Posted in Angst, Book Review, Coming of Age, Contemporary, Drama, High School, Romance, Sports, Suspense, Young Adult

My Review: MY HEART TO GIVE by S.B. Alexander

My Heart to Give (A Maxwell Family Saga Book 3)

by S.B. Alexander

 

8B992B08-8948-437F-A56D-CACDA112ABF4Girls fall in love with what they hear.

QUINN THOMPSON

I’m head over heels in love with Maiken Maxwell. Everything about him is so perfect from his sandy-blond hair to his kissable lips. Not to mention, he writes me poems. My stomach is constantly filled with butterflies from his sweet words to how special and pretty he makes me feel. Until one girl, one funeral, and one disastrous moment shatters everything.

MAIKEN MAXWELL

My life has been a series of the good, the bad, and the ugly. My junior year is starting off with a bang. My brother Marcus, now a freshman in high school, is out of control, fighting and mouthing off to teachers. I shouldn’t care so much. After all, he’s a teenager who is trying to find his way, trying to fit in. But I do care. I’m his big brother. But when a new girl waltzes into our lives, the three things that matter the most to me, family, Quinn Thompson, and basketball, slowly become a distant memory.

Purchase Now:  Amazon | Goodreads

 

🏀MY REVIEW🏀

As we are getting to know not only Quinn Thompson and Maiken Maxwell, we are also getting to know more and more of Maiken’s family. Not just their personality, but what they are dealing with at such a young age and how they’re dealing with it. Which each one is very different.

They came to Massachusetts to stay with their Uncle, Aunt and cousins because of their father’s death. Since then they’ve been dealing with the grief of losing a father, a home, and friends back from their old school. They were dealing pretty well until their mother’s sister, their Aunt, got sick and she had to leave. The family became divided, although Kade took them in and treated them well. He took an interest in what they did, helped where he could. But when one of the boys started acting out, drinking and acting reckless, then things got difficult. Maiken took on the stress of being the oldest and feeling responsible to keep everyone under control, and he started to worry that Kade would make them leave.

I don’t want to say too much, and ruin the story for you! But I will say that this is the most ansgty, stressful book out of the series so far. You DON’T want to miss it!!! If you haven’t started the series so far, I highly recommend it!!! It’s a YA Contemporary Romance and there’s ALWAYS something going on!!! You will love it!!!

 

Posted in Contemporary, Drama, Romance, Teaser Share

Teaser Share: Reclaiming Tomorrow by Haylee Thorne

It’s almost time to meet Eric.. and see for yourself just why Mikaela is a goner!
Reclaiming Tomorrow by Haylee Thorne is out on November 27!!

ADD TO YOUR TBR http://bit.ly/2BXouoc
FOLLOW HAYLEE FOR RELEASE ALERTS http://bit.ly/2NNJNuP

BLURB:

On paper, Mikaela has the life every girl dreams of. She is young, beautiful, intelligent, and filthy rich. It all means nothing to her since she pines for the man who will never love her back. But that isn’t the only source of pain. Dark secrets are tangled in the forgotten memories haunting her. Five years is a lot of time to lose…

Eric Hardwick fits the description of tall, dark, and handsome to a T. A successful attorney and loyal best friend to Mika Kingsley, he’s hopelessly devoted to the one woman who has broken his heart. She’s strictly off limits to him…but that doesn’t mean he won’t do anything and everything to protect her from harm.

The unstable Kingsley patriarch, Mason Kingsley, is back, bringing danger and mayhem along with him.

Her lost memories might be the key to their salvation…or their destruction.

Will Mikaela be Reclaiming Tomorrow?

START THE KINGSLEY SERIES NOW!
Tomorrow (Kingsley series Book 1) → https://amzn.to/2yMWDow
After Tomorrow (Kingsley series Book 2) → https://amzn.to/2AJxVH2
And read for #FREE in KindleUnlimited!

