Imagine you are about to get married and your fiancé’s crazy ex begins to show up, send letters and call to bug the heck out of you.
Imagine that you are the ex wife, doing all you can to end your ex husband’s new relationship.
Imagine being the husband, wishing that your ex would just leave you be.
As you read the book, you suddenly realize something….
Things are not always what they seem. I promise that as you read this your mind will latch on to one bendable truth, naturally but prepare for the twists!
The Wife Between Uscenters around the theme of not always knowing who you marry. That fact alone is humbling enough and in reality, many of us experience this, however the authors made sure to keep us on one plane of thought while systematically, twisting our mind around in the middle of the book.
The secrets, the mystery, the psychological torture is only the tip of the iceberg and I can honestly say I was not ready for the many revelations.
At least two revelations, surprised me, but the biggest one of all towards the end shocked the mess out of me.
For those used to linear storytelling, however, do not fear but I do warn you. The true gem of this work lies not only in storytelling and pacing, but how the story is told. It may give you whiplash if you are not paying attention.
“We think we’ve entered into a union with another person when, in fact, we’ve formed a triangle with one point anchored by a silent but all seeing judge…” (from The Wife Between Us by Hendricks and Pekkanen, 2018)
All in all I highly- and I do mean highly recommend this book to you. If there is one you pick up this Winter, let it be The Wife Between Us.
**This book was received for my unbiased review through Netgalley.
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It goes back to the saying: “You never know what you have until its gone.”
Her new friends Kar and Beth definitely kept me laughing and as I mentioned, their own plots in the story is promising. I can definitely see some books written based on their lives, however Always Red amps it up with the passionate scenes and crimes of passion as well.
There is definitely more truths being revealed and you pray everyone makes it out alive.
Red is not one of my favorite characters. I tried to like her in the first book, but now I see that Caleb, as sweet and hot as he is, is the more sensitive one in this situation. He will do anything for Red but it seems like it takes a herculean effort for her to show how much she loves him. I give her an A for effort…
I am saying this because, the gorgeous drifting rock star, Damon, who calls her “Angel Face” once again is always to her rescue and she just goes to him. Nothing wrong with that, I mean, she is a grown woman, but when Caleb feels some way about it, she never addresses it appropriately in my opinion. Her upbringing was kind of screwed up which can account for her being a shelled individual.
All in all a great conclusion to the series and I will definitely read more of Ronin’s stories on Wattpad!
*Here is the next installment to my blog story series Queens of Men. Things get a bit difficult for Nikki as her ex with the lethal tongue threatens her agency! Click here to read part 1!
Dino watched the indecision cross over Nikki’s beautiful face.
She was so uptight.
Such a turn on when she blushed crimson, then clear when trying to establish her control. Her pulled his hand from hers reluctantly. “No pressure, Nikki.”
“Uh huh,” she approached the shining white four door car that was hers. When she popped the door open he could smell the new car scent and artificial strawberry from the dangling red pine tree hanging on the mirror of her car.
He watched as her lush backside slide into the seat.
He waved his fingers at her, blew a playful kiss— which she ignored.
Yeah, maybe she was way out of his league. The women on his list to escort this week was long. He definitely had his work cut out for him. Some chick named Randy Red, a half Asian half African chick, with a pretty mouth and head full of spiraling curls will be his date tomorrow.
He knew enough about her to know…that even she wouldn’t do for him. But she will be a pretty date and she wanted to make her boyfriend jealous.
Most women the agency cater to are usually twenty-five and older. They are lonely or even married and want a fun night to let their hair down, be treasured, no arguments or worrying over babysitters and bills or husbands who won’t listen to them.
Queens of Men agency was there to be an ear to hear and masculine shoulders to cry on- no judgments. Some carried it out further providing “Sticky” services that could put Nikki’s agency on the hot list for investigation.
Dino will admit that he has broken a few of those rules, other men of the agency broke them too.
But Dino played by the rules.
Its easy to follow the rules when the woman of your dreams was constantly on your brain like some leech on the brain sucking your blood and intelligence. Turning you from all other women.
That’s what Nikki Treasure did to him.
She possessed his dreams and turned them wet. Possessed his mind and made him stupid, but as long as he pulls off the gentlemanly way, she will choose him.
If not, he can move on.
Taking her grandpa’s money and investing it in Queens of Men Escort Services was the best thing she could do. It was like having a candy store knowing you won’t need to eat it. She didn’t need love from men anymore, they were trifling and cheaters, but she could employ good eye candy to give some other women a good time.
