Game. Set. Match. – Jennifer Iacopelli

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

This book is something you should look out for!

First things first:
What if you're not a tennis fan? Would you still like this book?
That questions bug me, and I answered it though, you may or may not agree with me…

I have a fair share of watching some tennis matches, like Federer/Nadal/Djokovic, or Maria Sharapova and the likes. I know some but I would not really say that I know the basics.
But I still opt for yes; it's worth a shot to read.

Game. Set. Match. – Jennifer Iacopelli

Nestled along the North Carolina coast, the Outer Banks Tennis Academy is the world's most elite training facility. In this pressure-cooker environment, futures are forged in blood and sweat, and dreams are shattered in an instant.

Penny Harrison, a rising female star, is determined to win the French Open and beat her archrival, Zina Lutrova. But when her coach imports British bad boy Alex Russell as her new training partner, will Penny be able to keep her laser-like focus?

Tennis is all Jasmine Randazzo has ever known. The daughter of two Grand Slam champions, she's hell-bent on extending her family’s legacy and writing her own happily-ever-after...until her chosen Prince Charming gives her the just-friends speech right before the biggest junior tournament of the year, the Outer Banks Classic.

With a powerful serve and killer forehand, newcomer Indiana Gaffney is turning heads. She’s thrilled by all of the attention, especially from Jack Harrison, Penny’s agent and hot older brother, except he keeps backing off every time things start heating up.

With so much at stake, dreams—and hearts—are bound to break. Welcome to OBX: Where LOVE is a four-letter word, on and off the court.

I wonder who's the cover! I mean there are three main characters, so we'll see!
Have you read the summary? I think that just added some mystery and your curious mind had been triggered?
Mine did.

I am an #OBXer so I had a chance to read the Prologue beforehand *YAY*

So, How can I judge Game. Set. Match. by just basing it on the Prologue?
I would say it’s a (will be) a refreshing read for me, since I don’t know much about tennis.
Jennifer Iacopelli made me become interested to know both about (1) tennis and (2) her characters.
The prologue gave me an idea already of what will happen and it is a good introduction to the three main characters in the story. Even though the prologue has one event (main even occurring), the author had made it into three different scenarios and gave a bird’s eye view of who the readers will meet in the book.
A heads-up, so to speak.

What caught my interest the most is the author’s attention to detail, vivid descriptions, as I had written about, one event = three scenes, and in those scenes it seemed  like I was literally watching the scenes take place right before my eyes,
(1)    I had imagine Indy watching the match during her Physics class, I can see how she watches the game from her phone and how it feels like in her position, watching the game via phone, the camera zooming in-and-out.
(2)    How the crowd cheers and how intense the game is, especially when the scene shifted to Penny.
(3)    Lastly, I can feel the disappointment washing over Jasmine, and how it seems like she’s both disappointed and pitying herself.

And to be honest, that’s just the Prologue… and I am… and very much intrigued, especially how the story will unfold, would it focus on the game itself, the characters’ progress or both? For that I shall remain calm and excited, I mean I have my own expectations and I am very much looking forward about this book!

Let's see, the prologue has already have me edging to google tennis terms and tennis games, I'll have a heads-up if this continues, who knows, I might be a tennis fan myself during or after this? I watch tennis matches and I can always ask my Dad or my older sis since both are sports fans, that's a definite plus right?

Go #OBXers!

P.S. The icon of Penny is cooler. Black background, seems more powerful!

Let's say I'm torn with Indy and Jasmine.
I really am, I like both in different ways, but sometimes when you see and read your name, it becomes very much bias. That's what happened to me.
Since, I'm still undecided,
I am Team Jasmine (P.S. I’ll know you more Indy, ‘til we meet again!)

Jasmine, to be honest, writing your own name feels weird and flattering at the same time…
Okay, about her, aside from natural curiosity, there is something intriguing about this character.
And let’s say: Pressure.
Yes, that’s one thing that registered in my mind when she was somehow introduced.
What if your parents are GRAND SLAM, OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALISTS?
-          That’s what-and-who Jasmine’s parents are. I told you pressure.
Though her personality seems a lil, excuse the word, bitchy, I don’t know but there’s the aura of superiority and inferiority in one. Superiority because she knows who she is, who her parents are, and she knows in herself she’s the best (though the author did not intend she’s this bragger, I just implied it); inferior, at the same time, it sucked since her parents are widely-known and she’s expected to be walking along the path of her parents, right? Then she lost the first round (one of the reasons why it seemed she was disappointed in herself and wasn’t even in the Madrid Open). Lastly, there something more about her, and I think she’ll be the character in the story who will face most of the difficulties.

Well, that’s my entire standpoint (regarding the Prologue, ONLY).
Before I part ways and have my own countdown, I’ll say this:
This is one thing I like about books, it makes you be inclined to learn even if it usually is out of your comfort zone; it piques your interest and makes you either understand or like some things that you weren’t fond of the first time.

We’ll see what happens when I read the book itself.
*crossing fingers that some of my assumptions are correct*

Be an #OBXer and have a chance to win from Jennifer Iacopelli's's giveaway!
With some insider info too!

-     Jassie

Boyfriend App Signed Bookplate and Bookmark!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

'Get the App. Get the guy.'

Isn't the title very intriguing already?
Sort of Chic-Lit to fill our summer?
*it's summer here in the PH*

Here's the book cover and the summary of The Boyfriend App:

In The Boyfriend App by Katie Sise, super-smart, somewhat geeky Audrey McCarthy can’t wait to get out of high school. Her father’s death and the transformation of her one-time BFF, Blake Dawkins, into her worst nightmare have her longing for the new start college will bring.

But college takes money. So Audrey decides she has to win the competition for the best app designed by a high schooler—and the $200,000 that comes with it. She develops something she calls the Boyfriend App, and suddenly she’s the talk of the school and getting kissed by the hottest boys around. But can the Boyfriend App bring Audrey true love?

Fans of Lisi Harrison’s Alphas series will adore the romantic, funny YA novel The Boyfriend App by Katie Sise.

What do you ladies think?

Well, get those Kindles, Nooks, or purchase a hard copy!
But wait, it's to be released on 4/30!
You still have time to save up, but here's the deal,
Some knows that there's an on-going Signed The Boyfriend App ARC giveaway,
at Lite-Rate-Ture's blog but for PH resident ONLY...

