Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Fevered Hearts by Em Petrova is Now Available & Reviewed

When faced with a challenge, it’s best to pool your resources.

Liam Mattson used to play his wife’s body like a fine violin. Until a logging accident dampened his fine motor skills and rendered his legs—and the most important part of his below-the-waist playground—useless.

If only Liam would throw himself into therapy with the same vigor he used to throw her into bed, Ivy is sure he’d fully recover. But lately she’s felt adrift, while he’s stuck in self-pity and pre-occupation with a serious threat to his logging business.

When Ward Bose returns from the backwoods, Liam isn’t blind to the heated, guilty glances between his best friend and his wife. And he takes a step he never could have taken if his legs were working—ask Ward to service Ivy in bed.

The moment the three come together, Ward’s heartstrings are tied in knots, and Liam holds them in his fist. But secrets they’re each keeping could tear them all apart…unless they can find a way to share their burdens as easily as they share their love.

Warning: Men who wield big saws know how to care of business—in bed and out.

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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

4.5 Stars
This is the first ménage book I've read that had a disability in it, but also the first one that really truly worked for me when it comes to a married couple adding a third.

The two men had a past that had blown up, but when they meet again all the feelings are still there not to mention they are both hot for Liam's wife, Ivy.

The way the story played out was really interesting, there were twists and turns along the way that kept me flipping the pages, not to mention the chemistry between the three of them... Whew.

Although I can say that I wished there were more scenes between the men to show that they were committed to each other, not just through the past, but even with Ivy around. I've also never heard of a bailiff wearing suits, so I think they was likely an oversight by the author. And I highly doubt after a year of no therapy someone would advance as fast as Liam seemed to (or that he'd still have rippling abs).

However, I can say these were all little things and in the grand scheme of things, the book was really great and I can't wait to read more from this author.

Liam and Ivy used to have a hot sex life, until his accident. Life was really good until the accident and almost a year later things are slowly moving downhill. Liam refuses to go to therapy and Ivy feels neglected. When Liam’s best friend Ward comes back to town there is no hiding that Ward is attracted to Ivy and Ivy is just as attracted. Liam comes up with an idea to hopefully make everyone happy. What Ivy doesn’t know is there are things between Ward and Liam and their past that Liam hasn’t told her about. Once Ivy finds out it could end everything. Throw in a crazy drama with the logging business and you have one good story. The hotness is the bedroom was amazing; Em Petrova does a fine job with those scenes. I highly recommend this book if you are a fan of threesomes done right.

Characters: The characters were well written and believable.
Sex: Yes
Religious: No
Would I recommend to others: Yes
More than one book in the series: No
Genre: M/F/M/Romance
Would I read more by this author: Yes

Mary Jo☆☆☆☆
This book is about more than just disability and romance. It’s about love in all its forms and how people who love each other tackle the obstacles life throws at them.

Liam and Ivy have been married for years and their lives change forever. More than a year after the accident, Liam is still feeling sorry for himself and pushing his beloved wife aside. Ivy is tired. Tired of being pushed away, tired of being strong and tired of being alone in a marriage, Ivy doesn't know what her next move will be. All she knows is that she can't go on like this.

Ward is back in town after living in California for almost a decade. He's surprised to learn of Liam's injury and when he meets Ivy he feels a spark of desire he hasn't felt since he and Liam were together.

I hope that the author writes more about the journey the three are on.

The premise of the story was good. Liam and Ivy are married but Liam was in an accident and is wheelchair bound. Liam is very negative and so afraid of failure he doesn't even try therapy to see if he can learn to walk again. When Liam's best friend Ward comes back into Liam's life he decides to bring Ward into his marriage to help satisfy his wife's need for intimacy.

Early on in the story I was annoyed with the way that the men decided that Ward should see to Ivy's sexual needs without consulting her. I found this incredibly sexist and I was so infuriated I had to take a break from reading.

I enjoyed the relationship between each of the three characters and that we get the story from the point of view of each of them. Each character is also dealing with issues of their own which added a little more meat to the storyline. Fevered Hearts didn't reach any emotional highs for me but I did enjoyed reading it. If you are a ménage fan I'd recommend Fevered Hearts.

Em Petrova lives in Backwoods, Pennsylvania, where she raises four kids and a Labradoodle named Daisy Hasselhoff. Her dream is to buy an old pickup and travel small-town USA meeting people and hearing their stories. Her heroes are hardworking—in bed and out—and she is known for panty-scorching erotic romance.

