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Worth It All by Claudia Connor: New Release & Review

 

 

Title: Worth It All

Series: The McKinney Brothers #3

Author: Claudia Connor

Publisher: Loveswept

Genre: Contemporary Romance

 Release Date: April 19, 2016

Blurb

 

“Read Claudia Connor for a consistently raw and emotional love story,” recommends Carly Phillips. Now the swoon-worthy McKinney Brothers series from this bestselling author continues as JT, the youngest of the trio, discovers that only love can make him whole.

She’s fighting for control. . . . Paige Roberts learned to fend for herself growing up. Now she’s doing everything possible to give her daughter, Casey, the stability she never had. But when the vivacious five-year-old decides she’s done wearing her prosthesis, Paige faces her toughest challenge yet: trusting a handsome, brooding stranger who simply wants to help.

He’s struggling to connect. . . . JT McKinney lost more than his leg in a car accident that stole his dreams of pro football. Eight years later, he’s made a new life for himself far away from his old one. His business is developing cutting-edge prosthetics and he’s more than happy to turn his attention to machines instead of people. Still, he can’t shake the feeling that something’s missing.

Will they take a chance on love? . . . When JT gets the chance to help Paige’s daughter, he takes it. He never planned on the two of them tearing down his walls or teaching him to believe in himself again. Paige might not believe in happily ever afters, but JT wants more than anything to be her prince. They’ll both have to let go of the past if they want a future.

 

 

 

Purchase Links

AMAZON US / UK

 

Review
This book… wow. JT stole my heart but so did almost-five-year-old Casey. She found her way quickly into JT’s heart and stole the show. This book is a powerful look at life and love.
Though JT and Paige come from different backgrounds, there is something chemical about the two of them. They just react well with each other this book captured my heart.
This is the first book by Claudia Connor that I have read, but you can bet, I have purchased the others. It was amazing and I am so glad I found a new author to me to adore!
This book is not full of angst, though there are issues from both of their pasts that keep them guarded, but more than anything, this is just a sweet story that just captures the essence of a truly great love.
Little Casey just stole my heart instantly and I loved the way she instantly bonded with JT. This is just a feel good book with lots of love that makes your heart smile.
I am looking forward to reading more of Claudia Connor’s work! Well written, touchingly beautiful and captivating. I loved this story and I loved the writing!

Also Available

AMAZON US / UK

 

AMAZON US / UK

 

Author Bio

 

 

New York Times bestselling author Claudia Connor attended Auburn University, where she received her undergraduate and masters degrees in early childhood education, and completed her studies in Sawbridgeworth, England. Always a lover of happy endings, she enjoys movies, reading, and spending her days putting on paper the stories in her head. She lives near Memphis, Tennessee, with her husband and three daughters.

Author Links

Beautiful Distraction by J.C. Reed, New Release & Review

 

 

Title: Beautiful Distraction

Author: J.C. Reed

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: April 12, 2016

From New York Times Bestselling Author, J.C. Reed, comes a new standalone novel.

Kellan Boyd always gets what he wants—except that one infuriating city girl who bumped into his new chick magnet sports car, dared to call him a jerk, and basically threw his pity check in his face.

Fast forward three months later.

When Ava Cross suddenly knocks on his door in the middle of a storm, soaking wet and in dire need of help, he’s determined to settle old scores and finally get her between the sheets where she belongs.

Ava knows Kellan is a complex man with a dark past and a wild reputation he can’t deny. Forced to stay, Ava begins a desperate search for the truth about the one man she wants to despise and quickly discovers that the passion she feels for him isn’t just deep…it’s dangerous to her heart.

Kellan is a beautiful distraction. When the traps of her own weakness stand in the way, Ava is faced with one choice only: peel off the layers of a man who’s a wild cowboy at heart.

Author’s note – Beautiful Distraction is a full-length standalone novel with no cliffhanger. Due to strong language and sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of 18.

PURCHASE LINKS:
AMAZON / AMAZON UK /  B&N / KOBO / iBOOKS

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 Review
J.C. Reed has never disappointed me with her books, and Beautiful Distraction is no exception. Once that pivotal moment hits and you have your ah-ha moment, it all clicks together but it’s a battle to get there.
Kellan Boyd is amazingly hot, cocky and arrogant. You can’t help but spend a lot of time wondering why he is being such a jerk. Is it the money? Is it the control? Or is it something stronger that he is unable to divulge until the moment that has Ava questioning everything?
A minor accident in a parking lot leads to a wild ride and no one sees the outcome of it. After their cars bumped in a crowded parking lot, he can’t stop thinking about her. He was a jerk to her and he knew it. But he also knew everything he was risking. He had a lot on the line but she can’t know the biggest secret of all.
But after Ava wins tickets to see Mile High in concert in Montana, she knows her best friend will never let her live it down if they don’t go on this road trip of a lifetime. But a couple of wrong turns and no cell phone service and the unthinkable happens. They land on his doorstep. Is it fate that their paths crossed once again or is it the universe’s way of saying something more?
Though Ava has no desire to spend even one more minute with Kellan Boyd, her body and mind are at war. He is hot, she would like nothing more than for him to make good on all those dirty promises he has made to her. But she also knows this is a bad idea. She knows it, but her body just can’t seem to accept it.
Once her car is back on the road, she is so out of his hair. She will forget him. She will go back to New York and live her life.
Again, the Universe and Kellan have other plans for her. There is so much more to Kellan than he is willing to tell her and she knows that if she sticks around his Montana ranch, something is going to break. She just hopes it isn’t her heart.
The sexual tension and chemistry between these two is insane. You know they both want so much from one another, but there’s always that one secret keeping them from moving further and further.
No, I’m not going to tell you what that secret is, but once you reach that moment and all the pieces fall into place, you hope the two of them will find a happily ever after. The passion, the tension and the pure power of this story will just keep you reading until the very end.
J.C. Reed has once again done an amazing job with the passion and attention to detail in her writing. I can never seem to get enough of her books. They always sit in my mind and linger, long after the final page has been read. But what makes this book even more fabulous is knowing there is more! Kellan has brothers and I can’t wait to read their stories!
Well written and a must read. J.C. Reed has definitely secured a spot in my favorite authors list and Beautiful Distraction is the perfect example of why.

