Healed: Stone & Pepper by Tess Thompson

GRAB THE TISSUES and keep reading for an excerpt from Healed: Stone & Pepper by Tess Thompson! It will be here JUNE 24TH!!!

PREORDER TODAY: Amazon → https://amzn.to/2VoqFY1 Apple → https://apple.co/2JHsn4v B&N → http://bit.ly/2YrHX8v Kobo → http://bit.ly/2E68d0s

#Healed #StoneAndPepper #CliffsideBay


It’s Cliffside Bay and beyond in this heartwarming enemies-to-lovers romantic adventure from USA Today bestselling author Tess Thompson. Stone Hickman is the last of a dying breed. The former Marine believes in integrity, service to his country, a hard day’s work, and taking care of his loved ones. When he meets the clever Pepper Griffin, their obvious attraction has him ready to count the stunning beauty among the people that he cares for. But Pepper doesn’t share the instant connection. In fact, she wants nothing to do with him. And for honest, straightforward Stone, not knowing why only makes the rejection worse. Pepper Griffin is the epitome of scrappy. For years she’s struggled to make acting her career without any help at all from her famous father. While she’s still accepting meager roles with little screen time, her best friend has steadily risen to the height of fame. To make matters worse, that very same friend is happily in love, newly engaged, and wants poor Pepper, whose love life is as sad and pathetic as her last film role, to serve as her maid-of-honor while Pepper’s enemy, Stone Hickman, is sure to be the groom’s best man. Though Pepper despises the best man, she loves the bride-to-be more. To keep the peace, Pepper willingly includes Stone in the wedding planning process. When the unlikely pair find themselves stranded in a snowstorm while searching for the perfect venue, they’ll have to work together to survive the chill even if that means thawing Pepper’s heart.


He couldn’t speak and even if he’d been able to open his mouth and form words, what would he say? No words could describe the intense joy that flooded him. “So, I’ve come home to throw myself at your feet.” She flashed him the same nervous smile from earlier. Just the tips of her white teeth showed. Her wide eyes watched him intensely, as if the code to the meaning of life was written on his forehead. “No throwing necessary.” His words came out strangled from the force of his effort to not cry like a baby in front of the woman he loved more than his own life. “You know I love you. Every second without you has been physically painful.” She dropped to the floor onto her knees and took both his hands in hers. “Stone Hickman, you’re everything in a man I’ve ever wanted and more. When I’m with you it’s like I’m the confident and calm woman I’m supposed to be. Seeing myself through your eyes makes me feel like the person I always wanted to be. I want to be your wife and make a home and a family with you.” “You do?” She laughed as she brought his large, calloused hand to her soft mouth. “The meaning of my life is right here.” She tapped the rough skin on the palm of his hand with her finger. “Everything I want and need is in these hands that build things and caress my anxiousness away and will someday hold our newborn baby. I’ve been looking for purpose from my work when all along its been right in front of me. My parents and Lisa and Maggie. And now you. My calling and purpose is to love you. Lisa and Maggie reminded me of something. The kind of work we do—art—can only be fed through our human connections. Through love. When I thought of it that way, I knew exactly what I had to do. I had to come home and be with you. The rest of it means nothing without you.” Her face blurred in front of him from the tears that swam in his eyes. What a sight he must be. A giant crying in front of a princess. Pepper reached into the pocket of her dress and held up a thick, silver band. “Stone Hickman, will you marry me and build a life and a family with me?” His mouth fell open before he started to laugh. “You’re proposing to me?” “Yes, I am. Do you have a problem with that?” “No ma’am, I do not. Nope. Not me. I’m an enlightened man at the mercy of a badass woman.”

About Tess

Tess Thompson is a USA Today bestselling author of small-town romance and historical fiction, with nearly 20 titles across multiple series that focus on heartwarming journeys of triumph and humanity for colorful characters you’d love to be friends with in real life. Tess holds a degree in theater from the University of Southern California (go Trojans!), and can be found most days at her desk in suburban Seattle, where she also makes her home with the hero of her own love story and their blended family of two sons, two daughters, and five cats. Tess loves music, dancing, books, bubble baths, cooking, wine, movies, snuggling, Seahawks football, and hearing from her readers. Drop her a line at tess@tthompsonwrites.com.

