Erotic, steamy and suspenseful duet
It began as a ruse.
Take a girlfriend. Divert the press from the fucked up mess that’s my family until my father is re-elected. Stage a public breakup. Move on.
Only that brilliant plan went straight south the moment I set eyes on Willow Blackwell.
I found her.
My center. My future. A soulmate with the will of a mule and the mouth of a harpy.
I now want things I never wanted before. Permanent kinds of things.
Only Fate—and her ex—have other plans for us.
In some sort of cosmic impossibility, our lives unknowingly intersected years before when tragedy befell both our families. Once the devastating truth is finally revealed, the future I’d found in her will come crashing down around us and for the first time in my life I’m completely helpless.
I may very well lose the only woman I’ve ever loved to a past neither of us saw coming.
*warning: 18+ only. Contains foul language, explicit sex and a hot alpha (or two, or three). NOTE: This is NOT a standalone. It’s the conclusion to LOST IN BETWEEN, which MUST be read first.
The FINDING ME DUET is available to purchase below
LOST IN BETWEEN – FINDING ME BOOK ONE
We all have one.
That magic number that will get us to agree to do anything, be anything.
Don’t sit on your gold-plated high horse and say you don’t because you do. Everyone does. Each of us has something we covet enough that we’d sell ourselves to have it.
What’s my tipping point, you ask? Apparently a cool quarter mil will do the trick.
What does one do for 250 large, you wonder? Anything the infamous, gorgeous playboy of Seattle wants. For the next four months I’ll be Shaw Mercer’s arm candy, his beck and call girl, his faux girlfriend. I’ll be his to command, mold, push and pull in any direction he sees fit.
I’ll fight falling into bed with him. I’ll fight falling in love with him even harder. I’ll fail at both. And when my past and present collide in the most unexpected of ways, I’ll learn that while one man’s love for me has never died, the only man’s love I really want will never be mine.
*If dirty-talking, dominant alphas are not your thing, move along. Mature, 18+ only. Book 1 in a 2-part duet.
Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny
“…bad memories take up too much space and you need that space for good memories.”
We were so excited to be back with Willow and Shaw, wanting to find out how their love affair would end up after a fake and quite rocky beginning. Two very strong characters, each with several skeletons in their closets and individual crosses to bear. Nothing is always as it seems and sometimes what will be, will simply just be, no matter how much you don’t want it to or can’t picture it. What you may assume may be so far from the reality, and what tests your very being may bring upon a reaction you least expect. From others as well as yourself.
“I love you, but I’m not sure that’s enough.”
It did take us a while to get back into the swing of things with these characters; we felt it moved quite slow and felt quite repetitive nookie wise. However, that’s not saying we didn’t enjoy this book, as we sure did. We loved Willow and our hearts still broke for her, yet we celebrated her feistiness, her strength and her compassion. We understood her reluctance to open up and her actions of self-preservation. When such personal tragedy and an almost forced loneliness is your day to day, how does one live with that or even come to terms with life without bearing the scars and having it affect relationships with others?
‘He fits me. He sees me. He makes my blood boil, my heart sing, and my soul crave something I haven’t in a long, long time, if ever.’
Shaw is a formidable man with an enigmatic presence. He knows who he is and what he wants and whilst life can be mapped out with joys and needs met, it’s the unexpected that throws everything off the rails and into the back seat. Yet Shaw is still there for anyone who needs him. His fake relationship is anything but, as he knows that Willow is the one he wants, despite the secrets tainting this pure almost aggressive love affair.
‘I want her body. Her soul. Her divinity. Her love and devotion. I want to dominate her mind, rule her soul, eat her cries every morning for breakfast.’
There is no doubt that we felt the tangible need and attraction Willow and Shaw had for one another. Their passion and desperation was vividly written with beauty, heat and humour. By the end there was no question and the secrets threatening their love were believably met with maturity and empathy.
‘For those few stolen moments, I let him in all the way. I let him see that I don’t want anything between us but real and reckless, no matter if it hurts one, or both of us, in the end. That it’s too late and I’m already madly in love with him.’
We have a love/hate relationship with this new popular wave of duets. We love them as they’ve taken away the dreaded ‘middle book filler syndrome’ from trilogies but also because more time is given to fleshing out characters. Where we may falter is when a certain time has passed we need to reconnect with characters or we feel lost for a certain percentage of the book. Sadly this happened for us here. Having read the initial short story and book one in in quick succession and absolutely loving it, we felt the wait and the slow repetitiveness disconnected us somewhat and the story moved off in a bit of a different destination. This is an honest and personal opinion and most likely won’t affect any other readers, saying this- we have enjoyed this series for sure.
‘The truth is we control very little in this life. And accepting that, finding peace within after we’ve mourned and closed ourselves off for a while so we can heal is the only control we do have.’
EXCERPT FROM ROUND UNDERNEATH
“Are we expecting someone else?” I ask my father, nodding to the empty spot as the doorbell rings.
