10.31.2016

#BookReview: Venom & Vanilla (The Venom Trilogy #1) by Shannon Mayer


Venom & Vanilla (The Venom Trilogy #1)
Source: NetGalley
Format: Mobi (Kindle)
Series: The Venom Trilogy
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal
Heat: None
Author: Shannon Mayer
Available: BN | Amazon | +Goodreads
Rating: 1 Brazen Babe


My Review
  • The plot was decent. Humans are dying from a disease. This disease only affects humans who have a Supe strain in their DNA.  So several walls are built to keep the infected and the other Supes separated from humans. Also, on the side of the wall where the Supes reside, they cannot interact with different species, it's like everyone must stick with their own. When we come into the story Alena, the MC is a human dying from this disease. Then, you have Greek Goddess Hera who hires Merlin (yep, that dude) to create monsters (from the same humans who have died) so that Greek heroes can come back and kill them.
  • This story...it was....it was all of the damn place really. There was no rhyme or reason to the going on's here. Too many surprises, some things just didn't jive and I only got more confused as I read. There are some truly eye-rolling moments for the reader with Venom & Vanilla. AND we still don't know why Alena's mother (who is a Christian fanatic HATES Supes) married one and had children with said Supe.
  • Everybody in this book was silly and made no sense, especially Alena. I could not take her serious at all. She was to wishy washy for my taste. Like how you gonna be a bad bish one minute and a wimp the next. I understood she was grounded in what she was taught growing up but this chick was so very annoying. And her not cursing?...replacing the not cursing with those silly ass sayings...come on son. Like it wasn't cute or funny. 
  • I'm assuming the author wanted this to be a humorous paranormal story but uhm...nah, it wasn't. The characters and I mean all of them came off as kinda dumb and clueless, some even were so stereotypical...I caught a case of WTF face continuously at their mannerisms to their style of dressing. I mean, these are Supernaturals and Greek Gods/Goddess...why was everyone close to stupid?
  • If you like cheesy, corny, over-the-top silly stories then you might enjoy Venom & Vanilla. I was truly looking forward to reading this too. But what a messy mess of a story. The mash up of Supernaturals and Greek mythology could have been done better.
Seems this will be a trilogy and I'm sure there will be more things revealed as the series move along but I can't see myself going any further with this. And what I may have not like, someone else probably would so although Venom & Vanilla wasn't up my ally, it may be up yours (no pun intended).





Grown ass woman, Mother, reader, drinker of the red wines, not so serious makeup artist and finally...a habitual procrastinator. I read just about everything but I really do love my romances. HEA’s are optional because hell sometimes, Prince Charming really is just a frog. Don’t asked if I finished *that book* yet...because I didn’t.
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10.28.2016

#ARCReview: Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia



Source: NetGalley
Format: eARC (Mobi)
Published: October 25, 2016
Series: NA
Genre: Sci-fi Fantasy, Horror
Heat: None
Available: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | +Goodreads (Blurb/Shelf it)

My Review

You know I had planned this review differently, I had a whole long winded something to say. But I'm going to go a different route.

Certain Dark Things was surprisingly different and good for me because it took take two things that I've grown quite bored with in the reading world and managed to make me enjoy them. Those things are YAish type characters and vampires. These two things together can sometimes lead to a story that is cheesy and ridiculous all at the same time and again boring to the Nth power.

Ms. Moreno-Garcia gives us a new and exciting world of vampires and humans. In her world Vampires are still deadly and gorgeous BUT they are also the enemy, the hunted and preyed upon. This author manages to take several different genres (Sci-fi fantasy, paranormal, young adult and adult) and gives you a well developed story plot filled with danger, young love and suspense.

Alt, a young vampire who has lost her entire family is on the run from another vampire clan when she encounters a street kid name Domingo who becomes her friend, blood donor and first love. But with the enemy clan closing in on her, Alt doesn't have time for the growing feelings she knows that Domingo has for her or the growing feelings she is starting to feel for him. With her world set in a future Mexico City, Mexico...Ms. Moreno-Garcia breathes real and relatable feelings into her characters. Even the side characters were exciting to read especially since you were giving different POV's throughout the book.

