Friday, 31 July 2015

REVIEW: Rook and Ronin Series by JA Huss

Here's another JA Huss series that I enjoyed quite a bit... This is the 2nd series that got me further on the Huss train. If you haven't picked up any of Julie's books, I say this is a good start.

Rook Walsh is TRAGIC 
Because life so far – just sucks. Some girls get parents. Rook got the foster care system. Some girls get Prince Charming. Rook got an abusive frog. Some girls get lucky… 
Rook got a second chance. 
And she took it. Because when fate throws you a bone – you grab it with both hands and run. 
Antoine Chaput knows the minute he spies Rook in his photography studio that she’s got The Look. The dark and desperate look he must have to land the exclusive TRAGIC media contract. 
Rook is paired up with top model, Ronin, and he’s everything her abusive ex-boyfriend wasn’t. Patient, gentle, happy, attentive, and sexy! He knows exactly what to do to make Rook blush for Antoine’s camera.

Rook’s luck changes in an instant and suddenly she’s the darling of the modeling world. It’s a dream job to go with a dream guy and all she has to do is look pretty and follow directions. But there’s always a price to pay – and Rook is about to get the bill.



(Originally posted on Goodreads)

I'll start by saying that Ms. Huss has hooked me in with her writing in COME from the Bend anthology, which prompted me to read the Rook & Ronin series. Then how I know further that Ms. Huss' writing works for me is with the fact that the MCs, Rook and Ronin, are typically too young a character for my taste, which I didn't realize until after I started, yet not only did I kept reading but I'm even really looking forward now to finishing this series and its spin-offs.

I think this is the first time that I actually liked such a young h in this genre. Why? Because for a change, I've read one in Rook who's strong, feisty, mature, and smart. What is becoming more apparent to me by each book is that Ms. Huss writes decent h. Thank god!

Now a young H can go either way for me, especially when it comes to how alpha they act. It's sometimes hard for me to buy into a young H's alpha-ness. With Ronin, not that I wasn't buying into his H status, but it was more like me taking longer to figure what his deal was. I don't want to say he was one-dimensional because he wasn't. There was just something about him that's not fully clicking with me yet. This is just a personal take, obviously.

So, you have a H&h with a sad history, meeting in a fortuitous manner, ended up working together in a relatively niche industry as they get to know each other better. I know the MCs' background and their story itself could have easily been ripe with too much angst but Ms. Huss didn't go there fortunately, I don't think. It ends almost like a stand-alone, to me anyways, or a HFN note as some would describe it.

If I may just point out one tiny thing, and this is not just about this story as I've read it in other books as well, but what is up with **SPOILER** the lack of protection use with these characters **END OF SPOILER**?!? I know this is just fiction, but seriously?... ok, rant over...

Anyhoot, can't wait to start the next one...

TRAGIC is over and Rook is ready for the future—Spencer Shrike and the STURGIS contract!

It’s three months of body art modeling! That means three months of Spencer Shrike’s paintbrush all over her body, three months in front of Antoine’s camera, and three months of twenty-four hour filming for Spencer’s Biker Channel reality show. 
Wait a minute…what reality show? Maybe she should’ve read that STURGIS contract a little closer? ;) 
Sure, Rook’s bank account is almost overflowing, but Ronin is angry, Clare is trying to escape rehab, Antoine is a worried mess, and Elise is just trying to hold everyone together. Her new family is about to fall apart before she even gets the chance to enjoy them. 
Add in a mysterious man from her past, a road trip to the famous Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, and a final show in front of the entire world where all her goods are on display, and you’ve got Manic—a new adult contemporary romance that will definitely make your summer sizzle!



(Originally posted on Goodreads)

This picks up shortly after the 1st book. There was Rook doing what she signed up for, Ronin trying to balance his commitments and Rook, then we have Spencer & Ford.

I felt there was hardly an arc to to the story until the last 25% mark which definitely made up for it. It was primarily Rook & Ronin trying to make their relationship work given Rook's special contract, against the interesting backdrop provided by Spencer & Ford, and the extra layers they bring with their dynamics. If I wasn't curious enough to find out about these boys' history for the good part of the book, my ears definitely perked up, so to speak, by the last 1/4.

