane are part of is a hoot. They made me laugh out loud with the cheeky banter yet through it all comes clear the love they have for each other and how they would be willing to do anything for each other, protect each other if needed.
The author provides a dictionary to those who struggle with the Aussie slang. That is very considerate of her, though I have always been able to figure the words out from the content they are in. The books are easy to read and enjoy, I don't feel any cultural or language barriers while reading them.
A heartfelt tale of love, life, family, and friends. A story that delivers laughs, smiles, tears, and feels while inspiring and encouraging to make most out of life, to dare to fall in love, to accept ourselves as we are, and embrace the environment we live in and the opportunities given to us. A story that genuinely, earnestly delivers positive vibes and message of acceptance while entertains. Yes, I loved it!
~ Five Spoons!
The Lemon Sisters by Jill Shalvis
Genre Adult Contemporary Romance
Publisher Avon Books
Publication Date June 18, 2019
Brooke Lemon has always led the life she wanted, wild adventures—and mistakes—included, something her perfect sister, Mindy, never understood. So when Mindy shows up on Brooke’s doorstep in the throes of a break-down with her three little kids in tow, Brooke’s shocked.
Wanting to make amends, Brooke agrees to trade places, taking the kids back to Wildstone for a few days so Mindy can pick up the pieces and put herself back together. What Brooke doesn’t admit is she’s just as broken . . . Also how does one go home after seven years away? It doesn’t take long for Brooke to come face-to-face with her past, in the form of one tall, dark, sexy mistake. But Garrett’s no longer interested. Only his words don’t match his actions, leaving Brooke feeling things she’d shoved deep.
Soon the sisters begin to wonder: Are they lemons in life? In love? All they know is that neither seems to be able to run far enough to outpace her demons. And when secrets surface, they’ll have to learn that sometimes the one person who can help you the most is the one you never thought to ask.
Brooke sighed. If there was one thing you could say about the Lemon sisters, it was that they were night and day. Oil and water. Apples and oranges. But here was the thing—night and day melded together twice every twenty-four hours, oil and water could be forced to work together with a good shake, and apples and oranges were still both fruit. “What if I take the kids away for a few days?” she heard herself say. “You could stay here and relax.”
“Where would you go? To Wildstone?”
The thought brought a burst of hope and an equal burst of gut-wrenching anxiety. To go to Wildstone, she’d not only have to face her past, but the consequences of that past. “I was thinking maybe Disneyland. I’ve got some free passes. Perks of the trade.”
Mindy looked so hopeful it hurt. “You’d do that for me?”
Damn, she’d really been a crappy sister. “Yes. Now go to sleep. We can make plans in the morning,” she said, hoping this whole meltdown thing wasn’t contagious. Once again, she wrestled the wine away from Mindy’s hot hands and set the bottle on the dresser. Then she pulled off her sister’s sneakers and eyed the rest of her clothes.
“How comfortable are those yoga pants?”
“They’re my skinny-weight ones. But since I’m not at my skinny weight, they’re not comfortable at all.” Mindy paused. “I’m not even at my medium weight. I’m the heavyweight champ right now, but I threw away all my heavyweight clothes.”
“Because my skinny-weight self is a complete selfish bitch who thought I had more control than I do,” Mindy wailed.
“You’re not fat, you’re just . . . easier to see.” Brooke tugged off Mindy’s leggings and set her hands on her hips. “I get that life sucks right now, but that’s never a reason to wear granny panties. Like, ever.”
“My skinny panties give me wedgies.” With a sigh, Mindy turned on her side and curled up in just her T-shirt and granny panties.
Brooke spread a blanket over her.
“But the kids,” her sister said, eyes already closed. “I’ve gotta make sure the kids brush and floss and clean up...”
Mindy infamously micromanaged everything and everyone around her because she hated surprises. Brooke was the opposite. If you asked anyone who knew her, they’d say she was the free bird, the wanderlust spirit, the . . . well, the crazy one.
