Blackguard Hunters Series by Ellie Keys (First Chapters – 2)

r i v e

****SPECIAL SURPRISE****

As a little teaser, I am going to post on my blog the first chapter to each of the five short stories in my latest release. I have loved these characters for quite some time. I’m so happy to be sharing them with my followers.

Belinda’s Mission is Book 2 and tells the story of Belinda Banneker. She is a hard-nosed, fierce female that doesn’t take any mess from anyone. B.B. walked away from a man that she was too afraid to be with. Working closely with him and dealing with a blast from her past doesn’t help matters. Will she be able to handle both of these situations and not lose herself to the fear that caused her to run the first time around?

Here is chapter one:

The Seduction – Chapter 1

 

Belinda stood at the front door of the offices of J.H.C. Inc. and couldn’t help staring at the wall. The moniker mounted in the center of the wall was something that paid homage to Brian Wallace’s time as a Marine. He was their “Lead Dog” and the man that decided to turn something derogatory into something good. He was good like that. The man always had been and always would be. She smiled at the thought of what this building represented.

The men and women that roamed the halls and held offices on the third floor of the building couldn’t be more different, but they were united for one common goal. That goal was to protect those who came seeking their aide. The honor code the Jarhead Hunting Crew held dear spilled over into the motto of the company.

Finding those that don’t want to be found and some who need to be. Honor, Loyalty, and Commitment to the cause. That’s our decree.

B.B. was proud to part of the team. Her purpose for the day was to get a certain team member to have some form of outward reaction to her. The man was working her last nerve. She was growing tired of trying to get him to see her.

On that day, she’d opted for fitted jeans and a v-neck shirt. Both were dark in color. One was looser than the other. She kind of hated herself for feeling the need to wear anything slightly enticing, but there was a man in the office that needed to be reminded of who she was. Her long, waist-length hair shined a gorgeous hue of red as she walked in the front door. It hung loose and swept against her ass as she moved. Her masculine combat boots were traded for a heeled version and her hardened, almost goth-like make-up was softened.

If one were to flash back eight or nine years, they would’ve found the look had been her staple. It had been the way she looked when she’d first crossed paths with one, Mr. Elijah Reynolds, Prophet to the crew. The clean cut, buttoned-up way he dressed had caught her attention even then. He’d been beautiful, a light when her world was dark and ugly. Why then had she run as fast as her feet could carry her in the direction opposite of where he was waiting for her? It was the fear of leaning on him for her happiness that had her running as far away from that Miami beach as she possibly could.

Belinda had been there. She’d been dressed in a gorgeous white dress with lace—one that still hung in a bag in the back of her closet—with the gentle summer breeze softly lifting the hem of her calf-length dress. Her hair had been styled in soft waves by her friend, Kitty. The woman had followed her all over the world without a second thought. Katherine Milton had stated on many occasions that her “big ass” didn’t have anything else to do in her twenties.

“Why in fuck wouldn’t I take the chance on my friend and attempt to enjoy all this world has to offer? Your ass didn’t marry the ‘pope man’ and allow me to live vicariously through you. If you do, then we settle down. I’ll go ahead and let one of these guys chasing my tits around the globe saddle me with some babies while you get your freak on with Prophet.”

Forever the hopeless romantic, Kitty would never let go of the notion that she and Eli would get back together. Belinda didn’t hold out for that to become a truth. There was so much that had happened, so much time had passed, and so many things kept secret that she couldn’t even hope for a reconciliation to be an option. Yet, there she stood, looking like her former self, and heading into an office where the very man worked. She took a deep breath and flipped open the paper to take her mind off of what she’d put into motion. The headline caught her eye.

Victim Seeks to Find Attacker

Brooklyn Hamilton and her brother have decided to put their attacker’s crime out front for all to see. They are asking for any information on the whereabouts of this man.

“That ignorant bitch,” she said as she walked in the door.

Thomas “Hounder” Madison and all of his Cuban hotness looked up from the magazine he’d been thumbing through to see who’d walked in the door. When he saw it was her, he just smirked.

“Feeling better, I see, B.B.”

“Don’t say another word, Hounder, or you’ll be Thomas for the rest of the week.”

The smile on his face faltered as Trevor “Trig” Marshall and Brian “Ghost” Wallace chuckled. They came out of one of the smaller meeting rooms as she walked the hall of offices to get to her own.

