November 11, 2014 By nhv9sl
We are so excited to bring you the Release Day Launch for NIGHTS WITH HIM by Lauren Blakely! NIGHTS WITH HIM is the fourth full-length novel from her first Erotic Romance Series, The Seductive Nights Series! A full-length, standalone erotic romance novel that follows the love affair of a new couple, Jack and Michelle, NIGHTS WITH HIM does not have a cliffhanger. It’s ONLY $3.99 during the preorder period and release day, but this price will go up to $4.99 during release week. And as a special treat Lauren has released a FREE prequel novella, ONE NIGHT WITH HER!!
Lauren Blakely is well known for writing sexy, heartfelt and humorous contemporary romance as well as deeply emotional new adult stories –one commonality in all her books is the scorching hot sexy times. And these new books are absolutely no different! Jack Sullivan and Michelle Milo’s story is told in 2 books – the free prequel novella ONE NIGHT WITH HER and the novel NIGHTS WITH HIM. However, the prequel novella is included in the copy of NIGHTS WITH HIM to make it easier for the reader.
Message from Lauren:
The Seductive Nights erotic romance series continues with a new installment starring a new couple! While the first four books in the series followed Julia and Clay, the next two will be about Michelle and Jack, and can be read without having read the earlier books. (Though, why wouldn’t you want to read about Clay and Julia?!)
I can’t wait to introduce readers to Jack Sullivan. He’s sexy, broody, witty, smart, and a little bit damaged and he’s also my favorite kind of hero – the kind who wears a suit! Jack Sullivan is a sex toy mogul and is the CEO of a high-end line of pleasure products – he’ll bring all that experience to the bedroom as he sweeps Michelle Milo off her feet – expect many steamy encounters between these two! Michelle needs some good loving after all – readers know her already as Clay’s friend from Night After Night who loved him unrequitedly from afar. Now it’s finally her turn in the romance arena, and Jack will make sure she gets it good!!
Lauren Blakely can’t write a bad book. She can’t even write an ok book. She writes awesome books! She’s one of my favorite authors and I have read everything she’s written, some more than once. Jack quickly jumped to the #2 spot on my Blakely Boy list and that isn’t an easy task. Something about his easy style, intelligence, dirty mouth and sexiness is almost too much for me to handle. Almost. Jack Sullivan, sells sex toys. Michelle Milo is a psychologist who’s perfectly buttoned up on the outside and all kinds of dirty on the inside! They spent one amazing night together and they both planned to repeat that as soon as possible until he ends up being her patient. They are not going to let that happen. Jack has plans for her and they don’t include her poking around in his head. Jack proposes that Michelle spends 30 nights with him. He’s using her to forget about his haunted past and she’s using him to forget about an unrequited love. The perfect solution. This book has some of the best sex scenes I’ve ever read. Ever. It also has a few of the best sweet, loving scenes. And, of course we get to see old friends from the series and Lauren’s other books! I love that part!
Can these 2 broken souls come together and be whole? Will they be able to just walk away from each other after the 30 nights?
“You taste so fucking good,” he said.
“What do I taste like?” she asked, because no one had ever talked to her this way.
“Like sex,” he murmured. “You taste like hot sex.”
“Let me have more of you, ” he continued. “Let me have you for a month. Give me your body. I’ll give you mine.”
“I don’t know.”
“Let me give you a taste of what I can do to you. If I don’t give you the best orgasm of your life within the next hour, I won’t ask again.”
M: I have unfinished business with your fabulous fucking cock.
J: Now you’ve done it again. Why do you torture me like this?
“You like the way I look with you in my mouth?”
“I love all the different looks you have. I love the way you look naked. I love the way you look with your legs spread. I love how you look in this seductive outfit. I love how you look when you come.”
I met Jack a few weeks before reading Nights With Him in the prequel One Night With Her and I could not wait for more because they are one hot couple! This takes place the moment the prequel ended….
Jack and Michelle had one amazing night of pleasure and planned on even more but what they didn’t expect was to meet in her office the next morning. He was there for his first appointment with a shrink to help him move on from his past. Michelle is a professional and also a woman with needs so she very well could not treat him but she could help him in other ways. She was also trying to move forward from her past, heartbroken from loving a man for a decade that she never told until it was too late. It would not have worked anyway….he did not feel the same.