But don't get those gloomy faces,
because Katie Sise pops in an idea (actually Jess')
This time it's for INTERNATIONAL readers,

Here's what you need to do:
(1) Pre-order THE BOYFRIEND APP via clicking the links:

and then,

(2) Send your receipts at:
*just copy that email add

(3) Be sure the mailing address is seen, so you'll have these:
SIGNED bookmark and bookplate from Katie Sise herself!

Awesome and sweet deal!
Don't be sadden, INT people, even if this is a LIMITED time offer,
at least there's no need to rely on chance or luck, right?
NOW until APRIL 30, 2013
To receive these awesome signed goodies!

Check Chyna's blog for the The Boyfriend App Blog Tour happenings:
- Reviews
- Interviews
- The Boyfriend App Excerpts (Chapters 1 and 2)
- Signed Boyfriend App ARC (PH residents only)

-     Jassie

Rose Mint Snow: AFTERSTORY

Monday, April 8, 2013

Jassie's Note: This is the after story of the random thought I had when I was uber bored during one of our class back in college. The real story is still on it's outline scratch paper, living there for more than two years already! Haha! I'm so lazy that it took me a lot of persuasion to even type this. So here goes the story:

What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet – Romeo and Juliet”

“ Maybe this is the end.
Maybe we weren’t meant to be.
I understood what love is all about, sacrifice and hurt.
Maybe it wasn’t worth fighting for.
He has his fiancée. I have my life to carry on.
Will he even read my message?
I love him.

I still love her, how stupid am I?
I hate myself.
How stupidity overpowers me.
How I think too much and I just can’t accept the fact that in love,
no logical reasoning should be done.
Heart, by all means pushes us.
I just can’t let you go.
Will it be too late to find her?

Like a Rose Petal that is feminine and endearing, it makes me a captive of her.
Fresh and cooling like Pepper mint, I am forever under his scent.

I know forever is not true, but I can make an exception…
Even if it’s too late…
I, Portia Mionette Duerre will forever be his Mia.
I, Lucas Damien Courtet, will forever be her Leonne. ”


“I need to leave, but I’ll be back, I promise,”
she said before turning her back away from him.
“When?” he replied.
“Ten years from now, I guess?”
“But that’s too long… Then, I’ll f…”

“Where are you? I told you.. I… You promised, you’ll… Darn!” and he continued to curse his self for not realizing it soon enough, for letting her go again, for not even saying…

He was cut off when he saw a silhouette, her silhouette, he had memorized it ever since he was seven; and the Rose Petal scent, the giveaway, he murmured, “Not again, it will never happen again.”

He yelled, “I just found you! Where do you think you’re going?!”

Wiping her tears away, she didn’t need to see who it was; his calming Peppermint scent tells it all. She turned sideways to see the lad –hair disheveled and still panting from running.

He stopped three-feet away from her, he slightly bend, hands on his knees, face down, sweating, and still catching his breath; he tilted his head, choking his words out but managed to say,
“Leaving me again, Mia?” then he smirked.

“Crying in the car, she saw him from outside her window,
 running and screaming to stop the car…
The last memory she remember before she left,
was him,
kneeling on the ground and crying…”

After resting for about a minute, he recollected himself. He stared at Mia; his breathing beginning to calm, the scent of Rose Petal lingering, and his heart, beating in its normal pace. Seeing that Mia was still shell-shocked, and still not moving, he gave a comforting smile and walked towards her and said, “Still shock, I see?”

Mia was caught off guard, she didn’t imagine that he would follow her, she was on the verge of giving up, but then he yells and runs for her, now, he’s less than a foot away from her.
“Y…Yo..You ca-ca-called meee, ” she stuttered and starts to recompose herself, “Mia,” she managed to say with upright confidence, betraying her nervous and panicking feeling inside.
“Yes, Portia. I called you, Mia. About time I realize it. I was frantically foolish enough not to realize it was you, all along, Ms. Rose Petal.”
She just internally smiled, and thought about his face:
His smile, it was comforting and teasing;
his eyes, speaking of his sincerity;
his forehead revealing slight lines and eyebrows creasing,
telling that something is bothering him.

Before she could even ask him, he asked, “Why didn’t you just tell me it was you?”
“Believe me, it was my plan, but I don’t want to spoon-feed you...”
“I agree,” he buts in, using his soft thumbs to lightly wipe her tears, “You promised you’ll be back, I didn’t wait for it, I’m sorry. I know, 10 years is not yet over. But now, I’m here. And you’re here, in front of me, still doing what you did before, leaving, right before my eyes… But…,” and he stops mid-sentence.

She kept silent, not knowing what words to say. It’s true; she’s leaving him again, right before his eyes.
She looks at him…

He is searching something from his right pocket.

“But that’s too long… Then, I’ll f…”
She looks back at him, and she finished it for him,
“You’ll find me?”
“Yes, I’ll find you… But keep this.”

He slid it out from his right pocket and the light from the setting sun probes it way through, shimmering something in the middle of the chain.

She squint her eyes, still a bit blurry from crying,
“The pendant,” she whispered, half-gasping.
“You’re not returning this back to me again, are you? It’s yours. And it will always be yours.” He said.

She could not muster what she wanted to say, the words are jumbled in her head, the only thing she can think of and was able to slip her mouth was, “How about her? Your fiancée?”

He was not shocked, which she didn’t expected, the question didn’t bother him either; it felt like his reaction was sort of bored and disgusted, then he finally replied, which sounded as a retort,
“I don’t love her; it was just a typical merging of families to strengthen the business. But I’m through with it, I called the wedding off.”

He calmed for a bit and continued, washing away the bored-disgusted look, and smiled, eyes penetrating hers, speaking only of truth, “Don’t worry. I was waiting for someone, Mia.”

She frowned and was about to ask who, when he brushed her bangs away to the side, making her shiver from the sudden touch; his smile stayed as he leaned down and cupped her face with his left hand,
“Yes, it’s you. I found you… though you found me first,” he said-half-stated against her lips before leaning in to give a light peck on her lips.

She smiled, as the warmth flushed through her veins, she returned the peck with a gentle kiss on his lips.
They gently pulled away from each other. They ignored the butterflies in their stomachs and put up the courage to touch each others’ hands, soft touches that kept them warm against the now cold night breeze.

They stared at each other with smiles on their faces, no one saying a word, just breathing the cold-snowy air, inhaling each other’s scent and indulging the silence from the vacated parking lot. Only warmed by their now mutually intertwined hands: She half-reminisce her childhood days, she was thinking of how he said he’ll find her. Now, he’s here, in front of her, hands entwined, and had said a while ago that, he found her.
He was just staring at her, he was too stubborn to notice it— how she managed to recognize him, while he didn’t.
Then they thought about their kiss, it was their first, it was not awkward; it was a quick one but gentle, fulfilling, and against the open air, it was warm and just intricately perfect.
The both of them realized how everything had been different, how it changed and how complex it is, but how their feelings from before, didn’t. How they felt their love never wavered.