AUTHOR INFO

 

J.C. Reed is a New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal Bestselling author. She writes steamy contemporary romance with a touch of mystery and suspense. When she’s not typing away on her keyboard, forgetting the world around her, you can find her chatting with her readers on Facebook.

 

CONTACT JESSICA:
GOODREADS FACEBOOK 
WEBSITE

 

GIVEAWAY (open internationally)

BEAUTIFUL DISTRACTION IS NOW AVAILABLE WORLDWIDE!

Blog Tour & Review: Promise by Dani Wyatt

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Buy Links

Amazon US  Amazon UK Amazon CA

 

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Some promises are made to be broken. And others start out that way.

Promise Henderson knows all about being broken. She’s a down-on-her-luck former foster kid who needs to figure out how to get her brother into her custody before the State of Ohio ruins his life forever.

 

Enter Beckett Fitzgerald. A SEAL with a scarred face, a bad sense of humor and no place to call home. He has another asset though. A big one.

For ten years he’s tried to forget the girl with snow white hair and an angels eyes, but when fate throws her into his path once again, his obsession turns possessive and sparks fly.

 

Only, Promise has a Judas by her side vying for her heart and Beckett needs to reveal the truth before he loses her forever. Debts of the past come calling and Beckett shows her just how far he’s willing to go to protect what is his.

This full length novel has an over the top alpha hero, a curvy girl and some very saucy sexy times. Beckett and Promise get their happily ever after, but their story will continue. So if you like a romance with a heaping helping of HOT, step inside.

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“Wider. I want to see all of you.”

The burn of his handprint on the side of my ass is turning hot, his other hand still warm and flat just above my pubic bone, owning me there until I do as I’m told.

“God damn. You are perfection,” he murmurs as if talking to himself.

Stars are dancing in my head, and I can’t form thoughts as he lowers his hand, fingers dancing on the outside of my lower lips. His intense gaze is almost more than I can stand, inspecting me like a prized possession.

“You need me to touch you.” It’s not a question, but I nod anyway.

His hands are quickly everywhere. Cupping my breasts, sliding down and holding onto my hips, over my belly, down each leg to my toes, then back up until his hands are entwined in mine over my head and his face is right above me.

“Who do you belong to?”

For a moment, I’m confused by the question. His eyes do not waver. His breath is heating my cheek as his hands pull my wrists upward, stretching me under him.

“I feel it. Tell me, Promise. Tell me you belong to me. I need to hear it.”

I completely lose myself when he lets my wrists go, his face lowers and his mouth comes down with gusto between my spread legs. I hear my own cry as his tongue goes deep inside me with such force, I cum with a spasm.

He does not relent. His hands are around my thighs, spreading me wide and utterly open for him as his tongue takes over and everything spins out of control.

In a million years, I would never have imagined being here like this. Last week, I was the girl who managed to keep everyone away. Especially someone like Beck. Someone that would want this from me.

His mouth is doing things I didn’t realize a mouth could do. He is like a ravenous dog feasting on me. I can hear his own deep, throaty sounds of pleasure, and I feel the tightness gathering again.

Just as I raise my hips, chasing down something as close to magic as is possible, Beckett pulls his face away, and I let out a pained gasp. My hands move down to find his head, and I can’t believe when I try to pull him back into me.

The spinning tension has me blind. I want what he was giving me. I need more. My body demands more.

“Get those hands back up there.” It’s a command, and with a whimper, I do what he says. “Tell me, who do you belong to?”

He takes a long, slow lick from my gushing opening to where he scrapes teeth over my swollen clit, making me yelp and make sounds that are not human. Then he raises his face to challenge me with his eyes.

You.” That single whispered word comes out of me like a bullet.

It’s barely audible, but it shakes the entire room.

Beckett smiles at me and plunges his tongue so deep, my body curls into him. He is fucking me this way, with his mouth, and it is more glorious than what I would imagine heaven could be.

His face is solidly attached to me, and he shifts, moving his tongue up and down the slick creases and folds until I feel his fingers pressed inside and his lips center over my clit.

His fingers move slowly at first, gliding deep, curling and sending another deep spasm through me.  I feel his chuckle, then he starts to move faster, his tongue and his fingers attacking me.  His knuckles slamming into me when he can go no deeper.

All my muscles begin to twitch and quake, then I turn to liquid around him. I can’t stop saying his name just before my body gushes and tips me over into a place that has Beckett holding onto me to keep my violent, twisting hips connected to him.