Nikki held her tablet in front of her. She was still getting emails and requests from the ladies via the app. Many of them either wanted Dino or Peter “Pipe” Smith.
Mostly for Dino.
“My Queen!” Pipe said, his big personality filling the room. Nikki didn’t even hear him knock. “I know you have some work for me but as I always say, you are free to join me and the ladies anytime. Don’t be shy.”
“What do you want?” Nikki asked warily.
“Just wanted to drop in.” His 6’1 masculine frame was clad in bright Navy Tom Ford Sharksin suit which probably ran him a couple thousand dollars. The way he smiled reminded her of a serpent.
“Did you complete your order?”
“I did. You should select more mahogany beauties in the future. I had loads and I do mean loads of fun with Angela Mwekeme.”
I hope he did not…
“Pipe! You did not have sex with her, did you?”
Pipe looked every bit the cat that caught the canary. Nikki so badly wanted to wipe the smug, stupid look from his face. Permanently. “Jealous, My Queen?”
“Jealous? We have a strict code, set by law. No sex! If one of these women decides to keep your semen or a hair follicle, record sessions-”
“Relax. Relax.” He leaned over my table like he owned the place. “I am waxed as a newborn baby, I use protection and have a no phones allowed policy. See?”
“Don’t tell me that! Now I’m privy to you telling me you prostituted yourself!” Nikki huffed and stormed over to her door which was slightly ajar, to shut it tightly. Getting up was a mistake, Pipe’s eyes went from playful brown to bedroom lust as he checked her out so boldly and openly.
Nikki knew from experience, it was indeed true. He had a magical tongue. But being with Pipe was a mistake never to be repeated, that’s for sure.
“Come on, Nikki,” he whispered stepping to close. “I know you get lonely. You can’t possibly be waiting around for Prince Charming when the Hot Devil is right here waiting for you. My body is always at your service.”
Pipe was closer to Nikki’s age being a year younger but sometimes he was more a child than a man. “Oh my goodness. No, Pipe!” He brushed his hips against hers forcefully, causing her back to press against the door.
Pipe suddenly had his hands clasped around both her wrists. Tightly. “I just want to hear you scream for me, Mi Cherie. I love how you say my name in bed. Such an expressive vixen you are.” He then opened his mouth to display his undulating tongue which was uncharacteristically long and bobbed up and down expertly.
Nikki pushed him away hard. “I have a guard on post if you try that again, Pipe. Get the hell out! As a warning, you can no longer accept weekly dates this month, and you will have 10% garnished from your earnings this month. Got it?”
Feeling more in control, Nikki went over to her desk, picked up her tablet and sent an email message to Stacy in payroll to take Pipe’s 10% out, but while doing so Pipe stood there, snarling.
“You don’t want to mess with me, Your Highness,” he grit out. “There are things I know about this agency that once I let them out, you will be sorry and instead of me cuffing you to my bed, the cops will cuff you and haul your pretty ass to the clinker.”
With incredible force he slams the door making papers swirl about in a white haze.
What stuff did he know? Were there illegal activities going on around me? Nikki wondered in slight fear.
She held her, bruised sore wrist in her hand, massaging it.
Synopsis: She’s 32. He just turned 21, but something about Dino is making Nikki feel as if a night with him will be more dangerous….more delicious than she ever imagined.
*This short fiction, was inspired by the prompt “You better hold on tight to your weave” on Marquessa’s blog*
Nikki tried hard to pretend she did not see Dino kiss Sandra on the lips by the bake case.
Nikki pursed her lips and cursed silently. As the Queens of Men owner with power and what some call a classic, regal kind of beauty, she shouldn’t be jealous. Dino was doing what he was being paid to do: Make lonely women happy. One rule: No sex with the clients(although rumor has it that all her men were breaking that Golden Rule…)
All of Nikki’s hired men were drop dead gorgeous. She screened the best, healthiest men of the East, heck—-of the nation, to work for her. Dino was the best, and even though every now and then their banter would go from mild to hot they kept it business as usual.
Some of her men propositioned her from time to time, garnering looks of death from Dino. Which annoyed her, since Dino got looks and intimate time with slues of women.
But now a busty brunette with a broken heart, held his attention and Nikki couldn’t help but steal glances from her table in the coffee shop.
If she was careful, Dino would not see her. Not her fault this was a popular café.
Holding the magazine to her face, knowing full well she should leave now, Nikki cut her eye at the two by the bakery case. Some women entered the shop looking married as hell yet still cut their gaze at Dino.
