When does our past stop picking at our scars and start letting them heal?
Can we see beyond our wounds to the possibilities the future holds?
How do we let ourselves become vulnerable enough to trust the love that’s right in front of us?
Fate. She’s a fickle, wily bitch that slaps us in the face every opportunity she gets. Sometimes it’s a taunt, but sometimes it’s a goddamn wake-up call to pay attention. Take what’s rightfully yours without shame or apology. So when destiny put me straight in Alyse Kingsley’s path once again, I knew this was one slap I wasn’t ignoring. I’d let her get away once. I wouldn’t again. She was mine and I was takin’ her, kicking and screaming if need be.
Alyse ~ Deceit and betrayal. Every single person who was supposed to love me committed one of these.
Incapable of letting people see the real me, I hold them at arm’s length. But Asher Colloway is relentless and it doesn’t take long before I cave to his pursuits. The big question is: can I let him in where it counts most? Before ghosts from my past come back to haunt me in ways I can’t possibly fathom? Before it’s too late?
Asher ~ Trust. Forgiveness. Impossible concepts, having been fucked over by a woman I’d loved before. But those aren’t my only personality flaws.
I have a secret kink.
I want Alyse. All of her. She shows people the shiny, untainted surface. I want the murky, damaged depth. The shadows. I want in all the way. Just when I think I’ve made it, fate cruelly bitch-slaps me again. And this time I don’t see it coming. The question now is: what am I willing to do to keep the woman I love by my side? And can Alyse accept me the way I am, faults and all?
It’s apparent someone hurt him, broke his trust. Broke his heart, even. And I want to know about her. I want to know who turned such a caring, romantic, handsome man who could have any woman he wants into someone who can’t commit.
But can he commit now?
As Asher kisses me long and deep, the questions and doubt fade into nothingness, powerful lust and longing easily taking their place. Just like every other time he touches me. Nothing feels more right than when his lips are on mine.
He’s like gravity.
He keeps me grounded in the present and out of my own head, where my personal demons try to torment me.
Mouth never leaving mine, Asher pulls me across his lap and suddenly I wished I’d worn a skirt for easy access, because I desperately need his hands on me. Instead I have dark, tight jeans and a clingy, black long-sleeved blouse, which shows off the swell of my breasts, courtesy of the deep purple push-up bra I’m wearing.
“Alyse,” he mumbles against my goose-pebbled flesh. “Tell me what you like, what you want.” His hands tightly grip my waist, hot tongue traveling slowly down to the base of my throat. His rock-hard erection pulses beneath me, throbbing, keeping time with my own beats.
What do I want? So many things. So many dirty, wicked things. Things I’ve never wanted with anyone else. I know Asher can show me. I’ve been with several men, but I almost feel like a virgin with him. Not in the physical sense, but the emotional one. I believed him when he said he would own me. God help me, I want that. I’ve thought of nothing else than what it would be like to be completely and wholly his in every sense of the word.
I will the chains I’ve secured tightly around my heart to loosen. I imagine the lock clicking open and slack taking up the links I’d wound so tightly, so securely that no one could penetrate them. It’s terrifying. It feels foreign, naked, like taking off a piece of jewelry you’ve not removed for years, the imprint of the precious metal leaving a visible mark behind.
And then I do the one thing that feels right in this moment, but goes against all that I’ve tried to protect myself from over the last eight years.
“I want you to own me,” I beseech. Beg. Implore.
All of me. Not just my body.
My voice echoes loudly in the darkened room, like I’ve yelled those six words at the top of my lungs for the whole world to hear and judge versus barely uttered so that they sound distant, even to my own ears. I’m not even sure Asher heard me.
But he did.
His lips still, his body tenses, and his grasp becomes almost painfully tight. When he pulls back, the insatiable lust swirling in the depths of his striking blues causes my stomach to drop like I’ve just been tossed off a five-story building.
Burning eyes never leaving mine, one hand pushes underneath my blouse, traveling up to palm my breast. He pulls down the cup, his nimble fingers tweaking my hardened nipple. Pleasure ricochets off every cell like a pinball machine, landing squarely between my pounding thighs. My eyes drift closed on a moan until I hear his dark command.
“Look at me, baby.” His fingers never stop pulling and pinching and twisting, each movement sending another sharp zing on a fast track south of the border.
I finally comply, but my blinks are long and heavy.
“Fuck, I want to corrupt you in the wickedest of ways and completely ruin you in the best possible ones.”
He’s asking for permission, even though I already gave it.
He’s asking for trust, when it’s already his.
He’s asking me to be sure.
Letting a small smile tug the corners of my lips, I reassure him.
I’m just a regular ol’ Midwest girl who likes Game of Thrones and is obsessed with Modern Family and The Goldbergs. I run, I eat, I run, I eat. It’s a vicious cycle. I love carbs, but there’s a love-hate relationship with my ass and thighs. Mostly hate. I like a good cocktail (oh hell…who am I kidding? I love any cocktail). I’m a huge creature of habit, but I’ll tell you I’m flexible. I read every single day and if I don’t get a chance…watch the hell out, I’m a raving bitch. My iPad and I: BFFs. I’m direct and I make no apologies for it. I swear too much. I love alternative music and in my next life I want to be a badass female rocker. I hate, hate, hate spiders, telemarketers, liver, acne, winter, and loose hairs that fall down my shirt (don’t ask, it’s a thing).
I have a great job (no…truly it is) outside of writing. My kids and my husband are my entire world and I’d never have made it this far without them. My soul mate husband of nearly twenty-eight years provides unwavering support and my two grown children know the types of books I write and they don’t judge their mom anyway (and my daughter is a beta reader even…yes, that can be awkward…very).
I’m sincerely humbled by each and every like on my Facebook page or sign-up for my newsletter or outreach from someone who has read and loved my books. I still can’t get over the great support. The romance book community is a wonderful and supportive one. I’ve made more friends in the last year than I’ve made in my life and I’m a pretty affable person. It’s surreal. I’m pretty sure it always will be.
In short, I am blessed…and I know it.