Thursday, March 27, 2014

Book Review for The Forgiven Duke: A Forgotten Castles Novel (Forgotten Castles #2)

 





The Forgiven Duke

 A Forgotten Castles Novel 

(Forgotten Castles #2)

Reviewed by: Angels
Format:Kindle
Pages: 320
Published: B and H Books
Source:Net Gifted Copy
Genre: , Romance,Christian Romance
Buy:Amazon Uk/Amazon US



  5 STAR READ




Blurb


Tethered by her impulsive promise to marry Lord John Lemon - the path of least resistance - Alexandria Featherstone sets off toward Iceland in search of her parents with a leaden heart. A glimpse of her guardian, the Duke of St. Easton - the path less traveled by - on Dublin’s shore still haunts her.

Will he come after her? Will he drag her back to London, quelling her mission to rescue her treasure-seeking parents, or might he decide to throw caution to the wind and choose Foy Pour Devoir: “Faith for Duty,” the St. Easton motto. The Featherstone motto Valens et Volens: “Willing and Able,” beats in her heart and thrums through her veins. She will find her parents and find their love, no matter the cost.

The powerful yet wing-clipped Duke of St. Easton has never known the challenge that has become his life since hearing his ward’s name. Alexandria Featherstone will be the life or the death of him. Only time and God’s plan will reveal just how much this man can endure for the prize of love.



My Thoughts and Review 

I really enjoyed this story ! This has been such a great series.I have read all Jamie Carie Books and have loved them all ! And thanks to Netgalley and Band H Books for allowing me to review this book for them.Jamie is a superb author !If you have not read any books of hers before be sure to add her to your must read pile ! Angels Den was one of my favorites by her.

This has between a great series to read.This is the second installment in its series.I really love Jamie Caries style of writing. She just draws you in from the very beginning of her stories that keeps you so engrossed you won't be able to put your book down.


This plot was so engaging! I just love reading about treasure hunters.You go on there journey with them to unlock the mystery by finding clues that  lead them to what they are looking for making you feel your right along with them on there journey.. And as always most journeys are fraught with danger and romance.Making your heart pound with anticipation!


Alex Featherstone is one of my favorite characters. She is so full of life and loyalty.And has a bit of feisty-ness to her ! She has such and big heart always willing to step in to help those in trouble.She is a bit of an adventurous and has a knack for finding things.She has a bit of her parents blood in her.Meaning a penchant for adventure.

Alex journey's to Iceland with her pretend fiancée John to find clues to her missing parents whereabouts.Alex is determined to find her parents at any cost. The crown believes them dead and has appointed the Duke of  St. Easton to be her Guardian.Alex has no intention of been a ward of anyone ! Her parents are not dead and she will prove it.

What I loved most about this story and the beginning of this series is that Miss Carie has woven a tale and love and romance through written letters between Alex and Gabriel the Duke of St. Easton.There writing to one another has caused a closeness between the couple but also has them falling in love with one another and they haven't even met yet. Very clever.

  The Duke not only does he have to worry about Alex and deal with his hearing  problems now these are not his only problem anymore, the Spanish Throne are after him and even his own British soldiers.The Duke will go to lengths to find Alex at this point not because her wants to do his duty to the crown but for personal reasons of his own to find the women he loves and bring her home safely. Gabriel though in this adventure has been to hell and back as he is kidnapped and tortured in prison by the Spanish trying to get him to divulge Alex's whereabouts!He simply amazed me as you would not expect that from a Duke but, not only that for someone you barely know.

The descriptions of Iceland and Dublin were simple amazing.I loved reading the descriptions of Iceland and its natural beauty. The ships, Spanish and British Soldiers, the Icelandic, the tourist spots, they were all well-researched.As a reader you could almost imagine yourself there.

This story was a real page turner from beginning to end. Tons of mystery and danger. There was tons of fighting scene's and chaos going on.If I was on need of a Champion I would have been looking for someone like Gabriel. He simply amazed me at the lengths he would go to find his true love and to recuse her from those who would want to hurt her. At some point in the story though I wanted to give Gabriel a kick in the pants for his foolishness once he finally does meet his lady love in person!

One of my favorite series and can't wait to read the conclusion to the series the Dukes Promise.I would recommended this read to all whether your a teenager or adult.It was a fabulous read!