About Haylee Thorne

When Haylee Thorne isn’t writing her stories, she works proudly as a registered nurse in Kentucky. Haylee loves to read and watch TV (she may or may not be slightly obsessed with anime), and there aren’t many movies she has not seen. She’s known to enjoy a good glass of champagne, and can eat an unlimited amount of French fries (seriously, it’s a problem). When she has some free time (as in time not spend working or writing), Haylee loves spending time with her family and friends.

Follow Haylee online!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2J2oBQL
BookBub:
https://www.bookbub.com/profile/haylee-thorne
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hayleethorneauthor/
Facebook Group: http://bit.ly/HayleesSweetPeas
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hayleethorneauthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/HayleeThorne
Website: http://hayleethorneauthor.com/
Newsletter: http://bit.ly/HayleeThorneNL
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/HayleeThorneGR

Posted in Contemporary, Drama, Romance, Teaser Share

Teaser Share: Reclaiming Tomorrow by Haylee Thorne

Mikaela has been waiting for a chance with Eric…and now she has him…
Reclaiming Tomorrow by Haylee Thorne is out on November 27!!

ADD TO YOUR TBR http://bit.ly/2BXouoc
FOLLOW HAYLEE FOR RELEASE ALERTS http://bit.ly/2NNJNuP

EA978DCF-907B-4247-9D1E-B249B39EDDCC

 

BLURB:

On paper, Mikaela has the life every girl dreams of. She is young, beautiful, intelligent, and filthy rich. It all means nothing to her since she pines for the man who will never love her back. But that isn’t the only source of pain. Dark secrets are tangled in the forgotten memories haunting her. Five years is a lot of time to lose…

Eric Hardwick fits the description of tall, dark, and handsome to a T. A successful attorney and loyal best friend to Mika Kingsley, he’s hopelessly devoted to the one woman who has broken his heart. She’s strictly off limits to him…but that doesn’t mean he won’t do anything and everything to protect her from harm.

The unstable Kingsley patriarch, Mason Kingsley, is back, bringing danger and mayhem along with him.

Her lost memories might be the key to their salvation…or their destruction.

Will Mikaela be Reclaiming Tomorrow?

START THE KINGSLEY SERIES NOW!
Tomorrow (Kingsley series Book 1) → https://amzn.to/2yMWDow
After Tomorrow (Kingsley series Book 2) → https://amzn.to/2AJxVH2
And read for #FREE in KindleUnlimited!

About Haylee Thorne

When Haylee Thorne isn’t writing her stories, she works proudly as a registered nurse in Kentucky. Haylee loves to read and watch TV (she may or may not be slightly obsessed with anime), and there aren’t many movies she has not seen. She’s known to enjoy a good glass of champagne, and can eat an unlimited amount of French fries (seriously, it’s a problem). When she has some free time (as in time not spend working or writing), Haylee loves spending time with her family and friends.

Follow Haylee online!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2J2oBQL
BookBub:
https://www.bookbub.com/profile/haylee-thorne
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hayleethorneauthor/
Facebook Group: http://bit.ly/HayleesSweetPeas
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hayleethorneauthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/HayleeThorne
Website: http://hayleethorneauthor.com/
Newsletter: http://bit.ly/HayleeThorneNL
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/HayleeThorneGR

Posted in Contemporary, Drama, Romance, Teaser Share

Teaser Share: Reclaiming Tomorrow by Haylee Thorne

The chemistry between Mikaela and Eric is undeniable…
Reclaiming Tomorrow by Haylee Thorne is out on November 27!!

ADD TO YOUR TBR http://bit.ly/2BXouoc
FOLLOW HAYLEE FOR RELEASE ALERTS http://bit.ly/2NNJNuP

BLURB:

On paper, Mikaela has the life every girl dreams of. She is young, beautiful, intelligent, and filthy rich. It all means nothing to her since she pines for the man who will never love her back. But that isn’t the only source of pain. Dark secrets are tangled in the forgotten memories haunting her. Five years is a lot of time to lose…

Eric Hardwick fits the description of tall, dark, and handsome to a T. A successful attorney and loyal best friend to Mika Kingsley, he’s hopelessly devoted to the one woman who has broken his heart. She’s strictly off limits to him…but that doesn’t mean he won’t do anything and everything to protect her from harm.

