Detective Aidan Calloway is rock-solid strong. He's a man of justice—loyal to his friends, family, and job—even if it requires bending a law…or two. He shields himself behind an abrasive, fearless facade, until a phone call one night chips his armor and throws his perfectly planned, hollow life into a tailspin. Jessie Vega is the epitome of optimism. His carefully crafted attitude of hope and positivity protects him from a past filled with too much pain. When a ghost from a dark time resurfaces and nearly breaks him, he must tap into his inner strength or risk losing everything he's worked so hard to build. But Jessie can't do it alone. He must fight to break through Aidan's ironclad defenses to reveal the heart of the man hiding beneath the tough surface and mend his damaged spirit. Only then can they truly heal and become strong enough to battle the demons that haunt them and threaten their chance to finally be together. ——— ***This book contains scenes and subject matter some readers may find distressing.*** ——— Although part of a series, this book can be read as a stand-alone.
“This book is wonderful and beautifully worded. Jessie has a gift with words.” - Reader Review
“This story is not only an emotional roller coaster but it is full of action and mystery as well. There are several different stories all coming to a proverbial head in this book, and the outcome is excellent.” - Alpha Book Club
(This is taken from a scene between Aidan and Jessie.)
"You don't give up, do you?"
"Not when it comes to you. No."
"Jess, I'm not easy. I have more baggage than the underbelly of a cargo plane."
"Then I'll set my bags right next to yours."
He shook his head. No one had ever been this relentless to be with his miserable ass.
"I've got one last question for you," Jessie said.
Aidan turned his head slightly toward him but refused to make eye contact.
"Do you…" Jessie hesitated and rubbed his hands on his thighs again, revealing a hint of that introverted, vulnerable side others usually saw when they looked at him. "Do you want to be with me?"
Point-blank. That was the million-dollar question that determined how this conversation would end. Even if he did have enough energy to erect his shield, he couldn't lie to Jessie. He exhaled heavily. "More than anything."
"Then that settles it."
"Jess…it's not that easy."
"Don't make it harder."
Aidan sighed. "I'm not used to this," he said, gesturing between them with his hand.
"Talking or having a relationship?"
"Either. Both. Fuck if I know."
"Okay. Well, you've never had a problem talking to me before, so we'll work up to the big stuff. One detail a week. I'm not going to stress you out with a one-a-day quota. One detail we wouldn't share with anyone else."
One a week. Aidan forcefully rubbed his hands together. He could handle that. Maybe. Sorta.
"And as far as the whole relationship thing, I'm not an expert. But, we kinda already have something. Don't you think?" Jessie looked over to him with a hint of a smile playing in his expression, cocking his head.
He definitely wasn't an expert in relationships, but if Jessie thought this defined a relationship, then maybe he could totally handle this.
Jessie bumped his shoulder. "We're just missing out on all the fun stuff."
Aidan groaned. It drove him nuts when Jessie teased him.
"I'm not saying it'll be easy. I know…" Jessie hesitated and rubbed his thighs again. "I know we're both very different from each other and from what other people usually see when they look at us. But…I see you, not the guy you want everyone else to see. And you're worth it, Aidan. It bothers me that you don't recognize how amazing you are, but I'm willing to give this a shot. I just…I hope you think the same of me." He quieted for a few moments then subtly nodded, concluding some internal conversation. "You work at things so you can appreciate the success at the end."
Aidan shook his head and scoffed. Jessie and his inspirational poster lines…too fucking cute to deny. His ability to take a mountain and turn it into a few pellets of dust always amazed Aidan. Jessie was bossier than people could imagine and far more of a control freak than anyone suspected.
"You're totally worth it."
Jaime Reese is the alter ego of an artist who loves the creative process of writing, just not about herself. Fiction is far more interesting. She has a weakness for broken, misunderstood heroes and feels everyone deserves a chance at love and life. An avid fan of a happy ending, she believes those endings acquired with a little difficulty are more cherished.
The Men of Halfway HouseA Better Man
A Hunted Man
A Restored Man
A Mended Man
…More to come…
From New York Times Bestselling Author A.L. Jackson comes a gripping new tale of loss and love.