They both knew they were not ready to be in a relationship, Jack needed to figure out if he was able to live and Michelle needed to mend her broken heart and protect it. But that did not mean they could not enjoy each-other and when Jack gave Michelle a proposal to have 30 days of pleasure and then move on, she agreed. He brought out after-hours Michelle and she loved it, craved it even so she could not say No.
During the 30 day agreement Jack and Michelle heat up and it gets better daily. He possesses her body without having to tie her down to the bed but with his touch and promises of pleasure. And what he gets in return is her, the hellcat after hours Michelle and she is also someone that wants just Jack. The Jack that not everybody sees. Can they keep their relationship to a sex-only one? Will they just walk away after 30 days? Can Jack Love and can Michelle get over Clay and open her heart again?
I love Jack and Michelle. He is a dirty talking sexy businessman that is keen to giving pleasure. She is a independent, smart, sexy and one sharp dressing woman with a blunt mouth.
Of course in Lauren Blakely fashion there are twists and more to the story then just sex and emotion. In this one she has added business and politics. And you will also catch up with past characters which is always fun. I can’t wait to see what happens next in the Seductive Night Series.
No one had sung her praises like this man, and she was greedy. He was like dessert without the calories. He was the cake and chocolate and everything delicious in the universe.
She swatted him playfully. “You are a cocky bastard. Trying to use all those orgasms against me.”
“I would never use an orgasm against you. I only use orgasms for good. In fact, I think more orgasms could bring about world peace.”
“The more you come, the less you fight.”
M: I hope it’s not work that involves other people.
J: Why not?
M: Because I wouldn’t want them to see what I’m about to do to you.
A sensual, sexy, standalone romance novel in the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Seductive Nights Series by Lauren Blakely…
Jack Sullivan is a Sex Toy Mogul.
An extremely eligible bachelor in New York, he’s the full package,right down to his full package. Hell, this man could be the model forone of the toys his company, Joy Delivered, peddles. Instead, he’s thepowerful and successful CEO and he’s got commitment issues a mile-longafter the tragic way his relationship with his fiancée ended.
He’s looking for a way to erase the pain and that arrives in the formof Michelle Milo. From her pencil skirts to her high heels, she’s hisperfect fantasy, especially since she has no idea who he is the nightthey meet at a hotel bar. He doesn’t have a clue either that she’s thebrilliant psychologist his sister has arranged for him to see to helphim get over his past. She’s simply the stunning woman he takes to bedthat night and delivers many Os of joy too.
His touch helps her forget that other man.
When he shows up at her office door the next day, there’s no way inhell she’s going to treat him after they’ve slept together. Jack isn’twilling to let go of the first woman he’s felt anything for in yearsso he proposes a deal – share her nights with him for thirty days. Atthe end of one month of exquisite pleasure, they walk away, havinghelped each other move on from their haunted pasts.
But soon, all those nights threaten to turn into days as the linesbetween lust and matters of the heart start to blur. Can two people soterribly afraid of love truly fall head over heels?
**NIGHTS WITH HIM is a standalone full-length novel in the bestselling SEDUCTIVE NIGHTS series following the love affair of a new couple.**
Lauren Blakely does it again and brings readers more smoldering, sexy nights in her Seductive Nights Series with her newest novel, NIGHTS WITH HIM.
In Lauren Blakely’s newest Seductive Nights novel, Jack Sullivan convinces Michelle Milo that he can “show her worlds of pleasure.” And judging from the number of Os he gives her, the man delivers on that promise! Lauren wants to deliver with worlds of pleasure for her readers too — so she’s offering an extra special giveaway with this novel!
Have you ever wanted to spend the night at a Ritz Carlton Hotel? Then you’ll want to take the Be Seduced quiz to enter to win a night at a Ritz Carlton and discover worlds of pleasure on your own! To celebrate the launch of the book, Lauren is giving away a $500 gift card for a stay at the Ritz nearest you!* Readers can access the quiz in the eBook version of NIGHTS WITH HIM, and will have until November 15th to enter the quiz. To be clear, the back of the NIGHTS WITH HIM eBook is the ONLY location with the link to the quiz. The grand prize winner will also receive a $100 gift card for Lelo, makers of premium sex toys, just like the one Jack uses on Michelle in this scene.
