Sunday, February 16, 2020

Hero's Haven by Rebecca Zanetti (Dark Protectors #11)

Hero's Haven

My Rating: 4 stars
Written by: Rebecca Zanetti
Series: Dark Protectors (Book 11)
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Lyrical Press (January 21, 2020)
ISBN-10: 1516107527
ISBN-13: 978-1516107520
Genre: Paranormal Romance

He’s her darkest fantasy. . .

After years of struggling, Haven Daly has finally accepted that she’s nuttier than a fruitcake. Why else would she see visions of a beautiful but tormented male every night . . . and actually believe she can talk to him, even feel his touch? But thanks to those dream journeys, she can paint images nobody else on earth can duplicate. In each brush stroke, she captures the blatant masculinity and raw desire in his eyes that promise he’s coming for her…and soon.

She’s the light that keeps him going. . .

Quade Kayrs has already suffered a lifetime of pain and torture. Completely isolated, he kept his sanity thanks to one beautiful female, a vision with kind emerald eyes. In the end, her soft voice led him out of hell. Now, naked and alone, he’s in a strange world that bears little resemblance to the one he left behind. All he knows is Haven. All he wants is Haven. His final mission? To protect her from the evil hunting them both—whether she likes it or not . . .

Hero's Haven (Dark Protectors #11)Hero's Haven by Rebecca Zanetti

Hot and sizzling sexy, Hero’s Haven takes the reader on amazing paranormal romance ride.

Quade is a sexy, uber protective, alpha male. Stuck in an alternate world, for a crap ton of years, Quade has suffered a bleak and torturous existence. So, he is certainly due some happiness.

Haven has been having visions for years. Hiding from her crazy as heck adoptive parents, who want to cleanse her sinful soul, Haven has been on the run until she comes face to face with one of her impossible visions…Quade.

Rebecca Zanetti writes a great paranormal romance. The chemistry sizzles and the relationship build at a great, believable pace… And, Quade and Haven make a wonderful couple that you can’t help but get behind. There was an intensity between these two characters that just can’t be denied and with their pasts, you didn’t doubt they were meant for each other.

Eleven books in, and this series is still going strong!

I received this copy of Hero's Haven from Kensington Books - Lyrical Press. This is my honest and voluntary review.

Blood and Ash by Deborah Wilde (Jezebel Files #1)

Blood & Ash
My Rating: 5 stars
Written by: Deborah Wilde
Series: The Jezebel Files (Book 1)
Paperback: 314 pages
Publisher: Te Da Media (January 10, 2020)
ISBN-10: 1988681359
ISBN-13: 978-1988681351
Genre: Urban Fantasy

Cold-blooded kidnappers. Long-lost magic. When things get serious, she goes full Sherlock.

Ashira Cohen takes pride in being the only female private investigator in Vancouver. With her skills, her missing persons case should be a piece of cake.

She wasn’t counting on getting bashed in the skull, revealing a hidden tattoo and supernatural powers she shouldn’t possess.

Or the bitter icing on top: a spree of abductions and terrifying ghostly creatures on a deadly bender.

And don’t even get her started on the golems.

Reluctantly partnered with her long-time nemesis Levi, the infuriating leader of the magic community, Ash resolves to keep her focus on the clue trail and off their sexual tension because WTF is up with that?

But with a mastermind organization pulling strings from the shadows and Levi’s arrogance driving her to pick out his body bag, can Ash rescue the captives and uncover the truth or will the next blood spilled be her own?

Blood & Ash (The Jezebel Files, #1)Blood & Ash by Deborah Wilde

Ash is a private investigator in an alternate magically touched Vancouver. She is funny, smart and a spit fire that speaks her mind, when it comes to something, she is passionate about…and she is non-magical. Or at least she was, until she is conked on the head and a magical tattoo is revealed.

Levi is the leader of the Nefesh, magical beings, in the Vancouver area and is also the bain of Ash’s existence. They seem to clash all the time so when he starts noticing Ash’s new found abilities, she is hard pressed to convince that she just wasn’t hiding them this entire time.

