Saturday, October 29, 2016

From Cairo, With Love (Timeless Romance Single Book 1) by Nancy Campbell Allen


FROM CAIRO, WITH LOVE: A brand new historical romance novella from bestselling author Nancy Campbell Allen.

Valentine Baker longs for adventure, so when the opportunity comes to travel to Venice and be a companion for the unconventional Contessa, she takes it--but they don’t stay in Venice long. Valentine finds herself on a ship bound for Cairo so the Contessa can hunt down a thief at one of her archaeological digs there. Before they ever get close to the coast of Egypt, however, the ship is threatened by a violent storm and someone has an ulterior motive for sticking close to the Contessa and her traveling companions.

Mr. Maxwell is assigned to protect the Contessa and the charming Valentine. He tries to keep his distance, but her warm nature and easy laugh draw him in. He soon comes to cherish their time together, until someone attempts to drug him, and the aftermath reveals serious consequences for Valentine. He’ll do anything to keep her safe and her reputation intact, yet with treachery on board and his heart at stake, Mr. Maxwell must make a choice that will change his life forever. Can he win the woman of his dreams or will whoever wants to hurt them get close enough to take away his one chance for love?


I really loved this new novella by Nancy Campbell Allen!  It was so well developed for only 90 or so pages.  The characters were vibrant and full of life and I could so easily visualize each one.  Sometimes when I reach the end of a novella, I long for more but with this story I was completely content at the end.  It was so good!

I love this new idea of novella singles from the Timeless Romance series.  This novella releases on November 1st, which is only a few days away!  I can't wait to see what book and which author is up next!

Content:  Clean!

-I received a copy of this book for free.  A favorable review was not required and all opinions expressed are my own.



Thursday, October 27, 2016

Death Thieves by Julie Wright


You're dead, Summer Dawn Rae.

When Summer Rae is stolen from the moment of her own death and taken to a future where mankind is dying, it is with the hope that she, and other teenagers like her, can save it. But after only a short time in the future, Summer discovers a darker side to the altruistic reasons behind her abduction. She is determined to fulfill her purpose in a world gone literally mad, but can an ordinary girl save a whole world when she only cares about saving one person?


The concept for this book is so interesting.  It's sort of a mashup of time travel and dystopian with a light smattering of romance thrown in.  Actually, the romance is more of an underlying current for most of the book.  I voted for this book in the kindle scout program because I have read other books by Julie Wright and was really looking forward to reading a book in this genre by her.  I do believe this is her first step into this genre.  I got an advance copy of this book when it won and I'm sorry it's taken me this long to get around to reading it!  It always feels refreshing to step outside my usual go-to genre to read books like this that I also enjoy.

The book started off a bit slow for me but it picks up and the pacing becomes a bit faster.  Maybe it was just that the story really needed Tag.  Once he came into the story, everything seemed a bit better.  Summer is smart and has spunk but she is also pretty selfish in the beginning.  It was hard to really like her.  When she starts thinking past just herself, Summer becomes more likable to me as a character.  I kind of wish I could have seen more of this story from Tag's point of view.  I felt like I was missing out on knowing him better.

It would appear that this book is a stand alone, which is really unusual for this genre.  I was actually glad to have resolution at the end.  Sometimes it's just a relief to have a book come to a conclusion and not have to wait what seems like forever to have the next book.  :)

Content:  Some mild violence

- I received a copy of this book through the Kindle Scout program.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Sweet & Sassy Anthology: Stormy Kisses


Will extreme weather keep these six couples apart or bring them together? Sweet & Sassy Anthology: Stormy Kisses has six contemporary romances set against wild weather from award winning and Amazon best selling authors. 

Love Right
by Rebecca Rode


Corie McMullen doesn’t consider herself a man-hater. It’s just that being dumped by a fiancé via text has given her trust issues. Now, two years later, she’s written a bestselling relationships book, Love Right, and managed to avoid dating altogether. Even better, she’s scored an interview on a prestigious national morning show.

So when her best friend, Sofia, drags her to Singles Week at a ski lodge in Colorado, she’s reluctant to jump into the dating scene again. Especially when the man who seems interested turns out to be Micah Calloway, a playboy from her high school who insists he’s changed.

Then a blizzard hits while they’re snowshoeing, and the dating game turns dangerous. Now Corie’s very survival rests on an impossible decision. Not only must she trust Micah with her life, but somehow she must find the courage to trust him with her heart.

Waves of Deceit
by Donna K. Weaver


Twenty-six-year-old Shelby Nash wants to break free of her controlling, billionaire father. With the completion of one more project for his company, she can branch out on her own. However, her ex-boyfriend’s been appointed as the new lead architect. She has to find a way to protect her heart from him while avoiding whoever’s making anonymous threats.

Wade Armstrong did a poor job handling the news about the identity of his girlfriend’s father. Shelby walked out of his life without another word. Finally, four years later, Wade has a chance to win her back. As long as whoever’s targeted her doesn’t get to her first.

Secrets in the Storm
by Cindy M. Hogan


High in the Canadian Kananaskis National Forest, super spies, Christy and Jeremy try again for a romantic getaway, in hopes that their remote destination will give them a long awaited private holiday.
Unfortunately, someone else has found shelter in the same abandoned lodge, but with much more nefarious intent. Christy and Jeremy set off, determined to get the evidence into the right hands in Calgary.

But a violent flash storm rolls in, as well as a beautiful girl from Jeremy’s past. Combined, they threaten to not only help the terrorists have their way, but also to end the relationship between handler and spy for good as jealousy and distrust come between them.

Back to You
by Jo Noelle


Zara Hollis never thought at twenty-three she’d trade in her passion for hiking and spelunking to run a mortuary and care for her mother, who has advanced Alzheimer’s. When Trevor Cooley, all grown up and gorgeous, moves back to town, Zara is drawn to the quiet man who used to be her childhood friend, but now in a much more than friendly way.

Trev wants to pull Zara, as fun-loving and beautiful as ever, back into his life and hopefully into his arms. But there’s a problem. He’s only in Colorado for a short time on a stint as an undercover boss. He and his company can’t afford distractions. When the two get stranded together, sheltering from a violent storm, Trev realizes this particular “distraction” may jeopardize not only his plans, but also his heart.

Twisters and Textbooks (a Sunset Plains romance novella)
by Lindzee Armstrong. 