Find Tess Online! Amazon: http://amzn.to/2x9Ng26 BookBub: http://bit.ly/2esOcrn Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorTessThompson Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2vClTfX Instagram: http://bit.ly/2EumPrm Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/tesswrites Twitter: https://twitter.com/tesswrites Website: https://www.tesswrites.com

Back For More by Sylvia Kane

RELEASE TOUR for Back For More by Sylvia Kane

For Kurt Owens, law school came first, but now that he’s back in the city, he can’t deny the sparks when he sees his best friend’s sister for the first time in years. Corina Davies needs a job and takes Kurt up on his offer to be his new assistant. Summer in the city is about to get a whole lot hotter. The seventh book in the beloved 425 Madison Avenue, is now live. Read Back For More by Sylvia Kane today!

Only on Amazon + Read for FREE on Kindle Unlimited

About Back For More

Summer in the city…

She’s smart, hot, and funny. My dream girl.  
There’s just one problem. She’s also my best bud’s little sister.  
The sparks have always been there, but law school had to come first. Now, we’re all back in the city and the same sparks fly every time I run into her.  
She needs a job and I need an assistant at the law firm. What could go wrong?
I don’t know if I can hide my feelings any longer.  
I know I shouldn’t go there, but I can’t help it.

My brother’s back in town, and I offer to share my awesome apartment. Imagine my surprise when his best friend Kurt walks in.  
He’s still tall, dark, and handsome, and I can’t deny the pull.  
Working together only complicates things. Long days and nights in the office can be dangerous.  
When we’re not at the office, he’s always hanging around my apartment. To see my brother. Yeah, right.

All I know is, summer in the city is about to get a lot hotter.

After all, 425 Madison Avenue is the perfect place to fall in love.

*Each story is completely standalone.

Copyright @ 2019 Sylvia Kane

“I’m here for Corina Davies in 1205,” I respond, my nerves rattling even louder than five minutes ago when I was seized with the instinct to see her.
“Is she expecting you?” he asks, resting his hand on the phone.
I shake my head. The guy must think I’m a weirdo for just showing up like this. He’s going to call her for sure.
Sure enough, he picks up the phone. “Ms. Davies, you have a visitor,” he says, and then looks back at me. “Your name?”
I almost turn around to walk back out into the night, but I stay rooted to the spot. “Kurt. Kurt Owens.”
“Kurt Owens. Thanks.” He turns to me again and nods. “Go ahead. Have a good evening.”
I head for the elevator, and my heart rate rises with each step. She’s gonna think I’m fucking nuts for showing up like this at midnight. And why am I doing this again? What do I hope to achieve by interrupting whatever relaxing activity she’s enjoying at this time of night? I don’t know, but the thought of seeing her makes my palms sweat. I remember that skirt she wore, and how soft her legs looked. My cock twitches at the memory of her silky-smooth legs. Fuck. Down, boy. We’re not here for that.
I step into the elevator and before I know it, I’m standing in front of her door, my hand in the air. What am I going to tell her? What’s my excuse for showing up here so late? At the very least, I have to admit it to myself—I just want to see her. I have to see her. There’s no denying the spark that flew between us the other night. All those years hadn’t done a damn thing to kill our chemistry.
It sure is ballsy to just show up here. Maybe I’ve had a bit much to drink, but I’m not drunk. I’m not slurring or falling over myself. She won’t notice.
Finally, I knock. She’s expecting me, because she opens up right away. Seeing her knocks the wind out of me. Her hair rests over her shoulders in this sexy, yet natural way; she has a hint of makeup, but not much. She doesn’t need any. She’s still a natural beauty, just like she was all those years ago.
A light pink, silk robe clings to her body and ends just above the knees. She ties up the belt, very tight, as if afraid it might slip off any minute. Or that I might see what’s underneath. I try to push the thought from my head.
“Hi,” I say, hoping I don’t look as awkward as I feel. I’m standing in her doorway, without any good reason whatsoever, like a doofus. She’d be perfectly justified in turning me away with some excuse about going to sleep or whatever. But, she doesn’t.
She stands back to let me in.
“Hi, Kurt.”
I love the way my name sounds on her lips. Her lush, rosy lips. So smooth and kissable.