“We are,” he responds, not making a move to answer it. Two seconds later I know why.
“Apologies for being late, Adelle.” The recognizable male voice drives nails into my skull and fire ants through my veins.
What the ever-loving fuck is he doing here? And he simply walked into my father’s house as if he owns the place? My blood is boiling fast and hot.
I look over to my mother to see that slimy motherfucker, Reid Mergen, kiss her cheek before shaking Evan’s hand as if they’re old high school buddies or something.
“How are you doing, little man?” Mergen says with unnerving familiarity as he playfully ruffles Eli’s hair on his way by. Apparently he’s spending more time with my family than I realized. While that wouldn’t bother me under any other circumstances, because it’s him, because he’s threatening everything I love in this room, it enrages me to the point I think I’m going to blow.
“What’s he doing here?” Willow whispers at the same time Mergen greases me with a smug grin.
“I have no fucking idea,” I grit. But I’m not saying it to her. I’m addressing my father. “Why is he here? This is a family dinner.”
“We’re sewn at the hip these days. Hell, I’m practically blood,” fuckface interjects, rubbing the dig in with his searing gaze.
Every muscle in my body readies to bloody his face. “I wasn’t talking to you, asshole.”
“Shaw Andrew,” my mother scolds, doing that clacking thing she does with her tongue when one of us disappoints her.
Well, fuck that. If she thinks I’m going to sit by and cower while this poseur tries to undermine my family, mother or not, she has another thing coming.
My fingers coil into my palms, my dull nails piercing fiercely into the skin. I ignore everyone else, biting out, “Leave, before I throw you out.”
Willow lays a palm gently on my forearm, trying to calm me. I let out a smug grin of my own when Mergen’s eyes drop to it and flare.
“Shaw.” This time my father chimes in. “I invited him.”
My father nods to Mergen, whose eyes now dart between Willow and me, and while I can’t see the look on Willow’s face, whatever it is must be enough to give that bastard pause. He has the chair pulled halfway out, a slight hint of indecision now sitting on his previously haughty features.
“Sit,” my father commands. He does but won’t meet my hateful gaze. “As for you,” he addresses me. Dresses me down, is more like it. “Reid is a guest in my house, at my table, and while I have some idea what’s going on between you two”—his attention slides to Willow, then back to me—“you will act civil to my guest while you’re in my home.”
I don’t respond, not verbally anyway. A diatribe sits round and heavy on the end of my tongue, clawing to get out. I fear if I open my mouth, though, I may do irreparable damage with my parents and no matter how many insults I want to hurl, that fucker right across from me is not worth it.
Willow surprises the hell out of me by caressing her lips against my cheek before whispering, “I can do this if you can.”
Running on some primal instinct I have no control over, I grip the back of her neck and hold her still while I kiss her breathless right at the dining room table with everyone watching.
When I lean back, Willow blinks a few times. Her eyes are dreamy. Her face is flushed the delicious hue of longing. I thought maybe she’d be pissed, but when one corner of her mouth tips up, mine does the same.
“Well, this should be entertaining,” Annabelle spouts, clueless that the man within a finger’s length is the man who could very well be this family’s demise. Her demise.
“Can we say grace now or is there more boundary marking yet to do?” my father asks, to which nearly everyone snickers. Except for Mergen, that is. His eyes flame with the same firestorms of hate I imagine fill mine when I think of him with Willow.
There’s a part of me that knows I should feel bad for him, but if it’s there, I can’t find it. I don’t know what happened between him and Willow, and I’m not sure I want to know. All that matters is she’s mine now.
“Oh, there’s more marking to do.” I slide my hand high around Willow’s upper thigh and squeeze, all the while never taking my eyes from my new enemy. “But that will be done in private.”
“Oh my goodness,” my mother gasps.
“Jesus Christ.” My father’s head drops forward as he shakes it.
“Mommy, Gwandpapa said a naughty wood,” Eli chirps.
“Oh, this is getting good,” Annabelle chimes in, a broad grin splitting her face.
Mergen and I lock wills. You want to challenge me, campaign boy? Fucking bring it. I eat weaklings like you for breakfast.
THE BLACK SWAN AFFAIR
I’ve loved him as long as I can remember.
The gangly boy with big brown eyes and unruly hair who grew up into an intoxicating man. He wears scruff like he invented it and ambles with a swagger that makes panties drop.
We grew up together. We played Ghost in the Graveyard. Had our own rock band. It didn’t matter that he was five years older than me. It didn’t matter that he looked at me as a kid sister even as I grew into a woman. It didn’t even matter when he left me behind to go to college and start his adult life.
He’d be back.
He was always meant to be mine.
He came back, all right. But instead of smelling of promises, he stunk of betrayal. And he destroyed me—us—the day he married my sister instead of me.
So I did the only thing a girl like me in my position could do.
I got my revenge.
I married his brother, Kael.
Now we’re one big happy fucking family.
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