Ash’s mom leads an anti-magic activist group and she has no idea what her mother will do when she finds out she is magically inclined.

Ash’s roommate and best friend is Priya. She is a computer wiz that assists Ash with research she couldn’t otherwise acquire without Priya’s mad skills. Ash must lean on Priya to assist with her new magical circumstance, uncovering the mystical blood magic, and to help her find her ex-client before its too late.

Blood and Ash is a fantastic, new, kick butt heroine, urban fantasy series that I’ve already fell for hook, line and sinker!

I received this ARC copy of Blood and Ash from Te Da Media. This is my honest and voluntary review. Blood and Ash is set for publication Jan. 24, 2020.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Nameless Queen by Rebecca McLaughlin

Nameless Queen

My Rating: 4 stars
Written by: Rebecca McLaughlin
Age Range: 12 and up
Grade Level: 7 - 9
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers (January 7, 2020)
ISBN-10: 1524700266
ISBN-13: 978-1524700263
Genre YA | Epic Fantasy | Teen Read

Barnes & Noble:

One girl must make a name for herself--or die trying --in this royal fantasy where an unknown peasant becomes the ultimate ruler. But how long can she keep the crown if everyone wants her dead? Perfect for fans of Furyborn, Red Queen, and Everless.

Everyone expected the king's daughter would inherit the throne. No one expected me.

It shouldn't even be possible. I'm Nameless, a class of citizens so disrespected, we don't even get names. Heck, dozens of us have been going missing for months and no one seems to care.

But there's no denying the tattoo emblazoned on my arm. I am queen. In a palace where the corridors are more dangerous the streets, though, how could I possibly rule? And what will become of the Nameless if I don't?

Nameless QueenNameless Queen by Rebecca McLaughlin

NAMELESS QUEEN was a slow building tale but by then end I found myself utter hooked! Highly original, wonderfully executed and it kept me guessing until the end.

I received this ARC copy of Nameless Queen from Random House Children's - Crown Books for Young Readers.

A Queen in Hiding by Sarah Kozloff (The Nine Realms #1)

A Queen in Hiding

My Rating: 4 stars
Written by: Sarh Kozloff
Series: The Nine Realms (Book 1)
Paperback: 496 pages
Publisher: Tor Trade (January 21, 2020)
ISBN-10: 1250168546
ISBN-13: 978-1250168542
Genre: Epic Fantasy

Orphaned, exiled and hunted, CĂ©rulia, Princess of Weirandale, must master the magic that is her birthright, become a ruthless guerilla fighter, and transform into the queen she is destined to be.

But to do it she must win the favor of the spirits who play in mortal affairs, assemble an unlikely group of rebels, and wrest the throne from a corrupt aristocracy whose rot has spread throughout her kingdom.

A Queen in Hiding (The Nine Realms, #1)A Queen in Hiding by Sarah Kozloff

I devoured Sarah Kozloff’s Nine Realm series from start to finish. Gifted with the an ARC read and review opportunity of all 4 books, I hung up the DO NOT DISTRUB sign and battened down the hatches to find myself utter sucked into a world of magic and a battle for the crown!

With all epic fantasy, it takes some time to develop and create a believable fantasy world. A Queen in Hiding was our introduction to Kozloff’s world so some time and attention is needed to really become attached to the large cast of characters and their plights.

Queen Cressa is attacked in her own castle/home. She escapes with her daughter, Cerulia, a princella whose magical abilities have never been declared and concerns that she might be a magical dud. Knowing that someone or all of her court has betrayed her, Queen Cressa leaves Cerulia in the hidden care of farming family on the outreaches of her kingdom. Cressa takes to the sea, trying to reach her family for support while Cerulia is left to be raised as a commoner, with no one knowing of her true heritage except Cerulia herself.

What a great start to an amazing new world! I really did read straight through every book in this series with little sleeping!

Utterly Addictive and ruthlessly enthrlling!

I received this ARC copy of A Queen in Hiding from Tor Books - Macmillion. This is my honest and voluntary review. A Queen in Hiding is set for publication Jan. 21, 2020.