After the death of her parents, chasing tornadoes is the only thing that makes Lauren feel alive. Each storm gives her the adrenaline rush she craves, but it can’t make her forget Tanner, the country boy she left behind in Oklahoma. When a funeral brings Lauren back to Sunset Plains, she decides to seek out Tanner in a desperate attempt to finally let go of her past. He’s still angry by her abrupt departure from his life, and she begins to question whether she ever should’ve returned.

Just as Lauren’s about to run—again—a tornado hits near town, and Lauren and Tanner are caught up in a cyclone of emotions neither is sure they want to escape. Can they weather the storm of their past, or will they let it consume them?

Zoey’s Place
By Rachel Branton


Caring for the animals at Safe Haven Exotic Wildlife Sanctuary has filled the holes in Zoey Morgan’s life and smoothed the memories that still haunt her. It helps that she works with friendly Stephen Carey, whose uncle owns the Arizona sanctuary, and Declan Walker, who is as wild and untouchable as the animals they help.
When a storm hits, flattening buildings and flooding roads all over the state, the sanctuary goes into lockdown mode. But Zoey learns that her younger sister is lost in the storm, and she will risk anything to find her. So will the man who loves her—if she’d let him. Can he slip past the walls Zoey has built to hide her secrets?
Zoey’s Place is a stand-alone novella telling the story of the now-grownup orphan that readers first saw in Rachel Branton’s House without Lies.


This was such a fun collection of novellas.  I'm very familiar with all but one of these authors so it was a treat to delve into this book.  Secrets in the Storm and Zoey's Place are both spin off novellas from full length novels by the authors.  The characters in both books appear in other books.  I haven't read anything by Rebecca Rode so I'll be looking into her other books now that I've had a sample.  :)

I loved how different each novella felt.  There was romance in all of them but each one also had some sort of suspense, action or danger as well.  It was fantastically diverting!  

One of the great things about novella collections is that you can plow right through them (like me), or you can read one at a time, (just a nibble) here or there.  Whatever your circumstances allow.  It's a great way to be introduced to new authors who you might enjoy.

As of right now, this book is only .99 cents to buy on Amazon for kindle.  That's a bargain deal!  If you have kindle unlimited, you can read this book free!  :)  Yay!!

Content:  clean

--I received this book for free. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

The Captive Heart by Michelle Griep


Proper English governess Eleanor Morgan flees to the colonies to escape the wrath of a an angry duke. When the Charles Town family she’s to work for never arrives to collect her from the dock, she is forced to settle for the only reputable choice remaining to her—marriage to a man she’s never met. Trapper and tracker Samuel Heath is a hardened survivor used to getting his own way by brain or by brawn, and he’s determined to find a mother for his young daughter. But finding a wife proves to be impossible. No upstanding woman wants to marry a murderer.


There was so much to love about this book!  

First there are the characters, Eleanor and Samuel.  At first I wasn't sure about either of them but as the story went on, I grew to love them.  They are so very different from each other but I love the whole opposites attract thing.  :)  Both have so much determination though, and it shows in everything that they do.  Samuel comes off so gruff and mean in the beginning.  I didn't figure there was any way I was going to love him but he grew on me and even though he was a bit caveman-ish with a severe communication problem, I found myself liking him.  In the end.

I loved the various settings and challenges this story brought.  It was full on western frontier hardships from fire and outlaws to bears and the Indian relations of that time.  Throw in some crazy men with vendettas, a jealous woman and an active toddler and there is never a dull moment.

It took me a bit to actually get into this book because it started out slow but once things started to pick up, I was fully invested and interested.  I enjoyed this one!

Content:  Clean, some mild violence, Christian fiction (although nothing overly preachy)

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. 


Thursday, October 20, 2016

For This We Are Soldiers: Tales of the Frontier Army by Carla Kelly


From master storyteller Carla Kelly comes this collection of frontier tales that take you behind typical army lines and into the hearts of ordinary men and women who perform extraordinary acts of bravery. From handsome hospital stewards and dashing soldiers to courageous children and wives who will pull at your heartstrings, there’s something for everyone’s fancy.

 * Goodreads * Amazon

I always enjoy books by Carla Kelly.  This book was a bit different than her usual stand alone novel in that it contained a collection of short stories.  All the stories revolve around people of the army of the frontier.  One thing I love about Carla Kelly is that her books always feel authentic to the time and place she is writing about.  She maintains a fantastic balance of grit and gentleness that resonates with me as a reader.

Each story in this book has something in it that will tug at your heart.  Life in the army isn't an easy one and these stories bring that to the front but they also show that love and compassion thrived there too.  

Historical fiction like this is one of my favorite genres because it reminds me how much I have to be grateful for and how many people have gone before me to make that possible.  If you love historical fiction and especially those set in the western frontier, you should give this book a try.  

Content:  Clean

--I received this book from the publisher. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Kept Secrets by Traci Hunter Abramson + $25 and Book Giveaway!


Unexpectedly reunited after six years, high school sweethearts Devin Shanahan and Grace Harrington cross paths and have a whirlwind wedding. A lot can change in six years, however, and they must figure out how to make their two independent lives mesh.

Unable to disclose his CIA job to his new wife, when Devin is assigned a top-secret mission to Hong Kong, he tells Grace part of the truth: that he is going to work abroad for six months in finance. But when the mission turns deadly and Devin doesn't know whom to trust, he must make the most difficult decision of his life in an effort to keep Grace safe. Will the seeds of deception prove destructive to their newly formed marriage? And will the love that brought them together be the very thing their enemies use to tear them apart?


I was excited to sign up for this blog tour.  Traci Abramson has always been an author I've enjoyed reading.  Her books are probably what I would call romantic suspense and they are clean.  That's a great combination in my opinion.

The books starts with a bit of foreshadowing- and look into the evil that is to come.  It gave me a little shutter of dread.  Then we are immediately transported to Las Vegas with friends getting together for a wedding.  Devin and Grace are reconnected after many years apart.  I got pulled into their whirlwind re-connection and romance.  It was such a drastic change from the first bit of the book.  But I couldn't forget that evil blip at the beginning.

Then the plot just takes over and things go crazy.  I didn't know who to trust.  I felt anxious and wondered how Devin was going to get out of the mess he was in.  It was so good.  I loved the varied settings as well.  I was never in one place for too long but each place rang true and I could easily picture what was going on.

I read this book in one day.  Actually, it was more like half a day.  I just couldn't put it down.  I love when that happens!  

