Monday, December 29, 2014

Rock Star Series (When One Door Closes and Another Door Opens) by Sandy Wolters

Book:  When One Door Closes

Series:  Rock Star Series - Book 1 (Stand Alone)

Author:  Sandy Wolters (Award Winning)

Genre:  Steamy Contemporary Romance

Length:  Approximately 139 Pages

Book Heat Level:  R


Purchase Links: ($1.99 digital)

Amazon Geo URL:






(Available in Print - $7.99)




            Her marriage a disaster, Lilly closes the door to her personal life. Can meeting Bruce open a door to a new life or will her fear shut her off from love?

            All Lilly has ever wanted to do is sing, but being an internationally famous superstar has turned her life into a living nightmare. Closing the door on her destructive marriage, she runs to her best friend's rural home in northern Arizona, hoping to stay out of the public's eye and sort out her life.

            Bruce Silk, a Flagstaff police officer, doesn't approve of his brother's rakish rock star lifestyle but still keeps an eye on his remote home when he's out on tour. More than once he's had to arrest groupies who invaded the property to steal some small memento from the famous Clay Silk. So why does he feel sucker-punched when he slaps the cuffs on this latest trespasser?

            When One Door Closes is the first book in the “Rock Star Series.”  Each book in this series is stand alone.



            Curiosity gripped him. Who was this woman his philandering brother seemed to care so much about? Bruce watched from the kitchen doorway as she finished preparing their hot cocoa. Her small size seemed incongruent with the amount of sensuality exuding from her. No wonder she's Clay's favorite, he thought as a pang of jealousy swept over him.

            Dominating the room, her sensuous presence relaxed his cop perceptions and stimulated his male senses to a full appreciation for the view in front of him. Looking at her feet, he realized that despite the six-inch heels, the top of her head had only come up to his chest while he was handcuffing her. Damn, he thought, she is one fine woman. Who the hell wears those kinds of shoes sitting on a back deck all by themselves?

            Observing her skintight, leather-clad legs, lust filled him as his eyes and his imagination quickly moved to gaze at her curvaceous southern regions. Staring at her beautifully rounded bottom, his mind swiftly moved to a destination that he had not been fortunate enough to visit lately, even though it wasn’t for lack of opportunity. A lascivious grin, coveted by most of the women around these parts, crept across his face.

            Lilly turned to find him leering at her, locked away in his own private daydream. Still it was a look she would recognize anywhere. She'd seen it countless times but never really appreciated it until tonight. Too bad, she thought, that I'm not the type of person to have a one-night stand, unlike my husband. A stab of fresh pain hit her in the chest, and she had to catch the sorrowful moan before it left her lips. No. I'm not going to do that to myself—not anymore. She had an inkling that if she let him, this man could make her feel better for a while at least. Letting these dangerous thoughts slip away, she cleared her throat to get his attention.

            He came back from wherever his imagination had just taken him to find her smiling sweetly at him. As she moved toward him with the mugs in hand, he was grateful she had let him off the hook so easily. There was no way in hell he wanted to explain where his daydream had taken the two of them. It was bad enough that she obviously knew that his thoughts were lustful—no need for her to know how much further they had taken him.


Read entire first chapter excerpt:


What people are saying about When One Door Closes:

"The book made me laugh, made me mad, made me feel the pain of the characters at times, that kinda adds up to a good book that is well written." - Douglas C. Meeks

"This is the fifth story written by award winning Author Sandy Wolters. Her finely honed, excellent writing style swoops the reader right into her tales of romance, mystery, struggles, and tenderness." - Nancy of Utah

"Take these three people, combine them with one nasty, good for nothing, succubus of a husband, rabid fans, a no nonsense housekeeper and a big mushy dog and you have the makings for a delightful way to spend a lazy day enjoying yourself with a good story." - Penelope Adams, PRG