* If there is no Ritz Carlton near the winner, the winner may opt to receive a $500 gift card to any Marriott property, or Marriott-owned hotel.
And don’t miss the FREE prequel novella, ONE NIGHT WITH HER, available now!
Amazon ** Barnes and Noble ** iBooks ** Google Play
Lauren Blakely writes sexy contemporary romance novels with heat, heart, and humor, and her books have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iBooks bestseller lists. Like the heroine in her novel, Far Too Tempting, she thinks life should be filled with family, laughter, and the kind of love that love songs promise. Lauren lives in California with her husband, children, and dogs. She loves hearing from readers! Her novels include Caught Up In Us, Pretending He’s Mine, Playing With Her Heart, Trophy Husband, Far Too Tempting, The Thrill of It, Every Second With You, Burn For Me, Melt for Him, Night After Night, After This Night and One More Night. She recently released Stars In Their Eyes, the first book in her new adult series Wrapped Up in Love, spun off from the bestselling Caught Up in Love series. In November she’ll release Nights With Him, a standalone novel in her New York Times Bestselling Seductive Nights series. She also writes for young adults under the name Daisy Whitney.
June 2, 2014 By nhv9sl
Cannon is stranded in the middle of nowhere with a duffle bag and his guitar, when he is approached by Liz, the lead singer of a band in desperate need for a new bass player. He’s instantly drawn to her and she to him. He agrees to join them after jumping though a few hoops which had me laughing out loud! The band consists of Lizzie’s two best friends Jarrett and Rhett and her brother Conner. Cannon becomes part of the family and is bewitched by his Siren, Lizzie. He has some baggage which Lizzie has a hard time getting over, and she has ghosts in her past that make her question everything. He’s sure of himself and what he wants. He’s sexy and talented which is what drew her in. But, he’s smooth and sincere and wears his heart on his sleeve. I haven’t wanted to be a leading female character as much as I wanted to be Lizzie. I wanted to hear Cannon say those things to me. Sing to me. He’s just amazing. Period. She thinks they are moving too fast, but he’s sure it’s fate. Can he convince her? Will she let go and finally be free?
Rhett is the sensitive, brooding drummer and Jarrett is the funny, mouthy guitarist.The secondary characters are almost as loved and Lizzie and Cannon. I loved their banter and their obvious love for one another. They have a bond that can’t be broken. I laughed, cried, smiled, laughed, cried some more. I sighed a lot. I hugged my kindle when it was over wanting more. More Cannon! Oh, did I mention that SE Hall loves to add her street team members to her book? Their names or something important to them. I got a shout out in this one. Who wants to go eat at Hildebrand’s Hickory House? ME, ME, ME!!Hello miracle. The glint of the sun reflecting off the guitar slung across his back is what first snags my attention, but the favors he’s doing that pair of Levi’s is what’s keeping it.He smiles; well, his mouth does some upturning, mind-fuckery type thing. Guys may be oblivious to, well, almost everything, but you can’t tell me they don’t know what the shirtless, barefoot thing does to a woman. They know. Sneaky bastards.I mentally scratch my pseudo-balls and raise my glass, sit straighter in my chair and click the cheers. “Bring it on, penis-packers!”“What you do to me, Lizzie, your song, your smile, a look…you draw me in and I’m captivated, willing to sell my soul to know more. I can’t wait to hear what you’ll say next, what you’ll wear each day, what will make you smile and laugh. I watch the way you love and take care of Conner, Rhett and the others and all I can do is envy them, try to figure out how to get your to pour all that Lizzie love over me. Then let me give it right back.” (see what I mean? Sigh)One jump and he catches me, holding me close as I wrap my legs around his waist and dig my trembling hands through his silky hair. I kiss him like I do in every dream I’ve ever has about us – untamed, hungry, and confident – tangling our tongues in a battle of want vs. fear, need vs. brave enough to try.“You were instantly, are now and will always be, my prettiest instinct.”
Cannon had no idea he would be on a bus full of strangers just a few hours after being dumped on the side of the road. He and the band, well most of them got along instantly. He knew from the start that Lizzie was special. He wanted to get to know her better but he had to work on that wall of hers and he would not give up.
