An Ali Review: The Well by Marie Sexton

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Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Twenty years after prom queen Cassie Kennedy is brutally murdered, six teenagers break into the house where she was killed to hold a séance. Haven knows his cousin Elise only wants to scare the crap out of him and his friends, but he’s willing to put up with one of her pranks if it means a chance to spend a few hours with the new kid in town, Pierce Hunter. 

But when morning comes, Elise has disappeared without a trace. 

Twelve years later, Pierce and his twin brother Jordan are professional paranormal investigators, starring in their own ghost-hunting TV show. When Pierce calls Haven, insisting they return to the supposedly haunted building one last time, Haven reluctantly agrees. He’s nervous about seeing Pierce again, but he’s determined to get some answers. Did they really speak to Cassie’s ghost that night? What happened to Elise? And the biggest mystery of all – how did she know the secret of the well?
 
I was immediately intrigued when I read the blurb for this book.  I love a good mystery story and when you throw in a paranormal aspect I’m beyond excited.  I wasn’t sure what to think though, of this type of book written by this author.  Everything I’ve read of hers before has been a contemporary romance.  I’m super excited to say that she knocked this out of the ballpark.
The story focused on Haven who is now a horror book author.  When he was still a teen, he and his two cousins and some other friends, spend the night in a reportedly haunted house and then his cousin Elise disappears.  Two of the boys are now paranormal investigators with a famous television show and they contact Haven and ask him to come meet with them in regards to doing a new show on the house and it’s mysteries.  Haven can’t say no because he’s haunted by the question of what happened to Elise, as well as his feelings for Pierce.
The story is told in alternating chapters.  It goes back and forth between the past and the present.  The chapters from the past were spooky and I probably shouldn’t have been reading this late at night.  Just when things would start to get scary it would move to the present.  I thought it was a great story telling technique.  It gave me a break from clutching my blanket and dog against me and it kept me totally intrigued.  I couldn’t read fast enough to find out what really happened that night.
There is some romance between Haven and Pierce but it is not the main focus of the story.  I enjoyed watching them together and felt the ending was a solid HFN.
If you enjoy stories with a paranormal twist I can’t recommend this enough.  While it’s different than her norm, I think this is one of the best books this author has written.
Cover:  I think the cover is well done and it fits the story perfectly.  It gives off the creepy vibe that the book does.
Sales Links
Book Details:
Kindle Edition, 206 pages
Published May 22nd 2017
Original TitleThe Well
ASINB06XWVMH7H
Edition LanguageEnglish

A Stella Release Day Review: Gone by the Board by August Li

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RATING 5 out of 5 stars

The sea is full of jealously guarded secrets, but everything washes up eventually….

Betrayed by a trusted partner, Nathan figures he might as well be lost and heartbroken in the sunshine, and he heads to the coast of South Carolina, to stay with a friend and find a new direction for his life. But despite his efforts, he is lost in the fog, unable to find a guiding light and sometimes unable to find a reason to go on. His only respite from depression and anxiety is the soothing rhythm of the tides and the comfort he draws from proximity to the water.

When the sea sends a lifeline in the form of a strange and beautiful man, it’s easy for Nathan to ignore all the things that don’t add up about his new friend. But the tides can turn without notice, and it’s those mystical traits that will either finally lead Nathan safely to shore or drown him in confusion and despair.

I probably have a weakness for this author, some of his stories, like The Kitchen Boy or The Union of Sun and Moon, were a huge success to me but Gone By the Board is exactly what I like to read, exactly what I want from books like this. Maybe it’s just cause August Li has a way with words that are able to bring me in the characters’ world and let me live and breath their lives with them. This is a specific quality of the author writing, the reason why I come back to his books (new and old ones) quite often. His works are always so evocative and well done I can’t have enough of them.

Gone by the Board is a moving story, it’s about Nathan and his deep struggle with a dark depression, very hard to live with. Add to it a breakup with a husband who deserves really nothing from life, least at all a man like Nathan. So Nathan decides to move to South Carolina where his best friend Rachel lives in a peaceful place along the beach. Just what Nathan needs. Some quiet to put his life back on track. And then Brume happens.