" There are so many emotions in this book, You are happy, sad , angry and laughing in a matter of pages. You won't put the book down. The only sad thing is that it has to end." - Patricia (Goodreads)



Book:  Another Door Opens

Series:  Rock Star Series – Book 2 – Conclusion (Stand Alone)

Author:  Sandy Wolters (Award Winning)

Genre:  Steamy Contemporary Romance with a ghostly paranormal twist

Length:  Approximately 109 pages

Book Heat Level:  R


Purchase Links: ($1.99 digital)

Amazon Geo URL:






(Available in Print - $7.99)




Can a man who has never lacked for women in his life meet the challenge when the woman he truly desires wants nothing to do with him?

Clayton Silk has reveled in the attention he receives as a rock star. His only close friend is Lilly, another international rock star, but she has chosen to step back from the spotlight and enjoy her relationship with his brother Bruce, which has started Clay thinking about his life.

When he decides to take a break from touring and spend some time with Bruce and Lilly, he meets a woman who drives him to distraction, a woman who resists all his usual charms, and makes him wonder what it will take to break down her resistance before he loses his mind. As he discovers, it may just cost him her life.



They were both startled when Barney picked that moment to come running through the house. He moved back and forth in front of them with urgency. When all he got was curious looks, he stopped and gave them both an inquisitive stare.

Nancy reached for the dog. "What is it, boy?"

Barney started to whine quietly, his big blue eyes almost hidden from view because of his wrinkles, but still able to convey his consternation through his expressive face. Nancy set her beer on the table and moved forward so her knees were almost touching the mammoth-sized dog. "He looks like he’s in distress, Clay. What’s wrong with him?"

At that moment, both Nancy and Clay heard a faint voice. "Help! Help!"

Nancy jumped back and practically landed on Clay’s lap. She grabbed his leg and held on for dear life. Never taking her eyes from the dog, she yelled, "Did you hear that? Clay, did you hear that? Did Barney just actually say help?"

Something akin to terror sparked in Clay’s eyes as he looked at the enormous dog in front of him. Shit, he thought, this can’t be happening! Did the damn dog actually find the spooks and get himself possessed? Unnerved because he no longer knew what to expect with the disembodied voices and where they were coming from, Clay’s voice broke when he spoke. "Barney?"

Panic set in, and Nancy’s fight or flight instinct raised its ugly head as the dog moved slowly toward her with a look of desperation in his expressive eyes. The death grip she had on Clay’s leg would definitely leave bruises.

The beast gradually opened his mouth and spit a slimy, mucous-covered, green mass of feathers out on her cozy, white bathrobe. Nancy jumped and gasped for air at the sight of the unmoving bird covered in goo and lying limply in her lap, its bony little legs straight up in the air with talons clinched tight in a death grip.

Nancy and Clay, stunned at the gift Barney had brought them, stayed perfectly still, not knowing what to do next or how to react.

Barney nudged the bird with his cold nose and whined. The bird chose that moment to move as fast as possible to get away from its captor. It turned quickly, gained its footing, and ran as fast as its little legs would carry it up the bathrobe. With determination, it dove down the front opening of the robe and found respite between the warmth of Nancy’s bare breasts.

Jumping up, Nancy stood there, stunned, not knowing what to do, arms spread wide, fists clenched and chest heaving, her body stiffened with pure panic. Her eyes, filled with hysteria, darted toward Clay, whose eyes crinkled with humor. He had his fist pressed against his mouth to stop the laughter, but one look at her standing there, ready to freak out, and he burst out laughing.

The bird chose that same moment to stick its head out of the opening of the bathrobe. "Help," it yelled once again. She felt it shaking with fear and realized the poor thing was only trying to protect itself. Barney tried to reach out with his nose to comfort his newfound toy, but the bird quickly retreated back into the warmth and safety of Nancy’s breasts.


Excerpt #2 – 608 words – NOTICE TO BLOGGER:  This excerpt contains some foul language and should not be used on PG rated blogs.


