Gus

Gus (Bright Side #2) by Kim Holden

4.5 sticky note stars

“How do you go back to doing what you did before, when half of you is gone forever?”

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***Warning, there will be spoilers in this review for those of you who haven’t read Bright Side yet, so only read on if you have read Bright Side or are fine with spoilers. I warned you!!!***

Gus was a book I was hesitant to read as Bright Side shattered my heart. I HATE unrequited love and I cried so hard for Gus at the end of that book for being in love with a girl who he didn’t get a chance at forever with. So this book begins with Gus as an absolute wreck at the beginning. He’s on tour just after Kate’s death and he’s not handling it well at all. Losing himself in drinking, drugs and women he can barely function as a normal person throughout the day. It’s on this tour where Gus meets Scout, the personal assistant hired by his asshole boss. Scout is not impressed with Gus and his behavior, and she also doesn’t know why he’s acting this way so she sees him as a stereotypical rock star. Gus sees Scout as uptight, and even calls her Impatient because she’s barely patient with him.

“Some people wear their scars on the outside. Others wear them on the inside. Same difference. Your character, your heart, your essence, that’s what’s important, because that’s the real you. All the rest, our looks, the material stuff? It’s just meaningless bullshit.”

As the tour continues, the two strike up a tentative friendship but nothing more. Gus’s mom needs a new PA and Gus manages to get Scout the job. When he returns from the tour he discovers his mother let Scout stay with them in her house until she’s saved up enough for her own place. Scout begins to see that Gus is actually a really great guy, that he was just going through something horrible at the time. Slowly Gus begins to live life without Bright Side haunting him.

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While this book brought tears to my eyes, it was a hell of a lot easier to read than Bright Side was. I still have a hard time with that book, mostly because I cannot stand unhappy endings. This book was Gus’s redemption, his second life without his childhood sweetheart. Over time Gus was able to look back on Kate with happiness and not sadness. I loved the bromance between Gus and Keller; instead of resenting each other they chose to bond over their love of the same woman.

“You only get one chance at this circus called life. Don’t sit in the crowd watchin’ it happen. You jump right in and be the ringleader. That’s where you find your fire.”

I really liked Scout. She wasn’t the polar opposite of Kate, but I appreciated that she wasn’t the most positive person. Not that she was negative, she just saw life differently because of everything that happened to her. She hid so people wouldn’t see her scars, physical and emotional ones. The weight of the world was on her shoulders but she didn’t break, she just kept going and working hard.

I loved Scout and Gus together, the sticky notes scenes were among my favorites. The romance was a very slow burn and it worked for this book. No instalove, the two got to know each other before diving in. And it made it that much more special of a relationship when they did because it was something great that evolved into something even more wonderful.

I also want to mention what an amazing writer Kim Holden is. The entire book flowed so well, there wasn’t any moments where I skimmed or thought was awkward plot wise. Gus was an easy going guy, and the writing style fit with him. Low angst for those of you angst allergic out there. I expected a little bit of drama of Scout being in Kate’s shadow but that never happened and I’m glad, it would have never worked for the main characters if Scout didn’t feel secure in her relationship with Gus. She knew Kate was a part of what made him who he was and she embraced that instead of fearing it.

So it was easier to rate this book than the first. I’m so happy Kim Holden decided to write this book and give us Gus. If you loved the first book or wanted closure, this is the book for you!

“I think people find each other when they’re ready for them. When they need each other the most. And it’s in that time of need that the strongest relationships are formed.”

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The Truth About Him

The Truth About Him (Everything I Left Unsaid #2) by M. O’Keefe

4.5 Bedrock stars 
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This book was even better than the first! The Truth About Him picks up exactly where the first book left off. Annie and Dylan continue their relationship, and while Annie has opened herself up to Dylan, Dylan begins to build walls to keep Annie out. Dylan’s past has become his present, and all of the issues he has with his dad and his brother become reasons for him to leave Annie alone.

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What I hoped would happen in this book did, we got more character development for both of the main characters! I loved learning more about Dylan and Annie’s pasts because it led them to where they were in the present. The two also fought both of their survival and fleeing instincts and stuck together when everything in them was saying “run!”.