They had the crazy part right, especially given what she was about to say. “I got them. Just sleep.” And please God, wake up like your usual calm, unruffled bitch self . . .
“Thanks,” Mindy murmured. “I owe you one.”
“Wiiiiiiiipe meeeeeeee!” Mason bellowed.
With a sigh, Brooke headed down the hall to save the kid, thinking she was going to have no problem not falling for these kids after all.
About Jill Shalvis
New York Times bestselling author JILL SHALVIS lives in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill’s bestselling, award-winning books wherever romances are sold and visit her website for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.
★★★ NEW RELEASE ★★★
JUSTIFIED by Jay Crownover is available now!
The New York Times bestselling author of the Marked Men series delivers an "emotional, unforgettable" (Lori Wilde) romance about a rugged Texas sheriff who must protect the woman who was once his sworn enemy...
Case Lawton comes from a family of criminals. So as the sheriff of Loveless, Texas, he's determined to do everything by the book--until he's called to Aspen Barlow's office after a so-called break-in. The last thing he wants to do is help the woman who cost him custody of his son. But Aspen isn't the heartless lawyer Case remembers, and he starts to question his long-held grudge...
Aspen is scared for her life, and Case is her last hope for protection. But to get him on her side, she'll have to reveal the painful truth from all those years ago. Now, as they work together to track down a dangerous criminal, Case and Aspen learn to trust each other. And as the threats escalate, it becomes clear there's a thin line between love and hate... because there's nothing Case wouldn't do to keep her safe.
➜ B&N: http://bit.ly/justifiedBN
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Jay Crownover is the international and multiple New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men Series, The Saints of Denver Series, The Point Series, Breaking Point Series, and the Getaway Series. Her books can be found translated in many different languages all around the world. She is a tattooed, crazy haired Colorado native who lives at the base of the Rockies with her awesome dogs. This is where she can frequently be found enjoying a cold beer and Taco Tuesdays. Jay is a self-declared music snob and outspoken book lover who is always looking for her next adventure, between the pages and on the road.
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Today we have the release week blitz for Shelly C. Alexander’s It’s In His Song!
Check it out and be sure to grab your copy today!!!
Title: It’s In His Song
Author Name: Shelly C. Alexander
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: A Touch of Sass, LLC
Publication Date: June 24, 2019
They’re both back in Red River for good, and the chemistry is stronger than ever. But will her secret tear them apart all over again?
Dylan McCoy is restless to take over Red River’s favorite watering hole—Cotton Eyed Joe’s—when his Uncle Joe retires. First, he’s got to prove he has what it takes to carry on Joe’s legacy. Finally able to put the painful scars from his days working in L.A.’s trendy music scene behind him, he sets out to host a weekend workshop for songwriters. He calls in a favor and lines up some of the biggest musicians in the biz to attend. Life is good. Until the business owners who occupy the commercial space next door threaten to ruin his establishment right before the rock star lineup of attendees are scheduled to blow into town.
Hailey Hicks left Red River six years ago with a secret. Now—as a seasoned hairstylist who’s made her own way in the world—she’s back in town to help her cousin expand her salon. Unfortunately, the renovations aren’t going as planned and draw fire from the saloon next door. When she comes face to face with her ex, Dylan McCoy, sparks fly. Can they mend the damage done because of how they parted ways? Or will her secret cause them both to get burned again?
“I like the look of this place. It’s very swanky.” The modern design of chrome, white, and black gave it a chic look. “Doesn’t really fit Red River’s norm, but it seems to work.”
“Kind of like your long hair. If you want the norm, you’ll have to see if Bill’s Barbershop has any openings.” Hailey had him lean back, and she turned on the water. It gurgled to life. She stood over him, holding the sprayer in one hand and testing the water temperature with the other. “The earrings aren’t the standard look around here either.” She finally looked him in the eye. “I only remember one earring when we…” She hesitated. “Before you left for L.A.”
“The other earring was an addition once I moved to the West Coast. It was a thing there.”