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Cover Reveal – quintessence. by Sarah Buhl

Think about a time in your life when everything was perfect, and it felt as though nothing could go wrong. Life fell into planned alignment. All of the ideas and hopes held most important organized as books on a shelf. Each book held a title bearing a phase in life and within its pages laid the plan for the future.

Now imagine life throwing something at that shelf—everything planned, everything hoped for, everything organized, now turning over as the shelf falls to the floor.

Fear of the unknown replaces the hope for a perfect future.

Karl Samson is not a stranger to roadblocks and disruptions in life. Having for a time let them consume his thoughts, he now lives life learning from his trials. He is the guy everyone thinks is a little off, even though his friends love him for it. He is the one helping others. He didn’t set out one day to find love—he was doing what he usually did.

Maggie Presley achieves, and that is what she is known for—her determination to move ahead. Then, she is faced with something even the most meticulous planner could not foresee. Maggie believed she knew what life held for her because she could create her future. However, life had other plans, and she learns that even the worst of circumstances have unexpected outcomes after you are reminded of life’s beauty. This is a story of life and how sometimes it takes a reorganization of shelves to find the future. It’s a story of love found even during the darkest points in life.

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Book 3
Coming May 12th


We sat in silence for a time as we both turned our swings around. I stopped mine and just watched her. I watched as she pulled my pieces into alignment, waiting to be sewn all the way together.

“Come here,” I said, putting my hand toward her as I stood from my swing.

I walked us to the merry go round and climbed on it. I stopped her in the center. “Okay, wrap your leg around there to balance yourself. Does that feel okay?” I asked, and she smiled at me with a nod.

“Now, just yell if I need to stop,” I said.

I jumped down and started to spin the merry go round. I didn’t run, but I used my upper body strength to get it into motion. I didn’t want to go too fast, but I also wanted to watch her.

She began with her hands on her face and her head tilted back, closed eyes to the sky. “I love this feeling,” she said and her voice became muffled by her mittens. She laughed into her hands and it was the most monumental thing I’d seen.

“Put your hands out, Maggie,” I said, and she laughed louder as she dropped her hands to let them trace across the air that spun around her. Though the bottom half of her didn’t move, she let her hands dance across the wind.

As I slowed the motion of the merry go round down, she kept her hands still. She kept them out stretched, her fingers spread wide, and she dropped her chin, giving me a majestic smile.

“That was so much fun. Thank you.”

“You are most welcome, Maggie.”

“I think that’s a healing moment,” she said, as she unwound her leg from the center bar. She stepped to the edge by me and wrapped her arms around my neck. “Yes, this is a healing one.”

She breathed in and let out a deep sigh and I heard the tears in the sigh. “I just want to find my present tense, too,” she said.

“You will—be patient. Let it happen and stop resisting it. That’s something I learned. Remember what the Borg said about resistance on Star Trek, right?” I laughed.

“It’s futile, I know,” she said with a laugh as she released our hug, but kept her hands on my shoulders. “I will stop, and just let it happen. I will allow my present tense to come. That’s my homework—present tense and personal space?”

“Yes, that’s your homework. If you can’t do what you’ve always done, you just try something new or you try doing it a different way. Get creative. I know you can,” I said with a pinch to her chin.

“Will do,” she said, and leaned in and kissed my cheek. She breathed in deep when she felt me tense at the motion. My fingers tightened on her forearms as my eyes closed. It was the closest I had been with a woman since I was home after my second deployment. I forgot what it felt like to be touched and intimate with another person. I had kept it at bay, scared of how I’d react.

She let go of me and smiled. I read in her smile that she didn’t feel the moment or the intensity I did. She looked at me with the innocent smile a friend shares.

Also Available in the Böhme Series

Book 1
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Book 2
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Nobody’s Angel by Sarah Hegger Blog Tour

In this evocative new series from author Sarah Hegger, a woman returns home after a long absence—and wonders if two wrongs really can make a right...

Nine years ago Lucy Flint ran away to Seattle, taking her friend's boyfriend and leaving her high school sweetheart without a word of explanation. Now she's back in Willow Park, Illinois, to help care for her ailing father—and it's no surprise that her ex, Dr. Richard Hunter, is still angry.

Still, she's a different Lucy now. Sober, wiser, ready to make amends to the long—make that very long—list of those she mistreated during her wild younger days. Falling for Richard all over again would mean wreaking havoc in both their lives and possibly squandering her opportunity for redemption. But here, in the place where everything went wrong, is the one person who always felt right, and a second-chance that could be the best mistake she ever made...

