Thursday, June 27, 2013

Fallen Too Far (Too Far, #1) by Abbi Glines

Posted by miss fifi at Thursday, June 27, 2013 0 comments
Fallen Too Far (Too Far, #1)Fallen Too Far by Abbi Glines
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed the book but somehow it was still lacking something for me. This is my third Abbi Glines book and I guess it's the best so far but I still couldn't give it a five stars rating because I didn't feel connected with the characters.

First of all, meet Blaire. She was nineteen and her mom just died. She came to live with her dad out of desperation but her father went to Paris before she arrived. That resulted in her living with her stepbrother, Rush, in Rush's house.

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Next, meet Rush. He was a rich guy in his early twenty. He disliked Blaire's dad, much more than she hated her dad.

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She showed up at his house when he was in the middle of a party and he kicked her out right away after knowing who she was. Devastated she left the party, humiliated and crying. Buy guess what? Our jerk wasn't really a big jerk, so he offered her a small room to sleep. And being a beggar stopped her from being so choosy so she accepted the offer.

That's when their story began. It was such a hot n cold relationship. Well you get the idea. What complicated stuff is that there were secrets hidden by Rush from Blaire. And just for your curiosity, it concerned Blaire the most. Read the book if you want to have a steamy and probably intense read.

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Boy Nobody by Allen Zadoff

Posted by miss fifi at Thursday, June 27, 2013 0 comments
Boy NobodyBoy Nobody by Allen Zadoff


I abso-freaking-lutely love this book! Bravo Allen Zadoff, you just became my favourite author ever :D

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The Blurb

Boy Nobody is the perennial new kid in school, the one few notice and nobody thinks much about. He shows up in a new high school, in a new town, under a new name, makes few friends and doesn't stay long. Just long enough for someone in his new friend's family to die -- of "natural causes." Mission accomplished, Boy Nobody disappears, and moves on to the next target.

When his own parents died of not-so-natural causes at the age of eleven, Boy Nobody found himself under the control of The Program, a shadowy government organization that uses brainwashed kids as counter-espionage operatives. But somewhere, deep inside Boy Nobody, is somebody: the boy he once was, the boy who wants normal things (like a real home, his parents back), a boy who wants out. And he just might want those things badly enough to sabotage The Program's next mission.



Meet Boy Nobody

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He works for The Program.

"I had a choice a long time ago, and I made a mistake.
My father had a choice, too. He chose wrong, or I wouldn’t be here."


His every step is calculated precisely and he works without asking questions.

"My business is to get in, do the job, and get out again. Move on to the next.
The job is assigned to me.
I don’t have to think. I have to act."


He does his work perfectly.

"That’s my specialty. People die around me, but it never seems like my fault. It seems like bad luck following good.
Good luck: You meet a great new friend at school.
Bad luck: A tragedy befalls your family. The two don’t ever seem connected, but they are."


One thing he's very good at is : Pretending.

"I am one of you..."

Why? Because that is what he has been taught.

"When in doubt, emulate. That’s what I’ve been taught."

Why is he so good at it?

"I don’t feel anything.
Not true.
I feel cold, I feel hungry, I feel the fabric of a new shirt rubbing against my skin, and I feel gravel beneath my feet.
But those are sensations, not feelings.
I had feelings once, too. I think I did. But that was a long time ago.
That was before."


Now and then..

"Memories come. I don’t know why.
They go away eventually if I keep moving."


But the past just feels like something in..

"Another time, another life."

But at some point he starts questioning stuff.

"The Program tells me one thing, but my memories tell me another.
I don’t know which to believe.
It’s enough to make all my memories suspect, to make the past a mystery from which I cannot escape."


"I’m good at what I do, and I’m appreciated for it. So why is there a question nagging at me?
When does it end?"


Because he's smart.

"You don’t have to be God to decide when and where. You only have to take action and be willing to deal with the consequences."

And an assignment finally changes everything. This time it is different. More challenging, and definitely more life-changing.

Ugh, you gotta read the awesome book yourself if you wanna get the interesting full story but I will warn you that this is not one of those books with an easy-to-guess plot ;)

Anyway, here's my favourite scene of the brilliant book. (The Mayor is asking him stuff) It's not a spoiler, but I just wanna make my silly rant look short :D

(view spoiler)[“How many apartments do you think we can see from here?” the mayor says.
He turns and gazes out the window.
“Thousands, maybe,” I say. I’m standing behind him, a few feet from his left shoulder.
“On the order of twelve thousand,” the mayor says.
“You’ve counted them?”
“I don’t need to. I count the number of windows viewed through a one-inch square of windowpane, then multiply by the overall size of the pane, then divide by the average number of windows per apartment.”
“This is why you run the city and I’m failing trig.”
“Twelve thousand in this one small slice of the city,” the mayor says. “Imagine you were looking for an apartment. With so many choices, how could you choose the right one for you?”
“Most people don’t get to choose,” I say.
“Good point,” the mayor says.
“So you’re saying we don’t choose,” the mayor says. “Our limitations choose for us.”
“I think so. Yes.”
“But if your limitations make the choices for you, how do you know what it is you want?”
“Maybe it doesn’t matter what you want,” I say.
“And yet we are defined by our desires,” the mayor says. “If you don’t know what you want, how can you know who you are?”
“I guess you make your best choice given your circumstances, and then you live with it.”
“Maybe you’re right,” he says.
“There is always a moment before you choose, isn’t there?” the mayor says. “A moment when you realize the choice you’re about to make could affect a number of people.”
“Your choices, maybe. Not mine.”
“Why is that?”
“You’re the mayor. I’m just a teenager.”
“Yet we all make choices. And they have repercussions.” (hide spoiler)]


Dear Author,

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Love, Me.


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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Amazingly Broken by Jordin Williams

Posted by miss fifi at Tuesday, June 25, 2013 1 comments
Amazingly BrokenAmazingly Broken by Jordin Williams
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

WHAT ANNOYED ME IS THE REPETITIONS!

He didn’t look like the typical Iowa boys that I was used to.

Jaxon didn’t look like the guys in Iowa.


I WOULD HAVE LAUGHED OUT LOUD IF I WASN'T SO ANNOYED AT ELANA IN THIS BOOK:


1. SHE WAS SO FREAKING JUDGEMENTAL. A FEW MINUTES MEETING JAXON AND SHE LABELLED HIM AS TROUBLE, JUST BECAUSE HE HAS GOT TATTOES. NEXT, SHE WAS WEIRD. SHE AGREED TO GO TO A PARTY WHEN SHE FREAKING HATED IT JUST BECAUSE JAXON ASKED HER TO, FOR LIKE THREE TIMES ONLY. OH, JUST TO ANNOY ME MORE, THAT WAS HER FIRST PARTY AT COLLEGE. FREAK.

AND ELANA SUPPOSED-TO-BE-BEST-FRIEND, TIFFANY DIDN'T EVEN BOTHER ASKING WHO WAS THE GUY WHO GOT ELANA TO GO TO A PARTY, I MEAN ISN'T SHE FEELING A BIT FREAKING CURIOUS ABOUT HER SAID BEST FRIEND?