Since I received this story I already read it twice and I surely will reread it sooner. Something caught my heart. Don’t let the blurb scares you, this is not a dark story, although it deals with important themes like depression and anxiety (SPOILER ), they aren’t there to turn the story into a dark one, like often books that deal with those themes do, they put me down and give a sense of resignation, the bad kind of it. Although these themes, Gone By the Board is sweet, light, heartwarming and so full of feelings. And with an unexpected HEA. I was waiting for the author to develop the plot into the obvious (to me) kind of ending, instead he went to the opposite and it was more perfect. I still smile rethinking of it.

I didn’t reveal a lot of important details in this review, because I don’t want to spoil anything at all. I think the right way to approach this reading is knowing just what the blurb tells you and no more. That way, this new release will conquer you, surprise you and leave you with fluffiness in your tummy. I feel to recommend Gone by the Board if you are looking for something different and real even if real it can’t be.

The cover art by Anne Cain is just perfect, so well done and fitting. I can see Brume and it’s just how I imagined him in my mind.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

BOOK DETAILS

ebook, 98 pages

Publication Date: May 24th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN 1635334977 (ISBN13: 9781635334975)

Edition Language English

A MelanieM Review: Hawaiian Orchid (The Hawaiians 2) by Meg Amor

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

 

Kulani is “The Orchid,” a young, insecure, pro-surfer who comes from a rough background on the Big Island of Hawai’i. He’s Beau Toyama’s cousin from Hawaiian Lei. But he’s also a healer and has a heart as deep as the ocean he’s part of. Like the great Hawaiians, who have gone before him, warrior Kulani Mahikoa epitomizes the spirit of aloha and love. Kulani’s not only healing his own wounds, but “The Lost Boys”—young, homeless, abandoned and abused gay boys he’s taken under his wing.

Rob Masterson is a wounded psychologist who’s trying to come to terms with his husband Tony’s death. When he died, they were separated but still living together. Can the lone and lonely New Zealand widower reconcile all the pieces of guilt and love, to heal and fall in love again? When he drops anchor in Kona Harbor and meets the exotic islander—young, bolshie Kulani—explosive heat makes sparks fly between them.

Is the age difference between them a barrier or something they’ll get past? Kulani has more layers than Rob ever bargained for. And Rob’s tangled knot of responsibility, grief and guilt with his New Zealand heritage and past life is something he needs to untangle.

Two wounded men have to learn to trust and love one another. Traveling between the South Sea Islands of beautiful New Zealand and the exotic Hawaiian Islands—they forge a sea change, finding a home for their shrapnel laced souls.

I discovered Meg Amor through the first terrific book in this series, Hawaiian Lei. Hawaiian Orchid (The Hawaiians 2) by Meg Amor cemented the fact that I’ve found something incredibly special, in this series and in this amazing author. From that forward where I learned the author had suffered two losses central to her heart, she brought that pain and loss to this story, making it ours through the character of Rob.  All the way, from the first sentence through to the dictionary at the end, Meg Amor held me captive by a tale layered in the need and search for love in all its aspects, from romantic to familial.  It does so within a deep and encompassing framework of various Pacific Island cultures and religions, the spirituality flowing through the storylines like a healer’s chant.  It takes place not only on the Big Island (BI) of Hawaii but also in New Zealand as Rob searches for closure for himself and a start anew finally with Kulani. For Kulani, he’s looking for acceptance, healing, and love too.  It’s his journey as well. This is a big story, big in heart, big in scale and the author makes this vast narrative intimate in emotion and connectivity for the reader.

