A MelanieM Review: Last Marine Standing (Heroes #2) by R.J. Scott

Standard

Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Former Marine Recon, Mackenzie ‘Mac’ Jackson has secrets. The things he did for his country, the things he saw, must never be spoken about. Until, that is, his team is targeted.

A shift in political alliances means one particular mission undertaken by Mac and his Fire Team needs to be wiped from the history books. Starting with the team itself.

Forest Ranger Samuel Larson wants to find the Marines who saved his life. He just wants to say thank you. What he can’t know is that he’s walking into a firestorm of betrayal and murder.

When Samuel arrives at Mac’s place he throws Mac’s plans for hiding out of the window. Abruptly Mac has to protect a man who threatens his heart, only this time he can’t be sure he will succeed in keeping Sam alive.

When the people you trusted turn on you, when you are the last one standing, should you take your secrets to the grave? Or make the murderers pay?

Heroes is turning out to be an incredible series.  A spinoff from the amazing Sanctuary stories,A Reason To Stay hooked me in with RJ Scott delivering romance, murder mystery along with  her hardened SEAL on leave and his second chance at love police officer.  Last Maine Standing though kicks it all into high gear.  There’s an absolutely horrific mission in the past that starts the story.    I’ll say no more about that.

But these two men haunt each other and the reader with their combined pasts.

On top of that, RJ Scott has thrown a conspiracy of deceit and murder against our heroes.  It’s heinous, it’s murky, and the suspicions and suspense of everyone drives this story, sometimes pushing the romance aspect to a secondary element.   Still, RJ Scott is so great with it comes to interpersonal dynamics that even when suspense and espionage is driving a certain portion of the story, she gets to work in the magnetic attraction and heat that brings these two men together and makes their relationship work.   You certainly understand by Sam needs to find Mac after all these years and you can see Mac’s need as well.  The balance works.

Really, I thought this story had it all.  Action, drama, hot men, sex and yes, romance.  I loved this story.  Heroes is a wonderful series and Last Marine Standing is the prime example why.  I highly recommend both.

Cover art by Meredith Russell is terrific.

Sales Links:  RJ Scott Books | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 211 pages
Published October 8th 2014 by Love Lane Books (first published October 6th 2014)
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesHeroes #2

 

An Ali Review: We Met In Death by KA Merikan

Standard
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
 
“This is not the night you die.”

After years of working for a loan shark, Robert is done with blood and violence. All he has to show for it is a bag of money and a lifetime of regrets. There’s no other way out of his line of work than in a body bag.

So Robert decides to die.

But on the night he chooses to seal his own fate, destiny offers him a chance at redemption. When Robert saves a handsome young escort from a terrible death, he has no idea he is setting in motion much more than one last attempt at proving that inside the hardened shell, he is a decent human being. 

Charming, quick-witted, and full of smiles, Nathan is all Robert could dream of. He’s also ready to fall into the arms of his gruff protector. Robert, on the other hand, has never been with a man and will first need to fight his own demons if he is to accept that his whole being wants to make Nathan his.

With his former boss hunting them both, time is ticking, and Robert might just not get the chance to decide before it’s too late. More importantly though, Robert will stop at nothing to protect the man who’s made him feel alive again, the man who is the only thing between him and the abyss.
“I never had to think much about death before, but I did yesterday. I thought I would die. In a hole. Covered with dirt. Suffocate underground. 
But then you saved me.”

This book was a wild ride from the very first page till the end.  I love that I never know what I’m going to get with these authors but I always know that it’s going to be unique and outside the box.  I was really looking forward to this one and it did not disappoint.

Both Robert and Nathan are a bit lax when it comes to morals (especially Robert) but that didn’t effect my enjoyment of the story or them as main characters.  Robert was a bit difficult to like at the beginning and he doesn’t treat Nathan well overall. He was harsh and mean at times.  He has the glimpses of sweetness though that keep both the reader and Nathan interested in more. It was worth the initial struggle because when Robert finally opens up and falls, he falls hard.  I liked Nathan from the start.  He was spunky and funny and he rolled with both the metaphorical and literal punches.  These two had great chemistry and the sex scenes were scorching hot. 
Since the two men are part of the criminal world parts of the story are pretty gritty.  There’s some death and some destruction along the way but I was rooting for them the entire way.  I didn’t think it was very dark but I can’t always be trusted with that because my tolerance is pretty high.  If you are on the more sensitive side you should note the tags for the book. 
I really liked this and thought it was well done.  I enjoyed both the overall plot and the romance.  I thought the entire thing was wildly entertaining and I had a hard time putting it down once I had started it.
Cover Design: Natasha Snow:  I think the cover is perfect for the book.  It has the same dark, gritty vibe the books does.  I like it a lot.