Author Info:

If you love naughty romances about irresistible men who love their women fiercely, you’ve come to the right place. Sylvia’s books include a sprinkling of angst, introspective and lovable characters, and a healthy helping of steam. She lives in Toronto with her husband, their two young kids, and an adorable Maine Coon who follows them around like a guard dog when they go for walks!

About the 425 Madison Series

Welcome to 425 Madison Ave the perfect place to fall in love. Nine delicious romances set in fast-paced & sexy NYC just waiting for you to read.

The series features stories from some of your favorite romance authors: Leigh Lennon, MK Moore, Allie York, Aubree Valentine, Kay Gordon, Lauren Helms, Sylvia Kane, Katy Ames, and C. Lesbirel.

Join these authors as they come together, each with a standalone romance for you to enjoy.

Featuring some of readers’ favorite tropes: second-chance romance, best friends sibling romance to a good ol’ enemies to lovers romance. We’ve got you covered with a sports romance, a fake relationship and even an ugly duckling or two. Don’t forget a brother’s best friend and falling for your soul mate. Maybe a little love triangle as well. Each tale offers you something new, something different. After all, 425 Madison Avenue is the perfect place to fall in love.

For more information, visit the series website ➝ www.425madisonseries.com

Follow the series on Facebook ➝ https://www.facebook.com/425MadisonSeries

Did you miss the first five books in the series? You can read them here:

The next book in the series is coming soon! Add it to your Goodreads shelf today!

Accidentally in Love by Katy Ames
An Ugly Duckling Romance
Release: 6/27/19
This release event is brought to you by Forever Write PR – Forever your source for all your writing needs. https://www.facebook.com/ForeverWritePR/

Unexcepted Love by Kristin Mayer

IMG_8666UNEXPECTED LOVE by Kristin Mayer is releasing May 17th!!!

Special Pre-Order Sale: Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2HjuCIp Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/30cSl5X Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/2Q09Ql7 Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2Q2yuBE
When I said, “I do,” I meant it for life. When he said, “I do,” he didn’t mean it at all. Divorced and single, I’m ready to find true love. When a business deal requires me to create an online dating account, I find myself drawn to Mister_Mystery. He’s not looking for love. I’m not looking for another lie. We decide to never meet. But fate has something very different in mind. Special Pre-Order Sale: Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2HjuCIp Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/30cSl5X Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/2Q09Ql7 Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2Q2yuBE Add it to your TBR: http://bit.ly/UnexpectedLoveTBR



“How did this happen?” I asked the blank walls of my apartment. I collapsed on my sofa, still in shock from my encounter at the coffee shop. On a whim, I had walked by Rex after work and wanted to give it a try. It was like fate had taken me there and then played a cruel joke on me. All week long, I’d wondered what had happened to Mister Mystery on the dating app. Now I knew. He was out of my league.


Good looking.


In the same category I’d put Lucian Black. Hell, he was Lucian Black. And he had to be worth millions—maybe more. My head was a mess. And he had a child, according to the pictures I’d found when I searched him online while walking through Central Park before coming home.

A child.

Words like “powerful mogul” and “strictly private” were common in the articles I’d found when I’d finally stopped at a bench to sit down. That seemed at odds with what I knew about Mister Mystery.

The articles had confirmed that he was divorced.

His ex-wife seemed to be something of a problem.

My head spun more. Part of me wished Lucian had tried to stop me from leaving. But he hadn’t. At least I knew… at least I knew. The conference calls and drab functions from my conversations with Mister Mystery made sense.

But a child. He had a child.

It was like déjà vu from my marriage to Braden, although logically I knew it wasn’t the same. But finding out like that was… jarring, to say the least.

Mister Mystery had never brought up a child. Not that he’d had to, of course. In fact, it made sense that he hadn’t. Children were precious and needed to be protected. But the news had shocked me. The entire situation shocked me.

I got a pint of ice cream and slipped on my fuzzy slippers before dropping onto the couch and staring at the wall. My phone vibrated. When I saw the name mister mystery flash across the screen, my heart stopped.