I’m everywhere and nowhere for an amount of time that is not quantifiable. I’m inside the fire that follows me everywhere, and waves of something so incredible are breaking over me until I let out a scream and tears sting my cheeks.

“That’s a good girl. Now, you know this is mine.”

Review

 

This book was a tough read. Not because it was poorly written, but because it is a highly emotional story with a painful past. Beckett didn’t have an easy way about his life. Tragedy early on changed everything for him and life as he knew it.

A fire early in his life, took the life of his mother and sister. His father blamed him every moment he could for that loss. He didn’t have the best life and ended up in foster care at a young age. But while in care of the state, he sees the prettiest girl in the world. She was timid and scared. Beckett did nothing to comfort her when he had the chance and it has haunted him every moment since.

Fast forward years later he is on leave from the military because his father is in failing health. He goes to visit his dad and he sees her. He knows it’s her. But there is something else about her. Promise doesn’t talk a lot. She doesn’t think anyone see her as anything other than a ghost and she thinks of herself as such.  It is her. Beckett has finally seen her again.

What seems to be an instant connection between the two of them. He instantly wants to protect her and so much more. But she didn’t have an easy life and she has to think about her brother. But the passion between the two of them is incredible.

This book is intense, it is strong and powerful and highly emotional. It is a lot to take in. It is a good read, but I was not expecting the ending. With that said, I enjoyed the book and I am looking forward to the rest of their story. I have big hopes for these two. I just hope they have the same hope!

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Dani Wyatt loves her alpha men; make them military, cowboys, MMA — any uber alpha with a wicked possessive streak and an insatiable libido. Receive a free exclusive unpublished title when you join Dani’s private readers group for updates, free chapters and discounts.

http://eepurl.com/bubxzz

 

She’s a 40 something regular lady who just happens to love badass alpha males who pull your hair and love their women with a lethal passion.

 

When she’s not writing (which is not often) she is probably laughing about some irony (like A-1 Steak Sauce is vegan), riding her horse, wondering why The Walking Dead can’t have a new episode every night, or looking cross-eyed at some piece of technology sent to ruin her day.

Twitter  Facebook  Web  Goodreads  Amazon Page

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New Release & Review: Finn by Ahren Sanders *Giveaway*

Title: Finn

Release Date: March 31, 2016
Author: Ahren Sanders
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Standalone, HEA 
I thought I knew what love was, but I didn’t have a f*%king clue. Now, I’m in the fight of my life to win over the woman who owns my soul. ~ Finn Black

The face of an angel…
The heart of a saint…

One look, one smile, and I didn’t stand a chance. The instant my eyes landed on Presley Chambers, I was a goner. She was a force of nature that turned my world upside down. Sweet, sassy, and sexy as hell, she brought me to my knees.

But she isn’t just any woman, she’s a gift, she’s a goddess, she’s my disease… and I’ll fight like hell to erase her fears.

Sometimes fate has other plans. Now our future is in her hands.

I can only hope she’ll give us the chance we both deserve.


The idea that someone could possess me was insane… until I met Finn Black.~ Presley Chambers

The face of Adonis…
The heart of a hero…

Finn Black infiltrated my safe world the minute he breathed my name. He broke down my barriers and convinced me to take a chance. For the first time ever, I was living my life with a man who promised me a future only dreams are made of.

Sometimes the line between love and longing are tested.

He’s asked me to trust him, to trust us, but the fear of losing him became too much.

Now I must decide if I’m willing to take a leap of faith, and hope he’ll be there to catch me.

review
Ahren Sanders stole my heart, made me cry and completely made my day with Finn! Finn and Presley are the perfect couple if they can make it through until the end.
I am going to be the first to admit, I was a little torn when I started reading this book. It was a lot to take in initially, not may authors can pull of opening a story with such a dramatic feature, but if you had met Finn previously, you knew where his dedication was and you knew where his heart was. You loved Finn from the first meeting of him, much the same way that Presley did. But there is so much more to Finn than what we knew about him and now that I know the real Finn inside and out, I can tell you if anyone was lucky enough to capture his attention, she would most certainly be the luckiest girl in the world.
Presley has so much going for her and the biggest heart of all. But after everything she has been through is Finn really the right one for her? She grew up way too fast losing so much of her childhood when she lost her mom and as time went on she took on a much bigger role with her family. She moved from her hometown to live near her brother to help raise his little girl. Now it seems, it is time for her to do something for herself. But can she let go of all of her other responsibilities and find a way to embrace the love that Finn is willing to give?
Of course this isn’t a perfect fairy tale and Finn’s line of work seems like a lot for Presley to handle and may actually be the breaking point in their blossoming relationship. But Finn is no quitter. He knows that Presley is the one. He will fight for her every step of the way. The question is, will she fight for him just as hard?
Finn stole my heart, Raven broke my heart, Presley healed my heart. This book, despite my overly emotional tears in the beginning, is the book I have been waiting so long for. It is the book that captured me and hasn’t let go. It will be a book that is read and re-read over and over again. Not only brilliantly written, but written with so much warmth and love it is a book to be treasured.
This book is what true love is all about. It was one moment, one look and Finn was gone, but so was Presley. This book completed a journey for Finn that was started a long time ago. Never settle and never give up. A love that last is the one that is worth fighting for. Ahren Sanders brought that love to life in Finn and I not only highly recommend it but I have added it to my top 10 of all time!

