Saturday, October 7, 2017

Saturday's Series Spotlight: Whyborne & Griffin by Jordan L Hawk Part 2

Undertow #8.5
Note: This novella takes place at the same time as events in Fallow (Whyborne & Griffin 8).

Shy secretary Maggie Parkhurst knows there’s nothing special about her. She’s neither sorceress, nor fighter, nor scholar. What could she possibly have to offer Persephone, the chieftess of the inhuman ketoi—and the woman Maggie’s fallen in love with?

After Maggie’s friend Irene goes missing under mysterious circumstances, she has no choice but to turn to Persephone for help. When the trail leads to a shadowy acting troupe, they discover a plot that stretches much farther than a single vanished woman.

But when a dark truth is revealed, Maggie must choose between a man from her past…and the impossible yearnings of her heart.

Draakenwood #9
Someone is killing members of the old families…and the evidence points to Whyborne.

Widdershins has been unusually quiet for months. But now a mysterious creature from the Outside is on the loose, assassinating members of the town’s old families by draining their blood. Whyborne and Griffin set out to solve the mystery—but as the evidence piles up, the police begin to suspect Whyborne himself is the murderer.

Now Whyborne must both clear his name and stop the horrors the monster threatens to unleash. His only hope: an alliance with his old enemies the Endicotts.

Because something terrible lurks in the Draakenwood, and it will stop at nothing to seize control of the maelstrom itself.

Draakenwood is the ninth book in the Whyborne & Griffin series, where magic, mystery, and m/m romance collide with Victorian era America.

Undertow #8.5
Original Read February 2017:
First I just want to say I read this back in February and how in the world I never posted a review is beyond me but better late than never as the saying goes.  I don't often read F/F romances but it is most certainly not outside my comfort zone, honestly I really don't have a comfort zone as I read all kinds.  Simply put, Undertow is a brilliant addition to the Wyborne & Griffin universe.

I've been hoping for awhile now that Miss Parkurst would find someone to fill her heart, she's such a lovely character, shy and yet she has a spark about her that has been waiting to be ignited.  Some of you might think I'm saying one needs love to be strong, well I'm not although I do think we need love in our lives but it doesn't have to be of the signifigant other variety but sometimes we need love to show us that we are capable of so much more in life.  Anywho, the magic between Miss Parkurst and Persephone is beautifully written as befitting the W&G world that Jordan L Hawk has created.  And, yes I know that Miss Parkhurst's first name is Maggie but in my mind she will always be Miss Parkhurst.

Undertow is a wonderful novella that is set at the same time as Fallow(#8) and since I forgot to review this when originally read it and have since read Draakenwood(#9) I can say if F/F romance is not really your cup of tea, you don't have to read it to follow the series.  Needless to say when Whyborne discovers his sister and his secretary during Draakenwood its wonderfully done and fitting of all three characters.  However, I highly recommend reading Undertow as it's a wonderful tale that made me smile and I can't imagine being a W&G fan and not reading Miss Parkhurst & Persephone's beginning.

Draakenwood #9
Original Review June 2017:
Who thought it possible that there could be more evil for Whyborne & Griffin to face?  Apparently Jordan L Hawk.  And what a world she has created centered around these two, Widdershins, and their ever growing circle of friends, family, and allies.  When I first stumbled upon this series, book 4 Necropolis had just been released and I had no idea how far the series would go, I can safely say that whether Miss Hawk writes one more or a hundred I'll be right here waiting to devour them all.

For me at least, it is very rare to find a series or even a standalone where the secondary characters not only factor into the tale but find myself loving them almost as much as the main characters.  Well that is what happens in the W&G series.  Christine and Iskander are by far my favorite but Persophone and Miss Parkhurst are definitely edging their way in too.  I never expected to find myself liking Whyborne's father but he is starting to grow on me and considering how he began it takes real talent to make him even partially redeemable.

Not wanting to give too much away I will say that one of my favorite moments in Draakenwood was when Whyborne called on others for help and the librarians appeared, just brilliant and I smiled so big I probably scared the neighbors as I was sitting in my front yard at the time.  Once again we learn just what it means when its said that "Widdershins knows its own" and we know when we have a brilliant piece of art in our hands.  If you are a fellow W&G lover than you don't want to miss out on the newest installment and if you have yet to begin, well now is the perfect time to start.


Undertow #8.5
Chapter 1
Something had left a dead squid on my windowsill.

