Secrets. Trust. Courage. Who
will knuckle under first—the war hero? The spirited single mom? Or the former
high school bully who still hates them both?
war hero Michael Jarvis returns to his hometown on the shores of Lake Superior,
he doesn’t plan to stay—he’s undercover, investigating a possible sex
trafficking ring operating on the Great Lakes. But he does want to sample the
pesky girl next door he always turned down—and it wouldn’t hurt if she’d clear
up a few mysteries of her own.
established as an interior house painter, Brenda Tower finally has her act
together as a single mom—but it hangs by a thread, a secret she’ll guard with
her life. The return of her youthful crush Michael Jarvis threatens to unravel
has inflamed Brett Hill’s hatred of Michael and Brenda for as long as he can
remember. Revenge will be so sweet—and it will fit in perfectly with his high
the secrets break open, can Michael and Brenda find the courage to trust each
other, or will revenge and betrayal triumph?
Ignoring the catch in her voice, Brenda asked, “Did you
really tell Tommy you’d help him with his pitching?”
Michael’s eyes lit up. “Ah, he remembered. I wasn’t sure he
would. I did tell him once that if I moved back here, I might give him some
“Why did you even suggest such a thing? You obviously know
the rumors. So does Tommy.” She gulped and curled her fingers into fists. “He
thinks you’re his father. He wants you to be his father.”
Sitting back in the booth as if she’d slapped him, he eyed
her cautiously. “And that’s my fault? I’ve only seen him a few times. When we
did have that conversation, he was having a bad day. He’d been ragged on by his
peers for throwing like a girl. He’d been crying, for God’s sake. I just
stumbled into him near the park as he was coming home from school. He knew who
I was. I knew who he was. So we talked. I didn’t think that was a crime.”
The pain on Michael’s face made Brenda wince. “I didn’t mean
it that way. I doubt you’d do anything to hurt a little boy, but…but Tommy
thinks you’re a hero. He’s eager to have you as a friend.”
Michael shrugged. “Sounds like the boy is more eager than
“Damn. Do you have to twist everything I’m trying to say?”
She clenched her fingers around the stein she’d hardly touched since sitting
“Sorry,” he said softly. “Maybe we could start over. You
were going to tell me why you selected me as Tommy’s father. There must’ve been
plenty of others to choose from.”
“That hurts.” She shook her head. “Don’t apologize. I
deserved that. We both know I was quite active sexually before Tommy was born.”
She shrugged. “You made the most sense. You weren’t around to protest, and
folks in town thought we’d been together off and on since I reached puberty,
“So much for folks in town.”
“Right. Anyway. I wasn’t going to leave that line on the
birth certificate blank. You were convenient. You were out of the country. I
imagine I thought you might never find out.” She fought back tears, remembering
filling out the necessary forms two days after Tommy was born. “And you were my
“I won’t deny that. For all the misery you caused me, there
were plenty of times you stood by me when the chips were down. So I was
convenient.” Michael raked his fingers through his hair. “You can tell me it’s
none of my business, but I have to ask. Do you know who is Tommy’s actual
Brenda gulped for air, nodded, and ignored the tears
suddenly brimming in her eyes. “Yes,” she squeaked. “But I won’t tell you.”
“I wasn’t asking you to, but at least I know you’re not just
protecting Tommy―you’re also protecting his father.”
We are a married couple writing Sizzling Romantic Suspense and Erotic Romance for Two, Three, or More. With
backgrounds in criminology and counseling, we combine our expertise in the
criminal mind, trauma, healing, and human nature with a passion for robust
sexuality and life-long vitality.
Suspense line delivers “warmth, blazing hot sex, and well-developed
characters” (Romance Junkies
Reviews) as our hero and heroine battle outer threats and inner demons to stay
alive and fall in love.
We write our Erotic Romance stories to entertain, of course, but most of all we
write them because we believe in happy endings for all who fall in love,
whatever their gender, sexual orientation or numerical combination.