She stayed rooted in place and didn’t move again.
“What?” He scrunched his brows.
“I saw all the things happening for you as a new face in the music world. The tabloids went crazy over every move you made.” She focused on his hair, went to touch it, then froze. Her fingers lingered a fraction above his head.
“You read about me?” He couldn’t help it. He really couldn’t. He had to ask. Had to know if she’d been thinking about him.
“No.” Her gaze snapped to his.
“Then why is your ringtone one of my old songs?”
She blanched. “That’s one of your songs? I had no idea.”
Bullshit, but whatever.
“I saw the magazine covers while I was standing in the checkout line at the grocery store,” she said.
“So, you read what those covers said about me?” Now he was just teasing her for fun. How could he not? Pink tinged her cheeks, and he wanted to brush his fingers across them to feel the warmth.
“They were a little hard to miss. Every rag in the country put you on the cover for a while.”
“Don’t believe everything you read.” The stupid shit that had been printed about him when he was still with the band, then after he left L.A. and headed back to Red River was so far from the truth that it had been too ridiculous to deserve a response. Which was exactly what he’d told any of the locals who’d been bold enough to ask.
“Interesting that I never heard much about you. You’re one of the few people no one knew much about in this town.” He studied her expression.
Something flashed in her eyes. She didn’t offer any information, so he left it alone.
She pulled her top lip between white teeth. Still hadn’t started washing his hair.
He let one side of his mouth quirk up into a sly smile. “It’s okay to touch it.”
Her pretty eyes turned to saucers. “Wh…what?”
“My hair. You look almost afraid to touch it, but it’ll be a little hard for you to cut it if you don’t.”
The muscles in her slender throat moved as she swallowed. “Oh. Right.” Finally, she dove in, running fingers through his hair and wetting it with the sprayer.
It felt spectacular. Stupendous. Shockingly sensual.
Shelly Alexander is the author of contemporary romances that are sometimes sweet, sometimes sizzling, and always sassy. A 2014 Golden Heart® finalist and a 2019 RITA® finalist, she grew up traveling the world, earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing, and worked in the business world for twenty-five years. With four older brothers and an older sister, she watched every Star Trek episode ever made, joined the softball team instead of ballet class, and played with G.I. Joes while the Barbie Corvette stayed tucked in her closet. When she had three sons of her own, she decided to escape her male-dominated world by reading romance novels and has been hooked ever since. Now she spends her days writing steamy contemporary romances while tending to two toy poodles named Mozart and Midge.
Connect with Shelly:
Website • Facebook • Instagram • Amazon • Goodreads • B&N • BookBub
I adore this series! Every time I start a new book by Delores Fossen I know I will be lost to the rest of the world for the duration. The world she creates, the characters that live there, they are filled with life and loving, and I just want to linger there, to enjoy each moment, treasure the clever usage of language, the inspiring, engaging stories, and fall in love all over again.
I loved the friendship and connection between rodeo rider Nico Laramie and his best friend, Eden Joplin. It is not every day you experience that kind of chemistry even in romance novels. Eden and Nico knew everything about the other, they were soulmates, friends, confidants, and they respected and cherished the other as such. And then in comes the heat, the physical attraction, the passion and oh man, they melt the pages of the book! Yes, the love scenes are detailed, and they are scorching hot, yet told with such a dose of humor and heart, deep feels and rich laughs, demonstrating the precious, loving connection between Nico and Eden, and I adored every moment of it.
But the book is not just about the ardent love story between Nico and Eden, even though there is more than enough material between these two as they start to try new things for Eden's blog!
In the mids of all the shenanigans and small-town drama, there are serious issues of infidelity, young adult pregnancy, and the possible consequences. There are issues of the wide range of care children experience on foster families, from being a blessing to the horrid abuse. These sensitive, delicate situations are handled with tender hands, and heartfelt, raw honesty. I admire how the author manages to bring light to the vulnerable social issues while presenting them in a way that touches our hearts yet makes us smile.