William has spent six years running from his past and the last eight months trying to rid his mind of the dreams that increasingly haunt his nights. Trapped in a world of false ambitions and feigned affections, William knows he’s reached a breaking point and something’s going to give.
Maggie had lived her entire life without hope until one man showed her what it meant to be loved. He’d been her light in a lifetime of darkness. Six years ago, that darkness stole him away. Without him, she’s surrendered herself to an existence she doesn’t know how to escape.
When the family William left behind is struck by tragedy, he is called back to the one place he’s sworn to never return to again. In a moment that will change his life forever, William comes face to face with the girl who, with one look, captured his heart. He is unable to ignore the buried desires and the hope for the future they’d once believed they’d have.
Now William is ready to fight to take back what had been stolen from him six years before. But he never imagined what that fight might cost him.
A.L. Jackson gives you an intimate look into the lives of a family bound by an unseen connection in this new contemporary romance.
"There are some love stories that will take you on such intensely emotional journeys, shake you to the very core of your being, make you scream, cry, curse, throw things against walls, but also fill you with more hope than you ever thought possible – THIS is one of those books. This is the second novel by A.L. Jackson that I have read and I am ready to build this woman a shrine." Natasha is a Book Junkie
Charlotte Lane was the tomboy who lived next door.
Eyes the color of the summer sky.
Mounds of curly blond hair.
A little bit of sassy and a whole lot of sweet.
She was my best friend. My confidant. My salvation.
But when circumstances tore us apart, it put more than just miles between us. I hated her. Blamed her for my worst nightmare. And I never wanted to see her again.
Then one wrong turn brought her back into my life and now she’s under my skin. In the midst of all the chaos surrounding us, she’s what’s changing me. Practically bringing me to my knees. Driving me to want to be a better man.
But nothing is ever easy.
And as our worlds begin to crumble…so do we.
Our bond withstood the test of time, but when the future brings the unexpected, it will either draw us closer or tear us apart.
I live in Florida with my husband and four kids. I've always had a love for reading books and writing. Being an English major in college, I wanted to teach at the college level but that was not to be. I went on to receive an MBA and became a project manager until quitting to raise my family. I currently work part-time with my husband and full-time embracing one of my biggest passions—writing.
K.A. Linde is the USA Today bestselling author of the Avoiding series and the All That Glitters series as well as seven additional novels. She grew up as a military brat traveling the United States and even landing for a brief stint in Australia. She has a Masters degree in political science from the University of Georgia and is the current head coach of the Duke University dance team.
An avid traveler, reader, and bargain hunter, K.A. currently live in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, with her husband and two super adorable puppies.
Publisher: Boroughs Publishing Group Genre: M/MNew Adult Contemporary
Date: April 28, 2016
Touched by tragedy, love is an elusive dream never to be realised by eighteen-year-old Jax Grady--until he discovers his secret admirer and receives the sweetest gift he could ever desire.
THE SWEETEST GIFT
Tragedy and horror shaped Jackson Grady's life, leaving him orphaned and scarred. At eighteen he's ready to claim his future, but who could love his disfigured face and damaged soul? Definitely not a big, burly, beautiful Irish Traveller who is entirely the stuff of dreams.
Dare Rowan didn't mean to become obsessed with the blue-eyed man he first saw across a field, but that porcelain skin and innocent air demanded another meeting. Jax has the face of a wounded angel, and the rest of the young man is as heart-breakingly perfect. Jax is beautiful in every way and teaching him about love and life will be something Dare will embrace. Like unwrapping and savouring the candy at the shop where he works, Dare will show this young man everything Jax desired but never thought he'd have, and take Jax to new highs while he holds him through the lows. Between them, they’ll find out just how sweet life can be.
“Who’s there?” he called out. Jax hated the slight quaver in his voice, not wanting to appear defenceless to a potential burglar. “I can hear you, so no use hiding. Just tell me what you want here. Or get the fuck out of my home.”
He wouldn’t tip his hand, telling the burglar he had a weapon. Let the bastard find out for himself, he thought grimly. The scuffling noise stopped and now all Jax could hear was someone’s steady breathing.