It took me a while to finish this bk but that is more a reflection on me rather than the book. It's actually a quick read. The interactions kept me reading. I do wish the things I learned in the last 1/4 were introduced sooner and given more pages. But I guess I will learn more by book 3, hopefully. And that quick glimpse I got from Rook's past at the end, of course, got me wondering. On to the next one...

Rook is chasing her dream—film school and a chance at a life beyond the one she ran from six months ago. But before she can become the girl she wants to be, she must deal with the girl she left behind. 
Ronin is also chasing his dream—a family of his own and a life away from erotic modeling. And he too, has a past he’s trying to forget. A past that makes Rook question everything about their life together. 
Lies, secrets, and shocking truths will rock the foundation Rook and Ronin have built. Can they put the past behind them and move forward together? Or is this just another too good to be true relationship that will crash and burn in the end?



(Originally posted on Goodreads)

I finally managed to find the time to finish this series & so glad I did. In my head, this def made up for any small misgivings I may have had from the 1st 2 books. I finally got Ronin & liked him a lot. Then add those 2 other boys, Ford & Spencer, and you're looking at a nice specimen of a breed of NA H's. And I thought Rook just rocked it from beginning to end.

Now, on to Ford's & Spencer's story, woohoo!

NOTE: This series is now available as 1 omnibus.

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Thursday, 30 July 2015

BLOG TOUR: Still LIfe by AM Johnson

Title: Still Life 
Author: A. M. Johnson 
Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Type: Standalone 
Cover Design: J.E.B. Johnson 
Photography Credit: J.E.B. Johnson 
Published by: Blue Tulip Publishing 
Release Date: re release DATE JULY 21st


Loss... a word Elizabeth Haddington knows only too well. Despite the tragedies she’s endured, she’s been able to rise from the adversity she’s faced and begin her life again. Being a self­-assured and strong woman, she knows she doesn’t need anyone to make her whole.
Hate, pain, and twisted memories are all Sawyer Bryant’s ever known. He’d slowly lost who he was and what he should’ve become. His only escape was the military... Eight years later, as an ex­Navy SEAL, he’s forced to confront his father and their disturbed and violent past.
Then one day, his life is turned upside down, when he glimpses a woman singing in her car at a set of traffic lights. Thinking he’d never see her again, amazingly he finds her performing with her band at the local bar. This chance encounter brings these two lost souls together. Once Sawyer gets a taste of her melodic voice, there’s no turning back.
For Elizabeth, when she meets Sawyer... she realizes she’s fallen hard. But is this really love she’s feeling or does love build slowly over time?
What happens when fate turns things around on you, creates flashes you can’t turn from... moments that will shape your life?
They are faced with the choice of darkness surrounding them or to rid themselves of the guilt and pain and move toward the light.

This story is about life’s moments. How they can make you or break you, and one man’s hope that... Love, won’t judge him.

AmazonUS | AmazonUK | B&N | iBooks | Kobo


Amanda Marie Johnson was born and raised in Valrico, Florida. She’s now surrounded by mountains with her husband and three children in Ogden, Utah. She attended Weber State University and graduated with her A.S.N. She is a full­time registered nurse and works on the mother/newborn unit. Reading and writing have always been something she is passionate about. She loves to write about the human experience, love and happily ever afters. Still Life is her debut novel.

All images copyright © 2015 Concierge Literary Promotions. All rights reserved. Yeamake /

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Wednesday, 29 July 2015

EXCERPT REVEAL: Trapped (Caged, Book 2) by Shay Savage


Bizarre rituals on a remote island in Maine.
My crazy neighbor lying naked in the produce section of a grocery store.
The sting of a knife as it slices through my flesh.
Now I know why they say life is never easy.
The soft touch of Tria’s hand against my chest is the only thing that keeps me going, but there are consequences. As a fighter, I should be able to deal with anything life throws at me, but there is one circumstance I simply can’t handle.
I only have one coping mechanism: a tube around my arm and a needle in my vein.


