Author: CM Hutton
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Honest Love Spin-off
I was a fool…
- for letting Lori Ann convince me that we were wrong for each other.
- for watching her walk away from me fifteen years ago and not stopping her.
- for not realizing she was in trouble.
- for thinking her nightmare, our nightmare was over.
I was a fool for letting my guard down.
And now, I’d do just about anything to keep her safe, including the most reckless, foolish thing a man — a cop, in fact — could do.
Jason saved me, only to nearly lose me forever.
We’d been fools to think Antonio wouldn't come after me. I was still his wife, after all. He’d hurt me, broken my arm and left me in pieces, but he wasn’t finished. He’d fooled me for years, made me believe he was a great man. Now that I knew the truth, I was going to fight like hell to save myself and Jason, to save the love we’d finally confessed.
I prayed that what I was about to do would be enough.
I was done being someone’s fool.
My life had been a nightmare.
My younger brother, the former NFL player turned firefighter, had been severely injured and on death’s door, as a matter of fact. We’d been held hostage at the hospital for weeks. His bride-to-be, Claire,was one of the strongest women I’d ever known…aside from my mom and Lori Ann. Actually, they were probably all about equal in their feminine strength.
Damn…Lori Ann. I needed to return her call.
Thankfully, Derek pulled through, married the love of his life, and they were expecting a baby. I was really happy for him. My little brother had seen more hard times than I cared to mention, and he’d finally found happiness with a woman that was pretty incredible. Claire had been through her own share of shit and had risen above it. I was in awe of the woman and loved her as fiercely as I did one of my blood family members.
Truthfully, seeing Derek find his soul mate, at the age of thirty-five, made me jealous. I was his older brother. And although thirty-seven wasn’t that old, I felt ancient. Perhaps, it was due to the stress of holding us all together these last few weeks while we watched Derek struggle for his life. Maybe it was the ache I felt seeing him so happy.
I’d dated plenty of girls. They were nice, kind…some a little kinky, but not one of them held my heart…held my soul in their hands.
Only one had that privilege, and she was already taken.
About Honest Love
Starting over was never easy for anyone.
I’d heard the stories over and over.
But after the hell my ex-husband had put me through over the last year, over the last twenty years…well, I was ready to move on, repair what was left of my shattered heart and find someone to share my life with—someone who would put me first.
I deserved it. I’d done my time being in her shadow, being a cheap understudy, always second. For. All. Those. Years.
Our move to San Diego provided a fresh start, a new place away from all the hurt and memories. Life as a single mom to three teenagers had its' challenges, but we were adjusting and my kids were doing well.
It was time to focus on my happiness, for once. I had a huge capacity to love and I wanted to share my love with a man that respected it, accepted it and gave it in return.
It was just a matter of time before he found me and showed me what true, honest love was all about.
Every now and then, during his session, I’d notice an odd glance or two from him, but ignored it. I didn’t want his negative shit adding to my own. This was my job. I was his physical therapist, not his friend or counselor, and this job was what would keep me going while I learned to wrap my head around my new life.
Derek didn’t say much. He grunted a few times when I pushed him harder, but other than that, nothing.
It wasn’t until we were just about done and I was giving him our customary mini relaxation massage, that I took the opportunity to really take a good look at him. Derek removed his shirt as he laid face down on the massage table in my therapy room and an involuntary gasp escaped from me.
Wasn’t expecting that.
Most patients didn’t remove their clothing as these massages were only meant to relieve the tension built up in the body as a result of the stress from working an injury. He’d apparently heard me because a small, stupid grin turned up on one corner of his mouth. I ignored him.
He was tall and lean, not too bulky, and his skin was tan and smooth…defined. I noticed a few tattoos on his ribs. I’d never been much on body ink, but it was sexy on Derek and I couldn’t stop staring at it as I slowly rubbed the tension from his neck and shoulders.
Yeah, you could say I was attracted to him.
Claire seemed nice. Actually she seemed like she probably wouldn’t take any crap from me. And I didn’t think she knew who I was…always a good thing.
She was good at her job. I had a feeling I’d be back on the truck soon. My life as a firefighter was about all I had to keep my mind occupied. Football used to do that for me.
Nothing but tainted memories now.
I shook my head, brushed off my thoughts and focused more on my new therapist. I’d asked her a few questions, which she answered willingly. I was curious about Claire, but my pissy mood made my questions come out way too harsh and nasty.
I just hoped I could stop staring at her. She was shorter than me. Maybe 5’5” with beautiful blonde hair and amazing brown eyes. Not who I would typically pay attention to, but what the hell did I know? The only girl I’d ever loved was Claire’s complete opposite with dark brown hair, blue eyes and really tall. She’d also ripped my heart out and practically ate the damn thing right in front of me.
Maybe Claire was just what I needed.
But first, I had to find out more about her past and what lead her to San Diego.
About the Author
I’m a wife, a mom of three, a friend, an aunt, a sister, a daughter and a teacher. Now, I can add writer to my list! I’ve always wanted to write and finally found inspiration and support to do it.
I live near Austin, Texas with my family and love to read and travel. Put me on a beach with a good book and the world just disappears around me.
Paradise Taken was my first novel and is a highly emotional book based on true events. Its sequel (Saving Us) was released February 2014.
I love that you are willing to take a chance on a new writer and promise to keep striving to put out great books! Be sure to check out my newest releases, including Honest Love, which was released in June 2014 and Life of a Fool, the second London Brothers novel, will be available November 6, 2014.
I'd love to chat with you, so look me up on any of my social pages.
Happy Reading. :)
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