As Clay stood just off the porch, watching Nancy through the window, it felt like a Vise-grip had closed over his heart. He had known this moment would come, yet he still wasn’t prepared for the emotional turmoil this woman evoked in him every time he was within a hundred miles of her. He didn't do emotional.

He thought back to the day they met and could only shake his head in disgust. Not my finest moment. She had come to interview for a temporary office assignment to work as Lilly’s assistant, and when she found out who he was, she had bolted. In turn, he chastised himself, I did my best to make her feel worthless. He began massaging his temples to relieve the stress just thinking about Nancy brought on. Unfortunately, over the last several months, she had been on his mind more than he cared to admit.

He looked back to the object of his distress, and his emotions rose up inside him, flaring wildly out of control, turning him into a stark raving idiot. As he watched her sitting there on the couch, her hair damp from a recent shower, all wrapped up in a fluffy, white robe with her legs pulled up under the robe, he unconsciously shared in her grieving. She looked so alone … all he wanted to do was— Whoa! Shit! Where did that come from?

His hands clenched at his side, and he started swaying, his weight shifting from one foot to the other as he tried to regain his equilibrium. It was a lost cause. Ever since the first day they met, his life hadn’t been the same. No matter how hard he tried, she seemed to have burrowed under his skin. Exasperated, he expelled an anger-filled breath. She’s like a damn chigger! 

He hated being under the influence of his emotions at any time, but for a woman to be the cause pissed him off royally. Why the fuck does she affect me like this? She’s just another woman.

As happened earlier, he stilled as a thought tickled his subconscious, a nagging that was right on the surface but might as well have been buried hundreds of miles under the depths of his soul. Something at the far reaches of his mind was trying to make itself known, but as hard as he tried, he couldn’t grasp it. It remained there, unknown for the moment, doing nothing but irritating the shit out of him.

He looked back up, and the tension in his body eased a bit when he saw the object of his thoughts now snuggling with Barney on the couch. Still, the sadness that enveloped her was palpable. Clay felt pushed to make everything better for her, but in the past he had proven to be woefully inadequate in this area.

Lost in his thoughts, a cool breeze blew across the nape of his neck, and he reached up to ease the tingling he felt there. Goose bumps rose across his arms, and his breath wavered.

"Go to her. She needs you."

The cool breeze that had mysteriously carried the words to him wrapped around his body and nudged him forward. Hearing a woman's amiable laughter floating gently through the breeze, he tried to jerk around, but before he realized what he was doing, he found himself at Nancy’s front door, banging to be let in — whether out of need or fear, he wasn’t sure. As he banged on the door, one thought kept running through his mind — get the keys to his only way home and get the hell out as fast as possible.



What people are saying about Another Door Opens:

"What a beautiful love story.” - Teresa Jensen


"A Magnificent Story. This is a fun story to read as it has moments of unforgettable humor, paranormal events, a massive dog named Barney who saves an injured small bird, romance, and a dominating housekeeper… Read this story, you'll love it!" – Nancy of Utah


“Ms Wolters does not disappoint writing another heartfelt love story, a bit of the paranormal, a scoop of mayhem and a dollop of intrigue.” – Gloria Lakritz, Paranormal Romance Guild



            Sandy Wolters is a prolific writer with five other novels to date.  Soul Mates, her steamy time travel romance, won first place in the Paranormal Romance Guild’s 2013 Reviewer Choice Awards for Paranormal Romance-Novella.