Excerpt Reveal #2

Okay, maybe not everybody, but there had to be about fifty people milling around the trees. Some of them were setting up some kind of structure—the fucking altar, I guessed—in the center of the trees. It looked like it could have doubled as an OBGYN’s examination table. Others were walking near the tree line and placing flat stones around the perimeter of the clearing or lighting small fires around the area. As soon as all the rocks were placed, people were ushered to certain stones by two older women wearing dresses similar to the one Nikki had been wearing but with a lot less beadwork. There were only a few colorful lines down the sleeves. One of them with dark, narrow eyes came close and peered up at me.

“You the one with Demetria?” Her sour face made it clear she didn’t want me here. Her dry lips smashed together repeatedly as she spoke, making me wonder if you could actually grind wheat into flour between them. She had long gray hair in a braid that touched the back of her waist and skin that was wrinkled into layers around her face and neck.

I nodded, and she grabbed hold of my elbow tightly enough for me to feel it through my jacket. She hauled me over to the far side of the clearing and pointed to one of the rocks on the ground.

“Stand behind it,” she said.

When I had my feet in the exact position she wanted, she nodded once and started toward the next person.

“What am I supposed to do?” I asked her.

She turned her narrow eyes back to me and then glanced up and down my body once.

“Keep your dick to yourself,” she replied as she walked off.

“Nice,” I muttered under my breath.

I looked down at my feet and noticed there was a little shape painted on the top of the rock. It might have been a fish of some sort though the drawing reminded me of hieroglyphics more than an actual picture. Whatever it was, it had a swimmy little tail at the back end of it.

It occurred to me that it might be a sperm, and I took a step back from the rock.

Two young women approached me, and as I looked back and forth between them, I wondered if I was seeing double. They both looked exactly alike and were dressed in identical outfits. The clothing was similar to the dresses Nikki and the older women wore but were separate pants and shirts with beading on the sleeves and shoulders.

“So you’re the one, huh?” The vision on the left spoke.

They both eyed me up and down.

“Well, I can see why she likes him.” The one on the right giggled.

“Can I help you?” I questioned. I was not in the mood for any further bullshit at this point.

The one on the left held out her hand.

“I’m Helen,” she said. “And this is Heather. We’re Keith and Demetria’s sisters.”

“Oh…right.” I shouldn’t have been surprised since I did remember Tria saying that there were two girls in the family she grew up with. If I remembered right, she said they were a year apart, but they could have passed for twins. “I’m Liam.”

“You really shouldn’t be here,” Helen said. “You’re interfering with our life. You ought to leave Demmy alone.”

“Well, I won’t,” I responded.

Helen turned on her heel and walked away, and I could see the slight curve of her stomach in the light from the fires and wondered if Tria knew her “sister” was pregnant. I was left with Heather still looking me over, and it was starting to piss me off. I put my hands on my hips and just waited until she looked at my face again. She narrowed her eyes a little and took a step closer.

“You’re taking care of her, aren’t you?” she asked quietly. “I mean—you’re going to be good to her, right?”

Taken aback, I looked at her and blinked a few times before I realized what she meant.

“Yeah,” I told her. “I’ll take care of Tria.”

“Good,” she responded before she turned and followed her sister toward one of the fires. They leaned together, spoke in whispered voices, and then nodded to each other.

Everyone else seemed to be taking places around the center table. Through the canopy of evergreen foliage, the moon shone from the clearing sky, only partially obstructed by thin clouds. The tree trunks around us were covered in pale green ribbons, strung with feathers like some kind of natural streamers all over them. The two older women walked in a slow circle around the group—reaching out and touching the feathers hanging from the trees as they went. They made multiple trips around, and as they moved, everyone edged closer toward the center.

Tria moved in behind one of the women and hung seashells at the end of each of the feathered ribbons. The next trip around the circle, the two women knocked their long, wrinkled fingers against the shells and made them chime softly into the night air.

Movement from the far side of the circle caught my attention, and I saw an ancient man with one leg and a crutch to steady himself move slowly into the center of the group. He looked around the circle, taking in the face of each person as he went. When he got to me, his eyes lingered a little longer, and I thought I saw them narrow slightly before he continued to Steven, who stood a few feet to my left.

So this would be Leo—the council leader. This was the man who raised Tria when her own father was killed and the father of Keith, Helen, and Heather. Knowing he was the leader of the group and the father of multiple children, I wondered if he would take the first turn at Nikki once her husband was done with her.

My stomach churned, and the two old women began to chant.

Caged Links

Takedown Teague – available today!

Trapped – available August 4th! Preorder today!

Released – available August 25th! Preorder today!

About Author

Shay Savage lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with her family and a variety of household pets. She is an accomplished public speaker, and holds the rank of Distinguished Toastmaster from Toastmasters International. When not writing, she enjoys science fiction movies, masquerading as a zombie, is a HUGE Star Wars fan, and member of the 501st Legion of Stormtroopers. When the geek fun runs out, she also loves soccer in any and all forms - especially the Columbus Crew, Arsenal and Bayern Munich. Savage holds a degree in psychology, and she brings a lot of that knowledge into the characters within her stories.

Stalk Shay Here: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

3 Kindle copies of TRAPPED (3 winners!)

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Tuesday, 28 July 2015

REVIEW: Wicked Fall (The Wicked Horse, Book 1) by Sawyer Bennett


Never in your wildest dreams could you begin to imagine all the filthy and depraved things that go on inside The Wicked Horse. Step inside and Woolf Jennings will make every one of your dirty fantasies come true.

He's covered in a facade of deception. An enticing blend of multi-millionaire and hot-as-hell Wyoming rancher, those that think they know Woolf Jennings admire his abilities to preside as CEO of his family's cattle and oil empire. But only a privileged few truly understand what fuels the glitter of depravity in those gorgeous blue eyes. Only a few know he's opened up a sinfully erotic and private sex club named The Wicked Horse right at the base of the beautiful Teton Mountain range.

Sweet Callie Hayes has returned home to Wyoming and is looking forward to starting her life over again. After a night of impetuosity, she's managed to put herself right in Woolf's line of sight... the man who she foolishly offered up her virginity to years ago and was flatly turned down.

Now Woolf is seeing that Callie is all grown up and has a kinky side to her that leaves him as confused as it does turned on. Worse yet, both Callie's dirty desires and sweet heart are getting under his skin, and making Woolf question everything he's ever believed about himself.


I don't often dig cowboys but if it's Sawyer Bennett cowboys, um, ya-ah... 

I'll start with "That was hot!!" I seldom read bks with those scenes, but I'll be the first to admit that that was smokin', yes!!!

The story is actually quite simple. Woolf is a cowboy CEO with a certain predilection which started from his college days, courtesy of his friend, Bridger. He goes thru his days in his own merry ways. Callie returns to town after an incident and runs into Woolf. Their families are friends, they pretty much grew up together, she's always got the hots for him. Turns out, so does he.

Callie had her doubts but Woolf, does he have a mountain of them when it comes to her. Should he? Or should he not?

I find with Sawyer reads, and what I do appreciate, is that the angst and doubts do not always stem from the h. She gives the H as much baggage. And it's no diff here. Woolf, for all his money and confidence, has his own insecurities when it comes to her. But like he says it himself, he may not be good with words and expressing his feelings but he certainly makes up for it with his actions *nudge-wink* Callie was trying to shed her vanilla self. And tried she did!

They both have this privileged upper class upbringing. It's all about image. But boy, behind a certain closed door, totally diff ball game! I thought the heat level on this one was thru the roof!

And I was really enjoying the everyday stuff along with the heat, until the 80% mark. Then it felt like those 2 morphed into their teenage selves with their thoughts and actions. That took a full rating away, unfortunately. Luckily, Bridger to the rescue, sorta, then Woolf won me back, as has Callie.

The epilogue, as hot as it was, did feel like it came from the left field. In my head, it would've made more sense if that was provided as an excerpt to the next book. Also, I'm actually looking forward to Bridger's story. You can tell that man has a story to tell...

If you like cowboys, I think you'll like this. If you don't, give it a chance. If you want something more spicy in your romance reads, then yes, definitely give this a try!;)

Thanks for dropping by!


Monday, 27 July 2015

COVER REVEAL: Unconditional Anthology

Available on August 26th, 2015

Anthology Blurb:
Life isn't easy. Love is harder. Love cuts, love burns and sometimes love breaks.