“That wasn’t very nice, B.B. I was genuinely asking out of concern. You don’t have to go pulling out my first name on me.”

“What is he whining about now?” Samantha “Taps” Davis asked as she came out of the exam room that was the second space in the “Hall of offices.”

The first office was Eli’s, as to be expected since he was the one that kept security on point. There was an undetectable scanner built into the walls, floor, and ceiling overhead as each person took a step in the main hall. Alarms sounded if unregistered weapons crossed the walk. The exam room was the space next door to Eli’s office. Next door to that was Isa’s office then Brian’s office and then the major conference room at the end of the hall. All of that was on the right.

As a person walked the hall on the left would be Wellsie’s, Hounder’s, B.B.’s then Trig’s offices before one hit the turn in the hallway just outside of the main conference room. The hall continued and led to the kitchen, lounge, printing station, the Tech room, artillery or weapons room, locker/recreation area and Charlie Boy’s office. That was pretty much the third floor and offices of J.H.C. Inc.

The other spaces owned by the J.H.C. company were housed on the second floor. The spa, workout area, and additional office space was on located there. All of it was wired into a computer system that sent live feeds to Eli’s computer and was armed with the highest tech in security because Proph was a fucking genius.

Thinking of Eli caused her to snap back to reality. While she was lost in thought, apparently Brian had entered the exam room next to Sam’s office. Eli and Brian exited the room at the same moment.

It was odd that the two guys were coming out of the doctor’s exam room instead of one of the offices or the conference room. It was even more interesting if the person in the room was who she thought it was.

“Not whining,” Hounder yelled up the hall then grumbled something under his breath.

“Nothing important,” B.B. stated as she determined what was going on. “How’s Wellsie doing?”

“Stubborn as hell and even more frustrating.”

Hounder stood leaning next to the door with his arms folded, peering down at the two of them. B.B. did a double take then gave Sam a look of question. She hadn’t expected Hounder to be standing that close to her. The downfall of dealing with the lot of this crew is each of their ability to be stealthy. Looking at the crease in his forehead, B.B. figured out what his issue was. Well, the issue besides her giving him grief.

“That’s what has you on edge. Your girl is getting to you.”

B.B. smiled at the usually cool, calm, and flirty Cuban. He and Wellsie had been together for a couple months prior to anyone finding out about the two of them being their own little unit. All were even more surprised to learn that she was carrying his baby. Ever since that day, they’d been two halves of a whole and the cutest in-house pairing next to Brian and Isa.

Wellsie “One Shot” Sharp was officially in the final month of her pregnancy and Hounder was losing his fucking mind. Every time she moved funny or had a hitch in her breath, the man was on edge. He was driving Wellsie to want to kick his ass and kiss him stupid all at the same time. She loved and loathed how attentive he was.

“This time it was good for him to be on edge. I’m not an OB/GYN, but I know when a woman is in labor. You were right, Hounder, she’s in the early stages of labor and her contractions have just started. Your babies are trying to make an early appearance.”

“Babies?” B.B. asked.

If they were having more than one, then that was news to her. Had she been that out of the loop that she’d missed the announcement that Wellsie was having more than one baby? The Hamilton case had been her main focus over the last few months, especially since she believed that it was tied to her stalker. Eli’s rich, smooth voice had her fighting her body not to react. She fought like hell not to tremble at his proximity or his sexy as fuck sound.

“Yes, Ball Buster, they are having twins. They announced it a couple of months ago. You’ve been a little …”

She didn’t know why but her immediate response was to defend herself.

“Preoccupied doing my job? Yes, I know. Thank you for the breakdown. Congrats! I’m assuming a bus is …”

Just as she was speaking, the quick beep sounded to let them know that the ambulance was in the bay area on the main floor. Inwardly, she chastised herself for opening her big mouth with a snarky response. Eli only smirked in response but it was enough to make her want to retract her statement. That wasn’t the response she’d wanted from him.

Hounder’s hand motion snapped her out of her inner browbeating.

“Gotta go, guys.”

Hounder’s eyes were lit with glee and his stance was one of a nervous father-to-be. He took off for the elevator as Sam opened the door to a very pregnant Wellsie being assisted by Isa and Charlie Boy into a wheelchair. B.B. was surprised Hounder hadn’t been in the room.

“Fuck! Thomas Emory Madison, I’m going to fucking kill you for making me go through this,” Wellsie screamed. “I had a plate of crab legs waiting on me.”

