Until Ashlyn By Aurora Rose Reynolds ♥ Book Tour

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BRING ON THE BOOM!

Meet Ashlyn & Dillon in Until Ashlyn.

NOW AVAILABLE

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2gJpIql

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2gJmTpn

iBooks: http://apple.co/2gywmiO

Nook: http://bit.ly/2gLa2lj

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2gyqHt0

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Blurb

Dillon Keck knew Ashlyn Mayson was drunk when she suggested they get married. He knew he should have taken her back to their hotel room and put her to bed. Instead, he did what he had been craving to do since the moment they met.

Claim her as his.

Waking up married in Vegas isn’t something Ashlyn Mayson ever thought would happen to her. Having Dillon, her boss, a man she thinks is a dick, insist they stay married is absurd, but every time he touches her, she gets lost in him and wonders if maybe they are meant to be together.

But someone isn’t happy for Dillon and Ashlyn and their new found romance, and they’re willing to do anything to keep them apart. Even commit murder.

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Dedication

To every single person that believes in the BOOM

Chapter 1

Ashlyn

“Hey, Mom,” I greet, tucking my phone between my ear and shoulder as I shove another dress and matching heels into my suitcase. I smile while I do, because Dillon will likely flip his lid when he sees my choices in attire for the weekend, but there is not one damn thing he can do about it since we won’t be in the office. So technically, his stupid rules don’t apply.

“Are you all packed?”

“Almost,” I sigh, looking at the clock and realizing I only have ten minutes to finish before my cab is set to arrive. I wasn’t planning on going to Vegas for the dental convention, but Dillon insisted he needed me with him, and like an idiot, I agreed.

“Is Dillon picking you up?”

“No, I’m meeting him there. His flight left a couple hours ago.”

“Oh.” She lets out a defeated breath. “Is it just you and him going?”

“I hope so. I swear if the Wicked Witch shows up, I’ll sell her on the strip to the highest bidder, or pay someone to take her out to the desert and drop her off,” I grumble, digging under my bed for my tickler—just in case of an emergency.

“Call me if you need an alibi.” She laughs, and I smile, shaking my head, because I know she’s not lying; she would find a way to be my alibi if something happened.

“I’ll call,” I mutter, heading to the bathroom so I can gather my shower supplies.

“Dillon’s so nice,” she says quietly, and I grit my teeth.

Dillon is annoying, bossy, and… fine, he can be nice sometimes. Plus, he’s uber-hot, but I hate him. Okay, I don’t hate him… but I really, really want to.

“How long are you going to be gone for?” she questions, breaking into my internal rant.

“Just four days. My flight gets back Monday night around seven.”

“Promise you’ll call everyday and check in.”

“I’ll call or text,” I agree, grabbing my cosmetics case from under the bathroom cupboard, filling it with all of my makeup.

“Please try and have some fun while you’re there. Make Dillon take you out to a nice dinner or dancing.”

Snorting, I mutter, “Sure, Mom. I love you. I’ll message when I land.”

“Okay, honey, and don’t forget your dad and I leave Monday for Florida and we’ll be gone for three weeks.”

“I haven’t forgotten. Have fun, kiss Grandma and Grandpa, and tell Dad I love him.”

“Will do,” she promises softly before I hang up and shove my cell into my back pocket. Looking at the clock I let out a quiet curse, getting my ass in gear to finish packing so I don’t miss my flight.

~*~*~

Dragging my bag behind me toward the reception desk, I’m stunned by how many people are here wearing nametags stating they’re attending the dental convention. Dillon mentioned this weekend is one of the largest gatherings of dentists in the United States, but sheesh, this is crazy. Finally making it to the front of the line, I smile at the cutie behind the desk.

“How can I help you, gorgeous?” he inquires once I’m close, and I set my purse on the counter and pull out my ID, handing it over to him.

“Hi, I have a reservation.” I yawn, covering my mouth while I listen to the sound of slot machines going off in the distance. I love the slots—or penny slots to be exact, since I’m too chicken to play the real ones.

“I’m sorry, but there is no reservation under your name. Are you sure you’re staying with us?” he asks, handing me back my ID, and I frown.

“I’m positive. It may be under my boss’ name, Dillon Keck. He made the reservations,” I say, and he starts to type again then smiles.

“Got it. I see here that Mr. Keck has already checked in and requested we give you your own key to the suite upon arrival.”

“Uh… what?” I blurt, feeling something close to dread fill my stomach. “Are you saying he’s staying in that room too?”

“Yes, it’s a suite with two kings.”

“I don’t care how many kings are in the room. It’s one room. Right?” I panic, leaning half over the counter, trying to see his computer screen. “Please tell me you have another room available?”

“I’m sorry, but we’re completely booked. This is one of our busiest weekends of the year.”

“Of course it is.” I shake my head. “Can you recommend another hotel nearby?”

“Sorry, but I really doubt anywhere else has an opening.”

“Oh man… oh man,” I breathe, squeezing my eyes closed. “It’s not a big deal. You can share a room with him. You’re an adult, and it’s not like you even like him, right?” I whisper, balling my hands into fists.

“Um, so do you want me to get you your key?” Opening my eyes, I nod once and his face softens. “Call down and check. Sometimes we have people call off their reservations last minute. You never know. Something might open up between tonight and tomorrow.”

“Sure, I’ll call,” I agree, wondering what the hell I did to deserve this kind of karma as I wait there for the room key.

Standing in the hall outside the door to our room ten minutes later, I pause with my key card in my hand, not sure if I should knock or just go in. I seriously cannot believe Dillon booked us in a room together. Actually, I can believe it, because I think he gets off on annoying me.

“Screw it. It’s my room too,” I mutter to myself, shoving the key into the card reader, watching the light turn green. Pushing down on the handle, I turn, using my shoulder to hold the door open while I drag my suitcase into the room, fighting with its weight as the door closes, trapping it half way through.

“Shit!”

Turning my head, I look over my shoulder and almost fall on my ass when my eyes find Dillon standing in the middle of the room, completely naked, with a pair of boxers in his hand. His once long hair now short and wet, and a tattoo I didn’t know he had along his muscled ribs on his side.