Content:  some violence

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.  A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.



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Saturday, October 15, 2016

Wild Montana Skies (Montana Rescue #1) by Susan May Warren


Search and rescue pilot Kacey Fairing is home on leave in Mercy Falls, Montana, twelve years after she joined the military to escape the mistakes of her past. With a job waiting for her as the new lead pilot of Peak Rescue in Glacier National Park, Kacey hopes to reconnect with the now-teenage daughter she sees only between deployments. What she doesn't realize is that someone else is also back in town.

Ben King has been building his country music career since the day Kacey shut him out of her life. Now all of that's on hold when his injured father calls him home to help run Peak Rescue until he's fully recovered. It doesn't take long, though, to discover his father's ulterior motives as Kacey Fairing walks into the house and back into his heart.

With Mercy Falls in a state of emergency due to flash floods, Kacey and Ben are forced to work together to save lives. But when floodwaters turn personal, can they put aside the past to save their future?

 * Amazon * Goodreads *

I don't know what it is about these books, but I am hooked.  It all started with the Montana Fire series that revolved around smokejumpers.  I LOVED that series.  I was so happy to see this off shoot series from that one.  Some of the characters cross over and it's fun to see them.  Susan May Warren writes these books in a way that just settles in so easy with me.  I love the romance and the adventure/suspense together.  By the end of the book I feel like I know these characters and I am invested in their success.

This series is about a search and rescue team in the small town of Mercy Falls, Montana.  The setting is perfect for this with National Parks all around.  This story is mostly about Ben and Kacey but there is a secondary story line happening as well.  Ian and Sierra's story starts in If Ever I Would Leave You: A Montana Rescue Prequel.  (which is free on Amazon as of when I wrote this.)  But it doesn't have a conclusion.  They are featured in this novel but STILL don't reach a conclusion.  I guess they are the couple with the eternal struggle.  It was awesome to read the prequel before this novel though to get a good sense of who Ian and Sierra are and how their relationship started and evolved.  It also set the stage for the Mercy Falls rescue team.

Ben and Kacey are a love story gone wrong.  Their love story began early when they were both young.  Circumstances tore them apart but now they have been brought back together with a common job task.  You can feel the tension and the connection these two have.  It's just a matter of finding their way through the murky waters of the past.

I'm so excited about this new series.  I can't wait to read the next book which is scheduled to come out in January.  Yay!  

Content:  mention of previous sexual relationship outside of marriage, some mild suspense and violence.  Christian fiction, some moments that have a "preachy" feel to it.

--I received this book for free from the publisher. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Governess by Kristen McKendry + $25 and Book Giveaway!


For Kate Porter in 1880s Canada, working as a governess is simply a means to an end, and she aspires to a high-society future that will lift her out of her middle-class existence. When she accepts a new position as tutor to Alonzo Colaco's children, she sees it as a step in the direction of her dreams. She eagerly envisions a grand house awaiting her...but when her new employer meets her at the train station driving a gaily painted gypsy wagon, Kate suspects her new job will not be all she anticipated.

Kate finds herself living in the woods in a refitted train car as she teaches the charming children of Alonzo, a tinker by trade. After trying in vain to secure another job, Kate is left with little choice. She must simply bide her time until a better position comes along. Soon, however, she abandons her preconceptions along with her bustle in favor of the joys of a simple life---and the possibility of true love. But when opportunity knocks, will Kate really be ready to walk away from all she has come to care about to pursue her high-society dreams?


This is such a sweet book!  

I fell in love with Alonzo and his little family.  Alonzo is a man who marches to the beat of his own drum.  He challenges Kate's views on society and the class structure.  Through him, Kate learns more about kindness, friendship and what is most important.  Kate catches on to some things faster than others, but Alonzo is a patient teacher and a good man.  He stole the show for me.

This book has a gentle feel to it.  It is more sedate in nature, but it never lost my interest.  I was wholly invested from beginning to end.  I did wish Kate's "opportunity" was less lengthy- it sure seemed to take a long time for her to figure out the obvious but all's well that ends well, I guess.  :)

Content:  Clean

--I received this book for free. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.



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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Can't Help Falling by Kara Isaac- Happy Release Day!

A funny, heartfelt romance about how an antique shop, a wardrobe, and a mysterious tea cup bring two C.S. Lewis fans together in a snowy and picturesque Oxford, England.

Emelia Mason has spent her career finding the dirt on the rich and famous. But deep down past this fearless tabloid-reporter façade, there’s a nerdy Narnia-obsessed girl who still can’t resist climbing into wardrobes to check for the magical land on the other side. When a story she writes produces tragic results, she flees to Oxford, England—home to C.S. Lewis—to try and make amends for the damage she has caused.

Peter Carlisle was on his way to become one of Great Britain’s best rowers—until he injured his shoulder and lost his chance at glory. He’s determined to fight his way back to the top even if it means risking permanent disability to do so. It’s the only way he can find his way past failing the one person who never stopped believing in his Olympic dream.

When Peter and Emelia cross paths on her first night in Oxford, the attraction is instant and they find common ground in their shared love of Narnia. But can the lessons from a fantasyland be enough to hold them together when secrets of the real world threaten to tear them apart? Cobblestone streets, an aristocratic estate, and an antique shop with curious a wardrobe bring the world of Narnia to life in Kara Isaac’s inspiring and romantic story about second chances.


After reading Close to You by Kara Isaac, I knew I would be coming back for more of her books.  I was excited to see this new book, Can't Help Falling up on NetGalley.  Today is release day for this book so you don't even have to wait to read it!  Yay!

Emelia and Peter are fantastic characters.  They have the perfect balance of charm, charisma, and heart wrenching baggage.  My heart broke for both Emelia and Peter who carry so much weight on their shoulders.  

The story unfolds in a beautiful way that had me, as a reader, so anxious to press on.  You just know the big secrets are going to explode and they sure do!  The secondary characters (some from the first book) were fantastic as well.  They helped this book feel full and sturdy.  (if that makes sense)  It was very well done.

Content:  Mention of drug use and abuse

This is a Christian fiction book so there are some heavier Christian themes to it.  If you don't like your books preachy, this one may be a bit much for you.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.


Saturday, October 8, 2016

The Woman With No Name by Kelly Nelson


Losing her memory might lead to finding happily ever after.