A Longer Fall by Charlaine Harris (Gunnie Rose #2)

A Longer Fall
Charlaine Harris
FRONTLIST | January 14, 2020
9781481494953, 1481494953
$26.99 USD, $35.99 CAD
Fiction / Fantasy / Paranormal
320 pages | Announced 1st Print: 100K
Series: Gunnie Rose


In this second thrilling installment of the Gunnie Rose series, Lizbeth Rose is hired onto a new crew for a seemingly easy protection job, transporting a crate into Dixie, just about the last part of the former United States of America she wants to visit. But what seemed like a straight-forward job turns into a massacre as the crate is stolen. Up against a wall in Dixie, where social norms have stepped back into the last century, Lizbeth has to go undercover with an old friend to retrieve the crate as what's inside can spark a rebellion, if she can get it back in time.

Number one 'New York Times' best-selling author Charlaine Harries (Sookie Stackhouse mysteries and Midnight Texas Trilogy) is at her best here, building the world of this alternate history of the United States, where magic is an acknowledged but despised power.

A Longer Fall (Gunnie Rose, #2)A Longer Fall by Charlaine Harris

A Longer Fall takes place in an alternate history world of Charlaine Harris making. With all of Harris’ world building its complex and masterfully done. The former United States has fallen victim to foreign governments that have taken back chunks of territories that they previously held.

Rose, a Gunnie for hire, has taken a position protecting a trains cargo. When the train is derailed and most of the crew dead, Rose finds herself in Sally, where Eli Savarov shows up to help her. Rose has no idea what she was protecting but it must have been important and very dangerous because she finds herself facing the Russians.

Eli and Rose pretend to be married as they sift through the players of Sally and who might be behind the murder and theft of the protected item. With magic there is mayhem and with mayhem there is danger all around.

I enjoyed A Longer Fall. Harris provides a twisted tale of deception, sexual chemistry and lots of dining. Guess they needed a lot of fuel to help with their sexual interactions. I did think the ending was abrupt but left me wonder what will happen with Rose next.

I received this ARC copy of The Long Fall from Gallery / Saga Press - Simon & Schuster. This is my honest and voluntary review. The Long Fall is set for publication Jan. 14, 2020.