I like how this book and these characters weren’t about over the top drama. Yes they were in dramatic situations but I don’t feel like anyone exacerbated them. With the exception of the beginning with a bang, the circumstances surrounded the characters and affected them, but didn’t completely slam them. That make sense?

Anyways I read both of these books in one day and really enjoyed both of them. So get your one click ready to buy these two books!

ARC provided via Netgalley in exchange for review

Walk Through Fire

Walk Through Fire (Chaos #4) by Kristen Ashley

4.25 Chipotle stars

“Never give up. Never quit dreaming. Because dreams had a way of being. You just had to keep hold.”

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So so thrilled I was gifted with an arc. Ever since I read the blurb about this couple in the last book I have been dying to read their story, and Kristen Ashley does not disappoint.

On a regular day Millie decides to get a meal from Chipotle. While there she sees her ex Logan “High” in line ahead of her, precedes to freak out, run away and falls apart. Twenty years ago Millie and Logan had been in love, before she sent him away citing the Chaos motorcycle gang as the reason breaking both of their hearts.

For the last twenty years Millie hasn’t been living, she’s been going through the motions and merely existing. Millie’s real reason for sending Logan away is one that has haunted her the entire time, and now Millie decides she wants to tell this to Logan. Crashing a biker party, things do not go the way Millie intended, and she and Logan end up having explosive hate sex. But Logan has held onto his anger all these years for what Millie had ruined between them, and he wants nothing to do with her. At least, that’s what his head says. His body says otherwise.

“Nothing wrong with dreaming. But you got it right. Best way to dream is to do it, then earn it, no matter how that happens.”

Now we all know Kristen Ashley, what I just described above is only the tip of the iceberg of the story told here in this book. But because I don’t want to give away any SPOILERS (evil) I will not be saying anymore plot wise. I will say from this point on, the two go through some seriously hot hate fucking and Kristen Ashley decides to play tug of war with our heart strings. Simply brilliant, my favorite part of the book.

I did have a few moments like this:

—> especially when I found out how long it had been since Millie had had sex. Too long in my opinion, but you’ll have to read the book to find out and come to your own conclusions.

After the halfway point new issues and hurdles are tossed the couple’s way leaving them to navigate new territory for both of the MCs. This is also where the book gets a bit sweeter and mushier which I also like. But the second half of the book also turned into a stepping stone for the next book/conclusion of the series? and with that lost a bit of the charm that I loved in the beginning. To be honest I don’t give a hoot about the big bad they’ve been building up to and I tend to skim those parts.

I loved the cameos of the cats in the book. It’s obvious they were inspired by Ashley’s real life kitten duo (she’s got pictures on Facebook, look it up) and it made me even like cats for a little bit. But I don’t like cats I’m a dog person so let’s move on.

Millie and Logan are what I would call a timeless Kristen Ashley couple. Logan is a dominant man but not as much as KA hero’s in the past. He’s a man who lets things go when he needs to and it made him an amazing partner and father to his girls. Now while Logan is 44 and a little bit too old for me, I wouldn’t kick him out of bed.

And Millie was someone who suffered silently for years, I loved watching her come alive again when the love of her life came back to her. She’s one of those kind hearted people that would be irreplaceable if she was in your life. She’s devoted, loving and selfless and not one bit annoying (at least to me).

Also, I think this book is a great example of the power of Chipotle. One trip to that restaurant and it changed the course of a couple’s lives forever. So I say we all treat ourselves and get aburrito bowl from Chipotle. I’ll be sitting there getting fat and waiting for my dream biker man to come in.

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Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book:

“Never, Millie, don’t you ever hide or feel ashamed of the emotion you have for me, for us, for what we lost, for all we got back. Don’t ever do that. All a’ this is gonna be pain right along with pleasure. That is, until we work through the pain and got nothin’ but the good left over. And I swear to you, fuckin swear I’ll get us there.”

“We didn’t walk through fire only to get to the end of that and not get our reward. If we can walk through fire, baby, we can do anything.”

“Everyone’s got an endless capacity for love. Which means everyone’s got the shot at receiving an endless supply of love. Don’t matter who you give it to or get it from. Just matters you got a heart big enough to give it and a heart open enough to get it back.”