I discovered the creature when I pulled back the curtains and found the squid staring at me with glassy eyes. An involuntary cry of surprise escaped my throat before I could think to suppress it.

The squid glistened wetly in the early October sun, its tentacles drooping sadly over the edge of the sill. How on earth had it gotten there?

I gingerly opened the window and was immediately assaulted by its smell. Waving my hand in front of my face, I leaned out, but found no ledges that might have allowed a cat to drag it up there. Perhaps an osprey had dropped it—or had they migrated south by now? An eagle, then? Did eagles even eat squid?

At any rate, the awful thing was here now, and it would only smell worse the longer I left it there. I retrieved a handkerchief and gingerly lifted it by one limp tentacle. It was unexpectedly heavy, and I nearly dropped it.

I could dispose of it in the household waste bin, but then Mrs. Yagoda would see and want to know where it came from. My landlady required her boarders to be quiet, modest, and above all not to bring the hint of anything unsettling into the house. The fact that it was hardly my fault the thing had showed up outside my room would hold little water with her. I’d have to try to get it out of the house without her noticing. To that end, I wrapped it in a bit of old newspaper and stuffed it into my pocketbook. The thing was so large, it barely fit.

As I stepped into the hall, I nearly collided with Irene Vale, who rented the room across from me. “Good morning, Maggie,” she said, her voice trailing off as she noticed me holding my pocketbook at arm’s length. Her dark brows drew together. “It something wrong?”

“It’s nothing,” I said quickly, feeling my face heat with embarrassment. I put the pocketbook on my arm and tried to ignore the smell that had already started to leak out.

“If you say so.” Irene didn’t press, thank heavens. “I was just coming to see if you were up. There’s a man waiting for you in the parlor.”

“A man?” I asked blankly.

“Yes.” She folded her arms and gave me a curious look. “I thought you said that Dr. Whyborne of yours was out of town.”

Now my face felt hot enough to boil tea. “It isn’t like that!” I exclaimed, although in truth I’d spent years hoping it would be exactly like that. I’d waited so long for him to act: confess his love, throw me over his desk, and have his way with me.

But then I’d met his sister, and now I didn’t even know what I felt anymore. Or rather, I did. I just didn’t know what to do about it.

Irene shrugged. “Whoever he is, you’d better speak to him quick, or else there won’t be any breakfast left.”

Puzzled as to who could possibly have come to see me, I hurried down the stairs to the parlor. The other women of the boarding house were already gathered in the dining room, and the smell of bacon and pancakes set my stomach to growling. I hoped there would be something left by the time I finished with my visitor.

I stepped into the parlor. A man close to my own age stood near the piano, running his fingers over the keys. His dark hair was neatly trimmed, and he wore a small mustache that made him seem older. He looked up at my entrance, and a smile spread over his boyish face. “Maggie Parkhurst. Don’t you look a sight?”

I pressed my hand to my chest in surprise. Unfortunately, it was the hand holding the pocketbook with the stinking squid. I hastily dropped it again. “Oliver?”

“In the flesh.” He laughed. “Sorry I didn’t let you know I was coming. I wanted it to be a surprise.”

“It is.” I embraced him, careful to hold the pocketbook at arm’s length. “It’s been so long!”

He grinned. “I’ve written you faithfully.”

“I know, but it isn’t the same.” Oliver and I had been inseparable as children. We’d grown up together; his father had been first mate on my father’s ship. The hours of our youth had been spent playing in each other’s households, while our mothers commiserated over their absent husbands.

That had all ended when the Bedlam sank in the icy waters of the Bering Sea. Our lives had changed overnight: our house lost, my brothers and myself forced to seek whatever employment we could find. Oliver had left New Bedford to make his fortune elsewhere. Our correspondence had grown sporadic, his missives postmarked from all across the country as he tried his hand at various positions.

None of the past’s hardship marked his easy smile now. “I stopped in New Bedford before coming here. Your mother sends her greetings.”

Warmth collected in my cheeks. Mother’s recent letters had been rather sharp, reminding me I was twenty-six years old and practically an old maid. Had she sent Oliver here as some sort of last resort, in the hopes childhood affection might turn to something more?

“Thank you,” I said. Then, to change the subject: “What brings you to Widdershins? Are you still selling billiard tables?”

“My sample case is by the door,” he replied. “It’s not the most exciting profession, but there are worse ways to earn a living.”