 



















Cover Reveal for Jayde Behind the Words Book #2 with Author Savannah Stewart’s

KindleCover
add-to-goodreads-button31
Synopsis
For months now Jayde Kimberland has been touring from city to city with her best friend, Arianna Moore, as The Daughters of Darkness. Living the dream most musician would kill for, they were known as the opening act for the platinum selling rock group, From Yesterday.
With Arianna battling demons of her own, Jayde found what she thought was her Prince Charming within rocker bad boy, Cash O’Brien. As the tour came to a close, the distance between them pulled like the tuning key turning to tighten one of their guitar strings. When Nate Daniels walks back into the picture, she’s faced with the possibility of having the life with the man she loved years ago or trying to hold onto a reckless, Cash.
Everywhere Jayde turns she is hit with a curve ball, shattering everything she tries to build. But one person is there to help pick up the pieces no matter what. But as tragedy reveals its ugly head, she finds herself lost, lonely, and confused on what the future may hold. Will she be able to let go of the past and find happiness within her future or will she have to forever deal with the shattering effects of a love long gone?
Teaser
JaydeTeaser
Excerpt
My black lace dress clung to my soaked body as I sobbed uncontrollably against the old oak tree. With one hand pressed against my heart I squeezed my eyes tightly shut, trying to remember the last thing he had said to me. “I love you, Jayde, with all my heart. Give Sawyer a kiss for me, I’ll be home after the show.” My body continued to heave as my knees gave out and I crumbled to the ground. The sky roared with thunder and lightning; usually I would have been scared shitless to be out in this stuff but right then I didn’t care what happened to me. I just wanted it all to be a horrible dream…and I would wake up with a racing heart but find him beside me in our bed instead of buried in the ground.
“This can’t be real!!” I wailed loudly into my hands, where my head was now resting. I had no energy to lift my body from the ground, not that I wanted to. But if I didn’t get out of the storm I would most likely be sucked up into it. I remembered losing my parents at a very young age but the one thing I did not remember was how badly my heart ached from having someone ripped from your life at the drop of a hat.
Everything was perfect…too perfect. Any time in my life when things seemed to fall together, something had always come along to wreak havoc and remind me that my life would never be perfect. I should have gone to the show; if I was there…I could have stopped it from happening and we would be together…in our home. One big happy family.
“Baby girl…” That voice cut right through me. Was it bad of me to want to allow him to help me? After everything he had done…and after everything I had done? I didn’t even bother to look up; I continued to pour every ounce of emotions I had out through my tears and onto my soaking wet self. “Let me get you out of this storm…You’re going to be sick and Sawyer needs you.” He scooped me up into his arms; the warmth of his skin caused me to gasp. I circled my arms around his neck and rested my head against his shoulder. “I know this sounds cliché and I’m fucking horrible with words…but it’ll get better with time, Jayde. I promise you…” His voice was thick with emotion.
His kindness only caused me to cry even harder. I was a horrible person…I didn’t deserve happiness, and I definitely didn’t deserve him being kind to me right now. I heard the car door open just before he lowered me into the passenger’s seat. When the door shut I finally looked at him through the rain streaked window. His hair was shorter than usual but my heart still fluttered uncontrollably at the sight of him. What the hell is wrong with me? I shouldn’t feel this way, not today… I curled my legs up into the seat with me and wrapped my arms around them tightly. Resting my head against my knees I stared out the front window as the driver’s door shut.
“Is there anywhere you want me to take you?” His voice was just above a whisper. Without moving my eyes from the front window I shook my head no. “Do you want to go home?” Home…Where all the memories were… The thought of walking back into that house caused a horrible sob to rip from my chest. Wasn’t there a limit of tears a person could produce? I buried my face into my knees to ride out the emotional rollercoaster I was on yet again.
“I’m staying at Aria and Bryden’s place while I’m in town. How ‘bout I take you there?” I didn’t respond, after a few long seconds I felt the car shift into gear. He pulled his jacket from the backseat and draped it over me. I hadn’t realized my body was shaking so badly until then. I rolled onto my side facing the door, gripping the jacket tightly around me, and fell into a silent cry, the kind where your body shook aggressively but you didn’t produce any noise. I felt his warm hand touch my arm lightly causing even more goose bumps to run across my skin. “Seeing you like this is killing me right now…” His hand ran up and down my arm briefly before it was gone and the coldness was back.
Teaser
jaydeteaser2
MeetTheAuthor
Savannah Author Pic
I am very much a Leo, I currently don’t have any children, but my dog Jack might as well be one! I’m a Book-a-holic who loves music, tattoos, photography, singing, acting, writing, & laughing. One of my favorite quotes is “Love is the beauty of the soul.” Hopefully one day I will be able to travel to all the places I am dying to see!! Thanks for stopping by! :-)
FullCover
Hosted by:


Book Review for Fatal Flaw: Book Four of the Fatal Series by Marie Force


Fatal Flaw: Book Four of the Fatal Series

5 stars

Buy: Amazon UK
Buy:Amazon US
Reviewed by: Tonya
Format:Kindle
Published: Carina Press  
Source Purchased Copy Genre: Romantic Suspense



Blurb


Back from their honeymoon, Senator Nick Cappuano and D.C. Police Lieutenant Sam Holland are ready for some normalcy after the whirlwind of their wedding, but someone has other plans for them. When Sam discovers wedding cards containing thinly veiled death threats, she's not sure if she or Nick is the target.

Already on edge, Sam and her team start investigating a series of baffling murders. The victims are well-liked with no known enemies, and the murders are carried out in a clean and efficient manner. Unable to find a clear motive for the deaths, she feels like she's chasing her tail.

With no obvious connection between the victims, Sam soon suspects that she may be the ultimate prize in the killer's clever game. When the danger starts to hit a little too close to home, she has two goals: find the elusive murderer and manage to live long enough to enjoy her happily ever after



My Thoughts


Marie has done it again with the next book in the Fatal Series.... I just can not get enough of Nick and Sam and the rest of the gang. As soon as I finish one book I am downloading and deliving right into the next book.

Nick and Sam return from their honeymoon and dive right back into their life and work. This book has a bit of a twist in that the crime Sam is investigating does not have a political connection this time which was really nice to see as we all no even though they are in DC not all crimes are political in nature. The victims all seem to be well liked, no enemies and there seems to be no evidence left behind to give Sam the thread she loves to pull to unravel a crime. But there is a connection that she later finds in each one - one big connection that leads to a very unexpected and surprising end to the crime spree.

Nick and Scotty go on their trip to Fenway Park in boston and Nick plans to talk to Scotty about something big that him and Sam have hopes for. But the outcome isn't what they expect and Nick is worried about what might happen with the young boy they have come to love.

Sam's father has a really bad turn in this book and Sam is worried that her father may not make it through this one. So as she tries desperately to solve a crime she is also desperately hoping her father is able to make it through this next battle of his. She also has two of her detectives searching into a cold case that her father was never able to close in hopes that she can close it for him in case something happens to her father.

There is a lot going on in this book and Marie does a great job telling each story, and brings more of Cruz and Elin and Gonzo and Christina as well as Lindsay and Terry.

I just can't state it enough how much I love this series







 

Book Review for Confessions of a Vampire's Girlfriend (Ben and Fran #1-2) by Katie MacAlister AKA Katie Maxwell
















Confessions of a Vampire's Girlfriend
Ben and Fran # 1-2
3 Stars
Published by : New American Library
Source:Purchased
 Gene:Paranormal Romance

About Book



Two Katie MacAlister vampire
novels—Got Fangs? and Circus of
the Darned—now back in print and
together for the first time!

Meet Francesca. She’s in Europe, working in a
traveling faire along with psychics, magicians, and
other really bizarre people. Her life? Not-so-normal.
Her boyfriend, Ben? Not-so-alive. And in these two
novels, it’s up to Francesca to redeem his soul, find
something to wear on their very first date, deal with
her emerging psychic talent, and shake the warring
Viking ghosts she accidentally conjured.
 


My Thoughts and Review

This was just an okay read for me. Not a lot of substance. There is basically two stories in one. The both stories revolve around Ben and Fran.Frans has been living with her mother this summer traveling with a faire. Her moms a witch and Fran also has her own special powers of her own she can read people by touching them like your very own truth detector.She meets Ben who is a Dark One a 300 year old plus vampire who says that after searching many years he has found his beloved and soul-mate in Fran. She thinks he is nuts.While Ben per-sues ,Fran is investigating the theft of someone stealing from the faire's till and her mom wants to enlist Fran to uncover the culprit.Frans hates that she special and does not want to use her powers she wants to be normal and doesn't want anyone thinking she is a freak .Fran has a real problem being different and throws it up in everyones face at every turn she can get how she hates it wanting to me normal it becomes annoying ! She is the only one who can solve this crime as the person responsible for the theft is a non-human. Ben and her learn to get to know one another which Fran is not making it easy for him, He has a Demon trying to kill him and secrets of is own making life tough at the moment.



There is a little bit of mystery . I liked the backdrop of the story which was something different for a change .I just felt this story lacked excitement.