The unstable Kingsley patriarch, Mason Kingsley, is back, bringing danger and mayhem along with him.

Her lost memories might be the key to their salvation…or their destruction.

Will Mikaela be Reclaiming Tomorrow?

About Haylee Thorne

When Haylee Thorne isn’t writing her stories, she works proudly as a registered nurse in Kentucky. Haylee loves to read and watch TV (she may or may not be slightly obsessed with anime), and there aren’t many movies she has not seen. She’s known to enjoy a good glass of champagne, and can eat an unlimited amount of French fries (seriously, it’s a problem). When she has some free time (as in time not spend working or writing), Haylee loves spending time with her family and friends.

Follow Haylee online!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2J2oBQL
BookBub:
https://www.bookbub.com/profile/haylee-thorne
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hayleethorneauthor/
Facebook Group: http://bit.ly/HayleesSweetPeas
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hayleethorneauthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/HayleeThorne
Website: http://hayleethorneauthor.com/
Newsletter: http://bit.ly/HayleeThorneNL
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/HayleeThorneGR

Posted in Contemporary, Drama, Release Boost, Romance, Standalone, Women's Fiction

Release Boost: Me and Mr. Jones by Christie Ridgway

Me and Mr. Jones by Christie Ridgway is AVAILABLE NOW!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2KugZX6
iBooks: https://apple.co/2MqjSJq
Nook: http://bit.ly/2IwgUk4
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2IujO92

ADD TO YOUR TBR → http://bit.ly/2LFS6ca

Welcome to the famed resort, The Hathaway at Dragonfly Beach, where newlyweds come to honeymoon, where anniversary couples celebrate milestones, and where broken hearts find a place to heal.

Jilted bride Audra Montgomery wants to reset her life at the famed resort, The Hathaway at Dragonfly Beach. A good girl for far too long, Audra has penned a list of must-do experiences she’s sure will change her. When the hotel’s maintenance guy, a “Mr. Jones,” knocks on her door, she wonders if the sexy handyman might just come in handy when enacting some of the spicier items on her agenda.

Kane Hathaway, general manager of the resort, didn’t set out to deceive his guest when he performed a minor repair. But it’s freeing to imagine life without the responsibilities of the family business. Then there’s the whole “Heartbreak Hotel” designation—cynical Kane doesn’t believe for a minute that a stay on site can heal the wounds left by bad romance. But every moment in Audra’s company sparkles with magic—can this be love?

Me and Mr. Jones is book two in the Heartbreak Hotel series and is a STANDALONE.

About the Author:

Christie Ridgway is a California native and author of over forty-five contemporary romances. A six-time RITA finalist and USA Today bestselling author, she writes sexy, emotional reads starring determined heroines and the men who can’t help but love them. She has a Career Achievement award from RT Book Reviews and twice has received their Reviewer’s Choice award for best contemporary romance of the year. Married to her college sweetheart, Christie lives in Southern California in a house filled with boys and pets. She writes as an escape from sports equipment, football on TV, and dog hair.

Author Links:
Website: http://christieridgway.net/
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2sAZO0V
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChristieRidgway/
Bookbub: http://bit.ly/2s9AvBA
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2roL0Ow
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ChristieRidgway

Posted in Drama, Mystery, Novella, Release Blitz, Romance, Second Chance, Suspense

Release Blitz: Smitten in Santorini by Kat Mizera

Smitten in Santorini is the new sexy summer novella from Kat Mizera!
AVAILABLE NOW FOR ONLY 99c!