“I’d do it again for another moment like this. And again for a moment like I had over French toast with you and your babies. And again and again and again, for each night I get to sleep with you. No joke. No lie. I’d do it every day it was so worth it to walk through fire for you.”

ARC kindly provided by the publisher via Netgalley

Everything I Left Unsaid

Everything I Left Unsaid (Everything I Left Unsaid #1) by M. O’Keefe

4 “What are you scared of?” stars

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” ‘You are safe. I won’t hurt you, Annie.’

I think I’m already hurt, I think I’m bleeding and don’t even know it.”

I’ve never read anything by this author but when a fellow booklover pointed it out on Netgalley, I decided to try something new. And I don’t regret it. This book is nothing I expected it to be and I thoroughly enjoyed every second of it.

Annie has fled her farm home in Oklahoma and has taken refuge in a trailer park in the middle of nowhere. Annie left because she believed her abusive husband was close to killing her and she left to survive. Upon moving into the trailer, Annie finds a ringing cell phone and answers it. On the other end is the mysterious Dylan who knew the previous tenant. Even through the phone the two feel a connection with the other, and one phone call turns into a series of texts and more phone calls. Both of them have secrets and walls and it’s up to each other to break those walls down.

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In an overly saturated market of typical new adult stories, this one stands out among the others. It’s about two people who do not know each other forming a connection, both are lonely and don’t know how to ask for help. Annie is scared of her husband and Dylan has isolated himself because of his past and his family. The two of them find a wonderful escape in the other but know a realistic relationship is not possible.

People are not what they seem and secrets are the most prevalent themes in this book. Annie often reflects back to how her mother appeared in front of other people, but was really a nutjob behind closed doors. Her husband Hoyt had seemed like a nice guy but ended up horribly abusing her. Ben the old man in the trailer park seemed like a nice old guy, but has a dark past. Even Joan the stripper next door neighbor has some secrets.

I do feel like in this first book we really brushed over the main characters. By that I mean a lot of time was spent on developing their chemistry and not enough on them personally. For example I would really like to know the story of Dylan’s past, it’s such a huge part of him and it was somewhat skimmed over. Same with Annie, her husband and what he did was mentioned but there was no plan to move further than escaping.

Overall I really enjoyed this book and will happily continue to read more by this author. I will warn you all though, this book ends on a cliffhanger (that I saw coming but it was still good). Luckily the release dates show the second book will be released soon after the first. So no long wait time. Yay!

ARC provided via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Forever With You

Forever with You (Wait for You #5) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

5 stars!!

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I love Jennifer’s books, it’s pretty darn obvious. So when I met her in Vegas and received this arc I was on Cloud Fucking 9. I even started reading it on the drive back to LA that night! (but then it got dark so I had to wait). Even better this is Stephanie and Nick’s story!!!

So since I read this in July and am just now reviewing in September, I will do my best to do it justice.

Stephanie moved to a new town to start as an assistant at her dream job. One night she hits up the local bar where she meets sexy bartender Nick. Both of them indulge in a hot one night stand that leaves them wanting more, but neither one of them are willing to admit it, at least at first. As time goes by the two are drawn together by circumstances beyond their control, and they begin to explore the idea of a relationship together.

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It took me a moment but when I started reading I realized Stephanie had been present in the series all along, she even had some sexy times with our favorite heroes before they found their girls. I love that JLA took “the slutty girl” and instead of shaming her, showed us everything there was to know about her. Stephanie is a strong woman who enjoys sex, and she doesn’t feel shame in that. Yet there is also a vulnerable side to her that shows she doesn’t like being set apart.

Nick was kind of a dick at first (just a little bit) but Stephanie called him on his crap and I loved it. As the book went on I fell in love with Nick alongside Stephanie, because once he opened up and showed who he was on the inside, we all saw the sweet and wonderful man that he was covering up. I want a hot bartender of my own now!!!

As per usual, JLA brought out all of the feels in this one and it’s the reason I always turn to her books for something to read. Plus, this book can honestly be read as a standalone, reading the previous 4 books is helpful (and they are awesome so you should) but this book can be easily read on its own.

ARC kindly provided via author at the LoveNVegas book event

Undeniably You

Undeniably You by Jewel E. Ann

4 stars

“I love you … only you … always you … forever you.”