OH, JUST TO MAKE ME HATE HER MORE, SHE FREAKING OVERREACTED WHEN SHE FOUND OUT THAT JAXON WAS A RACE DRIVER. GOING ALL CHILDISH SAYING THAT SHE WANTED NOTHING TO DO WITH HIM LOL

AND OH, HER THIRD MEETING WITH HIM AND SHE FREAKING AGREED TO STAY AT HIS PLACE INSTEAD OF HER FRIEND'S PLACE. WTF?

HE OWNED THE PLACE AND THAT BITCH SIMPLY SAID “You'll be sleeping on the couch because we're just room mates,” WTF, HE OWNED THE PLACE!

OH, JUST IN CASE YOU STILL THINK THAT SHE'S SANE, LET ME TELL YOU A FREAKING SECRET, HE FREAKING STRIPPED NAKED RIGHT IN FRONT OF HER, ON THEIR THIRD MEETING AND GUESS WHAT? SHE WASN'T EVEN FREAKED WHEN IT WAS SO FREAKING OBVIOUS THAT HE COULD HARASS HER!


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Killing Sarai (Killing Sarai, #1) by J.A. Redmerski

Posted by miss fifi at Tuesday, June 25, 2013 0 comments
Killing Sarai (Killing Sarai, #1)Killing Sarai by J.A. Redmerski
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What an IMPRESSING book! I was STUNNED!


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Meet my beautiful determined Sarai

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And my gorgeous cold-hearted Victor

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The beautiful story of Sarai and Victor started when he came to the compound where she was kept as a slave.

Sarai have waited for the moment for nine years, and she grabbed the opportunity, even when her best friend doubted her.

"That look in her eyes, it’s hopeless. She doesn’t believe for a second that this insane plan of mine is going to work. And I probably wouldn’t have either nine years ago, but desperation makes a person do crazy things."

But then Victor was an assassin, a cold hearted one at that.

“I need you to help me,” I say. “I’ve been a prisoner of Javier’s since I was fourteen-years-old.”
“And you assume I’m going to help you because I am also American,” he says simply.
I hesitate before I answer, “I-I…well, why wouldn’t you?”


Somehow things got tangled and he was forced to take her with him.

“Are you human?” I hate him more every time he speaks. “What kind of man would not want to help a defenseless young woman out of a life of bondage and violence, especially when she has escaped her captors and is directly pleading for your help?”
He doesn’t answer. Why doesn’t that surprise me?


But along the way they learnt about each other, although just a lil bit..

"That look in her eyes, it somehow latches onto my soul and all I want is for her to turn and walk away. Because I know that if she doesn’t, if she presses me further with those soft lips and sad, vulnerable eyes that I’ll succumb to the moment and either fuck her or kill her."

Sarai was haunted by her days at the compound while Victor was haunted by his own demons.

"I let my head fall to the side, feeling the pang of defeat. I can’t look at him anymore. Not out of anger or hatred or revenge, but out of shame. I can’t look a murder in the eye because not only am I no better than he is, it’s possible that I’m worse."

Sarai wanted to start over and Victor wanted to give her the chance.

But how is she gonna start over when the past seems to refuse to let her go?

"I can do whatever I want, yet I find it eternally difficult to choose where to begin. Or if to begin at all."

And after what they have went through, will Victor let her go? Will she let him do so?

"Cold-blooded murderer-for-hire or not, he saved my life."

"Despite my growing fear, I still want to be right where I am, trapped in the merciless arms of a killer."


They went against everything and stick together..

"...I will do everything in my power to keep you safe, but it’s not a guarantee because no matter how much you trust me, you should never, under any circumstances trust anyone fully. In the end, you can only trust yourself. I am not your hero. I am not the other half of your soul who could never let anything bad ever happen to you. Trust your instincts first always, and me, if you choose, last." - Victor

But..

“Is this going where I think it is?”
“Probably not,” ... “but it will still be unpleasant.”


However, their world is no fairytale. There were people who were after them. Killers and murderers. They had to make a decision soon before they both ended..dead.

"We sit in stillness, both looking out ahead, both married to our thoughts. I wonder if hers are about me. I can’t help but for mine to be about her."- Victor


"Some people believe that when two people separate that over time they heal. They start to find interest in other people. They go on with their lives. But that hasn’t been the case with me at all." - Sarai


Just freaking read this brilliant book already!

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p/s: I didn't like The Edge of Never from this author but I decided to give the author another chance and I am freaking amazed at how good the author could be!

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Monday, June 24, 2013

Bloodlines International Giveaway (XI) by CAFEBIBLIOART

Posted by miss fifi at Monday, June 24, 2013 0 comments

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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Real Ugly (Hard Rock Roots, #1) by C.M. Stunich

Posted by miss fifi at Thursday, June 13, 2013 0 comments
Real Ugly (Hard Rock Roots, #1)Real Ugly by C.M. Stunich
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

OMG what did I just read???

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This book has got some heavy stuff in it. And by heavy, I mean really heavy. C.M. has stuffed some not-so-pretty things in the book that are quite normal in the rockers world. Consider yourself warned.

Now, lets meet Naomi Isabelle Knox.

Lead guitarist for Amatory Riot. Twenty-three years old. Hot as hell. Mean as sin.

NAOMI


And Turner Dakota Campbell.


Lead singer of Indecency. Twenty-eight years old. Hot as hell too. Might as well change his name to Satan or Beelzebub or Lucifer or something.


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Both Naomi and Turner were in the same tour. But Naomi became Turner's amusement, because she was so f*cking different.

Naomi f*cking hate Turner and Turner can't f*cking stand her.

There's a metamorphosis happening right before my eyes. I'm watching a devil shed its skin, shrink its horns and grow wings. The dark haze in the air is lifting, banished by the bright lights of the stage. Even metaphorically, a trick like that is hard to pull off. I'm impressed. Or I would be if I didn't hate the a*shole so much.

There was something that made her hate him so much but he just couldn't figure out what. But one by one his memories of six years ago came back to him.

Normally, when I lose a memory, it's gone for good. Not this one apparently. - Turner

Yeah, they have got history. But it was a fucking ugly one.

Real Ugly. That's life. Fucking hideous and hateful and bloody.

But Naomi was a freaking puzzle that was so hard to solve. She was a freaking roller coaster when it came to Turner.

"Something about her just pisses me off at the same time it gets me off." - Turner

But she had her solid reason...

"...he saved my life and fucked me both at the same time..." - Naomi

However, Turner was hell bent on fixing their pasts.

I'm twenty-eight fucking years old; I know what I want and how to get it at this point in my life. And now I know I want Naomi Knox. It's that simple, that easy. - Turner

He lost her once, he's not gonna lose her this time.