No words were still said, only their bodies and eyes filled out the curiosity of one, and they knew what each other meant. A crescent was formed from their lips; it was twisted upwards… a smile.

It would seem absurd to others and frantically illogical to fall in love when you’re seven. But for them, it was friendship, crush, puppy love, first love, and now, it was nothing but pure true love, from the start. No one is too young to fall in love, nor too old. Love is never controlled; it is something everyone irrationally yields to. Kids also know love, but from a different end of the spectrum. But for them it was love, they knew it was love. Who are we to judge? They didn’t need to, but they proved it: they waited until it was their time, ten years, is it not long enough? Now they’re seventeen. Would they still be young for love? Maybe. But no one is mature enough for love, even those who claim they are experienced enough. Every love is different, maybe similar but never the same; it is as plain as that.

She started to slip her hand from his, and managed to say, “Thank you for finding me, Leonne,” with a smile, while her voice was trembling from the forming tears, she added, “And good bye.”

He let her walk away from him, her back, again flushing in front of him.

And it was when her words haunted him, it slowly strikes him.
“Not again,” he muttered.

He ran and held her right wrist, softly turning her to face him, again.

“And I’ll ask again, Where do you think, you’re going?” He smiled.
“I’ll return to--”
He cut her off before she can finish her sentence,
“Nope. Who says you’re going back there? I had enough for ten years!” he exclaimed angrily with a hint of sarcasm; and then he smiled yet again.

She is left speechless, thoughts running in her head:
“That smile, that smile that she missed,
His blissful smile, it is not just comforting but gentle and loving.
That smile that she could not resist,
That smile that makes her knees frail,
And she was completely blown away, all over again.”

He smirked. How he loved her reactions, especially when she gets speechless. He lets go of her wrist, showing yet again the necklace – with the pendant she returned to him, in his right hand.

“I said this is yours.” his voice soothingly calm, warm against the cold night air.

She just smiled in response; she turned her back, holding her hair up for him to put the necklace on her.
He wears the necklace on her, after he locks the chain, he inhales her scent; and he feather-kissed her ever so lightly and smirks against her nape.

They did have doubts, love had its doubts, but they trusted each other, they promised. He might have almost given up with the promise of finding her. She might have given up when she knew he had a fiancée, but it did not stop there. Faith was there; ready to succumb, ready to fail and give up; but trust and loyalty kept them intact. Foolish as they might have been, it is all because of love. Who cares? Everyone is a fool in love.
They searched, they waited, they hoped…
He found her. She found him. And that was what mattered most.

He walked in front of her, smiling his blissful-contented smile, he was just so joyous. After all those years, waiting, about to give up, and now, he found her. He couldn’t ask for more, he just wanted to be glued from where he is now. He remembered flashes of his past with her. But then he stopped, there was no time to waste, he has no time to think of the past, he must take in the present; and not even think about the future. This present will soon be a past, he must make the best out of it, and this present will also redefine their future. He smiles at his own thought, their future, he wants his future be her and be with her. He was over-thinking again, he must define his present before his future.

He was cut in his reverie: he looked at her, stared at her and took in every detail of her,
“It’s now. Just now. With her. That’s it.
All I ever wanted. Just in front of me.”

He didn’t care if he even looked loony from his smile, how disheveled his hair was, how exhausted he was from searching for her, how nearly-freezing cold the weather was; he just didn’t care how he looked like, how tormenting the snowy breeze was, nor himself. He only cared about her and what happens now. And he is damn satisfied.

“He gave her a pendant,
their family heirloom engraved with their crest:
It is only given to your love.

“Keep this pendant. For me to know it’s you,”
“Okay…,” she replied with a weak smile and wears it in front of him.
And they gave each other a good bye smile against the cold air…”

And just like from their childhood memory…
It started snowing…

Snow falling around them, like before; it was Christmas when she left…
They gave each other a smile. It was not the good bye smile from their memory, but an “I-found-you-and-do-you-remember-before-you-left-it-was-also-snowing” smile.

Albeit the snow and the cold wind; they melted it all with their warmth surpassing everything…. It was a warm Christmas, for the both of them.

The smell of drizzling snow was nothing compared to the mixed scent of Rose Petal and Peppermint, not dominating each, but only lingering in the vacated airport parking lot; and just making the holidays, sweeter.

“It’s the holidays!” he cheered.
“Happy Christmas, Theo!” she said with a cheerful voice and smiling at him, quite flustered as she said his first name.
“Happy Christmas, Portia!” he replied with mock awkwardness.

Theo? Portia? “It didn’t seem right,” they both thought.

He leaned down and kissed the pendant before fully leaning on for an embrace. They hugged each other against the snow and the freezing cold wind; their body heat spreading warmth quickly. She also smiled a satisfying smile, resting her right face between his left shoulder and chest, calming herself with his Peppermint aroma and listening to his steady heartbeat. He kissed her forehead then the top of her head, he rested his head against her, slightly tilted on the side, also inhaling her Rose Petal scent more, and then he whispered softly, yet audible for her to hear. Heat reached her cheeks so fast, he felt the warmth near his chest which made him released a soft chuckle; and he also smiled, as he felt her smile against his chest.

He is Theodore and she is Portia. But to them, they are another…
They both love hearing it from one another. Only they know how to say it with much sincerity, with much love.
It is how they identified that it was them from before, from ten years ago…

He is her Leonne. She is his Mia.

She grinned, still with cheeks flushed red, blush from his whisper; she titled her head upwards just in time to see him looking down at her, she stands on her tiptoes and wraps her arms around his neck. She breathed a warm,
“I love you, too, Leonne,” just before he leaned down to meet her kiss.

She will never again walk with back flushed at him. But this time, she will walk against everything, with him; and with her hand entwined only with Leonne.

“I love you too much, Mia. I’m not letting you go and leave me, ever, again. Je t’aime, Mia.” she smiles as she repeats his whisper on her mind.

F I N.                  
                ©Rose Mint Snow by Jas ™

December 19, 2011/December 20, 2011

Author’s Note (A/N) and Message (with random nothings)
Stories similar to this are purely coincidental.
This is not a first-hand experience, yet this is an original story.
Words were partly-edited. Forbid the typos and grammatical errors.