Author Links:


Sandy’s Spotlight Blog:

Amazon Author Page:


Twitter @SandyWolters:





Maggie Mae – Steamy contemporary romance with a ghostly paranormal twist

Justice For Emily – Steamy romantic suspense/crime drama with a ghostly paranormal twist

A Brother’s Love – Contemporary romantic suspense

Soul Mates – Award winning, steamy time travel romance

Rock Star Series:

Book 1 – When One Door Closes – Steamy contemporary romance (stand alone) – Bruce and Lilly’s story

Book 2 – Another Door Opens – (Conclusion to series) Steamy contemporary romance with a ghostly paranormal twist (stand alone) – Clay and Nancy’s story


Saturday, December 27, 2014

JoAnne Myer's Love, Myths & Monsters Book Tour sponsored by @SensuousPromos

Welcome to Sensuous Promos Book Tour for Loves, Myths and Monsters! JoAnne Myers has quite a few books out there, and this is one you don't want to miss!

11 urban and mythical tales entwined within the human world and starring the Mothman, the Chupracabra, time travel, reincarnation, a demonic cellmate, a Quaker love story, werewolves, mermaids, and a serial killer family from 1873.


Excerpt from “Moon People”
Drake laid it on really well. “I thought I loved Constance, but after seeing you, I knew we were soul mates,” Drake told Vanessa. “I’d like to take you to the festival today. Meet me at the backdoor of the fun-house, but don’t tell Constance, I don’t want her following you and making a scene.”
“You made a wise decision, Drake,” Vanessa said. “I’ll be there in ten minutes.”
I knew Vanessa would bring Gretchen, and that was the plan.
At the fun-house, I hid inside when Vanessa and Drake entered. The exhibits were not open to the public for another two hours, so—if my plan failed—Drake and I both were dead.
Taking Vanessa by the hand, Drake led her down a dark corridor. “Where are you taking me?” she asked playfully.
“There’re monster masks on this side of the fun-house,” he said, leading her to the back door and abruptly stopping.
Looking around, Vanessa saw nothing but janitor equipment. “Hey, what’s gong on?” she asked, confused. “Where are the scary masks?”
“Right here,” Drake said, removing the dried seaweed from his pocket.
He threw it into her face, blinding her and scorching her flesh. Screaming as loud as she could, she turned to ash.
“You bastard!” Gretchen shouted on hearing Vanessa’s death scream. “Better ones than you and Constance have tried to kill me and failed.”
Taking off like a shot, Drake ran down an opposite hall leading into the maze of mirrors with Gretchen following. From where I stood, I heard their approaching footsteps and raced to the other side of the maze.
Suddenly, Gretchen cornered Drake. When Gretchen realized he was out of seaweed, she advanced slowly, enjoying every instant of his anticipated murder.
Listening to her steps, I knew exactly where she was. Immediately, I flipped on the overhead lights, giving Gretchen the shock of her life. She was in the maze of funny mirrors surrounded by images depicting her beautiful face as distorted and grotesque. Horrified, she became hysterical before melting into a stinking ooze of fish scales.
“Gross!” Drake said.
“Yes, but it’s over. Willowick is saved,” I said, and slowly I crept into his arms.
Afterward, I used my conch and contacted Poseidon and the others. I told them they were unwelcome in Willowick. Instead, I suggested they go far away into Asian waters, telling them it was too dangerous here, humans had learned how to kill our kind.

JoAnne lives in Ohio, and works at a local nursing home. The author of 7 books, JoAnne also canvas paints. JoAnne enjoys time with relatives, her dog Jasmine, and volunteers her time within the community. She is a member of the International Women’s Writing Guild, Savvy Authors, Coffee Time Romance, Paranormal Romance Guild, True Romance Studios, National Writers Association, the Hocking Hill's Arts and Craftsmen Association, The Hocking County Historical Society and Museum, and the Hocking Hills Regional Welcome Center.  JoAnne believes in family values and following your dreams. Her original canvas paintings, can be found at: 

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December 26th - Sensuous Promos Reader’s Blog –
December 27th - Bringing the Pages of Passion to Life –
December 28th - All My Book Finds -
December 29th - Fantasy Pages –
December 30th - Moonbeams over Atlanta –
December 31st - Author Blog of Nikki Noffsinger –
January 1st - Nicki Day Author - 

Friday, December 26, 2014

Cold Warriors (The Cold Warriors Universe Book 1) by Clare Dargin

AVAILABLE: Wednesday, December 24th
This title is offered at a 10% discount. Offer ends midnight CST, December 31st




Cold Warriors (The Cold Warriors Universe)Jilly Reimers wants love but can't find it. Chris Spinell is a veteran of the war in Afghanistan who suffers from PTSD and a haunting feeling that something is missing in his life. Chris Poole is also an Afghanistan war veteran is ready to break out of his shell but is unsure how.