“Oh, my God,” I breathe, turning quickly while attempting to shove my suitcase back out of the room. I totally did not need to know Dillon looks hotter without clothes than what my mind had made up, and believe me—my mind had unfortunately tormented me with thoughts of him naked many times.

“Christ, you’re a mess,” is muttered from behind me while a very strong arm wraps around my waist, lifting me off my feet, and my suitcase is tugged from my grasp. Before I know it, my suitcase and I are both in the room and the door closes with a soft hiss, trapping me inside.

“Please tell me you’re not still naked,” I whimper, squeezing my eyes closed, feeling his arm release me and his heat leave my back.

“I’m not naked.”

Opening my eyes, I close them again when I see he’s only got on a pair of form-fitting black boxers and nothing else. “Put some clothes on.”

“Don’t tell me you’ve never seen a naked man before.” He chuckles, and the sound of his laughter makes my teeth grind and my hands drop to my sides.

“I don’t want to see you naked.” I glare at him while he buttons up a pair of dark slacks that fit him perfectly.

“You could have avoided all of this if you had knocked.”

“Really?” I raise a brow. “You could have ‘avoided all this,’” I make air quotes, “and gotten me a separate room.”

“They messed up the reservation.” He shrugs like it’s no big deal, and I feel my eyes narrow further.

“You should have called to tell me that, so I could have—”

“You would have avoided coming,” he cuts me off. “If you knew we were sharing a room, you would have found an excuse, and I need you with me this weekend.”

“Whatever,” I grumble, knowing he’s right. I would have canceled the trip if I knew we were sharing a room, even knowing that being here is a great way to build connections with other dentists. Especially, if I want to open my own practice in the future. “We need to set a few ground rules.” I cross my arms over my chest while I watch him walk across the room toward the bed near the window.

“Later.” He picks up a dark-blue, almost black, dress shirt and starts to put it on, which is unfortunate, because now that I’ve seen him shirtless, I’m thinking he should never cover up again.

“No, now,” I growl, annoyed with myself for being attracted to the dick.

“Later.” He holds my glare. “Right now, you need to get dressed. We have reservations in forty minutes.” He takes a seat on the side of the bed and starts to put on his shoes.

“What?” I look at the clock on the wall. It’s after seven at night and I’m exhausted. All I want to do is climb into bed, order room service, and watch some bad TV.  

“We have a reservation in forty minutes,” he repeats, then stands. “The restaurant is twenty minutes away, so you have twenty minutes to get ready, unless you want to wear that.” He motions to my sweats, flip-flops, and hoodie. “I suggest you change.”

“I hate you.”

“So you say,” he says, just barely loud enough for me to hear, as he goes to the dresser, picking up his watch and putting it on.  

“What did I do to deserve this?” I shake my head, pulling out my hair tie and running my fingers through my knotted hair.

“You may want to hurry.”

Holding his eyes for a minute, I give up my glare then drag my suitcase to the middle of the room and unzip it. After pulling out one of my favorite “going out” outfits along with my makeup bag, I go to the bathroom and try to slam the door closed, but it’s on one of those thingies that prevents me from doing that, which pisses me off even more.

“Stupid door. Stupid dick,” I mutter once the door is closed, then get to work on making myself look halfway decent.

Twenty minutes later, I look at my refection and lean forward, putting my face an inch from the mirror, and use my dark-red lipstick for the final touch on my dramatic makeup look. Since I didn’t have time to do anything with my hair, I brushed it out and put it up in a bun on top of my head then pulled out a few pieces to frame my face. Looking at my now blonde hair, I smile. I wasn’t sure I would like having blonde hair but Kim insisted it would look great on me, and she wasn’t wrong. Standing back, I place my hands on my hips and take myself in. My black sleeveless-top, with triangles cut out of the center of the chest and sides, is sexy but classy, and my red skin-tight pencil skirt, with its slit up the thigh, shows off just enough skin to draw attention while leaving everything to the imagination.

Slipping on my black, pointed-toe, four-inch pumps, I open the door to the bathroom, and mutter toward where I know Dillon is sitting, “Let me just change my purse and we can go.”

“You’re not wearing that.”

“Pardon?” I ask, pausing in my squatted position in front of my open suitcase to look at him.

“You’re not wearing that outfit. Go change.”

“I’m not changing.” I stand, moving to the desk so I can transfer what I need from my bag to my clutch. Hearing no reply, my eyes move to where he’s sitting on the edge of the bed, and I feel my skin warm up and butterflies take off in my stomach as our eyes lock and his darken.

Licking my lips that have suddenly gone dry, his eyes drop to my mouth and his jaw clenches. “I’ll meet you downstairs.” He stands abruptly and moves past me out the room quickly, letting the door close behind him with a swoosh without another word.

“What the fuck was that?” I ask the door, gaining no reply—not that I need one. I know exactly what that was; I just have no idea what to do with it. Dillon has always acted professional with me. There has never been a time that I’ve seen him look at me like he’s interested, but the look in his eyes a moment ago was primal and not one an engaged man should give another woman, or a boss should give his employee, ever.

Shaking off the strange feeling in the pit of my stomach, I finish changing out my bag then leave the room and make my way through the casino and into the lobby. Not finding Dillon inside, I head outside to the area the cabs and limos pick up and drop off, and spot him standing with a group of people. I’m not surprised he’s surrounded by a gaggle of women and a couple of men. He tends to draw attention wherever he goes, and it’s something else that annoys me. I hate being the center of attention, and I don’t really like people who need it to feel important. Needing a minute to get my head together, I stop a few feet away and tuck my clutch under my arm.

“Where you going, gorgeous? ‘Cause wherever it is, I’m there,” a drunk guy, who can’t be much older than twenty-one, slurs, stumbling up to me. His clothes are rumpled, his hair in disarray, and if he wasn’t such a mess, he’d be cute. But sadly, sloppy drunk works for no one.

Ignoring him, I untuck my purse, open it, and pull out my cell phone, knowing better than to engage with men like him in his current state.

“So you’re to good for me?” he slurs, snatching my cell out of my hand, and my eyes fly up.