I look forward to reading more books by this author as her authenticity to give tired tropes fresh life has me quite excited. What I would really like to see is the author start a series from this book. Because of the different diversity of the vampires in Certain Dark Things, I think it would be a outstanding series to give a go.

*book provided by the publisher through NetGalley for the purpose of my honest thoughts.  




Grown ass woman, Mother, reader, drinker of the red wines, not so serious makeup artist and finally...a habitual procrastinator. I read just about everything but I really do love my romances. HEA’s are optional because hell sometimes, Prince Charming really is just a frog. Don’t asked if I finished *that book* yet...because I didn’t.
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10.21.2016

#GuestReview by @sophiarose1816: City of Wolves by Willow Palecek

Hey Brazen Babes & Guys! Please welcome Sophia back to the blog, she has another awesome review for us! 

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Format: eARC
Series: NA
Genre: Historical Urban Fantasy Suspense
Author: Willow Palecek
Publisher:  Tor.com
Published: 7.26.16
Pages:  128
Rating:  4
Flames: NA
Source:  Net Galley
Available:  Amazon | BN | ARe | +Goodreads


Sophia's Review

City of Wolves was a lot of things and all those things were packed into a swift-moving novella.  While I enjoyed this one, as, indeed, I did, I also felt that if this was not serving as a prequel- introductory story to something beyond then it fell short.  Because I want to give the benefit of the doubt, I'm going to be generous as well as hopeful that there is a whole lot more coming from this fascinating and exciting alternate historical fantasy suspense staring the most impressive, witty, and roguish investigator for the common people, Alexander Drake.

As, I noted, this is an alternate history.  It is based on perhaps a smash-up of Scottish history and English history with the paranormal elements of magic and more tossed in for good measure.  Alexander Drake fought for the loyalist cause and they lost.  Now he is scraping a living as an investigator.  He could work for the government as one of their detectives just as he could take cases involving the nobility which would both pay vastly more than the pittance he earns on uninteresting cases, but he's had bad experiences with both and wants to just live his life without the trouble that comes from tangling with his supposed betters.

But, unfortunately, if he wants room and board and to stay out of debtor's prison, he must take this latest case involving the death of an aristocrat and a missing will.  As soon as he takes the case, someone would rather him not find out the truth.  Drake has a time of it staying one step ahead of the government investigator and also the shadowy nemesis trying to stop him for good.

Alright, this was a novella so it clipped along pretty well.  I was immediately taken with the main character, Alexander Drake.  He's the underdog who is cynical and somewhat disillusioned, but he has a code of morality and he is loyal.  He might take the short cut to get there, but he is honorable in his own way. 

I enjoyed the introduction to Alexander's world.  It is the British Empire essentially- there is a monarchy, a government, a class system, and regional types that are familiar, but there is also the known use of magic, a little gadgetry, and another surprise element that I'll not mention by name so as not to spoil things.

The mystery was moderately challenging though I figured out quite a bit well before the end.  That said, there were a few surprises and it was great following along with Alexander as he tracked down the trail of clues and did his 'voila' at the end.  But that last jangling line of reveal at the end is what has me believing that there is oh so much more to come.  I did have one niggle about the mystery in that I couldn't remember the story making clear why the victim chose to do what he did.  Again, I wonder if that is part of what might come after this one.  I knew who killed the victim and who was after Drake, but in the victim's case, the 'why' was murky.

So, whether this was the start of something more or its own shorter story, I still had a pretty good time with an engaging main character, worldbuilding, and suspense plot.  The author did a bang up job with her debut.  I would recommend it for those who like a blend of history, mystery, urban fantasy, and steampunk (or as the book is described by the blurb- Gaslight Fantasy Noir).

*I received this book from Net Galley in exchange of an honest review.


Many thanks to Sophia for stopping by BnB Reviews!