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Well that was an emotional rollercoaster. There were times when I was screaming at my kindle, moments when I was literally laughing out loud, and tears in my eyes. That’s the mark of a good writer and a good book.

Sydney is house-sitting and dog-sitting for her aunt and uncle in Palo Alto, California for a month before heading off to Paris for a year in pursuit of her dreams. In a weird twist of fate, Sydney meets Lautner in which she confuses him for the pool boy and quirkiness ensues.

Soon Sydney and Lautner finding themselves falling for each other when they meant to keep things light. And their newfound relationship has a deadline… which Sydney could change if she wanted to.

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This was one of the angstiest books I’ve read in a long time. Not my usual type of preferred angst as this was rife with misconceptions and instalove, but I still really liked it in the end. Both characters made mistakes but their intentions were always good and that’s something I admire in my romantic leads. No mind games, no asshole actions, just mistakes that changed the course of their paths.

Lautner was a really sweet guy. I kind of wish he was a little bit more bad but he still ranks high on the hotness scale. I love that he went after what he wanted with no qualms about it, knowing his lifetime of happiness was within reach.

Sydney. Oh Sydney. I normally have a very high tolerance for female leads but I wanted to smack my kindle over her head. For such a smart girl she was so dumb and infuriating!!! Her actions time and again were sooooooo off. She’s a lucky bitch for even landing Lautner in the first place!!

Anyways, rant over. Thanks to Stephanie and everyone who recommended me this book. Jewel, you got a new fan and avid reader in me!

Paper Hearts

Paper Hearts (Hearts #2) by Claire Contreras

4 stars!

“You only need one person to believe in you, even if that person is yourself.”

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**Note: Paper Hearts must be read after Torn Hearts (1.5) which is included in the ebook. Mia and Jensen were post high school sweethearts. When Jensen was an outcast Mia saw him for who he was and loved him. When Jensen left for New York to pursue his dreams he made a mistake that ripped him and Mia apart for years.

Five years later and Mia has accepted a photographer job in New York at the same magazine where Jensen works as a writer. Despite her every effort to keep him out, Jensen is determined to get himself back into Mia’s life. But Mia cannot bring herself to trust Jensen despite their feelings for each other, and soon it may be Mia breaking Jensen’s Heart.

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I love angsty reads and second chance romance and this book was the best of both of those worlds. On top of being a romance, this book focused on finding one’s own place in life as well as the importance of family. I loved Jensen, he knew he had messed up, but he didn’t give up hope that he would end up with his soulmate. His determination to get Mia back was everything.

Mia had her world broken apart so it was hard for her to sort out her feelings on everything. She wasn’t always the nicest person to Jensen, but after holding in her anger for five years she let it out. To be fair, he did somewhat ruin their planned future with each other and it devastated her. Once someone’s trust is lost, it’s that much harder to gain it back.

Claire Contreras is a very talented author. Every book I’ve read by her packs a bunch of feels and sends the reader on an emotional yet heartwarming journey. I loved her inclusion of real reader questions in the book, it added a level of authenticity that made the answers so much more genuine. I also loved all of the side characters, and I’m hoping for an M/M novella about the story of Rob and Juan Pablo. Please? Pretty please, Claire?

“I used to wonder what I would do if I had the chance to go back in time and right something. Would I take it? Would I look at it as a second opportunity, or would I just let it go, knowing the experiences I went through and learned from?”

Torn Hearts

Torn Hearts (Hearts #1.5) by Claire Contreras

4 stars

This book made me excited for Paper Hearts!!!!

After being in the minority with Kaleidoscope Hearts and rating it a 3, I’ve been apprehensive to read the next book and novella in the series. I love Claire Contreras and her There is No Light in Darkness books so I am always willing to give her books a chance.

Torn Hearts is the prequel to Paper Hearts and must be read first for a complete understanding of Mia and Jensen’s relationship. To be honest I don’t remember much from KH, so reading this was a fresh look at the two characters and their relationship. It reminded me a lot of Cole and Blake from her other books and that’s A-okay in my book, I loved that couple and their angsty relationship.

