Category Archives: 4.5 Stars

MY IMAGE OF YOU by MELANIE MORELAND :: REVIEW

Standalone Second Chance Romance

SYNOPSIS

She was the first good thing that ever happened to me. The only person who made me want to stay put. Until she disappeared. My name is Adam Kincaid, and I’m the most daring freelance photographer in the world. Or, at least, I used to be. After losing my parents way too young, I hid behind a camera lens—and discovered a talent that took me all over the planet. No assignment was too dangerous, no location too remote, no subject too painful.
 
Then came the accident, and the hospital, where I met her: Alexandra Robbins. My nurse. My savior. With her fiery red hair and crystal-clear blue eyes, the most striking woman I could’ve imagined—and the kindest too. How could such a big personality fit into such a petite package? But she was running from something too, something I never had: her family. She thought she’d escaped their control. But she was wrong. And now they’ve taken her away from me.
 
Today is her engagement party. I may not get an explanation, but I’ll be damned if I don’t get a photograph. A picture really is worth a thousand words. And just like love, it never fades away. . . .

MY IMAGE OF YOU is available to purchase below

          


Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny

4.5 swoony alpha stars!

“You already live two separate lives – let me be part of the one that makes you happy.”

Well hello Adam Kincaid….welcome to the top shelf of book boyfriends! We know, we know….how unprofessional to start a review with an ode to the male character. But, it’s been a while since we’ve fallen in love from the first page of a book. And fall in love we did – because Adam– without question was just perfection in personality and heart; he was everything we love in a hero. He ticked all the boxes for us and our hearts won’t forget him in a hurry, that’s for sure. Adam told the majority of this story, so we felt like we completely knew this man inside out insofar as what was in his heart and the depth of his soul. A rugged dare devil of a photographer who lives life to its full potential in the eye of the storm. Literally.

“I want to start taking pictures so full of beauty they’ll help rid my mind of all the darkness I’ve been capturing for so long. The same way you’ve banished the darkness out of my heart and filled it with light.”

This is our first book by Melanie Moreland and we loved every single minute spent captivated by her story and falling in love with her characters. My Image of You had just about everything and the kitchen sink in it -but- somehow it worked and it made for a fabulously sexy, emotional, intriguing and entertaining read. It made the romantics in us swoon and whilst parts of the story were predictable, cheesy or well-trodden, we never really felt it hampered our enjoyment as we just cared too damn much about the characters and their love story.

“This need I have – to take care of you. It’s so important to me. I’m worried I may overwhelm you.”

Our hearts bled for Adam’s ‘Ally’, her life was a lonely one with a messed up family who never really saw her, yet forced her to be someone she wasn’t. There was no love, no compassion nor any comfort. She’d lived the majority of her life under a cloud of guilt and responsibility, stripping her of any self-worth and strength, believing the words from those who should ultimately love and protect her. Whilst strength and courage did live in her heart, it was surrounded by a brick wall made of years of hurt, tragedy and spite aimed at her. Only one man could possibly knock down that wall; brick by brick. A man who’d do literally anything for his nightingale….sigh….Adam. We could wax lyrical about all the reasons we fell in love with him.  Actually, we think we already did!

“I’m not easy to take on. I’m moody, blunt and demanding.”

 

 

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AUTOBOYOGRAPHY by CHRISTINA LAUREN :: REVIEW

Standalone emotional YA/MM coming of age romance

SYNOPSIS

Fangirl meets Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda in this funny and poignant coming-of-age novel from New York Times bestselling author Christina Lauren about two boys who fall in love in a writing class—one from a progressive family and the other from a conservative religious community.

Three years ago, Tanner Scott’s family relocated from California to Utah, a move that nudged the bisexual teen temporarily back into the closet. Now, with one semester of high school to go, and no obstacles between him and out-of-state college freedom, Tanner plans to coast through his remaining classes and clear out of Utah.

