Once upon a time Mackenzie Phillips thought she’d found her happily ever after. She had married her high school sweetheart and had started her perfect family. But one tragic night Mac’s perfect life was ripped away from her, leaving her beautiful fairy tale existence in ruins.
When everything worth living for is suddenly taken from you, how do you keep going? People told her how lucky she was just to be alive after that night, but she didn’t agree.
Years passed with Mac living in a fog, until another unfortunate turn of events placed her world on its head once again. Now, still carrying the tender wounds of her past, this widow has to face the realities of life again.
Broken and truly alone, she must find work. In walks her new employer, Dean Johnson, a guy who is just broken enough himself, that she thinks he might actually be able to understand her. But Mac soon discovers that that bond with Dean may instead force her to face demons she isn’t yet ready to deal with.
**Contains mature material including language and sex.
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I glance in, but the box is dark inside all of the tissue paper. My hands retrieve the first item. “Buckeyes!” I exclaim.
“I can see why she’s your best friend.” Dean leans on one elbow, watching me explore the contents one by one.
I reach in, continuing to pull out items—a black hair scarf with cherries, a pair of earrings from one of my favorite local jewelry designers in Cincinnati, Abbi Glines’s newest steamy romance. My cheeks go hot as Dean sees the cover, lifting his eyebrows.
“Well, I think that’s it,” I say, lifting the box, the sound of something shifting inside catching my attention. “Oh, there’s something else.” I reach in, and as I do, I can feel Dean’s eyes locked on me. I feel something long and cool slip into my hand. Locking my fingers around it, I let the box fall away. Instantly, I see Dean straighten up, a half-cocked grin on his face.
Much to my horror, I look down to see a pink rubber penis-shaped device in my hand. I freeze, but my cheeks are on fire. All I can think about is the different ways I am going to torture Monica before I kill her.
“I can explain,” I begin. I’ll tell him she’s crazy—like actually certifiable.
He’s still grinning at me as he gives me a slight nod. He closes the gap between us even more.
“You know, I can help with that,” he offers, and I can’t help but wonder if he’s serious, or perhaps maybe I’m wishing.
“You think I’m that easy?” I hit the ball squarely back to him. I consider licking my lips, but worry that may be over the top. I’m looking directly at him, and damn, he’s incredible.
“A guy can hope.” He pauses, playfully lifting an eyebrow. “Can’t he?” I grin.
In fact, I can’t do anything but grin. He moves closer, and I glance down, realizing I’m still holding the device. My breath hitches, but he still moves closer. He’s facing me, never moving those gorgeous blue eyes away from me. He slides his arm around my waist, and as he presses himself against me, I’m sure I can feel an erection. This surprises me, and my hand releases the dildo, which falls to the floor with a thud.
“What’s wrong? Can’t contain your excitement around me?” he whispers, his breath warm on my neck, just below my ear. My mouth is watering, my heartbeat quickens, and my head is now spinning. I pull back, the distance giving me a slight bit of clarity. The idea of this kind of pleasure is tempting. The bulge in his jeans tells me he is interested.
In an attempt to casually conceal the pink rubber shaft, I use the toe of my platform sandals to kick it under a nearby chair. Dean cocks a brow, his face shifts, and he laughs softly.
“What?” I shrug innocently.
“Did you just kick a dick under a chair?” He’s still laughing.
“Watch it, or I might make a habit of it.”
“Ouch,” he hisses, then winces, grabbing himself as if he were imagining the attack.
My eyes dart past his shoulder, where Storm is coming up the stairs. She has on her headphones, staring at the face of her phone. I nod my head at Dean, indicating we’re no longer alone. I shift, moving to walk past him. He grabs my hip, pulling me into his grasp.
“We’ll continue this later,” he promises. He takes my hand and leads me past Storm and out of the bus without a word. I wonder if she can tell what had been transpiring from the look on my face.
As we move around the side of the bus, I feel his hand shift to the small of my back. It’s like he knows all the places to touch me to drive me absolutely insane.