“No words to describe how much I loved this book. Easily a top 5 read of this year.” – 5 Star Review from Renee Entress Book Blog

“I absolutely loved loved… It….It definitely is a must read!!” – 5 Star Goodreads Review

“Words can not begin to describe how much I love this book! Ahren Sanders is one of my must read authors.” – 5 Star Review from Amazeballs Book Addict

FINN by Ahren Sanders from Becca the Bibliophile on Vimeo.

Ahren spent her formative years living in an active volcano. There her family made collectible lava art. She studied rock collecting at the Sorbonne in France. There she met the love of her life-her pet pig Sybil. She returned to the states and started writing. She is happily married to a guy who used to live under a bridge and she met while pole-dancing. They have one amazing daughter.

 

Now, meet the real me. I grew up in the south and consider myself a true “Southerner”. Most of the special locations mentioned in my books are reflections of my favorite places. Living on the Florida coast, my family spends a lot time at the beach, which is where I usually can be found with a book in my hand.

 

Check out Ahren’s Facebook page for details on how to enter to win a Kindle Fire! Giveaway runs until April 7, 2016. Don’t miss out!” 

HOSTED BY:

New Release: Promise by Dani Wyatt

 

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Buy Links

Amazon US  Amazon UK Amazon CA

 

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Some promises are made to be broken. And others start out that way.

Promise Henderson knows all about being broken. She’s a down-on-her-luck former foster kid who needs to figure out how to get her brother into her custody before the State of Ohio ruins his life forever.

 

Enter Beckett Fitzgerald. A SEAL with a scarred face, a bad sense of humor and no place to call home. He has another asset though. A big one.

For ten years he’s tried to forget the girl with snow white hair and an angels eyes, but when fate throws her into his path once again, his obsession turns possessive and sparks fly.

Only, Promise has a Judas by her side vying for her heart and Beckett needs to reveal the truth before he loses her forever. Debts of the past come calling and Beckett shows her just how far he’s willing to go to protect what is his.

 

This full length novel has an over the top alpha hero, a curvy girl and some very saucy sexy times. Beckett and Promise get their happily ever after, but their story will continue. So if you like a romance with a heaping helping of HOT, step inside, it’s steamy.

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      “Where’s your bedroom?” His voice is deep and firm as his hands move lower, around my throat, gently tightening then letting go, and my head is full of some kind of heavy mist because I forgot where my room is.

“Down there, on the left.” I hear my answer, not sure what part of my brain is actually still functioning.

“I’ll get you to work on time, but I need you right now, and you need me.”

His hands whip around and scoop under my arms, lifting me like a doll to cling to him face to face. My body feels weightless, and my ankles lock around his back.

The motion of his walk and the nearness of his lips turn the quivering between my legs into a craving.

“That feel good?” he asks, tightening his grip, pressing me into him. I can feel the fabric of his t-shirt against my clit.

The scent of coffee and something masculine and spicy is making me feel drunk. I bury my face in his neck and inhale. I love the texture of his fresh shave, just a hint of course beard creating friction against my cheek. There is a burning inside me, and I want it — him — to consume me. To keep me here, clinging onto him.

His hands play up and down my spine as I hear him kick open the door to my bedroom.

Shit. Wait…

But the pause in his step reminds me of why I don’t want people in here.

I hold my breath, waiting for his arms to loosen and my feet to hit the ground as he stares at the furious disaster that is my bedroom.

But, he steps forward without a word, his lips on my cheek. Three more steps and he lays me down gently on my bed, pushing my hands over my head before rising to full height. For a moment, I see what others see.

His face turns from that smiling Beckett that helped me find my own smile to this intense monster with a primal glare looking down at me like his prey. When his brow comes together, the light from behind those amazing eyes offset with the close cut of his black hair sends me spinning.

“So fucking perfect.” He tastes me with his eyes, and I can feel it somewhere inside me that is new. Somewhere I’ve kept sealed up. Sealed off. Because it’s the place he could hurt me most.

I bring my arms down in defense. He’s seeing things I don’t want him to see.

His eyes flash, and his face turns dark.

“Don’t fucking do that. Don’t ever cover yourself in front of me. Understand?”

He’s using that voice again, and I don’t know whether to be frightened or cum.

He leans down, becoming a bridge over me as I stretch my arms back up to where he’d placed them.

“That’s good. Keep them there.” His lips are perfect, and they’re on mine. Little pathetic noises escape me as his tongue glides inside my lips. He doesn’t rush, and I want more. I want fast. But, the way he’s looking at me, it’s clear — I’m not the one in charge.

I want him inside of me. It’s all I can think as our mouths turn and move against each other.

This is what a kiss is meant to be. Something as simple as lips touching can make me feel like we know things about each other no one else knows. I’m telling him so many things I could never say out loud, and his kiss is telling me he wants to know it all.

His lips move to my forehead, feather soft, knowing more new things about me, and it takes all my will not to bring my hands down to wrap around whatever part of him I can reach.

I have to concentrate to take each breath. Some are deep yet most are so shallow, my head is getting lighter and lighter until I feel like I’m floating. Or falling.

Right into him. Hoping he’ll catch me.