Mia and Jensen loved each other young but mistakes and life choices broke them apart, leaving one hating the other, and the other full of regret. Claire Contreras packed a lot of feels into 45 pages showing what an amazing author this woman is. Can’t say much more without spoilers, so onward I go to Paper Hearts!!!

The Fairy Godmother

The Fairy Godmother (Five Hundred Kingdoms #1) by Mercedes Lackey

3 Tradition stars!

“Once the blinders are off, it’s rather hard to go back to seeing things the way you used to.”

So, before I read romance I was a huge fantasy reader. And basically from the years 2000-2010 I was devouring anything Mercedes Lackey. She’s fantastic! In this newer series by her, she twists known fairy tales into new retellings and creates an interesting new premise.

When Elena (Ella Cinders) reaches the age of 21 she had lost hope that her prince (or any man) would come to her rescue from her evil stepmother and stepsisters. When she looks to the servant market to find work, she is picked up by a fairy godmother and recruited to a new cause. Because her prince was not appropriate for her (a good 10 year age difference 11 years of age versus 21), Elena’s Tradition never played out according to plan. But by becoming a Fairy Godmother she could help others affected by magic and Tradition.

“…for a country whose people ceased to believe in magic soon lost much of their ability to imagine and dream, and before long, they ceased to believe–or hope– for anything.”

This wasn’t my favorite book by Lackey but I enjoyed the premise and the idea of everything quite a bit. I loved the first half of the book but when Alexander came in I lost interest. And as a love interest you would think he’d be interesting (but he wasn’t). And the book was way too long, there were lots of parts that could have been edited out.

But I love Lackey’s writing style and her brain. I found it hilarious that the unicorns were like big dumb dogs in this and yearned to be petted by virgins. So dang funny. And Elena as a character was interesting but needed a bit more development.

So a great return to the fantasy genre and to Lackey, I will continue to read this series but this first book did not wow me like her other books have in the past.

Golden Trail

Golden Trail (The ‘Burgs #3) by Kristen Ashley

3 stars!

“If you are nothing else in this life, be wise, be compassionate, and be strong because those three are everything.”

The Burg series seems to be a hit or miss for me. I never made it through the first book, the second book was amazing, and this one I liked but didn’t love.

Golden Trail is the story of Tanner Layne and Raquel ‘Rocky’ Merrick. The two were in love at a very young age until Rocky left Layne with no explanation and left him broken hearted. Fast forward eighteen years and Rocky wants to help Layne on a case, so the two pretend being a couple. Very soon pretend becomes real and Layne is left worrying if Rocky will leave him again.

“Layne knew he was in love with her. Not only that, he’d never stopped loving her. Not once, not for a second, not for twenty-one years.
Fuck him.”

There’s not much to say, three star reads are the hardest for me to write because while I liked it, I didn’t love. It’s an average book. I found the POV of Layne only to be interesting but I would have liked something from Rocky. And after 18 years apart them getting back together seemed a bit anti-climactic for me.

I would have loved this book but plot wise it was all over the damn place and it was jarring. Plus it was waaaayyyyyyy too long. Some great emotional parts, but Kristen Ashley has done better *cough cough* Play It Safe was the same story with less time gap and done better *cough cough*

I still love The Queen of Romance Miss KA! Onward!

Purchase on Amazon

Thick Love (Review and Excerpt)

Thick Love (Thin Love #2) by Eden Butler
My review

4 stars!

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Thin Love was one of my top ten favorite reads from last year. Full of angst it had a storyline that ripped your heart out and fed it to you, and Eden Butler followed it up in exactly the same way.

Thick Love is the story of Ransom, Keira and Kona’s son, and Aly, a dancer at the studio of a family friend. When Aly left her home at the age of seventeen to escape what I consider and abusive situation, her father comes after her and a teenage Ransom was there to save Aly from him. It’s something Aly has never forgotten. Flash forward a couple years and the two are practically strangers. Aly leading dance classes and working long hours at a diner to make ends meet, and Ransom in his freshman year of college and playing football.

In the time since their encounter, Ransom has suffered the loss of his high school sweetheart, a girl he loved very much. Ransom is internalizing his pain, keeping everything locked up so tight that it’s driving him mad. The guilt consumed him and tore him apart, he was a silent mess for a long time and those around him worried about him.

