Holly Hewitt is a survivor…
After witnessing her mother’s murder, Hollywas returned to her abusive father. Resorting to drugs and alcohol, she ends uplanding herself in foster care, where she is separated from her sister andutterly alone.
Zander Harrison is the light to her darkness…
Zander is young, athletic, and carefree, withthe support of a loving family. But when Holly is placed in foster care withhis brother’s in-laws, she turns his world upside down.
He’s driven to protect her, and to show herthe past has made her strong, life is worth living, and love is worth fightingfor. If only he can convince her to trust him and stop resisting their mutualattraction.
Butsometimes even love isn’t enough to heal a shattered soul.
And allthe hard work in the world can’t save…
Jennifer Labelle resides in Canada with herhusband and three beautiful children. After her third child she became a stayat home mom. In her busy household Jennifer likes to spend her down timeengrossed in the stories that she creates. She is an active reader of romance,mystery and anything paranormal. With an education in Addictions work she’sdecided to take a less stressful approach in life and hopes that you enjoy, asshe shares some of her imagination with all of you.
Pink and orange hues filled the sky with awarm beauty while the sun set. Holly wrapped her arms around herself and liftedher face toward the sky to soak in the last few moments of the sun before thechill of the night descended upon them. This was definitely not going to be aneasy talk to get through. She just hoped they’d both be okay when it wasdone. Zander stepped up behind her, andshe felt the heat of his body before he wrapped his arms around her frombehind. The way she was drawn to him made her wonder if he had a magnetic pull,and it kind of scared her a little bit. Holly tried to enjoy the view as theywere silent for a few moments.
“As much as I hate to let go, I think maybe weshould sit so we can finally talk,” Zander said.
Shehesitated a moment before taking his hand while they walked back to his houseand sat beside each other on the patio. Thisis it.
“First, I want to clear up earlier,” Zandersaid. “She was just a friend, nothing more. She has only ever been a friend.”He lifted their linked hands and kissed the top of hers.
“This isn’t any of my business, but does sherealize that? I got the impression there was much more than a friendshipthere.” Holly held her breath and didn’t exhale until after he answered her.
“Not for a really long time, and we were nevera couple.” His posture slumped. “Before today, I hadn’t heard from her inmonths. She just showed up out of the blue, but I swear nothing happened.”
“Why are you telling me this?” Holly shiftedto face him. “So you and she were friends with benefits a while ago. I have toadmit I didn’t like seeing you with her, but I don’t have any right to be mad.We’re taking things slow, remember?”
“That’s just the thing. I want to be with you,Hol. As in, I’d be staking my claim. You’d be my girlfriend, exclusive.”
“I’m actually kind of glad you said that. I’verecently figured out that I’m not made for casual.” She bit her lip nervously.“I don’t even care about your friend anymore because I sort of have some hugenews, which throws going slow out the window anyway. That is, if you don’tfreak out and feel like you want nothing to do with me after this.”
“Okay, now you’re making me nervous,” he jokednervously and playfully nudged her with his shoulder. “What’s up?”
“You probably should be.” Holly smiled weaklyand then exhaled long and hard. “I didn’t want a relationship when you cameinto the picture, and I didn’t want to care for someone so much. But then thereyou were all sweet, caring, and persistent and screwed up my original plans. Solet’s get that out there.” She smiled and leaned into him. Her head lay on hisshoulder and she looked up at him needing to be close. “That’s the best part bythe way because I’m glad I’ve let you in. I care for you a lot. I’ve messed up,though. We both have. Do you remember the night at my sister’s?”
“How could I forget?” His eyes lit up and shesnorted.
“It was a good night, huh?” She licked herlips just thinking about it. “Well, I haven’t been feeling like myself lately,so Lauren decided to take me to get a checkup…”
“O-okay, you were sick and…?” Zander’s browsscrunched together in confusion, but as if he sensed her discomfort, he gaveher a quick reprieve to pull herself together before she had to spit out thebig news. He captured her mouth. His soft, plump lips caressed hers, then hemoved to nip and suck on her bottom lip. His tongue coaxed her mouth openfarther, and she tasted his mutual arousal as he probed the slit of her mouthwith his tongue. One of her hands fisted in his shirt and held him closer,while the other massaged his nape and into his hair. They both moaned in theheat of the moment, and she could feel his chest rise and fall more rapidlybefore he pulled away.
“God, I’ve missed this,” he said. “You getsick again and I’m coming over with some chicken soup and taking care of you.
“That sounds amazing.” She smirked. “I’vemissed you too.” Holly shifted so that she was facing him now and rested herforehead against his while they caught their breath.
“Don’t go home yet. Call Lauren and let’srecreate that night.” He wiggled his eyebrows up and down.
“You are such a goofball. As tempting as thatsounds, I need to finish what I was saying before you distract me too much.”She gave him a quick peck on the lips and leaned back.
“But the distraction is so good. I can’t helpmyself.” He lifted a sexy, dark eyebrow in question. “Can we fool around a bitwhile you talk? I’m a great multitasker.”
“I’ll tell you what, if after I tell youeverything I need to, you still want to fool around or more, then yes, we’ll goinside your place and I’ll make it worth your while.” She wiggled her browsback at him and smiled as she caressed the side of his face. I just hope I don’t ruin things first.
“Lauren might not be too happy if she findsout the truth.”
“Really?” He looked at her in shock. “I findthat hard to believe after her and Shelby practically pushed us together.” Hesmiled and kissed the back of her hand. “Remind me to thank them for that oneday.”
“Ireally hope you still feel that way after you hear what I have to say.”
“Quit stalling and just tell me already.”
“So you know I haven’t been feeling welllately, but what you don’t know is why she’s been on my case. She had someconcerns that drove her to take me to the doctor in the first place.” Sheleaned way back in her chair and closed her eyes.
“Is she still hung up about the newapartment?”
“In a way, I guess, but right now what’sbothering her is her assumption that I might be pregnant.” She peeked in hisdirection to gauge his reaction.
He stiffened a bit on the seat next to her andsat straighter. “Wait, what?”