About The Author:
Connect with Wendy Owens:
Wendy Owens is a writer, born in the small college town, Oxford Ohio. After attending Miami University, Wendy went onto a career in the visual arts. After several years of creating and selling her own artwork she gave her first love, writing, a try. It’s become a passion ever since. Wendy now happily spends her days writing the stories her characters guide her to tell, admitting even she doesn’t always know where that might lead. Her first series, The Guardians, is a YA fantasy series about angel and human hybrids.
Since then she has branched into NA Contemporary Romance and released titles to include Stubborn Love, Only In Dreams, and Do Anything. Her next romance, The Luckiest is scheduled to be released in July 2014.
When she’s not writing, this dog lover can be found spending time with her tech geek husband, their three amazing kids, and two pups. She loves to cook and is a film fanatic.
Where are you from originally?
Oxford, OH. Home of Miami University.
Tell us your latest news?
I’ve started a podcast called The Hidden Bookcase, I’m hosting a conference in Cincinnati, OH for authors this October call Queen City Indie Con, and I am working on two new series.
If you could have a dinner party with any authors from any time in history, who would you choose and why?
JK Rowling and Tolkien, because they could teach me a thing or two about world building. Hugh Howey because I’d love to pick his brain about the business side of the book industry. And John Green, so smart and witty and who wouldn’t want to hear him speed talk in person.
What are your current projects?
I have a couple projects I am working on right now. A NA Paranormal serial series that is about a woman who discovers she is Fae and handed a legacy she doesn't necessarily want. As a result she essentially becomes a Fae detective to try and keep the peace between light and dark, the entire time, she is actually trying to find out who murdered her grandfather. And then I am also working on a YA Dystopian series where there has been a nuclear disaster, causing the remaining members of the human race to retreat underground beneath domes. Our main character discovers she has powers, but is terrified if she is discovered she will be exiled. After a series of events the main character is left wondering if she might actually be safer on the outside of the dome.
What books or authors have influenced your writing?
I’m going to take a cop out here and say all of them. It’s impossible not to read an author and not be influenced in someway. Perhaps even the negative ones make you think twice about the way you phrase something. JK Rowling set the bar high for me and fantasy writing for
Is there an Author that you would really like to meet?
John Green, when I watch his videos he always strikes me as highly intellectual and I think he could keep me laughing.
Tell us a little about your background. When did you start writing?
I first started writing when I was in third or fourth grade. There was a poetry competition at school that I entered and won. From there I wrote my first novel when I was 14. It was complete and total crap,but I thought it was brilliant at the time. Later in high school I got
interested in art as well. As an adult I always wanted to write, but never thought I could make a living out of it. After college, I was determined to do something creative so I began making art and selling it at art shows all over the country and online. That lasted for about 6 years, but the traveling became too hard with three kids. That was when my husband saw an article about the indie publishing world. In 2011 he urged me to try my hand at my dream. I did and I have never looked back.
Where do you get your ideas?
For my romance, from experiences in my life and the experiences of the people around me. For my fantasy and paranormal I am influenced by a lot of TV and film. One little thing I see can often sprout and entire concept of it’s own.
Are any of your characters based on real-life friends or acquaintances?
I may take pieces from people and put them into characters but I haven’t based an entire character on someone... not yet.
Do you ever incorporate yourself into your characters?
All the time. I think it helps to make it real.
Tell us about your cover. Did you design it yourself?
I actually work with a lot of people. I like to stick with one designer for a series but I also like all my series to feel very different. On top of that there are so many awesome cover designers out there it is enjoyable to work with them all. The two books I mentioned above were designed by Sarah Hansen of Okay Creations. My fantasy series, The Sacred Guardians, were done by Phat Puppy Creations. Do Anything was created by Regina of Mae I Design, and she will also be doing the upcoming YA Dystopian series, The Vale Saga.
Where did you get the inspiration for your cover?
I saw a stock image that reminded me of what Mac and Dean looked like. Sarah Hansen took it from there.