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This book started out slow for me. With the previous book and novella by Eden Butler I was absorbed in the book right away so I was surprised when I was pushing myself to read a little but near the beginning. It picked up a lot more near the middle (once Ransom stopped frustrating me) and took off from there, so overall I really enjoyed reading this.

Aly was the best part of this book for me. I liked Keira in book one, but she was very shouty and emotional whereas Aly was the opposite. Yes she felt the same emotions but was used to maintaining a mask to survive her home situation so she had a more stoic presence. She also didn’t take Ransom’s shit, which was so amazing to read. I love strong female characters, and Aly had the perfect combination of strength yet vulnerability that made her perfect for Ransom.

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One thing that was mentioned out there in the ether is that Ransom was with other girls before he was with Aly and it was presented as a problem. Well, that doesn’t really bother me because he’s a teenager and teenage boys have a lot of sexual energy and it has to go somewhere. BUT, it’s also a double standard to try and call him out on that because Aly said in the book that she was with other men too, and didn’t want Ransom to judge her for it. So why would we judge him if we’re not going to judge her? I don’t find that fair. Plus, neither one of them were together so it shouldn’t matter anyway. But that’s just my personal opinion.

I’d also like to commend Eden Butler for giving the new adult genre a much needed mixed race couple. While I love the romance genre, it is so incredibly white washed which isn’t at all a great depiction of love as a whole. Our culture is a part of what makes us who we are, and I loved the different cultures Eden added into the book. I don’t think I’ve ever read a romance with native Hawaiian’s or Creole’s and she had both.

Finally, the epilogue. Well, based on the note Eden included at the beginning of the book I was fairly prepared for the ending. So I wasn’t too shocked by the ending but more like frustrated. I felt that epilogue didn’t follow the same path as the rest of the book and it didn’t fit the characters. Epilogue or no epilogue, I’ll read anything Eden writes so I personally think it didn’t need to be included, it’ll just make a lot of people mad. But it didn’t make me mad, just kind of disappointed.

So in a strangly logical rating from me, .5 stars taken away for slow beginning and .5 stars for the ending. Overall this was a great story, and Eden told it so beautifully. More people need to start reading her books asap.