With Christmas just around the corner, they decide not to spend it alone. Believing The Love Play Matchmaking Service to be just what they need for a night of fun and passion, they sign up. But when the guys show up and see that they've been set up on a menage, the only one happy about it is Jilly. 


Their consultant, called an Eros, assures Jilly that the service has a perfect track record but she's certain they'll be the first ones to get their money back. Will they have a very merry Christmas? Or will the three spend yet another one alone?


A Siren Erotic Romance






Jilly idly twirled a lock of her hair as she gazed at the fire. The meal was good, a bit awkward, but all right. Now with Chris S. in the shower, she and Chris P., who’d freshened up after her, sat beside her. She hoped she’d get a chance to know him a little better, now that they were alone.


Unlike Chris S., Chris P. was quiet, more reserved. His warm smile could melt ice. They’d spoken a bit about his life in Australia and how he met the other Chris when they were on Diego Garcia, a tiny atoll in the Pacific. It was there he garnered a better perspective on life, friendships and love. She reasoned that war tended to do that to a person.


She looked at him again, admiring what she saw. He was gorgeous. If only she were a femme fatale like her friends. She pictured grabbing him by the scruff of his collar and planting a long seductive kiss on his pouty lips. Anything to ease the tension between her legs and the moisture dripping from her swollen pussy.


Golden and sun-kissed like a surfer, he had a look impossible to have around this time of year in Michigan, unless he spent countless hours in a tanning booth. But at the same time he didn’t look like the type who’d go to one. He seemed too rugged. She glanced at his short, flaxen hair, which he wore pulled back in a stubby tail. It accentuated his keen facial features. His physique, like that of a gladiator, made her want to whimper. Built like a brick wall without being too thick, he was three words—supple, etched, steel. And his Australian accent added to his raw sexiness.


Whereas Chris S. was the perfect picture type of the all-American, boy-next-door type, with light brown hair and sandy-colored tips and eyes so blue they looked like the color of tropical water. He reminded her of the high school captain of the football team who’d gone into the military and become a man, except he had a sensitive edge that permeated his being. While Chris P., who looked like he could take on a few guys at once, was more lighthearted and outgoing.


Either way, she knew she hit the jackpot because both guys were like something out of a magazine called Hot Guys “R” Us. They were a perfect ten. It was best Christmas gift anyone could have ever given her. She hoped a Chris Sandwich was definitely on the menu for the night. But how to get past the talking stage, she had no clue. She wondered if all of her Love Play’s match ups started like this.


Wearing some leggings and a cami, and he a T-shirt and shorts, she suddenly felt overdressed. The art of seduction was not something they taught in any of the schools she’d attended, and she sure as hell never picked up any pointers from her so-called “friends.” And her exes never gave her any encouragement in that department either.


This date should have come with instructions. I think I’m in trouble.


She let out a long sigh.


“Did you say something?” Chris P. asked, stirring from his long silence.


“I was just thinking how beautiful this place is,” she lied. What? How lame is that?


“It is. I’ve never been to a place quite like this.”


“Love Play has quite a reputation.”


“You’ve used it before?” He perked up, facing her.


Heat burned her cheeks. “No. It’s what I heard from some of their clients.”


“So have you been married?” he asked.




“Neither have I. Never found anyone to get serious with,” he said, shrugging. “I don’t know. Maybe cupid’s arrow doesn’t work on me.”