Irene appeared in the doorway. “Forgive me for interrupting, but breakfast is almost over, Maggie.”

“I’m so sorry—I’ve kept you from your meal,” Oliver said, taking a step toward the door.

“It’s no trouble,” I said. “Miss Irene Vale, may I present to you Mr. Oliver Young? We were childhood friends in New Bedford. Our fathers served together aboard the Bedlam.”

Irene offered him a smile. “A pleasure, Mr. Young. Have you come to visit Maggie?”

“I’m here on business,” he replied. “Though seeing Miss Parkhurst again has been a delight.”

I cursed my fair skin and tendency to blush. “Th-that’s kind of you, Oliver.”

“I shall take my leave for now.” He stepped toward the door, then stopped, as if an idea had just struck him. “Do you still enjoy the theater, Maggie?”

“Yes,” I said. When I could afford it, at least.

“I had no idea!” Irene exclaimed. “We’ll have to go see some vaudeville soon. Or, no—remember the new theater opening this week?”

“The Undertow.” The newspapers had been filled with excited speculation since the announcement was made. “Tomorrow night is their first performance.”

“Then we shall go,” Oliver said, beaming at us. “Miss Vale, would you care to join us?”

“I’d love to.”

“Then I take my farewell of you both, until tomorrow night,” he said with a small bow.

I saw him to the door. As I shut it behind him, Irene said, “He seems a pleasant fellow.”

“He is. Perfectly pleasant.” And just the sort of fellow my mother would be thrilled to see me marry.

Irene looked as though she might say something else…then frowned. “I say, Maggie,” she said, pointing to the tentacle now dangling limply from my pocketbook, “what on earth is that?”

~ * ~

That night, I woke to the sound of something at my window.

I sat up and squinted groggily. Was that a shape moving on the other side of the curtains? I’d assumed the squid I’d found that morning had been dropped by an eagle, but what if there was something unnatural prowling around instead?

The dead squid had embarrassed me in front of Irene and ruined my favorite pocketbook. If some creature had dropped it while skulking about, I’d make it regret coming to my window. Ever since the rat thing had attacked me in the middle of the night last summer, I’d taken to sleeping with a knife under my pillow. I pulled it out and slid from beneath the covers. Gripping the hilt tightly, I walked to the window and threw back the curtain.

And barely bit back a shriek at the pale face staring in at me.

The night candle on the bedside table burst into spontaneous flame. The golden glow revealed a creature whose pale white skin was marked with dark blue swirls, like some barbarian war paint. Fins jutted from her arms and legs, and the claws tipping fingers and toes clung to the house’s wood siding. A host of slender tendrils squirmed around her face in place of hair, and her grin revealed row after row of shark’s teeth.

Oh, thank heavens. Nothing to be afraid of after all.

“Persephone?” I put down the knife and hastened to open the window. “You scared me half to death.”

She clambered in and straightened to her full height. I couldn’t help but drink in the sight of her. She was taller than me, her body all lean muscle—which I could see quite clearly, as she wore a sort of knotted skirt of gold mesh, golden armbands, a necklace bedecked with pearls and coral, earrings, and absolutely nothing else. Her curves weren’t terribly feminine, her breasts only slightly more pronounced than a boy’s, her hips narrow. Her feet were more like a frog’s than anything human, the toes long and webbed, making her gait on land an awkward one.

She was so beautiful. Like some fae creature out of a story, risen from the depths of the sea. Powerful and strong and impossibly strange.

In one hand, she clutched a sort of bag made from woven strands of kelp. “I’m sorry, Maggie. I didn’t mean to frighten you.”

“It’s quite all right.” I glanced at the window. “Something dropped or left a squid outside my window last night, and for a minute I was afraid it had come back.”

“Oh?” she asked. Her fingers tightened around the bag she held. “How was the squid?”

I shuddered. “Dreadful. I had to conceal it in my pocketbook, and a tentacle fell out in front of one of my friends, and then it oozed all over my things. It was horrid.”

Persephone’s eyes widened. “Yes. Horrid.” She flung the kelp bag out the open window. There came a faint crash from the garden below.

Mystified, I looked from the window to her and back. “What…what was in the bag?”

“Nothing.” Her hair lashed around her shoulders. “Nothing at all.”

“Um, all right,” I said.

“Did you see me light the candle?” she added hurriedly. “I don’t have the chance to practice with fire often.”