Mister_Mystery: And now that you’ve had time to think about what happened, what are your thoughts?

I took a big bite of the cookie dough ice cream and stared at the text. Another message came through. Mister Mystery could tell I had seen the message.

Mister_Mystery: I understand if you never want to talk to me again. I should have asked you to stay earlier so we could talk more. I haven’t handled this well.

I took another big bite.

Mister_Mystery: Have a good night, Addilyn.

It was odd to see him use my real name and not Aurora. I set the pint of ice cream aside so I could reply.

Me: I’m still in shock and I shouldn’t have searched your name online. It’s very… overwhelming.

Mister_Mystery: I’m just a guy, Addilyn.

Me: A guy with a lot of… exposure.

Mister_Mystery: That’s true at times. But my life is also very private.

Things felt awkward between us. Before, it had been easygoing. I was afraid our time was drawing to an end. I wasn’t in the right head space to make any type of decision. But I couldn’t get him out of my head, either. And was there really a decision to make? My heart beat a little faster now that I had a name and a face to go with the person I had gotten to know over the last month.

Mister_Mystery: Night, Addilyn. Sweet dreams.

Me: Night. Sweet dreams to you, too.

I closed out the app, unsure what to make of it all. I’m just a guy, Addilyn. What was that about? Had Lucian wanted to continue our conversation? Or was he just being nice? From the beginning, Lucian had been clear he wasn’t looking for any kind of relationship.

Minutes turned to hours as I sat on my couch and got lost in another old movie. My mind drifted to Lucian. His lean, muscular body, his dark hair, those enigmatic eyes. At nearly six in the morning, I had only nodded off every now and again for a few minutes each time. I brought out my phone.

Me: Did you sleep?

Me: I mean how’d you sleep?

Me: I mean good morning.

I groaned and threw back my head. Way to be smooth. Lucian saw the messages almost immediately.

Mister_Mystery: Good morning. I didn’t really sleep last night. You?

Me: Me either. Were you working?

Mister_Mystery: No. You?

Me: No.

Mister_Mystery: I think we both have a lot to say. Why don’t we meet?

I bit my lip. Yeah, I needed to talk to him a little more. At least for closure.

Me: When? Where?

Mister_Mystery: I’m north of Central Park.

Me: I’m west of Central Park.

Mister_Mystery: How about an hour? Meet me in Central Park at the hot chocolate stand near the carousel?

I knew the place well. It would be busy as the city had just opened the carousel for a special occasion. I wondered if Lucian picked that place specifically to make me feel comfortable.

Me: I’ll be there. See you soon.

Mister_Mystery: Until then.

Teaser 5


Kristin Mayer tries to live life to the fullest during every moment. She loves to travel, meet new people, and mark items off of her bucket list.
She loves to hear from her readers by email at kristinmayerwrites@gmail.com, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKristinMayer/, on Twitter @author_Kristin, and on Instagram at kristin.mayer.


Callum’s Hell by V.F. Mason

Callum’s Hell by V.F. Mason releases on May 17th! #DarkRomance #Standalone #DarkAsHell

ADD TO YOUR TBR — http://bit.ly/2X2mv9h

She knew no chaos…until I claimed her. She was a florist. He was a serial killer. She created beauty. He created chaos. She belonged to nature. He belonged to the underworld. She was an angel. He was the devil. She wanted to escape. He trapped her instead. They played a dangerous game with their lives at stake. Where the winner took it all and the loser burned in hell.


They say obsessions and insanity go hand-in-hand, but I have another theory.
Possession and desire go hand-in-hand, because they create such deep insanity a man is willing to eliminate everything and everyone in his way to get to what he wants.
I flick my fingers and knock two pawns from the chessboard, ready to strike again.
By the time this is done, there will be no one but the queen left standing.
About the Author: V.F.Mason always loved reading books and had quite a few fights with her momma over the genre she liked (romance, duh!) She studied filmmaking and thought that would feed her desire for stories, but that didn’t happen. Finally, when she was tired of all those voices in her head, she sat down and wrote a book. It was a huge decision to make and she thanks her friends and family for supporting her in it. When she is not writing, she can be found with her friends doing all sorts of crazy things or reading recent romance books that were written by her favorite authors. Connect with V.F.! Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorVFMason/ Instagram: http://bit.ly/2SE0hsp Twitter: https://twitter.com/Author_VFMason Bookbub: http://bit.ly/2ozrS0W Newsletter: http://vfmason.com/newsletter/ Website: http://vfmason.com/

Defending Sophie by PJ Fiala

THINGS ARE HEATING UP! Keep reading for an excerpt from Defending Sophie by PJ Fiala!!! It releases May 14th.