She's acting fierce, but I can see right through her. This chick is vulnerable, half ready to crack. Wonder if I could help her along a little? Broken souls are my specialty. - Turner

All of my secrets are sitting there in code, hidden between the blue lines with cryptic phrasing and a horrible abuse of the English language that makes it nearly impossible to guess what I'm hinting at. There's enough to give people pause, to open up the idea of discussion, but nothing too personal, nothing too incriminating. And that's just the way I like it. - Naomi


Well the main problem was, she hated him as much as she loved him.

Turner Campbell may not be the sole reason that I have trust issues, but he sure as shit didn't help. He could've cured me, I think, but instead, he dragged me backwards and left me in this state. Angry. Distrusting. Determined. - Naomi

But guess what? Our boy just fell in love!

I think I'm fucking nuts. Everybody does. But shit, when the heart wants something, it'll do anything to get it, and right now, mine's in a fucking frenzy.

I've gotta get mentally prepared for this falling in love crap. This shit's a lot harder than I first thought.

And he was unstoppable...

“I was thinking,” he tells me,...“That you might be, like, my saving grace or something.” “I didn't know I even needed one, but that's the point, isn't it? Help comes along when you least expect it.”

Although Naomi was obviously hell bent on resisting him.

God, I hate Turner. I hate him. Hate him. Hate him. Maybe if I repeat it enough, I'll be able to keep that emotion and that emotion only in my heart and ignore the other one that's been there since I was sixteen years old, the one that refuses to die. It's hard to kill love, isn't it? Even false love. It's like a persistent weed, one that has to be pulled out by the root and burned. - Naomi

But..

The next words out of his mouth blow me away, break me up into little pieces, chew me up and spit me out. Holy fucking shit. “Let me give it to you straight, Naomi. I don't keep secrets. I hate them. They sit inside of you and they eat away at your fucking soul, so I'm just going to come right out with it.” Turner pauses and takes a deep breath, face shadowed in the dimness, cheekbones highlighted by a stray sliver of light that's leaking from the stage. Vaguely, I hear America in the background asking about Hayden, but I don't care. Right now, all of my attention is focused on Turner Campbell and his narcissistic delusions. “I'm in love with you.”

*sighs*

Do you know how hard it is to be offered the one thing you always wanted just after you've convinced yourself that you don't anymore? Just when you've accepted that you'll never have it? It's cruel. Worse than never being offered it at all.

They both were f*cked up..But Naomi was the master of the art of f*cking up things. She had secrets. Not one of those silly secrets where she had a traumatic childhood or what, they were seriously serious secrets. She was one of my favourite heroine ever because despite of all the f*cked up things in her life, she fought each battle with her head held up. Yeah, she fought back as hard as she could. I was so freaking intrigued with her and her secrets that I couldn't stop perusing the book for them. But the ending? *sighs* I knew a cliffhanger was waiting for me, but it just didn't stop me from being frustrated, but don't worry, it was a nice kind of frustration lol

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Monday, June 10, 2013

Beautiful Bastard (Beautiful Bastard, #1) by Christina Lauren

Posted by miss fifi at Monday, June 10, 2013 0 comments
Beautiful Bastard (Beautiful Bastard, #1)Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

First of all, I think it’s better for me to simply explain that I read this book as a fanfic and not a book. I am nt sure whether it’s different from the officially published book or what but I will review what I read, the fanfic.

The book was about Chloe and Bennett who hated each other with all their hearts. Well this is mainly because Bennett was a jerk to Chloe.


“Late was not a word found in the Bennett Ryan jerkhead Dictionary. Along with heart, kindness, compassion or thank you.” – Chloe

But then, Chloe’s not a doormat, she fought back with her brilliant remarks.

However one day they couldn’t hold it anymore, and they had sex in the office. Both were shocked by that event.


“What. The. Fuck. Was. That?”

You see, they have been wanting each other for nine freaking months, so they thought that it was just a one-time thing.

“Nine months. Nine fucking months of morning wood, and endless fantasies about someone I didn’t even want. Well that wasn’t completely true. I wanted her. I wanted her more than any women I’d ever seen. The big problem was I hated her. Well maybe not… no, I hated her. She was one of the biggest bitches I’ve ever met.” - Bennett

But it’s not like that at all. Each argument ended with them having sex. But, they still annoy each other..

“Music was being piped through overhead speakers, and I was glad I wouldn’t have to worry about keeping my voice down too much as I strangled her.” – Bennett.

A lil bit of distance was then formed when they both realized that they should not be having sex again and again since obviously, they worked together. (Bennett was Chloe’s boss, and Chloe’s was his secretary)
A week apart, and they went back to the ‘old’ habit of having sex again when they met. But this time, both were willing to take a chance on thing, in secret it was.


“Gone were Mr. Ryan and Ms. Mills. We were Bennett and Chloe, and I couldn’t believe how right and real it felt. I’d never felt physically closer to another person in my life. He’d been tender and gentle, and we’d teased and just enjoyed each other for the first time. “

And both thought that although it was wrong,

“‘ Je Ne Regrette Rien,’ it means, I regret nothing.””

Oh, and as all love stories unfold, the H or h finally realized that they are in love, not in lust.

“At some point, I had given him my heart and I knew now that I would never get it back.” - Chloe

“Do you believe me? Je suis à toi. I. Am. Yours.” I wanted to believe him, more than anything.
“Yes.” He brought his forehead to rest against mine and I closed my eyes.
“I promise, Chloe.”
“And I’m yours.” He smiled the most beautiful smile I’d ever seen and placed his warm lips softly to mine.


“You have me, don’t ever doubt that”
“I don’t”


And of course since Bennet loved her, he automatically became the possessive alpha male..

“Let’s get this straight, Chloe,” I stated, stalking towards her. She took three steps backward, a small gasp leaving her throat as her body came in contact with the plate glass window next to my desk. I placed a hand on either side of her head, trapping her.
” You,” I whispered roughly, my mouth hovering near hers, “are mine. Nobody, not Mike, not David, nobody is going to take you from me......" - Bennett


But he did not have to worry because she belongs to him.

“Nobody could ever take me from you..” – Chloe

Ugh, the only reason why I bothered with writing this review was because I had wasted my three days reading this tiring book. Seriously, the lack of plot was so obvious that I think I got an eye cramp due to rolling my eyes repeatedly. Oh, to spell it out for those who are still blind enough to see it by now, the book is just full of S.E.X. And the plot is just all about them hiding their relationship, as if it was something forbidden or taboo. Seriously, they could just declare that they were having a relationship, get married and get over it! However, although I kind of hated the book, I did enjoy some fun banters they had that had me laughing out loud. But too bad the funny part wasn’t enough for me to love the book.

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Fever (Breathless, #2) by Maya Banks

Posted by miss fifi at Monday, June 10, 2013 0 comments
Fever (Breathless, #2)Fever by Maya Banks
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I read the excerpt included in Rush, and bam I was all intrigued about how things would go for Jace. So after almost a week of reading I finished the book and Maya Banks surely didn't disappoint.

Lets start with the couple.

Jace was a handsome broody rich billionaire.
One day, a beautiful homeless woman named Bethany caught his eyes.
But the problem is..Jace shares woman with his best friend, Ash.

He wanted her, she wanted him, but of course Ash unintentionally interrupted things.