Dingo by Harley Wylde Blitz and #Giveaway

Harley Wylde
(Devil’s Fury MC)
Published by: Changeling Press
Publication date: February 14th 2020
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Meiling – All I’ve ever known was pain. My life has been far from a fairytale. No parents. No friends. Just an endless nightmare that I can’t wake from. Until the day a man offered me his hand and promised to keep me safe. I’ve never trusted anyone before, but there’s something about him. Maybe it’s insane, but I know he won’t hurt me, and when he puts his arms around me, for the first time in my life I feel loved.
Dingo – I’ve always had a soft spot for women and kids in trouble. One look at Meiling, and I knew I had to protect her at any cost. The beautiful girl with the wounded soul. After all she’s suffered, all I want is to make her smile, make her feel secure, and give her a chance to find happiness. But first, I need to take out the men and women responsible for hurting her. It might get ugly, and messy, but they don’t call me Dingo for nothing. I’m a crazy bastard and I won’t stop until she’s safe. I just didn’t count on falling for her along the way.
Warning: Meiling’s past isn’t pretty. Dingo and Meiling’s story deals with issues of human trafficking, bureaucratic corruption, and vigilante justice. This book contains darker themes that may trigger some readers.
“Sit right here, sugar. I’ll get Beau to make you something to eat.”
Once I made sure she would stay put, and the others would remain at their table, I went to the bar and spoke to Beau. He kept watching Mei, concern for her evident by the haunted look in his eyes and his jerky motions. It was like he wanted to go to her, but wasn’t sure how she’d take it. I’d never seen him like this before, and I wondered if there was something more between them. My stomach churned at the thought, which was ridiculous. I’d only laid eyes on her today. It wasn’t like she was mine.
“Is she… will she be all right?” Beau asked. “I didn’t know she was in that place.”
“She’s important to you,” I said, hoping he’d offer up more information. All I knew was that he’d known Mei when he was younger. He hadn’t given us much more when he’d asked the club for help getting her away from the Ruby Slipper.
“Mei’s a part of my past, but I never should have left her. Maybe if I’d found a way to go back for her, then she wouldn’t have ended up…” He clamped his mouth shut, but I heard the unspoken words just the same. She wouldn’t have become a prostitute.
“Beau, you can’t blame yourself. When you came here, you were just a kid. Hell, you’re still a kid. If you’d gone after her, who’s to say you wouldn’t be the one whoring yourself out?” I said what I thought he needed to hear, but it made me wonder if he was right. Had Mei ended up where she did because he’d left her behind? What exactly had he been running from?
He winced and looked away, but it made me wonder about his life before he found the club. Or rather, before Grizzly found him. The old man did have a habit of bringing home strays. It’s how he’d ended up with his daughters, and I had no doubt that when he ran across another kid who needed help, he’d bring them home too. It was just his way. It was part of what pissed me off so much about how they’d handled Mei when she’d arrived today, and why I’d intervened when I did. I still didn’t know what the fuck was going on. I’d have never thought Demon or Grizzly would be like that with a woman in need.
“She needs food and clothes,” I said. “You handle the food, and I’ll send someone after some clothing for her.”
“I don’t think she has money for that kind of thing.”
I narrowed my gaze at him. As if I’d expected her to pay? It was obvious she’d been struggling, and had taken a trip through hell along the way. I wasn’t a big enough asshole to make her pay for stuff she hadn’t even asked for, and the fact Beau thought that made me want to put my fist through his face, but I refrained — for Mei’s sake. I still didn’t know how close the two of them had been, and I didn’t want to upset her.
“Just make the fucking food, Prospect.”
He dropped his gaze and gave a nod before heading into the kitchen. I motioned over another Prospect and reached for a piece of paper and pen from behind the bar. I scribbled Mei’s sizes and made a few notes of specifically what I wanted him to purchase, then pulled out a wad of cash from my wallet.
“Henry, I want you to take this and buy what’s on the list. Not a damn thing that isn’t on there, understood?” I asked, handing him the money and paper.
“Got it, Dingo.” He shifted from foot to foot. “Where do I take it once I get back?”
I looked over at Mei and then the officers at the table. The way Demon watched her had me clenching my teeth. No fucking way I was letting her out of my sight. Well, not unless they ordered me to hand her over, and even then, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to. She was young and defenseless. Some caveman piece of me demanded that I beat my chest and warn the others off, let them know she was mine. Except she wasn’t.
“Bring it to my place,” I said.
“You got it.”

Author Bio:
Harley is the international bestselling author of the Dixie Reapers and Devil's Boneyard series.
When Harley is writing, her motto is the hotter the better. Off the charts sex, commanding men, and the women who can't deny them. If you want men who talk dirty, are sexy as hell, and take what they want, then you've come to the right place.
Harley Wylde is the "wilder" side of award-winning science fiction/paranormal romance author Jessica Coulter Smith. For fans of Gay Erotic Fantasy Romance, Harley/Jessica also writes as Dulce Dennison.
Check out Harley's other books, and read some random facts about the author, at
Follow Harley on Amazon to be notified of new releases, or sign up for her newsletter.


Friday, February 14, 2020

#Cover Reveal - Unspeakable: A Queer Gothic Anthology by Celine Frohn

Unspeakable: A Queer Gothic Anthology
Edited by Celine Frohn
Publication date: February 28th 2020
Genres: Adult, Gothic, LGBTQ+
Unspeakable features eighteen Gothic tales with uncanny twists and characters that creep under your skin. Its stories feature sapphic ghosts, terrifying creatures of the sea, and haunted houses concealing their own secrets. Whether you’re looking for your non-binary knight in shining armour or a poly family to murder with, Unspeakable showcases the best contemporary Gothic queer short fiction. Even dark tales deserve their time in the sun.