“Oh! Right. Because you live in the ocean.” Oh heavens, I sounded like an idiot. “Would you, um, like to sit down? I’m not really supposed to have visitors in my room, but so long as we’re quiet, my landlady won’t know.”

The rule was meant to apply to men, of course, but I didn’t think Mrs. Yagoda would view a shark woman as respectable company. Even if Persephone was some sort of chieftess among her people.

I’d been a bit intimidated by her, when we’d first met. But we’d spent time together, arranging the decorations for Dr. Putnam-Barnett’s wedding. Affixing the flowers I’d selected to the pearls and shells Persephone brought. We’d joked together as we worked, and she sang in the language of her people to help pass the time. Sings Above the Waves was their name for her, and we’d taught each other little ditties and made each other laugh.

I missed that. I missed her.

I perched on the edge of my bed, feeling even more awkward than usual. Rather than taking the chair as I expected, Persephone sat beside me, her hair slowly twining about her shoulders. I remembered what it had felt like, when I touched it once. The questing tendrils had wrapped around my wrist and fingers, oddly firm against my bare skin.

My throat tightened, and a familiar warmth collected between my thighs. I’d spent nights lying awake, wondering if there was something wrong with me, to want her so. She was a woman, but more than that, she wasn’t even human. Or not fully, at least. And yet she stirred my passions in a way no one else ever had. I couldn’t stop myself from imagining…

I hastily directed my gaze to the candle and tried to think of something, anything, else. “So, what brings you here?”

“I was nearby,” she said, with a wave of her hand, as if she frequently wandered the streets at night. Perhaps she did. “I thought I’d make certain my brother gave you the summoning stone.”

“H-he did. Yes.” Heat burned my cheeks. I hadn’t been sure what to think, when Dr. Whyborne handed it to me. Had Persephone given it to me because we were friends? Or…?

I was far too aware of her nearness. Her thighs looked so strong; how would they feel beneath my hands? My nipples tightened, and I desperately wished I’d put on a robe over my Mother Hubbard nightgown.

“You remind me of a cuttlefish.”

Well, that certainly killed any ardor. “Oh,” I said. “That’s…something.”

She grinned and leaned closer. One tentacle caught a lock of my hair and tugged on it playfully. “They turn different colors. And sometimes, when I talk to you, you turn pink.”

I wanted the earth to open up and swallow me. “Yes,” Persephone said brightly. “Just like that!”

“A friend of mine is visiting Widdershins,” I blurted, desperate to distract her before she started asking me why I had so much trouble controlling my blushes in front of her. “We grew up together, but we drifted apart somewhat after our fathers died.”

“Your father is dead? I’m sorry. I didn’t know.” She shifted closer to me, her shoulder resting against mine. “What happened?”

“His ship was lost at sea.”

She nodded gravely. “Do you miss him?”

The question caught me off guard. “I…yes.” I swallowed. “It’s odd, the things I remember about him. How he used to sing sea ballads in the evening, while smoking his pipe.”

Persephone made a noncommittal sound. Then a sly smile curled up the corner of her mouth. “Did he sing well?”

“Yes,” I replied cautiously.

“Better than you, then? Because you can’t—how do you say it? Carry a tune in a bucket?”

“You wretch!” I snatched up the pillow and smacked her with it. “Take that back at once!”

Persephone laughed and made her own grab for the pillow. We wrestled for it a moment, but she was much stronger than I. Within seconds, she had me pinned beneath her on the bed.

“Surrender?” she asked.

My heart began to race at the feel of her weight on me. Her scent, of the clean ocean wind, saturated my senses. The skin of my wrists burned where she held me down, and it was all I could do not to writhe against her for the sheer, wanton pleasure of it. Mad thoughts chased one another through my head, clamoring louder and louder.

She went still. The brown of her irises shrank to a thin ring. Her lips parted, and for a moment she seemed uncertain.

“Maggie,” she began.

The stairs at the end of the hall creaked.

We both fell silent. The stairs creaked again, and I heard a heavy tread making its way up.

“My landlady,” I gasped. “Quick—back out the window.”

Persephone scrambled off of me and to the window, even as the sound of steps reached the landing. Once there, she paused. Her fingers tightened on the wood, leaving score marks on the sill. “Use the stone if you wish to speak with me. Whenever you like. I’ll come.”

Then she was gone.