“For me they’re defective. Or maybe his aim is bad,” she said, trying to suppress the memory of her ex-boyfriend.


“What do you mean?”


“My relationships, they never work out.” She shrugged her shoulders. “For whatever reason, they seem to choose my friends over me. Or it ends up that way once we get together.”


He shook his head. “Nah. They were bad blokes from the start. Believe me. I know. I’ve been around those types my entire life. The randier they are, the worse they will be. If a man wants you, he’ll stay.” His tone was soft, almost vulnerable.




“So tell me,” he said, turning to face her, “you ordered this hook up?”


Again, her face flushed. She imagined it turning its characteristic red when the blood rushed to her cheeks.


“Yes. But according to the guidelines, you would have either had to be open to it or requested it too. Right?”


He chuckled. “I see he also got the smart I asked for. Yes, I am open to a ménage.” His expression became serious. “Do you think me odd?”


“No. I’m glad we share that desire.”






Chris S. slipped her undies over her round hips. They slid down her baby-like skin, exposing her shaved mound. More blood flowed to his dick, making whimper.


“God,” he said, fighting tears.


Through gritted his teeth and clenched his eyes, he forced himself to maintain control. It was getting to be damn near impossible. Everything about her was fucking outstanding. Lips, breasts, skin and pussy. He was ready to fill her pussy with his thick, hard dick.


He slid his finger into the folds of her wet interior. The thin crease surrounded by supple labia oozed moisture from her tight and tiny hole. He slid a finger inside her hole, and her taut muscles quivered at his touch.


“You want it?” he asked.


She moaned “yes” before being silenced by the other Chris’s mouth. He inched her legs apart. Moving in just right, he tasted her. Explosions went off in his brain. She was pure, simple, clean and honeyed. He wanted to mark her as his own. Delving his tongue in and out of her tight hole, he held her still, allowing her juices to saturate his mouth.


Lifting her legs, he opened her wider, curling her upward, burying his face in her mound. His breaths increased as his heart rate grew frantic. His hard dick, standing at full scale attention, threatened to bust a nut if he didn’t stop.


Pulling away, he set her down gently. “Got to go get a condom.”


The other Chris looked up, his eyes equally as dazed as he felt.


She swallowed, seeming breathless. “My bag, by the wall.”


The time for being cool had passed. Quicker than he’d wanted and less suave, he dashed toward it, finally seeing the stash. Grabbing the entire lot, along with a bottle of lubricating gel, he opened the box and pulled out two, handing one to Chris and keeping the other for himself. Setting it aside, he removed his shorts, exposing his aching dick to the room’s cool air. He grimaced as he slid the latex over his shaft. It hurt with a pain that would only be relieved by what Jilly had to offer. He squeezed the gel, which had the scent of strawberries, onto his palm. He fisted his hand and soaked his condom-wrapped rod with the smooth, thick liquid. The mere pressure of his hand gave him some relief, albeit short.


“Me first,” he said, climbing onto the bed.


Calming himself, he lay down beside her and turned her on her side. Wrapping his arms around her, he pulled her close. He spread her legs apart as she tilted her pelvis back. She melded her body to his. There was so much of her he wanted, not only her body, but her soul, mind, and yes, even her heart.


He took a hand and placed himself at her entrance. Slowly he pushed inside. He grunted and made himself hold back, lest he spill at that moment.


She was so tight. No doubt about it. This was going to be a short run. Inch by inch, he slid inside of her, stopping at the root. His balls drew in tight. He shifted her close and moved in and out slowly. Each movement became stronger as his control slipped. He needed the release, the kind that would give his aching balls sweet relief. Back and forth his hips moved inside her. She wriggled and moaned in response. Their mouths met briefly, tongues swirling, causing his stomach and heart to flutter. He increased his thrusts. Finding his target, she keened her delight.