With eyes light as a gray storm, a beautiful gold tan and a body made of raw male power, who could resist him? Even a female corpse would rise from the dead to get with Dino.
He was her best and favorite client.
Turning her head down and finally enjoying some of her Mocha latte,while pretending to read, Nikki nearly yelped when Dino said, “What’s up? What are you doing here?”
Sliding on her professional, cool face Nikki avoided Dino’s grey gaze and laid the magazine down slowly. “Just enjoying my early morning coffee? You?”
Dino looked behind him. The brunette was gone. So were her tight, red clothing. “Just pleasing a customer.” He winked at her before sitting down at the small table. His eyes were now fastened on her neck, making her grow hot, right there. Damn eyes were lasers.
That’s Dino. Never a casual observer. He watched the oddest of things. Instead of hips, butt, and eyes, Nikki noticed he admired necks and hands. Or were those just things he admired on her?
“So, what’s next on your agenda for the day?” She asked him.
Dino surprised her by taking one of her hands in his. “Your hands are incredibly soft, My Queen.”
Ever on duty, he calls her by the name she trained them to call her.
He turned her hand over.
His gaze made even her palm sweat! Her Degree deodorant was liquefying fast, and she feared she would turn into a wanton puddle of embarrassment. Hopefully, he couldn’t read her thoughts.
She snatched her hand away but he quickly took her other hand from her coffee mug and rubbed a thumb on top of that one too. “Looong, piano fingers.” He murmured silkily, dragging out “long”. “You play?”
“When the mood strikes.” Her breath hitched and her other hand was now under the table, toying with the end of her skirt.
“Queen? You heard me?” Dino licked his lips. She shook her head. Embarrassed to have been daydreaming of his hands playing with her.
“I’m sorry. What did you say?”
“Wanna get out of here?”
Nikki looked around the half empty café. The smell of warm coffee beans and cake was inviting. It was her haven.
Ever the gentleman, he placed his hand at the small of her back and guided her out of the café and into the pleasant air. It was such a beautiful day. Bright with birds chirping and the streets seemingly paved with gold.
“You should be with Sandra. You are still on the clock.”
“I sent her away.” His eyes focused on the view before them. “Beautiful out here, isn’t it?”
Nikki wanted this to stop. He was getting far too close to her. Too close. He was far too young for her. It was a blessing that she looked to be in her twenties, but was in fact nearing thirty-three. Dino was just turning twenty-one.
“This is me,” she stopped near the parking garage. “I have to take care of business.”
Dino’s knowing, warm eyes suddenly took on a playful glint. “You’re not as hard as you seem My Queen. But,” he licked his lips. “You are a challenge I’m up for. You need to be broken.”
This time. Ohhhh, this time, his eyes performed a slow agonizing dance over her face, her lips, her breasts, covered with a pin striped top but his gaze made her feel bare to him. Then his tongue slowly swept his lips as he eyed her narrow waist and curvy hips, all the way down to her toes.
He advanced on her slowly, like a panther. She held her ground with her chin up. “You’re too young for me. If I want a man, I can have one.”
Something like hunger, or possession flashed in his grey eyes. “True,” he growled. “I don’t want you with some man anyway.” He paused. “And I can make you forget our age difference, if you let me.”
“I can’t- I can’t, Dino. This is against the Policy. You know that.” She heard him grumble saying something about “to hell with policies” and other expletives.
He took her hand this time, wrapped it in his large one. Nikki was amazed at how well he filled out his black suit. He looked tailor made for the army or the UFC.
“Ah,” he murmured. “Your hands are long enough to curl around my-”
“No!” She covered her ears. Why was she being childish? Only Dino did this to her.
“Then again,” he continued sliding his warm hands up and down her arms. “Your hands may not fit around the likes of me, I’m pretty big-”
“Doesn’t matter. You try to hide it, but I see it in your eyes when we’re together. When we talk, even how your breathing pauses a little when you’re around me.”
“No,” Dino leaned in to her neck and inhaled. It was so erotic. Right there in public! “I knew it. You smell incredible,” he whispered. “I bet you taste just as good. Better.”
Nikki said nothing. She was probably melting on the ground by now.
“Let me propose something to you. You’re a business woman, right?”
“Of course!” Why was her voice breaking?
With a gentle, nearly airbrushed kiss to her neck, Dino said: “Give me one night with you My Queen, and I promise I will change your world.”