Ash asked Bethany to join them in a threesome.
Surprising Jace, she agreed to join them.
Jace wanted her so badly that he was willing to go with it just to have her.

They had a threesome. Things went awkward after that and Jace declared that he was not sharing Bethany anymore.
[Talking about why I didn't like this arrangement, well you don't FUCKING share what you love!]

Jace fell head over heels in love with Bethany.

"He closed his eyes, inhaling her sweet scent as he surrounded her with him, with his touch. Hell, who was he fooling? It wasn’t that he was surrounding her with him. No, he was surrounding himself with . . . her."

But Bethany was not sure taht she truly deserved him.

“You deserve better.”

Jace swore viciously. “You’re honest. Blunt. Normally I’d like that. Hell, I’d love it. I appreciate honesty and someone who speaks the truth without regard to consequences. But goddamn it, Bethany. I deserve better? What the ever-loving fuck is that about? What about what you deserve? Have you ever given thought to that?”


But when you have someone like Jace loving you, how could you say 'no'?

“You’re crazy,” she muttered again. “Or maybe I’m crazy.”
“As long as we’re crazy together, I’m good with it.”


Jace knew that Bethany had insecurities but he wasn't giving up on her.

“Be warned. I’m fighting for you and I have no intention of losing.”

Bethany loved Jace. But she was scared of what the future held for her.

Her life wasn’t much. But it was what she was used to. How was she supposed to make the adjustment from her world to his?
Yes, he’d been adamant that they lived in the same world, but she knew better. They may occupy the same universe, but his life was so different than hers that she couldn’t even comprehend it. He had wealth and power. His life was well ordered and he had exacting standards. What on earth did he want with her?


And Jace, being Jace kept fighting for her.

“I’m real, baby. This is real. We are real..."

"...We all make mistakes, baby. Nobody is perfect. I’m not. You’re not. It would be boring as shit if we were.”


And yes, he was persistent.

"...I’m a persistent bastard and I never walk away from something I want, whether in business or my personal life.”

He surrounded her, touched her, filled her. Filled places that had long been left hollow and aching. He reached into the very heart of her and spread warmth and contentment.

And then she began to unravel. Everything she’d held so tightly within for so long began to loosen.
It was too much. He’d said she undid him, but in truth she was the one coming completely undone.


But she was too insecure to believe in a happy ending.

Fairy tales didn’t happen for girls like her and yet she’d walked right into the middle of one. But this one wasn’t destined for a happily-ever-after. That only happened in fiction. She was too well acquainted with the way things worked in real life. Real life sucked. But it was real. It was unapologetic. It made no excuses. It just was.

And Jace grew tired of her shutting him out.

“I wasn’t leaving,” she whispered.
“Thank fuck for that,” he muttered. “But Bethany? You and I have a hell of a lot to go over. I’ve tried to play this as delicately as possible but fuck it. Not doing that anymore. It’s time we do this my way.”


But don't worry, they were all blunt when it comes to about their feelings.

“You’ve shown me how things could be,” she whispered. “And I want it, Jace. I shouldn’t want it. I shouldn’t even dare to dream that something so beautiful could happen to me. But I want it all the same. But if you’re going to take it from me, if this is only temporary, some amusement for you, then I don’t want it because it will kill me to go back to my life.”

Jace was honest about his obsession.

“The truth is I’ve never felt this way about another woman. The truth is I’m fucking obsessed with you. The truth is I want you in any way I can have you. The truth is if you told me right now that you could never submit to me, never give me what I want so badly from you, that it wouldn’t matter. I’d take you any way I could have you. The truth is I’m not letting you go.”

“I’m not letting you go. Ever. It’s not happening. How the fuck am I supposed to get back to my life when you are my life? As if my life would mean a goddamn thing if you weren’t in it..."


Because he’d be damned if he let her walk out of his life when he’d waited thirty-eight years for her to walk into it.

“You are everything to me. Everything, Bethany. I don’t say that lightly. I’ve damn sure never said that to another woman. Hell, I’ve never said it to another human being.”

“I don’t fit into your world. How could I? I’m afraid that one day you’re going to realize that.”

“You are my world, baby. We’ve been over this.”

“You have more power, more control than you could possibly imagine. My heart is in your hands. That’s not bullshit. I’m not saying stuff I think you want to hear in order to manipulate you. I can’t be any more honest than this. I’m yours, baby. I’m putting it out there. My heart, my soul, it all belongs to you.”


"...Believe in yourself. In us. This is real. As real as it gets. Nothing has ever been more real in my life.”


And as usual, it ended with a happy ending for all of us!

Fairy tales did exist for girls like her. And she’d found her very own Prince Charming. She glanced down at the sexy, sparkly stilettos as Jace whirled her around the dance floor. She even had the shoes to prove it.


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Playing for Keeps (A Neighbor from Hell, #1) by R.L. Mathewson

Posted by miss fifi at Monday, June 10, 2013 0 comments


Done with being the world's biggest pushover, Haley decides that things are going to change starting with the aggravating neighbor who has too much charm and not enough restraint. What she didn't expect was to be sucked into his world, but Haley has a game plan and she won't let herself forget just what the bad boy next door is capable of. 

The last thing Jason expected was for his little shy neighbor to go Rambo on him over some ruined flowers. After he decides to take her under his wing he can't help but notice that she fits very nicely in his life. Now the only thing left is to convince her that this is anything but a game.

At first Haley was just one of those 'doormat-ish' girls until one day she confronted Jason, a food slut, for ruining her flower bed.

She just wasn’t any good at handling people. Throw good looks onto a guy that was being particularly jerkish and she turned into a blubbering idiot. Pushy people just sucked and it really sucked that she never learned how to deal with them.
She spied the rolled up hose and made a snap decision. This ended here and now. The days of being the world’s biggest pushover were over.

And of course the food slut was surprised by the 'attack'.

He couldn’t remember someone disliking him so fast and intensely before in his life.

In his defence, his horrible attude should be forgiven because he was just being him.

It wasn’t like he was purposely being an asshole. It just came naturally to him. Everyone understood and accepted it. Probably because even though he was an asshole, he was a likeable asshole…..most of the time.

But that one 'attack' simply drew them closer and they became friends.

Jason could still be a pain in the ass, but a really nice pain in the ass.

Haley was a great baker, and Jason, like I mentioned earlier was a food slut, so yeah, he fell in love with Haley's baked goods and hmm Haley herself.

Haley was quickly becoming his world and for some strange reason it that was fine with him, hence the reason he was scared shitless.
She was the most precious thing in the world to him. So beautiful, so sweet, so giving and too damn good for him, but he was a selfish bastard and wouldn't let her go.
Ever.

Haley grew on his skin.

He was in deep shit. Haley was his life now. His woman. His heart.
He was so screwed.

And vice versa.


"Maybe you should just admit that you're crazy about me," he said, leaning in to kiss her again.
"And why would you want me to do that?" she asked, still smiling.
"Because I'm playing for keeps, my little grasshopper."

p/: if you love funny male leads, you're gonna love this book :D

Stacking the Shelves!