About Sophia:

Sophia is a quiet though curious gal who dabbles in cooking, book reviewing, and gardening. Encouraged and supported by an incredible man and loving family. A Northern Californian transplant to the Great Lakes Region of the US. Lover of Jane Austen, Baseball, Cats, Scooby Doo, and Chocolate.  Associate Reviewer for Delighted Reader blog

Where You Can Find Sophia via Social Media: Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter





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10.20.2016

#EarlyReview : Archangel's Heart by Nalini Singh


Archangel's Heart (Guild Hunter, #9)


Source: Net Galley
Format: ePub
Series: Guild Hunter #9
Author: Nalini Singh
Genre: Paranormal Romance/ Urban Fantasy
Heat: Very little in this installment
Available: Amazon | Goodreads


My Review


Archangel’s Heart by Nalini Singh is the ninth book in the Guild Hunters Series and we return to Elena and Raphael two years after the end of the last book. Some might be unhappy to return to this powerful couple but I for one have no issues revisiting Elena and Rafael as the seven all revolve around these two and come on, does Singh put out a bad Guild Hunter book regardless of the featured couple?? Nope, she sure does not. In this book we dont see as much as the Seven as I’d like but we do get glimpses of them as well as a bit of Elena’s Guard. Aodhan does play a bigger part of this book since he goes with Elena and Rafael to Morocco. I know a bunch of people want an Aodhan and Illium pairing but I'm pretty sure I remember reading that they are NOT going to end up together, but I can see why fans would want this to come to pass.


So anyway, the three of them head to Morocco to deal with the douches that are the Luminata. Ok to be fair not all of them are douchebags but there are more than a few that are. Near to the Luminata compound is a human settlement and when Elena arrives, the whispers start, people look at her as if in recognition. So a good part chunk of this book is the mystery that is Elena’s past. It’s quite intriguing. I had a lot of fun trying to guess the outcome but ended up being mostly wrong, but isn’t that the fun of it?


Overall, it was fun to look into Elena mysterious family tree. I also loved the glimpses into Aodhan past and present. Little by little Aodhan is overcoming his past and becoming someone with one does not mess with. I’m looking forward to more in the Guild Hunter world and I don't see an end anytime soon.


ARC was provided through NetGalley for an honest review. No other compensation was provided.


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10.18.2016

#BookReview: Beautiful Crazy by Kasey Lane


Beautiful Crazy (Rock 'n' Ink, #1)



Source: Net Galley
Format: ePub
Series: Rock 'n' Ink #1
Author: Kasey Lane
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Heat: Yes, there is Sex
Available: Amazon | Goodreads


My Review



Beautiful Crazy is by a newbie author Kasey Lane. The cover grabbed my attention first and I was snagged with the description. A sexy rocker chick and a hottie guy in a suit.. Yeah, Im going to give this one a whirl. Kevan’s fledgling business needs to sign this band. Mason needs to bring in new talent into the company he works for to keep his job as CEO. The band needs someone to take them to the next level. When Mason and Kevan meet they are just two people in a bar with a strong attraction to each other and a night of passion. Too bad the one night stand follows them into a boardroom the next day when they are both pitching the same band. Kevan is seething and cant believe she’s been played like that. Mason can’t think about anything but getting Kevan back in bed. The beginning of this book, I wasn’t so sure of. It seemed like the characters were repeating themselves often and I wasn’t sure I liked either one of them all that much. But little by little I grew to like them more when they went on tour and started opening up to each more. By opening up to each other they opened up to us as the readers. By the end I was committed to the story and to Mason and Kevan as a couple. I ended up really enjoying the story despite the semi-shaky beginning. I’m really looking forward to the next book in the series and hope it’s either Kevan’s brother or one of the bandmates.

Copy was provided for an honest review thru NetGalley. No other compensation was provided.



**Also reviewed on
Where the NightKind Roam


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10.14.2016

#AudioBookReview: The Perfect Mistress by ReShonda Tate Billingsley






Source: Purchased
Format: Audio (Audible)
Series: NA
Heat: Medium to Strong Sexual Situations
Genre: Contemporary Romance (AA)
Available: BN | Amazon | +Goodreads
Rating: 4 Brazen Babes


My Review


What an emotional read! Yes, Lauren learns how to be the perfect mistress and she learns this from her Father, who was literally a rolling stone...that man left his hat everywhere.


So much to say, goodness. First, Lauren's childhood truly was a catalyst to how she turned out as an adult. She did not want love or a relationship. Watching her parents constant failings was enough for her not to want one.