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“For Christ’s sake.” Lucy leapt back a step as the door was suddenly yanked open. “Are you going to stand there all night?”

And she got her first good look at Richard. Her tongue got glued to the top of her mouth as she stood on his doorstep and stared. Holy Mary, Mother of God, but he looked good. He’d been a handsome boy, but he was so much more now. Her gaze roamed over features that had hardened around the edges, having lost the softer fullness of youth and been replaced by sharply hewn angles. His mouth was still the same, only the lines bracketing it were deeper. It was a stern mouth, but it always seemed to look as if there were a smile waiting to appear.

Except for now.

Now, it was drawn into a single, harsh line. Lucy realized he stood there and glared at her, his eyes colder than the February weather.

“My mother sent over some of her soup.” Lucy lifted the container to show him. Soup sloshed convincingly against the sides.

“Tell her thank you, from me.” His voice sounded a bit deeper and more gravelly. Or perhaps that was because he was thoroughly pissed off. It was still a great voice. She used to call him up just to hear him say her name. His father had been from Willow Park and his mother French Canadian. The accents mixed in Richard’s single-malt baritone like old friends. She wondered if his voice would still caress the two syllables of her name like a lover. Not likely, if the look arcing her way was any indication.

He reached out.

Lucy almost leapt back again before she realized he was going for the soup. Damn.

He raised an eyebrow at her and she gave him the soup. She felt stupider by the second.

He stepped into the house again and the door started to shut. “Um.”

“Yes?” Richard glared at her.

“May I come in?”
She could see him mentally battling that one. Richard had the manners his father ground into him and the natural chivalry of a born gentleman. He wanted to slam the door in her face. She could read it in his white-knuckled grip on the wood, but his good twin wouldn’t let him do it. With a grudging nod, he stepped back and made a brusque motion with his hand for her to enter.

He turned and strode down the corridor and Lucy trailed him obediently.

His jeans were old and worn, but they clung to his thighs and butt in a way she would have to be three weeks dead not to notice. Lucy stepped into the bright light of a kitchen and gulped.

A white, long-sleeved T-shirt molded his body in all the right places. This might have been easier if he’d had the decency to grow the smallest paunch or perhaps be losing his hair. But no, Richard looked better than ever and angrier than hell. Lucy realized she was stretching even his legendary gallantry to the breaking point.

“I offered to bring the soup round because I wanted the chance to speak to you.”

He crossed his arms over his chest.

“I wanted to apologize for . . . um . . . the thing with my car door. Out there in the storm. I didn’t see you until it was too late.” Silence descended between them. Lucy could hear the soft tick of the kitchen clock behind her.

“Is that it?” His eyes were like a shark’s, all relentless focus and no leeway.

“No,” she responded carefully. “But I might be here for a while.” He started looking murderous. “I’m here to help my mother and I thought it best to break the ice, so to speak.”

Not a flicker, not a twitch, just the same hostile silence.

“Break the ice.” She motioned the snow and ice outside the window and attempted a light laugh. “Anyway . . .” She cleared her throat when she got nothing. “We got off to a bad start and I wanted to apologize.”

There, that wasn’t so bad. She could do the adult thing, even with her heart going like a jackhammer inside her chest.

“You came over here to apologize for us getting off to a bad start?”

“Yes,” Lucy said, nodding. “I thought we could be civil, maybe, for the time that I’m here.”

The silence in the kitchen hung heavy.

“You did, did you?” he spoke at last. “Like we could put it all behind us.”

“No.” That’s not what she meant. He was due an apology and he would get one, but not like this.

“Would that be after dooring me the other night or the way you ran out of my life nine years ago?”

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

This is a story I'd recommend your read in your favourite cosy spot. Cuddle up with a drink, blanket and a box of tissues and immerse yourself in Nobody's Angel.

Lucy is a recovering alcoholic, who has returned home after 9 years away to face the people she has wronged in the past and to ask for forgiveness. Older, wiser and no longer under the influence of booze and drugs, Lucy has moved on with her life and is no longer the party girl trouble maker she once was. The problem is, people only know her as that girl and trying to get them to see her for who she is now proves difficult.

This book is dual point of view, with parts of the book told from the point of view of Richard, the love of Lucy's life, who she left behind. Richard is estranged from his wife, Lucy's former best friend, but trying desperately to hang on to his marriage. Lucy's return puts a spanner in the works and he struggles to decide what he really wants.