But when his best friend Autumn dares him to take Provo High’s prestigious Seminar—where honor roll students diligently toil to draft a book in a semester—Tanner can’t resist going against his better judgment and having a go, if only to prove to Autumn how silly the whole thing is. Writing a book in four months sounds simple. Four months is an eternity.

It turns out, Tanner is only partly right: four months is a long time. After all, it takes only one second for him to notice Sebastian Brother, the Mormon prodigy who sold his own Seminar novel the year before and who now mentors the class. And it takes less than a month for Tanner to fall completely in love with him.

AUTOBOYOGRAPHY is available to purchase below

          


Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny

4.5 beautiful stars

‘I’m just a bisexual half-Jewish kid who’s falling in love with an LDS guy. The path for me isn’t as clear.’

This is our first book by Christina Lauren and we loved their flawless and stunning writing style. We were captivated by the storyline which was written with such intelligence and passion whilst having incredible depth. The struggles our characters face are quite apt in a society that has progressed immensely yet still has pockets of societal beliefs -be they religion based or not as the case may be- where acceptance comes with conditions and is dependent of a will bent to shape or fit a mould.  For us it was difficult to come to terms with the fundamental ideologies that shaped the idiosyncrasies of a religion with which we just couldn’t relate.

‘In summary: love and respect, but only if you’re willing to live by their rules…then exclusion is the only answer.’

Tanner is blessed with a family who are nothing but supportive and protective of their son; the protectiveness increasing when the family moves to a Mormon town where they know he will not be looked at with kind eyes. Tanner is a laid-back boy who loves life yet cannot wait to leave the confines of Mormon scrutiny and be free to love without repercussions, be open with those he cares for and not have to hide who he is, outside his front door.

“Are you willing to be a secret? Maybe you are for now. But this is your life, and it will stretch out before you, and you are the only person who can make it whatever you want it to be.”

Everything changes when he meets Sebastian; the son of a prominent Mormon family who is assisting in a prestigious writing class which saw Sebastian’s book being picked up by a publisher. Tanner immediately knows that Sebastian is someone special who he has to know and get close to. What begins as a crush soon turns into so much more as tension ensues with Tanner unable to stop writing their story day by day – moment by moment, wishing for his love to be returned.

“I don’t know what to do about how I feel or how to stop feeling this way about you…..Also why my book is basically about how it feels to fall for you.”

Sebastian’s life is planned and is meticulously following the Mormon way of life, ritual and tradition. He did not plan for Tanner nor did his family and his community. He is the quieter and more resigned of the two, leading a life that belies his heart. How long can he live a life that’s not what‘s meant to be? Two boys leading two very different lives under completely different circumstances. At what point and at what personal cost do you decide if your love and heart can withstand the weight of society’s pressure and family religion which may ultimately tear you apart?

‘He wants to read my book, the book about falling in love with him. But how can I send my heart to him when he’s just said, in no uncertain terms, that he doesn’t speak its language?’

Poignant, heart-breaking, inspirational, beautiful, funny and extremely relevant; Tanner and Sebastian’s story will move you to tears as well as smile whilst wanting to throw your kindle at other times at the nonsensical struggle people still face –to just be and live their lives free from ramifications and ill judgements. Some find acceptance, support and loyalty; some are not so lucky. Where one struggles another does not. However, the world we live in is not an easy one –still- no matter the progress we seem to make. Love is love and love is fundamentally what we all want the world to run on.

‘This moment, and the quieter moments afterward, can’t be edited. They can’t be rewritten. They can’t be erased.’

 

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BLOOD GUARD (A Mission Novel #1) by MEGAN ERICKSON :: REVIEW

Sexy, addictive Vampire Paranormal – can be read separately or as a series 

SYNOPSIS
Enter a world of immortal danger and desire—and discover an incredible fate borne of blood.

Tendra: One minute, I’m a bartender in gritty Mission City; the next, I’m whisked away by a vampire named Athan who tells me that I’m the lifeblood of his clan. It sounds unbelievable, but he’s got evidence I can’t deny. Turns out, Athan belongs to an underground society of vampires who feed only on humans with their consent. Their enemies have no such qualms, and they want me dead. The only thing standing in their way is strong, sexy Athan. And the closer we get, the more tempted I am to let Athan feed. . . .