After nearly a three (3)-year hiatus, I had put two (2)-days in work, writing this promised fiction, and sorry to say, I’m back to the bum, idle, glutton person I am. I hope you had enjoyed my gift though. This idea came from my subconscious, so my indebted gratitude, Lord, for the dreams.

Especially made and dedicated to Jirene Mercy Bueno, my first ever supporter-blockmate-and-demanding-friend for my stories. Purely yours, love (reading British fan fiction, makes me humane to not end the lives of my sweet couple, and I am getting a little fluffy with words such as “sweetie”, “love”, and “hun” because of Britons, so forgive me, dear). This is my gift for those abandoned stories I scribble in your notebook or any paper, whenever I feel like writing (mostly because I am bored in class), though let me finish those, I might continue it again (but don’t keep your hopes up, I used the word, “might,” please take note of that). I owe you stories and I hope this would suffice; even this is only a portion, only 1/8 of the story. I think I cannot live up another story better than this, please don’t expect, as this might be the last fully-fledged love story I had to write. I had poured all my best here! The thoughts for instance, are patches of trances as I was pre-inspired.

© JAS™ 

-     Jassie

Victoria (Smith) Gets Breathless

Posting to remember thy promise.

This post is for Victoria Smith, the author of Crimson Hunt  and The Space Between.
I posted this as we are kidding around and making some stories for her two hotties, Derrick and Cooper.
Haha! This is so funny because Victoria is so funny and we come up with uber random tweets and here is a little present to her.

"@VictoriaSmith76 This I bring to you WHAT BUGGED ME BEFORE I SLEEP.
Please, of course there are no edits and I will only write what is trying to get out of my head. MUAHAHA. PG-13 or R-18, because this is yours exclusively. HAHA!


Jassie to ALL (Victoria, Dee, Coop): So guys, shall we sit down?
*As Jassie tries to peel eyes away from those biceps*
Derrick & Cooper: Hi Jassie! *snickers* Again.

Jassie: *barely hears them because I'm still focusing on peeling my eyes away, I mean look at those barely tight clothing, if I could I pull that - oh shizz, what am I thinking - I mean, look at those...* Ah huh? Yeah, sure, nice to meet you I guess?
*D & C smiles slightly mischievously*

- - - This is where VICTORIA'S STORY COMES ALIVE. - - -

Derrick starts to help Victoria with her Mac laptop set-up. Derrick smirks and brushes his fingers onto Victoria's hand. A light gasp coming from Victoria's mouth and Jassie looks at Victoria with the same devious eyes the hotties are giving them.

As Cooper, such the gentleman, pulls Victoria's seat and pushes slightly the chair so she can sit properly.
He, Cooper, said barely above whisper, "You look wonderful, Victoria. Would you really be able to do what you're supposed to do?"
Victoria shuddered from the breathy and slightly husky words uttered by Cooper, and replied, "I th-think so..." while heavily breathing in the scent of musky cologne.
Derrick manages to accompany Jassie to a seat across from Victoria and the two look into each others eyes smirking at what Cooper did to Victoria. The two chattered about something and peel their gaze from Cooper and Victoria.

Cooper noticing how Victoria squirmed added his intense gaze and darted his tongue out near Victoria's earlobe. Victoria started to grip the edges of the table, Cooper chuckled and said near her ear, "My dear author, you do not squirm under my gaze. You do not grip these..." he pointed at the table, touching her hand and slightly releasing her death grip on the beloved mahogany table, which again caught her breath from the sudden movement.
Cooper continued, "table. These hands, soft and lightly calloused by typing all day needs a massage..." he tries to squeeze her hands, as her eyes nearly bulge out from the sockets, a blush penetrating her whole face as Cooper raises her hands and kisses them both. Turning it over upside down, he openmouthedly kissed her palm and lightly suck, and an uncontrollable low moan had escaped Victoria's throat.

Derrick and Jassie, swiftly turned their necks, earning an almost whiplash, the mission of seeking girls slightly abandoned, as the low moan had caught their attention...

"Dude, stop teasing, Victoria. Dang, we agreed that we'll behave ourselves." Derrick admonishes.
"Is it inappropriate to give," Cooper looks at Victoria in the eyes saying in his most husky yet soft voice, "Vic-to-r-i-a," enunciating every syllable like melted caramel-slash-chocolate.
Victoria swallowed audibly and as voice fails to come out, just nodded towards Cooper.
Cooper gives a toothy grin and lightly drop your hands on your opened Mac and said, "Forgive me, thy author, I was simply being a gentleman," and with that he gives Victoria a seductive grin while winking and slowly rise from the chair to seat near Jassie and asks what were Jassie and Derrick doing.

Victoria slouched from her seat, breathing heavily, as Jassie and Derrick take turns catching a glimpse of your panting self.

"Hey, Victoria, you can drink your coffee, y'know? You want something else?" Jassie offered. Derrick was about to stand-up, Victoria replied, "No need, Dee, I just got, uhm, slightly, breathy. I'm... I'm okay."
Victoria looks as Cooper, as Cooper returned a faux innocent curious look, "What's the matter, Victoria? You all right?"
Victoria tears her gaze from Cooper and started opening her notepad or document.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

OKAY, I just need to grab your attention, muahaha! Wasn't that fun? Though, I do not intend to write some TEASE scenes, HAHA.
The next one, hopefully, will be the real deal, I am setting them up, not making you all hot and bothered.

(okay sans the steam because I don't want to add heat in the already hot PHILIPPINES :|)"

Posted via Twitlonger

-     Jassie
P.S. I do not write things these provocative,
but this just so random; and I apologize for innocent minds.


Friday, April 5, 2013

The things you do to follow bloggers...

So most of the book bloggers and awesome people are on Bloglovin already, and because I love following these people, I shall create one for them.

How supportive of me. *insert a huge laugh here*

See you guys there!
And since I never use a GFC, it's fun that I'll use bloglovin for this.

-     Jassie

Down London Road Chapter 1 Excerpt by Samantha Young

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The spotlight's not on Joss and Braden anymore...

Down London Road - Samantha Young

Johanna Walker is used to taking charge. But she’s about to meet someone who will make her lose control....

It has always been up to Johanna to care for her family, particularly her younger brother, Cole. With an absent father and a useless mother, she’s been making decisions based on what’s best for Cole for as long as she can remember. She even determines what men to date by how much they can provide for her brother and her, not on whatever sparks may—or may
  But with Cameron MacCabe, the attraction is undeniable. The sexy new bartender at work gives her butterflies every time she looks at him. And for once, Jo is tempted to put her needs first. Cam is just as obsessed with getting to know Jo, but her walls are too solid to let him get close enough to even try. 