Cannon and Lizzie are amazing! I love the way Cannon handled Lizzy and her moods. Even with all of her witchiness he could get her back to the Lizzie he knew was inside. And they are steamy! She needed to let go of her anger about the past. I can seriously write a novella about this book! I laughed, I cried, I blushed and I laughed some more. I need humor in my books and this has it. The perfect amount and some great new sayings.
I highly recommend this book. I need to make room for Cannon Blackwell on my Top Boyfriend Lists. And I also love the rest of gang and hope to see them in more books. And on a side note: Best fight in a Book Ever!
My dry wit isn’t for everyone, almost no one, in fact, but he’s confirmed what I’ve suspected all along…I’m funny as fuck.
“You are definitely bitchy, in the most adorable, protective way possible. But if you call yourself mundane again I will spank your delectable little ass. Twice. Until a Tomorrow. Sleep Well, my bewitching siren.”
” I will never be able to pick a favorite part of you, each more flawless and beautiful than the last. You’re absolutely perfect, Lizzy. Without a doubt, the most exquisite woman in the world, inside and out.”
May 20, 2014 By nhv9sl
Right now, you’re probably asking yourself two things:
Who am I?
And, what the hell are you doing here?
Let’s start with the most obvious question, shall we?
You’re here, ladies, because you can’t fuck.
Oh, stop it. Don’t cringe. No one under the age of 80 clutches their pearls.
You might as well get used to it, because for the next six weeks, you’re going to hear that word a lot. And you’re going to say it a lot.
Go ahead, try it out on your tongue.
Ok, good. Now where were we?
If you enrolled yourself in this program then you are wholly aware that you’re a lousy lay. Good for you. Admitting it is half the battle.
For those of you that have been sent here by your husband or significant other, dry your tears and get over it. You’ve been given a gift, ladies. The gift of mind-blowing, wall-climbing, multiple-orgasm-inducing sex. You have the opportunity to fuck like a porn star. And I guarantee, you will when I’m done with you.
And who am I?
Well, for the next six weeks, I will be your lover, your teacher, your best friend, and your worst enemy. Your every-fucking-thing. I’m the one who is going to save your relationship and your sex life.
I am Justice Drake.
And I turn housewives into whores.
Taint is the first Novel I have read By S.L Jennings and wow….it was Amazing! I know I will be adding more of her books to my crazy TBR. It was definitely a lot different then any other book I have read before. Very unique.
Justice Drake is the instructor and owner of Oasis, it’s a place where wives turn into whores for their husbands. See, all these wives have a few things in common, they are Married to rich husbands that cheat. So either they are enrolled into Oasis by their husbands or themselves because they want to learn to be more sexual so their husband will stop the cheating. And it’s not just about sex…it’s about feeling sexy and confident.
Justice Drake is just the man for the job, he is straight to the point with these wives, he doesn’t sugar-coat, he is very serious about his work and never brings it home with him. That was until he heard the voice of an Angel. She was different from the rest of them, she had opinions and was not afraid to voice them. He also knew that deep down she was not just some trophy wife but she had the act down for the rest of the world. And this angel’s name was Ally…
Allison Elliott-Carr was enrolled in the program to save her marriage. Her Husband is a cheater and it was all over Page 6 and E! And she thought if she could satisfy him sexually that he would stop or at least slow down. She is not a stupid or naive woman. And she is different from the other women, she loved real ice cream and has an obsession that some of also have.
Like I said Justice does not take his work with him…Ever! So when he found that he was getting closer to Allison or Ally it freaked him out. After all she is Married but there is a connection and they actually become friends…friends that eat ice cream together and talk about anything and everything. They are themselves. But She is married to a man that doesn’t see what he has in front of him but Justice knows it can not go any further….or can it?
I loved this story so much. Justice is Fucking hot. He is straight forward which I love and also torn. He is a mystery that I wanted to solve. Ally is so fun and I would totally sit and eat ice cream watch TV with her on girls night. I would recommend reading this book and it also gives great pointers and insights for yourself really. I also laughed, cried, smirked and well blushed. What? It’s hot…
“You don’t satisfy your Husband sexually, which is why he cheats on you, if he hasn’t already. You may be a fantastic Wife, mother, homemaker,whatever, but you are a lousy lover. And that trumps all.”