Amazon → https://amzn.to/2tngLtD
iBooks → https://apple.co/2K6iIoK
Nook → http://bit.ly/2JRr5p4
Kobo → http://bit.ly/2yrbo2r

Mick Laughlin can handle anything – except a broken heart. He never understood why the girl he loved in college suddenly turned her back on him and he’s avoided romance ever since. Now a top young architect at his family’s firm, he’s been sent all over the globe to work on elite projects.

Four years ago, Melina Lakkas fell in love with her younger brother’s best friend. When his family made it clear they would never accept her, she walked away. It was a no-win situation, which would have been made worse had they discovered her secret.

When Mick takes on the design and execution of an exclusive resort in Santorini, he plans to stay as far away from Athens—and Lena—as possible. Then a fire at the job site leaves him with no choice but to call on his best friend’s sister for help. As secrets from the past unravel, can Mick forgive her long enough to forgive himself?

START THE SERIES NOW
Adonis in Athens is ON SALE for only 99c!


Amazon → https://amzn.to/2l6apLx
iBooks → http://apple.co/2tQxcBm
Nook → http://bit.ly/2tQwoMX
Kobo → http://bit.ly/2uKoqkX

Paige Carter’s fling with the dark-haired, green-eyed Greek was short, but it blew her mind. Her only regret was not finding out whether she’d ever see him again before he returned to Greece.

Apollo Lakkas earned his degree and was thrilled to return to Greece to begin work with his family’s shipping business. His only regret is the way he left the sweet blonde he met in Vegas—who may or may not be his wife.

When an unexpected proposal throws Paige into a panic, she packs a bag for Athens and does the one thing she knows she must do before she can face any kind of future… reconcile her past.

The moment their eyes meet once again, Paige and Apollo feel the same spark that ignited them down the aisle. Will they be able to plan a future together or is their love destined to be nothing but a bittersweet memory?

About the Author:
Kat Mizera is a South Florida native. Born in Miami Beach with a healthy dose of wanderlust, she’s called Los Angeles, Long Island, upstate New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Atlanta home. She’s never been able to pick which locale is her favorite, but if pressed, she’d probably choose the west coast.
Kat’s a typical PTA mom with a wonderful and supportive husband (Kevin) and two amazing boys (Nick and Max). When she’s not writing, she’s either scrapbooking or indulging in her second love (after writing) – traveling. Greece is one of her favorite places in the world. She loves that Athens is a big city with a small-town feel. The food, beaches and culture keep her going back as often as possible. She hopes to retire there one day so she can spend her days writing books on the beach.
Kat has been a working freelance writer for nearly 30 years. She sold her first article–a review of a rock concert–for $10 in 1985. Since then she’s been an entertainment journalist, waitress, bartender, legal assistant, food critic, magazine editor, substitute teacher, and sports writer. She also spent some time working at A & M Records in Los Angeles.
As you can guess from her series, the Las Vegas Sidewinders, Kat loves hockey. She is also a freelance hockey writer, covering her favorite team, the Florida Panthers, and any other teams that have an interesting story. The rest of the time, she writes novels: sexy, romantic fiction that she hopes makes you as happy as it makes her. There’s something enticing about hockey players and romance…

Connect with Kat:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorkatmizera/
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2lzRBG6
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorKatMiz
Bookbub: http://bit.ly/2li6zRe
Website: http://www.katmizera.com

Posted in College, Contemporary, Drama, Indie, Music, My favorites, New Adult, Rock Star Romance, Romance, Standalone, Suspense

Blog Tour: INCOGNITO by Siobhan Davis

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Incognito, an all-new standalone new adult romance from USA Today bestselling author Siobhan Davis is available NOW!

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A troubled popstar forced into hiding… A sweet small-town girl overcoming tragedy… And the kind of love that only happens once in a lifetime.

Dakota’s dreams of attending Juilliard were shattered the night tragedy struck her family. It’s one year later, and she’s now enrolled at the local university trying to piece her life back together.