Lauren was also dragged into her parents mess as a child. Her father manipulated her and her mother checked out, gawd I couldn't imagine doing to my child what these two people did to Lauren. It was enough to frustrate the shit out of me while reading.


The author starts this book off in the past so that I believe when you get to Lauren's story, you had a better understanding of why this woman choses to be a mistress.


Lauren's mother Joyce gave up her education to marry...to be the perfect wife and mother. But her husband was not a monogamous man (this she knew but married his butt anyway). Oh, he loved his wife (so he claimed) BUT the man never stayed faithful and Joyce never left. She chose to stay with a man she knew cheated on her and after his death, this leads her to become a angry and bitter woman who adores her son (who is his father's son as well) and hates her daughter. Joyce feels that Lauren betrayed her but she checked out on Lauren at a time when her daughter most needed her. And instead of dealing with her husband's infidelities...she let her hate for him, her hate of her own weakness in her inability to tell her husband to kick rocks fester into a hatred for her own daughter.


Both Lauren's parents let their inability to deal with their marriage issues lead to their daughter's not so shining present. For now, Lauren is the other woman, and she seems fine with it (on the outside). The occasional wife confronting her which she handles like a pro...she is her father's daughter after all. But when an old lover returns, Lauren starts to question whether the mistress lifestyle is truly for her...is it truly what she wants for her future.


OMG, talk about drama for your mama! Good gravy! I will say this was an excellently done story. The author truly goes into the theme of infidelity in a way I haven't read in a long while. The background she tells you on how and why Lauren ends up being the Perfect Mistress is truly outstanding but sad as well. This book forces you to take a hard look at how we as women and men deal with this issue. It is the wife's fault? the husband's? the other woman's? the kids? So many things covered and covered well.

I give it 4 stars because I wasn't thrilled with the ending, it just felt incomplete to me. Other than that, this was a audio well worth listening too. Oh and the narrator? Perfect! She didn't attempt to deepen her voice to emulate the men, she read each character in her own voice. Absolutely perfect!



Sharonda





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10.10.2016

#AnimeReview: Vampire Knight-Guilty

Image result for vampire knight guilty

Animation, Anime, Drama, Fantasy, Romance
Manga: Matsuri Hino
TV Show: Viz Media - Now Streaming on Hulu (Dub & Sub)
Season 2, 13 Episodes

My Thoughts

Okay, I know I said I would talk about the other episodes as I watched them buuuttt I was so thirsty to see the ending, I watched the rest of S2 in one sitting.


Where to start???? So like I said, things were getting pretty heated and crazy at the academy. Everyone pretty much has the ominous feeling that some bad juju is about to go down and Kaname truly does know more than he is letting on. Alright, now I’m not a fan of spoilers but with some books, shows you just can’t talk about without giving something away and unfortunately I’ll have to do that with Vampire Knight. So if you don’t want to see what I’m saying, then move along, move along.


All that said, let’s get to it. So yeah, Kaname knows a lot...nah, the dude knows everything. Kaname pretty much helped build Cross Academy and in the process assembled his own little team of powerful vampires to protect Yuki.

Image result for vampire knight guilty


And yes, Kaname and Yuki are as closely connected as I thought. Matter fact, their siblings. Yuki was also conceived to become Kaname’s mate, yeah let that sink in. So yes, to answer my own question from my last post, Yuki sure enough is a vampire...a pure-blood one at that. Matter fact her ass is a princess born to the two most powerful vampires ever.  


That Uncle that comes back  is after Yuki, has always been after her because he’s a power stealing fanatic. He also has the backing of the Vampire Senate. So the Senate in their attempts for control over vampires and humans go against Kaname and Cross Academy (mistake on their part). 