RESERVE IT NOW: US → https://amzn.to/2IRtsGy UK → https://amzn.to/2IQIMDm CA → https://amzn.to/2GvoNY9 AU → https://amzn.to/2Zsym2u


Accused of murder and on the run, Sophie must turn to the one man she could never have. Investigating her friend’s suspicious death, Sophie’s only source of information turns up dead – and she’s the prime suspect. Forced into hiding, she turns to her brother’s best friend to help keep her alive, clear her name, and find the killer before she becomes the next victim. Gaige has longed for Sophie for years, and he’d do anything to keep her safe, but details of the investigation aren’t adding up. Mounting doubts have him questioning her story, even as his heart insists she’s telling the truth. The only thing he knows for sure is he’ll do anything to prove her innocence, but will it cost him his career?


The kiss grew heated, his body enflamed. He tried pulling back and giving her some space, but also to make sure she was actually awake, as she’d just been sleeping. As soon as he pulled back, her arms pulled him forward with a strength that both surprised and impressed the hell out of him.

His tongue delved into her mouth, the warmth felt amazing. Her tongue slid along his and circled his mouth. Both soft and firm at the same time if that was possible; he wanted to be consumed by her. Or perhaps that was he who wanted to consume her. His cock throbbed and it thickened and he could feel the dampness on his skin as he fought the natural urges a man would feel in the arms of a beautiful woman. But, he didn’t want this to be a mistake. Something they’d both regret tomorrow. That was the last thing he ever wanted to feel about Sophie. Regret.

“Soph.” He managed to pull away just far enough to whisper her name.

Her eyes opened and glistened in the moonlight streaming in through the window. “What?”

“You know where this is leading don’t you?”

He stared into her eyes, looking for any sign that she didn’t understand what he meant. That maybe she’d been caught up in the moment and she would realize that she didn’t want to be with him now.

She raised up onto her elbows, which God help him, thrust her breasts forward. He looked, he had to. The thin fabric of the t-shirt she wore did little to hide her nipples, which were erect and brilliantly calling to him. “Of course, I do. I’ve thought of being with you for what seems like forever.”

His heart raced and he could feel the pulsing in his neck and lower in his cock as his mind grappled with what she’d just said.

“We can’t take it back once it’s done.”

She tilted her head to the side, “I’m aware.” Her brows furrowed and she bit her bottom lip. “Gaige, if you don’t want to be with me, let’s call this…”

“I didn’t say that, Soph. I wanted to make sure you were awake and clearheaded.”

“I’m as clearheaded as I’ve ever been. I’ve never been more certain of anything in my entire life.”

He stood and in one swift motion he reached behind his neck and pulled the t-shirt he wore over his head. Turning quickly, he walked to the door and slid it closed, engaging the lock. Moving to the bathroom door which lead into his room with Hawk, he repeated the motions then turned to Sophie. His mouth instantly dried and his heart picked up its rhythm when he saw her topless and shimmying her jeans and panties down her sexy legs. The moonlight caressed her skin like a lover. The silvery glow it shone on her added a mysterious element to her enchanting features; and if he didn’t know better he’d think she was a mythical creature here to lure him. Fine with him, at this moment, nothing would stop him from finally making her his.

AND CHECK OUT PJ’s BOUNTY HUNTERS SERIES FORD IS ON SALE NOW US → https://amzn.to/2H0UKJm UK → https://amzn.to/2FI7tyE CA → https://amzn.to/2FM6L3l AU → https://amzn.to/2TVTLxm

Grab this #KINDLECOUNTDOWN deal today!!!