Rob Masterson is a complex character. He’s older than Kulani, wounded by the loss of his husband, torn and beaten in ways by the way in which his marriage was ending and the way his husband died. Rob hasn’t healed when he meets Kulani, a gorgeous younger man.  Rob immediately recognizes in Kulani someone with wounds as deep or deeper than his but there’s an attraction between them than neither can resist.  Kulani is a character full of surprises for us and Rob.  That initial meeting of a sullen, young man lays the right superficial impression for the author to blow us away with the depths of pain and beauty awaiting below the surface.  She peels away the first layer slowly for Rob and us as Kulani slowly begins to open up and show his true self, only for Rob to realize how much he’s been holding back himself. Amor makes us believe in each man.  Their pain, sometimes awkwardness (Kulani’s), abruptness (Rob’s), and tenderness to and for each other is vivid, authentic and real.  So is the steps they take, forward and back,  towards a relationship.  It includes help and support from a number of other characters, including Beau and Matt from Hawaiian Lei and even their respective parents.  Again, the relationship dynamics here are complex and real.  And they make the story.

Now this story also contains a third element I won’t go into here.  It sets the stage for the third book in this series, Hawaiian Fragrance (The Hawaiians #3) which I’m going to read and review next.  Going into it here would I believe spoil something wonderful so I’m leaving it out.  But again, this aspect of the story, again just elevates Hawaiian Orchid and this series into another realm for me, that of the comfort read and the story I’ll read again and again.

The mysticism and spiritualism present in the first story is still here, toned down somewhat but it flows through as naturally as breathing air.  So beautifully done you might not even notice how deeply ingrained it is for these men and families.  But it’s there, especially in the reading Rob has done for him, one more important necessary step in the healing process for him.  Plus there are other elements that appear in the story as well, folded in so easily that I believed in them as much as Rob and Kulani.

This is an incredible story.  I highly recommend it as I do the one that starts the series. Hawaiian Orchid (The Hawaiians 2) by Meg Amor will be on my Best of List this year and it’s highly likely the series will as well.  Hawaiian Fragrance is next.  There’s something else you might want to look at! There’s a link here to the Hawaiian Orchid page on Meg Amor’s website. It contains more information on the meaning of the different orchids, the characters, the big island of Hawaii and much more.  Check it out!

Cover artist:  Syneca Featherstone. I just love these covers.  Beautiful and as lush as the islands themselves, the men are perfect!

 

Sales Links:  Amazon |    Loose Id LLC

 

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 302 pages
Published September 15th 2015 by Loose Id LLC
ASINB015G3F1N6
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series The Hawaiians :

An Alisa Review: Laurent and the Beast (Kings of Hell MC #1) by K.A. Merikan

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
— Nothing can stop true love. Not time. Not even the devil himself. —

1805. Laurent. Indentured servant. Desperate to escape a life that is falling apart. 
2017. Beast. Kings of Hell Motorcycle Club vice president. His fists do the talking.

Beast has been disfigured in a fire, but he’s covered his skin with tattoos to make sure no one mistakes his scars for weakness. The accident not only hurt his body, but damaged his soul and self-esteem, so he’s wrapped himself in a tight cocoon of violence and mayhem where no one can reach him.

Until one night, when he finds a young man covered in blood in their clubhouse. Sweet, innocent, and as beautiful as an angel fallen from heaven, Laurent pulls on all of Beast’s heartstrings. Laurent is so lost in the world around him, and is such a tangled mystery, that Beast can’t help but let the man claw his way into the stone that is Beast’s heart.

In 1805, Laurent has no family, no means, and his eyesight is failing. To escape a life of poverty, he uses his beauty, but that only backfires and leads him to a catastrophe that changes his life forever. He takes one step into the abyss and is transported to the future, ready to fight for a life worth living. 