On second thought, maybe it was a good thing that he wasn’t in there with her.

“I know, babe. I made them for you,” he called from the elevator.

“Don’t you ‘babe’ me. I’m not some fucking cutesy pig. Are you implying I’m a porker? I’ll have you know that this weight is the weight from your fucking babies, asshole. You couldn’t just get me pregnant, could you? Had to have your fucking super sperm hit me with a damn double whammy about to split my fucking ass in two, didn’t you?” Wellsie tilted her head and they quickly learned that no one was safe from her wrath. “What the fuck are you two behemoths laughing at? I feel bad for the two that fuck you. Can you imagine the size of those fucking kids? I’m surprise Isa’s shit knit back to-fucking-gether. Sam watch out! Fuuuck! This shit hurts. Hounder, you and that fucking fat ass cock are not getting anywhere near me or any of my holes again. I don’t care if I beg for it. The women of this office better remind themselves of this SHIT. RIGHT. FUCKING. HERE!” The group walked onto the elevator with a screaming Wellsie. After a few moments, things were quiet before her soft, pain-filled voice could be heard again. “Hounder, come here and hold my hand. Baby, please.”

He was there before she finished saying his name.

“I’m here, One. I’m here. You are …”

He began their phrase.

“My one, my only … my everything, as you are …”

Wellsie breathed out while leaning her head against his shoulder and breathing.

“Mine. Always …”

“And FOREVER. I think your fucking babies are trying to rip their way out of me, T. Baby, I’m going to have be knocked out if this shit feels like this now.”

“Don’t,” Isa said to Sam as the elevator doors closed.

B.B.’s phone buzzed with a message. It was from Brian.

Brian W.: Hamiltons coming in. two hours max. Once Wells is settled. Team will return. Discuss stats if no one back yet.

Brooklyn and her older brother, Landon, had practically moved into an apartment that the team kept not far from the offices. It was supposed to be a place for the team to crash if they didn’t want to make the trips to their respective homes. Each of them had a locker in the rec center locker room and a “go” bag in their offices. That spot allowed them a place to go and take a breath if needed. Working with the tough as nails group that she did made that apartment a more than necessary expense just like the recreation center or their weapons room.

B.B. was happy to know that she was going to be the one to meet with the Hamiltons. She had some choice words for that little female. With everything that was going on, no one else could possibly have had the opportunity to read the morning paper. It was then that she realized she was left in the offices with the Italian.

“Brian says the Hamiltons will be in soon. I’ve got some stuff to take care of before Brook gets here.”

The lobby area was so quiet that B.B. felt like she’d been talking to herself. B.B. turned to discover that she actually had been because the man she’d been talking to hadn’t heard a word she’d said. His eyes were focused on her ass. When she turned and gave him her front, his eyes traveled up to the swell of her breasts. Outwardly rolling her eyes, but inwardly doing a little dance, she started to walk by him.

“Lindy, did you dress for me?” he asked while following her to her office.

“You wish, Proph, and don’t call me that name,” she said as she continued up the hallway toward her office

“I do, Lindy. You know I do. It’s the reason I asked you to give me a sign to let me know that you’re ready for all I’m ready to give.”

“That statement sounds like more than just the second chance you proposed.”

B.B. had stopped at her desk and turned to face him. Eli stepped directly in front of her and looked down into her eyes. The hypnotizing pools of his deep blue eyes had her thinking of night skies. It had her thinking of all of the nights he’d made love to her on the beach that they’d planned to get married on. Why in the hell had she thought of that with this man just inches away from her?

“It is, Belinda. It so fucking is more. Say. The. Word.”

She’d cast her gaze to the floor after the thoughts of their previous time together had taken her in a direction she shouldn’t go. Upon hearing his usually serious voice growl out a command aimed at her, she had to admit that her grip tightened on the desk she’d been leaning against. Her focus went back to his eyes. Those eyes were filled with heat and something else. It was the something else that had her nodding her head.

“Oh no, Belinda. I want the words.”

“Yes, Eli.”

The plea that had been a subtle version of the response she truly wanted to give him to the look he gave her became a full on blaze of heat that he unleashed in the taking of her mouth. The kiss was full of everything. She could feel the joy, the hope, and the ever pressing need to have them connected. When she moved to grab hold to his ass, she was met with slightly exposed flesh. As she tried to pull back so she could catch a glimpse of what it was that she’d been missing all of these years, he moved with her. Her pants and boy shorts were being pulled off of her ass. He broke the kiss long enough to snatch her clothing down her legs.