Then Cam moves into the flat below Jo’s, and their blistering connection becomes impossible to ignore. Especially since Cam is determined to uncover all of Jo’s secrets…even if it means taking apart her defenses piece by piece.


Chapter 1
Edinburgh, Scotland
I looked upon  the piece of art and wondered what the heck I was looking at. To me it was just a bunch of lines and squares in different colors with some shading here and there. It looked familiar. In fact, I thought I had a picture Cole had drawn me when he was three years old tucked away somewhere that bore a remarkable resemblance to it. Although I doubted I could expect anyone to pay three hundred and seventy-five pounds for Cole’s drawing. I also doubted the sanity of anyone who would pay three hundred and seventy-five pounds for the piece of canvas that looked like it had been sitting next to a railroad at the exact time a train full of paint careened off the rails and crashed.
However, chancing a glance around me, I could see that most of the people in the gallery liked the artwork. Maybe I wasn’t smart enough to get it. In an effort to appear more sophisticated for my boyfriend’s sake, I adopted a pensive expression and moved on to the next canvas.
“Um, okay, I don’t get it,” a low, husky voice announced beside me. I would have known that voice anywhere. Its American-accented words were disturbed here and there by a lilt, or the sharper consonants of a brogue, all a consequence of its owner having lived in Scotland for almost six years.
Relief flooded me as I brought my head down to meet the gaze of my best friend, Joss. For the first time that evening, I smiled brightly. Jocelyn Butler was a straight-talking, ballsy American girl who tended bar with me at a pretty swank place called Club 39. It was a basement bar on one of the city center’s most famous streets—George Street—and we’d been working together for five years now.
Kitted out in a designer black dress and Louboutins, my vertically challenged friend looked hot. So did her boyfriend, Braden Carmichael. Standing behind Joss, his hand resting possessively on her lower back, Braden exuded confidence. Drool-worthy, he was the kind of boyfriend I’d been searching for, for years, and if I didn’t love Joss so much and Braden didn’t adore her past all reasoning, I would have trampled over her to get to him. Braden was almost six and a half feet tall, which was ideal for someone of my height. I was a striking five foot ten—that made me more than six feet tall in the right heels. Joss’s boyfriend also happened to be sexy, rich, and funny. And he loved Joss to distraction. They’d been together for almost eighteen months. I could feel a proposal brewing.
“You look amazing,” I told her, eyeing her curves. Unlike me, Joss had big boobs, along with hips and an ass that wouldn’t quit. “Thank you so much for coming. Both of you.”
“Well, you owe me,” Joss muttered, her eyebrow arching as she glanced around at all the other paintings. “I’m going to have to do some serious lying if the artist asks me what I think.”
Braden gave her waist a squeeze and smiled down at her. “Well, if the artist is as pretentious as her art, why lie when you can be brutally honest?”
Joss grinned back at him. “That’s true.”
“No,” I interjected, knowing that if I let her she would do just that. “Becca is Malcolm’s ex-girlfriend and they’re still friends. You go Robert Hughes on her ass and it’s my ass that gets kicked to the curb.”
Joss frowned. “Robert Hughes?”
I sighed. “He was a famous art critic.”
“I like that.” Joss grinned evilly. “You know they say honesty is next to godliness.”
“I think that’s cleanliness, babe.”
“Of course it’s cleanliness, but surely honesty is a close second?”
The stubborn glint in Joss’s eyes caused my throat to almost close up. Joss was a force to be reckoned with, and if she had an opinion or wanted to say something, there was little you could do to stop her. When I first met her she was an incredibly private person, preferring not to get involved in her friends’ personal affairs. Since meeting Braden she’d changed a lot. Our friendship had grown, and Joss was now the only one who really knew the truth about my life. I was thankful for our friendship, but in moments like these I sometimes wished she was the old Joss, the one who kept her thoughts and emotions locked up tight.
I’d been dating Malcolm Hendry for almost three months. He was perfect for me. Kind, laid-back, tall—and wealthy. Malcolm was the oldest of all my “sugar daddies,” as Joss jokingly called them. Although at thirty-nine, he was hardly old. He was, however, fifteen years my senior. I didn’t care. Convinced that he might be the one, I didn’t want Joss jeopardizing the progress of our relationship by insulting his good friend.
“Jocelyn”—Braden gripped her waist again, eyeing me and my growing panic—“I think it best if you practice the art of artifice tonight after all.”
Finally reading my expression, Joss placed a reassuring hand on my arm. “I’m kidding, Jo. I’ll be on my best behavior. I promise.”
I nodded. “It’s just . . . things are going well, you know.”
“Malcolm seems like a decent guy,” Braden agreed.
Joss made a sound at the back of her throat, but we both ignored it. My friend had made her opinion clear on my choice of boyfriend. She was convinced I was using Malcolm and he was using me. It was true that he was generous and I needed that generosity. However, the bigger truth was I really cared about him. Ever since my “first love,” when I was sixteen years old, John, I’d fallen for charming providers and the idea of security for me and Cole. But John had gotten fed up with playing second fiddle to my family, and after six months he’d dumped me.
It had taught me a valuable lesson.
It had also given me a new requirement in a boyfriend—he had to have a good job, be driven, hardworking, and have a good income. No matter how hard I worked, with my nonexistent qualifications and lack of any real talent, I was never going to make enough money to secure a stable future for my family. I was, however, pretty enough to secure a man with good qualifications and talent.
About a year after I pieced myself back together from the heartbreak of my failed romance with John, Callum entered my life. Thirty, a well-off solicitor, gorgeous, cultured, sophisticated. Determined to make it last, I became what I imagined was the perfect girlfriend to him. It was a habit, becoming someone else, especially since it seemed to work. Callum thought I was perfect for a while. We were together two years—until my secretiveness about my family and my inability to “let him in” drove too deep a wedge between us and he left me.
It took me months to scrape myself back together after Callum . . . and when I did, it was to run into the arms of Tim. Horrible decision. Tim worked for an investment company. He was so mind-numbingly self-absorbed that I actually dumped him. Then there was Steven. Steven was a sales director for one of these annoying door-to-door sales companies. He put in long hours, which I thought might work in our favor, but it didn’t. Joss thought Steven had dumped me because of my inability to be flexible about anything because of my family obligations. The truth was I dumped Steven. Steven made me feel worthless. His comments about my general uselessness brought back too many memories, and although even I thought there was little to recommend me other than my looks, when your boyfriend said the same and ultimately made you feel like a paid escort, it was time to call it quits.
I took a lot of crap from people, but I had my limits, and the older I got, the narrower those limits became.
Malcolm was different, though. He never made me feel terrible about myself, and so far our relationship was moving along nicely.
“Where is Lotto-Man?”
I shot a glance over my shoulder and searched for him, ignoring Joss’s sarcasm. “I don’t know,” I murmured.
With Malcolm I’d literally hit the jackpot, as he was a solicitor-turned-lottery-winner. He’d won the EuroMillions three years ago and given up his job—his career, in fact—to begin enjoying a new life as a millionaire. Used to being busy, he’d decided to try his hand at property development and now had a portfolio of properties he owned as a landlord.
We were standing in an ancient redbrick building with its dirty windows made up of rows of small rectangles that you’d be more likely to see on a warehouse than an art gallery building. Inside was a different matter altogether. Outfitted with hardwood floors, amazing lighting, and partition walls for the art, it was the ideal gallery spot. Malcolm had divorced a year before his win, but of course a good-looking, wealthy man attracted young women like me. He’d soon encountered Becca, a savvy twenty-six-year-old Irish artist. They’d dated for a few months and remained good friends even after they broke it off. Malcolm had invested money in her art, renting a gallery a few blocks away from my old flat in Leith.
I had to admit the gallery and the art show were impressive. Even if I didn’t happen to understand what the art was saying to me.