Posted by miss fifi at Monday, June 10, 2013 0 comments
Okay, got a few books to read..but as always, I am gonna be too lazy to finish all of them -.-



Luke is the perfect boyfriend: handsome, kind, fun. He and Emaline have been together all through high school in Colby, the beach town where they both grew up. But now, in the summer before college, Emaline wonders if perfect is good enough.

Enter Theo, a super-ambitious outsider, a New Yorker assisting on a documentary film about a reclusive local artist. Theo's sophisticated, exciting, and, best of all, he thinks Emaline is much too smart for Colby.

Emaline's mostly-absentee father, too, thinks Emaline should have a bigger life, and he's convinced that an Ivy League education is the only route to realizing her potential. Emaline is attracted to the bright future that Theo and her father promise. But she also clings to the deep roots of her loving mother, stepfather, and sisters. Can she ignore the pull of the happily familiar world of Colby?

Emaline wants the moon and more, but how can she balance where she comes from with where she's going?

Sarah Dessen's devoted fans will welcome this story of romance, yearning, and, finally, empowerment. It could only happen in the summer.

I am pretty mush a big fan of Sarah Dessen growing up, so this book is a must have book although the blurb isn't that intriguing.^^

Mackenzie “Max” Miller has a problem. Her parents have arrived in town for a surprise visit, and if they see her dyed hair, tattoos, and piercings, they just might disown her. Even worse, they’re expecting to meet a nice, wholesome boyfriend, not a guy named Mace who has a neck tattoo and plays in a band. All her lies are about to come crashing down around her, but then she meets Cade.

Cade moved to Philadelphia to act and to leave his problems behind in Texas. So far though, he’s kept the problems and had very little opportunity to take the stage. When Max approaches him in a coffee shop with a crazy request to pretend to be her boyfriend, he agrees to play the part. But when Cade plays the role a little too well, they’re forced to keep the ruse going. And the more they fake the relationship, the more real it begins to feel.

I read Losing It last year and I enjoyed the book so I guess what harm will it do if I grab this book as well? Cora Carmack could be my next favourite author :D

Filled with humor, raw emotion, a strong voice, and a brilliant dog named Sandy Koufax, When You Were Here explores the two most powerful forces known to man-death and love. Daisy Whitney brings her characters to life with a deft touch and resonating authenticity. 

Danny's mother lost her five-year battle with cancer three weeks before his graduation-the one day that she was hanging on to see.

Now Danny is left alone, with only his memories, his dog, and his heart-breaking ex-girlfriend for company. He doesn't know how to figure out what to do with her estate, what to say for his Valedictorian speech, let alone how to live or be happy anymore.

When he gets a letter from his mom's property manager in Tokyo, where she had been going for treatment, it shows a side of his mother he never knew. So, with no other sense of direction, Danny travels to Tokyo to connect with his mother's memory and make sense of her final months, which seemed filled with more joy than Danny ever knew. There, among the cherry blossoms, temples, and crowds, and with the help of an almost-but-definitely-not Harajuku girl, he begins to see how it may not have been ancient magic or mystical treatment that kept his mother going. Perhaps, the secret of how to live lies in how she died.

It is the cover that caused me to grab this one, blurry but nice :D

Needing an escape from her past, Avery chooses a college where no one knows her. Keeping a low profile was the plan, falling for the intense frat boy, Jase wasn’t. Yet she can’t deny how alive she feels when he’s near. Even as common sense implores her to stay away, her body begs her to get closer.

Jase, numb from his own family drama, has grown bored with weekends fueled by nameless girls and countless bottles when he meets Avery. Helping her cope with her past is better than dealing with the bullshit his own life’s served up. Determined to drive away the painful secret she’s guarding, he appoints himself her life coach, and challenges her to new experiences. Getting close to her and being the one to make her smile are simply perks of the job. 

But when Avery’s past boldly saunters in, refusing to be forgotten, can Jase live with the truth about the girl he’s fallen for?

Reformed bad boy? I am in!


Lanie Heron isn’t looking for love—no surprise, considering her last serious relationship nearly got her killed. So when Lanie propositions Hop Kincaid, all she wants is one wild night with the hot-as-hell biker who patrols with the Chaos Motorcycle Club...

For Hop, Lanie has always been untouchable. She’s too polished and too classy for his tastes. But when she gives Hop the once-over with her bedroom eyes and offers him a night in paradise, he can’t say no. And he doesn’t regret it when he finds that Lanie is the best thing that’s ever happened to him—in or out of bed. Now the trick will be to convince her of that.

I didn't like the first book much but then it's Kristen Ashley, I cannot say 'NO' too her lol

Gracie has just finished her freshman year of college in Memphis when she takes a job at a local pizza joint in her home town of McKenzie, Tennessee. She is the epitome of innocence when she meets Noah. Noah is unabashedly handsome, intriguingly reckless and just cocky enough to be sexy. Gracie’s instincts tell her to stay far away from him and based on the stories she hears from her co-workers he leaves broken hearts in his wake. But still, she can’t explain her fascination with him.

Noah puts aside his bad boy ways when what he thought was a summer crush has him unexpectedly falling in love. But soon after Gracie transfers to UT Knoxville to be with Noah, their unexpected love becomes riddled with anger, deceit and humiliation.

Jake, Noah’s former roommate and Gracie’s best friend, can no longer be a bystander. Gracie’s world falls out from beneath her and when she breaks she turns to Jake for strength. As Jake talks her through a decision she’s not yet strong enough to make, together they uncover a truth so ugly neither of them is prepared for its fallout. Will Jake pull her to the surface or is Gracie Jordan finally In Too Deep?

Something deep is something good, I guess..


Okay, that's my list of books!!!




Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Walking Disaster (Beautiful #2) by Jamie McGuire

Posted by miss fifi at Wednesday, June 05, 2013 0 comments

SUMMARY

inally, the highly anticipated follow-up to the New York Times bestseller Beautiful Disaster. Can you love someone too much?
Travis Maddox learned two things from his mother before she died: Love hard. Fight harder.

In Walking Disaster, the life of Travis is full of fast women, underground gambling, and violence. But just when he thinks he is invincible, Abby Abernathy brings him to his knees.

Every story has two sides. In Beautiful Disaster, Abby had her say. Now it’s time to see the story through Travis’s eyes.

MY THOUGHTS

I enjoyed this book a lot because I was just a freak who loves a fiction alpha male a lot. So yeah, I guess indirectly, I loved this book too. The author was smart enough not to make me feel like I was re-reading Beautiful Disaster which I really appreciated. And God, Travis was not just an alha male boyfriend, he was a funny one :D Couldn't stop laughing while reading the book.

SPOILERS

So here come the part where I spoil the fun through my brief (maybe) detailed summary.

Travis met Abby and thought that she was different.

He started to change from a playboy to Abby's best guy friend.

They had sex.

They argued and all.

They made up.

Travis accepted an offer which Abby didn't like and she left.

They fought some more.