“Give me my phone,” I say evenly, holding out my hand, and his eyes travel the length of me and his face scrunches up.

“Ho here thinks she’s too good for me.”

“Mike, come on. Give her the phone and let’s go,” someone says off to the side, but I keep my eyes on Mike, with my palm out toward him. My dad insisted I take martial arts with Jax when I was little. I hated it; I wanted to be a ballerina, not a ninja, but he was adamant about me being able to protect myself. Over the years, the skills I learned back then have come in handy, like now, when all I really want to do is kick the crap out of Mike but know better. One of the first things I was forced to learn was control, to never lose my temper. The second thing I learned was to keep my eyes on my enemy at all times. I was never really good at either, but I still got a black belt in the end.

“Mike,” I say softly, taking a step toward him. “I’m going to ask you nicely, once, to give me my phone. If you don’t, I swear to God I will unleash the Kraken, kick your ass in front of your friends, and send you home crying to your mother.”

Laughing, he looks around then his eyes widen as they move behind me. I really, really want to know what he’s looking at, but I refuse to turn my head and give in.

“Give her the phone.” The deep rumble of Dillon’s voice sends a chill down my spine. I’ve only heard him pissed a few times, and I know he’s pissed right now without even looking at him.

“I… I… w-was just playin’ man,” Mike stutters out, tossing my phone toward me. Missing my hands and causing my phone to crash to the ground, and my nostrils to flare as it shatters at my feet.

“Oh, shit. Oh, Christ. I’m sorry.” He drops to his knees and begins gathering the pieces of what used to be my phone then tries to get up, but falls face forward into my crotch, causing me to stumble back.

“I can’t believe this shit,” Dillon grumbles, catching me before I fall, then tugs me out of the way as Mike’s friends decide to finally step in and pick him up from the ground. “You had to wear that outfit.”

“You can not be serious right now?” I hiss, swinging my head back and finding him glaring down at me.

“Deadly.”

“Let me go.” I try to get free, but his hand on my waist tightens as his eyes leave mine. Swinging my head in the other direction, I find one of Mike’s friends standing a few feet away with my phone, looking anywhere but at us, and Mike off to the side, puking in a trashcan.

“Let me go,” I repeat, and his arm tightens for a moment before he finally lets me loose. I really want to scream or throw a fit, but instead, I calmly take my clutch and open it, holding it out toward the guy and letting him dump the now useless pieces inside. “You need to get him some Gatorade and toast,” I tell him, nodding toward Mike.

“Um, yeah sure. Than…” his words taper off, and the smile that was forming on his lips slides away as he looks over my shoulder. Rolling my eyes, I watch him turn quickly and go to Mike to help carry him away, feeling Dillon get close once more.

“Limo’s waiting,” he mutters, placing his hand against my lower back, making me tense.

“I’m not going.” I try to step away, but his hand slides around my waist, bringing my side into his middle.

“You are.”

“I’m not.”

“You are,” he growls, leaning forward, close… way too close.

“Fine, you want me there? I’ll go, but just so you know, I plan on getting completely wasted, so you have just become my chaperone for the evening.”

“You’re not getting drunk.”

“Wasted, not drunk. And you better make sure I don’t do anything stupid.” I pat his chest, ignoring his flashing eyes. With that, I step out of his grasp and start toward the line of limos then turn to look over my shoulder at him, realizing I have no clue which one to go to.

Smirking, he crosses his arms over his chest and raises a brow. “What’s wrong, blondie? Confused?” His mocking tone and the look of triumph in his eyes does it. I turn on my heels and head to one of the limos with the driver standing outside leaning against it. The moment the driver spots me coming in his direction, his back leaves the car and his eyes rake over me, making my teeth snap together.

“Can I help you, Miss?”

“Ashlyn Mayson, get your ass back here,” Dillon snarls behind me, making my palm itch to smack him.

“I’m sorry, pumpkin. I thought you said this was our limo.” I fake pout, turning to look at him and tossing my head to the side for good measure.

“Christ, you drive me fucking insane.” He walks to where I’m standing, tagging my hand, and then starts to drag me with him, grumbling under his breath.

“You know all I want in this whole wide world is to make you happy, pumpernickel,” I whine, batting my lashes while watching his jaw tic.

Leading me toward another limo with a driver holding the back door open, he growls, “Behave.”

“I swear I’ll be your good girl from now on if you don’t spank me,” I stage-whisper, and his hand spasms in mine as a smirk forms on his lips.

“You don’t behave, I’ll bend you over and tan your ass right here.” His words ring through my ears, making my insides liquid, and then I hear the sound of a male chuckle as I’m gently forced into the back seat of the dark limo before I can reply.

“You’re such a jerk,” I hiss, adjusting my skirt as I move across the leather seats.

“You started the show we put on. I just ended it,” he mutters, sitting down across from me and unbuttoning his suit jacket.

“You started it with the whole ‘blondie’ thing.” I cross my arms over my chest and glare at him.

“Can we not do this tonight? Can we get along for one damn evening?”

“You tell me. I’m not the one who’s bossy and annoying all the damn time.”

“No, you’re just crazy.”

“Crazy?” I snort, and his lips twitch ever so slightly. “I’m not crazy.”

“Babe, you told that kid you were going to unleash the Kraken on him then went on to tell his friends to get him Gatorade and toast. You’re the definition of crazy.”

He may have a point, but instead of agreeing with him, I turn my head to look out the window and watch the city of Las Vegas slide by.

~*~*~

“Turn it off. Turn it off,” I croon sleepily as my hand sweeps out in the direction of the noise blaring from the alarm, missing it over and over as the beeping continues to torture me.

“Jesus, shut that shit off.” An arm comes from around me, and silence fills the room as my body freezes and my eyes spring open, only to close again when the room spins.

“Oh, God, why are you in my bed?” I hiss, trying to calm my stomach that feels like it’s getting ready to empty.

“You’re in my bed,” Dillon grumbles, sliding his arm around my waist, pulling my ass back into the crook of his thighs.

“Why am I in your bed?” I breathe as bits and pieces from last night flash through my mind, and none of them are good. None of them at all.