These are just a few of the reasons I adore this series and the unparallel way the author uses heat, heart, and humor to tell heartfelt, fervent tales of everyday people in an engaging, inspiring, and uplifting way.
This story took me for a wild Texan style emotional, entertaining, captivating, and most of all delightful ride through dark valleys, and bright pastures, absolutely a marvelous tale!
~ Five Spoons!
Some Like It Scandalous by Maya Rodale
Series The Gilded Age Girls Club
Genre Adult Historical Romance
Publisher Avon Books
Publication Date June 18, 2019
They are sworn enemies…
Theodore Prescott the Third, one of Manhattan’s Rogues of Millionaire Row, has really done it this time. The only way to survive his most recent, unspeakably outrageous scandal is marry someone respectable. Someone sensible. Someone like Daisy Swann. Of all the girls in Gilded Age Manhattan, it had to be her.
Pretending to be lovers...
Daisy Swann has plans and they do not involve a loveless marriage with anyone. But when a devastating family secret threatens to destroy her standing in society, suddenly a fake engagement with Theo is just the thing to make all her dreams come true.
And now it’s time to kiss and make up…
Daisy Swann aspires to sell cosmetics that she has created, but this brainy scientist needs a smooth talking charmer’s flair for words and eye for beauty to make it a success. Before long, Daisy and Theo are trading kisses. And secrets. And discovering that despite appearances, they might be the perfect couple after all.
About Maya Rodale
MAYA RODALE began reading romance novels in college at her mother’s insistence. She is now the bestselling and award winning author smart and sassy romances. She lives in New York City with her darling dog and a rogue of her own.
SIDE CHICK NATIONby Aya de León
A Justice Hustlers Novel
Publication Date: June 25, 2019
Genres: Adult, Romantic Suspense, Urban Fiction, Feminist Crime, Standalone
Meanwhile, New York-based mastermind thief Marisol already has her hands full fleecing a ruthless CEO who’s stealing her family’s land in Puerto Rico, while trying to get her relatives out alive after the hurricane. An extra member in her crew could be game-changing, but she’s wary of Dulce’s unpredictability and reputation for drama. Still, Dulce’s determination to get justice draws Marisol in, along with her formidable Lower East Side Women’s Health Clinic’s heist squad. But their race-against-the-clock plan is soon complicated by powerful men who turn deadly when ex-side chicks step out of the shadows and demand to call the shots . . .
Praise for Aya de Leon and her novels --
“Staking out space for women of color in the heist-fiction genre, Aya de Leon’s smart, sly writing is a knockout.”
–Andi Zeisler, Bitch magazine
“This well-written and enjoyable installment in de Leon’s unique, feminist, urban crime-fiction series . . . infuses satisfying power in both plot and character.”
--Booklist on The Boss, STARRED review
Water flooded the storage space as Dulce slept. It seeped through the metal slats in the pull-down door. It pooled on the concrete floor. It rose around the mattress where Dulce was sleeping. Although she was not exactly sleeping, more like in a stupor or a spell from the cocktail of rum and marijuana. It dulled her hearing, so she didn’t startle with the shrieking winds and battering rain, and thudding of broken branches against the building. It dulled the panic she would have felt—alone in a storage space where she was living illegally. In a hurricane. And nobody knew she was there.
Water seeped up, turning the mattress into a giant sponge. Soon her back was wet. The crisscross of her racerback tank top, the cotton shorts. The moisture soaked into the fabric, even above the surface of the water she lay in. Inch by inch, the line crept up her feet, her beautifully painted blue toenails, the sides of her arms and legs and torso. It saturated her hair, destroying the remains of the blowout she’d been trying to conserve. She had sweated out the roots, but the tips of her hair had stayed somewhat straight, even in the humidity. She’d kept it up in a ponytail over the last few days, so the ends didn’t erupt into tight curls from the sweat on her back and shoulders.
But now, the water rose just above the mattress, soaking her hair, and it bloomed into springing curls all around her head.