What he doesn’t expect in his way is a brutal, gruff wall of tattooed muscle with a tender side that only Laurent is allowed to touch. And yet, if Laurent ever wants to earn his freedom, he might have to tear out the heart of the very man who took care of him when it mattered most.
I generally don’t read biker books.  It’s a genre I’m not fond of at all but I like these authors and the time travel aspect sounded so unique I had to give it a try.   I’m glad I did because I really enjoyed this.  
The story is told is alternating points of view.  I liked this because we got to see what both Laurent and Beast were thinking.  They were very different men and their perceptions of each situation was totally different.  They start off not trusting each other but as the story goes on they start to slowly open up to each other.  
I thought both MC’s were really well done and I liked them both but for different reasons.  Beast was the tortured hero that you really want to see get a happy ending.  He struggled with his own self-esteem and it was wonderful to watch him as he starts to trust Laurent and open up to him.  Laurent was a little immature (as expected since he was very young) but overall he took the whole situation like a trooper.  He didn’t whine or complain and he made the best of a bad situation.  It was also a bit funny to watch him explore the present time and learn all about the things around him.  Their scenes together were both sweet and sexy.  The two men had great chemistry and I was really rooting for them the entire time.
The overall plot was a mystery of sorts and I loved the paranormal aspect.  There was a devil and a serial killer and a present day bad guy.  I liked the ending and was excited to see that there are more books planned in the series.  We meet all of the guys in this book and my interest was peaked for all of them.  
I thought this was unique and well done.  It had a bit of everything.  There was some action and adventure, some sexy times and a beautiful love story.  This is a definite recommend from me.
The cover was done by Natasha Snow and I loved it.  It’s got a great vibe to it and it really catches the eye.  It’s also a great representation of Beast.
Sales Links:  Amazon
Book Details:
Kindle Edition, 360 pages
Published April 29th 2017 by Acerbi & Villani ltd (first published April 2017)
ASINB071NCQZPZ
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesKings of Hell MC #1
CharactersLaurent Mercier, Kai

Release Blitz for Equality (Dublin Virtues #2) by Helena Stone

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Buy Links: Pride | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Publisher: Pride Publishing


Length: 58,300 words


Dublin Virtues Series


Patience (Book #1) Pride | Amazon US | Amazon UK
Renewal (Book #3) Pride | Amazon US | Amazon UK 


Blurb

Love is love. But what if the fight for equality gets in the way of building a relationship?

Lorcan Barratt has never considered himself relationship material. After his parents made it perfectly clear they’d never welcome a partner of his into their home, he learned to love his own company and can’t imagine sharing his life with another. After a single passionate kiss with Eric Kavanagh—the night before he travels to Canada for three months—Lorcan’s no longer sure he wants to be on his own. The problem is, he has no idea what sharing his life with someone else might entail.

Eric Kavanagh grew up in a loving and supportive family and always assumed he’d end up in a committed relationship. Sure that he’s found the one, Eric doesn’t worry about the fact that Lorcan has no experience when it comes to love and relationships. They are good together, so what could possibly go wrong?

When both men get involved in the marriage equality referendum in Ireland, it appears to bring them even closer together until Lorcan’s insecurities get the upper hand and he shuts Eric out. Will the fight for a yes-vote cost them their relationship or will they be able to find a balance between the love they share and the need for equality?

Author Bio

Helena Stone can’t remember a life before words and reading. After growing up in a household where no holiday or festivity was complete without at least one new book, it’s hardly surprising she now owns more books than shelf space while her Kindle is about to explode.

The urge to write came as a surprise. The realisation that people might enjoy her words was a shock to say the least. Now that the writing bug has well and truly taken hold, Helena can no longer imagine not sharing the characters in her head and heart with the rest of the world.

 

Having left the hustle and bustle of Amsterdam for the peace and quiet of the Irish Country side she divides her time between reading, writing, long and often wet walks with the dog, her part-time job in a library, a grown-up daughter and her ever loving and patient husband.

Helena can be found in the following places:

Email: helenastoneauthor@gmail.com
 

Giveaway

 

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Review Tour – Laurent and the Beast (Kings of Hell MC #1) by KA Merikan (excerpt and giveaway)

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK


Length: 135,000 words


Cover: Natasha Snow


Blurb

Nothing can stop true love. Not time. Not even the devil himself. 


1805. Laurent. Indentured servant. Desperate to escape a life that is falling apart.

2017. Beast. Kings of Hell Motorcycle Club vice president. His fists do the talking.

Beast has been disfigured in a fire, but he’s covered his skin with tattoos to make sure no one mistakes his scars for weakness. The accident not only hurt his body, but damaged his soul and self-esteem, so he’s wrapped himself in a tight cocoon of violence and mayhem where no one can reach him.