I shut the window, blew out the night candle, and flung myself into bed. Barely a moment later, I heard Mrs. Yagoda stop in the hall outside. I knew she listened for the sound of voices.

Had she overheard us? Or stepped out into the garden to investigate the crash, and seen the candlelight in my room? That seemed more likely, as I couldn’t imagine our voices had carried two floors down and yet miraculously awakened no one else.

After several minutes, the shuffling footsteps started back up, retreating down the hall and thence down the stairs. I let out a sigh of relief.

Curse Mrs. Yagoda for interrupting.

Years ago, back in New Bedford, I’d told my best friend Dottie I had to leave town, to find work. She’d begged me to stay…and then kissed me.

I’d sat frozen in shock, unable to return the gesture. She’d fled, weeping, and had never answered any of the letters I sent once I settled in Widdershins.

If Persephone kissed me, I rather thought I’d kiss her back.

Author Bio:
Jordan L. Hawk grew up in the wilds of North Carolina, where she was raised on stories of haints and mountain magic by her bootlegging granny and single mother. After using a silver knife in the light of a full moon to summon her true love, she turned her talents to spinning tales. She weaves together couples who need to fall in love, then throws in some evil sorcerers and undead just to make sure they want it bad enough. In Jordan’s world, love might conquer all, but it just as easily could end up in the grave.


Undertow #8.5

Draakenwood #9


Release Tour: Her Lie His Truth by Monika Summerville

Title: Her Lie, His Truth
Author: Monika Summervile
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Erotic Thriller
Release Date: September 27, 2017
Publisher: Siren Publishing
Seven years ago, as a parishioner of The Sanctuary of the Prophet, Kara King was asked by the administrators to help set up a journalist who’d been writing slanderous articles about their organization. They told her that the man had drug problems and abused women. At the age of twenty, Kara agreed to assist.

Seven years later she sees Jim Hollis, again. He just got out of prison for a rape and beating he didn’t commit. All he wants is the truth and will pull out all the stops to get it. Even lie to Kara.

With his brother’s help, Jim kidnaps Kara and begins trying to convince her that The Sanctuary has lied to her. Their Prophet is dead and they used her as a puppet.

Kara comes around and tells Jim everything that happened seven years ago. She also knows the administrators kept a file about what went on and if she can get that it would clear Jim’s name and overturn his conviction. 

Will Jim be able to get Kara to tell the truth or will the lies mess up any chance for them at life?

“I know you lied.”

Kara heard a male voice behind her and turned. He stood only a foot away from her, but she’d know him anywhere. His face looked different now that he wore a beard, but she still recognized him.

Moving her chin up, she felt a frown on her lips. “I’m sorry, can I help you?”

The dark haired, blue-eyed man stared at her. “Come now, Kara. Let’s not play games.”

“Do I know you?”

“Only in the Biblical way. Your hair color is different, but I know it’s you because your green eyes haven’t changed. I spent seven years in prison because of you.”

She took a step back from the man. “I’m sorry, but I don’t know you.”

“You were a liar then and you’re still lying now. We can’t change what happened seven years ago, but I can get you to tell the truth now.”

Author Bio:
Monika Summerville is an avid reader, loves good tense movies, and works hard on her writing. She lives in Western Washington State with her four cats, Agamemnon, Tazmania, Jasper and Jericho.

She has written The Risky Dance series - A Risky Dance, A Lost Dance, and A Flame Dance and Midnight Weary for Siren BookStrand.


Brought to you by:

Book Blitz: This Baby Business by Heatherly Bell

Title: This Baby Business
Author: Heatherly Bell
Series: Heroes of Fortune Valley
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Release Date: October 1, 2017
Publisher: Harlequin
Strictly business…or is it?

Air force pilot Levi Lambert has seen plenty of danger—but his infant daughter might be the death of him. Fortunately, Levi’s found the answer to his sleep-deprived prayers: his next-door neighbor! Carly Gilmore is willing to be his nanny…until a small white lie turns their arrangement from business to very personal. The fake engagement was intended to keep Levi from losing custody of his baby girl, but is causing all sorts of new problems. Not only does Carly attract trouble like bees to honey, but there’s the little matter of Levi’s smokin’-hot attraction to her. The last thing he needs is to fall in love…

“Why? T-that’s ridiculous. She’s perfectly safe.”