Both his hands move up and tangle in my hair, holding me firm as his warm mouth discovers my collar bones, and then moves down, sucking my tit so deep into his mouth, I let out a cry.

My sounds loosen something in him. I feel it.

His lips turn to teeth on my sensitive flesh, biting down until my cry turns to a scream, but my hips raise up, my body begging for so much more.

I want this; I want this pain because it comes from him.

And, it fills in parts of me that need filling.

He moves to the other side, dropping one hand from my hair and grazing down over my stomach.

I can feel his power as he releases me from his mouth, his hand flat on my belly and his eyes watching me as I lie quivering.

“Spread your legs.” It’s not a request; it’s clearly an order.

And I freeze.

 

 

 

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Dani Wyatt loves her alpha men; make them military, cowboys, MMA — any uber alpha with a wicked possessive streak and an insatiable libido. Receive a free exclusive unpublished title when you join Dani’s private readers group for updates, free chapters and discounts.

http://eepurl.com/bubxzz

 

She’s a 40 something regular lady who just happens to love badass alpha males who pull your hair and love their women with a lethal passion.

 

When she’s not writing (which is not often) she is probably laughing about some irony (like A-1 Steak Sauce is vegan), riding her horse, wondering why The Walking Dead can’t have a new episode every night, or looking cross-eyed at some piece of technology sent to ruin her day.

 

 

Twitter  Facebook  Web  Goodreads  Amazon Page

 

 

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Chapter Reveal: Promise by Dani Wyatt

 

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Release Date

March 24th

 

Add to your Goodreads shelf now.

 

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Flames stole his childhood. Scorched his family. Scarred his face. Beckett Fitzgerald assimilated his hatred and his pain and gave it to the government. They trained him to kill and his life was set. Or so he thought.

 

Promise Henderson lives in quiet desperation. Her art is her solace, her brother her world. Only the State of Ohio has control over him and her only purpose left in life is to save Jordan from the same horrors she suffered. When the scarred face of a dark haired man with Monet blue eyes and a warrior’s countenance walks into her life everything changes.

 

When Beckett sees her, he knows this is his last chance. The little girl from the courtroom ten years ago is standing in front of him and he knows he cannot fail her again. One moment — one choice he made altered the course of her life forever. He must decide to go back to the only life that made sense to him, or tear down her walls and settle the debts of the past.

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Chapter One

Beckett

{Eight Years Later}

I’ve got my hand over Denise’s mouth.

She’s the loudest woman I’ve ever fucked. Not that I’ve fucked that many, I have to be honest, but enough to know that Denise is loud.

Her dime store, blue eyeshadow and the ever present snapping piece of Wrigley’s Spearmint didn’t deter my cock from being seduced by my landlord.

She’s Mrs. Robinson with red hair and a tramp stamp.

Her thirty-something body is twisted under me like a pretzel, the crooks of her elbows locked around the bend of her knees, holding herself high and wide. It’s how she likes it, and it sets my dick coal-miner deep, so win-win.

I’m in fifth gear. The sound of wet flesh slapping and the bed denting the plaster wall must be heard in all seven bedrooms plus the kitchen of this makeshift boarding house on the low rent end of Cleveland’s ass. Denise is letting loose, bucking like we’re in a damn rodeo while I try to muffle her crazy-ass screams with my hand.

I mean, come on. All that noise is distracting as fuck. I like to know the chick taking it from me is getting off, but I don’t need the whole fucking zip code to know.

She’s about to toss us both off the mattress when I realize the sheet is tangled around my foot. If we don’t finish this up, I may end up in the ER with a snapped ankle and a story to tell. I’m trying to kick the twisted linen off and not miss a beat. This is the second round with her this morning, and I should be enjoying myself, right?

But, I can’t keep my eyes off the clock.

7:41 AM.

Wrap it up, Mrs. Robinson.

I take my hand off her mouth. Her dilated, red-rimmed, emerald eyes widen then she gasps.

“Oh gawwwddddd— oh god!”

She starts right up with the fucking noise, so I slap my palm back onto her mouth.

I tip my hips, grinding down into her until her eyes roll to white, and I feel the tightness start to grab my dick. Then, I feel a warm rush as she gushes and from the way she’s flouncing and quivering, I’m hoping she’s done.

The muscles in my back spasm when Denise let’s go and her ankles lock behind my ass. I knock the last thrust home, and my chin falls to my chest. I cum along with her. It’s a sense of relief, but that’s about it.

A minute later, I’m off the bed, the discarded latex already taking a spin into the sewer and the shower heating up.

“You…” She points to me, making that single word sound like an accusation.

Denise is propped up on the threadbare floral pillows, checking her manicure and snapping on a fresh piece of Wrigley’s. Her tits are motionless, silicone coconuts standing unnaturally high on her torso.

Personally, I prefer whatever size mother nature designed. I’ll take a double A true-blue over triple D fakery any day.

“You’re gonna get me in trouble, you know that? I shoulda never rented you that room.”

A touch of her Brooklyn roots comes through.

“How are you in trouble?” I put one hand on my forehead and one on my chin and jerk my head around. The twist and the pop pop pop as much a part of my morning routine as taking a piss.

I blow out a breath, feeling the momentary pressure-release the neck cracking gives. I’ll do that twenty times today. I have to.