Athan: How could I have known when I snatched this snarky, beautiful human off the streets that she would change mydestiny? As a loyal soldier, I must deliver Tendra to our future king—my brother. Empowered with the blood of ten generations of the Gregorie breed, she is fated to rule as our queen. But there’s something between us that’s so intoxicating, so carnal, I can’t help wanting Tendra for myself . . . even if it’s treason.

BLOOD GUARD is available below

          

BLOOD VEIL Book Two
Available to pre order below releasing 3rd April

          


Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny

4.5 Stars

‘Mission was not a city where dreams were made. At least, not for people like me.’

It’s no secret how much we love our paranormal reads! It’s our go to when we’re in a book funk and our pleasurable indulgence. We immediately got sucked into…pun intended…Blood Guard by Megan Erickson and loved the initial world building and introduction of a Vampire world living under the streets upon which humans walk unbeknownst to them what lurks beneath.

‘Maybe we weren’t all meant to belong somewhere.’

This was a slow build romance which perfectly set up a forthcoming series full of vampires, turf war and ultimately love. We have to mention that reading Blood Guard took us back to how we used to feel when reading paranormal books. For want of a better description, the way in which this story was written and how it made us feel was like proper old school PNR which is why we loved it so much. We were filled with nostalgia for the time, back when we first became addicted to this romance genre.

First we meet Tendra, who works as a bartender and comes across as a bit of a loner and orphan to boot; having been shifted from pillar to post by her deceased single mother. She feels unlucky in every aspect of her life yet keeps a sassy attitude with an inner quiet strength that stands her in good stead when her whole world is turned upside down. Along with her cat she finds herself in a situation that shocks her to her core. It all begins when she notices a somewhat intimidating man watching her in the bar where she works who then follows her into the night.

‘The sun on my face was like life. I’d spent all of my life looking at the sun as my killer, and now I saw it as my savior.’

Athan is the sexy warrior brother of the future Vampire king, Idris, and has one mission. To retrieve and bring home the woman whose blood is prophesised to give his brother the ability and strength to fight and overcome a clan of vampires set to destroy the human race and make them blood slaves. There’s a revolt happening and it needs to be stopped. But just who is pulling the strings for a change that will affect not only humans but the vampire race too?

‘I’d never abandon her, and if my father forced my hand, he’d see just how strong his youngest son had become.’

Athan and Tendra’s journey was jam packed with action, humour and sexual tension.  We loved every minute we spent with them wishing we had more! Their story set up a series we just know we’re going to love. Whilst Blood Guard can be read as a standalone in the sense that each book will feature a different couple, the overall storyline does continue from one book to the next.


BLOOD VEIL – BOOK TWO

SYNOPSIS

In the midst of supernatural chaos, worlds and hearts collide.

Celia: Having never known my parents, I’ve always felt like an orphan. All I want is a normal life. But after I’m attacked in my bedroom by one vampire—and rescued by another—it’s about time to give up on “normal” once and for all. Idris, the second in command of the Gregorie vampire clan, has come to my aid, but his motives for saving me are unclear. And what surprises me most is my attraction to his heated gaze. . . .

Idris: Terror. Curiosity. Arousal. These are the natural impulses of a human female, not the spawn of the ruthless Valarian king. Is it possible that Celia is unaware of her bloodline—and the power coursing through her veins? As the daughter of my archenemy, she was supposed to be my ransom. But how quickly the heat of desire changes everything. Now the family Celia has always craved is trying to kill her, and it’s up to me to save her again—when all I really want to do is make her mine.

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THE MUSE by L M HALLORAN :: REVIEW

Standalone Professor/Student romance

SYNOPSIS

What happens when the future brings the past?

Iris Eliot has survived a lot in her twenty-seven years. Despite the emotional and physical scars she carries, she refuses to be labelled a victim. Now in her final year of graduate school, her dream is within reach. She’s ready to put the past behind her and embrace whatever the future brings.