Out of the Darkness by Jane Blythe & Amanda Siegrist (Conquering Fear, #2)

Out of the Darkness
by Jane Blythe

My rating: 4 stars

Series: Conquering Fear - Book 2
Publisher: Jane Blythe & Amanda Siegrist (February 21, 2020)
Publication Date: February 21, 2020
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Print Length: 208 pages

Don’t turn out the lights. Anything can hide in the dark.

Some childhood fears follow you into adulthood. Detective Jade Hawkins is smart, reliable, and successful at her job. At least that's what she'd like everyone to believe, but, in reality, she leaves a tiny piece of herself with every victim of every case she works. She's starting to wonder whether one day she will run out of pieces of herself to give, but when a case has her needing the expertise of a friend, she may realize that what she's been searching for could have been right in front of her all along.

Miles Thomas isn’t shy to admit he’s an expert in computers. Women, on the other hand—that’s an entirely different story. When his friend Jade asks for help in her latest murder case dissecting the victim’s computer, he doesn’t hesitate. He loves computers; they’re his forte, but he also can’t deny Jade anything because he likes her way more than a friend. If only he had the nerve to tell her. He might be shy to admit his feelings, but he refuses to back down when he sees how much Jade truly needs him—no matter what he has to do.
Out of the Darkness by Jane Blythe & Amanda Siegrist
(Conquering Fear, #2)

Out of the DarknessThe Geek and the Detective, a match made in heaven or will it be the monster from hell who brings them together? Jade and Miles are neighbors but when a serial killer case gets personal, these two find out what a great team they make on the field and Miles proves he is more than a techno geek when Jade needs him most.

OUT OF THE DARKNESS by Jane Blythe and Amanda Siegrist is pure Jane/Amanda all the way with tons of emotional baggage, a shadowy monster lurking near and a race to bring justice to his victims while staying alive, themselves. Both authors' voices come alive in harmony!

If you like to get inside the heads and hearts of your heroes and heroines, this one is filled with the turmoil that lay just below the surface, proving that everyone has their inner demons and insecurities that drive them. A sweet, budding romance practically jumps off the pages, but in the end, will it blossom? High energy, high emotions!

I received a complimentary ARC edition from Jane Blythe & Amanda Siegrist! This is my honest and voluntary review.

The Sweet Spot by Cassie Cross Spotlight Tour


Today we have the blog tour for THE SWEET SPOT by Cassie Cross! Check it out and grab your copy today!

Sweet Spot ecovers


Author: Cassie Cross

Genre: Contemporary Romance

About The Sweet Spot:

Lexie James spent years dreaming about opening her own bakery. She’s invested every penny she’s ever saved—and some other peoples’ pennies too—into making that dream come true. The Sweet Spot is thriving thanks to her dedication and penchant for perfection, but she’s lonely and Hunter, the gorgeous guy who owns the gym across the street, is a nice distraction. Hunter Elliott is Lexie’s high school crush. The timing’s never been right for the two of them, but when he notices that all work and no play makes Lexie a stressed-out overworked mess, he stages an intervention. He’s determined to show her that she can be successful and have a life. First, he needs to help her find that sweet spot between business and pleasure…

Get Your Copy Today!

TSS Banner - Available Now! TSS Instagram Available Now

About Cassie:

Cassie Cross is a Maryland native and a romantic at heart, who lives outside of Baltimore with her two dogs and a closet full of shoes. Cassie’s fondness for swoon-worthy men and strong women are the inspiration for most of her stories, and when she’s not busy writing a book, you’ll probably find her eating takeout and indulging in her love of 80’s sitcoms.

Connect with Cassie:

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Finding Forever by RJ Gray, Rachel Blake Blitz and #Giveaway