No. Of course not. But someone’s gonna catch on. And, I don’t even want to talk about Leon. If he finds out, we’re both dead. That lady in that back bedroom looks like a bible thumper. She might stick her nose where it doesn’t belong.” Denise’s shrill voice rakes on my nerves. She is so much more appealing when my damn dick is in charge.

I want to tell her if she didn’t howl like a fucking hyena on a fresh carcass, maybe half the neighborhood wouldn’t know she was letting the resident who rents room 4B bone her twice a day and three times on Saturday.

Why I don’t have a better sense of self-preservation, I’m not sure. I should. I‘ve seen enough shit to last me seven lifetimes.

She’s right about Leon. He would probably kill me first, then kill her with my dead body.

“How would Leon find out? Huh? You said he got picked up last night, right?” I have to yell over the rush of the shower as I stick my hand in to check the temperature.

The steam is hanging in clouds and beginning to mist the mirror that is cracked like an old road map. Whoever mounted it must have been on their knees or ten years old. All I can see in it is the bottom of the shiny, textured skin on my left shoulder and the cut of my abs… along with the shadows of my ribs.

I need some groceries.

I like this mirror. My face is not my best feature.

I step into the shower trying to keep my thoughts about the day in check.

“Yep, he got picked up at the Diablo’s.  That biker bar on 2nd.” I hear the faint squeak of the bed springs just when I lean back into the steaming water, squirting shampoo into my hand.

Denise’s sharp voice makes me jump as she pokes her head around the shower curtain, her eyes shamelessly settling down below my waist with a wicked grin.

Not again, crazy. I’ve got real life happening today.

“He’s in holding at county.” She glances up over my chest, avoiding my face, then back down. “Two warrants and he won’t see the judge ‘til Monday.” She’s snapping her gum, and each time she does it my neck twitches.

My twitching is nothing new, but she’s not helping. Today isn’t just another day. It’s when a judge decides what I already know. That I am perfectly capable of taking care of myself without help from the State of Ohio.

Don’t climb in here with me, please.

I lay my head back into the stream of hot water and close my eyes. Luckily, when I look again, her face is gone.

I throw on the one dress shirt I own and a worn pair of khakis. It’s the best I’ve got, and it’s been my standard uniform for the many days I’ve found myself visiting the fifth district court over the years.

One swipe of my fingers through my hair and I’m ready. I can’t see myself in the damn mirror without bending down, but I’m sure I’m as presentable as need be. I grab my backpack, double check my files and sketchbook are inside, then deep breath, and I’m on my way. My hand is on the door, my mind already halfway down the street.

“Do you even know how old I am?” I spin my head around to see Denise sitting on the edge of the bed, the sheets still twisted in a heap.

I grit my teeth until my jaw pops.

“No.”

Her eyes light on my face then dart away. I’m used to people looking away, but when that person  just came on my dick four times, they should give me the courtesy of looking at me when they talk.

“Well, I’m not telling you.” She flashes me what she thinks is a coy smile, but it comes off as sad. She stands up and takes a step toward me.

Jesus, whatever.

I should tell her she’s beautiful. That’s what she wants. But, I’ve never told anyone that. My mother was beautiful, and I don’t just mean in the physical sense. No woman since has made me think of that word.

“I’m leaving.” I should say something else.

Something nice, less pragmatic.  Something nice.

She still won’t look at me, standing there with her silicone double D’s and a worn, pale green bath towel in one hand.

“Bye.” She chirps going for cute, and I don’t miss her added eyeroll.

She knows where I’m going, what I have to do today, and she’s pouting? Why I don’t think with my brain instead of my dick sometimes is beyond me.

I let out the breath I’ve been holding. I shouldn’t be fucking my landlord anyway, especially since her boyfriend is facing twenty to life.

My neck is aching, and I can’t stop the urge to twist and jerk my head three more times as I pull the door shut behind me.

Half a step down the hall and I hear the click of the bedroom door latch opening.

“Hey.” Denise’s voice is softer.

I turn and see the towel is thankfully around her torso. Her bedroom is on the first floor, and this hallway has three other rented bedrooms. So, it’s common courtesy to at least wear a towel where there may be other eyes — though I’ve lived in plenty of places where the word courtesy is as foreign as proper hygiene.

“Good luck today.” She forces herself to look me in the eyes. I can see her counting silently, trying to maintain eye contact a few seconds longer than makes her comfortable.

“Thanks,”  I say.

She looks down at the floor after a few seconds, and I make my way toward the back door.

At the end of the hall, I’m already wondering who I’ll be at the end of the day. Will I feel different? Will there be any relief?

“I could fall in love with you, you know.” Her voice knocks me in the back of the head.

Oh, hell no.

