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Edie had spent her whole life planning her future, imagining her husband, her kids, and even which minivan she’d drive. Lucky for her, she didn’t have to wait long, marrying her high school sweetheart right after graduation.
All of Edie’s dreams had come true, until they were no longer her dreams. Unable to deal with the lingering depression caused by having children, she left her whole life behind, walking away from the one thing she’d always wanted.
Donovan Leery loved his wife with everything he had and could never imagine life without her. Until he came home from work one day and found a letter from Edie, explaining she needed a break. Not only leaving him to live his life without her, but alone to raise their three small children.
But what happens when Edie is ready to come home? When she’s ready to fight for it all back? She knew it wouldn’t be easy. But she didn’t care. After spending years getting her life back together, she was ready to fight for her family. And a fight is what Donovan would give her.
She’d fight to make up for her Biggest Mistake.
He slapped his palm against the door behind my head, interrupting me and causing me to flinch. He boxed me in with the door to my back and his solid form in front. His forearm was so close to my face I could feel the heat radiating off it. My already clenched heart grew even tighter in my chest and I had a hard time breathing, as if the world had lost its supply of oxygen and I had to fight in order to find some. I’d never seen Donnie like this before and it both scared and saddened me.
“No…you don’t know, Edie. You don’t know a damn thing. I thought maybe you’d be gone a day and then come back. That didn’t happen and so I thought maybe a week. After a week, you’d surely come to your senses and be ready to come home. A week came and went and you were still gone. You were still not answering my calls, my messages, or my emails. So, okay…a month. A month is a really long break, but who knows, maybe you just really needed it.
“The kids asked about you every single day for that month. Every. Fucking. Day. I tried like hell to spare them from knowing you had abandoned them because the last thing I wanted was for you to come home and have them look at you differently. Yeah…I’m that fucking pathetic that after you ran away, I still tried to spare your feelings. Shortly after a month, they’d go a day or two without talking about you or asking where you were. I’d lie in bed at night and realize they hadn’t mentioned you, and it broke my heart. But do you know the moment in time when my heart stopped beating? When it ceased to beat in my chest? When my life went from falling apart to being completely obliterated?” he asked through tight lips that only grew tighter with each following question.
I shook my head, unable to answer. I didn’t want to hear it, the truth. I had asked him to talk, but I hadn’t been prepared for what he’d say. I wasn’t ready to hear about the pain and anguish I had inflicted upon the people I loved more than anything. But I’d asked for it, so the only thing I could do was stand there and bear it.
“Mikey was at the kitchen table coloring while I was making dinner. This was somewhere between month one and month two. Livvy was helping me, watching the water to let me know when it started to boil. Mikey brought over his piece of paper with random marks of green crayon and held it out to me. He was so proud of it.” Donnie’s voice had grown quiet yet remained hard as he retold a story I was sure I didn’t want to hear. “As always, I asked him what it was, preparing to give him my usual praise about how amazing it was and how I had a little artist on my hands. He pointed to a particular line and said, ‘me’ and then pointed to another one and said ‘mama.’ I hesitated for a moment since I hadn’t expected that—his usual art at the time had been unrecognizable doggies and trucks. Nothing more than scribbles of crayon that he believed to be something else. In the time I hesitated, Livvy decided to tell him that his mama was gone. She told him that his mama didn’t love him anymore because she left and wasn’t coming back. She was two and a half, Edie! Two years old, telling her little brother that their mother didn’t love them anymore!”
I gave in and succumbed to the grief that his words inflicted. Without moving, I allowed my tears to run free, to flow without a fight. I couldn’t help the feeling of complete inadequacy that filled me and poured out of me with every tear that made its way down my face.
“So now that I’ve talked to you, is there anything you want to say? Because once I turn around and walk away from you, there won’t be any more talking.”
She’s stuck in a rut, stuck in life and stuck in an elevator with Hollywood’s hottest actor. And of course she’s just come from the gym.
Claire Parelli just can’t seem to catch a break, well, except for heartbreak, that is. After a lifetime of following the rules, she winds up heartbroken, unfulfilled, and hiding from life. But she can’t hide for long.
After getting stuck aboard a broken elevator with Hollywood It-Boy, Daniel Chase, they begin a secret romance that pries Claire out of her element, out of her shell, and out of her sweatpants. But when their romance accidentally goes public, Claire’s life implodes, leaving her to choose to hunker down in the safety of her sweatpants, or risk her fragile heart on a chance at life, love, and the pursuit of better clothing.