This Uncle, Rido killed Yuki’s parents and I think also at some point devoured Kaname when he was a boy. So you see, Kaname was the first born son and taken by Rido. Somehow someway Kaname was able to shake Rido’s hold on him BUT Kaname can’t kill Rido either. He can hurt him pretty bad but he can’t kill him. This starts Kaname’s plan to build his team to protect Yuki and this includes Zero too. Lord, ya’ll it was a lot going on...it had me all with the serious WTF face.
We also find out what happened to Yuki and why she is now a human. Seems in order to protect her from Rido, her mother gave her life to make it so. This is why Yuki can’t remember her past because in the process of turning her into a human, her mother also wiped Yuki's memories. So for 10 years, Kaname has been waiting for Yuki to wake up from her human body. With her memories starting to take over, Yuki’s human form is taking a bit of a beating. We get to see alot of Yuki's and Kaname's past together while she's sleeping. Her parents and the whole crazy situation with Rido.

Kaname finally brings her vampire form back by giving her his blood. So ya’ll know Zero is pissed all the way off. Here he thought, he was going to prevent Yuki from becoming a vamp and she was already one, ha!


Now, with Yuki's vampire self awake and Rido on the loose acting like a nut; Kaname finally puts the last pieces of his game together. Cross Academy must also be protected along with it’s human students as Rido and the senate has rouge vamps running all loose. Headmaster Cross (who use to be a vampire hunter) comes out of retirement and he along with another hunters and the vampires that Kaname assembled do a grand job of protecting the school.

Once Yuki does wake up of course she wants to help. But ya’ll she still useless and can’t fight. And I get that she wanted to protect the school but heffa, YOU.JUST.WOKE.UP and you don’t know what your powers are...YOU.CAN’T.DO.NUTHING! She was still annoying, hell even the others were telling her “girl, go sit down” but she wouldn’t and Kaname knew she wouldn’t so he just let her go. So while Yuki and the others are fighting off rogue vamps and Rido. Kaname makes his way to Senate to take care of their crooked butts. Listen, that dude is not to be fudged with. He is powerful, this dude was just walking and evaporating folks as they ran towards him. Then when he settled his business there, this ninja collapsed the whole damb building. He also makes his way to Zero who done locked his tortured ass self in a basement room cause he can’t handle shit. Not to get into much but after a visit from his Twin and Kaname basically telling him to pull his head out his ass cause fool, I made you so you can protect my woman. Zero and Kaname search out Rido and finish him off.


So all is good right? Maybe. Zero wanted to kill Kaname too but like I said Kaname is strong as fuck so...yeah no. Plus, I feel like it's the same as it was between Kaname and Rido. Zero can't kill Kaname because basically he created him. I don't think he'll be able to kill Yuki either. Anyhoo's, Yuki runs up while they staring each other down and Kaname is like “we out at sunset, say goodbye to your little friend”. Yuki and Zero talk but Zero being the asshole he is pretty much tells Yuki they can't be in the same world because he's a hunter and she is a vampire. What he said her had me talking to me TV like “you sir! are a asshat” but it is what is I guess.


So no, Yuki does not end of up with Zero. She realizes that Kaname has sacrificed much while her ass was napping so she made up her mind to stay with him. The scene between her and Kaname when she tells him this is sweet but I’m glad he didn't force her to be with him, that he let her decide.

All and all, I love this anime...thought it was super good. I would like to see more seasons/episodes though. I want to know what happens between Kaname and Yuki, The Cross Academy and Zero. Also, the vampires that Kaname had help him protect Yuki had their own little side things going on so I would like to see more of them too. Yeah, there needs to be more episodes. It’s really the one and only thing I don’t like about anime's, you never get further stories especially if you feel like the story isn’t complete. Vampire Knight isn’t complete, at least not to me it isn't.

I covered a lot but I still left out things so if you like anime or animation shows, I highly suggest Vampire Knight.

*I tried to find a trailer but most of them were fan made and honestly I didn't like them. But I did find a video that includes the songs from both seasons which I adored but couldn't understand but that's okay, lols.



Sharonda





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10.07.2016

#BookSpotlight/Excerpt: Somewhere to Begin by Mika Jolie


Today, We are spotlighting Mika Jolie's newest release. She is also giving away a $15 Amazon Gift Card. You can possibly win by signing up for Mika's newsletter (link below via the author's website). 