Until the future brings him.

Professor James Beckett, internationally bestselling author and award-winning poet, is the new head of the Creative Writing Department at her university. Brilliantly talented and obnoxiously sexy, he’s more dangerous than Iris knows.

When Beckett sets his sights on Iris, it’s not just her heart on the line, or her academic and professional careers. Surrendering to the way he makes her feel will rewrite her past.

THE MUSE is available to purchase below for ONLY 99c/99p

          


Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte

4.5 fabulous stars!

“This feeling, right here and now, has brought gods from their heavenly thrones, started and ended wars, and shifted the borders of nations. Nothing in my life has prepared me for how you make me feel, Iris.”

We sampled her writing in the rockstar romance, Breaking Giants, and now, with The Muse, LM Halloran has cemented herself as a TBB 1Click author. We were completely sold on her talent, the story and her characters in this standalone student/teacher forbidden romance that eclipsed anything we had anticipated, taking us in directions we didn’t expect and forever keeping us on our toes, finding ourselves totally enraptured by James and Iris’s complicated and emotional love story.

“Do you want me or not?” he takes a step toward me, fingers sliding under my jaw to lift to my face. “More than anything in memory, yes.”

We’ll admit that, initially James and Iris’s fascination and desire for one another moved at breakneck speed, which gave us pause for thought, however, what developed was anything but an insta love story. What began as a sizzling sexual chemistry, soon receded and was replaced by an attraction that went beyond the physical. This was a meeting of intellect, mutual respect, emotional intensity and understanding, oh and yes, desire!  But as James and Iris begin to explore their feelings, we learn more about the fate and destiny of these two characters with explosive consequences. This is a love story that spans time, growth, healing and self-discovery and it was intense.

“You were born with eyes that hold worlds. Lifetimes of love and loss and pain. I’m only sorry I added to your pain. I truly never mean to hurt you.”

They say timing is everything and that couldn’t be more true for James (Beck) and Iris. Hired as a TA for the brilliant, handsome, cantankerous 33 year old British Professor James S Beckett, the newly appointed Director of Creative Writing, Iris would meet a man who is a contradiction to say the least. An academic, a NYT BS fiction author with a brilliant mind, he could render us breathless with his exquisite eloquence one minute, whilst sending us into giggles over his snarky dry, caustic mirth, then have us fanning ourselves when he unleashed his very sexy dirty talk! Oh James could be a right cock at times, but bloody hell did we love him! We loved every complicated thing about him!

“…There’s a chance your talents are being wasted on crime fiction.”
He hums in humor, hands skating under my shirt to find skin. Then he says, “The only erotica I’ll write will be for you. Tomes and tomes of it, my little muse.”

Twenty seven year old Iris Eliot didn’t stand a chance against his charms….albeit it, she had to dig deep to find them beneath the Beck’s obnoxious exterior! But this resilient young lady, has a sad and painful past, consisting of a loss that haunts her and a guilt she carries from the repercussions. However, as the full impact of Iris’s past is explored throughout the story, she broke our hearts.

“Iris,” he whispers. “So aptly named. Complex and radiant, deceptively delicate.”

As the story progresses, we open up to Iris’s past and we learn why Beckett became so enamoured with the 27 year old Iris, and why his attraction was so ‘sudden‘ – and it was tormenting,  heartbreaking and beautiful, and so cleverly devised and written by LM Halloran. What a way to throw a spanner in the works, LM! There’s a burning lust between the two that crackles yet this never once overruled the development of their relationship or the emotional impact of the story as LM Halloran delivered an intense, sexy, painful, thought provoking, stunningly written story of a love that refused to yield, a story that captivated us from start to finish from an author who has amazed us and seized our hearts once again.