“Lindy, shit. I can’t stop.”

He had just stood again and pressed against her. When she opened her mouth to ask him what he meant, he took control of it again before pressing himself between her legs. Pulling her knees up around his waist, he moved forward. His hand moved between them and she felt him. Every last inch of him pressed into her and she groaned. This groan had an added moan to it because she was disappointed with the fact that she didn’t get the chance to see him all large, extended, and fully in charge of what was about to go down between them.

“Eli. Yeeeesssss! I sooooooo missed this.”

Eli rocked into her as she grabbed hold to a handful of his hair and kissed him with everything that she had. He slowly rocked into her then pulled out. He repeated those motions until she was sure she’d fucking levitated off the desk and was floating on a cloud.

“No, no, Lindy. You don’t get to escape me. I want you here with me. I want you to feel every motion, every emotion, every wave of ecstasy as I take us into oblivion. When I swell to release, I want your walls to clamp down and drain all that I have into you. We’re then going to do this shit all over again so you’ll never attempt to do what you did to me before … ever again. This is my time and you will stay with me in this moment, while feeling me well into next week. Got me?” he growled as he switched his trajectory, making her body arch as delicious waves of pleasure crashed through her body over and over again.

“Fuck yes! I GOT YOOOUUU!”

She couldn’t help the scream that felt like it was ripped from her throat. Her vocal chords were straining with the force of the release.

“That … that was magnifico, bella amore. Let’s see if I can get another before I coat perfection with my essence, yes?”

Her beautiful Italian didn’t slow his pace one bit. He rode out her climax and carried her already satisfied ass into another state of bliss. Only then did he allow himself to join her. He held her legs apart as he’d watched their bodies join. She couldn’t help but watch as well when he’d smiled with glee before slamming into her and grinding into her. His deep penetration affirmed that she would feel him for at least the next week. When he finally tumbled over into sated bliss, he kissed her. It was a promise of more where that came from. Feeling him fill her was enough to send her into her third orgasm.

As she came back down, she noticed that his attention wasn’t completely on her. He was wearing a sexy smirk that said he’d been watching her for a little bit before she returned from her blissful cloud.

“Where are they?” she heard the familiar voice ask.

Her eyes were as big as plates when she looked at the smug look on Eli’s face. He didn’t make a move to slide out of her. In fact, the only move he made was a twitch of his dick and an arching of his eyebrow when she made to move.

B.B.’s mind was reeling. She was trying to figure out what she could say when her office door was flung open and they were literally caught with their pants down. The two of them would not hear the end of it and they would be the butt of every joke for the next … well, forever. Anytime some similar situation was brought up this would be the incident everyone would refer back to. Attempting to move again, she tightened her thighs then lifted her leg to try and pull her leg around his solid body. Sometime during the second round, he’d pulled his shirt over his head. The t-shirt was around his neck and shoulders, which meant his amazing chest and abs were on display for her to see.

“Please move more for me. It gets me that much more excited,” he whispered as she felt him grow more between her legs.

Dipping his head, he nibbled on her nipple through her clothes. His motion locked her leg in place as he rubbed his thumb along the area of her body that wasn’t filled or covered by his lower half. The gentle swirling motion coupled with the feel of his teeth made her bite back a moan. B.B. groaned and he shushed her.

“You don’t want him to know what I’m doing to you, do you?”

He swiveled his hips and she felt the delicious feeling of him being accepted within her depths again. How in the hell was it possible for her to want him so soon after he’d just taken her?

“Eli … mmm … he’s going to know … yesss … mmm, hmm … he’s going to know any minute anyway.  Fuck … that feels good,” she moaned as he quickened his motions and swallowed her next words.

A knock sounded on the door, yet Eli continued his stroke as if he didn’t care that someone was getting ready to walk in the office and expose them for all they were worth. They were two horny as fuck adults giving in to their base needs. B.B. tried to pull her mouth away from his intoxicating kiss, but he grabbed hold to the back of her neck and kept her in place. Rubbing against that sweet spot she tried to moan her displeasure at his continuation of their coupling, but it only sounded like an approval.

B.B. didn’t think it was physically possible, but Eli drove deeper within her. His massaging of her exposed breast made her want her next orgasm as much as she wanted her next breath.