Jax stood straight and tall, hoping he looked intimidating in the dim light, where no one could see he wasn’t superhero material.
A quiet voice echoed from the darkness. “I’m not here to rob you or hurt anyone. I hope I didn’t scare you.” The voice sounded familiar and Jax frowned, trying to place it.
“I’m not scared.” Jax gripped the poker tighter. “Who the hell are you and what are you doing here?” He let out the breath he hadn’t known he was holding and scowled, reaching down to fumble for the table lamp. He switched it on and the room flooded with warm light. Jax momentarily closed his eyes, trying to adjust to it. When he opened them, a large, blurred figure stood by the door to the hallway. It was half open and Jax guessed the man had been trying to make a clean break away from whatever he’d been doing in the house.
Jax stepped around the huddled blanket on the floor and made his way closer to the other man.
If he was going to hurt me, he’d have done it already.
“Are you going to tell me what the hell you’re doing in this house?” he demanded. Something propelled him forward; he didn’t feel nervous anymore, simply curious. As Jax got closer, he squinted at the stranger, trying to see him more clearly.
“I came to return something.” The other man’s even tone sent a shiver through Jax’s body. “Something that was taken from you that didn’t belong where it was.”
Now Jax was sure he knew the person behind the voice. It surely couldn’t be who he thought it was, could it?He moved, closing the distance until he could see more clearly. The sight that greeted his eyes took his breath away.
God, it is Dare from the mall. Crap, he’s one sexy beast. Even if he might be a serial killer.
Jax waved the poker at Dare. “What the fuck are you doing here?”
Dare huffed. “It’s a long story.” He eyed the poker dubiously. “Really, a poker? That’s your weapon of choice?”
Jax snorted. “I can clobber you with it if you try anything. Come on, dude. Tell me what the hell is going on. Are you that desperate to have coffee with me?”
Dare laughed, a little shakily. “‘Dude?’ You love that word. It’s pretty cute when you say it. And yes, I’m definitely partial to having coffee with you one way or another. But this wasn’t quite what I had planned.”
Jax blinked. His eyes felt gritty and sore and he had gunk bunging up one corner of his left eye. He reached up and rubbed it away softly. “How do you know I use the word ‘dude’ often?”
Dare gave a deep, indrawn breath. There was silence. Jax got the impression Dare had revealed something he wasn’t supposed to.
Jax grew impatient. “Are you going to tell me anything anytime soon? Because if not, I’ll call out for the owner of the house and he can call the cops, then we’ll get the story—”
“No, no police.” For the first time Dare sounded panicked. “God, you’re so damn feisty.”
Jax got the impression that wasn’t a problem for this man from his admiring tone. Jax’s groin warmed more. Now his dick was standing at half-mast and it was the last thing he needed if he did have to call on Randy.
I’m getting a hard-on for someone who broke into the house. Could shit get any weirder?
“So, what’s the story, Mr Dark and Sexy? Do you actually have one or are you just an opportunistic burglar making something up?”
The chuckle that emanated from Dare’s mouth was low, and yes, still damn sexy.
“Really? You think I’m dark and sexy?” Dare’s face twisted into a grin. “I’m flattered. You’re something yourself.”
Jax went on the offensive. “Do you always hit on people whose houses you break into? What are you, like, the Flirty Burglar or something?”
Really? This god of a man thinks I’m something? And honestly—the Flirty Burglar. Face palm.
Susan Mac Nicol is a self-confessed bookaholic, an avid watcher of videos of sexy pole dancing men, geek, nerd and in love with her Smartphone. This little treasure is called ‘the boyfriend’ by her long suffering husband, who says if it vibrated, there’d be no need for him. Susan hasn’t had the heart to tell him there’s an app for that…
She is never happier than when sitting in the confines of her living room/study/on a cold station platform scribbling down words and making two men fall in love. In an ideal world, Susan Mac Nicol would be Queen of England and banish all the bad people to the Never Never Lands of Wherever -Who Cares. As that’s never going to happen, she contents herself with writing her HEA stories and pretending, that just for a little while, good things happen to good people.
Sue is a PAN member of Romance Writers of America and is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association in the UK.