They made up, get married, and had a HEA.

p/s: the book didn't end and start the same way as Beautiful Disaster. So below is the prologue and epiloge excerpts.

EXCERPTS

PROLOGUE

EVEN WITH THE SWEAT ON HER FOREHEAD AND THE skip in her breath, she didn’t look sick. Her skin didn’t have the peachy glow I was used to, and her eyes weren’t as bright, but she was still beautiful. The most beautiful woman I would ever see.
Her hand flopped off the bed, and her finger twitched. My eyes trailed from her brittle, yellowing nails, up her thin arm, to her bony shoulder, finally settling on her eyes. She was looking down at me, her lids two slits, just enough to let me know she knew I was there. That’s what I loved about her. When she looked at me, she really saw me. She didn’t look past me to the other dozens of things she needed to do with her day, or tune out my stupid stories. She listened, and it made her really happy. Everyone else seemed to nod without listening, but not her. Never her.
“Travis,” she said, her voice raspy. She cleared her throat, and the corners of her mouth turned up. “Come here, baby. It’s okay. C’mere.”
Dad put a few fingers on the base of my neck and pushed me forward while listening to the nurse. Dad called her Becky. She came to the house for the first time a few days ago. Her words were soft, and her eyes were kinda nice, but I didn’t like Becky. I couldn’t explain it, but her being there was scary. I knew she might have been there to help, but it wasn’t a good thing, even though Dad was okay with her.
Dad’s nudge shoved me forward several steps, close enough to where Mommy could touch me. She stretched her long, elegant fingers, and brushed my arm. “It’s okay, Travis,” she whispered. “Mommy wants to tell you something.”
I stuck my finger in my mouth, and pushed it around on my gums, fidgeting. Nodding made her small smile bigger, so I made sure to make big movements with my head as I stepped toward her face.
She used what was left of her strength to scoot closer to me, and then she took a breath. “What I’m going to ask you will be very hard, son. I know you can do it, because you’re a big boy now.”
I nodded again, mirroring her smile, even if I didn’t mean it. Smiling when she looked so tired and uncomfortable didn’t feel right, but being brave made her happy. So I was brave.
“Travis, I need you to listen to what I’m going to say, and even more important, I need you to remember. This will be very hard. I’ve been trying to remember things from when I was three, and I . . .” She trailed off, the pain too big for a bit.
“Pain getting unmanageable, Diane?” Becky said, pushing a needle into Mom’s IV.
After a few moments, Mommy relaxed. She took another breath, and tried again.
“Can you do that for Mommy? Can you remember what I’m about to say?” I nodded again, and she raised a hand to my cheek. Her skin wasn’t very warm, and she could only keep her hand in place for a few seconds before it got shaky and fell to the bed. “First, it’s okay to be sad. It’s okay to feel things. Remember that. Second, be a kid for as long as you can. Play games, Travis. Be silly”—her eyes glossed over—“and you and your brothers take care of each other, and your father. Even when you grow up and move away, it’s important to come home. Okay?”
My head bobbed up and down, desperate to please her.
“One of these days you’re going to fall in love, son. Don’t settle for just anyone. Choose the girl that doesn’t come easy, the one you have to fight for, and then never stop fighting. Never”—she took a deep breath—“stop fighting for what you want. And never”—her eyebrows pulled in—“forget that Mommy loves you. Even if you can’t see me.” A tear fell down her cheek. “I will always, always love you.”
She took a choppy breath, and then coughed.
“Okay,” Becky said, sticking a funny-looking thing in her ears. She held the other end to Mommy’s chest. “Time to rest.”
“No time,” Mommy whispered.
Becky looked at my dad. “We’re getting close, Mr. Maddox. You should probably bring the rest of the boys in to say goodbye.”
Dad’s lips made a hard line, and he shook his head. “I’m not ready,” he choked out.
“You’ll never be ready to lose your wife, Jim. But you don’t want to let her go without the boys saying their goodbyes.”
Dad thought for a minute, wiped his nose with his sleeve, and then nodded. He stomped out of the room, like he was mad.
I watched Mommy, watched her try to breathe, and watched Becky checking the numbers on the box beside her. I touched Mommy’s wrist. Becky’s eyes seemed to know something I didn’t, and that made my stomach feel sick.
“You know, Travis,” Becky said, leaning down so she could look me in the eyes, “the medicine I’m giving your mommy will make her sleep, but even though she’s sleeping, she can still hear you. You can still tell Mommy that you love her and that you’ll miss her, and she’ll hear everything you say.”
I looked at Mommy but quickly shook my head. “I don’t want to miss her.”
Becky put her soft, warm hand on my shoulder, just like Mommy used to when I was upset. “Your mom wants to be here with you. She wants that very much. But Jesus wants her with him right now.”
I frowned. “I need her more than Jesus does.”
Becky smiled, and then kissed the top of my hair.
Dad knocked on the door, and then it opened. My brothers crowded around him in the hallway, and Becky led me by the hand to join them.
Trenton’s eyes didn’t leave Mommy’s bed, and Taylor and Tyler looked everywhere but the bed. It made me feel better somehow that they all looked as scared as I felt.
Thomas stood next to me, a little bit in front, like the time he protected me when we were playing in the front yard, and the neighbor boys tried to pick a fight with Tyler. “She doesn’t look good,” Thomas said.
Dad cleared his throat. “Mom’s been real sick for a long time, boys, and it’s time for her . . . it’s time she . . .” He trailed off.
Becky offered a small, sympathetic smile. “Your mom hasn’t been eating or drinking. Her body is letting go. This is going to be very hard, but it’s a good time to tell your mom that you love her, and you’re going to miss her, and that it’s okay for her to go. She needs to know that it’s okay.”
My brothers nodded their heads in unison. All of them but me. It wasn’t okay. I didn’t want her to leave. I didn’t care if Jesus wanted her or not. She was my mommy. He could take an old mommy. One that didn’t have little boys to take care of. I tried to remember everything she told me. I tried to glue it to the inside of my head: Play. Visit Dad. Fight for what I love. That last thing bothered me. I loved Mommy, but I didn’t know how to fight for her.
Becky leaned into my dad’s ear. He shook his head, and then nodded to my brothers. “Okay, boys. Let’s go say goodbye, and then you need to get your brothers in bed, Thomas. They don’t need to be here for the rest.”
“Yes, sir,” Thomas said. I knew he was faking a brave face. His eyes were as sad as mine.
Thomas talked to her for a while, and then Taylor and Tyler whispered things in each of her ears. Trenton cried and hugged her for a long time. Everyone told her it was okay for her to leave us. Everyone but me. Mommy didn’t say anything back this time.
Thomas pulled on my hand, leading me out of her bedroom. I walked backward until we were in the hall. I tried to pretend she was just going to sleep, but my head went fuzzy. Thomas picked me up and carried me up the stairs. His feet climbed faster when Dad’s wails carried through the walls.
“What did she say to you?” Thomas asked, turning on the tub faucet.
I didn’t answer. I heard him ask, and I remembered like she told me to, but my tears wouldn’t work, and my mouth didn’t either.
Thomas pulled my dirt-soiled shirt over my head, and my shorts and Thomas the Train Underoos down to the floor. “Time to get in the tub, bubby.” He lifted me off the floor and sat me in the warm water, soaking the rag, and squeezing it over my head. I didn’t blink. I didn’t even try to get the water off of my face, even though I hated it.
“Yesterday, Mom told me to take care of you and the twins, and to take care of Dad.” Thomas folded his hands on the rim of the tub and rested his chin on them, looking at me. “So that’s what I’m gonna do, Trav, okay? I’m going to take care of you. So don’t you worry. We’re going to miss Mom together, but don’t be scared. I’m going to make sure everything’s okay. I promise.”
I wanted to nod, or hug him, but nothing worked. Even though I should have been fighting for her, I was upstairs, in a tub full of water, still as a statue. I had already let her down. I promised her in the very back of my head that I would do all the things she had told me as soon as my body worked again. When the sad went away, I would always play, and I would always fight. Hard.


