A few lines from Chapter 2 of ‘The Dangerous Gift’.
‘Jared took Harry’s place. “I saw the card. Did you even read it before you ran off? Why didn’t you show it to me?”
Jennie’s face heated. Her stomach churned. She didn’t deserve Jared’s anger. “You seemed busy. Who was at the office door?”
Jared leant back in his chair. He wouldn’t look at her, “a friend.”
Jennie suppressed unshed tears. “I didn’t recognize her.”
“Her name’s Darleen she owns the neighbouring ranch.” Jared’s bored tone implied the information was of no importance.
“You must know each other pretty well.” Jennie wouldn’t be put off. She saw them kissing and wanted to know why.
“Darleen worries about me. She didn’t realize I’d gone to find you.” Jared still didn’t look at Jennie.
“Do you think?” Jennie jumped up and leaned back against the porch rail with a sigh.
“Neighbours Jen…” Jared’s intransigence fueled Jennie’s anger.
“More like friends with benefits.” Now she sounded jealous, very mature Jennie.’
©Jane Hunt September 2014
You can read all of chapter 1 in the #SYTYCW14 first chapter submissions:
Some secrets are best left buried…
Researching her family tree had been little more than a hobby – until Katie stepped onto Kingsley House’s sprawling, ivy-strewn drive. The house may be crumbling today, but it was once the intimidatingly opulent residence of the St Clair’s, Katie’s ancestors. Arriving here two hundred years later, emotion stirs in Katie: a strange nostalgia for a place she’s never seen before… and when Kingsley House comes up for sale, Katie is determined that her family must buy it.
Surrounded by the mysteries of the past, Katie’s pastime becomes a darker obsession, as she searches through history to trace her heritage. But she soon discovers that these walls house terrible secrets. And when forgotten stories and hidden betrayals come to light, the past seems more alive than Katie could ever have imagined.
Moving between the 21st and 19th centuries, The Emerald Comb is a hauntingly evocative novel.
‘The Emerald Comb’ is two stories; one historical, the other contemporary, cleverly interwoven with conflict, mystery and passion. The action slips seamlessly from Bartholomew St Clair’s 19th century confessions to the 21st century consequences experienced by Katie our heroine. It is an absorbing read.
Katie delves into her ancestry bitten by the contemporary obsession with genealogy. What she finds leads to a house move and more mystery than answers. A possible ghost and a macabre discovery in the garden of their newly moved into house force Katie to question the wisdom of delving into her past. She can’t stop. Genealogy gives Katie an identity and focus, something she is in danger of losing amidst her demanding children and unhelpful husband. Seen only from Katie’s point of view Simon often seems rather a difficult man to like, who treats her hobby with disdain.
The story highlights parallels between the past and Katie’s present life. The secrets both historical and contemporary are resolved in a credible way. The ending is a great bit of dramatic irony. A little inconclusive from Katie’s perspective but complete for the reader who knows what really happened. A classy, readable story.
I received a copy of this book from Carina UK via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
At eleven years old, Macie James was certain she saw her prince standing in her kitchen with his rosy cheeks and cute smile. She was going to marry that boy, she had no doubt about it. As she became a teenager, it was that boy who taught her how to become a confident and sure woman. As the years went by and they grew up, he taught her how to love and to be loved.
Greyden Michaels was surprised when he fell for his best friend’s little sister. He wasn’t opposed to it and, even more surprising, neither was his best friend. When he was in college and her just in high school, he realized they were too young to be committed, he opted for friendship with her and together they decided their love was for the future.
When you hesitate, life happens. When life happens, your plans change. Macie wanted her fairy tale and Greyden was prepared to give it to her when unfortunate events changed his whole life, including his future with the UFC and, most devastatingly, with her. Macie made the decision to live her life, to move on without Greyden, especially once she met the man who wanted to marry her and give her the life he couldn’t.
The problem with that was that Greyden had always seen her as his. Could he give her up completely for her supposed happiness or could he somehow manage to get his life in order to try and win her back, heart and soul?
Without Boundaries, and Without Doubt the first two books in the Without series
will be on sale for only $.99 each the week of the tour.
‘Without Hesitation’ is another emotional roller coaster ride in the fabulous ‘Without’ series. It pulls you in from the first page and won’t let you get off until you’ve sampled each devastating low and passionate high.
This is a cleverly written book. We experience Macie’s and Greyden’s present day lives from their points of view but learn about their eleven year love story from a third person point of view. Macie’s and Grey’s present day love story stands alone full of angst and desire. The story of their past lives and loves enriches and intensifies the emotional depth of the story.