Shawn is one of the world’s most famous faces, having lived under a spotlight since his star exploded when he was fourteen. Now jaded by an industry forcing him to perform music he no longer enjoys, he craves normalcy and the opportunity to rediscover his muse. When a crazy stalker gets too close, and death threats start mounting, Shawn’s management team comes up with a plan—one which will allow him to work on his latest album while staying incognito on a middle-American college campus.

Romance is the last thing on Dakota’s mind, but after she crosses paths with a hot, prickly cutie with rock-hard abs and smoldering good looks, she can’t shake him from her thoughts.

Shawn can’t afford to bring any girl into his fucked-up life, but the gorgeous blonde with the sad blue eyes captivates him in a way no girl ever has, and he finds himself falling hard and fast.

But outside forces are conspiring against them.

When danger draws closer, and secrets are revealed, will their love survive?

AN

Download today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2JAcTk0

Amazon Universal: http://mybook.to/IncognitoSD

Add to GoodReads: http://smarturl.it/IncognitoGR

Incognito_Teaser6.png

Excerpt:

I shriek the minute we step foot in the penthouse when he sweeps my feet out from under me, tossing me over his shoulder. “What are you doing, you crazy ass?!” I laugh, beating my fists against his back as he strides with purpose through the living area.

“Be quiet, woman,” he jokes, slapping my butt. “Trust me, you won’t be complaining in a few minutes.”

And he’s right. He strips my clothes off, tantalizingly slowly, before pushing me back on the bed and devouring every part of me with his mouth. When his head lowers to the apex of my thighs, I squirm with anticipation, shouting his name as his tongue goes to town on me. My orgasm catches me off guard, sweeping through me with urgency, and I’m shouting his name repeatedly as waves of ecstasy wash over me. Flipping me over onto my stomach, he pulls my knees up and spreads me, slapping my ass cheeks firmly, and warmth leaks from my still-quivering pussy. “Are you sore after last night baby?” he asks, as I hear the tear of a condom wrapper.

“Nope,” I lie. “Give it to me hard, stud. Just how I like it.”

He slams into me without warning and I scream.

“I love how enthusiastic you are,” he grunts, fucking me in sharp, quick thrusts. “And I love how you shout out my name when you come. It really fucking turns me on.”

“Oh, God,” I moan as he plunges deep, hitting the right spot.

“Not God, baby. Just … Levi.”

“Well, just Levi,” I say a couple of hours later. “I think I’m well and truly fucked.” I try to move but I can’t. “I can’t feel my legs anymore. I think you broke me.”

He chuckles. “I can’t feel my cock. I think you rode me to death.”

About Siobhan:

USA Today bestselling author Siobhan Davis writes emotionally intense young adult and new adult romantic fiction with swoon-worthy romance, complex characters, and tons of unexpected plot twists and turns that will have you flipping the pages beyond bedtime! She is the author of the international bestselling Kennedy Boys, Saven, and True Calling series’.

Siobhan’s family will tell you she’s a little bit obsessive when it comes to reading and writing, and they aren’t wrong. She can rarely be found without her trusty Kindle, a paperback book, or her laptop somewhere close at hand.

Prior to becoming a full-time writer, Siobhan forged a successful corporate career in human resource management.

She resides in the Garden County of Ireland with her husband and two sons.

sd author photo version 2

Connect with Siobhan:

Subscribe to romance newsletter: http://smarturl.it/KennedyBoysList

Amazon Author Page: http://smarturl.it/SiobhanDavisAmazon

Author website: http://smarturl.it/SiobhanDavisWebsite

Goodreads profile: http://smarturl.it/SiobhanGoodreads

Facebook page: http://smarturl.it/SiobhanDavisFacebook

Twitter profile: http://smarturl.it/SiobhanDavisTwitter

Author Blog: http://smarturl.it/SiobhanDavisBlog

BookBub Author Page: http://smarturl.it/SiobhanDavisBookbub

⬇️⬇️⬇️ MY REVIEW ⬇️⬇️⬇️

>>>>>>>>CLICK HERE FOR MY REVIEW<<<<<<<<

 

Posted in Book Review, College, Contemporary, Drama, Indie, My favorites, New Adult, Romance, Standalone, Suspense

My Review: INCOGNITO by Siobhan Davis

AE5884F2-F5DC-4CEA-9B2F-89E22B343A0FA troubled popstar forced into hiding… A sweet small-town girl overcoming tragedy… And the kind of love that only happens once in a lifetime.