“Yes,” she moaned. “Don’t stop.”


She pushed her ass toward him.


“Baby, I’m going to come.”


“Come, honey. Come.”


He grunted, harder and harder. Sliding his hand down to her hard clit, he rubbed it as his panting increased. Pressure built up behind his eyes, his mind went blank as everything in the world seemed to fall away. He couldn’t stop. Harder and harder he pushed, holding her firm and tight.


With light speed, he cried out, “God!” His hips bucked upward while cum poured out of him.


Slightly dizzy, he held onto her before letting her go. “Are you all right?”


Her kiss eased the butterflies threatening to kill the moment. Sliding out of her, he sighed, relieved. He gazed into her eyes. Instantly he felt the completed connection he’d sensed along. She was the one. And he saw that she felt it too.



* * * *


Jilly recovered her breath as Chris P. gathered her up into his arms. His musky scent was so spicy and inviting. She buried her face in the crook between his shoulder and neck. She was ready.


“On your back,” he said, holding her.


She nodded.


“Tell me if I’m hurting you,” he said, whispering in her ear.


From her tall Adonis, she was ready to receive all he gave her. Trust welled up within her heart. She knew he wouldn’t hurt her.


Placing her on back like she weighed nothing but a feather, he positioned himself on top of her. A lock of his blond hair obscured his face. She opened her legs. She felt his solid, round tip prod her hole. Panting, he pushed inside of her, his raw strength causing her pussy to clench. Each muscle spasmed to accommodate his thick and meaty cock. She cried out along with him. He braced himself.


Author Bio
Clare Dargin is an author of Science Fiction and Romance and has been writing stories all of her life before being published in 2007. She’s a great fan of the two genres and loves promoting them.
An educator by profession, she possesses a Bachelor’s Degree in English from a major mid-western university. She presently resides in the Midwest and she hopes to expand her writings to include non-fiction, historical romance, and contemporary novels.
Author Link:
Buy link:

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Overheard by Peri Elizabeth Scott

Bronwyn Campbell is a contract lawyer who mixes business with pleasure when she is assigned to sculptor Aedan MacGregor. Alone in the world, Bronwyn finds herself head over heels in love with the taciturn Scot, and believes he feels the same about her, despite his single-minded focus on his art. Until she overhears a conversation between Aedan and his agents. 

Her perception of their relationship is challenged, hearing that while Aedan wants her in his life, it is as his lawyer—with benefits—and nothing long lasting. He doesn't require her in any other way. Falling back into old, learned behavioral responses, Bronwyn withdraws, and takes advantage of a job transfer opportunity while Aedan is overseas. Feeling she doesn't owe him an explanation, and in an effort to salvage some scrap of pride and assuage her broken heart, Bronwyn arranges to move to Atlanta.

But when it comes to eavesdropping, sometimes one doesn't hear everything…

A BookStrand Mainstream Romance




It shouldn’t feel worse than losing her parents, but it did, albeit in a different way. Certainly different than when Rodney kicked her to the curb, her heart already chastened and raw from being orphaned. She could excuse her need for Rodney, then desperate to have someone in her life to keep her afloat. She’d used him as he’d used her, and it was her pride that took the minor hit that time around.

The cab navigated the thronged streets of downtown and headed west toward the small suburb where her family home was located. Maybe that was the first indicator—Aedan never stayed over at her place. She’d inherited the two-story home when her parents had passed in that train accident in Europe, just after she’d graduated college, and while she rattled around in the commodious structure, she’d never thought to sell it. It was all she had of them aside from her memories, and thus far the commute wasn’t too onerous, if a long drive. In any event, Aedan had been there only once, when she needed to pack a bag for an unanticipated weekend trip with him. They’d saved time by sharing the car instead of meeting at the airport.