We also recommend, BREAKING GIANTS
The Standalone Rock Star Romance by L M HALLORAN

SYNOPSIS

A rockstar romance unlike any you’ve read before…

When I meet Julian Ashburn, the reclusive frontman of indie-rock legends Breaking Giants, I do what any sane woman would do. Embarrass myself, then insult him. Because you only live once, right?

Besides, keeping my distance from the enigmatic, songwriting genius is an act of self-preservation. Julian is dangerous—a pool of kerosine to my pyromaniac. I have a weakness for broken men.

But sometimes the stories we tell and the songs we sing—about family, love, and ourselves—have to be rewritten in order for us to grow. Call it Fate, or stars aligning, or cosmic accident, but I’m about to find out that of the two of us, Julian isn’t the broken one.

The greatest love songs break your heart.

If you’re lucky, they heal it, too.

BREAKING GIANTS is available to purchase below

               


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MERCY by DEBRA ANASTASIA :: REVIEW & FIRST CHAPTER SNEAK PEEK

Standalone gritty romance
“27 days until I change how you perceive love.”

           SYNOPSIS 

He taught me to kill. Murder is in my blood now. It runs through my veins and though I hide the monster I see in the mirror with ink, it doesn’t keep him from coming out.

My street name is Mercy, but I never show any. Except for her. I watch Becca, though she doesn’t know. She saved me a long time ago; the day my father killed my mother. Her bravery turned her into a target.

My father holds a grudge and knife with the same proficiency, and Becca is the focus of his hatred. And I’m the only monster who can save her.

MERCY is now available to purchase below

                   


Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte

4.5 Stars

‘If she wanted it, she could have it. My hand. My heart. My life. She took my hand, and that was enough.’

Wow! We loved this contradiction of a story! Mercy is difficult to categorise and in some ways had a bit of an identity crisis. If you were to go off the synopsis, you’d be thinking this was a particularly sinister, dark read – for us, it wasn’t. Yes, there were dark elements, especially in the last 20% of the book, however the story was essentially one of never ending love, acceptance, destiny, redemption and courage; interspersed with guffaw type humour, loads of emotion and some really sweet romance, all delivered with this authors fabulous ability for gripping and entertaining storytelling.

Mercy is the story of Fenix Churchkey and Rebecca Dixie Stiles. Two children who had a very brief interaction, yet it’s one that would stay with them and have a particularly lasting effect on the young Fenix (Nix). Becca and Nix were a destiny, a love story in the making – written in the stars if you like.

“Sweet girl, I’m covered in ink. I’m broken. Things happened to make me this way. I have trouble being with myself, so I can’t imagine that anyone else would want to spend time here.”

Fenix Churchkey is a man weighed down with misplaced guilt over the death of his mother. Vengeance be thy name, because Nix has a score to settle with his Dad, the man who brutalised him as a child and who was responsible for the death of Nix’s mother. We couldn’t call Nix an antihero per say, although there was darkness in what he did for a living, the man himself however was a protector, a loyal friend and all round sweetheart, driven to his actions by a punishing past.

“In my head she saves me.”
“You don’t need no saving. You’re real. Be yourself. It’s enough.”

The tenacious little Becca stood up to Nix’s cruel father and when she showed Nix kindness and uttered the words “Are you okay?”  Those words would stay with him forever. The story then shifts to fifteen years later when we meet the very mixed up Nix who is working as a hit man and Becca who is adrift in her life working at a bar. Nix always made a pact to never let Becca see him, to always protect her, thinking up ingenious ways to be a part of her life, to watch over her without actually being a part of it. Well, that was all about to change when Nix, at the coercion of his best friend Animal, seizes an opportunity for Becca to get to know the man beneath the menacing appearance, to know the man inside.

‘I could never meet her. I would never touch her. But I was hopelessly in love with her.’

Debra Anastasia didn’t rush the romance between Nix and Becca, instead treating us to a slow build, allowing us to get to know the characters before the feverishness of their feelings took hold, summoning our emotions through Nix’s past and his healing process. We loved this man! Nix begs the question, what is normal and he shows us how we need to dig beneath the surface to find the jewel. Their love story was intense, exhilarating, sweet, honest and beautiful, if not a little chaotic and crazy.