The doors unlock as I approach the car, and I scramble into the passenger seat and lock my door. Moments later, Dan sl1ips into the car as the paparazzi swarm, flashing their cameras through the windows. I duck my head to my knees and cover my face. Finally, we pull away from the curb—and away from the paparazzi.
“Are you all right?” Dan asks, his focus shifting from me to the road.
“Yeah, I’m okay.” My voice is shaky, and I breathe deeply. “Does that really happen on a regular basis?”
He shakes his head. “It’s ridiculous sometimes. Believe it or not, that wasn’t all that bad.”
I blink, trying to erase the spots. “Are those going to be bad for business?”
“What?” He glances at me.
“You know—Daniel Chase is out with a female!” I wave my hands a little.
He snickers and shrugs playfully. “I’ll just say I was out with my granny.”
I swat his shoulder with my purse. “Very nice. I’ll report that the babysitting went well.”
Dan laughs. He glances in the rearview mirror then the side mirrors. “Looks like we’re clear. Where do you want to go?”
I shake my head. “Well, I’m not up for that again.”
He nods. We drive aimlessly without speaking for a few minutes.
Then . . .
“Hear me out, all right?” He glances at me nervously.
“There aren’t many private places to go. The same thing might happen at any other pub we go to, so that leaves us with two places—my hotel or your flat.”
I had four weeks before I shipped out again so it was sun, fun, and partying hard.
She wasn’t a part of the plan.
We had one perfect month together before I had to go wheels up. Neither of us expected what happened next.
The blast left me scarred, inside and out. How could I ever be good enough for a beauty like her? She deserved better.
Now I’ve got the Ghost Riders Motorcycle Club, and I don’t need anything else. If I can’t have her, I’ll never have another. A man can live without his heart…right?
Abraham has one regret—letting his Julie get away. When he can’t let go, there’s only one thing left to do. Make her his.
Warning: If you want a scarred hero who’s over-the-top obsessed, alpha possessive, and falls in love at first sight, take a peek* inside.
*Not responsible if peek turns into a full-on read.*
“I’d rather you fuck me in the ass with a bat than go in there.” Lucias smiles over at me, and I roll my eyes before getting out of the truck. We are heading into the Big-Mart for some last-minute shit for the party today, and I really don’t want to go in there either.
“You’ll be wishing for this place when we’re overseas next month. Calm down,” I say, unfolding myself from the truck.
“You may be right, but all I want to do before we deploy is drown in pussy and beer.”
“Why else do you think we’re here, dumb-ass? Beer.”
He grabs a cart at the entrance and starts to walk in the direction of the alcohol. I follow behind him for a few steps before I get an idea.
“Hey, I’m going to the toy section. I’ll meet you at the register,” I throw over my shoulder, heading in the opposite direction.
Lucias gives me a look, but just shakes his head as I walk away. Scribe is having a pool party, and I think water guns are a must. Who doesn’t like a wet t-shirt contest? I’m sure some of the boot chasers are looking for a good time just as much as we are, and there are always sweet butts following Lucias around since his father is President of the Ghost Riders. They hope they can get in good with him so when he takes over they can be his old lady. We’ve been partying it up while on leave, and we’ve only got four short weeks left before we’re wheels up.
Our unit is pretty small so naturally we’re all really close. We spend all our time overseas side by side, only to get home and do the same thing. Lucias and I have been together since we were in diapers, so it’s nothing new for us to be joined at the hip.
Making my way across the store, I cut through an aisle and stop dead in my tracks. At the other end is a girl, jumping up and down. Well, not a girl, a woman. I keep staring because a rack like that belongs to someone full grown, not someone a little over five feet tall. I stand there with my mouth open, and watch as she continues to jump up and down, reaching her arms up high in the air.
Her big tits bounce, and I can’t do anything but watch and thank God for whoever stacked the shelves so high as I feel the drool start to roll down my chin. She’s tiny, but damn, does she have some curves. She’s got super curly white blonde hair, and an ass that shakes with every jump. I feel my dick growing in my pants, and I reach down to adjust it before I cause a scene. Just as I’m grabbing my crotch, she turns and looks at me as if she sensed me.