Sworn bachelor Colton Murdock gets more than he bargained for on the elk hunt when he finds an injured woman in Utah’s high country. She must have a history, but she wakes up to towering pines and the clap of a thunderstorm with no recollection of her name or how she came to be there. Colt brings her to the safety of his camp, trying to ignore the first stirrings of his heart since the tragic death of his fiancée six years ago. 

The young woman can’t help falling for her ruggedly handsome rescuer, who calls her Skye for her blue eyes. But her life goes into a tailspin when she is recognized as Lily Vanasche, fiancée of a popular TV news anchorman, and Colt is arrested for a series of crimes—including her abduction. After the real kidnapper leaves a death threat in Lily’s ransacked house, the clock starts ticking. Can she remember her past before it catches up with her?


Ooh.  Swoony.  Colton.  What?  I'm having a hard time talking in complete sentences.  Ha.  

Let me start again.  Ooh, that Colton is so swoony.  (wait a sec while I fan myself)

I know I should talk about the book but I can't help myself.  Colton is the best part of this book so he deserves to be talked about.  Colton is, aside from his pretty face, a protector.  He is tough and smart and strong.  I love the way he took care of the hard things without being a brute.  

Yeah, Lily is okay too.  :)

I loved the pacing of this book, the characters (obviously) and the setting.  I was caught up in the thick of things right from the get go and I love that.  Books that get my heart beating just a tad faster than normal make me happy!  What a fun diversion this book was.  I loved it!  

Content:  Clean, some mild violence

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

For Sale by Owner by Marlene Bateman + $25 and Book Giveaway!


McKenzie Forsberg is headed home. She's quit her big-city job to return to her roots in the small town of Lake Forest. Kenzi hopes to buy her childhood home from her brother, Tom, as a way of revisiting the peace and security she's been missing in her life. But soon she is shocked to discover that the house has a pending sale, and Tom won't budge from the sale—not even for his sister.

Handsome widower Jared Rawlins catches Kenzie's eye until she realizes that he's the one who is buying her house—but he can only close the deal if he sells his own house by Christmas Eve. Jared is more than a little interested in Kenzie but has second thoughts when it seems that she may be sabotaging the sale of his home.

Slippery feelings of animosity and distrust ensue, with both Jared and Kenzie denying the chemistry between them. But then an unexpected discovery about their connected past puts a new twist in the dynamic. Now, can they put their differences aside and come to terms on a relationship that could last forever?


First off, I have to say that I love this cover.  It's so cute and connects well with the characters and story in this book.  Yay for fun covers!

The story itself left me wanting a bit.  I just didn't find myself connecting with or loving the characters in this book.  Kenzie is just off putting.  I really didn't like her much at all.  And Jared just felt flat.  The connection between them didn't work for me.

In theory, this book has all the elements I look for- conflict, family issues, a past that connects with the future- lots of great ideas.  It just didn't come together for me.

I did love all the cookie recipes.  It fit in well with the story and the Christmas season theme of the book.  And again, the cover.  So perfect!

Content:  LDS fiction although nothing overly preachy, references to past marital affairs, clean

I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.




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Wednesday, October 5, 2016

On Tour with Love Everlasting by Julie Lessman + Book Giveaway!



Series: Isle of Hope
Genre: Christian, Romance
Publisher: Julie Lessman, LLC
Publication date: September 30, 2016
Number of pages: 307

He sets hearts on fire.
She’s been burned by love.
Can hope survive the flames of the past?

School teacher by day, ghostwriter by night, sweet and shy Shannon O’Bryen doesn’t mind writing romance on the sly, but to live it? No, thank you, not since the man she loved turned out to be a player who broke both her heart and her spirit. Now focused more on her faith and her fiction, she vows the next time she falls in love, it will be safely—through the pages of a book.

Dr. Sam Cunningham is a charismatic player who breaks hearts as regularly as he washes his pearl-white Corvette. Abandoned as a young child, Sam was an orphan shuffled through the foster-care system, bitterly driven to prove he is worthy of love—the kind that lasts forever. Once he learns Shannon is a romance writer, he enlists her help in winning back his ex-girlfriend. She teaches him about faith and the true definition of love, and he soon discovers he’s been seeking it in the wrong place all along—and with the wrong girl. But can he convince a woman who's been burned by love to open her eyes—and her heart—to a love everlasting?


I've read some (but not all) books by Julie Lessman.  This book is part of the Isle of Hope series- the second book to be exact, and is Christian Fiction in full force.  

The characters in this book will be familiar if you've read the first book.  The blurb makes it sound like there is one story going on, but in reality, there are more than that.  We have characters from the previous book whose stories continue on in this book.  In the beginning, I had a hard time switching back and forth from one story to the other.  Just when I was getting into Sam and Shannon, the story would completely shift to Shannon's mother and her love interest.  By the middle of the book it wasn't so bad, but in the beginning, that really bothered me.

I really loved how all the characters in this book are well defined and easy to picture and remember.  They have personalities that shine through and I felt their emotions.  The scenes played out like a movie in my head which is always awesome.  I really enjoyed reading this book!  I read through it quickly and I'll be picking up the next book for sure.

Content:  drinking, references to sexual relations outside of marriage, adultery, heavier Christian themes

I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.





Julie Lessman is an award-winning author whose tagline of “Passion With a Purpose” underscores her intense passion for both God and romance. A lover of all things Irish, she enjoys writing close-knit Irish family sagas that evolve into 3-D love stories: the hero, the heroine, and the God that brings them together.


Author of The Daughters of Boston, Winds of Change, and Heart of San Francisco series, Julie Lessman was named American Christian Fiction Writers 2009 Debut Author of the Year and has garnered 17 Romance Writers of America and other awards. Voted #1 Romance Author of the year in Family Fiction magazine’s 2012 and 2011 Readers Choice Awards, Julie was also named on Booklist’s 2010 Top 10 Inspirational Fiction and Borders Best Fiction list.

Julie’s most recent novel, Isle of Hope was voted on Family Fiction magazine’s Best of 2015, and Surprised by Love appeared on Family Fiction magazine’s list of Top Ten Novels of 2014. Her independent novel A Light in the Window is an International Digital Awards winner, a 2013 Readers' Crown Award winner, and a 2013 Book Buyers Best Award winner. Julie has also written a self-help workbook for writers entitled Romance-ology 101: Writing Romantic Tension for the Sweet and Inspirational Markets. You can contact Julie through her website and read excerpts from each of her books at www.julielessman.com.