The other story however was cute. Ben is back and he and Fran are trying the boyfriend girl friend thing. At one of Frans mothers witch circle meeting Fran accidentally summons a bunch of Ghosts that are Viking thinking she is a Goddess and they are there to do her bidding.This story gave been some laughs as the Vikings are giving Fran advice on Love and Dating which was hilarious. The scene where they were shopping with her was a Hoot. A my favorite there trips to M Donald's for big macs. And the scene where they sacrificed there big mac's to the Loki god had me chuckling.This story had more going on and Ben and Fran team up to find away to return the ghost to where they belong and the continue on finding out who is trying to kill been and why ?



Would recommend this as a library read or a paperback swap book.Even though I had some mixed feeling about the one story the other story did make up for that.














Spotlight & Giveaway for Lean on Me by Candy Crum

Lean on Me Blog Tour Banner
Synopsis
Sixteen year old Bri comes from a wealthy family, allowing her an expensive pass into the popular crowd, though it never much mattered to her. She’s on the basketball team and track and is the top in both.
Bri has everything a girl could want, but she longs for loving and emotionally available parents. She longs for a traditional family instead of the one she was gifted – cold and very distant.
Bri’s parents pressure her to be the best at everything instead of just being the best that she can be. As a result of trying for the perfect life for her parents, Bri finds herself in an abusive relationship and pressured into doing what a lot of teenagers are pressured into doing.
When Bri becomes pregnant, her entire world is turned upside down and she has no idea who she can trust anymore. Bri struggles to find a place in this world for herself and for her baby – the baby that she is desperate to have and watch grow. Along the way, Bri is given an opportunity to completely change her life and the life of her child – but it may hinder the life of another… binding him to a future he was never meant to have, just for her. Bri is forced to grow and grow stronger as she fights for her baby and learns how to be a good mother – and remain a pure soul.
Buy NowLean on Me Cover