Malcolm had managed to gather a group of private buyers to attend this special opening of Becca’s new collection and thankfully the art was speaking to them. As soon as we’d arrived, I’d lost my companion for the evening. Becca had come hurrying toward Malcolm and me in metallic leggings and an oversized sweater, her bare feet slapping against the freezing-cold wooden floor. She’d given me a flustered smile, grabbed Malcolm, and demanded that he come introduce her to the people who had shown up. I then proceeded to walk around the gallery wondering whether it was that I had no taste for art or that this art was just atrocious.
“I’d thought about buying something for the flat, but . . .” Braden gave a low whistle as he saw the price tag of the canvas we were standing in front of. “I make it a rule not to overpay when I’m buying shit.”
Joss snorted and nodded in absolute agreement. Deciding it best to change the subject before one of them encouraged the other to be openly rude, I asked, “Where’s Ellie and Adam?”
Ellie was a sweetheart and could put a positive spin on anything. She also managed to temper the blunt tongues of her best friend and her brother, which was why I’d specifically invited her.
“She and Adam are staying in tonight,” Joss replied with a quiet seriousness that concerned me. “Today she got the results from the MRI. Everything’s all clear, of course, but it brought it all back for her.”
It had been just over a year since Ellie had had brain surgery to remove benign tumors that had been causing physical symptoms and seizures. I didn’t really know Ellie at the time, but Joss had crashed at my old place once during Ellie’s recovery, and I knew from what she’d told me it had been a pretty hard time for them all. “I’ll try and pop round to see her soon,” I muttered, wondering if I could squeeze in the time to do that. Between my two jobs, looking after my mum and Cole, and accompanying Malcolm whenever he wanted me somewhere, my life was pretty hectic.
Joss nodded, a crease of concern between her brows. She worried about Ellie worse than anyone. Okay, maybe not worse than anyone, I thought, shooting a glance at Braden, whose own brows were knitted together in a troubled expression.
Braden was quite possibly the most overprotective brother I’d ever met, but since I knew all about being overprotective of a younger sibling, I had no room to make fun.
In an attempt to pull them out of their dark thoughts, I joked about the utterly crap day I’d had at work. Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday nights, I worked at Club 39. On Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday during the day I worked as a personal assistant to Thomas Meikle, an accountant at Meikle &Young’s accountancy firm. Mr. Meikle was a moody bastard and since “personal assistant” was really just a posh word for “gofer,” I suffered constant whiplash from his colorful temperament. Some days were fine and we got along well enough; other days, like today, “I didn’t know my arse from my elbow”—direct quote—and was utterly useless. Apparently my uselessness had hit a new record today: There hadn’t been enough sugar in his coffee, the girl at the bakery ignored my instructions to take the tomatoes off his sandwich, and I hadn’t mailed out a letter Mr. Meikle had forgotten to give me. Thankfully, tomorrow was my day off from Meikle and his vitriolic tongue.
Braden once again tried to persuade me to leave Meikle and come work part-time at his estate agency, but I declined to accept his help, just as I had refused Joss’s many offers of help in the past. Although I was grateful for the kindness, I was determined to always make my life work on my own. When you relied on people you cared about, put your trust in them with something huge like that, they inevitably disappointed you. And I really didn’t want to be disappointed by Joss and Braden.
Obviously feeling more persistent tonight, Braden was relaying the benefits of working for him. Suddenly I felt the hair on the nape of my neck stand on end. My muscles tensed and I turned my head slightly, Braden’s words becoming muffled as I checked out who or what had caught my notice. My eyes flickered across the room and then my breath hitched as my gaze paused on a guy who was staring at me. Our eyes met, and for some absolutely bizarre reason the connection felt physical, like acknowledging each other’s presence had actually locked me in place. I felt my heart rate pick up, the blood rushing in my ears.
There was a fair distance between us, so I couldn’t make out the color of his eyes, but they were thoughtful and probing, his brow creased as if he was just as confused by the static between us as I was. Why had he caught my attention? He was not the kind of guy I usually responded to. Aye, he was pretty good-looking. Messy dark blond hair and sexy stubble. Tall, but not as tall as Malcolm. This guy was probably six feet tall and no more. I would stand a few inches taller than him in the heels I wore tonight. I could see the muscles in his biceps and the thick veins on his arms because the idiot was wearing a T-shirt in late winter, but he wasn’t built like the guys I dated. He wasn’t broad and beefy. He was lean and sinewy. Mmm, “sinewy” was a good word for it. And did I mention the tattoos? I couldn’t tell what they were, but I could make out the colorful ink on his arm.
I didn’t do tattoos.
When his eyes lowered under their lashes, I inhaled at the shock-like feeling that jolted through me as his gaze traveled down my body and back up again. I felt like squirming, overwhelmed under his flagrant perusal, though usually, if a guy checked me out like that, I would just smile back flirtatiously. The moment his eyes came back to my face, he offered me one last searing look—a look that I felt like a callused caress down my body—and then dragged his gaze away. Feeling dazed and decidedly turned on, I watched him stride off behind one of the art walls that divided the gallery into sections.
“Who was that?” Joss’s voice broke through my fog.
I blinked and turned back to her with what I imagined was a stupefied look on my face. “I have no idea.”
Joss smirked. “He was hot.”
A throat cleared behind her. “What was that?”
Her eyes twinkled mischievously, but when she turned to face her scowling partner she had schooled her expression into one of innocence. “I meant from a purely aesthetic point of view, of course.”
Braden grunted but pulled her tighter into his side. Joss grinned back at me and I couldn’t help but smile. Braden Carmichael was this no-nonsense, straight-talking, intimidating businessman, and yet somehow Jocelyn Butler had managed to wrap him around her pinky finger.
I think we stood there for about an hour, drinking the free champagne and discussing everything under the sun. Sometimes I felt intimidated when the two of them were together because they were so intelligent and knowledgeable. I rarely felt I had anything profound or interesting to add to the conversation, so I just laughed and enjoyed them teasing the hell out of each other. When I was by myself with Joss it was different. I knew Joss better than I knew Braden, so I was confident that she would never want me to feel like I had to be anybody other than myself. It was a nice change of pace from the rest of my life.
We chatted with some other guests, trying not to seem confused by their enthusiasm for the art, but after an hour Joss turned to me apologetically. “We have to go, Jo. I’m sorry, but Braden’s got a really early meeting tomorrow.” I must have shown my disappointment because she shook her head. “You know what? No, I’ll stay. Braden can go. I’ll stay.”
No. Absolutely not. I had seen myself through situations like this before. “Joss, go home with Braden. I’m fine. Bored. But fine.”
“You’re sure?”
She gave my arm an affectionate squeeze and took Braden’s hand. He gave me a nod, and I returned it with a smile and a “Good night,” then watched as they walked across the gallery to the clothes rail where all the guests’ coats were hanging. Like a true gentleman, Braden held Joss’s coat for her and helped her shrug it on. He kissed her hair before he turned to pull on his own coat. With his arm wrapped around her shoulders, he led her out into the cold February night, leaving me inside the gallery with an unfamiliar ache in my chest.
I glanced down at the gold Omega watch Malcolm had bought me for Christmas, and as always when I checked the time, I bemoaned the fact that I couldn’t sell it yet. It was possibly the costliest gift I’d ever received, and would do wonders for our savings. There was always the hope, however, that my relationship with Malcolm would turn into something more significant and selling the watch would no longer be an issue. But I never allowed myself to get my hopes too high.
It was nine fifteen. My pulse picked up a little and I riffled through my tiny fake Gucci clutch purse for my phone. No messages.Dammit, Cole.
I had just pressed send on a text message reminding Cole to call me as soon as he arrived home, when an arm slid around my waist and the woodsy, leathery smell of Malcolm’s aftershave filled my nostrils. Not needing to tilt my head back to meet his gaze since I was wearing my five-inch heels, I turned and smiled, covering my worry for Cole as our eyes met. I’d gone for sophisticated in the Dolce & Gabbana red pencil dress that Malcolm had bought for me on our last shopping trip. The dress showed off my trim figure to perfection. I loved it. I would be sad to add it to my eBay pile.