I’m not turning around for that. Not now. Not today.

~~~~~~

 

It is ironic that on a day like today when something big is about to happen, I notice more of the small things.

Dimitri that works the metal detector didn’t shave this morning.

I toss my wallet, keys, and cell phone in the little plastic tray. No one needs to tell me what to do.

I also know exactly how much money I have in my wallet. Exactly zero.

Dimitri gives me a full nod with eye contact this morning.

Even he knows.

We’ve never exchanged much more than a few words here and there over the years. Today, I see something else in the movement of his head, the way he takes a deeper breath as I pass.

I fucking hate pity.

I step through the X-ray archway.

With any luck, when I walk out of here, I’ll be legit. On my own, according to the great State of Ohio.

Not that I haven’t been on my own for a long freakin’ time already. But, according to the law, I still need supervision. That shit is hilarious.

I grab my wallet and keys after I’m cleared through the metal detector when I look down and see the dark gray, flattened spot of someone’s discarded gum on the marble floor.

What kind of asshole does that?

I guess some asshole that might not like the way things are going for them. This place is ripe with people who think they’re getting the shitty end of the stick. Most of them sharpened the damn stick themselves and went about doing as much damage with it as they could. Then, they’re surprised when their lives turn into an episode of Cops.

You need a license for almost anything, right?

Want to drive? Well, you need to take a class, then a test, and then you have to abide by a fuck-ton of rules, or they will snatch that precious piece of freedom from you.

You want a dog? Get a license.

You want to burn leaves in the fall? You need a permit.

You want to start a business? Get a shit-ton of licenses, permits, and forms.

You wanna have a kid? Do your thing, nothing else required.

All along the top of the hallway ahead of me, there are slanted white streaks of dusty sunlight filtering through elevated windows. I’ve made this trek so many times.

I see the wide eyes and pinched brows on the people I pass. There is an overwhelming stink of old cigarette smoke when I walk by a forty-something lady with a worn, thick manila envelope clutched in her hand.

It’s not enough that none of the damn windows open in this catacomb of limestone and marble. You add in too many humans and not enough soap, stir that up with lawyers and the sharp scent of whatever they use to polish the floors, and my stomach is ready to reveal my breakfast.

My boots make a thunk-scrape sound with each step. Thunk-scrape, thunk-scrape.

I dip my right shoulder and put more weight on the right step than the left. For some reason, today I notice the uneven cadence.

Miriam at the information desk has a line of irritated people in front of her, yet she still manages to catch my eye, and I wink.

She tugs her lips to the side in an attempt to squash her smile. In her job, it’s important to stay in character. Just as quickly as I pick up on the rare curve of her lips, I see the same look that Dimitri gave me.

Pity and relief.

People pity me either because they know my past or because they can see the evidence of it on my face.

People feel relieved because whatever has happened to me, hasn’t happened to them.

I notice the way kids stare and adults look away. By now, it’s just an observation. I used to get pissed, now I understand.

I get it.

I catch a reflection in the glass that runs along the mile-long hallway outside the courtroom doors. I tower above most people. My hair isn’t unruly, but it does need a cut. Due to budgetary restrictions, a trip to the barber will have to wait.

The wall of glass is on my right, the heavy doors along my left. I hear the sniffles of a girl before I see her. I look down where she stands next to a bored looking woman with a thick file in her hands.

God damn, how hard would it be just to talk to her? Comfort her? Distract her from whatever bullshit is waiting for her today.

She’s probably six years old. I can’t help but notice she has a huge, unkempt knot in her dirty, blonde hair. She’s wearing a ponytail, a messy one, but no one bothered to brush her fucking hair before she came to court. Really?

On top of that, her socks don’t match, and she’s wearing green sweatpants with a cartoon image of The Hulk on one pant leg. Her oversized, yellow t-shirt hangs off one shoulder, and I can see the jut of her collarbones through her pale skin.

Jesus, my heart breaks looking at her.

Sorry kiddo, life ain’t fair. Get a good armor going.

I try to smile at her, but she won’t meet my eye. I want to scoop her up and tell her I get it. I understand. You can’t trust anyone. Especially the adults.

A blast of cool air hits me as I open the doors to Judge Horace Carmichael’s courtroom. I give my eyes a moment to adjust to the dim light, and I knit my brow straining to see as I step inside.

From behind, Louis’s voice greets me.

“Early as usual.” He has a voice that needs to be on the radio.

I like Louis. He’s the only — and I do mean only — person I’ve met in this bureaucracy that even hints at still retaining some humanity.

And a sense of humor.

That is not easy.

Louis’s barrel chest and dark stare would be intimidating attached to anyone else. He’s a monolith, towering over me by a good three inches. He must get his hair buzzed every day, because, in all the years I’ve known him, I’ve never seen it noticeably longer or shorter. A few more silver hairs replace black each year, but that’s the only change I’ve been able to detect.

“Yep. So, everything good? You think we’re good?” I despise the insecurity in my voice.

“Well, you know I’m always honest.” He gives me a reassuring smile. “Yes, I think we’re good. Could it still go sideways? Sure, there’s always that chance.”

“Fuck.” My hands go up and over my head, rubbing back and forth, gaining momentum. I can’t believe we could come this far and have it all fall apart.

I’m not going back. They can hang me by my balls; I’m not going. I will not live another day in another foster home.

“Hey.” Louis senses my rising ire, and he knows that will not work in my favor in front of the judge. “Breathe. I have a good feeling, okay? We’ve got all your bills, school records, recommendations — all the proof you’ve been knocking it out of the park on your own. You are the most organized almost-eighteen-year-old I’ve ever met.” He laughs, but I can still hear that halt of doubt in his voice.