I laugh like an idiot when she’s around. I worry about hurting her feelings or being too gruff. Hell, I’ve been eating ice cream like an hormonal chick with PMS! I just don’t get it. What’s next? Watching the newest Nicholas Sparks flick and dying each other’s tears?
“And honestly, you shouldn’t have to. He should want to change…for you. Because you’re worth it.”
“Aw, come on! You said you were always here for whatever we need. And I need to learn to drop it like it’s hot. To shake what my momma gave me. To work my groove thang.” Ally sets down her glass to clutch her hands together in front of her chest. Then she walks towards me with a impish grin. “Please, oh please, Justice Drake. Teach me how to Dougie?”
I’ve read books by SL Jennings before and I love her and the way she writes. It’s so fresh and unique. Taint is written in his POV! I love books written in the man’s POV. I’ve been waiting for this book since I saw a small snip it a few months ago. Justice Drake. It just rolls off your tongue…This book is different than any other book out there. Justice Drake helps women learn how to fuck better. They are sent to the Oasis for six weeks to learn how to be more sexual beings so their husbands will want them again. They are all rich, stuck up housewives who think they are perfect the way they are. Well, except Ally. Justice has a filthy, raunchy mouth and he is paid to make these women learn to love sex. Justice finds himself drawn to one of the women. A natural beauty who is quirky and silly. He can’t stop thinking about her. He buys her ice cream. He wants her, but he can’t have her. So they become friends who watch tv, eat ice cream and talk. He’s never been this way with a woman before. Is there any hope for them? Justice is effing hot as hell. He’s dripping with sex appeal. The amazing cover of Mike Thurston certainly gave me a face to picture while reading. I loved that! I love Ally. I want to be her friend. I want to have coffee and go dancing with her! For as much dirty talk and hot scenes, this book has some very sweet, loving moments. I wanted Justice to say those things to me; the nasty and the sweet!
I lean forward so that the cold tip of the spoon just grazed my bottom lip. Ally slowly eases it forward, causing me to open wider for her, my tongue reflexively jutting out to taste the first sweet drops of cream. I wrap my lips around the mound of chocolaty mint and suck it off the spoon, letting out my own erotic sounds of agreement.
There is nothing between us now but air, opportunity, and forgotten obligations. I don’t care about any of it. With one hand gripping her back and the other tracing her lips, all the rules and boundaries just fall away.
Booming bass lines and drumbeats fill the room, accompanied by the voice of Justin Timberlake.
Yeah, I put in JT.
Bitches love JT.
“Hey now!” she shrieks with mock offense. “It took a lot of practice to be this magnificently awkward. Dude, I was awkward before awkward was cool. I’m a pioneer for the movement.”
I chuckle before taking a slug of my wine. “Awkward was never cool. Only uncool people believe that.”
“Come on Magic Mike! Show me how to ride that pony!”
I can’t even begin to ask, too overcome with hilarity to form coherent words. Shit, even I’m snorting a little. “Oh…God, stop! Stop! You’re…killing….me!”
“I want to consume you, Ally. I want to devour every but of you until there’s no you and there’s no me. Until you see the music and hear colors.” My lips are just a breath away from hers, longing for a taste. “You don’t have to define your feelings for me, Ally. Let me do it for you.”
Most known for her starring role in a popular sitcom as a child, S.L. Jennings went on to earn her law degree from Harvard at the young age of 16. While studying for the bar exam and recording her debut hit album, she also won the Nobel Prize for her groundbreaking invention of calorie-free wine. When she isn’t conquering the seas in her yacht or flying her Gulfstream, she likes to spin elaborate webs of lies and has even documented a few of these said falsehoods.
Some of S.L.’s devious lies:
FEAR OF FALLING: Amazon: Fear of Falling
THE DARK LIGHT SERIES
Dark Light: Amazon: Dark Light (The Dark Light Series)
The Dark Prince: Amazon: The Dark Prince (The Dark Light Series)
Nikolai (a Dark Light novella): Amazon: Nikolai: A Dark Light Novella (Dark Light #2.5)
Light Shadows- coming in 2014
May 12, 2014 By nhv9sl
After surviving ten years in prison, Cameron Pierce is attempting to put the past behind him. He tries to adjust to his newfound freedom with a place at the halfway house and a job. But one lesson he learned in prison keeps him guarded: hope is a dangerous thing.