Amazon

Amazon CA

Amazon UK

add-to-goodreads-button31
Excerpt
Chapter 4
Bri struggled to breathe as the wind hissed from her lungs with the awkward landing. Her vision was blurry and her head throbbed. She wanted to scream, but was silenced with something being strapped across her mouth – duct tape. Her attacker grabbed her by the hair and dragged her backward, behind the store. She screamed from behind the tape and kicked her legs, struggling to get free.
Tears streamed down her face as she immediately worried for the condition of her baby. She’d landed hard on her belly. She had no idea what it would take to end a pregnancy by blunt force. The attacker used her hair to pull her up to her feet before slamming her hard into a wall. As soon as her vision cleared, fear coursed through her, adrenaline threatening to make her pass out.
Before, she’d worried that her attacker may hurt her baby (even by accident, not knowing she was with child) in the process of robbing her. Now, she knew the object of this attack was solely for the purpose of harming her baby. She stared into Mike’s cold, hard eyes. She heard the chuckles of four of his friends surrounding him.
“Your mom called,” Mike said, gently running his fingertips down the side of her face. “She said that she was sorry her daughter was so confused. She begged me to take you back. Even told me where you’d be so I could come and talk to you. That was nice of her, wasn’t it?”
Bri sobbed as she tried to push him away, knowing that even if she managed to fight him off, there were four more to subdue her.
“I know we had our little chat just today, but I got to thinking about it and it’s been quite a long time since you and I fooled around. You know what that means? Docs around here won’t do an abortion without parental consent because of the increased risks.”
Bri felt disgusted that he stated that so casually. He was a stupid boy. He didn’t know a lot about anything that wasn’t sports related. She imagined that he’d learned it from other experiences like this, either his own or his friends.
“But you won’t talk to your parents, will you, Bri?” he asked, pushing himself closer. She was terrified, too terrified to move. She wished that she could get to her phone. She wished that she could call for Matt’s help. “I didn’t think so.”
She realized then that she’d been too scared to answer, too scared to lie her way out of it – even from behind tape. Bri was about to answer by way of nodding when the first blow to her face came. She was hit hard, several smaller bones in her face crushing under the blow. She landed hard on the ground, blackness seeping in as she felt the first painful kick to her abdomen.Please, God, was the last thing to enter her mind as she lost consciousness.
“Her pulse is weak,” she heard a man say from above her. She looked up to see an attractive young man hovering above her. “My name is Gerome and I’m the EMT that responded to the call. You were attacked, ma’am. We are about halfway to the hospital. Do you have any allergies?”
Bri shook her head, but remembered that she had one. “Ery… Ery…” As hard as she tried the name wouldn’t come.
“Erythromycin?” he asked.
She nodded. “That’s it.” Her eyes bolted open as she tried to sit up, but she was strapped down. “My baby!”
“Your baby? Are you pregnant, ma’am?”
“Yes! Almost four months. They were kicking me in the stomach! Is the baby still alive? Can you tell?” She was frantic as tears started rolling down her face. She could feel the scrapes on her face as the salty tears stung them on the way down her cheeks.
“Jo!” he called to the front of the ambulance. “Is the fetal Doppler working yet?”
It was a woman that called back. “Oh, God. She’s pregnant? They took it out. It was smashed after the rookie dropped it and stepped on it. They’re supposed to be replacing it tomorrow.”
“What’s a fetal Doppler?” Bri asked.
“It’s a wand that I could place against your lower abdomen and listen for the heartbeat. Unfortunately, we don’t have one.”
“That’s the only way that you can check on her?”
“I’m sorry. That’s the only way that I can tell in here. A stethoscope can’t really pick anything up through the uterine wall. Not in here for sure, though in a quiet room it’s probably possible. You’re having a little girl?” he asked, a sad smile breaking through as he worried for both of them.
“It’s just a hunch,” she said. Her entire body was shaking from shock and fear. Her eyes were growing heavy again, but she wanted to stay awake. She needed to know everything that was going on. “Do you think she will be okay?”
Gerome sighed and placed his hand over hers. “Bad things happen to good people every day. I know. I see a lot of it around here. But one thing I know for sure is that as bad as some of those things are, I have seen some of the most miraculous recoveries. People that never should have lived that were able to go home to their families and live their lives. People think that babies are fragile, and they are, but not nearly as fragile as we assume. That baby wasn’t outside exposed to the attack. She was cradled inside your body. You’re alive. So it’s okay to hold out hope that she is too. But…”
“But it’s best to know that I’m young and this is still really early in the pregnancy,” she said, interrupting him.
He nodded. “That’s right. Listen, you’re not looking too good yourself. Worrying and stressing puts you both in danger. Your vitals are slow, so you need to relax and let me worry about both of you. We will be at the hospital in about five minutes. Focus on staying alive. If you go, so does she. She’s too young to survive outside the womb.”
His words hit her hard. She forced a nod and relaxed. Her ribs ached with every breath, but she forced herself to steady her breathing and try to will the pain away. When she was twelve, she’d fallen during a gymnastics practice and broke her ankle. She’d begged her mother for a week to take her to the hospital, but she wouldn’t, saying that Bri had only twisted her ankle and to stop worrying over nothing. It was finally her father that took her, learning that she’d broken it quite badly and would require surgery.