“Wait for me?”
“I thought you’d never ask.”

The secondary characters were fabulous – in particular the relationship between Nix and his best mate Animal. This huge big brute of a man who spoke so sweetly and sometimes had the hilarious demeanour of a little old lady won us over. Animal soon became a crucial part of the story and bloody hell, we cannot wait for his story and to learn who his love interest is, though we have some idea!

The only issue we had is one that readers will either love; or not -which is our case- it’s a personal thing, however for us it’s one that took us out of this story for a moment or two. We have a bit of a pet peeve when Authors bring their ‘online real life’ into their books with people and/or their conversations. The dialogue between certain characters in Mercy made us feel as though we were reading a Facebook thread, not living this particular moment of a fictional story, but thankfully Debra soon pulled us back in and overall it didn’t take anything away from our enjoyment of this gripping, sweet, intense and tumultuous love story that had our hearts bursting with romance one minute whilst fiercely beating with anticipation the next as Nix’s past crashes into his present!


CHAPTER ONE SNEAK PEAK

Chapter 1 of MERCY by Debra Anastasia

Superhero

Fenix

“Hold these eggs.”

My father handed me the white carton in the grocery store. The aisle was cold. I was cold. My hands were shaking.

“Don’t you drop those eggs, son.” His voice was menacing. But everything about him was menacing.

He’d finally done it. He’d killed my mother. Last night. This morning.

We were in the grocery store because we needed food. My sister was at my aunt’s house, which was good.

Because Mom was dead.

My hands shook more. I stared at them and willed them to stop shaking. I begged them to stop shaking.

Mom was shaking before she died. Seeing her like that was all there was. In this grocery store. In my head. My hands were clean now, but Dad had scrubbed them before he’d put me in the truck.

To come here. To get groceries.

I felt sick to my stomach.

Mom had been trying to make dinner. In the end all the food from the fridge had been tossed around the kitchen.

The squeaky Styrofoam container the eggs were in was giving me away. He was watching. He was getting even angrier.

Mom wasn’t here anymore. To step in. To stop him when he got this way.

“Stop shaking, Fenix Churchkey.”

It was a whisper from the scariest man on the planet. I tensed my muscles. There was no difference. Maybe it was making it worse.

“You’re the best boy, Nix. I love you so much. Just remember that.”

Mom. She was gone.

I watched in horror as the carton tumbled from my hands and hit the floor. The eggs made a sickening noise inside.

Mom was shaking before she died.

Before he murdered her.

I looked at his face, knowing he would kill me too. Not here. Most likely not here.

He liked private. He liked closed doors.

I knew not to make a sound when his hand grasped my arm so hard. He would squeeze right through the bones maybe someday.

I started to count my matchbox cars in my head. It was how I kept quiet. In a box under my bed there was three cars. The red car. The blue van. And the Hummer, my favorite. It was purple and…

“What did I tell you?”

His mouth was next to my ear. His breath smelled bad. His sweat smelled bad.

Mom was gone now.

At least my sister was at my aunt’s house. She was just a baby.

Dad grabbed my other arm, a little lower than the edge of my T-shirt sleeve. I watched as my skin came up between his fingers.

I felt the tears.

Crying always made it worse.

He was going to break my arms. Both my arms.

“Hey! Mister! Leave that boy alone.”

I felt chills up my spine. We were private. We liked closed doors. No one was allowed to know.

“I said let go! You’re bigger than he is. And let him go. He’s good.”

She was a kid. Like me. She put her hands on his forearm and pushed. I was stunned quiet. I was stunned stupid.

She wasn’t wearing matching socks and her hair was a giant halo of curls. She had a shiny purse with a stuffed dog sticking out of it and a fistful of coupons. There was a spiral pad with a cat doodled on it popping out of a pocket.

Dad took one hand off of me and lifted it. He was going to backhand this little girl. I put my hand up to block him.

I saw my death in his eyes then. You don’t stand up to him.

