behind her past.
Hettinger’s turbulent formative years transformed him into a cynic—and into a
man who realized he required something outside himself to control his temper.
Something he finds as a Dom—at least for a while. But he allowed himself to
trust a woman once and was slapped back into reality with a vengeance and now
devotes all his energy into building his real estate empire, raising his
teenaged daughter…and avoiding anything resembling authentic attachments.
Rodriguez kept her head down for years—working hard, making her own money,
trying to get ahead with every deck stacked against her. She’s determined
to move beyond the ugliness that haunts her without anyone’s help. When a
mutual friend sets her up with Trent, she’s determined to have some fun with
him and move on.
nothing to left to lose. A woman hiding behind her past. When two lives spent
in emotional denial collide, it’s a perfect match—at least on the surface. But
neither Trent nor Melody are prepared for the full force of their true
feelings, once fate intervenes and blows a cold breeze into their white-hot
Excerpt 2 (Rated R for sexual situations/thoughts)
Trent’s brain was spinning with so many emotions, he’d need months so sort through them all. Anger, of course. But pity. And disappointment with his fellow man. But mostly, a strong urge to sit with Melody in his arms, holding her close until the evil in her past no longer haunted her.
Of course, there was the lust. It was like the lingering, sharp smell after a gunshot. He tasted it on his tongue. And he had no idea what to do about it.
Melody was sniffling into his chest. They stood in her miniscule kitchen for a solid five minutes, while she calmed and he decided what to do. “Listen,” he said, tilting her face up and swiping the tears with his thumbs. “Listen to me.” She nodded, keeping her gaze on his. “I…I like you a lot. And I want to help you. Will you let me? Take care of you?”
She frowned. He groaned and stepped away. “Don’t misunderstand me on purpose. Not now. I don’t mean that I’m going to take over your life or be a sexist asshole.”
“Yes, you did,” he said. “But try to understand me. I’m… I have the sort of personality that needs to be in charge. I mean, mostly in the bedroom.” Her lips turned up ever so slightly. He chuckled. “But that’s only part of it. And we aren’t there yet.” He tucked her hair back behind her ears. “Why don’t we start with this—you trusting me with your past. With all the bad stuff.” He turned to the freezer. “I saw ice cream. I say we eat some.”
She nodded again, reaching for some spoons.
He grabbed her hand. “You only need one spoon. I’m going to feed you.” Her beautiful face flushed. He tried to control himself, but it took everything he had.
They sat on the couch, her feet tucked under his thighs. He clicked around until he found a real football game, then they shared the remains of a pint of double chocolate chip, one bite for her, one for him until it was gone. Her lips were so luscious, he thought as she took the last bite from the spoon. He could not wait to kiss them again. Among other things.
But he was okay with going slow. She had to learn to trust him. And he would not do anything more with or to her until she did.
A sense of contentment suffused him as she snuggled into his side, pretending to listen to his explanation of the American style of football. When he sensed that she’d fallen asleep, he tugged her around so she was laying across his lap. He pulled the blanket down off the back of the couch and covered her, then spent a half hour indulging in a fantasy by threading his fingers through the silky black strands of her hair.
At one point, he dozed, jerking awake when he realized Melody wasn’t lying on him anymore. The TV was off. The room was dark. He rubbed his eyes as his brain caught up with his body. “Melody?”
He heard a shuffling noise from the back of her space. “Where’d you go?” Something in the air put him on edge. His skin prickled. The small hairs on his arms seemed to tingle. He rose slowly, his brain switching gears, moving into a space he understood, but wanted to avoid for now.
He smelled her before he saw her. That incredible taste he’d detected on her skin that had indeed been a heady combination of rich chocolate and exotic cinnamon was now swirling around him, wrapping him up, forcing him forward. “Bella,” he whispered.
“Si,” she answered, stepping into a shaft of light that pierced the blinds at the sliding glass door. Trent had seen his fair share of beautiful women. He’d seen them in various stages of dress, undress and everything in between. He actually had developed a preference, and one he fully acknowledged was an awful, sexist throwback that involved high heels, garter belts, silk stockings and leather collars.
But the vision before him drove pretty much every single thought from his head. Including the ones he’d been pondering before he fell asleep—the ones about “going slow”.
Melody—his Melody—stood before him wearing nothing but a smile. He swallowed past the stricture in his throat and took a step forward, taking her hand and pulling her closer. She moved easily, comfortable with her nudity in a way that made him dizzy. “Turn,” he whispered. “Please.”
She let go of his hand and turned slowly, looking over her shoulder at him as she did it. Her deep brown eyes shone. Her lips were wet, parted slightly, as if she couldn’t catch her breath. Which made sense, as he couldn’t either.
best-selling author, mom of three, Realtor, beer blogger, brewery marketing
expert, and soccer fan, Liz Crowe is a Kentucky native and graduate of the
University of Louisville currently living in Ann Arbor. She has decades of
experience in sales and fund raising, plus an eight-year stint as a
three-continent, ex-pat trailing spouse.
forays into the publishing world led to a groundbreaking fiction subgenre,
“Romance: Worth the Risk,” which has gained thousands of fans and followers
interested less in the “HEA” and more in the “WHA” (“What Happens After?”).
stories set in the not-so-common worlds of breweries, on the soccer pitch, in
successful real estate offices and at times in exotic locales like Istanbul,
Turkey, her books are unique and told with a fresh voice. The Liz Crowe
backlist has something for any reader seeking complex storylines with humor and
complete casts of characters that will delight, frustrate and linger in the
imagination long after the book is finished.
ask her for anything “like a Budweiser” or risk bodily injury.
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