I’m making a sound like a pressure relief valve on a steam engine when Louis lands a solid hand on my shoulder. My neck is twitching like a motherfucker.

After almost a year of taking care of myself under the watchful eye of my current social worker, I get a notice that Child Protective Services wants to place me in yet another foster home.  Fuck that.  I worked my ass off getting them to agree to let me live on my own even though I had just turned seventeen at the time.  They said it was a probationary arrangement, but I hit all my high notes for a year.  I worked, paid my bills, kept my grades in the four-dot-oh range and then this?

So, after I got the letter, I wrangled Louis and my social worker and petitioned the court to release me permanently from the nurturing care of CPS.  I’m just a bump shy of my eighteenth, so fucking come on already.

Louis gives my shoulder a squeeze, he can feel my tension.  He’s one of the only people I let touch me. I’m not a fan of people in my personal space.

“I’ve got another case coming before Judge Carmichael today. She should be here by now.” He scans the nearly empty courtroom and looks at his watch. “Just wait here, and I’ll be back.”

Louis turns away as I settle into the rearmost row of benches tossing my backpack next to me.

He stops a few steps away. “You bring your notebook?” He sets his eyes on me, raising his eyebrows.

It’s a rhetorical question; he knows I have it. I always have it.

“I want you to start right now. You’ll want to have something about today. I’ve got a feeling things will go your way.”

Over the years, I’ve discovered that sketching and drawing relieves my stress. Whenever I have a court date, I’m sketching faces, writing down thoughts, snippets of things I hear. It’s become a part of me.

Louis is out the door. There are two other people inside with me, huddled together in the kind of hushed whispers you find in the cool darkness of a court of law.

The room feels like a bulkhead, and no one leaves quite the same way they came in.

I unzip the top of my back pack and pull out my files and sketchbook.  I flip it open to a blank page and shift forward on the bench to dig for the pencil in my back pocket. I set pencil to paper. I love the sound of the surfaces meeting, and then making something new from the friction. I start writing.

Let this be the last fucking time.

I can’t go back.

I won’t go back.

The soft squeak of the hinges on the massive door draws my eye.

The very instant I lay eyes on her, my pencil comes to life.

Louis is guiding a young man a little younger than me inside the courtroom and gets him settled in a bench toward the front.

Right behind him, I see another little girl accompanied by what must be her social worker hustling into the room. Her eyes dart around like a cornered mouse, their color near translucent. Like the crystal clear shallow water of a tropical shore, I want to look away, but I’m mesmerized. Her hair falls to her waist in a tangle of silk the color of antique porcelain. She is as close to a living, breathing china doll as there could ever be.

My eyelids burn when she turns toward me. Her ivory cheek is decorated with an angry purple and red circle. I notice how she crinkles her nose when she looks up at the woman by her side, hoping she will be the one to save her. Because I can see she needs saving.  Then for just a moment, our eyes meet.

This broken, little soul with white hair and skin to match digs her sheer blue eyes into mine so deep, I feel her fear. My heart shatters inside my chest as I see the pain in her eyes and the way she moves so softly, gliding instead of walking.  Her arms around her waist, holding onto herself, hoping for protection that she seems to know will never come.

Someone else was born inside of me that day. Someone that knew she was part of me.

 

AP - about the author.jpg

Dani Wyatt loves her alpha men; make them military, cowboys, MMA — any uber alpha with a wicked possessive streak and an insatiable libido. Receive a free exclusive unpublished title when you join Dani’s private readers group for updates, free chapters and discounts.

http://eepurl.com/bubxzz

 

She’s a 40 something regular lady who just happens to love badass alpha males who pull your hair and love their women with a lethal passion.

 

When she’s not writing (which is not often) she is probably laughing about some irony (like A-1 Steak Sauce is vegan), riding her horse, wondering why The Walking Dead can’t have a new episode every night, or looking cross-eyed at some piece of technology sent to ruin her day.

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New Release: Drifter by Bella Jewel *GIVEAWAY*

 

 

Title: Drifter

Series: MC Sinners Next Generation #2

Author: Bella Jewel

Genre: Contemporary Romance 

 Release Date: March 21, 2016

Blurb

 

They say opposites attract.

In my world that isn’t a good thing.

I did everything I could to escape the motorcycle club I grew up in when I turned twenty-one.

It wasn’t about fear, or betrayal, or even lack of love.

I just needed my own life.

I had to know how it felt to stand on my own two feet without their protection.

Then I met Diesel.

Mysterious, dark, with eyes that screamed to be understood.

From the second I met him, I knew I needed to be in his life.

There’s just one problem – he’s a member of a different motorcycle club.

Two things that should never be combined.

Yet I can’t stay away. No matter how hard he pushes. I can see beyond his mask.

I need to know who he is and I’ll overcome any obstacle to be in his life.

A friendship is born, followed by an epic love.

Our relationship is forbidden.

But I’ll do anything to be in his life.

Anything.

Purchase Links

 

 Also Available

 

AMAZON US / UK / AU / CA

Author Bio

 

Bella Jewel is a self published, USA

Today bestselling author. She’s been publishing since 2013. Her first release

was a contemporary romance, Hell’s Knights which topped the charts upon

release. Since that time, she has published over five novels, gaining a

bestseller status on numerous platforms. She lives in North Queensland and is

currently studying editing and proofreading to further expand her career. Bella

has been writing since she was just shy of fifteen years old. In Summer 2013

she was offered an ebook deal through Montlake Romance for her bestselling

modern day pirate series, Enslaved By The Ocean. She plans to expand her

writing career, planning many new releases for the future.

Author Links

Giveaway