ARC kindly provided by author in exchange for review

Synopsis
He doesn’t ask their names.
He doesn’t deserve to know them.
Ransom Riley Hale’s friends think his life is charmed: first string as a freshman on a championship-winning college football team. A father with two Super Bowl rings. A mother with platinum albums and multiple Grammies under her belt. But that brilliant shine on the surface hides the darkness beneath; it’s all Ransom has ever known.
Despite the shadows he walked in, once there was a blinding light fracturing the darkness. It brought the promise of hope and happiness. He’d been careless, filled with pride and stupidity and lost that light. Ripped it from the world.
Now, the shadows are dimming again. Aly King surges into his life threatening to pull him from the darkness. She is everything Ransom can never be again. Her light feels too warm, promises him that there is more waiting for him beyond the shadows.
But the shadows are relentless, resurfacing when he thinks he is safe, and Ransom knows he must keep Aly from them too before he pulls her down into the darkness with him.
Excerpt:
She offered me a quick glance, one that was closed off and guarded before she held her weight on her knees, shaking harder than ever, rubbing herself right against my dick. When she brushed her fingers across my face, over my mouth, Ilet her, didn’t pull away, forgetting that I wasn’t supposed to enjoy this. That I shouldn’t be touching her at all. “Beautiful,” I started, closing my eyes when her breath moistened my bottom lip and she rested further back, a low, satisfied moan leaving her throat when I lowered my fingers on her hips. The sensation was potent, made me drunk and I did what I wanted for once, what I needed. Ironside had gone. The window was covered with a dark curtain, but I still kept up the show. Only now, I wasn’t acting. This wasn’t a performance. “God…who…who are you?” No one had managed to make me want like this, make me crave like this in a long time.
But she didn’t answer. She was wrapped up in the music, letting it move through her as though it controlled her. The sounds she made, that sweet, eager groan from her throat when I breathed against her bare stomach was too much. I couldn’t help myself. Not for another damn second.
“Shit…I…” My mind spun and the confusion of feeling guilt and shame and lust and desperation had me stuttering, unable to keep my hands from stretching over her flat stomach. She didn’t stop me, didn’t protest when my fingers touchedthe top of her thong. “I need to touch you.”
Only for the night.
That’s all it would be. One night.
One moment, and fixating on that one small slip of time allowed my mind and my body to agree, for once, to forget that I shouldn’t feel this good, that I didn’t deserve this, that touching something this beautiful, this sweet, had almost destroyed me. She moved over me, exulting my senses, exposing emotions that I thought I’d buried deep, and for just those few sweet, obliterating minutes, a beautiful stranger made me feel what no one had since Emily.
“Lower, please” she asked and I was too caught up, too turned on
to deny her a thing or to stop myself from feeling what that small, breathy word did to my body.
I touched her. Fingers sliding under her slowly, gazing on her face when I pushed past that thong, to the warm, wet, so fucking sweet cleft of her pussy and yes, shit yes she gave back to me what I thought I’d lost, her trembling body weaving some kind of magic over my own that fogged my mind, had my hands gripping skin, my fingers clutching flesh, straining upwards to meet each grind of her beautiful body against me.
“There…yes.” And I let the dancer use me, her body over mine, rubbing against me, making me needy, desperate and all the while I watched her, headthrown back, fingers digging into my shoulders, while I touched her deeper than I had ever touched anyone ever before. We were senseless, lost to the communion of music, sweat, sensation all coalescing together, writhing friction that took me where I hadn’t let myself go since I was sixteen, and she breathed out into that dark room, hollowing her whispered pants until I couldn’t hear the music any more or the low hum of the overhead lights; until all that mattered were her soft breathy moans, and the deep groan of my voice mixed with the sensation of her searing heat, the smell of sweat and the labored realization that this beautiful woman I didn’t know was making me come.
Finally. Oh, god, finally… and I let go. I fuckinglet go against her and away
from everything that had held me back…
My gasp—shocked, overwhelmed—became a growling shout, louder than
hers, deeper and I only came back to myself when she shuddered, when the bite of
her fingernails left me blinking, understanding what had happened right as she came down from her own peak.
“Oh…oh God…” it was all I could manage, that level cry of surprise, confusion. “I just… God.”
She didn’t say anything.
Seconds passed with our breaths mingling, gazes focused, coming together just as reality broke apart the lost moments we had given ourselves instinctively, like it was usual, like it wasn’t some naked desperation that blinds reason, blankets thought.

I saw the question in her eyes, that desperate curiosity that choked down my own. What do you say? What do you feel when this happens with a complete stranger? There was a rush, a booming zip that began to fade just then. It had started the moment she came to me, the second I grazed my fingertips on her wrist. Now it was dimming, numbed by the awkward silence around us. Seconds lengthened with her damp skin, her heavy breasts resting in my hands and the wet, uncomfortable mess in my jeans making me feel as if I’d pissed myself.

“Um…” it was her voice that broke the trance and the discomfort came in a like soaking splash into that dim, quiet room. Behind that mask, her eyes were shut and the tremble in her hands then wasn’t from arousal. The stiff bearing in her shoulders returned and she sat up, eyes blinking and one small line crowded on her forehead.
“I’ll just…I can’t.” Then she exhaled, cleared her throat. “I’ll…go…” My hand fell away from her and that awkwardness felt thick, full as she stumbled off my lap before I could speak, before I thought I should stop her. She ran from the room leaving nothing behind but the echo of her heels against the hardwood floor and the heavy sensation of surprise and guilt thick in my mind.
Author Bio:
Eden Butler is an editor and writer of New Adult Romance and SciFi and Fantasy novels and the nine-times great-granddaughter of an honest-to-God English pirate. This could explain her affinity for rule breaking and rum. Her debut novel, a New Adult,
Contemporary (no cliffie) Romance, “Chasing Serenity” launched in October 2013 and
quickly became an Amazon bestseller. When she’s not writing or wondering about her possibly Jack Sparrowesque ancestor, Eden edits, reads and spends way too much time watching rugby, Doctor Who and New Orleans Saints football.
She is currently imprisoned under teenage rule alongside her husband in southeast
Louisiana.
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