Nikki heard the rumors of Dino’s sexual prowess. Said he moved like an animal in bed. Said he was a Rock star in pleasuring women, making their bodies hum and sing. Said some women couldn’t handle all of him. He stole hearts.
A queen needed her heart.
Dino was exactly the kind of man she did not need in her life.
“And if you don’t?” Am I really agreeing to this?
Smiling like a wolf that caught its meal, Dino stepped back, his hand still holding hers. “I will.” He promised.
I shut off my phone before continuing with the sad details from 48 hours ago.
I don’t know why I’m torturing myself. Reliving those moments of arriving at Otis’s apartment after my Zumba class off campus. I was excited about our Taco Tuesday since I burned off enough calories to replace it a little.
Instead of knocking, I finally used the house key he had copied for me, and as soon as my gym bag hit the plush carpet, I heard squeaky bed noises upstairs. There was music playing too, but not too loud.
I close the door firmly.
That was when the noise kicked up in crescendo and I hear the unmistakable keening of a satisfied woman.
I stomp up the steps wishing to God I had my switchblade. I will just have to use my knuckles instead.
Otis bursts from the room. I catch a glimpse of a long, creamy thigh hanging off his bed, rear-end high up but face down.
He slams the door and comes fully out, he tries to reason with me.
I smack his face so hard the print of my hand lingers crimson on that fine face of his.
I try my hardest to get to the door and see the chick who has replaced me so I can hit her as well but Otis, along with a string of apologies from his fat lips, picks me up like I weigh no more than a pamphlet, and carries me downstairs kicking and screaming.
Once he sets me down, I stare at his ripped body and black military cut hair. He was so beautiful.
And so not mine anymore.
“Yona…” He pleads.
I hold up a hand. “Save it. Just. Save it. I’m tired.” I run from his apartment. He calls my name.
The only thing I could see in my mind, was a female’s a red overworked butt with a black spider tattoo on the lower back.
I drove off to nowhere and somewhere for a whole damn two days. They went by in a panoramic blur: I drank in bars(I’m 21, okay?), I remembered partying, talking to dudes, passing out then waking up in someone’s car.
A stranger brought me to campus in my own car. Some dude who I remember crying on his shoulders and who kept telling me “It will be alright. It will be okay.” The scent of Doublemint gum and Irish Spring still lingers in my foggy mind.
As soon as he dropped me off last night, I puked out my guts and sorrow, showered and passed out.
I was asleep until Melody walked in from her English Lit course.
The only person I can put all this junk story on was the prissy, super smart Melody who proclaimed she hated all men.
When I was done telling her my sob, drunken story, she shook her head in sympathy. “You’ll find a new man soon.”
Her phone pinged and whatever she saw on the screen, caused her eyes to bug out and the phone ended up slipping to the floor with a hard thud.
When she leaned over the bed to get it. I saw the spider tattoo with its long webbing…dark and mocking.
Inched its dark webbing deep into my murderous heart.
No way there would be two girls with the exact same spider tattoo…
I sigh. Dammit.
I tried to make it one more year without getting locked up.
“Melodyyyy?” I say in a sing-song voice. “Did I mention the description of the girl who slept with my man?”
Melody sat up holding her phone with visibly shaking hands.
I cracked my knuckles, rotated my arms and shoulders.
At least this way, I will get a more effective workout…
**Thank you for reading folks! As usual, please share and subscribe to this blog if you like what you read! It is all about building a connected group of readers who also enjoy writing. Head over to Marquessa’s amazing blog for more Fiction Friday prompts as well!
It is that feeling you get when the ride is over. You do not want to close the book, but alas, it is over.
I have enjoyed both Beautiful Crazy and Beautiful Mess- a LOT.
In Beautiful Mess, we meet JamiLynn Dillon, Mason Dillon’s little sister and prim and proper attorney at law.
JamiLynn’s heart was broken by the heartthrob drummer, Jackson “Jax Pain” Paige five years ago while she attended college. She did not expect to run into him at his own tattoo parlor, Tatuaggio, and once again old feelings stirred up in her heart for this super gorgeous man who took her heart and body, gave it a ride she has not forgotten, then discarded her by walking out on her years ago.
When Jax sees Miss Prim and Proper Jami, it is as if whatever was missing in his soul, was finally piecing itself back together again. However, there are two problems: she is Mason’s little sister and he walked out on her all those years ago.
With all the heat and old feelings of regret and guilt building up,you begin to wonder if the two will ever make it.