Until one night, when he finds a young man covered in blood in their clubhouse. Sweet, innocent, and as beautiful as an angel fallen from heaven, Laurent pulls on all of Beast’s heartstrings. Laurent is so lost in the world around him, and is such a tangled mystery, that Beast can’t help but let the man claw his way into the stone that is Beast’s heart.

In 1805, Laurent has no family, no means, and his eyesight is failing. To escape a life of poverty, he uses his beauty, but that only backfires and leads him to a catastrophe that changes his life forever. He takes one step into the abyss and is transported to the future, ready to fight for a life worth living.

What he doesn’t expect in his way is a brutal, gruff wall of tattooed muscle with a tender side that only Laurent is allowed to touch. And yet, if Laurent ever wants to earn his freedom, he might have to tear out the heart of the very man who took care of him when it mattered most.


Excerpt 

Hound’s alarmed growling was coming his way, along with whines, when he reached the right door and opened it, only to have the massive Rottweiler’s body rush past him and into the corridor. Beast expected his pet to rush toward the room where the accident happened just minutes ago but Hound looked back at Beast, as if signalling he wanted to be followed, and rushed the other way, stirring the worst of feelings in Beast.

Was there an intruder somewhere in the house? With the sheer size of the former asylum that has served as the Kings of Hell Clubhouse for the last fifteen years, it was easy to overlook things happening in the disused parts of the property. They once had a bunch of teenagers who came over wanting to spy on the orgy. That thankfully didn’t end in blood, and out of the whole mess they got Jake to join their ranks.

Beast wondered whether he shouldn’t go back to the armory and get himself a gun but ultimately decided against it. There would be police and emergency services coming for Davy, and he didn’t want to run around with a firearm, no matter how good their relationship with the local police was.

Hound moved as if he were following a clear trail, but Beast couldn’t smell anything apart from dust and dampness. They were leaving behind the shouting and even the sound of the ambulance approaching, and eventually entered a corridor so disused it had a thick layer of dust on the floor. Now even Beast could see faint footprints in the dust, and next to them, dark droplets that could be blood.

Hound smelled the traces, looked back and broke into a run, which had Beast following him with the worst of expectations as to what he would eventually find. His heart beat faster as they ran down the dark hallway.

The building was a labyrinth, and this far away from where they all lived and worked, it wasn’t even wired anymore, so he breathed in the smell of mildew and followed Hound through the darkness in hope he would not stumble.

Windows in the doorless rooms on both sides of the corridor were the only source of light, now delivering a faint red and blue glow of the approaching ambulance. For all Beast knew, this could have been a gothic castle, something out of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, with bloodthirsty monsters waiting for their next victim in one of the endless hallways, and yet he only ran faster, listening to the steady tap of Hound’s paws.

Without any hesitation whatsoever, Hound rushed inside one of the rooms and gave a growl so vicious something inside Beast mourned his decision not to take a gun with him. But no one shot at him when Hound let out a single bark. Beast pushed past the empty doorway, jumping over a fallen chair, only to see someone hiding in the shadows.

Judging by the long, wavy hair and small stature, Beast at first thought it was a woman, but then the person spoke with a distinctly male voice.

“I… I’m not certain where I am.” The stranger took half a step out of the shadow, and into the flashing light coming from outside. His accent was distinctly foreign. French maybe?

Beast took him in with a scowl. Blood covered the stranger’s face, hair, dripped from his chin, from the tips of his trembling fingers, and stained the outfit that looked as if he’d stolen it from the set of a costume drama. Knee-high boots, fitted pants, a vest worn under a tailcoat.

“What the fuck are you doing on our property, boy?” hissed Beast, watching the soft features of a very young man. “Whose blood is this?” he asked, still cautious. In his experience, a non-threatening presence could hide an adept fighter, so he was not taking any chances as he joined Hound in front of the stranger, who was so short in comparison to Beast’s own six foot five form that his red-stained head only reached Beast’s pecs.

The stranger backed away into the corner, whimpering in fear the moment Hound growled at him again and lowered his head, but Beast wasn’t having any of it and grabbed the boy’s arm. “Is the blood yours then? Someone attacked you? Where?” he asked, not hesitating to pat the intruder down, to make sure there were no weapons hiding under the fancy coat.