EPILOGUE

THE WALLS DRIPPED WITH RAINWATER FROM THE streets above. The droplets plopped down into deepening puddles, as if they were crying for him, the bastard lying in the middle of the basement in a pool of his own blood.
I breathed hard, looking down at him, but not for long. Both of my Glocks were pointed in opposite directions, holding Benny’s men in place until the rest of my team arrived.
The earpiece buried deep in my ear buzzed. “ETA ten seconds, Maddox. Good work.” The head of my team, Henry Givens, spoke quietly, knowing as well as I did that with Benny dead, it was all over.
A dozen men with automatic rifles and dressed in black from head to toe rushed in, and I lowered my weapons. “They’re just bag men. Get ’em the hell out of here.”
After holstering my pistols, I pulled the remaining tape from my wrists and trudged up the basement stairs. Thomas waited for me at the top, his khaki coat and hair drenched from the storm.
“You did what you had to do,” he said, following me to the car. “You all right?” he said, reaching for the cut on my eyebrow.
I’d been sitting in that wooden chair for two hours, getting my ass kicked while Benny questioned me. They’d figured me out that morning—all part of the plan, of course—but the end of his interrogation was supposed to result in his arrest, not his death.
My jaws worked violently under the skin. I had come a long way from losing my temper and beating the hell out of anyone that sparked my rage. But in just a few seconds, all of my training had been rendered worthless, and it just took Benny speaking her name for that to happen.
“I’ve gotta get home, Tommy. I’ve been away for weeks, and it’s our anniversary . . . or what’s left of it.”
I yanked open the car door, but Thomas grabbed my wrist. “You need to be debriefed, first. You’ve spent years on this case.”
“Wasted. I’ve wasted years.”
Thomas sighed. “You don’t wanna bring this home with you, do you?”
I sighed. “No, but I have to go. I promised her.”
“I’ll call her. I’ll explain.”
“You’ll lie.”
“It’s what we do.”
The truth was always ugly. Thomas was right. He practically raised me, but I didn’t truly know him until I was recruited by the FBI. When Thomas left for college, I thought he was studying advertising, and later he told us he was an advertising executive in California. He was so far away, it was easy for him to keep his cover.
Looking back, it made sense, now, why Thomas had decided to come home for once without needing a special occasion—the night he met Abby. Back then, when he’d first started investigating Benny and his numerous illegal activities, it was just blind luck that his little brother met and fell in love with the daughter of one of Benny’s borrowers. Even better that we ended up entangled in his business.
The second I graduated with a degree in criminal justice, it just made sense for the FBI to contact me. The honor was lost on me. It never occurred to me or Abby that they had thousands of applications a year, and didn’t make a habit of recruiting. But I was a built-in undercover operative, already having connections to Benny.
Years of training and time away from home had culminated to Benny lying on the floor, his dead eyes staring up at the ceiling of the underground. The entire magazine of my Glock was buried deep in his torso.
I lit a cigarette. “Call Sarah at the office. Tell her to book me the next flight. I want to be home before midnight.”
“He threatened your family, Travis. We all know what Benny is capable of. No one blames you.”
“He knew he was caught, Tommy. He knew he had nowhere to go. He baited me. He baited me, and I fell for it.”
“Maybe. But detailing the torture and death of the wife of his most lethal acquaintance wasn’t exactly good business. He had to know he couldn’t intimidate you.”
“Yeah,” I said through clenched teeth, remembering the vivid picture Benny painted of kidnapping Abby and stripping the flesh away from her bones piece by piece. “I bet he wishes he wasn’t such a good storyteller, now.”
“And there is always Mick. He’s next on the list.”
“I told you, Tommy. I can consult on that one. Not a good idea for me to participate.”
Thomas only smiled, willing to wait another time for that discussion.
I slid into the backseat of the car that was waiting to take me to the airport. Once the door closed behind me, and the driver pulled away from the curb, I dialed Abby’s number.
“Hi, baby,” Abby lilted.
Immediately, I took a deep, cleansing breath. Her voice was all the debriefing I needed.
“Happy anniversary, Pigeon. I’m on my way home.”
“You are?” she asked, her voice rising an octave. “Best present, eve r.”
“How’s everything?”
“We’re over at Dad’s. James just won another hand of poker. I’m starting to worry.”
“He’s your son, Pidge. Does it surprise you that he’s good at cards?”
“He beat me, Trav. He’s good.”
I paused. “He beat you?”
“Yes.”
“I thought you had a rule about that.”
“I know.” She sighed. “I know. I don’t play anymore, but he had a bad day, and it was a good way to get him to talk about it.”
“How’s that?”
“There’s a kid at school. Made a comment about me today.”
“Not the first time a boy made a pass at the hot math teacher.”
“No, but I guess it was particularly crude. Jay told him to shut up. There was a scuffle.”
“Did Jay beat his ass?”
“Travis!”
I laughed. “Just asking!”
“I saw it from my classroom. Jessica got there before I did. She might have . . . humiliated her brother. A little. Not on purpose.”
I closed my eyes. Jessica, with her big honey-brown eyes, long dark hair, and ninety pounds of mean, was my mini-me. She had an equally bad temper and never wasted time with words. Her first fight was in kindergarten, defending her twin brother, James, against a poor, unsuspecting girl who was teasing him. We tried to explain to her that the little girl probably just had a crush, but Jessie wouldn’t have any of it. No matter how many times James begged her to let him fight his own battles, she was fiercely protective, even if he was eight minutes older.
I puffed. “Let me talk to her.”
“Jess! Dad’s on the phone!”
A sweet, small voice came over the line. It was amazing to me that she could be as savage as I ever was, and still sound—and look—like an angel.
“Hi, Daddy.”
“Baby . . . did you find some trouble today?”
“It wasn’t my fault, Daddy.”
“It never is.”
“Jay was bleeding. He was pinned down.”
My blood boiled, but steering my kids in the right direction came first. “What did Papa say?”
“He said, ‘It’s about time someone humbled Steven Matese.’”
I was glad she couldn’t see me smile at her spot-on Jim Maddox impression.
“I don’t blame you for wanting to defend your brother, Jess, but you have to let him fight some battles on his own.”
“I will. Just not when he’s on the ground.”
I choked back another swell of laughter. “Let me talk to Mom. I’ll be home in a few hours. Love you bunches, baby.”
“Love you, too, Daddy!”
The phone scratched a bit as it made the transition from Jessica to Abby, and then my wife’s smooth voice was back on the line.
“You didn’t help at all, did you?” she asked, already knowing the answer.
“Probably not. She had a good argument.”
“She always does.”
“True. Listen, we’re pulling up to the airport. I’ll see you soon. Love you.”