Between Jax’s reason as to why he left, and Jami not being able to let go of the past nor let her hair down and then the fact that her parents have more control of her life then need be, it will take a miracle for these two to rehash the past safely and just get on with it.
This book earns five purple hearts for excellent pacing, memorable characters, and a storyline brimming with sizzling sensuality, camaraderie and lots of rock and roll and ink.
First of all, I loved this series because how can you go wrong with music, tattoos and romance? You just can’t.
Jamilynn may be an attorney but she has her heart trapped in a steel cage and for good reason. A boyfriend in high school hurt her. Badly.
Then in college, she meets Jax who is her artistic, amazing hot tutor and then Jax walks out on her- it is pretty understandable why she does not want to fool around with Jax Pain(or any dude) anymore, but darn it, Jax knows the right words to say and it helps that he is older, wiser and have discovered new ways to bring her to new heights(in bed and in life)
“Because right now, right here, Jax Paige knew only one thing for sure: he wanted JamiLynn Dillon more than he wanted his next drum solo, more than he wanted a multimillion dollar contract.”(Beautiful Mess, pg. 112 , 2017).
I could not get over the feels and chills and outpouring of sexuality and equal amounts of pure adoration and love Jax had for this woman.
JamiLynn may be cute and very smart but she was really damaged by her past, which actually made her equal parts stoic but also a teddy bear underneath. We rejoice when she realizes she is just like everyone else, she is a part of something bigger and the past does not have to keep her.
Did I mention the scorcher bedroom scenes(SWOON!)
Or the way Jax defends her and constantly dotes on her?
My favorite scene of all is when he receives a text message from her that she is tired and wants to go home but he is there. At her place. Waiting for her and fixes her tea, soup and rubs her feet after a hard day.
Can I get an AMEN!
The tone of the book is marshmallow sweet with the savory sauce of romance I was looking for.
If you are into rock n’ roll and tattoos you will love this one.
Warning: This book deals with some SERIOUS issues such as abuse and other forms of violence.
The author warns us that this hero is flawed and dirty.
However, nothing prepared me for the rollercoaster ride of feels and even threats of tears in my eyes as I read this work. Let me tell you why.
Zander Hale is all kinds of messed up. He is a narcissist. Insomniac and a sex addict. Dr. Vanessa Ferris of Ferris and Ferris has to treat him. But what she did not expect was a primal, sexy beast who is also a mental health doctor himself, to take such an interest in her.
It also didn’t help that her soon to be ex- husband works with her and is always so nosy. They have a son together, but Vanessa is truly done with her cheating husband.,
The first time Vanessa tries counseling Zander, she finds him too prideful and way too cocky, but he is an honest man. He makes it known on first meeting that he wants her. To Zander, Vanessa is becoming his very own brand of addiction and if the tension becomes too much, he’ll have to do something about it.
Now, here is where the book earns a whopping five hearts: This is the first time that there isn’t a “comedy relief” or “sista-friend” in this work of fiction for the protagonist to lean on.
To me, sista friends and comic reliefs for certain books, slows down the pace.
There were times reading this book that I wish I could help her with her situation with such a controlling husband. But it was refreshing to not have that interference, she mostly drew her strength from Zander and so I appreciated the alone time they had with each other.
I also really liked the fact that there really weren’t any heroes in this story. Everyone had flaws. The difference is in how they handled themselves.
Without giving too much away, Vanessa shut her husband from her life as soon as he cheated, but it seems he had something important to tell her that she just would not hear. I paid attention to this in the story, knowing good and well he blew his chances with her, but still…something was off about him.
Zander, to me was the true victim all through life. Again, I will not spill his beans, but his times of being cocky were obviously “bravado masks” for when he was hurt. But I enjoyed him bantering with Vanessa and the way they steam up the darn eBook was FIRE!
I found it interesting that the main characters: Dr. Simon Ferris, Zander Hale, and Vanessa Ferris are all mental health doctors, but Vanessa gave Zander the time of day to hear why he does what he does, instead of affording her husband the same listening ear.
However, you will quickly figure out the darkness her ex- husband was hiding and will be glad she turns to Zander.
The book goes more into Zander’s background than Vanessa. We get bits and pieces of her past life as far as academics and career is concerned but I do not recall her mentioning her own parents at all.
I highly recommend this book because it is a testament that true love can kick any bad situation’s butt if we hold out hope for one another and the future. The hero in this book not only made me swoon hard, but conveyed that all people deserve a chance at happiness.