Finding Forever
Rachel Blake, RJ Gray, Stella Moore
(Blushing Books Publications)
Publication date: February 10th 2020
Genres: Adult, Mystery, Romance
Three sisters, separated at birth, identical down to their DNA. For over thirty years, they lived without knowledge of the each other’s existence until one fateful night changed everything.
Now, a new revelation is testing the bonds of their relationships. Hidden family secrets and broken promises threaten to tear them apart and destroy the family they’ve just begun to build. And it’s not just their relationships with each other on the line.
Can they work past their differences and face these trials together? Or will these three sisters become nothing more than strangers who happen to look alike once again?
Publisher’s Note: The conclusion of the Missing Pieces saga contains mystery, secrets, and a theme of power exchange.
Previous books in the series:
Rowena turned back, resting her chin on the duvet. “I need this. We need this connection.” Hiding her smirk in the blanket, she let the next words fall from her lips, “Do your worst.”
His first spank connected as his chuckle bounced around the room. “Be careful what you wish for.” He focused first on her right cheek, smacking the same spot until she started to squirm and whine before moving to the left to give that cheek the same treatment.
When he paused, she clenched her cheeks. She knew her sit spot were about to receive the same treatment only to be followed by her thighs. “Bear?”
“Yeah, sunshine?” Without words, she held the hand that wasn’t pinned to the side of her body back. “Need some help, baby?”
“Please.” She relaxed as soon as his long fingers wrapped around her wrist securing it to the small of her back. “Okay, I’m ready now.”
Octavius continued his assault as she knew he would. It didn’t take nearly as many smacks on her sit spots to get her squirming this time, but he didn’t stop. Instead, he gave them the same treatment as he did her full ass.
It was when he moved to her thighs that the struggle to stay still became all too real. Gone, was the good girl who wanted him to hold her hand for comfort; in her place, was the wife who suddenly wasn’t so sure she wanted or needed this spanking.
“You have your safeword. Use it or settle down, baby.”
The final word he spoke broke her. Tears she had previously thought all cried out raced down her face. “Stop calling me that. Fucking stop.” A bitter laugh left her lips as a particularly hard swat connected, her reprimand for the curse. “I can’t give you a family, I sure as hell don’t deserve the pet name.”

Author Bio:
Rachel Blake:
I have been writing since high school, but truthfully never thought it would go any further than a few short stories hidden deep within my laptop. It wasn't until my family moved away from everything we knew that I started writing stuff worth sharing. Now, my husband, three kids, our plethora of animals, and I live in the Midwest. When I'm not running around like your stereotypical soccer mom (sans the minivan) I am writing the type of stories I have always secretly treasured. Love stories with a sexy alpha male and a strong submissive female.
RJ Gray:
RJ Gray romanticizes life with a slightly kinky mind. She resides in Virginia with her husband, two young sons and naughty beagle lab puppy. Her hobbies include whipping up delicious meals, capturing life's beauty with her camera and spending time in the strong arms of her husband of fifteen years, Bomb Dom.
RJ brings her over two decades of experience in BDSM and domestic discipline to the page, writing books with dominant alpha males and feisty, stubborn females. RJ holds college degrees in both social work and criminology, topics that can often be found in her novels. Having spent the past fifteen years married to a military bomb technician, RJ has a passion for military and veteran causes.
Stella Moore:
Stella has been writing spanking fiction off and on for years, but she's just recently taken the plunge into writing full on novels. She is from the school of "write what you know", and her husband is always willing (sometimes too willing!) to assist with any research she needs.