The knock came again and the handle jiggled as she felt the sign of need for release rising.

“Hey B.B., I know you probably don’t want to be bothered since your door is locked and all, but will you let Proph know when he comes back from wherever he went that the info he and Ghost asked me to pull on the Hamilton case is on the external drive under ‘ham.’ Thanks. Gotta go. Hounder’s waiting for Wellsie’s bag.”

Eli continued as if they hadn’t been about to be busted. He waited for the closing of the elevator doors before he made a sound by picking up the pace. As their bodies slapped together, he kept his eyes glued to hers. She knew hers had to register shock and awe. The focus he had told her that he wouldn’t be able to speak to her for at least another few minutes. It was fine with her. She could wait him out while having some of the best sex she’d had in years.

He pumped into her awaiting heat a few more times before he growled then groaned, giving of himself over to his orgasm. The muscles of his neck tightened and he braced his hands on the desk on either side of her as he bucked then slammed into her once more. She could feel the thrust, her walls clamping down on him, and their combined release between them.

She didn’t speak until she knew she had his full attention.

“When in the hell did you lock the door?”

He chuckled before kissing her.

“When I walked through it and made sure to close it behind me. I knew I would have all of this splendor before me. I didn’t know hellfire was going to be so open and ready for me. My Hellfire had some heat she needed to release. I’ll gladly put out the flame anytime you’re ready.”

“You think I’m such a sure thing.”

“Oh, I know you are. In fact, I’m going to prove it to you. On the sofa, Hellfire. Face forward, on your knees and spread those perfect thighs. I will feast then I will extinguish. You’ve kept me waiting far too long. We should have this shit figured out and in place already. Don’t fret, amore, we’ll talk after I’ve had my fill. Now, assume the position.”

Eli had his fill, all right, his and a couple other people’s fill. By the time the Hamiltons arrived, B.B. was practically delirious and couldn’t focus. She had no inkling how she made it through the meeting. Eli tore Brooklyn a new asshole for her. Apparently, B.B. hadn’t been the only one to read that morning’s paper.

“You’ll need to follow every rule now. There will be no leeway given. You’ve painted a huge target on both of your backs. You’ve also ruined the element of surprise we had going.”

“I understand, Mr. Reynolds. I just …”

B.B. tried not to giggle. It was weird hearing anyone refer to Elijah as “Mr.” anything. In the mode that he was in, there was no reasoning with him or explaining anything. She knew firsthand.

“No. I get what you wanted, but you hired this company to do a job. You need to allow us the necessary time to do what we were asked to do. There is a lot riding on this and there are a great many people whose lives are at stake. This isn’t a game.  It’s reality. It’s a reality that is dangerous and could get a lot a people hurt if you aren’t willing to play your part as you were instructed to.”

The Hamiltons didn’t speak again until they were saying goodbye to B.B. and Eli. As soon as they were out the front door, Eli had her pinned against the door and her clothes were being worked off of her body.

“Needy much?” she asked as he hooked her leg over his shoulder.

Before he buried his face in between her legs, he looked up and responded.

“Greedy much? Hell yes, I am. Too many years I’ve waited to have at you. I’m going to have as many helpings as I want and you’re going to enjoy every moment of it.”

Any futher response that she could’ve given died on her lips the moment that his mouth was attached to her most sensitive area. Yeah, she would enjoy every last moment of him reacquainting himself with her body and would never utter one complaint. B.B. was in heavenly bliss with every way Eli showed her how much he missed her.

Belinda's Mission Teaser 3

*** AVAILABLE NOW ***

Five hot and steamy romances.

Ten lives changed

One book that will tug at your heartstrings and kick the temperature up ten notches. Get ready!

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#EllieKeys Honor Anthology (New Release)

Title: Honor Anthology
Author: Emily Snow, Chelsea Camaron, MJ Fields, Daryl Banner, Lacey Black, S.M. Donaldson, Misha Elliott, Ellie Keys, Amanda Lanclos, Ryan Michele, and Dawne Walters
Release Date: May 30, 2016
All Proceeds Donated to Honor the Sacrifice Charity

For Memorial Day 2016, eleven authors have come together to honor those who lost their lives while defending our freedom. Enjoy eleven brand new military-themed stories, which may contain a few familiar faces. 

Through happiness, struggles, love, loss, appreciation, and sorrow, these stories will leave you red hot and wanting more. 