This is an intense, emotional story, about courage, change, love and forgiveness. The scenes where Lucy goes to people she has wronged to apologise and ask forgiveness are emotionally tough to read and left me a crying, blubbering mess.

Nobody's Angel was absolutely magnificent!

This is a really satisfying read. Although there are many second chance romances, this one is full of original ideas which are both meaningful and humorous. The opening scene as Lucy returns to her family home is a great start to the story. I loved Richard's mother, and there are a number of characters who are essential to the story.

I'm delighted to see that Josh is going to get his story next, and assume that maybe the absent Thomas will too. With such stylish writing and a talent to tell a tale, Ms. Hegger has gained another fan.

Born British and raised in South Africa, Sarah Hegger suffers from an incurable case of wanderlust. Her match? A hot Canadian engineer, whose marriage proposal she accepted six short weeks after they first met. Together they’ve made homes in seven different cities across three different continents (and back again once or twice). If only it made her multilingual, but the best she can manage is idiosyncratic English, fluent Afrikaans, conversant Russian, pigeon Portuguese, even worse Zulu and enough French to get herself into trouble.

Mimicking her globe-trotting adventures, Sarah’s career path began as a gainfully employed actress, drifted into public relations, settled a moment in advertising, and eventually took root in the fertile soil of her first love, writing. She also moonlights as a wife and mother. She currently lives in Draper, Utah, with her teenage daughters, two Golden Retrievers and aforementioned husband. Part footloose buccaneer, part quixotic observer of life, Sarah’s restless heart is most content when reading or writing books.

She loves to hear from readers and you can find her at any of the places below.

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Monday, March 30, 2015

In the Moment: Part Three by Rachael Orman is Now Available & Reviewed

Ace managed to burn bridges with both Adam and Alicia. Adam doesn't even want to speak to him while Alicia doesn't know what she wants. Both Ace and Adam know they have a lot to work through if they are going to be able to make their part of the relationship work—with or without Alicia.

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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Tantalizing writing. I'm really not much for M/M love scenes but these are pretty tasteful. Ace finally has to reveal his bisexual nature, and some of the backlash lands on Adam. The couple seem to fight for a bit before settling in and Alicia seems to be on the outside for this part. I didn't like the cliffhanger in this one, or the mystery. We shall see in the next part where the story will go. Overall entertainment was three and a half stars.

The third in the series of novellas, I am now hankering for the happy that I want, but Ms. Orman is making us wait it out. The ending is particularly taxing as it adds an extra twist. The dynamics of trios and the fears that the parties imagine are well written.

I hope that the keyboard is being well used chez Orman, as I need my next installment, asap!

Mary Jo☆☆☆☆
3 1/2 Stars rounded up to 4 Stars.
This is the third installment in the series about Ace, Adam and Alicia. In this installment we see Ace's reaction to the video that has been sent to his friends and others of he and Adam in the woods outside the bar. Adam and Alicia believe that Ace's reaction is due to the fact that he doesn't want others to know he's bi. When Ace explains to Alicia the reasons it’s hard for him to let others know about his relationship with Adam, she understands but knows that only Ace can fix this problem.

When Ace and Adam try to make amends with Alicia everything seems to be well until Alicia decides that rather than following in with their plans, she should have some say in this new relationship.

I'm ready for the next installment to see where this relationship is headed.

I really enjoy this series. We learn a little more about our sexy silent Ace's past as his relationship with Adam comes into the light. Alicia can't deny her attraction to both men, but is their attraction enough? I can't wait to see where Miss Orman will take this story.

When I first opened In the Moment Part Three, I couldn’t quite remember what had transpired at the end of the previous installment. However, within a page or two, it all came flying back – the sex, the video, the hot sex, the argument, and did I mention the HOT SEX! Considering Ace’s response to the long list of the video’s recipients, it’s not surprising that I was the only one in this situation thinking about the sex. Needless to say, Adam was not happy with Ace’s reaction to the video, surmising that Ace’s anger over it getting out meant that Ace would never be comfortable taking their relationship public. As Adam lives his life openly as a bisexual man, he refuses to hide who he is for anyone, especially the man he is in love with.