Dakota’s dreams of attending Juilliard were shattered the night tragedy struck her family. It’s one year later, and she’s now enrolled at a local university trying to piece her life back together.

Shawn is one of the world’s most famous faces, having lived under a spotlight since his star exploded when he was fourteen. Now jaded by an industry forcing him to perform music he no longer enjoys, he craves normalcy and the opportunity to rediscover his muse. When a crazy stalker gets too close, and death threats start mounting, Shawn’s management team comes up with a plan—one which will allow him to work on his latest album while staying incognito on a college campus.

Romance is the last thing on Dakota’s mind, but after she crosses paths with a hot, prickly cutie with rock-hard abs and smoldering good looks, she can’t shake him from her thoughts.

Shawn can’t afford to bring any girl into his fucked-up life, but the gorgeous blonde with the sad blue eyes captivates him in a way no girl ever has, and he finds himself falling hard and fast.

But outside forces are conspiring against them.

When danger draws closer, and secrets are revealed, will their love survive?


GOODREADS         AMAZON


MY REVIEW 

I love books with really complex characters and very emotional storylines. In fact, I am extremely character driven when I read. That being said, this was the book for me. In fact, this is Siobhan’s second standalone and they’ve both been my kind of books!! The first one being one of my very favorite books, Inseparable. In fact, as a quick side note, some of the characters from Inseparable make a showing in this book. That was very exciting for me!

As for these two MCs, Shawn and Dakota, they are both very complex characters. Dakota growing up in a normal, happy family life until tragedy strikes and changes her life forever. Shawn entering the entertainment business as a young teenager and living on the edge as one of LA’s biggest Rock Stars. They both had baggage.

When Shawn gets his life threatened he goes into hiding at Tippie College of Business, where he meets Dakota. Of course he has changed his look and his name, so no one knows who he is. He goes there with the intention of staying away from girls. And Dakota wants nothing to do with dating, because of a bad breakup. So I wouldn’t call this any kind of Insta love, I feel it really was more of a slow buildup. They were so sweet together, so romantic, and very sexy! They were so good for each other, they were like puzzle pieces that fit together. Even though they were different in many ways, those differences are what made them good for each other.

At the same time, Shawn had hired a detective agency to find the people who were threatening his life. So it was a suspense and little bit of a mystery too. That really added to the story. The main part was the romance, but it all tied together. It got very suspenseful too!!

I have to mention too that I loved some of the side characters!! Especially Dakota’s friends, they were so great and the best of friends!! Tabs (Or Tabitha) cracked me up!! Daisy was so sweet and kind of looked out for Dakota. She just had really great friends.

As a whole this was definitely a brilliant read. I absolutely loved it and highly recommend it!

 

 

Posted in Contemporary, Drama, Friends-To-Lovers, My favorites, Romance, Teaser Share

Teaser Share: Straight Up Love by Lexi Ryan

Straight Up Love (The Boys of Jackson Harbor Book 2)
Coming Tuesday, May 8th

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For my 30th birthday, I’m giving myself the one thing I want most: a baby. Sure, this would be easier if I had a husband—or even a boyfriend—but I refuse to be thwarted by minor details.

When I drunkenly confess my plans to my friends, they convince me to ask Jake Jackson for help. Jake, the best friend who’s been there for me through thick and thin. Jake, who also happens to be smart, funny, ridiculously good looking, and the winner of all the genetic lotteries.

