Maybe accidentally on purpose because I’m trying to avoid talking about my books all the time. But, Jaye Manus helped me revamp, revise and revigor (I do love the made-up word revigor) my work of romantic suspense, My Everything.
The book is available on Amazon only for the time being but I think within the next few months I’ll be releasing all my books via Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble and Kobo. I do love Kobo.
Here’s a little about the book:
Security consultant Ben McCall is alone. His wife and unborn child are dead, victims of an assassination attempt meant for someone else. He blames himself. Grieving, he disappears, dead to almost everyone and everything from his past. When his best friend is in danger Ben resurfaces, only to find his friend isn’t the target of a murderer, he is.
Grace Adams is one of the walking wounded. A pain specialist who treats cancer patients, she’s lost her new husband to leukemia. One night she finds herself incapacitated by a severe headache. From out of nowhere a man comes to her aid. He’s the man she fell in love with years before, Ben McCall. As the passion between them reignites, Grace too becomes a target of the madman who stalks Ben.
Now it’s not just their rekindled love at stake, it’s their very lives.
An excerpt and I’ll keep it relatively short -
Ben drove to the rear of the hotel, looking for a parking space. There wasn’t a single open space. He parked in a lot separated from the main lot by a thick hedge. He stepped out of the car and waited in the shadows, simply looking and listening. There didn’t appear to be another soul around, so he grabbed two of his bags, locked the car and strode to the nearest entrance. He passed under the lighted archway to the rear door, used his key card and climbed the stairs to the third floor.
So far so good.
Tom must have felt this would be the safest place, otherwise he would have sent Ben to his old apartment– Evan Spencer’s old apartment Ben reminded himself. The apartment was in Evan Spencer’s name, not his. Even Julie had only been there once, and she didn’t know Ben had lived there before they were married. She’d assumed it belonged to one of Ben’s co-workers.
“Shut up about Julie.” Ben opened the door to the third floor hallway, closing it behind him without a sound. He rounded a corner and stopped dead in his tracks. His room was three doors down on the right. Sticking out of the little recess where the door to his room should be were two long, bare, very shapely legs of the female persuasion.
Ben took a quick glance behind him and listened for any noise, but he saw and heard nothing. He turned back to the legs. One long but delicate foot arched upwards and then came back to point. The other leg bent at the knee just slightly. Then both knees were drawn up and slender, naked arms wrapped around them. A tousled head of gold-brown hair fell forward to rest on delicate hands.
Ben heard a quiet whimper. Without making a sound, he approached the woman. He walked right up to her, but she didn’t acknowledge his presence. Long hair obscured her face. He perused her silently. She didn’t appear to be a threat. As a matter-of-fact, other than a plastic bottle of Coca-Cola in one hand, she held nothing. She wore so little that as far as Ben could tell she wasn’t hiding a weapon unless she was sitting on it. He didn’t think so. He’d seen enough bad guys that despite his innately suspicious nature, all his senses were telling him she was harmless, unless she was a decoy, a distraction. That was a possibility. She was most definitely a distraction. Ben’s body and his mind were both quite aware of that fact.
He heard his brain say, “Down boy,” and he almost laughed, almost. He hadn’t laughed in a very long time.
Ben lowered his bags to the floor and crouched beside her, both hands free and loose, ready to fight if necessary.
“Have you been drinking?” he asked in a low voice.
He leaned a little closer, and he heard her say, “No.”
Ben inhaled, checking. She didn’t smell like alcohol. He was surprised to note the scent of vanilla that drifted his way.
“Sick?” he asked, and he found himself automatically reaching for her forehead. He drew his hand back before he touched her.
She lifted her head. Even though her eyes were half-closed, he could see that her pupils were dilated. Ben wondered if she was on drugs.
“Mm-m-migraine,” she stuttered, her voice pitched as low as his. He had to strain to hear.
Ben sat back on his heels and considered the situation. He didn’t believe in coincidence. Why, of all the places in the world, would this strange woman be sitting on the floor in front of the door to his hotel room at one in the morning half naked, her long, slim, leanly muscled runner’s legs reminding him of things he believed were best left forgotten?
“Where’s your room?” Ben asked.
“Can’t remember,” she mumbled. She moaned softly, and pressed the Coke bottle to the side of her head.
“Your room key?” Ben could be nothing if not persistent.
“In my room.”
He saw tears squeeze out the corners of her eyes and roll down her cheeks. Ben saw her teeth begin to chatter. It was cold in the hallway. Either she was a very good actress or she was telling the truth.
He decided the woman was telling the truth. He couldn’t leave her in the hallway. She was a sitting duck for any unscrupulous male who happened to walk by. But he couldn’t take her down to the front desk either. He couldn’t risk drawing that kind of attention to himself.
Reasonable or not, his only option under the circumstances was to bring her into his room and put her to bed. If it was a migraine, she’d be better in the morning. Julie had suffered occasional migraines, so Ben was familiar with the symptoms.
He’d search the woman once he got her inside and make sure she didn’t have a knife blade stashed away, maybe in the rolled down waistband of her boxers. They sat very low on her hips and didn’t cover much.
He could see the margins of a tattoo on her back, and he wondered about the rest of it. He felt himself stir at the thought and then admonished himself. If she was really sick, he’d put her to bed and get rid of her as quickly as he could in the morning.
There went his good night’s sleep. He’d either have to stay awake all night or sleep practically on top of her to avoid being unexpectedly gutted.
Ben reached over and helped her to her feet. She swayed and sagged against him. Supporting her with one arm, he used his key card to unlock the door. He scooted his shoulder bag against the door to hold it open while shoving his other bag into the room. Ben lifted her off her feet and carried her to the king-sized bed. He kept an eye on her as he retrieved his shoulder bag and closed the door. He bolted it behind him. The woman was already trying to burrow beneath the covers, but she couldn’t get the heavy quilt out of the way.
Ben removed the bottle of Coke from her hand and assisted her, taking advantage of the situation to gently run his fingers along the twisted waistband of her boxers. He felt nothing but frayed elastic. He tried and failed to ignore her warm silky skin when his fingers brushed her stomach and hips.
At his touch, she turned onto her stomach, burying her head under a pillow, providing him with the opportunity to quickly feel beneath the back of her tank top. There was nothing. He didn’t bother to check her chest. When she’d sagged against him, she’d inadvertently given him a view of her naked breasts, a view that had his cock straining against the zipper of his trousers.
He now knew with certainty the only thing under her scant clothing was skin, smooth tantalizing skin.
One thing disturbed him. He’d noticed a café au lait spot, a birthmark, high on the outside of her left thigh. It was shaped like the continent of Africa. There was something familiar about it.
Ben leaned back on the bed and searched his memory files. He possessed an eidetic memory. He remembered things in pictures. There was a trick he’d used since he was a kid. Whenever he couldn’t place something, he went into his head as though entering a file cabinet. He began to thumb through past files of women he’d encountered, female clients, co-workers, foreign agents, former lovers, even co-eds he’d dated back in college.
He stared at her tapering back with its enticing arch, her slender waist and her lovely, rounded, barely covered behind. Something clicked. He found the memory file he was looking for, and he opened it.