Buy Links:

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book Details:
Kindle Edition, 274 pages
Published October 10th 2017 by Acerbi & Villani ltd
ASINB0764CK6TZ
Edition LanguageEnglish
CharactersRobert Zidane (We Met In Death), Nathan Edwards (We Met In Death)

A Lila Audiobook Review: Out of the Shadows by K.C. Wells and Finn Sterling (Narrator)

Standard

Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Can he step out of the shadows and into love’s light?

Eight years ago, Christian Hernandez moved to Jamaica Plain in southern Boston, took refuge in his apartment, and cut himself off from the outside world. And that’s how he’d like it to stay.

Josh Wendell has heard his coworkers gossip about the occupant of apartment #1. No one sees the mystery man, and Josh loves a mystery. So when he is hired to refurbish the apartment’s kitchen and bathrooms, Josh is eager to discover the truth behind the rumors.

When he comes face-to-face with Christian, Josh understands why Christian hides from prying eyes. As the two men bond, Josh sees past his exterior to the man within, and he likes what he sees. But can Christian find the courage to emerge from the darkness of his lonely existence for the man who has claimed his heart?

Out of the Shadows is a slow burn romance between a recluse Christian and an extrovert Josh. I like how they communicated when Josh started working at Christian’s apartment and would have loved to see more of it.  It allowed them to get comfortable with each other, creating a foundation for their relationship.

This is a very sweet and fluffy story but those aspects worked with the Dreamspun series. I wanted a slower transition for Christian to adjust to his new reality but in this case, love cured it all. Their attraction was immediate as well as Christian’s acceptance of Josh’s plans for him.

Overall, this story has nice characters, and interesting instigating event, and the potential for so much more. Unfortunately, I never connected with the main couple. Their bromance was stronger than their romance. In the end, it was an okay story.

The narration by Finn Sterling was a fifty-fifty for me. I enjoyed all the characters but Josh. And since he’s one of the main characters, it took from my enjoyment of the story. I think he tried, too hard, to create a distinctive voice for Josh, but ended with a cartoonish version of a young man instead. Everything else saved his performance.

The cover by Bree Archer is a bit theatrical. Perhaps a hoodie would have worked better. The model doesn’t reflect Christian’s description, either.

Sales Links: Dreamspinner | iTunes | Audible

Audiobook Details:

Narrator: Finn Sterling
Length: 6 hours 6 minutes
Published: September 13, 2017 (Audio Edition) by Dreamspinner Press
ASIN: B075KNQDCT
Edition Language: English

Xenia Melzer on Writing, Inspiration, and her latest release ‘A Dom and His Writer (Club Whisper #1) (guest blog)

Standard

A Dom and His Writer (Club Whisper #1) by Xenia Melzer
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Art: Aaron Anderson

Release Date: October 23, 2017

Available to Purchase at

Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

How I got the idea for A Dom and his Writer

by Xenia Melzer

People often want to know how authors get their ideas for stories. For each author, that can be a unique process, but one thing many of us have in common is the so-called “plot bunny disease”. The plot bunny is an evil little thing that hops through your mind, leaving new ideas like Easter eggs when you should be writing something else. Once the plot egg hatches – with me, it usually happens during night, when I’m defenseless – there’s this new story with all those interesting characters and it wants out. It can’t wait. Nope. Not a day, not a minute, and certainly not until you have finished this other project.

For me, this means I sit down with my trusty notebook (analog, not digital, so last century, I know!) to write down the cliff notes, overall plot, and everything else you need to craft a story. I usually don’t know what triggers the plot bunny to drop its eggs, but with “A Dom and his Writer”, I have a pretty good idea. I had read something about so-called helicopter parents, the pro and cons of getting children early/late in your life, and why especially parents with an academic background seem to be prone to helicoptering. Why I read that article? Don’t ask me. It was less complicated than the Lego bus my younger daughter wanted to build with me and slightly more demanding than scrolling through my FB account, so I went with it. Anyway, said article culminated in the idea for “A Dom and his Writer”.

I thought about all the ways my children have changed my life and then I wondered how somebody who had no ties to children or inclination to have them whatsoever, would react to having one dumped in their lap. At least, I wanted to have children…

So I came up with Richard and Dean, a gay BDSM couple, Richard a filthy rich billionaire, Dean a super-successful, not as filthy rich but still loaded author, who live their life with absolutely no care in the world. (I’m not saying BDSM couples don’t want children, it’s just that I wanted the maximum in contrast and black leather against pink onesies was irresistible to me.)