“You wanted to cuddle.” He buries his face in my neck then moves his hand up to cup my breast. I know I don’t have any clothes on when I feel the hair from his thighs tickle mine and his finger runs over my nipple. Oh, God. A memory of me telling him we have so much in common while we both got naked for bed fills my mind, and then another one pops in and my hand flies up to my face.

I force my eyes open, trying to focus, and see it there—the small, plain, white-gold band from the memory of him sliding it on my finger.

“We got married?” I shout, pulling his hand from my breast.

“We got married,” he agrees, not sounding upset, but instead, almost proud.

“Oh shit!” I fly out of the bed and trip over our clothes scattered across the floor, feeling him catch me right before I land on my face.

“Ash, calm down.”

“Calm down? Calm down? Are you insane? We got married last night. Married, Dillon. I got married to a man who is engaged to another woman!” I yell, then cover my mouth. “Oh, God, I’m going to hell. I’m so going to hell for this.”

“I’m not engaged,” he says calmly, giving me a shake.

“I know your fiancée!” I screech, attempting to get away from him, only to have him hold me tighter.  

“I’m not fucking with Isla. Now stop with the crazy.”

“You’re not with her?” I stop, and he runs a hand through his hair.

“No,” he states, holding my stare, and my body uncoils just slightly.

“Fine, I’m not going to hell.” I move away from him and resume pacing. “We need to find an attorney. I saw loads of advertisements on the strip. We’ll get one and get this taken care of. It’s no big deal. People get married in Vegas everyday then get divorced. We will just be one of the ninety percent,” I ramble while pacing.

“We are not getting an annulment.”

“Annulment, right.” I snap my fingers. “That’s even better. No one has to know about this.”

“Listen to me.” He grabs onto my shoulders, giving me a shake, and my eyes focus on his. “We are not getting an annulment, or divorced. We got married and are staying that way.”

“Oh, God, you were drugged.” I rest my hands against his chest and drop my voice, “Don’t worry. We’ll go to the hospital and they’ll give you something. Once you’re better, this will all be taken care of.”

“Jesus Christ.” He rubs his hands down his face, tilting his head back to look toward the ceiling. “I’m married to a nut.”

“Hey, that’s not nice.” I plant my hands on my hips. His head drops, his eyes scan the length of me, and I realize I’m naked… that we’re both completely naked. “Dillon.” I take a step back when his eyes meet mine, and his arms swing toward me. “What are you doing?” I shriek, sidestepping him, only to stumble onto the bed, where I attempt to roll. But he flips me to my back, his giant body moving between my legs, and his hands pin my wrists to the mattress over my head. Panting, I look up into his beautiful blue eyes.

“We are not getting a divorce,” he snarls, leaning down so his face is mere centimeters from mine.

“Be rational.” I lift my hips and my arms, trying to throw him off. “You’re obviously on—”

Before I can say more, his head descends and his mouth is covering mine, stealing my breath along with my soul. The feel of his lips, the taste of him on my tongue, ignites something deep inside of me, and I kiss him back with everything I am. Ripping my mouth from his, I pant, “Please let me go.”

“No.” The word sounds almost primal, and I lean up, placing my mouth back against his.

“Please, I want to touch you.”

Groaning, his hands release my wrists, and my palms fly to his chest and slide up and over his shoulders, pulling him closer to me as my legs wrap around the back of his thighs. He kisses me again, this time using his tongue and teeth to torture me in the most beautiful way possible.

“How is it possible you taste as good as you look?” he questions, pulling back, but I have no answer for him. He tastes amazing and having him covering me, his hardness pressing against my softness, is making my brain short-circuit. Palming my breast, he slides his thumb over my nipple, causing my hips to jerk forward. Rolling us again, he settles me on top of him, palms both my breasts, and then leans up, pulling my right nipple into his mouth, releasing it with a pop. “When did you get these?” he questions, flicking the tip with his tongue.

“When I was thirteen.” I smile, and he smiles back then moves to my other breast, doing the same, only sucking harder, almost punishing.

“When?” he asks again, and I know he’s asking about my nipple piercings. I got them with my cousin April a few years back. I wanted a piercing, but needed to be able to look professional to the outside world, so I got both my nipples done with simple, almost elegant-looking gold barbells.  

“Three years ago,” I breathe as he tweaks the tiny piece of metal.  

“Before me.”

“What?” I try to focus, but every time he touches me, my body gets hotter and my focus depletes. Grabbing my hips, he tugs me forward, dragging my wet center along his length.

“Soaked.” He nips my nipple then wraps his hand into the hair at the back of my head, taking control of my movements as he pulls my mouth to his and thrusts his tongue between my lips. Lost in his kiss and the feel of him between my legs, so close to where I need and want him, I squeak when he flips us over and slides down my body, not giving me a chance to think as his mouth covers me.

“Dillon.” My hands move through his hair and my hips lift off the bed, offering myself up to him without thinking about anything but the way his tongue, lips, and teeth feel as he fucks me with his mouth. “Oh, God. Oh, God, I’m going to come,” I pant, feeling my toes curl into the bedding and my hands grip his hair. The touch of his finger rimming just the inside of my entrance sends me over, shouting his name as I go.

Feeling him kiss my inner thigh then my belly, over my breasts then shoulder, I come back to myself lazily.

“Tell me you want me.” Looking into my eyes while his hand moves between my legs and his fingers slide though my folds, I know I’ll give him anything. “Tell me you want me as badly as I want you.”

“I want you,” I hiss, feeling the very large head of his cock at my entrance, and then watch his eyes drop between us before my eyes do the same, and I know I need to tell him. “I—”

Oh, God, too late… way too late. I bite my lip as he fills me, stretching me.  

“Tight, so goddamn tight.” He pushes in farther and his jaw clenches.

“Hold on. Please, hold on,” I breathe, and his body stills above me as his eyes search mine.

“What’s wrong?”

“I just need a minute.” I squeeze my eyes closed, feeling like an idiot.

“Baby.” His fingers slide along my jaw and cheekbone, into my hair. “Do you want to stop?” he asks gently, making tears sting my nose.