Hunter Donovan, Assistant State Attorney, is a man of justice who loves a challenge. After a lifetime of putting his career first, a milestone brings him to a harsh realization—he’s lonely.
Hunter’s world changes when he meets Cam. The wary young man intrigues him and awakens a desire unlike anything he’s ever experienced. When Cam’s past resurfaces and threatens to rip them apart, their budding relationship is challenged and Cam’s hope for a future begins to dim.
These outside forces hunting Cam will stop at nothing to send him back to prison. But they’ll have to get past Hunter first.
I have been excited about reading A Hunted Man since finishing A Better Man. Both books have characters you would not usually in one book together. Opposites attract. I could not wait to meet Cameron the ex-con and the first visitor to the Halfway a House.
Cameron has just been released form prison after 10 years and is only 27 years old. He went through so much while inside and now needs to adjust to the outside world that he left so long ago. He doesn’t know who he trust and is always looking over his shoulder. He gets to a Halfway House and just can’t believe he is out, he still thinks it’s a dream. He starts work quickly at a diner nearby and he actually felt comfortable there, wanted and needed with responsibilities. He even becomes the latte guy. And he knows he was meant to be there when he first lays eyes on an silver eyed fox named Hunter….
Hunter is the Assistant State’s Attorney and works way too much. He just hit a mile stone birthday and fears that he will be alone the for the rest of his life because of both of these reasons. Things that make him keep going are his Father, Thomas and let me tell you I love him! And the other is Lucy’s homemade cookies. He loves the diner down the street, it relaxes him and those cookies must be amazing. So when he is having a hard day he left for office for the diner which he goes to daily and even has his own table. When he walks in her sees the new hire and is in awe and could not look away. This desire was beyond intense…
Cam and Hunter are opposites but their desire for each other and protectiveness are exactly the same. They are frigging hot but they could also be saps. They made me laugh and smile so much. They way they talked to one another is amazing.
The book also has twists and I love a great mystery. I was like a detective trying to figure it out. Jaime did an awesome job with this one! She got me. Can’t wait to read the next book in the series.
Cameron needed to convince himself this was real, that it wasn’t hope bitch-slapping him and teasing him to the brink of sanity.
Well, hello there. Now there’s a treat. Cam looked into piercing silver eyes that seemed to burrow through his soul. Damn that’s hot.
If it took giving a little bit of a show for Hunter to come in for the kill of his prey, then so be it. He was game.
I really loved A Better Man and have been looking forward to this book since I finished. I was blown away! I absolutely FLOVED this book. Cameron just got out of prison after 10 years and he’s staying at Halfway House with Julian and Matt. Cam is having a hard time adjusting to his new life but he gets a job at a diner and quickly fits in. One day, Hunter walks is. It was one of my favorite scenes in the book. Just hearing Cam speak set Hunter on fire. They look at each other and the chemistry is amazing. I read that part 3 times! Hunter is a lawyer who is married to his work and as soon as he see Cam he wants him. Their banter is so great! I laughed out loud more than a few times. I also yelled and cried. Hunter is snarky, growly and sexy as hell. Cam is mysterious, brooding and beautiful. There is a lot of mystery, angst, humor, surprise and love in this book. They go through a lot as a couple and it’s hard to see if they will make it out the other side together. It was also great to see Julian and Matt and we are introduced to a few new faces. I can’t wait until the next book!
He glanced upward to see the dark, sandy brown hair hanging lazily over the man’s eyes. Hunter’s gaze halted once it was met with the brightest blue eyes he had ever seen staring back at him.
Well, hello there. Now there’s a treat. Cam looked into piercing silver eyes that seemed to burrow through his soul. Damn that’s hot.
“Funny, I wouldn’t have pegged you for a sappy guy.” Hunter teased.
“Yeah, well, I’m not. And if I happen to have any sort of sweet shit on me, it’s all your fault.”
He’d find some way to figure out if the man was gay or not. Maybe he’s just make a fucking latte penis in his coffee and see if that design perked his interest.
“Cause you’re a perv and I’m a cookie tease, I can’t help myself,” Cam said as he grabbed Hunter by the waist and pulled him closer.