Richard and Dean have it all: deep love, a stable relationship, both are comfortable with their roles and the kinky side of their love-life, they have good friends and more money than they will ever be able to spend. Then comes Emily, Dean’s niece, a three-month old girl, and everything changes.

I do admit some of the scenes including Emily were written with my own children in mind. Becoming a parent is easy, being one is quite another story and nobody can prepare you for the challenges that come with raising a child. Those who consciously decide to become parents have at least nine months to prepare for it. To read books, watch videos, attend courses. Richard and Dean are thrown into the role with no warning and I have to admit, I just watched them struggle with the changes Emily brought to their life.

Sometimes it was funny, sometimes sad, and sometimes I got angry. Writing this story was a bit like the first year with my first daughter. A roller-coaster ride that I’d never want to miss, even when the ride was a bit bumpy sometimes.

I hope readers see the story like I do – a love story between two men who have to face a major challenge, not knowing how it will end for their relationship.

Oh, and there’s a bit of kink, too. 😊    

 

Blurb

Life is perfect for Richard and Dean. Richard is a wealthy and successful businessman who also owns a BDSM club, and Dean is a bestselling author and sub to Richard. They’re young, happy, and in love. The future is bright….

 

Until tragedy strikes and an accident claims Dean’s beloved sister. Dean also finds himself the guardian of a three-month-old infant, and soon he’s trading in his leather fetish gear for diapers and drool bibs. But little Emily is all that remains of his family, so how can he abandon her?

 

It’s not what Richard signed up for. As much as he tries to be supportive, he never wanted kids and misses having his partner to himself. Suddenly the life he imagined for them is gone, and he’s not sure their relationship can survive the upheaval. But fate isn’t through with Dean, and when misfortune strikes again, will he be able to turn to the man he loves? A final crisis will determine if they can pull together as a family or they must face facts and part ways.

About the Author

Xenia Melzer is a mother of two who enjoys riding and running when she’s not writing stories. She doesn’t like beer but is easily tempted by a Virgin Mojito. Or chocolate. Truffles are especially cherished, even though she doesn’t discriminate. As a true chocoholic, she welcomes any kind of cocoa-based delight.

You can contact her through her website: http//www.xeniamelzer.com

Or befriend and follow her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/xeniamelzer/

Review Tour and Giveaway for We Met In Death by KA Merikan

Standard

 

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Length: 90,000 words approx.
 
Cover Design: Natasha Snow
 
Blurb
 

“This is not the night you die.”

After years of working for a loan shark, Robert is done with blood and violence. All he has to show for it is a bag of money and a lifetime of regrets. There’s no other way out of his line of work than in a body bag.

So Robert decides to die.

But on the night he chooses to seal his own fate, destiny offers him a chance at redemption. When Robert saves a handsome young escort from a terrible death, he has no idea he is setting in motion much more than one last attempt at proving that inside the hardened shell, he is a decent human being.

Charming, quick-witted, and full of smiles, Nathan is all Robert could dream of. He’s also ready to fall into the arms of his gruff protector. Robert, on the other hand, has never been with a man and will first need to fight his own demons if he is to accept that his whole being wants to make Nathan his.

With his former boss hunting them both, time is ticking, and Robert might just not get the chance to decide before it’s too late. More importantly though, Robert will stop at nothing to protect the man who’s made him feel alive again, the man who is the only thing between him and the abyss.

“I never had to think much about death before, but I did yesterday. I thought I would die. In a hole. Covered with dirt. Suffocate underground. But then you saved me.”

WARNING: This story contains scenes of violence, torture, mentions of suicide, offensive language, morally ambiguous characters, homophobia and homophobic language

October 10 – BooksLaidBareBoys, Mikku-chan, Mirrigold: Mutterings and Musings
October 12 – Urban Smoothie Read
October 14 – My Fiction Nook, OptimuMM
October 16 – Bonkers About Books, MM Book Escape
October 18 – The Librarian’s Corner
October 20 – Jim’s Reading Room, Bayou Book Junkie, Cheekypee Reads & Reviews, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Sanaa’s Book Blog, Love Bites & Silk Ties

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.

Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
Website
Goodreads

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Hosted By Signal Boost Promotions

 

An Alisa Review: Honey and Heat by Rian Durant

Standard

Rating:  2 stars out of 5

 

Linden has only one thing on his mind a few days away from Christmas—his pending university exams. That is, until he meets his neighbor’s’ son who has returned for the holidays. Brice Stevens is gorgeous, but he’s insufferable.

 

It’s Linden’s first love, and he falls hard for Brice, despite Brice’s occasionally aloof and cool behavior. It’s an emotional ride for both of them while Linden takes a crash course in real love and Brice learns to trust in a relationship.

 

This story was not what I expected and at the same time did not work for me.  This is not the sweet holiday romance that the blurb makes it sound like and truthfully isn’t much of a romance at all.  Linden leads a very lonely life, he seems to do his best to stay on the outside of all that goes on around him.  Brice is basically a jerk from the moment they first meet with only one afternoon that he even acts like a decent human being.

 

I am not one to judge against insta-love most the time I love them, but that’s when the characters actually work.  How Linden could fall in love with someone who never treated him decently just didn’t work and Linden’s relationship with Brice and with his “friends” send out so many warning signals that I couldn’t feel it was possible for him to even be in a healthy relationship.  Unfortunately the ending was the only redeeming part of the book to me actually showing the characters seeming to be in stable relationship and real friendships but nothing else in the book seemed to actually lead to that and it seemed out of place.

 

I love the cover art by Natasha Snow but not sure it’s right for this story.

 

Sales Links: Nine Star Press | Amazon | B&N

 

Book Details:

ebook, 160 pages

Published: September 4, 2017 by Nine Star Press

ISBN: 978-1-947139-80-0

Edition Language: English

Release Blitz Tour and Giveaway for VL Locey’s Improper Fraction

Standard

 

 
 
Cover Design: Reverie Design



Length: 68,690 words


Blurb

O’Malley Ramsey, math aficionado, grew up next door to Garrison Rook, All-American athlete. While O’Malley dreamed of numbers and kissing Garrison, Garrison’s tastes ran to home runs and hot chicks. During a family celebration the night before both young men were heading off for college, O’Malley joyously discovers that Garrison isn’t quite as straight as the star athlete had been pretending to be. Vows to return to each other quickly followed a few clumsy kisses in the old treehouse in the Rook’s backyard.

O’Malley came home to Garrison. Garrison never returned to O’Malley.

Four years later, the two ex-friends meet up at a summer camp where O’Malley is serving as a counselor. Garrison is desperate to make things right with his childhood friend, but can O’Malley, still nursing the pain and mistrust of Garrison’s betrayal, ever forgive or love Garrison again?

Author Bio


V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, yoga, belly laughs, walking, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, the New York Rangers, comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.) She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, one dog, two cats, a flock of assorted domestic fowl, and two Jersey steers.

When not writing spicy romances, she enjoys spending her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in


Website
Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
Goodreads
Blog

Giveaway

An Ali Audiobook Review: Unquiet (Resilient Love #3) by Melanie Hansen and Michael Stellman (Narrator)

Standard
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Loren Smith has been in love with Eliot Devlin almost his entire life. During their turbulent childhood and teen years, Loren didn’t always understand Eliot, and sometimes he could be a challenge, but Eliot was the only one to ever truly ease Loren’s deep loneliness and accept him. When Eliot’s increasingly erratic and self-destructive behavior culminates in a suicide attempt at seventeen, Loren is devastated.

Upon meeting again by chance nine years later, Loren is enjoying a successful career as a police officer while Eliot’s life has been a constant struggle for stability. In and out of mental hospitals, with a rap sheet a mile long, he continues to be buffeted by the twin storms of mania and depression. Loren’s love and protectiveness for Eliot are deeply ingrained in him, however, and their feelings for each other are quickly rekindled.