“God, no.” He feels good, so good. But he’s huge, way bigger than any of my toys. “You’re just big. So big.” I wiggle my hips and he hisses out a breath, grabbing my waist.

“Don’t say that shit when I’m inside of you,” he groans, dropping his forehead to mine.

“I have to tell you something, but please don’t be mad.”

“Christ, what now?” He pulls back, gritting his teeth.

“Stop being a jerk and let me talk.” I smack his shoulder and he looks down at me, thrusting in another inch.

“Never mind. I don’t want to know.”

“What?” I moan, wrapping my legs around his hips as he slides in a little more.

“If it’s going to piss me off, I don’t want to know.” He slides out then back in, and my back arches off the bed as his thick cock fills every inch of me.  

“You’re such a dick!” I cry out as he tosses my leg over his shoulder, changing the angle of his thrust.

“I don’t give a fuck about that either.” He drops his mouth, covering mine and stealing my reply—not that I have time to think about that as his mouth leisurely travels down my neck to my breast, which he pulls and sucks until I’m once again shouting his name and hearing mine groaned from his lips as we both come.

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until-ashlyn

About the Author:

aurora rose reynolds

Aurora Rose Reynolds is a navy brat who’s husband served in the United States Navy. She has lived all over the country but now resides in New York City with her Husband and pet fish. She’s married to an alpha male that loves her as much as the men in her books love their women. He gives her over the top inspiration everyday. In her free time she reads, writes and enjoys going to the movies with her husband and cookie. She also enjoys taking mini weekend vacations to nowhere, or spends time at home with friends and family. Last but not least she appreciates everyday and admires it’s beauty.

Website: http://aurorarosereynolds.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Aurora-Rose-Reynolds

Twitter: https://twitter.com/auroraroseR

Goodreads:  http://bit.ly/1pzLVIO

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/creynoldsauthor/

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Wide Open Spaces By Aurora Rose Reynolds ♥ Book Tour

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WIDE OPEN TOUR

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“Zach Watters has made a lot of mistakes in his life. But when he sees Shelby Calder looking more beautiful than ever standing outside her childhood home, he promises himself that letting her go won’t be a mistake he ever makes again.”

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Blurb

That moment your life changes.

That moment that changes your life.

That moment you love someone more than you love yourself.

That was the moment we gave our son up for adoption and the moment I was left bare. A wide-open space that would forever be empty.

There are moments that define you as a person, moments that prove just how strong you are, moments you push yourself to keep going forward when all you really want to do is give up. It was in one of those moments when I reached out and found him waiting for me.

When Shelby Calder left home fifteen years ago, she never planned on returning to the Alaskan town she left behind. But after the death of her grandfather and a bitter divorce, she hopes going home will be a fresh start for her and her ten-year-old son.

Zach Watters has made a lot of mistakes in his life. But when he sees Shelby Calder, looking more beautiful than ever, standing outside her childhood home, he promises himself that letting her go won’t be a mistake he ever makes again.

Some things never change and love is one of them.

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Excerpt

“Then why did you marry her?” I ask, wondering if I’m really ready to go there with him, but it’s too late to change my mind. The question is out, and as much as I don’t want to know the answer, I need to know the answer.

“I wanted my kids to have what I didn’t. I believed that, with time, we could find a way to be happy.”

“Maybe we shouldn’t talk about this,” I say, changing my mind as nausea and jealousy turn my stomach.

“You loved your ex, baby. I know you did. I didn’t have that. I wanted it but never had it with her or anyone else since you.”

“Please stop.” Feeling tears burn the back of my eyes for him, I close them tight. Max and I were happy and in love in the beginning, and I hate knowing Zach never had that… the kids didn’t see or feel that.

“I wish my past didn’t hurt you so much. I’m sorry for hurting you the way I have. If I could take your pain away, I would.” He gathers me against him and tucks my head under his chin.

“As sad as it makes me, I wish you would have had that with her or someone else,” I say, and his arms tighten so much that my lungs compress.

“I don’t,” he growls.

“What?” I wheeze, and he loosens his grip just enough for me to take a breath.

“I don’t want to think about what would have happened if I had been with her or someone else when you came back. I don’t want to face that demon inside of me that knows what I would have done.”

“Zach—”

“I’ve been in love with you for almost eighteen years. I carried your missing pieces around inside me for that long, Shelby. I know it would have made me an asshole, but there is only one you. You’re the only place I’ve ever called home.” His voice is thick with emotion, and that wound inside of me fills up a little bit more. I hate his words, but a part of me is relieved he feels that way, that he feels so deeply for me.

“There’s been a wide open space inside me since we placed Samuel and I left you behind. But, from the moment I came back, it’s slowly been filling up.”

He goes quiet at my words. Several moments pass before he speaks again. “One day, that space will be full. I swear, with everything I have in me, I will make sure it’s overflowing and that you never feel empty again.”

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About the Author:

aurora rose reynolds

Aurora Rose Reynolds is a navy brat who’s husband served in the United States Navy. She has lived all over the country but now resides in New York City with her Husband and pet fish. She’s married to an alpha male that loves her as much as the men in her books love their women. He gives her over the top inspiration everyday. In her free time she reads, writes and enjoys going to the movies with her husband and cookie. She also enjoys taking mini weekend vacations to nowhere, or spends time at home with friends and family. Last but not least she appreciates everyday and admires it’s beauty.

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Full Blurb

That moment your life changes.

That moment that changes your life.

That moment you love someone more than you love yourself.

That was the moment we gave our son up for adoption and the moment I was left bare. A wide-open space that would forever be empty.

There are moments that define you as a person, moments that prove just how strong you are, moments you push yourself to keep going forward when all you really want to do is give up. It was in one of those moments when I reached out and found him waiting for me.

When Shelby Calder left home fifteen years ago, she never planned on returning to the Alaskan town she left behind. But after the death of her grandfather and a bitter divorce, she hopes going home will be a fresh start for her and her ten-year-old son.

Zach Watters has made a lot of mistakes in his life. But when he sees Shelby Calder, looking more beautiful than ever, standing outside her childhood home, he promises himself that letting her go won’t be a mistake he ever makes again.