About PJ

PJ Fiala is the USA Today bestselling author of sexy romances, including bikers and veterans, such as the ROLLING THUNDER SERIES, BOUNTY HUNTERS SERIES, and the SECOND CHANCES SERIES. She is a mother of four, grandmother of four, and currently makes her home in Wisconsin. When not writing, she can be found spending time with her husband, Gene. They’re usually on their motorcycles exploring new locations and meeting new people.

FIND PJ EVERYWHERE: Amazon → https://amzn.to/2UVttQ4 BookBub → http://bit.ly/2UTu70w Facebook → http://bit.ly/2Z4MUoU Goodreads → http://bit.ly/2UwPiX5 Instagram → http://bit.ly/2Uycmof Pinterest → http://bit.ly/2IoL1O2 Twitter → http://bit.ly/2Z7KdD1 Website → https://www.pjfiala.com

Marriage Training by Golden Angel

Miss Vivian’s bottom isn’t the only thing getting hot! Keep reading for a steamy excerpt from Marriage Training by Golden Angel!!!

It will be live May 14th. But you can PREORDER NOW: Amazon → https://amzn.to/2BL30tb Apple → https://apple.co/2rXiTba0 Barnes & Noble → http://bit.ly/2LzHsE6 Google Play → http://bit.ly/2OD36ZB Kobo → http://bit.ly/2uEbqPO


Set in Victorian England, this erotic BDSM novel features a courtship between a young woman and a dashing rake. Gabriel, Earl of Cranborne, is in need of a wife–preferably a sweet, submissive, well-trained wife who could run his household during the day and obey him in the bedroom at night. When he meets Miss Vivian Stafford at a friend’s wedding, he finds himself drawn in by the exact traits he was looking for in his own wife and immediately moves to make her his own. Once the betrothal papers are signed, he arranges for her to attend Mrs. Cunningham’s Finishing School. This very special school will prepare her to be the wife of an Earl . . . and also prepare for her the very specific demands and discipline she’ll receive from her new husband at night.


The meaty thunk of the wooden-backed brush against Vivian’s rounded flesh, combined with her cries, pleas, and chanting promises to be good, was the sweetest sound he’d ever heard. Even more so than any of the punishments he’d witnessed, because now she was suffering at his hand, rather than another’s. Her bottom was a deep, swollen red by the time he finished. But the reason he was so inflamed by her punishment was the aftermath, when he dropped the hairbrush to the floor and thrust his hand between her legs. A moment ago they’d been kicking. Now they were draped, slightly apart, with just enough space for him to slide his fingers into the folds of her pussy. They came away coated in honey, and his cock jerked. The punishment was effective, as it should be, because Vivian didn’t enjoy pain; but she couldn’t help her arousal from his dominance over her. And Gabriel was grateful for that, for although he enjoyed spanking a woman, he knew he would not want to punish Vivian nightly—only when she truly deserved it. And, as sweet as she was, he knew she would not deserve it often. He looked forward to when her training was over and they were married and he could give her more sensual spankings they would both enjoy. But when she needed to be disciplined, as she truly had this evening, he would not hold back. And he was pleased to know her body would still respond. Pulling her up onto his lap, Gabriel cuddled her for a moment, enjoying her whimpers as she was pressed against his legs.

About Angel

Angel is a self-described bibliophile with a “kinky” bent who loves to write stories for the characters in her head. If she didn’t get them out, she’s pretty sure she’d go just a little crazy. She is happily married, old enough to know better but still too young to care, and a big fan of happily-ever-afters, strong heroes and heroines, and sizzling chemistry. She believes the world is a better place when there’s a little magic in it.