Chapter 1

Isle of Hope, Georgia, Early Summer

 “Okay, smile pretty—hot guys at three o’clock.”
Shannon O’Bryen smiled, more because of her friend Margo’s mumbled man alert than the need to charm any “hot guy.” She shook her head when Margo tugged the neckline of her sequin halter dress a bit lower before casually skimming a pinky along the rim of her Diet Dr. Pepper. When her friend chatted nonchalantly about a book she’d just discussed with Shannon, Cat, Amy, and Becky not five minutes ago, Shannon grinned outright. But when Margo’s finger slid from the rim into her soda, Shannon could do nothing but giggle. The sound set off a chain reaction of laughter around a table in the middle of a fancy fundraiser for Memorial Hospital at Mansion on Forsyth Park.
Peeking over her shoulder, Shannon expelled a sigh of relief, grateful the “hot guys” were only her brother Jack and his coworker, Sam Cunningham. Because although each of the girls around the table were looking for Mr. Right, Shannon was definitely not one of them--despite the slinky blue dress and four-inch heels her twin sister Cat had coerced her to wear. Nope, she preferred her Prince Charming confined between the covers of a book, thank you very much, where he couldn’t stomp on her heart.
“Well, one viable ‘hot guy,’ anyway,” Shannon’s twin sister Cat said with a lazy smile. A breeze fluttered her long strawberry blonde hair, the salty scent of the marsh mingling with the hint of chlorine from the marble fountain in Savannah’s historical Forsythe Park. Cat swayed to the music of a five-piece orchestra while Spanish moss swayed in the canopy of oaks overhead, the mischief in her eyes sparkling as much as the water dancing into the fountain. “My brother Jack is taken, but his pediatrician friend--Dr. Sam Cunningham—is still very available.”
“And very, very attractive,” Amy whispered, swallowing hard while Margo just stared with saucer eyes, sucking Dr. Pepper off her finger.
Margo gulped and quickly averted her gaze. “Uh … I think you dropped a ‘very,’” she muttered, secretly tracking Jack and Sam as they wove their way through a glittering sea of people and tables in the candlelit promenade. “Far as I’m concerned, that guy just broke the hot scale, because he’s way more than attractive.”
Too attractive. Shannon watched as Sam flirted with every girl he could on the way to their table, Jack’s warning that Sam was a “player” resonating deep in Shannon’s soul. No matter the boyish twinkle in brown eyes that made every girl feel special or a crooked smile always tipped with tease, Shannon knew better. She had no doubt that beneath that magnetic façade was a man whose good looks and lust for women spelled doom for any girl sucked into his orbit—whirling them in a lovelorn spin that only made them dizzy.
And so sick that avoidance was the only cure.
“Heeeeeey, ladies, I’m in dire need of a dance partner, so who’s willing to help me out?” Dr. Sam Cunningham ambled forward with hands in the pockets of his tux, his shirt and tie as disheveled as the dark curls that spilled over his forehead. Which was a total rarity for the man who was usually a walking photo shoot for a Gucci cologne ad, always dressed to the nines like a GQ model with a wardrobe to match.
“You’re in dire need, all right,” Jack said with a slant of a smile, his eyes far more sober than Sam appeared to be, “of a lift home.” Looping an arm around Sam’s shoulder, he zeroed in on Shannon. “Shan, would you mind driving Sam home? I’m up soon on the podium for some announcements, so I can’t take him right now, and he’s pretty hammered. He’s feeling no pain, but I’ll tell you what—his bar tab will give him sticker shock on his next credit card statement.”
Shannon blinked, stomach roiling over going anywhere with Sam Cunningham. “Uh … sure, Jack, but wouldn’t a cab be better?”
“I don’t wanna go home,” Sam interrupted, a faint slur of his words a perfect complement to the glassy look in his eyes. “I wanna dance.” Pausing as if he just realized he hadn’t introduced himself, he dazzled the girls with his trademark smile, complete with a flash of dimples. “Please forgive me, ladies, but I’m Sam Cunningham, and I am hoping one of you might consider dancing with me.” In true Cunningham style—at least according to Jack, who claimed Sam had a genuine soft spot for wallflowers and underdogs—he turned his famous bedroom eyes on the least likely girl at the table, who seldom garnered the attention of men.
Becky Dempsey was a brilliant mathematician who, unfortunately, looked like one too. Unable to wear contacts, sweet Becky was relegated to thick tortoise-shell eyeglasses that magnified her eyes so much, her pupils were as big as eyeballs. At six foot, she wore her brown hair in a short permed bob that matched her mother’s and sported a host of allergies, not the least of which was to makeup and most food. As a result, she had a gangly frame, which did, fortunately, show off clothes to good advantage.
If they weren’t from her mother’s closet.
Sam awarded Becky a truly genuine smile. “How ’bout you, Miss …?”
Ohhhhhh, no you don’t, Ham,” Jack said with a latch of Sam’s arm, employing the nickname Sam had earned in residency because of his outrageous flirting and show-off tendencies. “Sweet Becky here doesn’t need her feet mauled tonight, so let’s get you home.”
Sam jerked free of Jack’s hold with amazing dexterity for someone swaying on his feet. “I told you, I don’ wanna go home, O’Bryen. I wanna dance.”
“Yeah, well you can dance your way to Shan’s car, dude, because you’re in no shape to do anything but crash.”
“I’ll drive him home,” Cat offered with a look way too eager, jumping up so fast, she jolted the table and everyone’s drinks along with it. She wriggled her brows at Sam while she reached for her purse. “I’ve been wanting to get to know you better anyway, Dr. Cunningham.”
“Soun’s like a plan to me,” Sam said with a wayward grin. “Jack’s been waaaaay too possessive of you girls, if you ask me.” He gave Cat a slow wink. “Forbidden fruit, I suppose.”
“In your dreams, Dr. Love.” Jack flashed Cat a wry smile, resorting to his role of annoying big brother that Cat always accused him of. “Sorry, Catfish, but that would be the blind leading the blind, so I’ll stick with the sober and sensible twin.” He homed in on Shannon once again, the plea in his eyes weakening her defenses. “Shan, I really hate to ask, but I don’t trust Sam in a cab because he’ll just go to a club and drink some more.”
“What are you, O’Bryen, my mother?” Sam scowled, and even that looked good on him.
Shannon chewed on her lip, not sure why Jack would put her in a situation like this with a Romeo he’d warned both Cat and her about.