All proceeds from the sales of The Honor Anthology will be donated to the Honor the Sacrifice charity. 

*Contains adult language and content not suitable for readers under the age of 18* 



 

OUR MISSION 
To honor, assist and raise support for our Veterans, active Warriors and their Families who sacrifice so much through selfless service to our nation.


 


 

 

Includes stories from: 
NYT and USA Today Bestselling author Emily Snow 
USA Today Bestselling authors Chelsea Camaron and MJ Fields 
along with 

HOSTED BY:

(Release Day)#TheNortonSisters Lynnia, Book 5 by Ellie Keys

Lynnia

Lynnia is HERE!

Lynnia ebook cover

Author: Ellie Keys

Release Date: Dec. 8th, 2015

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Adult

Series: The Norton Sisters, Book 5

I’m so proud of this series and the characters that have trusted me to tell their stories. These last three sisters decided to prove their moxie by taking me through the motions. I couldn’t put my finger on it when I first stepped into working on Chyra’s story. As I completed Lynnia, it hit me. I’m been working with these characters for two years. I’ve nurtured their tales and gone through the motions with them as they handed over their lives to me. 

Lynnia’s story wasn’t one that pulled me to a point of ugly cry. This was a story had me evaluating my own life. I teared up as realizations hit and acceptance was my in result. I adore the series, but I’m the author. I hope that you will enjoy Lynnia’s work as much as you’ve come to love the other sisters. 

If you haven’t started the series, then start it for free. Rayna is the first book and the one that started it all. Here is the link that leads you to all seven (7) books:

HAPPY NEW RELEASE TO Ellie Keys!!

HUGE SALE

Lynnia – http://amzn.com/B017LFD60C 

 

FROM DEC. 10TH – DEC. 13TH BOOK 5 WILL BE $.99

 

PRE-ORDERS FOR BOOK 6 & 7 ARE LISTED BELOW:
Wynter – http://amzn.com/B017M76CBO 
Happy Holidays or Not – http://amzn.com/B017M761WY

BOOK 1 is FREE on all platforms. 

Enjoy life through a good book! Happy Reading!

Link to the series

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00XLX5QQG

Lynnia

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Wynter

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Happy Holidays or Not

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Rayna

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FREE ON ALL PLATFORMS!

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Zoie

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Nyema

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A Secret for Christmas

A Secret for Christmas

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Chyra

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about the author

Ellie Keys is an author of contemporary romance, paranormal romance and mystery. She spends a great deal of her time lending her unrelenting pen to the voices that have taken over her mind. The characters that readers will find in her works have a demanding nature. Ellie is thrilled to be able to share the stories from the wealth of works that she has created.

She lives in Georgia with her son. Her loves outside of writing are reading a good book and losing herself in a great movie. Inspiration comes from everything around her. There is a great deal in store for lovers of romance lovers and suspense seekers.

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(Release Day Blitz) Rebuilding Trust by Elison Grace

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Rebuilding Trust by Elison Grace

Release date: Nov. 3, 2015

Cover design: Cover Me Darling

synopsis

The only thing Cory took serious was his career as a firefighter. His relationships consisted of nothing more than one night stands.

Until he met her.

After Carrie’s heart has been shattered she changed her life. Forced herself to become a strong-willed, independent woman. She didn’t need anyone to support her.

Especially a man.

Cory makes it his mission to win Carrie’s love and trust. Can he help rebuild her shattered heart or will their hearts end up in a pile of ashes?

Where to Buy

excerpt

prologue

July 2013 Carrie

There are those defining moments in life when your world as you have known it is ripped away from you. You have to decide if you are going to lie down and let it crush you or if you’re going to get up, strap on your big girl panties, and make a new life. I chose the latter. When my world and future were ripped away from me, I chose to redefine myself and become an independent woman. I have been dependent on people my entire life and it has gotten me nothing, but heartache and pain. Time for a change.

I could not believe that I was preparing to marry the man I have loved since I was sixteen years old. Standing in front of the mirror, I felt like a cake topper in my mother’s choice of dress. It was not me at all. You could barely see me or my figure amongst the mounds of tulle in the skirt. The top was long sleeved with lace resting along the collar bone and the back dipping wide, stopping just below my shoulder blades. My exposed shoulder blades were the only skin you could find in this dress. I wanted to take it off as soon as I put it on, but, for my mother’s sake, I came out to show the group. I don’t know why I bothered. There was not a dress in the universe that would make us both happy. This could be why my wedding dress was one of the last things I needed to pick for the wedding.