Some things never change and love is one of them.

About the Author:

aurora rose reynolds

Aurora Rose Reynolds is a navy brat who’s husband served in the United States Navy. She has lived all over the country but now resides in New York City with her Husband and pet fish. She’s married to an alpha male that loves her as much as the men in her books love their women. He gives her over the top inspiration everyday. In her free time she reads, writes and enjoys going to the movies with her husband and cookie. She also enjoys taking mini weekend vacations to nowhere, or spends time at home with friends and family. Last but not least she appreciates everyday and admires it’s beauty.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest

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Wide Open Spaces By Aurora Rose Reynolds ♥ Excerpt Reveal

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WIDE OPEN SPACES EXCERPT

Excerpt

Chapter 1

Shelby

Shutting off my car, I stare at the two-story house I used to call home. It looks the same as it did when I left. The deep blue is still vibrant, even more so now against the backdrop of the gray sky behind it. The white porch is still welcoming, with flowers hanging from the banister.

My grandmother and I would spend hours planting flowers in those boxes during the summer. When she passed away during my sophomore year of high school, I made sure to keep up the tradition in her memory. It looks like, in my absence over these last fifteen years, someone else had taken over the job.

Looking at the bright blooms growing wild, hanging over the sides of the boxes, I wonder if Granddad hired someone to plant them for him when he left to live in Florida. He never mentioned that he cared about the flowers we planted. Honesty, I don’t remember him mentioning them. Growing up, I didn’t even think he noticed, but now, looking at the blooming buds that are artfully arranged, I know they meant something to him after all.

“Mom?” Turning my head, I look at my son Hunter and force a smile as aching pain and regret slice through my chest.

“Sorry, honey. I spaced out. Do you want to unpack tonight, or do you want to wait until tomorrow, kiddo?”

Looking over his shoulder, he eyes the boxes and suitcases piled in the back then looks at me. I hate the sadness I see in his eyes. I hate I’m the cause of his pain. I know he misses his father already, and I know that at ten years old, he doesn’t understand why we’re no longer together even if it’s been over two years since we separated and divorced.

“Tomorrow,” he grumbles, and I feel that ache in my chest expand. He hates me for moving him across the country. Away from his friends, away from everything he knew. And I hate myself a little bit, too, for failing miserably at keeping my family together. I just hope this move will be a new start for us.

“Tomorrow,” I agree softly, unhooking my belt and opening the door.

Rounding the hood of the van, Hunter has already made it to the porch and is waiting at the top of the stairs, with his eyes pointed over my shoulder. Stopping, I look behind me as rain soaks through my clothes. I can’t believe how much the town has changed and grown. When I’d left home, you could see the sound from the front porch of my grandparents’ home. Now, the view is blocked by houses that have been built up side-by-side across the road. The street looks more like a New York City block, rather than a street in small-town Alaska.

“Is it always raining?” Hunter’s voice breaks into my thoughts, and I turn back toward him and take the steps slowly, noticing they are rotting out in a few spots. Something I will have to fix soon.

“Not always, but this is a rainforest, so I guess the answer in some ways is yes,” I tell him, when I make it up to the covered porch.

His brows draw together over his blue eyes, making him look like his father, as he asks, “This is a rainforest?”

“It is.” I want so badly to reach out and run my finger down his cheek, but I keep my hand locked at my side. I don’t know exactly when it happened, but some time ago, he stopped wanting my affection. Stopped being my little boy.

“Really?” he asks curiously, with wide eyes. “It doesn’t look like a rainforest,” he states, and he’s right; it doesn’t look like what you might imagine a rainforest would look like.

“It doesn’t look like one, but it is all the same.” I smile, and his eyes move over my face then to the view, and his face loses the curiosity it held a moment ago.

He turns, muttering, “Whatever.”

Biting my lip, I take the key the lawyer mailed me out of the front pocket of my jeans, put it in the lock, and turn. The door opens with a loud creak and dust rises up from the floors. A loud alarm sounds, making us both jump. Running into the house, I look frantically for some kind of alarm system, finally finding the small white box off the door in the kitchen. Flipping the panel open, I stare at the numbers.

“What’s the code?” Hunter yells over the siren, covering his ears.

“I don’t know,” I yell back, pressing in every single number combination I can think of, but none of them work.

“Is it in the papers in the car?”

“Maybe,” I yell, then run for the door and down the stairs to the van. Swinging open the back door, I shove three boxes out of the way before finding the one I’m looking for. Ripping off the tape, I shuffle through the contents and scan the papers the lawyer sent, searching for the code, but stop and look over the hood of the van when the alarm goes quiet. “What was the code?” I ask Hunter, when he steps out onto the porch.

“I don’t know.” He shrugs, looking over his shoulder into the house, like he’s waiting for someone to come out, which makes me frown.

“Did it just stop?” I question, slamming the van door. His eyes come back to me and he shakes his head then starts to open his mouth to say something else, but is cut off by a deep voice.

“I turned it off.”

It takes one breath to realize who just stepped out of my grandparents’ house. One breath for every moment I spent with the man standing before me to flash through my head. Two seconds for me to feel my world come to a stop.

The boy I once knew is gone. There’s nothing boyish about Zach Watters anymore. His jaw is now sharp, the stubble on it giving him a rugged look while accentuating his full lips. His dark hair has silvered around the edges, drawing attention to his expressive hazel eyes that look like they hold a thousand stories. His red and black plaid shirt is stretched tight across broad shoulders, giving a glimpse of the muscles it’s covering. He’s still every bit as beautiful as he once was, only more so now that time has aged him, taking him from a handsome boy to a gorgeous man.

Swallowing, I look at my son then back again. “Thanks,” I whisper, and Zach’s eyebrows pull together as he sweeps his gaze over me. I have no doubt that I too have changed, but unlike him, time hasn’t been good to me. I’ve gained a few too many pound from eating my feelings over the last year. My skin has lost its youthful glow, and my hair has grown out at the roots without my bi-monthly maintenance appointments.