“Come on, Cat, let’s dance …” Sam extended his hand to her sister, practically tripping on the leg of a chair when he rounded the table.
Ignoring Sam’s comment, Jack bent close to Shannon’s ear, kneading her shoulder in a coaxing manner. “Normally I wouldn’t let Sam within a mile of either you or Cat, sis, but he’s hurtin’ pretty badly because Jazz showed up with another guy.” Jack glanced toward the dance floor to where Jasmine Augustine—a nurse at Memorial who was both his and Sam’s ex-girlfriend—laughed and danced with some good-looking guy. “So I don’t trust him to go straight home. Nor do I trust him with any female in this room but you, Shan.” His smile was laced with apology, reminding Shannon of another conversation in Jack’s office once, after she and Cat had met Sam for the first time.
“Sam and I are good friends, guys, but you two need to steer clear,” Jack’d told them after Sam had left, his voice lowering to a mere whisper. He’d zeroed in on Cat, then, with that warning squint in his eyes. “Especially you, Catfish, because he’s not like other players I know, only out for themselves. Deep down Sam’s a pretty decent guy who actually cares about people, so I don’t think he’s really looking to hurt anybody.” His mouth took a twist. “Unfortunately he does—a lot—because he’s got this innate kindness and sensitivity that disarms most women, setting them up for the fall when he moves on.” Jack had seared them both with a big-brother stare. “And trust me—he always does.”
The fall. Shannon swallowed hard. Yes, I remember it well …
Jack’s heavy expulsion of air ruffled Shannon’s hair, bringing her back to the present where Sam was flirting with Cat. He shook his head. “I swear, the clown is so lousy with bone-deep charisma, Shan, he can charm the spots off a kid with measles, which makes him all the more dangerous.” He gave Shannon’s shoulder a quick squeeze, fixing her with a look of regret. “So I need someone mature and levelheaded, sis, with an immunity to players, and the only one I know is you.”
Shannon sighed. Ah yes, my immunity to players. I’ve definitely been inoculated by the best. “All right, Jack.” She tossed her purse strap over her shoulder and rose with another heavy exhale of air. Pushing her chair in, she gave him a twist of a smile. “But you owe me, big brother.”
“And then some,” Jack said with a kiss to her head. He tucked a finger to her chin. “And don’t let him bamboozle you. The man has a masters in roguery, so it might be good to lend him an ear, but nothing else.” He tugged on her hair. “His address is 665 Parkway, Apt. B, and he keeps a key under one of the potted palms by his front door.”
Her smile slid off-center. “The operative word being ‘potted,’ she said with more sarcasm than normal.
He grinned. “I have his car keys, so Lacey and I will drive his Corvette home later, okay? Just get him inside and make sure he stays.”
Shannon’s mouth went flat. “You want me to tuck him in too?”
Jack chuckled. “Might be a nice touch, but not necessary.” He leveled a finger at her with a mock glare. “I don’t want you within twenty feet of his bedroom, young lady, you got that?” He winked. “I’m trusting you, Shan.”
“Glad one of us does,” she mumbled, shoulders slumping when she saw Sam dipping Cat in a dance move next to the table, almost dropping her.
“Okay, come on, Twinkletoes.” Jack pulled Sam away from Cat to hook an arm over his shoulder, carefully guiding him down the wide, tree-lined walkway dotted with tables. He tossed Cat a warning glare over his shoulder. “And if I ever see you dancing with this joker again, Catfish, I’m going to toss you into the river, you got it? He’s off-limits to you and Shan because he’s dangerous to women’s health.”
“Yeah?” Sam mumbled, stumbling along beside Jack, “then how come it’s my health that took the hit this time?”
“Have fun, you lucky duck,” Margo called as Shannon led Jack and Sam to where she had parked her car. “Sure wish it were me.”
“Me too,” Shannon muttered, wondering if she could talk Jack into putting Sam in the trunk.
“Jack, I’m fine, I swear.” Sam’s argument sounded convincing enough except for a near miss with a chair, and Shannon couldn’t help the ghost of a smile when her brother gave him a Gibbs smack to the back of the head. She could have kissed Jack after he dumped Sam into the back seat of the car instead of the front. Especially after a slight detour where Dr. Love puked on the parking lot, necessitating quick cleanup with wet wipes from the glove compartment.
Facedown on the upholstery, Sam ground out a low groan that coaxed another smile to Shannon’s lips. “I think I’m gonna die …” he muttered. His voice was no more than a rasp as he lay prostrate across the back seat of her mother’s 1999 Chevy Impala, his bristled jaw flat against her beige upholstery.
“No you won’t, Ham,” Jack said with a degree of sympathy. “You just need to get past this obsession with Jasmine and move on with your life, man. There are other fish in the sea.”
A hiccough interrupted Sam’s moan. “I don’ want fish. I want her. She’s one in a million.”
“Yeah, and so’s the headache you’re gonna have come morning, bro, if you don’t get some decent sleep.” He shoved the rest of Sam’s legs into the car and slammed the door, opening the passenger side to offer Shannon a penitent smile. “I can’t thank you enough, Shan. Jazz dumped him for some new intern, and it’s been a rough week for him, you know?”
“I’m sorry to hear that,” she whispered, her heart aching for him despite his inebriated state. “Is there anything else I can do to help cheer him up?”
“Yeah, you can pray for him, and maybe even share some of that wisdom you’re so famous for. Never seen Ham this down before, and it has me a little worried, you know?”
“Sure, Jack.” She peeked into the back seat where snores could be heard while drool puddled on the upholstery. “I feel bad for the poor guy.”
Jack grinned. “I knew you would because you have an oversized heart of gold, kiddo, but not too much, okay? Ham has been known to take advantage of the kindness of strangers.”
A grin tugged at Shannon’s lips as she glanced over her shoulder. “Doesn’t look like he could take advantage of much of anything right now.” She wrinkled her nose. “Except Mom’s car seat.”
“Yeah, well that’s when he’s at his most dangerous, I’m afraid, catching women off-guard with his little-boy charm. So unconscious or not, keep your distance, okay?”
She started the car with its customary sputter and growl, shifting into gear as she slid Jack a wry smile. “Distance would be a cab, Jack, but I’ll keep that in mind.”
“Good girl.” With two firm taps of her roof, Jack closed the door, hands in his pockets as he watched her drive away.
A snort sounded from the back seat, and Shannon had no choice but to smile. A cab, definitely.
In another state.