The boy tried to weasel out of his grip, but he didn’t seem adept at using force. “N-no. I don’t think it’s mine. I don’t know. Is this hell?”

Beast groaned, staring at the silly-looking young man, whose white shirt was completely drenched in red. Someone must have died to produce this much blood.

“You will explain yourself to King.”


 

May 15 – Dirty Books Obsession, Urban Smoothie Read, MM Good Book Reviews
May 19 – Bonkers About Books, Diverse Reader, Just Love
May 22 – We Three Queens, Book Love, Books Laid Bare Boys, Keysmash
May 24 – Padme’s Library, Angels With Attitude Book Reviews, Bayou Book Junkie, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Mikku-chan

 
 
Author Bio

 

K. A. Merikan is the pen name for Kat and Agnes Merikan, a team of writers, who are taken for sisters with surprising regularity. Kat’s the mean sergeant and survival specialist of the duo, never hesitating to kick Agnes’s ass when she’s slacking off. Her memory works like an easy-access catalogue, which allows her to keep up with both book details and social media. Also works as the emergency GPS. Agnes is the Merikan nitpicker, usually found busy with formatting and research. Her attention tends to be scattered, and despite pushing thirty, she needs to apply makeup to buy alcohol. Self-proclaimed queen of the roads.

They love the weird and wonderful, stepping out of the box, and bending stereotypes both in life and books. When you pick up a Merikan book, there’s one thing you can be sure of – it will be full of surprises.

 

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Release Blitz Tour Request – RJ Scott’s Back Home (excerpt and giveaway)

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK


Cover Design: Meredith Russell


Length: 52,147 words


Blurb

Falling for his brother’s boyfriend broke his heart. Now he’s back home and falls in love all over again.


One birthday kiss and Kieran realizes he is in danger of falling for his brother’s boyfriend, Jordan. Leaving for college, then moving to another country is the only way to ease the ache in his heart.


But, when his father becomes ill and his sister begs him to come home, Kieran returns for good. He finds the family business nearly bankrupt and Jordan, the man he ran from, beaten down by despair and guilt.


Friendship is what they promise each other as they work to repair the business, but it could never be enough for Kieran. When secrets spill, and there are vital decisions to be made, Kieran realizes two things; he’s back home, and he wants to stay with Jordan for good.


Now he just needs to convince Jordan.


Excerpt


“Where’s Hayley?” he asked.

“She slept out last night,” Anna said as she spooned eggs onto a plate for him.

“Where did she say she was going?” Jordan asked again. He slipped into the familiar big brother role as easily as pulling on his jeans in the morning. After all, he damn was like a big brother to her, especially with Brad gone and Kieran on another continent. He had a right and a reason to be worried. As soon as Anna told him that Hayley hadn’t been home, he started fretting even though he knew he had to accept that the girl he thought of as five with pigtails had actually reached adulthood and had even had sex. He didn’t want to think about that in too much detail.

“She’s twenty-two, sweetie. If she wants to stay out, that’s her choice. Maybe she was with that nice young man Alex.”

Anna sounded so accommodating; as if it didn’t worry her that her youngest child was out God knows where with God knows whom. Alex might seem like a good guy, and Jordan had even grudgingly admitted he appeared to be a solid stable influence on the normally flighty Hayley, but still, he knew exactly what was in a twenty-five-year-old man’s head. After all, he was only twenty-nine himself, and he had a good memory. Resentment built inside him, sudden and bitter; after Brad, they should have been more careful knowing where their kids were and what they were doing.

Shit. Where had that thought come from? Brad had been a grown man. What had happened to him had nothing to do with Anna and Phil. They were good parents, and they had made a good family. It also wasn’t their fault Kieran was gone. He ruthlessly pushed down the irrational imaginings to where they belonged, way down where he stored his own guilt.

“Should’ve told us,” Jordan snapped in return, anger fighting with fear in his gut. She was so little, even at twenty-two, slim and petite and so blindly trusting of everything and everyone around her.