I should be embarrassed, but I’m so struck by her face I just freeze. I’ve got one hand on my dick, mouth wide open, and I’m staring at heaven. God. She’s fucking perfect. Like a little tiny angel.
Her face turns bright red, which only makes me smile. I finish adjusting my dick and give her a cocky chin lift so she knows I’m not ashamed about what she’s done to me. The hard-on belongs to her.
She clears her throat, squares her shoulders, and puts her hands on her hips. “A little help here?” she says, and motions for the towels on the top shelf. I love the mouthy bite in her voice.
“I think I can handle that.”
I walk over to where she’s standing, moving a little too close to her, the smell of strawberry shortcake filling my lungs. She blushes again and looks anywhere but up at me. She’d have to lean her head back to see up to me. I’m six five, so almost everyone has to look up to find me, but she’s so fucking tiny, I’m over a foot taller than her. It’s kind of comical, the height difference between us, but it doesn’t matter when you’re horizontal.
After a second, she looks back to the towels, and then looks up at me. “Can you please hand me two of the blue ones?” she asks, barely above a whisper. Some of the sass has drained from her voice, and I don’t know if it’s because she is intimidated by me because I’m so close to her now, but I want it back. I don’t want her to be scared of me. In fact, that’s the last thing I want from her.
“What do I get in return?” I tease, trying to add some levity to my voice.
She snaps her head up at me, and I can see the attitude is coming. Good. I like seeing this little thing hold her own.
“Did you hit your head when you fell off that beanstalk? Either you get me the towels, or move along. I’ve got better things to do than entertain a giant,” she says, and pointedly looks at my crotch. This only makes my dick harder as it’s now gotten her attention. He’s got all kinds of things in mind for her. She’s so freaking small I could fuck her all over the goddamn place and not even break a sweat.
“You got the giant part right, shortcake,” I taunt her.
I give her another cocky grin and she rolls her eyes. God, she’s gorgeous, and I love the attitude. I lean down, and before she can protest, I turn her around, grab her hips, and lift her up so she can reach the towels.
“Put me down!” she shrieks, and starts to try to wriggle free. All it does is rub her ass on my face, and I smile against it.
“I can do this all day, shortcake. Take your time.”
I hear her let out a little growl, and feel her grab the towels.
“I got it. Now put me down.”
I hold her body against mine and slowly let her slide down, feeling the curve of her ass run all along the front of my body. This is probably some form of harassment, but hey, when opportunity knocks…. She’s too fucking gorgeous, and I don’t have much time before I ship out. I’ve got to make the most of a sweet thing like this, savor every second.
Once her feet hit the floor, she spins around and puts her little finger in my face. “I don’t speak Behemoth, so I’ll talk slow. You should learn some manners before the villagers chase you with fiery torches. You shouldn’t go around putting your hands on people, no matter how hot you are.”
“You think I’m hot?” For some reason I want to beat my chest at the notion of her thinking I’m hot.
“I think you’re…you’re…” she looks around, trying to find the right word before taking a deep breath and looking at me again. “Just keep your hands to yourself.”
“What’s your name, shortcake?”
“It sure as shit ain’t that,” she clips back, putting one of her hands back on her hip, drawing my eyes there. Damn, her curves would fill my big hands nicely. Give me something to grab onto when I pulled her into my lap.
“You’ve got a potty mouth for someone so goddamn cute,” I say, and give her my biggest smile. “I’m Abe.”
I extend my hand out to her. She looks at it, and then rolls her eyes when I don’t drop it. After a long pause, she extends her hand and our palms touch.
Some people talk about the zing you feel when you first touch someone you’re meant to fall in love with. Well, I didn’t feel a zing, I felt a shift. Like watching a sunset and feeling the calm settle in your heart. That’s what happened when I held her hand. My fingers wrapped around hers, and I felt her fall into place with me. It was the oddest sensation of my life, and I stood there, silently changing, knowing the change was permanent. Until she spoke.
“I’m Julie. Thanks for the help, Abe. If you’ll excuse me,” she says, and drops my hand to walk past me.
Did she not feel that? The earth just stood still, and she’s got somewhere else to be. What the fuck?
“Whoa, whoa, whoa. Hold up, shortcake,” I say as I walk behind her.
“Stalking is a crime, big guy. I said thanks for the help. I’ve got places to be,” she says over her shoulder, her blonde hair bouncing in waves behind her as she flees.