Chapter 2

Stupid fly. Sam Cunningham swatted at the insect, its stupid buzzing getting on his last nerve. It landed again, and he literally growled, flailing his arm to shoo it away. “Beat it, before I nail your butt to the wall.”
“Now that I’d like to see.”
Sam jolted up with a groan, drool smeared on the side of his mouth as he squinted into the eyes of an angel.
Okay, he couldn’t be dead because his head was pounding too hard, and dead people didn’t feel pain, right? Not unless … He shot straight up, head in a vice as he groaned in misery, kneading his temples. His stomach burned like the devil and his throat was so parched, it felt like it was on fire.
Uh-oh … fire!
Yep, he was dead.
And now, he was going to pay for his sins.
“You’re not going to throw up again, are you?” A quiet voice asked, soft with sympathy.
He glanced up at the angel through slits in his eyes, his voice barely a croak. “I might. Where am I?” he rasped.
“The back seat of my mother’s car, and I’m Jack’s sister Shannon in case you don’t remember.” She gently tugged on his arm, obviously hoping to remove him from the vehicle. “Which would be a miracle, given the brain cells you destroyed tonight.”
He grunted, gingerly attempting to unfold himself from the car while bowling balls ricocheted in his head. “I don’ believe in miracles.”
“You should—it’s a miracle you’re even alive after the alcohol you consumed.”
“Wish I wasn’t,” he muttered, hand to his eyes as he teetered on the sidewalk, limbs as limp as the crumpled tie dangling around his neck. He sniffed. “What’s that awful smell?”
“Vomit. You puked on your tie and shirt,” she said, the empathy in her tone now laced with a hint of a smile.
He groaned. “Noooo! This is my best tie—a Ralph Lauren black.” One eye opened a sliver. “Not in your car, I hope?”
“Nope, that’s miracle number three—you puked in the parking lot, so Jack and I cleaned you up with the wet wipes we keep in the glove compartment.”
“For sloppy drunks you cart home?” He managed to pry his eyes open all the way, noticing for the first time just how pretty she was.
“Nope, you’re my first.” She hooked an arm to his waist. “Ready?”
“Always,” he said with a smile that was worth the pain, “when there’s a pretty woman by my side.”
She paused, face in a pinch as she stared up with mouth agape. “Seriously? You’re going to hit on me when you can barely walk and smell like puke?”
He gave a faint shrug, smile sheepish. “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”
“I guarantee you, Dr. Cunningham,” she said in a stern tone tempered with tease, “the only thing you’re going to gain with comments like that is a whop alongside the head.”
“Ouch.” He grinned while she attempted to steer him toward his luxury villa with a strength and determination that belied her small size, her manner utterly patient when he stumbled several times. His hands shook as he fumbled to fish his keys from his pocket, striving for a smile that came out as a grimace. “I can take it from here,” he said, then froze, his keys promptly plummeting onto his brick front porch. Panic set in when he broke out in a cold sweat, mouth salivating like he was going to throw up …
Noooooooooooo!
Body heaving, he spun around to a potted palm just in time, retching into the planter for several agonizing seconds. He stood there, breathing hard while he remained bent over the poor plant, pretty sure he’d just puked up his intestines.
“Let’s get you inside,” a soft voice said, the gentle touch of a palm rubbing his back.
A groan scraped past his dry lips, and he white-knuckled the edge of the planter, not sure if the heat in his cheeks meant he was embarrassed or going to toss his cookies again. “Please go—I can take it from here.”
The caress of a hand to his back continued despite his objection. “I’m sure you can, Sam, but it remains to be seen if you’ll be sleeping out here next to a potted palm or inside in a clean, cozy bed. So, if it’s all the same to you, Doc, I have strict orders to get you down for the night before I leave, so I’m here till I get the dirty deed done.”
He rose slowly, wiping his mouth with his coat sleeve and feeling so much better after unloading his stomach, he actually managed a chuckle. “Ah yes, the ‘sober and sensible twin.’”
“That’s right, Dr. Love,” she said, employing Jack’s nickname while she turned the key in his door, “which means the party’s over and you’re done for the night.”
“Wait …!” He spun around, heart in his throat. “Where’s my car?”
“Jack will deliver it in the morning, Doc, so move it inside, please.” She nudged him into his spacious marble foyer that never failed to elicit a feeling of pride, always reminding Sam that he’d finally arrived. A far cry from a flea-bitten room over a bar on the wrong side of the tracks, Sam’s villa—along with his “preowned” pearl white Corvette—were his pride and joy. Absolute proof he was worth something, despite desertion by a two-bit mother and the rantings of a foster father who claimed he’d only amount to a pile of dung.
He fumbled to turn on the light, then reveled in the gasp that popped from Shannon’s lips, her voice tinged with an awe he never tired of hearing. “Wow, this is some place, Doc,” she whispered, peering up at the vaulted foyer with its sleek chrome and teak stairway that zigzagged against a wall of glass. Cream walls resplendent with equally pale modern works of art were beautifully complemented by a central circular mirror and white calla lilies in a tall pottery vase. Sam would have preened with pride if he wasn’t covered in puke, because each and every piece was deliberately designed to evoke the clean and simple beauty he so craved in his own life.
“It’s breathtaking,” she whispered, leaving his side to wander the entryway with a look of awe as if she were Alice perusing Wonderland for the very first time. “Utterly clean and pure. Not at all what I expected of a notorious bachelor.” She turned, the look of astonishment on her face making him grin and wince at the same time. “You didn’t do this yourself, did you? I mean a designer put it together for you, right?”
“Nope, all mine,” he said, chest swelling with pride even as his stomach rebelled with a twinge of nausea. He fought it off, suddenly aware he smelled like a pub on payday.
Her jaw actually dropped. “I don’t believe it.”
He forced a flirtatious smile, barely minding the throb in his head. “Every shade of paint, every stick of furniture, every piece of art,” he said with a wobbly hand to his heart, “straight out of my depraved brain, I promise.” He suddenly steadied himself with a hand to the wall, a flashback from his childhood making him dizzier than the booze in his body.
“I’ll come back soon, I promise,” his mother always said, night after night, the stench of alcohol on her breath making him nauseous. Only she never did, leaving a skin-and-bones five-year-old to fend for himself in a rat-infested room over a dive of a bar. And when her lush of a boyfriend gave her a choice between Sam and him? Sam’s teeth ground hard as he swayed on his feet. No contest. Because his so-called mother was weak—seeking her self-worth in a loser who had absolutely no worth at all—while giving her son promises that were worth even less.