Find Angel Online! Amazon → http://amzn.to/2DplX3X BookBub → http://bit.ly/2G68e3O Facebook → http://bit.ly/2Ds7c0e Goodreads → http://bit.ly/2rt4rdL Instagram → http://bit.ly/2CkqiqZ Website → http://www.goldenangelromance.com

Save Me by Andi Jaxon and AJ Alexander

Save Me by Andi Jaxon and AJ Alexander is coming May 9th! Keep reading for a gripping excerpt below …


I might be the one who swore an oath to save lives, but they saved me… Saving lives isn’t just my job, it’s my whole world. Working eighteen hour days, I live in the hospital, running from patient to patient until I encounter a mysterious woman who stops me in my tracks. Afraid of her own shadow, I quickly diagnose that not all of her injuries are physical and the helpless look in her eyes turns my world upside down. I follow up with her, trying to convince myself that my actions are that of a concerned doctor. But it’s more than that… turns out there is more to her as well. She’s a single mom, and the fear in her eyes isn’t just for herself, but for her amazing daughter. Before I even realize what’s happening, I’m determined to save them both and it has nothing to do with oaths or medicine. First, she will have to trust me. Not just with her life, but her heart. ** TRIGGER WARNING: This story contains mention of physical and emotional abuse. Although no abuse takes place during the story it is described, at times, in detail. **

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Once Sophie’s arm is a casted and she’s discharged, Isabel and I let her know they aren’t going back home. “Sophie,” Isabel begins, “we’re going to Dr. Patterson’s house. He wants to make you a yummy dinner for being such a brave girl.” Sophie’s a smart little girl, she doesn’t believe her mother for a minute. “Hey, Sophie, do you like ice cream?” I give Isabel a wink because I have an idea, kneeling in front of Sophie I wait patiently for her response. “I like ice cream, why?” I chuckle. Nothing gets past this one, Isabel is in trouble when she gets older. “I need to go to the store before we head to my house. I was hoping you would help me pick an ice cream flavor.” “Ice cream? For after dinner?” “Yes, but you have to be good and listen to Mommy,” I respond. I feel like I’m negotiating with a terrorist. As long as Sophie feels comfortable, I see it as a win. I look over at Isabel and see her attempting to stifle a laugh. When I turn back to Sophie, she seems deep in thought. “How about ice cream and a movie?” “Ms. Sophie, you have a deal.” I reach my hand out and we shake, closing the deal. All three of us load into my truck with bright smiles. As soon as we hit the freeway entrance heading back toward base, Isabel begins to panic. “What if he sees us! We go to Target near base all the time. He’ll know what I did and take her from me.” “Mommy, it otay. We be otay.” Sophie attempts to reassure her mother buckled into the borrowed car seat in the back. “Baby, we’ll never be okay. He always finds us. We belong to him,” she whispers as she turns to me with panic in her eyes, “please just take us back. We can pretend this never happened. Maybe he won’t beat me badly this time for defying him.” Rage courses through my body, I grip the steering will. “You. Will. Never. Go. Back. There.” I growl through clenched teeth, Isabel immediately shrinks into the corner of the passenger seat. Realizing I need to calm down and ease her concerns, I pull over to the side of the road. Once I have the truck in park, I turn the overhead light on, both of them stare at me with frightened eyes, “I’m sorry for scaring you. My anger gets the better of me when I think of everything he has done and could continue to do to both of you if you ever go back there.” I reach out my hand toward Isabel, palm up, in hope that she realizes I mean no harm. “We aren’t going anywhere near the base. I live in Poulsbo, which although close to base, I find most people don’t venture out that far if there is no need. We can go to the Walmart there.” Isabel looks between the seats at Sophie, “If you are still afraid, I can take you to my house and you can make a list of things you will need. I can get them for you from the store or we can even call the woman’s shelter I told you about before. They have emergency kits available for the first forty-eight hours we can make use of.” Looking between the two of them, I can almost hear the silent communication going on between them — it’s a conversation I had with my mother many times over. Sophie willing her mother to accept the help I am willing to provide and Isabel looking at her daughter, wondering if she is just putting her in more danger from her abusive father. I sigh before starting the truck again and pulling into on coming traffic, “I will take you anywhere you want to go, except back to the hospital and into the arms of your abuser. You are finally free — both of you. I’ll do everything in my power to ensure you stay that way.”
  About Andi Jaxon
From Dyslexic kid with a love of Algebra to a published author, no one is more surprised to find me here, than I am. I love to write about tortured pasts and hot sex, a happily ever after that has to be worked for. My stories tend to be a little dark but with some comic relief, typically in the form of sarcasm.
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