When the driver parked next to the curb in the terminal, I rushed to pull out my bag from the trunk. Sarah, Thomas’s assistant, just sent through an email with my itinerary, and my flight was leaving in half an hour. I rushed through check-in and security, and made it to the gate just as they were calling the first group.
The flight home seemed to last an eternity, as they always did. Even though I used a quarter of it to freshen up and change clothes in the bathroom—which was always a challenge—the time left over still dragged by.
Knowing my family was waiting for me was brutal, but the fact that it was my and Abby’s eleventh anniversary made it even worse. I just wanted to hold my wife. It was all I had ever wanted to do. I was just as in love with her in our eleventh year as I was in the first.
Every anniversary was a victory, a middle finger to everyone who thought we wouldn’t last. Abby tamed me, marriage settled me down, and when I became a father, my entire outlook changed.
I stared down at my wrist and pulled back my cuff. Abby’s nickname was still there, and it still made me feel better knowing it was there.
The plane landed, and I had to keep myself from sprinting through the terminal. Once I got to my car, my patience had expired. For the first time in years, I ran stoplights and weaved in and out of traffic. It was actually kind of fun, reminding me of my college days.
I pulled into the drive and turned off the headlights. The front porch light flipped on as I approached.
Abby opened the door, her caramel hair just barely grazing her shoulders, and her big gray eyes, although a little tired, showed how relieved she was to see me. I pulled her into my arms, trying not to squeeze her too tightly.
“Oh my God,” I sighed, burying my face in her hair. “I missed you so much.”
Abby pulled away, touching the cut on my brow. “Did you take a fall?”
“It was a rough day at work. I might have run into the car door when I was leaving for the airport.”
Abby pulled me against her again, digging her fingers into my back. “I’m so glad you’re home. The kids are in bed, but they refuse to go to sleep until you tuck them in.”
I pulled back and nodded, and then bent at the waist, cupping Abby’s round stomach. “How about you?” I asked my third child. I kissed Abby’s protruding belly button, and then stood up again.
Abby rubbed her middle in a circular motion. “He’s still cooking.”
“Good.” I pulled a small box from my carry-on and held it in front of me. “Eleven years today, we were in Vegas. It’s still the best day of my life.”
Abby took the box, and then tugged on my hand until we were in the entryway. It smelled like a combination of cleaner, candles, and kids. It smelled like home.
“I got you something, too.”
“Oh, yeah?”
“Yeah.” She smiled. She left me for a moment, disappearing into the office, and then came out with a manila envelope. “Open it.”
“You got me mail? Best wife, ever,” I teased.
Abby simply smiled.
I opened the lip, and pulled out the small stack of papers inside. Dates, times, transactions, even emails. To and from Benny, to Abby’s father, Mick. He’d been working for Benny for years. He’d borrowed more money from him, and then had to work off his debt so he wouldn’t get killed when Abby refused to pay it off.
There was only one problem: Abby knew I worked with Thomas . . . but as far as I knew, she thought I worked in advertising.
“What’s this?” I asked, feigning confusion.
Abby still had a flawless poker face. “It’s the connection you need to tie Mick to Benny. This one right here,” she said, pulling the second paper from the pile, “is the nail in the coffin.”
“Okay . . . but what am I supposed to do with it?”
Abby’s expression morphed into a dubious grin. “Whatever you do with these things, honey. I just thought if I did a little digging, you could stay home a little longer this time.”
My mind raced, trying to figure a way out of this. I had somehow blown my cover. “How long have you known?”
“Does it matter?”
“Are you mad?”
Abby shrugged. “I was a little hurt at first. You have quite a few white lies under your belt.”
I hugged her to me, the papers and envelope still in my hand. “I’m so sorry, Pidge. I’m so, so sorry.” I pulled away. “You haven’t told anyone, have you?”
She shook her head.
“Not even America or Shepley? Not even Dad or the kids?”
She shook her head again. “I’m smart enough to figure it out, Travis. You think I’m not smart enough to keep it to myself? Your safety is at stake.”
I cupped her cheeks in my hand. “What does this mean?”
She smiled. “It means you can stop saying you have yet another convention to go to. Some of your cover stories are downright insulting.”
I kissed her again, tenderly touching my lips to hers. “Now what?”
“Kiss the kids, and then you and I can celebrate eleven years of in-your-face-we-made-it. How about that?”
My mouth stretched into a wide grin, and then looked down at the papers. “Are you going to be okay with this? Helping take down your dad?”
Abby frowned. “He’s said it a million times. I was the end of him. At least I can make him proud about being right. And the kids are safer this way.”
I laid the papers on the end of the entryway table. “We’ll talk about this later.”
I walked down the hall, pulling Abby by the hand behind me. Jessica’s room was the closest, so I ducked in and kissed her cheek, careful not to wake her, and then I crossed the hall to James’s room. He was still awake, lying there quietly.
“Hey, buddy,” I whispered.
“Hey, Dad.”
“I hear you had a rough day. You all right?” He nodded. “You sure?”
“Steven Matese is a douche bag.”
I nodded. “You’re right, but you could probably find a more appropriate way to describe him.”
James pulled his mouth to the side.
“So. You beat Mom at poker today, huh?”
James smiled. “Twice.”
“She didn’t tell me that part,” I said, turning to Abby. Her dark, curvy silhouette graced the lit doorway. “You can give me the play-by-play tomorrow.”
“Yes, sir.”
“I love ya.”
“Love you, too, Dad.”
I kissed my son’s nose and then followed his mom down the hall to our room. The walls were full of family and school portraits, and framed artwork.
Abby stood in the middle of the room, her belly full with our third child, dizzyingly beautiful, and happy to see me, even after she learned what I’d been keeping from her for the better part of our marriage.
I had never been in love before Abby, and no one had even piqued my interest since. My life was the woman standing before me, and the family we’d made together.
Abby opened the box, and looked up at me, tears in her eyes. “You always know just what to get. It’s perfect,” she said, her graceful fingers touching the three birthstones of our children. She slipped it on her right ring finger, holding out her hand to admire her new bauble.
“Not as good as you getting me a promotion. They’re going to know what you did, you know, and it’s going to get complicated.”
“It always seems to with us,” she said, unaffected.
I took a deep breath, and shut the bedroom door behind me. Even though we’d put each other through hell, we’d found heaven. Maybe that was more than a couple of sinners deserved, but I wasn’t going to complain.




MY RATING
5 Hot Cupcakes



 

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