No,” Sam stressed with a hint of a slur, focusing glassy eyes on a woman who for some strange reason, he wanted to know the truth. “I give you my word,” he emphasized with surprising clarity, “because you see, Miss O’Bryen, promises are nothing more than a puff of air. But my word is my unbreakable bond, as honest and pure as I can ever hope to be.” The dizziness passed, and he stood up straight and tall, both his smile and the “player” in play once again. “Because despite my notoriously black reputation, I am inexplicably drawn to things that are simple and pure, honest and clean, and completely unblemished by my own sordid life.”
Her gaze met his and held. “It’s beautiful,” she said softly, head tipped as if she couldn’t quite figure him out.
“Thank you.” He leaned on the knob of the open door, making every effort not to waver on his feet. “Unlike its owner at the moment, I’m afraid. It seems I’m in dire need of a shower.”
She simply stared, her calm look of compassion so disarming that the smile slowly dissolved on his face. All at once, he felt his shoulders relax, the need to impress suddenly as absent as his sobriety. “Thank you, Shannon,” he said quietly, somewhat baffled by the calming effect that she had, “for putting up with metonight and getting me home.” He took a stab at a smile that came out more as a flinch. “I’ll have the inside of your car fumigated and detailed, so just send me the bill.”
For some reason the kindness in her eyes put a hitch in his throat he could only blame on the booze. She slipped her purse off her shoulder, dangling it from one hand while she reverently glided the other across his polished teak half-moon table. “That won’t be necessary,” she said with a smile, “but I suspect a pot of coffee will be. Direct me to the kitchen?”
He studied her through blurry eyes, wondering if the aura of innocence he detected was real or just the effect of the alcohol on his brain. “You don’t have to do that, Shannon. The vomit was already above and beyond the call of duty, so I’ll give Jack a good report.”
She huffed out a sigh bigger than her. “Sorry, Doc. Jack asked me to make sure you go to bed and don’t go out again. Blame it on the curse of being the sensible and sober twin who follows orders, but if it’s all the same to you, I’d like to follow through with coffee and even lend an ear if you like.”
He stared for several dizzy seconds, then shut the door, figuring a cup of coffee was preferable to a vertigo spin in bed. “Sure. Kitchen’s down the hall, and it won’t take me three minutes to shower.” He eyed the lofty staircase with a dull gaze. “Now the stairs? Might be more like twenty.”
She paused halfway to the kitchen. “Need help?”
“Nope.” He made his way to the staircase, trying hard not to weave. “The hangover will be wicked enough without Jack’s fist if I get one of his sisters into my bedroom.”
“O-Okay.” She spun on her heel and all but sprinted down the hall.
But not before he saw the delicate rise of color in her face that lured a smile to his lips. He shook his head as he methodically scaled one step at a time, fisting the steel banister to hold himself up. He sure didn’t blame Jack for banning him from his sisters, especially Shannon. There was something so sweet and wholesome about her that it almost made him want to protect her himself.
He paused at the top of the stairs to catch his breath, the thought of Jack’s sister in his “lair” quirking his lips. Obviously Jack was concerned about Sam’s welfare enough to put his sister in harm’s way, which only deepened Sam’s gratitude to the man who was quickly becoming a close friend. His mouth crooked. Even if he was annoyingly bent on saving Sam’s soul.
Plodding into his massive bedroom, he peeled off his clothes, leaving a trail on his way to the master bath before turning the shower all the way to scalding. Feeling woozy, he braced his hands on the vanity, mind as foggy as the steam billowing behind him like thunderclouds portending a doozy of a storm. He peered into the mirror, muscled arms taut with his weight while red eyes and a sagging face shadowed with scruff confirmed the storm was already here.
And it was a stinkin’ category five.
He dropped his head, the pain in his chest suddenly making the throb in his brain look like lollipops on immunization day.
Because he’d lost Jazz again. A second time.
And losing always left a bitter taste in his mouth.
 You’re nothing but a loser, kid, just like your old lady.
 Kind of like spewing in a parking lot, only this time the nausea was in his heart. Peering up, he saw a ripped body honed at the gym and chiseled features Jazz once likened to a Greek god. Determination steeled his bones. Because inside he knew his feelings for Jasmine and hers for him went far deeper than a pretty face. “You’ll be back, Jazz,” he whispered, “because I’m the one you come to when you’re hurting, and the one who makes you laugh when others make you cry.”
Like Jack when he dumped you for Lacey.
An odd mix of resentment and regard churned in his gut along with the booze, reminding him that it had been Jack who had stolen Jazz away the first time, after Sam cheated on her. But then it was Jack who had sent her running right back after he’d upped and married Lacey. Jasmine had been devastated, but Sam had been ready, wooing her back with love and understanding and an iron-clad resolve to never stray again.
Until she dumped him for an intern.
Sam’s eyes shuttered closed. Just like his so-called fiancée dumped him in college. Right after she had an affair with his professor, destroying Sam’s confidence along with the man’s marriage.
Mind and body wobbling, he quickly opened his eyes, desperate to purge the memory from his brain along with the alcohol from his system.
Stepping into the shower, he welcomed the hot water that battered him raw. Well, he’d lost Jazz twice, but he’d also won her twice, and if it took every trick in the book, he’d do it again. His jaw automatically hardened, resolve to win her back pummeling through his veins as hard as the steaming water pummeled his body. But right now he needed to numb the ache in his heart, so he’d start with a cup of coffee with a pretty woman who just might help fill the hole in his chest.
At least for a while.
He lathered with soap, aching with the need to feel worthy and clean. He suddenly thought of Shannon and instantly relaxed, the idea of coffee with her suddenly the only thing he wanted to do. He could use an honest sounding board after all the angst Jasmine had put him through. And he’d begin tonight by picking Shannon’s brain as to how he might win her back. Because Shannon did mention lending an ear.
Stepping out of the shower, he expelled a burdensome sigh. And maybe, if she realized just how badly he was hurting, she’d lend him even more. Like a few innocent kisses—and only kisses—from a woman who could help ease some of his pain. Sagging over the sink, he ground his thumb against the throb in his temple, desperate to free himself of the awful loneliness that always haunted his brain. His eyelids weighted closed. Because he had to.
Jack’s sister or no.





Enter the giveaway HERE.