Reflecting on her alone state in an effort to avoid thinking about him, she supposed her antipathy for relationships was learned, modeled by her parents who’d shunned their own families. They’d married late in life, expressly against the wishes of their parents, some kind of Montague-Capulet scenario Bronwyn never really understood. She knew she lacked the extended family many other kids had while growing up, and the grandparents were now gone, the two cousins she knew of working overseas. Working in the very country Aedan was heading off to in the morning. Europe seemed to take people from her, but perhaps with an ocean between them she could manage to do what needed to be done.

Muted jazz emanated from the car’s speakers, and the driver’s head twitched along with the irregular beat. Her whole self felt irregular, and she slipped slightly out of focus as she recalled the remainder of the evening when she was faced with her actual place in Aedan’s life.

Rena and Craig had accompanied them back to his condo following the show. As his agents, the couple were all too willing to continue to celebrate the lucrative evening. Bronwyn would rather have celebrated it alone with Aedan, in a very different manner, but resigned herself to a much later night. Maybe that was her problem—she always took a backseat to other’s needs.

They’d sat around in his well-appointed living room, drinking wine and discussing future shows while she and Aedan exchanged glances full of promise. Or so she thought. Bronwyn had excused herself to the restroom, and on the way back to join them discovered for herself that old adage about eavesdroppers never hearing anything good about themselves.

She hadn’t meant to listen in, but when she heard her name mentioned, her footsteps had slowed and she hovered just out of sight in the hallway. She could hear the conversation now as if it were playing out right in front of her, set to the beat of the jazz the cabbie clearly enjoyed.

“She’s been nothing but good for you, Aedan.” Rena’s clear voice carried, and Bronwyn could detect nothing other than sincerity in her tone. It had warmed her heart, because she’d never been certain she had either Rena’s or Craig’s approval, and she wanted his friends to like her. Lord knew she had scarcely any of her own. As in one. That was her parents’ influence as well, isolationists. They were a close-knit unit of two, grudgingly opening up to include her on occasion. She’d worked so hard for their attention she lacked the energy to seek it out from others. No wonder she was stunted and couldn’t read people well in social situations. No wonder her world consisted of sterile, exact contracts. A person didn’t have to deal with emotions and people if they stuck to paperwork. Oh, how she wished she had stuck with that.

Aedan’s reply to Rena had shaken her a little, but he was such a practical man, and it had been her life’s mission to get him to express himself outside of his favorite medium of sculpting. She’d been tutoring herself in that regard, and thought it to be a pleasant learning experience together. Now she winced to think of just how expressive she’d been with the man she loved and believed loved her back. So she’d told herself his immediate answer felt like he was keeping their relationship private, as was his custom.

“Bronwyn’s been invaluable. Her ability and professionalism astounds me.”

Rena had laughed. “I’m sure, honey. But she’s also good for you personally.”

“She’s more than my lawyer,” Aedan admitted. “And that’s not a lifelong arrangement.” What? Was he thinking of a future without her? Without them?

Craig snorted. “You’re her biggest client and don’t ever think her firm hasn’t noticed all those billable hours. It doesn’t hurt that she worships the ground you walk on, buddy.”

“I didn’t ask for that from her, Craig. I don’t require it.” The ice in Aedan’s voice chilled her to the bone before her heart seized up. She’d made an involuntary noise and forced her feet to propel her forward to join them. It had taken all she had to smile faintly, and present herself like she hadn’t just heard herself being compartmentalized. Lawyer with benefits, short-term at that.

Rena and Craig looked uncomfortable, Rena shooting Craig a dark glance, but Aedan had no visible reaction to the conversation, other than a telltale tick in his jaw. Bronwyn pretended she hadn’t overheard anything. She knew Aedan was further annoyed when she avoided seating herself close beside him, but she’d made her way to the kitchen on the pretense of locating another bottle of wine. She formulated a plan to make her escape whilst staring into the depths of a cupboard, carefully keeping her back to the three of them, willing herself to breathe and assume a normal demeanor.


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