Ever.

Mom was gone.

The little girl didn’t flinch.

It would occur to me years later that she’d never been hit a day in her life. But not now. Now she was a superhero.

“You don’t hurt kids. That’s wrong.” She looked from his face to his hand that was still squeezing me.

“Go on, girl. ’Fore I change your mind.” Dad wiped his mouth with the back of his threatening hand.

Restraint.

He had it for her. For this little girl.

She frowned at my father and then put her lips to the side like she was fed up with him.

I felt my mouth drop open.

Then she was looking at me. Her clear blue eyes saw me. Saw through me. “Are you okay?”

To see this wild disrespect of what my father could do, what he demanded from Mom, from me was like getting hit with a wave in the center of my chest.

I felt my father’s warning hiss to me. This girl was the sun on the darkest horizon. She made dark turn to light.

I nodded. I was fine. We were always fine.

Mom was gone.

“Mister, you need to let go of his arm.”

The girl pointed at me. I knew what she saw. His fingers biting into me like teeth on a tiger. I had so many bruises all over my body that were in the outline of my father’s hand. This new one on my arm would only be unique because it didn’t feel entirely in the safe zone of how my shirts lay. I would wear a long sleeve if I could find it tomorrow. If I made it to tomorrow.

“I said for you to get. And mind your own damn business.”

The girl’s eyes went wide at his use of the word “damn”. If she only knew.

I wanted her to know.

She narrowed her eyes at my father. “You’re a bad man.”

The veins in my father’s neck were starting to pop out.

She was in danger now. And I knew I should protect her from him, but to not be alone for a moment. It was making me breathe, and I needed that so much.

“You’re about to learn how bad I can be.”

It was a low growl. It was his home voice. It was his closed-door voice. It was the voice I was never going to get away from. It was the last voice my mom heard.

Mom was gone.

“You’re trying to scare me, and I don’t scare easy. I sleep in my own bed with the lights off and no nightlight anymore.”

She lifted her chin at my father like a boxer just before the first punch.

“Dad, let’s go.” I spoke for her. Normally I never spoke. Not when my father’s voice had cracked its way into my soul. But I didn’t want to see the light in the girl’s eyes fade.

I didn’t know what a soul was until I watched my mother’s leave last night—or this morning. It was that eye light.

“Rebecca Dixie Stiles!”

The girl snapped her head around. Rebecca had to be her name.

“Over here, Dad! I need your help!” She crossed her arms in front of her.

I watched as my father shifted his weight and a muscle twitched in his jaw.

My father didn’t say anything else. He abandoned our groceries on the floor by the egg carton and pulled me with him.

I looked over my shoulder at her. She was waving down her father, who I didn’t get to see. “Dad! This guy! Wait!”

She reached past her stuffed animal into the sparkly bag and jogged after us. She held a lollipop out to me. I looked at it. The words “Hug Me” were printed on it. I stuck it inside my pocket.

Rebecca locked eyes with me then. “Be okay. Okay? Be okay.”

I nodded.

It just didn’t happen that day.

Or the next.

Or the next.


TBB RECOMMENDATIONS from DEBRA 


POUGHKEEPSIE is a standalone beautiful romance that will steal your heart.

 What a difference a smile and giving a damn about someone down on their luck can make. Livia and Blake will steal your heart.  Theirs is a love story that you will cheer from the beginning.  You want these two to succeed.  You want the best for them. You will love them. You will cherish them.

“You make the rest of the beautiful things in the world cry for even trying at all. You make it hard for me to breathe.” 

 


FOR ALL THE EVERS is a standalone emotional and beautiful otherworldly romance.

Written from the heart, this is a journey where past meets present, depicting bravery, addiction, sacrifice, determination, perseverance and redemption. Ultimately it captured the very essence of love and what we’d do in the name of love.  We cried tears of joy and devastation.

“If true love hurts more than this does, I don’t want any part of it.

All the Evers


 

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Filed under 4.5 Stars, Debra Anastasia, Pick an Author