Loren has issues of his own he’s dealing with, and trying to understand and cope with Eliot’s bipolar disorder isn’t easy. They believe they’re meant to be, and Eliot brings a fulfillment to Loren’s life that no one else will ever match. But as they both come to realize, love by itself can’t cure all.
This book has the distinction of being both one of the best and the worst books I’ve read in a long time.  The writing in this story is fantastic.  The author makes the characters and their situation so realistic you feel like you’re right there along with them.  This level of top notch writing makes it one of the best books I’ve read this year.
What makes it one of the worst is that this story is just emotionally brutal. It takes a very realistic look at loving someone with a chronic, severe mental health issue. I would go so far as to say it’s a love story but not a romance. If you’re looking for a story with a touching hea this is not it. The book is nothing but pain for these two. They have their moments of happiness but they’re boxed in between really horrible days, weeks, months. When it ended I just felt sad and so, so bad for both of them. I found this entire story to be a giant downer.
If I had known going in how heavy and serious it was going to be I would have been prepared and maybe I would have probably liked it better. Honestly it was just too much for me.  I want my romance stories to have a happily ever after and that didn’t happen here.  They’re together at the end and it’s as good as it’s ever going to be, but their lives are still this roller coaster of emotion.  There was more than once occasion where I wished for something different for Loren.  I had liked him so much in book two.  He was such a great guy.  Then I felt guilty for those thoughts because none of what was happening was Loren’s fault.  He didn’t ask for the life he was given.  My heart hurt for all the pain he had to go through.
This book was narrated by Michael Stellman who is a new narrator for me.  I thought he did a great job on this.  His narration was well done and I liked the way he did both MC’s as well as the side characters.  I think the great narration added another level of emotions to the story.  Normally that’s a good thing but in this I think it made it even sadder.
I struggled with how to rate this.  I think it deserves a 5 plus stars on plot and writing but if I based it on enjoyment level it would be much lower.  I have read and really enjoyed the first two books in the series.  I was expecting something with that same level of angst.  This was just too gritty and too realistic for me.  If you’re looking for something different and on a more serious tone I do recommend this.  If you have read the first two books you will see the other two couples in this a bit and there’s some sweet scenes in regards to some of them.  If you have not read the first two you can read this as a standalone.
This cover was done by Natasha Snow Designs and I think it is really good.  It perfectly captures the mood of this story.

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | Audible | iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Audible Audio
Published September 13th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press (first published January 22nd 2016)
Original Title Unquiet
ASIN B075KFLSC7
Edition Language English

A Kai Release Day Review: Safe and Sound by Caitlin Ricci

Standard

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

Twenty-one-year-old Mason has to get out of his mother’s house, where her boyfriend subjects him to unwanted advances—and won’t take no for an answer. Since she didn’t believe Mason when he told her about his uncle’s sexual abuse, Mason knows he’s on his own, and it’s up to him to raise the money he needs. He thinks he’s in luck when he takes a modeling job.

Oliver is a photographer, and getting guys and sex has always been easy for him. His current open relationship is no exception: more friendship and fun than anything. But when Oliver meets Mason, he can see the younger man is fragile and desperately in need of help. Before anything can develop between them, Mason needs to free himself of his terrible living situation and start on the road to healing. Oliver wants to stand beside him as he does. What surprises him is the discovery that he might need Mason as much as Mason needs him.

Well, guys, this story just didn’t work for me.

The premise had such a great potential and although is a really short novella, I was hopeful it would be a good one before I read it. But, unfortunately, the execution fell flat.

Even though I didn’t have a big problem with the writing style, I didn’t like the way the story was developed. Or better yet, not developed enough.

I couldn’t connect with the main characters, and maybe if their personality had been more worked, it could be a little better. 

Mason seemed and acted just like a kid. And I get he had a traumatic experience in the past (that could have been more traumatic in my opinion), but his reaction to everybody and constant helpless characteristic seemed a little unrealistic for me.

On the other hand, Oliver personality wasn’t helplessly at all, but it was flat. He avoided monogamic relationships and, ok that’s his choice, not judgment here for it. But I couldn’t wrap why of it. I mean, he kind of tried to explain himself, but it was dull. It would be nice if we could see more depth in him.

Well, the open relationship Oliver had and the way it worked was intriguing, at least. But I couldn’t connect with Mason and Oliver together. It was really super fast and unrealistic the feelings. Like a super fast kiss and they had feelings for each other? 

I also didn’t like much of the supporting characters. Don’t even let me start with the mom. urgh! She treated her son like a kid and at the same time didn’t see what was in front of her nose. Urgh! 

I’ll stop now before I give you a big spoiler. But go there and read it. I recommend it? No. But I’d like to know if you have a different opinion or maybe agree with me. Let me know what you think about this novella.

Well, the cover art by Brooke Albrecht, is a really generic and a nice picture. But didn’t fit the story and I’m sorry, but it isn’t as inviting to read the book as a cover should.

Sales Links

Dreamspinner: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/safe-and-sound-by-caitlin-ricci-8948-b

Amazon: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36267337-safe-and-sound?from_search=true

Book Details:

ebook, 1st, 84 pages
Published October 18th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781635337839
Edition LanguageEnglish

Release Blitz and Giveaway Tour – Deacon’s Law (Heroes #3) by RJ Scott

Standard
 
 
Cover Design: Meredith Russell
 
Length: 50,000 words approx.
 