Still she slept.
It wasn’t until the water seeped into her ears that her body moved at all, beyond the rise and fall of her chest. Her shoulder flinched with the moisture tickling her ear canal, but it didn’t wake her. First one side, then the other, as her head was slightly tilted on the mattress. No pillow. But then both ears filled and the tickle was gone. Her body stilled again in sleep. The now full canals dulled the howls of the storm.
The flooding outside was anything but gentle, yet the water could only seep in through the slats in the metal door, and the crack at the bottom above the cement floor. So the water level rose slowly. It crept up gently along her neck, her jawline, her cheekbone. The water sidled up tenderly, like a lover.
Dulce slept, like a maiden awaiting a prince, awaiting a kiss.
Yet she slept on when the water first touched her lips. Only when it began to drip into her mouth did she truly stir. The water, pooling in the back of her throat and making it impossible to breathe properly now. The prince had come. The rescuer on his horse. The discoverer. The pimp.
She flashed back as the water choked her. She recalled his hands around her throat, the bruising press of fingers against skin and muscle and tendon and windpipe. As the floodwater of the hurricane trickled delicately into her throat, her body recalled the searing pain of constricted breath. The scrabbling panic of asphyxiation, her heart was hammering frantically, as if it needed to escape her body to survive. Then the half-blackout, feeling her body slump to the floor, wincing with the sharp press of his boot toe as he delivered a single kick to her hip.
Her hip was soaked now in the floodwater, the left hip. Her pelvis was tilted slightly, and her left side pointed down toward the sodden mattress. Her right side was slightly raised, the hipbone jutting above the waterline like a disappearing island of brown skin, as water pooled between the tops of her thighs.
Yet she could feel that the real threat was at her throat. Again.
Like that other time, her pimp had sent one of his thugs to kill her. The man had a knife at her throat, as a few dozen women and some of their kids looked on in horror. She had been standing outside the shelter on the icy Manhattan ground in only socks, numb with terror, unable to feel the freezing concrete beneath her feet. Again, the press at her throat. The knife threatening not only skin and muscle and tendon and windpipe, but now her carotid in jeopardy, as well.
More water trickled into her throat, and she coughed weakly, her gag reflex still kicking. And with the gagging, part of her brain began to register the fact that her life was in danger. Some fight or flight response activated her tongue, dragging it into action to spit some of the water out.
Her life was in danger. Her body struggled to wake, but couldn’t quite push through her half-sleeping stupor, in which the unbidden memory bloomed in her mind like a nightmare. The time she’d been fool enough to go back to her pimp. And he’d thrown her against a wall. Paint and plaster crashing into her back and shoulder like a drunk driver. When she staggered to her feet, he’d choked her. His thick fingers were more insistent than ever, despite her own hands, gripping his wrists, digging her fingernails into his skin, trying in vain to open the vise of his oppositional thumbs. Yet it was her own grip she could feel loosening as she began to lose consciousness.
That had been Dulce’s breaking point. The moment she decided to leave him for good. Or rather, she passed out fearing she might die, but deciding to live if she found she had a choice.
That same resolve woke her inside the storage unit.
She sputtered to life, coughing through a burning throat. In total darkness, completely soaked. Her body was sluggish and disoriented with the marijuana and the residuals of rum. She tried to lift her head, but her hair was unexpectedly weighed down with water.
Slowly, through the chemical fog, she rolled to her side. As if in slow motion, she dragged an arm beneath her, propping herself up on one elbow, her mouth fully above the water line.
She coughed hard and gagged, suddenly vomiting. Yet the retching made her a bit more lucid. Even in the total darkness, she was able to orient herself, to make sense of the bizarre combination of mattress and moisture, screaming winds and crashing thuds.
Storage space. Hurricane. Flooding. Fuck.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning, or otherwise without written permission from the publisher. It is illegal to copy this book, post it to a website, or distribute it by any other means without permission.
Dawn Michelle Hardy
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