“They don’t see me as the brightest example of fatherhood. Maybe I’m not, you know, but I’m trying. I’ve already done a lot that’s been asked of me. I left the air force and settled down in Fortune. I have ties to the community. I’ve got a job. A house. But to Sandy’s parents, it’s all done for show.”

“What are you going to do?”

He opened his mouth, then shut it again. “Whatever it takes.”


“I sent Sandy’s stepmother an email earlier today. She emailed me back to say that they’re flying out here on Wednesday. So we’re going to meet at the park the next day, and I’m bringing Grace. She wants to see her, make sure she’s okay. She seems reasonable. Maybe we can talk this out and come to a logical conclusion.”

He acted as though he were talking about the weather. The last time she couldn’t find Double Stuf Oreos at the store, she’d been more upset than he seemed at the moment.

 “I think you’re smart to let her see Grace. Once she sees how well Grace is doing, she’ll back off.”


“I’ll do anything you need. Be a character witness for you. Tell them how much you love her. How she follows your voice and she knows you. She wouldn’t do well without you.” She got teary just talking about this. “And I won’t mention all the crying she does.”

Just the thought of Grace and Levi being ripped apart, and she was near tears. What a sap. But simply put, poor Grace couldn’t also lose her father. She’d already lost her mother so young.

“Sometimes you’re the only thing that keeps me grounded,” Levi said, shoving a hand through his hair.

It was left mussed, sticking up slightly, and her pulse kicked up at seeing him look so…defenseless.


The thought that she could do that for him meant more to her than it probably should.

“Babe, you have to know that you drive me crazy.” He gave her an easy smile. “In the good way.”

She sucked in a breath but didn’t speak. It seemed they’d just crossed some kind of invisible line. Babe. No point in ignoring the obvious. They liked kissing each other. And maybe they’d like a few other things, too.

He crooked his finger.

She went to him like a cat to catnip and allowed him to pull her onto his lap. Her short floral skater skirt rose to indecent heights as she straddled him. He took full advantage, hands skimming up her bare thighs.

 “So soft,” he said in a low and throaty tone.

His voice, deep and gravelly, had her nipples hard. Carly nipped at his lower lip, earning a very male groan from him.

His gaze heated. “That’s hot.”

Levi kissed her, his wicked tongue warm and wet. His hand dived under her T-shirt, sliding up and down her spine, settling at the small of her back. She lost her head and rocked her hips against the bulge in his pants. That pulled an even rougher, more erotic sound out of him, and his hands lowered to tighten on her hips.

Author Bio:
Heatherly Bell drinks copious amounts of coffee, craves cupcakes, and occasionally wears real pants.



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Cover Revel: Unacquainted by Leigh Lennon

Title: Unacquainted
Author: Leigh Lennon
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Expected Release Date: October 20, 2017
One night was all I could offer to a man I barely knew. I intended to return to my perfectly planned life, but now he is back, and with him the reminder of the irrefutable connection we shared.

It’s still there.

I crave him.

One night may unravel my perfect plans as I find myself at a crossroad between security and desire.

One night, that was all she could give me. Yet here I am back in her life as fate has intervened. When I first saw her in that form-fitting red silky dress,

I was captivated.

She owns my heart.

As I set out to make her mine, she has to choose between her past and future. I don’t think I will survive if her choice isn't me.

“Really, Brody? I’m going to look hideous in this. I’m not this Skinny Minnie like Jane or Lila.” I’m tall, taking after my dad and not my mom. A size two would not look right on my five-foot-ten frame. Brody looks at me with an amused look on his face.

“Rose, you forget I have seen you naked, I think you can pull it off just fine.”

“You are telling me this was all they had?”

“It’s February, slim pickings.” Pleading the fifth, his smile is not fooling me.

“Oh, sure, whatever. Let me hop in the shower. I should have made you wear a speedo.”

“Sorry, they certainly didn’t have any of those, either.” Giving me the rest of what I have asked for, he continues with a cocky grin. “Listen, I will wait for you and we can go down together. When we are done we can get cleaned up and order a pizza and some beer, or sorry, OJ.”

When we near the pool, I take my jacket off and Brody stops in his tracks. I see he is technically walking forward, but is turned around watching me. When he gets closer to the pool, I don’t say a word and just stand there, waiting for him to fall in the pool, which he does. I can’t stop laughing at him when he’s standing in the pool, shaking the excess water out of his hair. He swims over to the side where I am standing, places his hands on the cement and looks at me. “Never doubt how good you look, you single-handedly are responsible for my fall in this water.”