“There you are.” Malcolm grinned at me, his brown eyes bright as they crinkled attractively at the corners. He had a head full of lush, dark hair with a sexy sprinkling of gray at the sides. He wore suits all the time and tonight was no exception, the Savile Row tailoring exquisite. “I thought your friends were coming tonight or I wouldn’t have left you all alone.”
I smiled at that and placed my hand on his chest. “Don’t worry, I’m fine. They were here, but they had to leave early.” I looked at the phone still curled in my hand  Where was Cole? Little gremlins awoke in my stomach to nibble anxiously at my insides.
“I’m buying one of Becca’s paintings. Come and pretend with me that it’s brilliant.”
I chuckled and then immediately felt bad, biting my lip to stall the sound. “I’m so glad I’m not the only one that doesn’t get it.”
His eyes darted around the room, his lips curled in amusement. “Well, thankfully these people know more about art than we do, so I’ll at least get a return on my investment.”
He kept his arm around me and guided me through the gallery and behind a couple of walls, where Becca stood under a huge monstrosity of splashed paintwork. I almost tripped over my own feet when I saw who she appeared to be arguing with.
Tattoo Guy.
“You okay?” Malcolm glanced down at me, frowning as he felt the tension in my body.
I smiled brightly. Rule number one: Never let him see you as anything but positive and charming. “I’m great.”
Tattoo Guy was grinning at Becca, his hand on her hip, trying to pull her to him, his expression bordering on appeasing. Willfully, I ignored the catch in my breath at the flash of his wicked white smile. Becca still looked a bit put out, but I totally understood when she stepped into his embrace. I thought any woman would have forgiven the bastard anything when he smiled at her like that.
Averting my eyes from Tattoo Guy, I followed Malcolm as he came to a stop and the couple turned to us. Becca’s cheeks were flushed pink, and her eyes sparkled with excitement. “Just ignore me and Cam. We’re just fighting because he’s an eejit.”
I didn’t look at him, but I heard him chuckle. “No, we’re fighting because we have different taste in art.”
“Cam hates my artwork,” Becca said with a huff. “He can’t be like other boyfriends and lie at least. No. Brutally honest, this one. At least Malcolm likes my work. Did Mal tell you he’s buying my painting, Jo?”
You’d think I’d be jealous of Malcolm’s obvious affection for Becca, and I know it sounds horrible, but until I saw her artwork Iwas a little jealous. I wasn’t exceptionally smart, I didn’t draw, I didn’t dance, I didn’t sing, I was just an okay cook . . . Thankfully, I was pretty. Tall with legs that went on forever, I’d been told countless times I had a good body and great skin. Combine those with huge green eyes, long, thick strawberry blond hair, and delicate features and you were left with an attractive package—one that had been turning heads since I was a teenager. Aye, I didn’t have much, but what I did have, I used to my family’s advantage.
To know that Becca was cute and talented had worried me a little. Perhaps Malcolm would get bored of me and go back to her? Actually, though, Malcolm’s less-than-enthusiastic response to her artwork made me feel better about his relationship with her. Not that that made any rational kind of sense.
“He did. Good choice.” I smiled at him and I could tell he was dying to laugh. His hand slid from my waist down to cup my hip and I moved in closer to him, chancing a glance at my phone. Still nothing from Cole.
“Jo, this is Becca’s boyfriend, Cameron,” Malcolm suddenly said, and I drew my head up quickly to finally study the man I had been avoiding looking at for the last few seconds. Our eyes met and I felt that frisson of excitement ripplethrough me again.
His eyes were cobalt blue and seemed to be stripping me back to nothing as they perused me for a second time. I watched his gaze quickly flicker over me, noting Malcolm’s hand on my waist. I stiffened as Cameron took us in, drew some kind of conclusion about us, and slammed his expression shut with the hard pressing together of his lips.
“Hi,” I managed and he gave me a barely there nod. The blaze in his eyes from earlier had definitely gone out.
Becca started chattering to Malcolm about the painting, so I took the opportunity to check my phone once again. At a disgruntled snort, my head shot up, my eyes clashing with Cameron’s. I couldn’t understand the distaste in his expression or why I felt the sudden need to tell him to go fuck himself. Faced with animosity or aggression I tended to flinch and not utter a word. In this case, the condemnation and judgment in this tattooed idiot’s face made me want to slam my fist into it and break his already imperfect nose. It had a little bump near the bridge that should have marred his good looks, but instead just added to his ruggedness.
I bit my tongue before I did something out of character and let my eyes fall to his tattoos. On his right forearm was beautiful black script—two words I couldn’t make out without giving away that I was trying to read them. On his left arm was a colorful and detailed image. It looked like a dragon, but I couldn’t be sure, and Becca moved closer to Cameron’s side, obscuring it from sight.
For a moment I wondered how Becca could go from dating thirtysomething Malcolm in his tailored suits to twentysomething Cameron with his seventies aviator watch and leather bracelets, a Def Leppard T-shirt that had been run through the wash too many times, and ratty Levi’s.
“Mal, did you ask Jo about the job?”
Bemused, I looked up at my boyfriend. “Job?”
“Becca, it’s fine, really,” Cameron insisted, his deep voice sending a shiver of something I didn’t want to admit to through my body. My eyes swung to collide with his and I saw him staring back at me, his expression blank.
“Nonsense,” Malcolm answered good-naturedly and then eyed me thoughtfully. “You’re still looking for another bartender at the club, aren’t you?”
We were. My friend and colleague (and my only one-night stand—I’d been a mess after Callum), Craig, had left us for Australia. Tuesday had been his last night and our manager, Su, had been interviewing for a new bartender for a week now. I’d miss Craig. Sometimes his flirting got to be a bit much, and I never had the balls to tell him to shut up (Joss did), but at least he was always in a good mood. “Yeah, why?”
Becca touched my arm and I looked into her pleading face. It suddenly occurred to me that even though she was a few years older than me, she looked and sounded like a little girl, with her wide blue eyes, smooth skin, and high-pitched voice. The two of us couldn’t have been any more different. “Cam is a graphic designer. He worked for a graphics company that does all the marketing and branding for household names around the country, but they had budget cuts. Last in, first out sort of thing, and Cam just started with them a year ago.”
I shot Cam a wary but sympathetic look. It wasn’t easy losing your job.
I didn’t know what I or the bartending position had to do with it, though.
“Becca.” Cam sounded annoyed now. “I told you I’d deal with this myself.”
She flushed a little under his penetrating gaze and I suddenly felt a connection to her. I wasn’t the only one he intimidated. Good. “Cam, let me help.” She turned back to me. “He’s struggling—”
“I’m struggling to find graphic design work.” Cam cut her off, his blue eyes burning with frustration. It suddenly occurred to me that his apparent bad mood might have nothing to do with me and everything to do with his situation. “Malcolm said there was a full-time position open at Club 39 and I have experience bartending. I need something to get me through until I can find another job. If you could get me an application form I’d appreciate it.”
Why I decided to be helpful considering I didn’t very much like him, or his attitude, remained a mystery as I replied, “I’ll do one better. I’ll speak to my manager and I’ll give her your number.”
He stared at me a moment and I couldn’t for the life of me work out what was going on behind his eyes. Finally, he nodded slowly. “Okay, thanks. My number is—”
At that moment my phone vibrated in my hands and I lifted it to stare at the screen.
I’m home from Jamie’s house. Stop panicking. Cole.
The tension melted from my body and I sighed, quickly texting him back.
I glanced up and noted Malcolm’s raised eyebrows.
Damn. Cam’s number. I flushed, realizing I’d completely blanked on him when I got Cole’s message. I sent him a sheepish smile of apology, one that ricocheted off his steely countenance. “Sorry. Your number?”
Unamused, he rattled it off for me and I typed it into my phone.
“I’ll give this to her tomorrow.”
“Yeah, sure,” he responded in a bored tone, suggesting he didn’t think I had the brain cells to remember to do that.
His attitude toward me pricked, but I decided not to let it bother me, snuggling more happily into Malcolm’s side now that I knew Cole was tucked in safe in our flat on London Road.