But living a half-life, living with regrets, that’s no life at all.

People say we’re broken, not like other people. Maybe that’s true—ability, disability—what’s in a word? So whatever the world throws at us, we won’t stop, we won’t crumble. When we love, we love hard.

Love without limits.
Unconditional is an Anthology from authors Stacey Wallace Benefiel, Jane Harvey-Berrick, Sarina Bowen, Mary Elizabeth, D.Hart, Amber L. Johnson, CJ Lyons, Lauren K. McKellar, Shay Savage, and Magan Vernon.

He stole her lipstick…and her heart.

Twenty-year-old Dani Walker can’t believe her luck when she’s paired up with the gorgeous Liam Garrett as her Acting I scene partner – or when he ends up in her bed. Being a Plain Jane with a mouth on her hasn’t exactly served Dani well in the guy department. In fact, she’s had nothing but one night stands.
Ten years after their first affair, Sebastian and Caroline meet again. Now a successful journalist, Caroline heads out to report from the front lines of the war in Afghanistan. Love is the last thing on her mind when she crosses paths with Marine Chief Sebastian Hunter.

Will this chance encounter reignite the erotic passion of their past, or will the hidden cost of war tear them apart again?
Until his accident, bad boy Hank “Hazardous” Lazarus had everything: a gorgeous girlfriend, a career as a freestyle snowboarder and a spot on the US Olympic team. Could he possibly meet the love of his life in the last place he ever wanted to go--the hospital?
Some days are brighter than others, but Penelope Finnel is invisible behind the colored lenses of her heart-shaped sunglasses. Dillon Decker hopes he is the cure to her madness. But when friend turns to lover, and lover turns to caretaker, how much can either of them tolerate before they’re swallowed whole?
Fate took away Baylor's past, giving her a second chance at life, but when faced with a choice to move forward, leave it buried, or follow her heart, she struggled with her basic need to survive and be loved. When she met Brandt, he gave her a reason to rebuild a life full of forgotten treasures.
When it comes to love there’s no such thing as conventional.
Everyone thinks Colton Neely is special.Lilly Evans just thinks he’s fascinating.
Their friendship grows into love, even as Colton does not express it in words. But one decision threatens to break down the world that Lilly has tried so hard to integrate into and she must figure out if the relationship can survive if they are apart.
A West Virginia mountain, the middle of a blizzard, killers on his trail…no place for a city boy like Lucky Cavanaugh, an ATF explosives specialist.

Out-manned, out-gunned and shot, he takes Forest Service Wildlife Biologist Vinnie Ry
an hostage until he convinces her that he’s one of the good guys.

Vinnie heals not only his injuries but also his broken heart. But when they uncover a terrorist plot, Lucky is forced to choose between duty and passion, risking the life of the woman he loves in order to save the lives of thousands.
When eighteen-year-old Kate’s father turns up drunk to graduation, she knows something is wrong—really wrong. What she doesn’t expect is a hereditary disease that will turn her life around.
The Problem With Crazy is a story about love and life—about overcoming obstacles, choosing to trust, and learning how to make the choices that will change your life forever.
Isolated on a raft after their ship capsizes, an alcoholic death-match fighter and a young woman have to face the elements as well as their entwined pasts. Bastian can survive in the harshest environments, but can he survive Raine?
Honor student, manager at the campus coffee shop, owner of an impressive sweater collection – Melanie Wilder has it all together. Then John “John Boy” Walden strolls into her life wearing nothing more than an impish grin and all-too-revealing loin cloth.

Soon, make-out sessions replace homework, lust triumphs over work. And to further crumble her perfect world, an unexpected phone call threatens to take away everything she’s worked for.

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Friday, 24 July 2015

BLOG TOUR: Badass in My Bed (Badass, Book 1) by Rae Lynn Blaise

Title: Badass In My Bed #1
Author: Rae Lynn Blaise
Publication Date: June 23, 2015


My life is music. I play it, I live it, I breathe it. Next week, I start my dream job playing cello with the Boston Symphony. My father might finally be proud of me, and I… well, I’ll have my music.