Heroes Series
 
A Reason To Stay (Book #1) – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Last Marine Standing (Book #2) – Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Blurb
 

How can you trust the man who tried to kill you?

Undercover cop Deacon Shepherd lost everything trying to maintain his cover – the man he loved and the future he craved. He walked away and never looked back because it was the only way to keep Rafael alive.

The last thing he needs is to be dragged back in that world, but an attempt on Rafael’s life is enough to make him risk his heart again.

Rafael ‘Rafe’ Ramirez wakes up in the hospital, the victim of a hit and run. He’s horrified when the first face he sees is that of the man who betrayed him and left him for dead three years before. Witness protection had stripped Rafe of his family and friends, and now it seems his sacrifice to bring his Uncle to justice was for nothing.

Someone wants Rafe dead, and the only way he can stay alive is to go with the murdering drug dealer who broke his heart. But how can he ever trust Deacon, and how can Deacon protect Rafe without falling in love all over again?

Excerpt
 

Rafe opened his eyes, attempting to focus on the ceiling above him. He tried to lift his hand, but it felt as if there was lead in his veins, everything heavy and he couldn’t move. They’d told him he was getting better, so what the hell had happened? Had he relapsed? Why was he convinced that they’d taken him somewhere in an ambulance? That he’d leaned against a leather jacket that smelled of sunshine and soap? He blinked until the ceiling finally coalesced into the tiles he was familiar with.

Only there were no tiles.

Instead, the ceiling was a smooth white, and there were no strip lights, just a lampshade in a curious shade of blue. He blinked again. This didn’t make sense. 

But when he opened his eyes, nothing had changed. The ceiling was still white, the lampshade blue, and the drapes at the window matched the shade. The drapes. There were drapes at the window. Confusion morphed into panic and he turned his head to the right to get a better feel for where he was and he saw…him.

Sprawled awkwardly in the chair, his head back, long limbs this way and that, clearly too big for the chair, was a specter from a past that wouldn’t leave him alone.

Deacon.

Intense fear sliced into Rafe.

They’d found him, had him strapped to a bed…was it Deacon who’d tracked him down and driven a car at him? He was paralyzed with a fear that made it hard to breathe, and he yanked at his hand, hoping to escape his restraints, only he wasn’t tied down, there was no rope. Instead his hand came up fast and he rolled sideways. Catching himself and coming off the bed, forgetting the fact that his leg was in a cast and toppling sideways, falling with a crash into a cabinet. He flailed but couldn’t stop himself falling, and he knew this was it – this time he was really going to die.

Deacon was up and at his side in an instant, and Rafe wanted to shut his eyes, wanted to block out seeing Deacon’s face again as he died, but he had to watch. He wanted Deacon to see his fear, and maybe that would stop him; maybe he could make Deacon stop and think.

“Shit, Rafe— Craig,” Deacon said, and reached for him, grasping his arms.

Terror became ice inside him, and Rafe stopped fighting; like a deer caught in headlights, he froze.

“What happened?” A second man stood in the doorway, someone Rafe didn’t know – tall, dark and dangerous-looking. Maybe this new arrival could stop Deacon?

“Help me,” Rafe forced out, looking past Deacon, scrambling to stand as the ice melted and he pushed himself to move.

“He woke up, saw me, and fell out of bed,” Deacon said, and the other man came right in. There were two of them, and there was little Rafe could do to get away. There and then, he screwed his eyes shut; nothing was going to save him now.

But there was no pain, no bullet. Instead, the two men helped him to stand, and then he felt the bed at the back of his thighs and they sat him down.

“Are you okay?” Deacon asked. Even with his eyes shut, Rafe recognized his voice. He would never forget the tone of it, or the coldness of the man who’d tried to kill him. He said nothing.

“Open your eyes,” the other man asked.

No.

“Craig? Rafe? My name is Mac. We’re here to help you.”

But fear was choking him and he couldn’t breathe. “No,” he managed between attempts to inhale enough oxygen not to pass out.

“He’s panicking. What the hell did you do, D?”

“Tried to fucking kill him three years ago, remember?”

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
www.rjscott.co.uk/
www.facebook.com/author.rjscott?ref=ts&fref=ts
www.goodreads.com/author/show/3432558.R_J_Scott
twitter.com/Rjscott_author
www.librarything.com/author/scottrj

a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Hosted By Signal Boost Promotions