So when Jake takes me up on my request—with the stipulation that we get the job done the old-fashioned way—I’d be a fool to decline.

The only problem? I don’t know if I can separate sex from all the things I feel for this amazing man. But if I don’t keep my heart under lock and key, I risk losing the one person in my life I need the most.

Jake has his own reasons for granting my baby wish. But when I discover his secrets, it could mean the end of us. I have to choose—run or stay and fight for love.

Pre-order today!
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Hdr5OJ
Amazon Universal: myBook.to/SUL
iBooks: https://apple.co/2Bysuv3
BN: http://bit.ly/SULoveNook
Kobo: http://bit.ly/SULoveKobo
Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2vPI58q

Posted in Contemporary, Dogs, Drama, Fiction

Book Release Blitz: Fender by Brent Jones

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Fender: A Novel (Book Blitz)

Author: Brent Jones

Publication Date: August 21, 2017

Genre: Contemporary Fiction/ Drama

Blurb:  How far must we travel to find our way home?

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Nothing could have prepared Brennan Glover for the car crash that claimed the lives of his wife and six-year-old daughter. Stricken with grief, the only things that get him through each day are breaking his sobriety and clinging to Fender—the family dog and the sole survivor of the crash.

Desperate to distance Brennan from tragedy, his two closest friends take him on the cross-country road trip they had always talked about. But what begins as an effort to mend his broken heart ends up unraveling a secret that changes everything he thought he knew about his family. Can a journey of six thousand miles lead Brennan to acceptance and new beginnings?

From finding the good in an often cruel world to learning to say goodbye to those we love most, this sophomore release from author Brent Jones is sure to leave readers longing for home, wherever that may be.

Add to Goodreads

Purchase Link: Amazon

Note: Fender will be available in both Kindle eBook and paperback as of August 21, audiobook version coming shortly thereafter.

EXCERPT:

Brennan sat on the living room floor staring at his polished shoes, his back pressed against the leather sofa, a bottle of Jim Beam in his left hand, a lit cigarette in his right. Traces of afternoon sun peeked through lush drapes, adding a hint of color to an otherwise dark and empty room. He tilted the bottle back and flicked ash in an empty drinking glass between his legs, trickles of silver smoke rising up past his face. He was too stricken with grief to hear the front door open.

“You here, Bee?” Rocco entered with Franky in tow. He lowered his head, taking in the scene before him. “We’re so sorry.” He offered Brennan a sympathetic frown, his forehead wrinkled with worry. “How’re you holding up?”

Brennan flicked more ash in the drinking glass without responding.

Rocco let out a deep breath, added, “It was a beautiful service.”

Brennan kept his head down, making no effort to suggest he had heard Rocco.

“Should we come back later?”

“It’s all right if you wanna be alone,” said Franky.

Brennan raised his eyes with pronounced difficulty. He was immediately turned off by their concern, which looked a lot to him like judgment and shame. Rocco, evidently concerned about his drinking, and Franky, concerned because Rocco was concerned. “Go ahead,” said Brennan. “Say it.”

“Say what?” asked Rocco, exchanging a glance with Franky.

Brennan dropped his cigarette in the glass, raised the Jim Beam to his lips. “Say I shouldn’t be drinking again.”

“What you’re going through right now, Bee, I understand—”

“Oh, you always understand, Rocco. Don’t you? Not thisss one, though. You fucking can’t. You didn’t loosh yer family.” Brennan could hear himself slurring.

“I didn’t mean it like that.”

“He’s saying he’d be fucked up, too,” Franky chimed in. “That’s all.”

Brennan hadn’t taken a drink since the day his daughter was born—hadn’t smoked a cigarette since that day, either—and he knew drinking himself senseless was no way to honor her memory. Just this one time, he had told himself. I need this today. But so far, it had brought him no peace. It only heightened his sense of hopelessness.