For that incredibly painful week before seeking treatment, Bri had to learn how to will the pain away. She practiced breathing techniques and focused on something in whatever room she was in as she imagined “pushing” the pain away from herself. She later learned that was a legitimate meditation technique and even taught to some pregnant women to use during labor.
Bri now called on her past experience to help her through the excruciating pain. Being unable to take deep breaths made her work difficult, but she was able to relax as she closed her eyes and focused on what it would be like to be a mother. She imagined herself holding her baby for the first time and being surrounded by the people that she loved. Soon, her mind completely overtook her as she disappeared into unconsciousness once again with only dreams of her baby to sooth her.
Bri’s eyes slowly fluttered open, well – one of Bri’s eyes fluttered open. The other was completely swollen shut. As she realized she now only had use of one of her eyes, she began to panic. She tried to move, but her hands were bound, as were her feet. She tried to scream for help, but her throat was too sore to make such a loud noise.
The sound of frantic beeping entered her ears just before she heard multiple footsteps stampeding into the room. She began to come around as she realized that she was in a hospital. A doctor came into view, a face that was familiar to her. He was her childhood doctor. Another familiar face stepped into view; she was Matt’s mother’s OB/GYN, Maree Metcalf. She’d met her once when she accompanied them to a well-mother prenatal appointment.
“Briana,” Doctor Conway, her pediatrician spoke. “Try to calm down. You’re safe and in the hospital. You were brutally attacked. You can speak, but try to keep quiet. It appears that you were choked. There was some damage done to the trachea, but nothing permanent or needing surgery. It should heal on its own as long as you’re gentle with it.”
She nodded. “Bri.” Another familiar voice. She looked off to the right to see her parents sitting there, holding her hand.
They weren’t there a moment ago, she thought. They must have come in with the doctors.
“How are you feeling?” her father asked.
Bri began to speak a couple of times, only managing a cough as she tried to clear her throat. “Like I was just beaten half to death by Michael Rhodes and his minions.”
Her mother sighed, her eyes closing as she rubbed the bridge of her nose. “Briana Grace. He would never do such a thing. It was he that called us and called 911! Why would he do that if he was the one that hurt you? You owe him an apology.”
Bri laughed again, painfully, just as she had before. That was the final straw. She realized then that her parents didn’t love her. If they did, they did a terrible job showing it. They only loved the idea of having the perfect offspring, the daughter that excelled at everything, and she refused to be that anymore. She was a woman now, a woman that had just been attacked for the purpose of killing her unborn child.
She turned to Doctor Metcalf, now understanding why she’d been there with her. “How am I?” she asked, hoping the doctor would get her meaning.
“You will be just fine. You have a few broken bones in your face, a broken finger, two broken ribs, swollen but otherwise healthy ankle, damage to your trachea, and lots of bumps, bruises, and cuts. But you’ll be just fine.” She smiled softly, reaching out and placing her hand on Bri’s leg. “And the baby is just fine as well. We were fully prepared not to find a heartbeat. Most of the attack was directed at your abdomen. But we did. Your baby is just fine, for now. We will need to keep you for a few days to monitor you both.”
“Wait a minute,” Bri’s father said. “Baby?”
For a moment, Bri thought she saw something that momentarily looked like a very faint, almost too-terrified-to-come-out-of-hiding smile cross her father’s face, but that was over and gone as soon as her mother opened her mouth. She briefly wondered, before her mother started in, how he could have been so disgusted with a co-worker’s daughter being with child, but be momentarily happy with his own. Or had she only imagined the smile?
“You’re pregnant? That’s why you’ve been acting so strangely?” She stood and began pacing back and forth from the head of the bed to the foot and back again. “This is terrible. How could you do such a stupid thing? Is it Mike’s? He just didn’t seem like that kind of boy!”
Bri focused her rage, trying not to have an outburst, knowing that it will hurt her far more than it would her parents. “This stupid thing was because I had an abusive boyfriend that I was petrified of. No one believed me when I said that I was scared of him. Not even you! Everyone said that I was being foolish. That he was a great guy. That I was reading things wrong. Then one night he pressured me into having sex with him. Mom, the way he grabbed me, I knew that if I didn’t, he’d hurt me. One time – that’s all I’ve done it, and I didn’t even want to then. This is not my fault. I was trying to find a way out of the relationship, away from him to prevent being pressured into anything or being physically injured.”
“Well it seems to me that you moved a little slow. This is just awful. What will everyone say? Oh dear, is that why you quit the team? This is awful. Just awful.”
Her mother was a mess, just pacing and rambling.
“Mom, it’s going to be fine. Why should we care what anyone else thinks? I’m finishing school. I’m excited to show this baby exactly what you can do – no matter how hard the circumstances are – and still succeed. I’m going to go to college. I’m still going to do everything that I wanted to before, minus trying for a sports scholarship. That was more your dream than mine. I just love the game.”