Shipley’s Secrets by Jen Simmons Blitz and #Giveaway

Shipley’s Secrets
Jen Simmons
Publication date: December 10th 2019
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Growing up in foster care, Malcolm has never known his birth family. The first twelve years of his life is riddled with trauma and abuse. His only dream in life is to make it to eighteen years old so he can join the military and change his fate. When Malcolm’s placed in the care of a new foster home, he meets Adler and Sal. Three boys having grown up with no family, no connections and no hope of a steady life, they find something in each other they never thought they’d have. Family. After a horrific trauma occurs in this new foster home, Malcolm, Adler and Sal are thrust into uncertainty and an indefinite separation from each other. That is, until an unlikely savior steps in.
Trauma brought three boys into the lives of the Keating’s. The love they carry as brothers will guide them into the life they’re meant to have. Their shared dream of joining the military just a short time away. Loyalty to each other and their newly built family is the glue that binds all those dreams together. But with loyalty and the need to protect each other, comes secrets.
Clara has had her own fair share of trauma. After a life altering event, Clara vows to move on with her life and be happy despite all that is stacked against her. When she meets the mysterious Malcolm, her curiosity about him leads her to an unlikely turn of events. And a life she never expected. Which way will her heart sway? Will the path it takes tear apart a brother’s bond?
Will all the secrets kept between these lives break the loyalty of this family?
Standing up straight and looking into the mirror, I see Sal standing behind me, wet from a shower. His chest is bare with the exception of a thin silver chain, a cross attached and dangling from his neck. The only thing he has on are gray track pants, hanging low on his waist, showing the perfect shape of his toned hips and slender build. The definition of muscle from his chest to his stomach as it makes its way down his body has my mouth watering. God, he’s perfect. He has a towel in his hand, the motion of drying his short hair halted at the sight of me in his bedroom. His dark eyes burn into mine. I can feel his stare all the way to my toes. Those familiar goose bumps are back and covering every inch of my skin. Without breaking eye contact, I explain my intrusion into his personal space, “I…I um, the door was open.” He looks over at the door then back at me. Heat rises up my neck and I feel it coloring my cheeks. I turn to face him, my face red with embarrassment. The tension is heavy that I came in without being asked and found him half naked. “You said you wanted to talk to me? Before I left.”
He doesn’t say a word, just walks towards me and puts the towel onto the chair next to his bed. As he passes me, he lays a hand on my waist. Sal pulls me closer to him as he turns. His arms wrap around my waist and I’m surprised at the intimate way he hugs me. Sal holds me tight, like he’s missed me. It’s strange but feels so good. His hand moves up my back and rests on the back of my head. I sink deeper into his arms. My hands come up to rest on his chest, my cheek pressing against him just below his neck. He holds me as if I’m cherished, as if I belong here in his embrace. Inhaling deep, I’m lost in the sweet scent of sandalwood, sawdust and fresh cut grass. He pulls away from me a little, just enough so that our bodies still touch. His forehead comes down to rest against mine. My eyes are closed, and I can feel his breath against my lips. I don’t move, I don’t breathe. Sal removes the band holding my braid at the base of my spine, releasing my unruly hair. I exhale the breath I’m holding as his hands separate my braid section by section. He slightly pulls on my hair as he climbs his fingers up toward my scalp. The curls surround me, the smell of lavender from my conditioner overtaking his scent. He rubs my scalp, keeping his forehead against mine. It’s the best feeling. The tenderness of my head from the heavy braid easing a little from his attention. His hands move around to my neck, his thumbs caressing my jaw. His voice is like gravel when he finally speaks. “You. Are. So. Beautiful.” Each word he says as a statement, with so much passion behind each word. “When I’m around you and I can’t hold you like this, I can’t breathe.” He lays a kiss on my forehead, then each of my cheeks. “I want to take you somewhere. Will you go somewhere with me, tomorrow?” His hand now rests on my cheek. The look in his eyes makes me feel needed. Wanted. I can’t believe that so quickly I would feel this safe and secure with Sal. Just knowing that no matter what he asks of me, I won’t deny him.

Author Bio:
Jen was born in San Diego, California and was raised in Lubbock, Texas. Jen's life took her into a career of nursing. In 2008, she earned her Registered Nursing degree and began caring for patients in a fast-paced Intensive Care unit. Her dreams led her to obtain an undergraduate degree in Nursing followed by a Master's degree in Nursing Leadership and Organizational Management. Jen has always loved reading and books. The idea suddenly came to her one day to sit down and start writing Shipley's Secrets. The process at first, was a release from the busy day to day life of a Registered Nurse in healthcare management.
Jen's inspiration to finish and self-publish came in the form of encouragement and love from her husband Jason. Jen gets her inspiration from authors like Pepper Winters, Jamie McGuire, and Colleen Hoover. Jen hopes that the inspiration from writing Shipley's Secrets will inspire her to keep writing in the young adult and contemporary romance realm.
Jen likes to read, write and watch movies in her free time. Any chance to drink champagne and eat pasta, she jumps on. Jen lives in Northern Colorado with her husband Jason, daughter Alyssa and their dog Lady Simmons.