If I was being honest, it was one of the only things I really got to pick. My mother was trying to hijack that too. When she heard that Toby and I had gotten engaged, she immediately got on the phone with Lois, Toby’s mom. Together the two of them had been planning their dream wedding for us. They came together to pick the location of the wedding, reception, and over the top hotel ballroom. The colors, robin’s egg blue with ivory accents and ivory roses all around, are boring. I let them plan it all because they were paying and I didn’t care enough to fight. I just wanted to be married to Toby. He was my heart. We had been together since we were sixteen. Nobody knew me better than him. He was my constant, my strength, and I couldn’t wait to have that in my life forever. That’s I all I cared about. They could have the rest, except for the dress. I wanted to pick a dress that made me feel beautiful, confidant, and not like a cake topper.

“Oh, you look like a bride!” Mother cooed as Lois nodded her agreement. Rolling my eyes, I decided I had to take a stand or I would be stuck in this monstrosity of a wedding dress for my wedding.

“I hate this and I’m not going to wear it. I am going to go back in there, resist the urge to burn this dress, and come out in something I love. This is my day. I appreciate everything you two have done for me, but I need to pick the dress myself.”

Gathering the mass of tulle, I stormed off into the dressing room. The consultant followed me in.

“From now on we are just focusing on my picks. Let’s start with that one, please,” I said as I pointed to the dress that caught my eye as soon as I walked in.

Sliding the dress over my head, she zipped it up and I turned to face the mirror. Goose bumps pricked my arms and my breath caught. This is the dress that I would marry Toby in.

The dress was everything I never knew I wanted. It just felt right. The bodice was covered in intricate, flower patterned lace with pearl straps. The skirt was light ivory tulle with a shear organza overlay. The same lace from the bodice adorned the bottom of the skirt. The piece that made it perfect was the silver belt that was intricately detailed like the lace and had pearl accents throughout.

I had considered taking it off and having them ring it up. I really didn’t want the mothers to ruin this for me. There was no way that would have been acceptable to the mothers. I went out there to let them know that this was the one and I would not change my mind.

Stepping onto the podium, I looked at myself in the big mirror.

This was it and I just had to make them see it. I called the bridal consultant over and asked her if she could get me a veil to put on with the dress. I needed all the help I could get to get us all on the same page.

Turning toward the group, I waited for them to shoot the dress down so I could defend it. My mother’s hand flew to her mouth. Her eyes sparkled with unshed tears. She looked over at my future mother-in-law and they both nodded.

“This is it. You look gorgeous,” my mother-in-law said.

Yes! I have found the one! Turning back to the mirror I inspected myself. I looked like a bride. I was going to walk down the aisle and marry the man of my dreams in this dress. He was going to love it.

My phone chirped from my purse that I had left with my mother. I ignored it. This wasn’t the time for texts. It was time for my celebration. The phone chirped three more times consecutively so I decided that whoever it was must think that whatever they had to say was important. Stepping off the pedestal, I dug my phone from my purse and slid my finger across the screen to see who it was. There were four texts from Toby.

Opening the first one, I gasped. It was a close up picture of a girl with her lips wrapped around a dick. At first, I was like, what the fuck is this? Upon closer inspection, I saw the black tribal tattoo down his side that I knew so well. I sat beside Toby when he got it last year. My hands began to shake. I know I shouldn’t have opened the rest, but, I couldn’t seem to stop myself. The next one was a picture of Toby and a bleached blonde kissing. Tears streamed down my face as everyone watched me. I hadn’t said a word so they don’t know that my heart was shattering. Opening the third, my eyes landed on a picture that looked like it was taken by Toby. It showed the entire front of the same girl, fully naked and exposed, as she was riding him. My knees buckled as I looked at it and my future was ripped away from me. I switched to the final text.

Toby: Heard you were getting married. Wanted to show you who you were committing your life to.

I threw the phone as if the words had burned me. I sat there, on the floor, in a pile of tulle and organza crying over my shattered heart and demolished future.