Cameron Pierce didn’t really know what to expect when the entire nightmare began days before his eighteenth birthday, but here he was, standing behind a large metal door waiting for it to open and grant his freedom. Nine years, eight months, two weeks, and five days of hell. Even though he had to stay in a designated halfway house for the next few months, at least he wouldn’t have these bars or barbed wire fences to constantly remind him of his nightmare.
He fidgeted. In exchange for almost ten years of his life, the prison system gave him a hundred bucks for expenses during transfer, and a plain, standard-issue cardboard box containing his personal items—a watch, ten bucks, and a pack of gum. Everything broken or useless, which pretty much mirrored his existence. He ditched the box and everything else then pocketed the cash.
The gears of the large metal door ground as they inched open. Cameron shifted his weight from foot to foot, waiting for just enough space to squeeze through the door. He looked over to the guard and concluded he’d be better off attempting to walk out of this prison with a little dignity. At the pace these doors opened, he figured he’d age another decade in the process. He closed his eyes and counted, begging for a little patience to come his way. He finally heard the grinding stop and opened his eyes.
There, in the middle of the empty parking lot, Sam leaned against a car with crossed arms and a smile.
Cameron groaned as he finally exited the prison gates.
Mr. Samuel Issacs, rehabilitation officer, also secretly campaigned for sainthood every chance he had. His job was to help a group of assigned inmates rejoin the world with others but his mission was to mentor them. Sam wanted to talk, help, and offer support. Cam, on the other hand, knew better than to open his mouth, and he damn sure wasn’t going to risk Sam becoming some form of collateral damage.
Cam had learned that lesson the hard way.
“Hey, Sam,” he said once he arrived where Sam was parked.
“Hey, Cam. I thought I’d give you a ride to the halfway house instead of having you take the bus,” he said as he opened the passenger side door of the car.
Cameron waited, not sure if sitting in a car for hours with Saint Sam was a good idea.
“C’mon, Cam. I can guarantee you the drive with me will be better than a busload of people coming back from Universal Studios with stinky feet and a crapload of gas.”
Sam laughed. “Besides, I already filled out the paperwork so you’re stuck with me. Get in.”
Cam didn’t say a word. He climbed into the car, sat in the passenger seat, and then closed the car door.
“Buckle up, it’s the law.”
“Are you kidding me?”
“Nope, state of Florida, it’s the law.”
“Just strap in so we can get out of here.”
Cameron groaned again as he pulled the belt and clicked it in place. He hated the way it cut into his damn shoulder. Who knew what else had changed while he was in prison. Just another reminder of things he had missed. He shifted in his seat only to have his movement limited by the seat belt restraint.
Here he was, finally out of prison, yet somehow still found a way to be constrained in a small enclosed area. Hell, this was even smaller than the six-by-eight cell he’d called home for almost a decade.
Jaime Reese is the alter ego of an artist who loves the creative process of writing, just not about herself. Fiction is far more interesting. She has a weakness for broken, misunderstood heroes and feels everyone deserves a chance at love and life. An avid fan of a happy ending, she believes those endings acquired with a little difficulty are more cherished.
Hunter stood in line and watched Cam tend to the few lingering post-lunchtime customers. Cam’s smile came a little easier and his stance less guarded.
His body, although still lean, was tighter and a little broader from the yard work at the halfway house. A slight tan colored his skin now, the faint golden tone further accentuating the blue in his eyes and the white of his smile. His hair had a sprinkling of highlights as if the sun had kissed his head. Sunrises gave him hope, but they also seemed to awaken a natural physical beauty that had been hidden for far too long.
“How can I help you? Sir,” Cam said when it was finally Hunter’s turn at the register.
Hunter leaned over the counter. “You know that drives me nuts.”
Cam smiled and grabbed Hunter’s tie to pull him closer. “I know.” After a quick peck, Cam released him.
Hunter reached over and rubbed Cam’s stubble. “Are you letting this grow out?”
Cam shrugged. He looked away and scratched his growing scruff. “It makes me look older.”
“Since when do you want to look older?”
Cam shrugged again and fidgeted with the receipts.
Realization finally hit Hunter. He grabbed Cam’s chin and forced him to make eye contact. “Are you doing that for me?”
Cam’s mouth narrowed and his brows lowered. “There’s not much I can do for you. So if growing some hair on my face will make you feel a little less self-conscious, then I’ll grow a full fucking beard if I have to.”