A faint jingle echoed down the hallway, getting closer, a senior beagle with a limp and fresh stitches emerging at last. Franky knelt down, extended his hands. “Fender,” he said in a singsong voice, scratching behind the dog’s ears. “Who’s a good boy, Fender? Who’s a good boy?”

Fender parked himself at Franky’s feet—not out of obedience or affection, but sheer exhaustion. He was normally playful and energetic—even at twelve years old—and never allowed anyone to enter the house without barking to alert his humans. But at that moment he whimpered, sullen and subdued, rubbing his snout against Franky’s leg.

“When’s the last time he ate?” Rocco asked.

Brennan shook his head.

Rocco motioned to Franky. “Why don’t you take Fender out for a bathroom break? Maybe fill up his food and water bowls, too.”

Franky nodded and Fender followed him out of the room.

Rocco sat on the floor next to Brennan. “Listen, Bee, I get that this is tough.”

Brennan rubbed his temples and said nothing. He was a sensitive man, emotional, fragile at times, and now near speechless. He could almost feel himself shutting down, giving in to the pain, letting go of the world. It felt like he was drowning in a sea of sorrow, violent waves of grief washing over him, and he was losing the will to keep his head above water.

Rocco touched Brennan’s shoulder. “Me and Franky want to take you away for a little bit. It’d do you good.”

“Now?”

“Yeah.” Rocco motioned to the Jim Beam. “I think now’s good. You’ve been outta work for a couple months. I’ve got vacation time saved up at the office, and Franky can walk away from roofing anytime. We were thinking of taking that trip to California we’d always talked about.”

“We talked ’bout ’at shit when wurrr kidsss.”

“Yeah, I get that, but we could still do it. We’d make a road trip out of it, just like you, me, Franky, and Colin—” Rocco winced, having unintentionally drudged up the past.

“My family was just kilt in a car crasssh,” said Brennan. “And you think the best place furr me ish out on the open road?”

Rocco nodded. “I do, Bee. You need to get away and clear your head.”

Brennan listened without speaking, his line of sight again lowered toward his shoes. Tears spilled down his cheeks.

“You can’t stay here by yourself. It’s—it’s too much. It’s too much for anyone to have to handle.” Rocco glanced at Brennan through narrowed and swollen eyes. “Our hearts are heavy, too, and we all need to grieve. But nothing good can come of you sitting here alone and drinking. You need something to take your mind off it.”

Franky returned a minute later. Fender hobbled behind him, his movements labored and graceless, his eyes wet and dark. He positioned himself near Brennan in slow motion. Fender was the last member of the Glover household to see Rosie and Abby alive, and the only survivor of the crash that killed them both.

“Did he eat?” asked Rocco, gesturing toward Fender.

“Not much.” Franky changed gears without blinking. “What’d he say?” He asked the question as if he and Rocco were alone in the room.

“Bee says he’s gonna think on it,” Rocco said, standing. He looked down at Brennan before walking out. “You will give it some thought, right? That’s all I’m asking.”

The house was quiet again, but Brennan was certain nothing could silence the storm in his heart. He ran his finger over the tattoo on his left shoulder through his shirt, as he often did during difficult times. He knew its intricacies by heart—the anniversary of Colin’s death inked in a simple script. He once thought losing his best friend had prepared him for anything life might throw his way, but now he knew better.

 

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About the Author:

From bad checks to bathroom graffiti, Brent Jones has always been drawn to writing. He won a national creative writing competition at the age of fourteen, although he can’t recall what the story was about. Seventeen years later, he gave up his freelance career as a social media manager to pursue creative writing full-time. Fender and The Fifteenth of June are his first two novels.

Jones writes from his home in Fort Erie, Canada. He’s happily married, a bearded cyclist, a mediocre guitarist, (sometimes) vegetarian, and the proud owner of two dogs with a God complex. Subscribe to his newsletter (AuthorBrentJones.com) or follow him on social media (@AuthorBrentJ) for updates.

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