I loved watching Adam stand up for himself and how he let Ace know in no uncertain terms that he would not be anyone’s dirty little secret. While witnessing the demise of their relationship was sad, Alicia giving Ace a much needed kick in the arse re-instilled hope for Adam and Ace’s future. Much of this installment is Ace coming to terms with his past, what he wants for his future, and whether or not a relationship with Adam is possible, assuming that Adam will even give him another chance. Being as this is part three of five, I was not surprised that Adam gave Ace another chance and Ms. Orman rewarded readers with a fabulous bout of makeup sex between these two testosterone-fueled men. Bossy Adam is sexy! What did surprise me was Alicia’s reaction to Adam and Ace, but what really threw me for a loop was the freaking cliff that the author left me hanging from. Yes, In the Moment Part Three actually left me frustrated because I don’t know what’s coming next. And while I will probably be able to get In the Moment Part Four a few days early, I want it NOW!!! Well done Ms. Orman, that’s exactly how a serial is supposed to work – but please, for the love of all that is holy, please stick to your release schedule and don’t disappear on us before the end arrives (sadly, I have had that happen).

Also Available in the Moments Series

Book 1
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For reviews & more info, check out our In the Moment: Part One blog post.

Book 2
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For reviews & more info, check out our In the Moment: Part Two blog post.

Mother by day. Writer by night. I spend a majority of my day with my children and reading while my nights are filled with the sound of the keyboard as I work on my next work.

I have written in F/F, F/F/M, F/F/F and then of course F/M genres.... So, beware, I do not always have the most 'traditional' scenes. And one day I will venture into M/M, just have to find the time.

I love to try new things and learn from every piece of work I write. I'll write just about anything once to learn from it. I've even ventured out of my normal erotica genre into Monster Erotica. Doubt you'll find me writing anything not erotic as you can barely get me to even read something out of that category, but then again, you never know what I might try next.

Never stop learning. Try everything at least once.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of In the Moment: Part Three by Rachael Orman to read and review.

Stolen Donor by Cee Smith is Now Available

I did everything that was expected of me. I got good grades, went to a good college; I never even had a boyfriend, which for a normal girl of twenty-two was practically unheard of. My life was safe, predictable. That all changed when Dominic kidnapped me, robbing me of the cookie-cutter life I so carefully handcrafted. I was abducted and a new me was born.

I spent so long uncovering secrets that it was becoming a bit of a specialty for me. After watching Hailey for twelve months I knew the secrets she held—the repressed temptation that called to men like me. Stealing her was easy, making her fall in love with me, even easier. It was the feeling she sparked in me that I had no control over. A feeling I never expected. But the one thing that threatened to unravel us both was my secret, the reason I took her in the first place.

Dominic and Hailey were two people from two different worlds, and some paths should never cross.

WARNING: This book contains situations that some may find offensive. Please read with caution if you are sensitive to dubious consent or graphic language.

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His fingers kissed across my neck reminding me of the bruise I wore like a choker. I sat stock still while he circled my neck with his fingers. He disappeared behind my back, but his fingers still trailed, reminding me of his closeness.

"About what I said earlier…I think it’s time to start doling out some of these punishments you’re racking up. Wouldn’t you say? You seem to be in such good spirits now." His stiff words before were now slippery, alive with the sadistic touch that usually preceded my humiliation.

"I don’t know what I’ve done that warrants punishment."

"Yes you do. All you have to do is merely look at your clothes to know one of the—"

"—but I needed warmer clothes." My voice rose, bordering on hysterical. I needed to know what could happen if I didn’t wear the clothes. How far was Dominic willing to go? I saw how angry he could get, but I didn’t want to just be scared of a possibility.

"I hope it was worth it," he whispered in my ear, his orange musky scent draping across my shoulders like a shawl.

"Take it off, all of it. Since you don’t know how to follow direction, I’ll spell it out for you. I want every scrap of clothing that’s on you right now off your body and in my hands in two minutes. You won’t be wearing anything until your clothes are laid out for you tomorrow morning."

"Why are you doing this to me?" I asked as I pushed to get up.

"Would you rather I hit you? Surely I could beat the stubbornness out of you, but you seem to respond well to humiliation. It’s just the same to me." He shrugged his shoulders as if choosing between the two would be like deciding whether to have peas or carrots. I didn’t like his indifference to the idea of beating me. It revealed more about him than I had seen thus far.

He looked at his watch as if timing me, and I began stripping off my clothes—my shoes, my pants, my vest, my sweater. I left my undergarments last, secretly hoping that I could cling to these two scraps that did little to conceal, but when he looked at his watch again, I unclasped my bra and pulled my underwear down with hands that shook from the nerves as much as the cold air that whipped my skin in its brutality. With all of my clothes piled at my feet, I scooped them up and attempted to hand the load over to him. His arms stayed folded. It wasn’t enough that he had made me strip like this, but then the bastard had the nerve to refuse my clothes, only taking them once I had folded them neatly and placed them back in his arms.