“Jordan…” Anna turned from the skillet, wiping her hands on a kitchen towel and looking at him with that patented mother expression that she did so well. It never failed to calm him down. “She texted to say she was okay. That is as much as we’re going to get. We know she’s okay—she said so.”

Jordan grimaced. Recently all he seemed able to do was focusing on the shit that was happening, or on the worst that could happen. It was so easy to let a million thoughts race through his mind, every one colored with death and blood and fear. He could imagine a kidnapper taking the phone and texting as her, or her being coerced… Jesus, it didn’t bear thinking about.

“I’m going to be having words with her,” he grumped, concentrating on the plate of food that Anna placed in front of him. He wasn’t even hungry, anxiety nibbling away at him until his stomach was one big knotted mess. Patiently, and acutely aware that Anna was watching him as she had done ever since his accident, he forked eggs and bacon into his mouth, the taste of them like ashes.

Eating didn’t stop him from brooding, and being watched didn’t stop his mood from spiraling lower. If anything, the combination of the two made everything worse. The appointment at the bank was still looming, and he was worried about what they would say.

Jordan had to go on his own; Phil wasn’t well enough to be there with him, but he was determined to be involved in dealing with the company’s finances. He wanted to be hands-on, it was his company and on and on. Whenever Phil started talking that way, Jordan listened as patiently as he could, trying not to feel too hurt Phil was determined to hold on so tightly. After all, hadn’t he been running the company just fine for the last two years?

When the kitchen door opened, and Hayley took a step into the battleground, Jordan was on her like a ton of bricks, launching to his feet with temper running through him like fire.

“Where the hell have you been? We’ve been damn scared you were in a ditch or something. For God’s sake, your momma was worried.” Jordan’s voice was loud and quick and his temper on a rare high. He saw Hayley look at her mom with raised eyebrows, receiving a small smile and a shrug of delicate shoulders in return. She wasn’t taking him seriously. God damn it, she needed to take him seriously.

“Jordan—” Hayley started quickly, but he interrupted before she could get any words out. He took a step towards her, his free hand gripping her arm.

“You should have let us know where you were.”

“I—”

“Just so I don’t go ripping up the area looking for you.” He realized he was shaking her, unaware of anything else, his temper making his actions sharp, until a hand rested on his arm.

“She was with me.” A low voice was in his ear, lost in the sound of a gasp from Anna, then complete and utter silence for a second as a tableau of shocked, frozen people engraved itself on Jordan’s mind.

It was Anna who broke the awkward silence, launching herself at the son she hadn’t seen in too long. Jordan’s softly spoken “Kieran” was drowned out by Anna’s squeal, the rush of hugs and welcomes and the refrains of why didn’t you tell me? Everyone talked over each other with laughter and jokes.

Typical. After all this time, Kieran freaking Addison walks through the door, and suddenly everyone conveniently forgets how he ran out and left them all.

Jordan stared at the man who had shaken his world to the roots. He struggled to see the boy who had left only days after that rainy Tuesday when they had buried Brad. This was a different Kieran —not a boy, but a man. Gone were the uncoordinated lankiness of youth and the floppy blond bangs that were forever determined to cover his gray eyes. Instead here was a man in control—tall, strong, with styled, shorter hair, and a gaze that wouldn’t meet Jordan’s. When it came down to it, Jordan felt the shock driving into him that Kieran Addison had deigned to return to the Addison fold at all. He waited, watching Anna welcome home the prodigal son, allowing the moments of reconnection. Then he said the first thing that came to his mind as he looked at Kieran and cursed his arrival for so many reasons he couldn’t begin to list.

“What the hell are you doing here?”

 

Author Bio

RJ Scott is the bestselling romance author of over 100 romance books. She writes emotional stories of complicated characters, cowboys, millionaire, princes, and the men and women who get mixed up in their lives. RJ is known for writing books that always end with a happy ever after. She lives just outside London and spends every waking minute she isn’t with family either reading or writing.

The last time she had a weekís break from writing she didn’t like it one little bit, and she has yet to meet a bottle of wine she couldnít defeat.

mailto:rj@rjscott.co.uk
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