“Shelby?” he asks, but all I can do is confirm with a nod, since my mouth has dried up and I can’t find my voice. “Jesus.” His eyes widen as he looks down at Hunter then back toward me. “What are you doing here?”

“My… my son Hunter and I are moving in,” I stutter, caught off guard by his presence. I wasn’t stupid enough to believe I wouldn’t see him when I moved home, but I had convinced myself that seeing him would be on my terms, or sporadic at best.

“What?” he whispers, leaning back on his boots, crossing his arms over his chest.

Ignoring his question, I start to move back toward the stairs, asking, “Do you mind giving me the code for the alarm? I’m sure it’s somewhere in the papers the lawyer sent, but…” I stop and look to the left when Zach’s name is called. Standing on the porch of the house next door is a woman I know he got with a few months after I left. A woman he married soon after she gave birth to their twins. A woman I used to call my friend.

A woman I now hate.

I absently hear him say something to her, but the nausea turning my stomach and the sadness prickling my skin have me moving quickly up the steps, focusing on not falling over as I move past him. “Never mind about the code. I’m sure I’ll find it. Thanks for shutting off the alarm,” I mumble, as I walk through the door.  

“Mom.”

“Come on, honey. Let’s have a look around, and then we need to get to the store.”

“Mom,” Hunter repeats, sounding confused. I plaster a fake smile on my face.

“The pizza place we drove past has the best pizza I’ve ever tasted. We could do that for dinner.”

“Mom.”

“Right here, honey.” I laugh, even though that laugh feels like glass edging down my windpipe.

Studying me for a long moment, he finally mutters, “Pizza sounds good. I’m gonna call Dad before we go, and tell him we’re here.”

“Sure,” I agree, watching him pull out his cell phone and walk toward the kitchen. I didn’t agree that he needed a cell phone at his age, but like all things with his dad, there was never any kind of conversation. He didn’t ask what I thought about it; he just did what he wanted to do.

I hear a familiar throat clear. “You’re back?” Zach asks from behind me, making my shoulders slump forward and my eyes slide closed briefly.

“Yeah.” I turn to face him and wrap my arms around my waist, feeling my stomach twist into knots. When I left town, we didn’t fight, didn’t yell at each other, didn’t say things we would end up regretting one day. I just knew there was too much pain between us to make what we had left work, and Zach, knowing the same, didn’t put up a fight when I told him my plans.

“You’re staying here?” he asks, and I nod. Running a hand over his head as his eyes move to the right, where Tina had been moments ago, before bringing his gaze back to mine. “The code for the alarm is one, two, three, four. I told Pat to change it, but you know Pat,” he mutters, and I nod, knowing exactly how stubborn Gramps was. Shoving his hands into the front pocket of his jeans, his voice drops. “I’m really sorry about Pat.”

“Thanks.” I hold myself a little tighter. His eyes drop to my arms around my waist and soften before moving up to meet mine once more.

“If you need anything, I’m next door.” He lifts his chin in that direction, and my world stops again.

“Pardon?” I breathe.

“I live next door.”

Okay, maybe I should have guessed that, since Tina was over there, but I didn’t, and this is not good… as in really not good. There is not one damn thing I can do about it, though, unless I want to load Hunter back into the van and live out of it for the next year or so, which I don’t think will win me any brownie points with my son.

“Cool,” I whisper pathetically, with nothing else to say. Something familiar-looking and soft slides through his features, making my stomachache twist again, but this time in a way I haven’t felt in a long time.

“Well…” I pause, needing this encounter to be over. “Thanks again for turning off the alarm. I wish we had time to catch up,” I lie. “But I need to get to the store before it closes, and then I need to get Hunter some food. Growing boys don’t do well without food,” I ramble, as I put my hand to the door, wanting so badly to shove it closed.

“Sure.” He nods then looks over my shoulder, into the house. “Nice meeting you, Hunter.”

“You too—” Hunter looks between Zach and me.

“Mr. Watters, honey,” I mutter, answering his unspoken question, as he comes to stand at my side with his cell phone in his hand.

“You too, Mr. Watters.”

Zach’s eyes come to me and his face softens once more. “See you around, Shelby.”

“Yeah, see you around,” I lie again, since I plan to pretend he doesn’t exist from this moment forward. I wait, even though I don’t want to, until he is walking away to close the door then stand there for a moment, trying to process what just happened.

“How do you know him, Mom?” Hunter asks.

“When I was younger,” I say, turning to face him, “we were friends.” I shrug, looking toward the stairs. “My room used to be in the attic—it’s the best room in the house—and if you make it there before me, I’ll let you have it.” I raise my brows before taking off in a sprint up the stairs, listening to my son, who I haven’t heard laugh in weeks, giggle as he runs up the stairs behind me.

“Wow, this is awesome.”

Looking over my shoulder at Hunter I smile as he walks into the room with wide eyes. “I told you it’s the coolest room in the house.” I used to love hanging out up here when I was a teenager. The vastness of the space, with its angled ceilings and four large skylights, was a cool place to spend time. Looking at my son now, I can see the excitement in his eyes as he wanders around the room.

“Do you think I could get a telescope?” he asks, looking up at the cloud-covered sky through one of the skylights.

“Definitely.” I bump my shoulder with his as I walk past him toward the couch in the corner that’s covered with a sheet and pull it off. “We may also want to find a cover for this thing while we’re at it,” I say, looking from the floral-covered couch to his scrunched up face.

“Yeah.” He nods, moving to the bed, where he rips off the sheet that is covering the mattress. “I can’t wait to tell Dad about this. He’s going to think it’s so cool,” he mutters, and I bite my tongue to keep from saying, No, your dad will definitely not think it’s cool.

Max, Hunter’s father, grew up wealthy. He never owned anything that had been used. Even when we got married, he insisted I sell the Victorian house I bought when I graduated college, wanting instead for us to buy a newly built house in a cliché subdivision, where all of his friends lived. Shortly thereafter, he insisted I sell all of my old furniture, things I had bought secondhand and refurbished over the years. At the time, I was blinded by hope and love, so I didn’t think anything about it. But over time, I slowly realized I was no longer the person I used to be. I had turned into a trophy wife who lived in a show home and neither of us had any real character.