They say that timing is everything and the timing of the job offer to be a teacher at Loveland Elementary in Colorado couldn’t have been better if I had planned it. I had just recently graduated from Iowa State with a teaching degree. Originally the plan was to try to get a position around Ames, get married, have the two point five kids, and live happily ever after with my high school sweetheart. It was the fairytale everyone talks about. That fairy tale had been crushed and it was time to create a new story featuring me alone as the heroine. I hadn’t applied for jobs at schools out of state so I was surprised when they called me asking if I would be interested in starting in the upcoming school year. I guess my professor had a friend there and called them to recommend me after she had heard that I may need a new start. I could kiss her for that because it was exactly what I needed. I accepted the position without any hesitation and began arranging my new life in Loveland, Colorado.

Through the internet I found a girl who was looking for a roommate. She was a nurse at the cancer center there and seemed really nice. My parents helped me with starting money because they really wanted me to move away. They didn’t like the way my tainted marriage plans and decimated future had ruined the Robinson family name. Apparently, I was now an embarrassment because Toby was sticking his dick in other women behind my back.

My car was packed to the brim with all of my possessions. If it didn’t fit in the car, it was staying there. Can you think of a better way to force a new start? I can’t. I didn’t have the room to bring my past with me so I had to go and start anew in a new place, starting with new stuff.

Waking up early, I slide into my Grand Am SE. I didn’t bother to say goodbye to mother or the rest of the family. What would have been the point? They wanted me gone so I’m gone. They were not getting any teary, heartfelt goodbyes. They would just be a lie anyway. Backing from the driveway, I start the long drive to Colorado; to my new life.

Cory square

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The Author

Elison lives in Iowa with her husband, daughter, and naughty dog named Murray. She works on a blog and loves to read. She thinks that is a big reason she started writing. Elison writes contemorary romance and is currently working on the Loveland Series about hot firefighters.

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Recent Releases, Pre-order and a GIVEAWAY!!

New from Ellie Keys

A sexy new romance where secrets and lies could lead to the demise of all this woman’s holds near and dear to her heart.  Life choices have never been easy, even made worse when the belief in two wonderful men can stand in the way of one woman’s true happiness.

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Chyra, Book 4 (The Norton Sisters Series)

Chyra’s secret is revealed in book 3.5.  The family has learned about little Zachariah and have given her all kinds of hell about it.  They don’t know that’s not the only secret she has.  Just wait until they learn the rest of her secrets.

Isaac has been nice enough to stay away from his wife while she sorts out her life.  Finally, fed up and having had enough, he pays a surprise visit to Tempa.

What he finds may just be more than he bargained for when he determined/decided to take the youngest Norton sister as his wife?

Add to the mix, the father of her newly revealed son and you have a trifecta that is sure to rock the worlds of every member of the Norton family whether they be related by blood or by marriage.  Sometimes hiding isn’t the best remedy.  Chyra may just wish that she didn’t return once all comes out.

The Norton Sisters Series is a series about six sisters that share the same last name, but are six entirely different women. The sisters by age ranking: Zoie, Wynter, Rayna, Nyema, Lynnia and Chyra are there for each other, always. They follow their own little “Norton Code”: “In the end, family means everything and your sisters hold you up. No matter what may come.”

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A Secret for Christmas, Book 3.5:

Chyra is the youngest Norton sister and wears that title like a badge of honor. She has returned to her family, but no one has any idea of what she did while she was away from her family for five years. Christmas dinner with the Nortons is going to be very interesting as secrets begin to be revealed. Zach is at the root of her secret and holder of the heart she fears sharing. What is it that is going to outshine the star on top of the tree.

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Nyema, Book 3:

Nyema is the psychologist and single mother of the family. She’s helped so many deal with their own problems while harboring some of her own. James has been dealt a devastating blow that he never would have expected. Are these two able to get over their individual issues to open their hearts to love one another?

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Zoie, Book 2:

Zoie is owner of her own day care center and is the eldest of her siblings. She has always wanted to be a mother. Tired of waiting for the right guy to come along, she’s decided to take matters into her own hands. Victor has been admiring Zoie from afar for a while and has determined that he is finally going to do something about it. Will her desire to have a child destroy her chances at a loving relationship?

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Rayna, Book 1:

Rayna is a no nonsense lawyer and the one sister that states she has no need of a man beyond the title that she’s given them: “bedwarmers”. She is content with her life. Her sisters are not. Chris meets Rayna and sees a woman that he must have in his life. Will her stubbornness prevent her from opening up to a man willing to love her? Or is there something more preventing her from sharing her heart?

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