Macie is a complex character. What seems like weakness when she waits for Greysen, until he thinks he can give her what she wants is in fact the behaviour of a girl and then a woman in love. She is very young when she believes herself in love with Greysen and he knows and accepts this. His weakness is in not realising when she becomes a woman, able to make her own decisions and mistakes. The journey they take together and apart allows them to grow and appreciate the change in the other before they can find their happy ever after.
I loved the complexity of this story. Particularly the effortless way the past informs the present emotional characters of Maisie and Grey, a lovely poignant read.
I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.
“I don’t know what happened!” she wails. “I don’t know where it all went wrong and I don’t know where to begin to fix this, Grey.”
Cradling her to my body, I carry her to bed, laying her down beside me while she continues to cry. I brush her hair back from her face and kiss her forehead.
“I literally feel broken inside, like I’m not working right anymore.” She sniffles, hiding her face.
“You’re not broken, Butterfly, maybe just misfiring a little. We’ll get you back in working order, I promise.”
“That’s the problem, though, I don’t know how or where to start. I used to have it all figured out, ya know?” She takes a shuddering breath. “We were so young, but we knew what we wanted. Before. I was certain that you were all I needed. If I had you and we had our family like we talked about.” She laughs through her tears; it hurts my heart. “All the time, I thought that was all that mattered, that nothing could touch us.” I’m at a loss for words as she wipes her face off and gets a little more comfortable. “I mean, what eleven year old knows what boy she wants to marry and actually gets him for a good amount of time before she does something stupid and throws it all away?”
I get up off the bed and pace. She’s going to take our whole history, blame herself for it, and then blame it as the cause for where she is currently. Not happening. I swallow hard as I try to focus on the main priority here, getting Macie to a place where she can get back to her normal.
“Butterfly, you need to start by realizing that when we went wrong, it was only because it wasn’t our time to be right. That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less. There’s no telling what would have happened if you would’ve stuck around, so there’s no use in playing the ‘what if’ game with it. Okay?”
“I can’t make you mine right now, Macie.” He sounded dejected.
“I know,” she whispered across his lips, this time pressing her mouth against his.
“I don’t trust anybody else with you,” he said as she deepened the kiss a little more, but he wasn’t letting her fully in.
She licked his top lip and a small groan came out against his wishes. “I know, Sugar Plum.” She kissed just his bottom lip; being the only participant in the kiss was becoming challenging.
Greyden laughed. “Noooo.” He gripped her face, stopping her ministrations. She scrunched up her nose at him. “Macie, remember our plans?”
She nodded. How could she forget? They had a future together, just not a present.
He tucked a few strands of hair behind her ear. “I promise to keep my mouth shut if you want to date, if you promise to date guys your own age and to be smart.”
Macie’s shoulders sagged in disappointment. That’s not where she was hoping he was going to go with that. “Grey, I don’t—”
“Butterfly,” he slides a finger to her lips effectively shushing her, “I wish I could be that guy for you right now, but I can’t. I know that others can’t either, but apparently you’re going to have to figure that one out on your own. That’s why I ask that you wait ‘til you’re eighteen for the major stuff. Because, Butterfly…God. Macie James, you’re not the girl guys screw around with. You’re the girl guys marry. You’re the girl I’m going to marry.”
Macie gasped in complete shock at his words. Stunned speechless. What does one say to that anyway?
Thankfully, she didn’t have to think too long. Greyden slid off the truck, coming in close contact along her body, not letting her back up. He leaned down, his lips hovering over hers momentarily, just barely brushing them before pressing the sweetest kiss to her hyperaware lips. His lips were soft and warm and Macie wanted to pull him even closer than he already was and open up to him, but that’s not the kind of kiss he was giving her. No, he was giving her a kiss of a promise, a promise of a future, of a friendship and of a love that will only bloom with time, that’s what this kiss was. It was kind of heartbreaking on her end. It may be what he wanted and needed right now, but he just told her he was going to marry her, yet she couldn’t really kiss him, or have him.
2 – $25 Amazon gift cards
1- $25 Barnes and Noble gift card
1- $25 iTunes gift card
‘The Dangerous Gift –
Chilling Suspense, Forbidden Love, Murder, Mystery and Passionate Reunion.’
‘Jennie Taylor receives an unexpected gift; shares in the Unicorn ranch where she grew up. Now she can follow her heart and stay in Texas, if Jared Stewart surrenders control of his beloved ranch to the woman he wants but can’t have.