Other Books by Samantha Young:
Read these first, On Dublin Street, fall in love with Joss and Braden's lovestory
And Until Fountain Bridge, Ellie and Adam gets their chance.

On Dublin Street

All she wants is the present. But tomorrow is waiting… 

Jocelyn Butler has been hiding from her past for years. But all her secrets are about to be laid bare…
Four years ago, Jocelyn left her tragic past behind in the States and started over in Scotland, burying her grief, ignoring her demons, and forging ahead without attachments. Her solitary life is working well—until she moves into a new apartment on Dublin Street where she meets a man who shakes her carefully guarded world to its core.

Braden Carmichael is used to getting what he wants, and he's determined to get Jocelyn into his bed. Knowing how skittish she is about entering a relationship, Braden proposes an arrangement that will satisfy their intense attraction without any strings attached.

But after an intrigued Jocelyn accepts, she realizes that Braden won't be satisfied with just mind-blowing passion. The stubborn Scotsman is intent on truly knowing her… down to the very soul.

Until Fountain Bridge

Ellie Carmichael had a crush on Adam Sutherland, her brother, Braden’s, best friend, for years, and although Adam treated her with proprietary concern he made it clear he thought of her only as a little sister. 

Over the years, as Ellie’s crush develops into love, her romantic idealism makes it difficult for her to move on. To make matters worse, as she’s gotten older, Adam’s attitude has changed toward her. His affection for her is now joined by attraction, but his loyalty to Braden, and his fear of losing the only family he has, stops him from claiming Ellie the way she wishes he would. 

But one night his attraction is put to the test, and as much as Adam would like things to remain the same everything changes between them in a simple brush of the lips. 

Soon lust, love, jealousy and heartbreak combine to force change upon their relationship… and Adam discovers the hard way that life is too damn short to spend it on regret.

-     Jassie