“Are you all right?” I’m still laughing.

“Yes, the ego is just a tad bruised.” Pulling himself out of the water, he comes up behind me and puts his arms around my waist, touching my stomach. “I’m sorry, I’m just trying to find a way to touch your belly. Rose, I feel close to you and very comfortable with you.”

I see him watching every move I make when I walk down the steps to the pool. “Hey, Brody, this is the way you get in the pool,” I tease.

I see something on his face and kidding time is over. He jumps in, swimming next to me, pulling me in for a hug. “The second I found out you were carrying my baby, I realized how that bond could connect two people.”

“I know what you mean,” I say as he backs away from me, giving me the space he has promised.

After swimming for a little bit, we sit on the steps of the pool as Brody watches me with an intense longing. I do want him.


When we stop a couple of hours up the road to fill up my tank, she asks me to get her a bag of Skittles. “Ah, you have a little sweet tooth about you,” I tease.

When we get back on the freeway, I notice she has poured all her Skittles out on her lap into a handkerchief I assume she had in her purse. “What in the world are you doing, Toots?” I ask.

Looking at me, she only smiles. “I have to eat my Skittles in color order,” she says as if this is common sense.

“And what is color order?” I ask, not knowing there is indeed an etiquette to eating Skittles.

“It’s rainbow order, silly. Red first, then orange, yellow, green, blue and purple.” She scoffs at me and I’m not sure how to even respond to her. My girl is a little quirky. Quirky has never bothered me before.

“Well, now that I know I have been doing it wrong all these years, I will be following suit, Toots,” I tease but she doesn’t say much, just smiles at me while she eats all the red Skittles, one at a time, before moving onto the next color.


After her Skittles are eaten, she falls asleep in my passenger seat. She is beautiful, with full breasts, luscious lips and dark skin. No denying the looks make her attractive but there is a connection I can’t deny, not that I want to.

As she stirs, I say, “Well, we made good time so let’s stop.”

Rose stretches, looking at the hotel I have pulled into. “Wow, Brody. I didn’t think it was possible but this hotel matches your car.” The truth is money is tight so I need something as inexpensive as possible. Plus, I feel I should pay for Rose’s room.

“Okay, now that hurts, Toots,” I say, trying to feign a look of hurt. She has given me notice on my car, but it has been a good car that I wanted to keep for another year, though I understand her worries concerning our child.

As we attempt to secure our rooms, we start fighting in the front office about the bill. “This was my idea, I am paying for this, Rose.”

“No, you are not,” Rose says, as it is apparent that the man behind the counter doesn’t enjoy the time our disagreement is taking.

He finally says, “I don’t care who pays, but I have Wheel of Fortune to get back to so you both stop squabbling about. I tell you what, this whole women’s lib business, she wants to pay, let her pay. That will teach them.”

I immediately am overprotective with the harsh words he uses toward Rose. When she gently touches my arm, she simply says, “Thanks so much for seeing my side, sir. Case settled, Brody.”

However, the guy behind the counter deserves something for his rude comments and I quickly grin, looking at Rose as I say, “But can you please not chain me up and beat me when we get back to the room as you hammer me into submission?”

The guy gives me a dirty look as he retreats into his back office to the cheers of the studio audience of Wheel of Fortune.

“That was cruel, Brody,” Rose says, playfully hitting me, although she laughs.

“No, it wasn’t, he was a dick.”

Unfiltered #1
I never will get my happy ending. With my past threatening to ruin the possibility of love in my future, I keep every man at arm’s length. Nick appears out of thin air, becoming a part of my life instantly, leaving me breathless and wanting more. The pain that haunts me is still present, but Nick is worth the risk. When he promises me forever; can I trust him?

Justine makes me see that a forever is in reach with her. She keeps telling me she is hard to love; yet I find it quite easy. Once I break down her walls, she finally lets me in. But, I have a secret of my own which can expose her to the demons that destroyed me in the past. However, with Justine, I will do anything and everything to make her mine.

Leigh Lennon
Author Bio:
Leigh Lennon is mother, veteran and a wife of a cancer survivor. Originally with a degree in education, she started writing as an outlet that has led a deep passion as she wrote twelve books. Now ready to publish all of them, she lugs her computer with her as she crafts her next story. She can be found drinking coffee or wine, depending on the time of the day.


Unacquainted #2

Unfiltered #1

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