Who is behind the escalating incidents that threaten the ranch’s viability? Jennie is determined to find out. Jared must protect Jennie from the danger she faces. Thrown together 24/7 their forbidden passion ignites forcing Jared to accept he loves Jennie. Will her brave but reckless actions put her life in danger and threaten their chance of love forever? ‘
‘He pushed the horrific images from his mind and sought a diversion. The answer to his prayer walked down the stairs in a black lace dress, demure, with its buttoned up lacy collar and long sleeves. Jen’s hair restrained again, his fingers itched to free it, barely any makeup, pale skin added to her air of fragility. Jared captured and held Jen’s troubled gaze. Driven by a protective instinct he ran up the stairs. Enclosed in his warm grip, the coldness of her delicate hand alarmed him. He stroked the soft skin and encouraged the blood flow, the scent of roses drifted off Jen’s body. His arousal went into overdrive. She smelled so good. “Are you okay kitten?” ‘
©Jane Hunt September 2014
After escaping an abusive past, Eliza refuses to accept the mind-numbing existence she’s cast into. Living in the shadow of her overprotective sister, leaves Eliza suffocated and stifled, until Graham Gordon takes up residence in her yoga class and in her head. Just like that, her vanilla world is turned upside down. Graham is everything she should avoid and everything she’s ever desired.
Graham Gordon is wealthy, privileged, and harbors a secret vice no one would ever suspect. In Eliza, he has found the perfect acquisition: an innocent teacher he can’t seem to forget. During a private yoga session, Graham makes Eliza an offer she can’t refuse and teaches her what it means to submit to his every desire.
Within Graham’s powerful presence, the veils under which Eliza hides are stripped away, unlocking her inner hunger to be dominated. But will Graham’s possessive nature save her from the demons of her past, or be another experience she must survive?
‘Tempted’ is the first taste of what promises to be a tempestuous relationship between Eliza a reluctant yoga teacher and Graham an ultra powerful and rich business man. This is not a ‘Fifty Shades’ story although there are some obvious similarities. The age gap between Eliza and Graham makes it more like an erotic ‘Pygmalion.’
Eliza is easy to empathise with, although you can see why she frustrates her sister, when she seems hell bent on turning self expression into self destruction. I like the setting of this story in the world of Yoga. The first person point of view gives the story an edgy, rawness. Eliza’s emotions, fears and reactions are more immediate.
Graham is harder to like because of his overt dominance but he is a fascinating character. His point of view illustrates perfectly the depth of his controlling nature. Eliza threatens his control from their first unspoken meeting. He craves her but fears she will jeopardise the foundations of his existence.
The sensuality between Eliza and Graham is immediate. The couple’s first erotic encounters are steamy and mesmerizing and the perfect appetiser for what is to come, if Eliza accepts Graham’s offer.
Realistic emotional responses echo the story’s eroticism. The reader is drawn into Eliza’ world and can enjoy a few ‘what if ‘ moments as Eliza makes a life changing choice.
I am interested to see what happens next in this mature adult read.
This is the second part of the serialization of A Place for Us … Check out my review of part 1 here
The house has soft, purple wisteria twining around the door. You step inside.
The hall is cool after the hot summer’s day. The welcome is kind, and always warm.
Yet something makes you suspect life here can’t be as perfect as it seems.
After all, the brightest smile can hide the darkest secret.
But wouldn’t you pay any price to have a glorious place like this?
Welcome to Winterfold.
Martha Winter’s family is finally coming home
The second part of the serialization of ‘A Place for Us’ starts historically with Daisy the middle child and the crux of the mystery that shrouds the family. It’s clear from the outset that Daisy is different from her other siblings Bill and Flo. She feels everything more acutely and reacts often violently, even if it is only in her mind. The deterioration of Daisy’s mental health in her childhood and teenage is ignored by her parents Martha and David. This leaves Daisy exposed to addiction and manipulation once she leaves the cloistered family home.
Flo’s decision to fight for her career mitigates the melancholy feel of the opening chapter. There is more positivity about Flo in this part of the book. A contrast to the sadness you feel about Daisy. Cat temporarily escapes her unhappy life but will she have the courage to stay? Bill and Karen’s secret becomes public knowledge at Martha’s birthday cocktail party but it is over shadowed by Martha’s terrible secret revealed at her family birthday meal.
This part of the book is poignant and Daisy and Martha’s points of view are particularly heartrending. Cat’s homecoming, the cocktail party and the birthday meal are beautifully realistic and atmospheric. You can hear the silence and feel the discomfort of the family as their matriarch tears the family apart.
The pacing and character development of the first part of the book comes good because you know how the characters feel and react and it makes the reading experience more enjoyable. I am definitely hooked by the characters and setting and looking forward to part 3.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars