Risking it All
Hidden Falls #3
By: T.J. Kline
Releasing May 2, 2017
Andrew McQuaid wasn't always the local playboy. Once upon a time, he wanted to spend the rest of his life with one woman-Gia Mancuso. When he made a mistake and lost her, he decided he wasn't meant to have a happy-ever-after. Now, Gia's come back to town, with a baby in tow, and it might just mean a second chance at forever, if he can convince her that he never stopped loving her.
Ten years after leaving, Gia finds herself back in Hidden Falls. Between helping her ailing father save the family restaurant and taking care of the baby her sister left on her doorstep, she doesn't have time for the man who once broke her heart. But Andrew is all grown-up now, in every single way. And the part of her that has always been his can't quite say no to his tempting kisses.
Just when Gia begins to open her heart, a devastating secret emerges that threatens to destroy her family and any future with Andrew. Are they doomed to repeat the mistakes of their past or can Andrew convince Gia that she's always been his one and only?
Jealousy, enviousness, and spite in one person can change the path of everyone around them. The blindness of the loved ones can able them to keep spreading the resentment and hateful attitude. But Gia's sister, Lorena, she took it all to a new level of evilness, that made the story so realistic, too realistic at times, with the knowledge that people like her do actually live amongst us. The lies, the hatred, the manipulations, it was a never ending spiral that seemed just escalating.
Gia's mom's support of Lorena and her attitude towards Gia and Andrew made the matters even worse like there was no hope to ever solve the family drama and issues around the restaurant.
Andrew was a true hero, I really liked his character. He was honest, straight forward, responsible, considerate, and a sweet and tender father figure. Even though being wrongly accused on many occasion, he kept going on, determined that the truth would come to the light, if Gia would stop for a minute and listen and truly communicate with him. Trust him, instead of her sister, Lorena.
I understand that growing up with a person like Lorena would make it hard for Gia to trust people, but she was supposed to know Andrew, love him, know how Lorena is, yet she was willing to believe her over him again and again. I wanted to shake her or wake her up so many times while reading the story.
Gia is a dedicated, loyal, hard working woman, who would do anything and sacrifice her own future to help her family, to support her father. And Lorena was taking advantage of this.
The story is a tale about forgiveness, about learning to trust again, about growing up, taking responsibility, and falling in love. I love TJ Kline's voice as an author, she gets the emotions going, they are real and raw, and I often feel like my heart is ripped in two while reading her stories, the heartache and angst are so tangible. She twines the tale so that my feelings goes from despair to hope with one little twist in the plot, taking for a ride not easily forgotten.
Risking It All is a touching and agonizing tale. My feelings were all over the place while reading it. I was invested in the future outcome of the protagonists, and I felt their confusion and pain. The deplorable actions of the bitter Lorena felt like too much at times, I needed a lot of sweetness and adoration to balance her actions and their effect on the people around her.
This story was impossible to put down until I found out about the future of the hero and heroine, the destiny of little Bella. The uncertainty and questions were kept alive through the story, yet there was a drizzle of hope and faith through all the turbulence, that love will win at the end. What a ride, indeed!
~ Four Spoons with a teaspoon on the side
The soft crunch of gravel jerked her upright as headlights bathed the interior of her car in white light, blinding her. Reports of women being carjacked, kidnapped, or murdered filled her mind, and she hurried to snap the buckle of Bella’s seat again. Dropping the bottle, she lunged forward, attempting to climb over the console into the driver’s seat to get the hell away from whatever killer might be approaching her car.
It took only a few seconds to realize how big a mistake she’d made.
Gia had always been well endowed, but she’d never expected her curves to get her stuck partway between her front and back seats. She wiggled, trying to twist sideways to make it easier to pull her forward. Gripping the edge of the steering wheel, Gia used it for leverage, tucking one knee under her as she tried to force herself through. It was no use. She was hopelessly stuck, now unable to move forward or back. She was a miserable excuse for a guardian and prayed her stupidity wasn’t about to end with her and Bella on tomorrow’s news, murdered on the side of the highway, mere minutes from their destination.
She craned her neck to see the flash of red and blue lights washing through the back window for the car as a thin white beam of light slashed through the window, into her eyes. She held up a hand, trying to make out any of the features of who she prayed was really a cop, even if it meant someone would witness her embarrassing predicament. The back door opened and Gia heard a deep rumble of laughter.
“What brings you back to town, Gia?”
Gia closed her eyes, wishing she could crawl under her car. How was it possible that after nearly ten years of avoiding him, she was now caught in this position by the one man she never wanted to see again, the same one who’d broken her stupidly naïve heart at nineteen?
“Andrew McQuaid,” she muttered to herself. He shone the light on her rear end, and irritation welled. “You think instead of ogling my ass you might actually help me?”
She felt the hands that had carried her to her first heights of ecstasy reach for either side of her hips. The same hands she’d sworn would never touch her again after she found out about that bastard’s cheating ways.
“Hey,” she squealed, trying to squirm away from his touch, willing herself to ignore the way her heart leapt into her throat. “What the hell are you doing?”
“Exactly what you asked me to do. I’m helping you.”
“Not like that!” She swung a hand at him, slapping her own butt in the process, but at least he let go of her.
“How exactly do you propose I help, then?”
“I don’t know. You’re the cop.”
Andrew laughed, still leaning into her car, bent over awkwardly behind her. “Honey, I really don’t see any other way.”
She glared at him over her shoulder. “Don’t call me that.”
“Fine.” Andrew moved into the car, practically sitting in the back seat, and slid one hand through an opening by her waist, in front of her bent knee. The other slid around her calf and managed to pull it out from under her. “There. I’m going to tip your right hip down, but you’re going to have to manage to twist your shoulders to fit… um…” He searched for a polite term he could call her boobs. “… the girls through,” he finished with a chuckle.
Gia felt the rush of heat flood her face. “Let’s just get this over with.”
Andrew’s hands closed on her hips again, practically cupping her right butt cheek in his palm. “Bend your right knee and I’m going to pull on three. One… two… three.”
Gia managed to twist her body as Andrew pulled her backward, and she slid through the space as if she’d never been stuck at all. Andrew dropped into the seat, carrying her with him. Gia landed in his lap with one of his muscular forearms under her breasts, the other hand cupping her inner thigh, sending a blast of heat between her legs. It was the worst reaction she could have ever imagine having.
Until she realized that hard ridge beneath her rear wasn’t his gun.
T. J. Kline was bitten by the horse bug early and began training horses at fourteen—as well as competing in rodeos and winning several rodeo queen competitions—but has always known writing was her first love. She also writes under the name Tina Klinesmith. In her spare time, she can be found spending as many hours as possible laughing hysterically with her husband, teens, and their menagerie of pets in Northern California. That is, when she isn't running around the California Gold Country researching new stories.
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