Then I met Dylan—tattooed, badass, always-hard Dylan. He’s nothing like anyone I’ve ever been with before. Just one night can’t hurt me.

But sometimes when you play with fire, you get burned.


I sneak another peek and bingo! I finally see his face.

God, his face…

Now that I see it, I’m not sure I can ever look away. It’s striking. Stunning. Strangely beautiful.

His eyes are inset, his jaw and nose strong. And his mouth—perfect, his lips full but not girly. They’re sin and sex, yet, as he smirks at something on his phone, also quite boyish. It’s the kind of mouth I could stare at for hours, watching the way it shapes words and slides into smiles. The kind of mouth that feels good to kiss and better to suck and my, oh, my, I bet he sucks down there so right I wouldn’t need to grab a vibrator after.

Where the hell did that come from? I’m not a prude, but having dirty thoughts about men in bars is really not my style.

It’s a sign of stress, that’s all. In my mind, Beautiful Tattooed Boy is the personification of chance encounters and not having a plan. It’s the other road—the road I didn’t take. Correction—wouldn’t take. He’s nice to look at, but other than that, we’d probably clash. Big time. I’m only attracted to him because, although I’m happy with my choices and my plans, I can’t help being curious about what else might have been.

Yeah. That’s totally it.

But what if I’m more than curious?



Now this is a pleasant surprise...

It's is a very quick read, that's for sure. Seeing that this is like the first episode only, the whole thing revolved around the first meeting, all in a span of 2 days. It finished so quickly, even I wonder if it really happened. While there's not a lot of story, it's laying down the foundation for what's to come.

Rachel is about to embark on a new chapter in her life when she decides to let her hair down for a night. Dylan was supposed to be just this random hookup. Rachel clearly has issues that she's dealing with, and Dylan, well, he seems to have a past and as to how his present life really is, we've yet to find out.

Now I've had my share of dark reads so when I read "badass in my bed", my attention is caught. I realized it's Rachel's version of badass. And keep in mind that Rachel is practically this goody-two shoes whose whole life revolves around music, and classical music at that. So yah, Dylan is quite badass if you see it from her POV. Nevertheless, in short an episode, Rae Lynn managed to fit in a lot of smokin times. Oh yes!!;)

And she even managed to fit in some philosophical conversations in there which IRL may be standard fare for dates but just felt a tad odd here...

It ends on a cliffie, but not too steep. As I hopefully get to continue with this series, I'm crossing my fingers that it will take me on an emotional journey in addition to getting more smexy times.

BUY it here:

Badass In My Bed #1:
Badass In My Bed #2:
Badass In My Bed #3:

FIND Rae Lynn Blaise:


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Thursday, 23 July 2015

BOOK BLITZ: Truth or Beard (Winston Brothers, Book 1) by Penny Reid


Truth or Beard by Penny Reid Winston Brothers #1 
Publication Date: July 23, 2015 

Tour: Truth or Beard by Penny Reid 


Beards, brothers, and bikers! Oh my!

Identical twins Beau and Duane Winston might share the same devastatingly handsome face, but where Beau is outgoing and sociable, Duane is broody and reserved. This is why Jessica James, recent college graduate and perpetual level headed good girl, has been in naïve and unhealthy infatuation with Beau Winston for most of her life.

His friendly smiles make her tongue-tied and weak-kneed, and she’s never been able to move beyond her childhood crush. Whereas Duane and Jessica have always been adversaries. She can’t stand him, and she’s pretty sure he can’t stand the sight of her…

But after a case of mistaken identity, Jessica finds herself in a massive confusion kerfuffle. Jessica James has spent her whole life paralyzed by the fantasy of Beau and her assumptions of Duane’s disdain; therefore she’s unprepared for the reality that is Duane’s insatiable interest, as well as his hot hands and hot mouth and hotter looks. Not helping Jessica’s muddled mind and good girl sensibilities, Duane seems to have gotten himself in trouble with the local biker gang, the Iron Order. Certainly, Beau’s magic spell is broken. Yet when Jessica finds herself drawn to the man who was always her adversary, now more dangerous than ever, how much of her level-head heart is she willing to risk?