My hands rose, barely covering myself as I gritted, "Happy now? I’m freezing."

"You’re to still come down for dinner like this, and I swear, if you come down with so much as a piece of lint on you, I’ll beat your bottom blue." He dipped down, his face closing the distance between us. As if I would actually kiss him after that! I turned my cheek, and he chuckled before pecking me lightly, dismissing me with a swat on my butt.

Cee Smith is a lover of the written word. Since first learning how to string a sentence together, she’s been putting pen to paper and hasn’t looked back. Though she’s no longer obsessed with blood and gore, the dark side still calls to her, often finding refuge in her current writings. Her addiction to reading is what finally inspired her to take a chance at publishing.

A California native, currently residing in North Carolina with her husband. She loves salacious stories, true love and forbidden romances—the more angst the better. Other than reading and writing, some of her other obsessions are peanut butter (don’t get her started), Michael Fassbender, and watching TV.

She loves talking about the creative process and what books she’s reading, so feel free to shoot her a line. Or if you just want to say hi that’s fine too. She swears she’ll respond.

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Love Surfaced by Michelle Lynn is Now Available

The equations are simple.

Piper Ashby + Brad Ashby = Twin Siblings
Brad Ashby + Tanner McCain = Best Friends
Piper Ashby + Tanner McCain = Off limits

Tanner and I abided by the rules. We stayed on our designated sides of the relationship circle.

Ignoring swarming butterflies.
Brushing off skipped heartbeats.
Settling on lingering stares.

Here’s the secret … a hand extended over that invisible line once, exponentially changing the equation. I was convinced we could make our relationship work until Tanner broke the trust he embedded in me from the age of seven.

One deceit of mega proportions and the relationship we built for that short month vanished. I swore never to speak to him again and it’s worked. Until now—two years later, when my brother’s wedding places me face-to-face with the best man—Tanner McCain.

Leaving one equation to be solved. Can love surface twice?

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Soon, I’m unable to focus, and I have no choice but to take a break to recoup some energy. Gripping the side of the pool, I toss my goggles on the cement and lay my head on top of my hands, leaning over the edge of the pool. Mentally tormenting myself on my recent obsession with Tanner McCain, I’m surprised when the echo of someone else in the pool alerts me.

There goes my therapy for today, I think to myself.

I hastily grab my goggles and rest them on my head. My eyes glance up to see if the person is one of my teammates, but what I find halts my breathing. Tanner snakes into the water, gracefully picking up each plastic rope and ducking underneath, until he reaches the lane right next to me. I gulp down the last of my saliva when he casually swings back and forth on the lane separator closest to me.

He’s breathtaking with his goggles resting on the top of his head and his strong biceps holding his body up in the water. “I thought I’d find you here.” His classic smirk from last night is back in place.

“You did?” Immediately, I hate my timid and unsure voice. Even worse, the hopefulness it’s laced with.

“Want to race? Loser chooses Truth or Dare?” He doesn’t make eye contact with me. Rather, he peers across the empty pool.

“So I can lose?”

Every swimmer from here to California beats themselves up on their workouts, imagining their fingertips on that tile wall before Tanner’s.

He chuckles. “You know I only use half of my energy when I go against you.”

I cup my hand and drag it across the pool, splashing his face. He shakes his head, water droplets spraying off his divine features.

“Jackass,” I say, my back against the tile wall. I purposely don’t allow my body to win the fight to break the distance between us.

“I’m kidding. Come on.” His head nods toward the other end of the pool. “One lap.”

Then, out of nowhere, a confident creature rises within me. I want to pick his brain and dig through the layers to discover exactly why he sought me out in this pool so early in the morning and why his hands roamed places on my body they never ventured before last night. Most of all, I want to know how he left me without even a good-bye.

“What do I get if I win?” I raise my eyebrows at him a few times for competition.

Michelle moved around the Midwest most of her life, transferring from school to school before settling down in the outskirts of Chicago ten years ago, where she now resides with her husband and two kids.  She developed a love of reading at a young age, which helped lay the foundation for her passion to write. With the encouragement of her family, she finally sat down and wrote one of the many stories that have been floating around in her head. When she isn’t reading or writing, she can be found playing with her kids, talking to her mom on the phone, or hanging out with her family and friends.  But after chasing around twin preschoolers all day, she always cherishes her relaxation time after putting the kids to bed.

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