Somewhere to Begin

"Heal the wound, but leave the scar"

Blurb
There are wounds that never show on the body.
For twenty-nine years, Colbie Bennington does as expected with an eternal smile stained on her lips. The biggest chances she’s ever taken can be counted on one hand, three fingers to be exact—her battered red chucks, painting her toenails a vibrant blue, and her wedding dress. Always the dutiful daughter and a Stepford fiancée, she has never acted on impulse, never been in love.
She’s never lived.On her wedding day, Colbie ends a toxic relationship, drops the fake smile, and says, “I can’t do this anymore.”Navy SEAL Zander Serrano returns home broken and burdened with a volcano of remorse. Too trapped in a mental war to be at peace and too damaged to be at war, he shuts the world out. The last thing he expects is to feel, especially for a runaway bride with her own baggage.Two empty hearts marred in different spots find themselves drawn to one another. Each with their own scars.  Some, the world can see. Others, unseen to the naked eye.They say two broken people should not be together. But for Colbie and Zander, their attraction is undeniable, unexpected.Can two souls with fractured parts be the best cure for each other’s wounds?Starting over is never easy, but sometimes in life, everyone needs somewhere to begin.


Excerpt
“Pity.” She scoffed. “You’re here out of pity.”
“I don’t do anything out of pity.” If he did, he would have never pulled a gun on a thirteen-year-old boy in the middle of nowhere in Afghanistan, ready to squeeze the trigger when the kid had drawn a fully automatic in his face. That was the nature of war. Sorrow and compassion had long been stripped out of him. After twelve years serving his country, his empathy had shrunk to something that could be accurately described as a professional concern. During combat, apathy was a necessary evil. He did what needed to be done to save his ass and his band of brothers. The same way he had reacted after seeing Colbie’s frail body pinned between the steering column and the car seat.In the adrenaline rush, he’d forgotten his pain. The strain of physical therapy vanished, and once again, he was a soldier running toward the conflict. The entire front end of her car had crumpled with the force of the head-on collision into the trees. Windshield shattered. Her body limp, caught in a steel prison, an oily taste spreading through the smoky air.After banging on the window in a desperate attempt to get her attention, he’d popped the door open. Locating the clip of her seat belt biting into her chest, he undid it and dragged her out of the car, away from the smell of gas. A mechanical reflex, nothing heroic.“You feel sorry for me. No one has come to visit me other than you, I bet.” There was a moment, just a fraction of a second, when her face mirrored her emotions, utter devastation. Then she angled her head to a more casual pose.But the delicate curves of her lips revealed a significant pathos of their own. She was wearing a mask. He recognized it.“I want to be here,” he said and meant every word. He’d been struck by her beauty since the accident, and for the last two days, he’d been drinking her in like he was dying of thirst. Instant attraction was the universe’s way of fucking with his head—one more shitpile to add to the list of mental fuck-ups. As she adjusted her weight and moved her left hand, his gaze fell on the bare finger where the engagement ring had been. “I’ll get a nurse.” He turned to the door just as it slid open.“Coming in,” a high-pitched voice called as the door pushed open. Zander stepped back, making room for the doctor and nurse.“How is it going Mr. Serrano?” Nurse Jenkins greeted him in her Jamaican born accent.“Great,” he muttered.Immediately, Nurse Jenkins surveyed the electronic machine buzzing and clicking in a symphony of sounds. She scribbled something on the patient’s chart, then passed it to the doctor. After a cursory glance, he placed it in a slot on the wall.“Mr. Serrano, good to see you again. I’m going to check on our favorite patient.” The doctor shook Zander’s hand, and then turned his attention on Colbie. “Miss Bennington, I’m Dr. Richard Sydney, and this is Nurse Jenkins. You had a mild concussion from the whiplash along with a couple of bruised ribs. How do you feel?”“Fine,” she whispered.Nurse Jenkins pulled out two pair of gloves in the holder on the wall and handed one to the doctor. They buzzed around Colbie, checking the bandage on her forehead, her vital signs, the IV, and her heart rate before stepping back.“Ready to go home?” Dr. Sydney asked in a casual tone.For a beat, her face became rigid with tension but then quickly settled into careful neutrality. “Yes, I am,” she answered.