Series Description: Everyone in Green Valley, Tennessee knows that the six bearded Winston brothers have been imbued with an unfair share of charm and charisma… and are prone to mischief.

Truth or Beard is book #1 in the Winston Brother’s series. Each book is a standalone, full length (110k words), contemporary romantic comedy novel, and follows the romantic exploits and adventures of one of the six Winston Brothers.

Add to Goodreads


I was going to kiss her.

But first I was going to strangle her.

“Duane…” She said my name again in that breathless way, making my neck itch and my throat tight.

Jessica was looking at me expectantly. Her big amber eyes on mine like I was the center of her world. I liked it too much. It was also irritating because I didn’t know what it meant, what she was thinking. She hadn’t said a damn word to me on our walk back from the lake. She hadn’t called me. We hadn’t spoken since Friday.

Five days. Five days without touching or tasting her.

I was going to kiss her while I strangled her.

“Yeah?” I said, the edge of my irritation clear. I wasn’t trying to hide it, there was no need. One way or the other we were coming to an agreement that involved definites, not definitely maybes. Better she knew I wasn’t planning on rolling over unless it involved her beneath me.

Jessica blinked at me, likely because of my tone, and I watched her shake herself a little like I’d startled her.

“Uh, so… the truck.” She cleared her throat, her eyes sliding to the side and away from me.

“What about the truck?”

“You towed it.”

“Yes I did.” I allowed myself a moment to look at her body. She was wearing a pink shirt with buttons down the front, thin fabric with a white, lacy tank top under. It was tucked into a tan skirt that ended at her knees. She was also wearing brown high heeled boots, the kind that don’t make sense.

Boots are for working, for walking through wet mud, for keeping feet from getting shredded by broken glass and falling machine parts. Boots with spiked heels were just as practical as sandals with steel toes.

Still not looking at me, she asked, “So, you want to buy it?” Her voice was different, higher pitched.

“That’s what I just said.” Again, my irritation was clear.

Her eyes cut to mine, throwing me splinters of frustration. “Well there’s no need to be rude, Duane.”

“I’m sorry, was I being rude?” I couldn’t help myself, I took a full step forward, forcing her to lift her chin to keep eye contact. “Should I have called?”

“Yes.” She ground out, “You can’t just tow other peoples’ cars without asking.”

“Excuse me, princess. But Mike McClure called me and asked me if I minded moving the truck here. I figured he was calling on your behalf.”

“No he wasn’t calling on my behalf. If I wanted to call you, I would have just called you.”

I felt those words in my stomach, just under my ribs, a quick slice. I’m sure I winced because her expression changed, but before she could explain away her meaning, I cut her off.

“Fine, I get you, loud and clear.”


I lifted my hands to keep her from talking. She was so lovely, even her voice was pretty. But suddenly I couldn’t wait for her to leave and put me out of this misery of being with her when she wasn’t interested in being mine.

“We want to buy the truck and I’m willing to offer you a fair amount.”

“Would you just hold on a sec-” Jessica took my hand between hers, her grip surprisingly strong, her skin against mine sending a shock up my arm. I ignored it and ground my teeth.

“You can use the money for a new car, something smaller that gets better mileage.”

Paying no heed, Jessica took a half step forward catching me unawares. One second she was glaring at me, the next she was lifting to her tip toes and brushing her lips against mine.
And that was it, I was done for.

About Penny Reid


SEX! It all started with sex, between my parents. Personally I don’t like thinking about it, but whatever works for you is a-ok with me. No judgment. The sex happened in California and much of my life also occurred in that state until I moved from the land of nuts (almonds), wine, silicon… boobs, and heavy traffic to the southeast US. Like most writers I like to write, but let’s get back to sex. Eventually I married and gave birth to 2 small people-children (boy-6, girl-4 as of this writing). By day I’m a biomedical researcher with focus on rare diseases. By night I’m a knitter, sewer, lino block carver, fabric printer, soap maker, and general crafter. By the wee hours of the morning or when I’m intoxicated I love to listen to the voices in my head and let them tell me stories. I hope you enjoy their stories.

Thanks for dropping by!

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