Shelton thought her boyfriend was too good to be true. Her best friend's
brother? A guy who loved antiquing? Who cuddled on the couch while watching
foodie YouTube clips and talking about artisanal spices? Who helped her
accessorize her outfits?
when he ran off with Kevin, the owner of an antique shop, right before his
sister’s wedding, Carrie’s life went from fantasy to nightmare.
maid of honor, she can’t back out of the wedding. And her ex is the best man -
but now he has his own best man.
needs a date. Stat.
Ryan. Sure, he’s a hot male stripper at the O Spa where she works as junior
designer, but he’s a few years younger and just, you know -- a friend.
She needs a friend more than she needs a boyfriend.
weekend of playing her boyfriend so she can save face is a lot to ask, but for
some reason Carrie doesn't understand, Ryan's all in. Enthusiastic, even.
when it comes to physical displays of affection.
kisses turn to private confessions, and pretty soon, Carrie can't tell the
difference between fantasy and reality.
if Ryan's just pretending he's in love with her, then why does the chemistry
between them -- and between the sheets -- feel so real?
can't settle for almost, though. She's already done that. She's not putting her
life on hold anymore.
out Ryan won't, either.
holding out for more.
You For Holding is a STANDALONE in the On Hold series. You do not need to have
read book 1 in the series, Our Options Have Changed, but after reading about
Carrie and Ryan’s friends-to-lovers adventure, you’ll want to. ;)
New York Timesand USA Today Bestselling Author Julia Kent writes romantic comedy
with an edge. From billionaires to BBWs to new adult rock stars, Julia finds a
sensual, goofy joy in every contemporary romance she writes. Unlike Shannon
from Shopping for a Billionaire, she did not meet her husband after dropping
her phone in a men's room toilet (and he isn't a billionaire). She lives in New
England with her husband and three sons in a household where the toilet seat is
never, ever, down
Elisa Reed is a
journalist-turned-fiction-writer whose snappy,irreverent prose combines with an irrepressible zest for the simpler,
and often intimate, pleasures of life to produce fun(ny) contemporary romance
with a focus on second chances. New England born and bred, Elisa Reed now
lives, writes, and plays in New Orleans and along the sugar sands of the Gulf
I'm going to be the maid of honor in my
friend Jenny's wedding. You probably saw that coming. I met Jenny at work here
at the O Spa, the women’s private club chain where I am the Assistant Director
for Design. O Spas are the “fourth space” for women. Home, work, and other
public venues are the first three.
We are meant to be the ultimate space. From
highly-trained, well-oiled, hot massage therapists who wear g-strings that are
outlawed in 111 countries, to a sex toy boutique with weekly workshops, to a
new coffee shop with lattes that are better than sex, the O Spa caters to what
A break, a chance, and a friend.
Jenny loved working for O, but she moved on
a year ago, a promotion she could only get by changing companies. We were never
just work friends. We're true best friends, and besides that, we could be
sisters-in-law someday. I'm dating her brother, Jamey.
Who is standing in front of my desk right
now, telling me about the tickets he just scored to Straight No Chaser at the
Wang Center in November. We love a cappella.
"Fifth row, Carrie! And it'll be near
the holidays, so maybe they'll do songs from their Christmas album!" His
dark, wavy hair falls over his forehead in a boyish little curl. His eyebrows
are perfectly arched. He gets them threaded more often than I do. His narrow
chinos are rolled at the cuff, exposing his bare ankles in brown loafers. And
is that my cotton scarf knotted around his neck?
I smile at him. Jamey is a great boyfriend
because he always wants to do fun and unusual things. Has ever since we began
dating two years ago. Our friends rely on Jamey to keep them current. When
Steve Martin curated the Lawren Harris show at the MFA, we were the first people
in the door. When Juliet opened in Union Square, we were tasting the tasting
menu before anyone else had tasted it.
You can see why a lavender flowered cotton
dress -- with puffed sleeves -- is of no use to me.
“We can go back to my place after the
concert and I’ll make cocoa. Bet you’d enjoy something sweet and hot,” I say
with a flirtatious grin. I give him what I hope is a smoldering look. He’s
holding my hand and his eyes widen in mock excitement, then he looks away.