Tears ran down her mother’s cheeks as their eyes locked. “Briana, you can’t have this baby. Please, you’re too young. You’ll regret it the rest of your life.”
Bri shook her head and smiled. “No, Mom. If I give up this baby – by any means – I’ll regret that for the rest of my life. Even if I hated and had no desire to take part in the circumstances that led up to this baby, he or she is still all of the best parts of me. How can I abandon that? Don’t make me do this. I’ll never forgive you and I’ll never forgive myself. I’ll always wonder what could have been and it will destroy me.”
“I just don’t think you understand just how hard your life is about to become if you keep that baby,” her mother said, voice quivering a little as she spoke. Something about the way Ellen chose her words sent chills down Bri’s spine. She wasn’t exactly sure what to make of them.
Shaking it off, Bri smiled again. “Yes I do, and that’s okay. I don’t care if the world hates me. It’s not their life. It’s mine. Everything will be just fine.”
Her mother squeezed her hand once. “You should rest. You’ve been through a lot today. We are going to go get some coffee and think about everything.”
Bri nodded, the motion immediately regrettable. Her throat was beginning to feel a little better, though she was incredibly thirsty. Talking so much had both helped and hurt. “Can I get these off now?” Bri asked, referring to her restraints.
“Yes. Sorry about that,” Doctor Conway said. “You pulled out three IVs and punched two of the nurses. We had no choice. Sedation wasn’t a great option because of the baby’s slowed heart rate and you were already unconscious anyway.”
“I am – so – sorry,” Bri said. She felt terrible for having hurt the people that had only tried to help her.
“It’s quite normal in victims of violent crimes.” Doctor Conway released her of the restraints. “I’d like for you to get some more rest. I’m going to give you a pain medication that will help prevent breakthrough pain as well as allow you to sleep. Until the baby’s heart rate comes back up, we will have to be pickier than normal with your pain meds.”
Bri nodded. She didn’t like the idea of being loaded up on drugs, especially while pregnant, but she didn’t want to feel the pain of all of her broken bones and she trusted the doctors to care for both of them. The words of the paramedic came back to her. That fighting and straining could hurt her and hurt the baby. Rest seemed best for now. “Thank you, Doctor.”
Hours passed before Bri woke again. Her sleep was dreamless, and for that she was grateful. Her ribs screamed at her when she tried to sit. She needed to go to the bathroom, but knew it was impossible to go alone. Within moments, the nurse was in her room, responding to her call. By the time the nurse helped her out, Matt was sitting in a bedside chair, smiling at her.
“Aren’t you just so cute in your ball gown,” he said, giving her a wink. He stood and came to her unoccupied side to help the nurse get her back into bed. Bri slowly sat on the edge of the bed, taking a moment to adjust to the pain. Matt placed his hands on her shoulders to stabilize and support her. “I’ve got her from here,” he said softly to the nurse.
“Okay,” the nurse responded, smiling. “If you need anything else, call me. I’m going to change your trash while I’m in here.” She walked across the room and began the task of switching bags.
“You don’t have help me, ya know,” Bri told Matt, still sitting upright. “I really hoped you wouldn’t find out. I didn’t want you to see me like this.”
Matt moved his hands from her shoulders to gently hold her face. He tilted her head upward and he looked into the eye that was open. “I don’t care how bruised, how broken, or how immobile you are now or will ever be in the future. You’re beautiful. Don’t let that asshole tear you down from the pedestal you belong on.” He placed a soft kiss on her forehead.
Out of her periphery, Bri saw the nurse stop at his words, placing a hand over her chest as a smile crossed her face. She was clearly moved by his words, as was Bri. No one had ever spoken to her like that, though he was always sweet and gentle with her.
“Well, that was awfully sweet for a barbarian like yourself,” Bri joked.
Matt shrugged. “I have my moments. Actually I wanted to get you in a headlock and screw up your hair – though I don’t think it’s possible to get it more amazing than it is right now. But – I figured there’d be some rule against abusing the patients.” He winked and helped her lie down before taking the seat next to her bed that he’d previously been occupying. Bri raised the head of her bed so she could sit at a wide angle, allowing her to sit and speak comfortably, but not so tightly as to squeeze her broken ribs.
“Can I get anything else for you?” the nurse asked, still smiling.
“Some ice chips maybe?” Bri said. “My throat is still a little sore.”
The nurse nodded. “Not a problem.”
Matt stood as the nurse made her way out the door. “I’ll go grab them from her so she doesn’t have to come back in.”
“Thank you,” Bri said. “I hate asking them for anything. I know they’ve got other patients who need more than I do.”
Matt laughed. “Wow. Woman, do you realize you’re more than likely one of the more serious patients on the floor? Most of these people probably have shortness of breath or respiratory infections of some kind.”
Bri shrugged, immediately regretting the action. “Still, I feel bad.” Matt shook his head at his friend and smiled before turning to leave the room. “Oh! Sorry, but could you see how my parents are doing? They were out there getting coffee somewhere.”
“Sure, no problem.”
Bri slowly reached for the call light/TV remote control and turned on the flat screen hanging from her wall. She began flipping through channels until she found something that made her happy. It was a rerun of The Vampire Diaries. She nestled in as comfortably as she could before placing the remote at her side and watching.