She walks towards the exit of the store, and I’m seconds away from making a scene to stop her.
“Go out with me,” I blurt out a little too loudly.
She stops abruptly, and I nearly run into her back, before she whips around to look up at me.
“Does giving women a command like a dog usually work for you?”
“No, but showing them my dick does,” I say on a laugh, but from the snap of her eyes she doesn’t seem to think my joke is very funny. She’s probably right. Hanging out in the desert with ten men every day can give you some rough edges. Maybe a dick joke wasn’t the best idea.
“I should have guessed. You jarheads don’t have any manners outside of your uniforms.”
She turns around again and keeps making her way towards the exit. I can’t let her get away.
“Please,” I say, getting in front of her and blocking her path. She tucks her towels under one arm, and puts her other hand on her hip, letting me know I’m in her way and she’s not too happy about it.
“No, thank you.” This time her tone is sweeter than before, like she is dismissing me politely. She tries to move past me again, but I sidestep her and block her path once more.
“Dude, can you not take a hint? I’m not interested.”
I realize that it’s time to pull out the big guns, not caring if I make a fool of myself or that if Lucias sees me I’ll never hear the end of it. I’ll kick myself more in the ass if I don’t get to ever see her again. I drop down on one knee, grab her hand and look into her eyes.
She looks around the store to see if anyone is watching, and some people are staring as they walk by. But I don’t care. I won’t let her get away.
Her eyes go huge, and then she starts to laugh. I swear it’s the most beautiful sound I’ve ever heard. “You’re insane.”
“Come on, Julie shortcake. You’re the cutest thing I’ve ever seen in my life, and I’ve got four weeks left before I ship out. Marry me.”
She shakes her head, and then gives me the sweetest smile and leans in close to my face. With me down on one knee, we are about eye to eye.
“You’re crazy and hot. But I’m a firm ‘no’ on the proposal.”
“Fine then. If you won’t marry me, at least go on a date with me. In fact, come to a pool party with me today,” I say, and look at her with my most hopeful face. I just need to get her to agree to see me again, I’ll worry about the ‘marrying me’ thing later.
“I didn’t want to have to do this, but I’m shipping out in a month. What if I die? Would you really do that to your country?”
She lets out an adorable snort. She looks at me and sighs deeply. “You won’t quit until I agree, will you?”
“I’m afraid I’m pretty stubborn. You can ask my sergeant if you like.”
“Fine, give me your number and I’ll call you.”
I get up off the ground and pull my cell out of my pocket. “Give me yours. I have a feeling I won’t hear from you if I’m not the one calling.”
She has the decency to look a little ashamed. It’s clear I’ve sized up her plan.
I get her number and text her while she’s standing in front of me, just to make sure she didn’t give me a fake one. Once I hear the ping on her phone, I feel a little better about not keeping an eye on her until later.
“I’ll text you directions to the party, and don’t forget to bring your suit. It should be fun.”
She nods her head in agreement, but as she tries to step past me I reach out and lightly grab her fingers. I feel it again when our hands touch, and I look up from them into her eyes. When her chocolate brown eyes meet mine, I can see she feels it too. She may have tried to shake me off, but I can see the look on her face. I didn’t imagine it and neither did she.
With just that touch and a smile, she’s walking away from me, and I’m left in a fog.
A few minutes later Lucias is snapping his fingers in my face, and I’m struggling to remember what the fuck just happened.
A woman who has everything meets a man who can offer her nothing but trouble. They bring each other to a height of desire neither thought possible, but is it enough to overcome the differences that tear them apart?
Kate Champion, a forty-two-year-old, married mother of two, leads an enviable upper class life of luxury. Her comfortable path takes an unexpected detour after a chance encounter at a neighborhood playground.
Jaylee Inoa is a twenty-two-year-old, second generation New York Dominican with close ties to the Heights and the gangs that run them.
Her life of privilege is no match for the code of the streets he navigates with ease. When a crime of the heart leads to a crime in the flesh, how far will she go to redeem him? Can she risk all in her life that is golden for the love of her golden-eyed man?
Warning:Heights of Desire contains descriptions of: gang activity, graphic sex, violence, dubious consent, unprotected sex, infidelity, infidelity and more infidelity, questionable parenting and some dialogue in Spanish without translation.