“Miss Bennington,” Dr. Sydney continued, “those marks on your arms—”“They’re nothing,” she cut in. “I tripped. A clumsy accident on my part.”Zander studied her clasped hands. He recognized the excuse to avoid the situation. An art he’d mastered since returning from Afghanistan.“Miss Bennington, the marks on your arms are not from a fall, nor were they obtained in the course of any sporting activity.” Dr. Sydney glanced over at Zander and then scribbled something on his notepad. “If you are in danger—”“I’m not in danger.” She met the doctor’s questionable stare. Her face was expressionless with no sign of feelings. The shutters were drawn shut.Lucky for her, Zander was good at reading body language. He caught the subtle way her thumb pressed on the tip of her ring finger. She was most likely ashamed, and her brain was busy racing for ways out.Silence lay in the room. Zander folded his arms tight across his chest, watching, trying to figure out her story. Someone’s favorite pastime had been to hit her. That was clear. If he were a betting man, he’d bet the culprit was her fiancé. Feeling sick to his stomach, he scrubbed a hand over his face.“You can press charges,” Doctor Sydney advised.“I’m fine, Doctor.” She lifted her chin in an attempt to look confident. “I’m ready to go home.”But her dark, hollow eyes showed she was neither.After a slight hesitation, Doctor Sydney nodded. “Nurse Jenkins will bring the release form for you to sign.”“I bought you a change of clothes,” Zander said once they were alone. He picked up a cream shopping bag and handed it to her.“You went shopping?” Her head shifted in his direction. When he didn’t answer, she smiled. “You’re a sweet man.”“I’m not sweet.”She unfolded the basic white cotton tee and examined the dropped V-neck. “This is pretty.”He shrugged, making a mental note to send Paige a thank you text for helping him pick out the outfit. She had insisted on the shirt—something about it being simple and feminine.Colbie checked the label attached to the waist of the jeans and then narrowed her eyes at him. “How did you figure my size?”He hadn’t. When Paige asked for a guesstimate, his response had been about five foot seven inches tall, curvy, C-cup breasts. “I went with a friend.” And spent forty long minutes listening to the woman his sister had lovingly dubbed as the fourth musketeer as she scolded him for not returning her calls or text messages. “Where is home, Colbie?”A shadow crossed her beautiful features, but she quickly recast her face into one of disinterest, erasing the crestfallen look. “Medham.”“Your parents?”She nodded.“Are you going back there?” That question was met with stony silence. Once more, he studied her finger where the diamond had been. “Married?”“No.”“The night of the accident, you were in a wedding dress.”“I’m not married.”“What’s your story?”“What does it matter?” she challenged, her eyes locked with his.“Do you have somewhere to go?”After another long pause, she let out a long breath, licking her lips in a nervous little gesture.“Let’s try the truth,” he said, and waited.“I lost control of my car and crashed.”Malarkey detection was one of his strength, right now, his ears were buzzing. “Tell me you’re not going back to whoever left those marks on your arms.”Her chin tilted up, ready for battle, but her eyes welled up with a sadness no one should possess. They showed her soul, broken and damaged. Zander fought the desire to scoop her up, take her home, and pour love into her until she felt safe enough to cry out whatever pain tormented her.The thought almost made him laugh . . . or cry . . . or both. It was the biggest joke ever because he was dealing with his own crap and had absolutely nothing to give.“Don’t worry about me.” She cleared her throat and tucked an unruly lock of hair behind her ear. “I’ll figure something out.”Everything about her told his intuition she was a trap, yet he walked right in and let the door swing shut. “Get dressed. You’re coming with me.”


Other titles by Mika Jolie
The Scale, Martha’s Way Series Book 1
Need You Now, Martha’s Way Series Book 2
Tattooed Hearts, Martha’s Way Series Book 3
Wrapped in Red, Martha’s Way Series Book 4
Find the Martha’s Way Series at - http://mikajolie.com/series/marthas-way/


Your Author
Mika Jolie is the bestselling author of the Martha’s Way series. She lives in New Jersey with her Happy Chaos—her husband and their energizer bunnies. A sports fanatic and a wine aficionado, she’s determined to balance it all and still write about life experiences and matters of the heart. Let’s face it, people are complicated and love can be messy. When she’s not weaving life and romance into evocative tales, you can find her on a hiking adventure, apple picking, or whatever her three men can conjure up.

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