|Released March 3, 2015
The two Falconer boys, Raphael and Michael, were named for the archangels. Lily Herald knows that they are anything but. At twenty-two, she married Raphael, the first Falconer boy. By twenty-five, she was divorced, having traded in her wedding ring for two near-fatal bullet wounds—the best damned trade of her life. No one, especially not Michael Falconer, knows why she’s returned home, to the place of so many shared and painful memories, but he’s determined to find out before she destroys what’s left of his family.
Michael bit back a curse as he turned to leave the café, but Katie called out, “You really love her, don’t you?”
He looked over his shoulder. “Yes, I do.”
“Good.” Katie’s smile was unsteady, but it held. “Maybe I had someone like you after Raphael left me, I might have been okay too.”
“Does that mean you’ll tell me what Raphael did to Lily?”
She shook her head. “I don’t know what Raphael did to Lily. She didn’t tell me.”
“But that day, in the café—”
“When Lily and Anna fought? I told Lily what Raphael did to me. I thought she might understand. She did.” Her fingers twisted the hem of her T-shirt into a knot. “I needed someone to talk to, after all these years.”
Michael’s jaw dropped. “You haven’t told anyone? Not even your sister?” Katie shook her head. “I couldn’t.” She swallowed hard. “Raphael doesn’t hit. He doesn’t shout. What he does, it breaks you, on the inside. I couldn’t tell anyone; Raphael said no one would ever believe me, and he was right.”
“We would have believed you.”
“Would you?” Katie raised her gaze to Michael. “Didn’t you, like everyone else, once think that Lily must have done something terrible for Raphael to shoot her?”
She turned her face away. “Sit down, Michael, I’ll tell you what he did to me, and maybe it will help you reach Lily.”
|Released May 5, 2015
Aspiring actress Ariel Falconer is out of dreams. Disillusioned and burned-out, she heads on a lavish, all-expense-paid vacation, determined to enjoy herself one last time before facing up to the fact that life has dealt her a big flat zero.
Professional beach volleyball player Jake Hunter is full of dreams. He holds a winning hand, but only if he can find a wealthy sponsor to finance his modest lifestyle while he trains for Olympic gold.
Their mutual attraction is immediate and scorching, but neither is ready for the emotional complications of false impressions and clashing expectations. Can Ariel and Jake escape unscathed, or will their conflict shatter their dreams and the promise of love?
“No, he’s not in a relationship of any sort.”
“Good, keep going.”
“He’s not looking for a relationship of any sort.”
“Well, neither were you, right?”
“Right,” Ariel said.
“So, no complications?”
The claw digging into her heart ripped a half-sob out of her.
Noelle’s eyes widened. “Oh my God.” She hustled Ariel into the ladies bathroom, which was mercifully empty. “What happened? What did he do to you?”
Ariel blinked back the tears that stung her eyes. “He thought I was rich.”
“He was looking for a sugar mama.”
Ariel said nothing.
Noelle tipped her chin up. “The Ariel I know would have thought it all hilariously funny. You’d have found a way to gently refuse him without damaging his ego— the way you turn down all those marriage proposals from men drinking their heartache away. So what’s different this time?”
“I thought he was different.” Ariel leaned against the sink. “He had big dreams, and he would never let anything get in their way, but he seemed to understand me. He helped me realize that my dreams were different from what I enjoyed doing.” She sniffled. “I wanted to be an actress, but auditions always made me panicky, which is probably why I flubbed every single one of them. I hated acting; I hated the pressure of having to say the right thing and do the right thing under the spotlight. He helped me realize how much I enjoyed the stuff I was already doing, like surprising people with mixed drinks that were just exactly what they wanted, and listening to people talk and learning about the world from them. He said I would probably enjoy bartending, and he was right. I do enjoy bartending. I always did; I just didn’t realize it until he told me.”
“And then you started falling in love with him, didn’t you?” Noelle finished quietly.
Jade Kerrion defied (or leveraged, depending on your point of view) her undergraduate degrees in Biology and Philosophy, as well as her MBA, to launch her second (and concurrent) career as an award-winning science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance author. Her debut novel, Perfection Unleashed, won six literary awards and launched the Double Helix series, which should be read in order for maximum enjoyment. (Hang in there for the happy ending…) Life Shocks Romances features her sweet and sexy contemporary romance series. She writes at 3:00 am when her husband and three sons are asleep, and aspires to make her readers as sleep-deprived as she is. She is the Executive Vice President of the Florida Writers Association, and the Regional Director for Miami-Dade and Broward counties. McSill Literary Agency represents Portuguese rights for her Double Helix series in Brazil.