Twenty minutes or so passed before Matt came back. “Did you have to wait for the ice to freeze?” Bri asked, forcing a pained half-smile. Her face felt more swollen all the time, though she imagined if it actually was, the nurses would have noticed. She imagined it was just her pain tolerance lowering, possibly the pain medication wearing off.
Matt didn’t smile as he walked over to the bed, handing her a small Styrofoam cup with a plastic spoon. He looked behind him to the large closet in the room with double doors meant for patients to store their personal items. He opened it and his eyes momentarily closed before he reached inside.
“What? What’s wrong?” Bri asked. She watched as he pulled an envelope from the closet. He brought it over and sat it next to her on the bed. “What’s wrong? It’s just an envelope.”
He sighed. “It’s not just an envelope. It’s your envelope.”
“Why was it in the closet?”
Matt lightly shook his head as he tore it open, studying the contents. Bri’s heart began to speed up as she saw a flash of color of what was inside. Money.
“That’s for ordering food while I’m stuck in here. They work all the time and know hospital food sucks,” she said, trying to stop the tears from escaping her eyes. Even saying it, she didn’t believe it. “Where’s my phone?” she asked, wanting to call her parents.
Matt sighed again as he pulled her phone from his pocket. “The nurses had it in a bag of your belongings that you came in with. It survived the attack, thanks to the case. But you’re wasting your time, Bri. I tried to make a call from it. It’s been disconnected.”
Her jaw dropped open as a harsh breath escaped her. “What? What’s going on?”
Matt quickly put the money back in the envelope, having counted one hundred dollars, and sat it on the bedside table. He took a seat at Bri’s side and gently held her injured hand. “When I asked the nurses where I could possibly find your parents, the charge nurse stepped forward. I knew right then when they turned to her to answer my questions that it wasn’t good. She said that she overheard them discussing what to do. That your mom was insistent that she wouldn’t raise another baby and that you needed to learn your lesson. She told me your parents slipped the money into the cabinet and told the charge nurse to inform me if I came in. They knew I would.”
Bri shook her head, ignoring the physical pain for her emotional pain and confusion. “What are you saying, Matt?”
His eyes momentarily closed again as he searched for the words. “They gave you that money to give you a start on your own. They’ve kicked you out of the house, Bri. They shut off your phone, too. I called my sister and she drove by and saw a couple of boxes sat out on the curb. She recognized a few of your things piled on top. I’m so sorry. I’m honestly shocked. I knew they were cold, but this…”
That’s what she meant by saying that I had no idea how hard that my life was about to become if I decided to have this baby. Oh my God, Matt. What am I going to do?” she asked, staring off at nothing in particular. She began rubbing her sore abdomen, not caring about the pain, just wanting to feel close to her baby. She was in shock. She thought her parents would hate her, punish her, ban her from anything remotely pleasurable, but she never imagined this.
“You’re going to focus on getting better. When you get out, you can come stay a few days with me, longer if you need.”
“Matt – I can’t stay with you. If your mother finds out that I’m pregnant she will think it’s yours. She’ll kill you.”
He shrugged. “Maybe not. My mom loves you. She loves me, too. The real kind, not that fake crap your parents tried to push off to their friends to look like great parents.”
Bri was silent for a few minutes as so many thoughts flooded her mind that she found herself not thinking about anything at all. Her pain was back tenfold and she knew it was partly because she’d lost concentration on it with the news and partly because she’d been sitting a long while and now her body was tense with stress. Not to mention the meds had more than likely worn off.
“I need to sleep. I can’t handle this right now. My body is starting to hurt again and my head feels like it’s going to explode.”
Matt reached for the call light and pushed it. “She’s in a lot of pain. Is it time for her to have meds yet?” he asked when they answered.
“Of course, we will be right in,” she answered.
“I’ll leave so you can get some rest,” Matt said, gently stroking the back of her hand.
“No – please. I hate to ask, but I just can’t bear being alone right now.”
He gave a soft smile and nodded, pulling the padded chair next to her bed closer. Matt sat down next to her and held her hand. He leaned over to kiss the sensitive back, just along her knuckles. “I’m not going anywhere, babe.”
MeetTheAuthor
Candy Author Pic
Candy Crum lives in Indiana and is the Author of “The Eternal Series” and other short stories. She published her first novel, The Eternal Gift, in May of 2011 and has been publishing ever since. Candy is an avid lover of the paranormal genre, stemming from years of reading the Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice when she was a teenager. Later, she developed a deep love of the Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead and the House of Night Series by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast, furthering her love of the genre and pushing her to really push to finish and publish her novel. Since then, Candy has released three other books in The Eternal Series and will release another later in 2014. Now, Candy is trying her hand at more contemporary pieces of work, like that of Lean on Me and other books she will release in 2014. Some of Candy’s interests include the usual reading and writing, music (of most types), movies (action and comedy or any combination of the two), cartoons (she loves to say that her children watch cartoons because she does), and drawing. She loves talking with her fans and loves reading the reviews that her fans are kind enough to leave for her. Always feel free to find Candy on Facebook and send her a message.
Giveaway