“Mom,” Hunter calls, bringing me out of my thoughts, and I turn to look at him and notice he has a stack of photos in his hand. “Who’s this?”

“That’s my mom,” I say softly, while walking over to where he’s sitting on the bed, holding out a picture of my mom and me. In the photo, we’re sitting outside on the porch, with our arms wrapped around each other, smiling at the camera.

“You look like her,” he says thoughtfully. “You have her eyes and hair.”

“You think so?” I ask, looking at my mom, who had to have been about my age when the photo was taken. She was beautiful, with long dark blonde hair, big blue eyes, and a smile that lit up the world.

“Yeah.” He nods then looks at me, and asks quietly, “Do you miss her?”

“Every day.” I nod, taking the photo from his hands. “She gave the best hugs,” I say, fighting back the tears I feel creeping up my throat. My mom and dad both died in a plane crash when I was fifteen. My father was the owner and pilot of a local adventure company, and he had taken my mom with him to drop off supplies to some men who were bear hunting out at one of the islands. On their way back into town, the weather shifted, and their plane went down on one of the mountains. Neither of them survived. That’s when I moved to Cordova to live with my dad’s parents.

“Do you have any pictures of your dad?”

I pause, trying to recall if I’ve ever really spoken to Hunter about my parents, if Max ever asked about them, but I can’t think of a single time. “There are a few downstairs on the wall. I’ll point them out to you.” I lean into him a little then stop when his arm wraps around my shoulders, surprising me. “I love you, kid,” I whisper, not surprised when he doesn’t say it back, but happy that his arm tightens ever so slightly.

“I’m starving.” He chuckles releasing me when his stomach growls loudly, breaking the moment.

“We can’t have that.” I laugh, standing from the bed. “Let’s go to Joe’s. Hopefully, the pizza is still awesome. If not, you’re gonna have to suffer and eat it anyway, ‘cause the store is probably closed by now.

“Is there such a thing as bad pizza?”

“I guess we’ll find out,” I murmur, and then head out of the room and down the stairs, grabbing my purse as we leave.

When we make it to Joe’s, I find nothing has changed in the years I’ve been gone. The owner Joe, an older Korean gentleman, is still in the back making the pizzas, and his wife Kim is still working the counter, gossiping about everything and everyone. While we wait for our pizza, Kim talks my ear off, telling me about the people in town, including Zach, who she informs me is not only a cop, but also the sheriff. She also tells me that Zach is single. He and Tina supposedly got divorced nine years ago, and Zach has had full custody of both his kids since then. I tell myself I don’t care that Zach is no longer with Tina, but I still feel some relief knowing I won’t have to witness seeing them together.

“Can I sleep in my room tonight?” Hunter asks, as I finish off my third slice of pizza and wipe my mouth with a paper towel.

“I don’t mind, but everything in the house needs to be washed. So if you want to sleep up there, we have to get your stuff from the van.”

“I’ll get it, and then we can bring in everything else too.”

“You want to clean out the van?” I ask, not at all excited about lugging stuff up three flights of stairs.

“Yeah.” He nods again, taking his half of the pizza box lid that he used as a plate to the trash bin.

“If that’s what you want,” I agree, regretting those words an hour later as I head out for the last box. My arms and legs are tired from carting everything inside and up the stairs. I haven’t worked out in the last year, and I can feel it now as every muscle in my body protest.

Stopping when I hear a door close, I hold the box in my hands closer to my chest and look toward the house next door. I spot a handsome blond boy, who looks a lot like Zach, hopping down the steps, with Tina following close behind. Ducking down, I hide and watch them as they get into an old pickup truck, only coming out of hiding when they drive off.

Having over fifteen years to deal with the adoption of Samuel should make it easier to see Zach’s other children, but it doesn’t. I still feel bitter about the situation. I know it’s the fact that Zach’s children were born a little over a year after Samuel, meaning Tina got pregnant not long after I left town. So not only did Zach have a relationship with Tina, but he built a family with her and kept the kids they had together.

Heading back into the house with the final box, I wonder how I’m going to do what I’ve been doing for the last fifteen years. It was easy to block out thoughts of Zach when I was gone, but now that I’m back and living next door to him, I wonder if it will be as easy to ignore the feeling in my chest that coincides with thoughts of him.

~*~*~

Grabbing my quilt from the end the my bed, I carefully balance my Kindle and glass of wine in one hand as I open the sliding glass door in my room and step out onto the balcony. Tonight is one of the first nights it hasn’t rained since we moved in, and I have been looking forward to sitting outside under the stars with a good book all day long. Grabbing my glass, I take a sip then look to the left when the sound of rock music starts up and light flutters across the back deck next door, making me wonder if Zach’s room is off the balcony like mine.

Pushing that thought away, I turn on my Kindle then proceed to get lost in someone else’s happily ever after.

“Shelby.” Jumping, some of the contents from the glass in my hand sloshes out over the side and runs down my fingers as I swing my head to the left, where Zach is leaning on the banister, his eyes on me. A short glass full of dark liquid is in his hands, and the light casts a glow behind him.

“You scared the crap out of me,” I gripe, holding my free hand over my rapidly beating heart.

“I’ve been standing here awhile,” he mutters, then takes a swig of his drink. “I thought you would have noticed.” He rolls the glass between his hands while looking at me intently, making me fight the urge to squirm in my chair.

“When I’m lost in a good book, the world could crash down around me and I wouldn’t notice.” I shrug, taking a sip of wine, using the moment of reprieve as an excuse to look away from him, but realizing for the first time that I don’t know the man standing across from me. Yes, he looks a little like the guy I dated years ago, but he also seems more intense, like he has the weight of the world on his shoulders. He’s definitely not the easygoing kid I dated in high school.

“How are you guys settling in?”

Pulling my legs out from under me, I rest my Kindle on the edge of my lap and turn to face him fully while adjusting the blanket.

“It’s going to take a little bit to get everything cleaned up. I didn’t know Gramps was such a hoarder until now. I think I’ve thrown out about ten thousand issues of National Geographic, along with a hundred empty boxes and every single item you can possibly buy from an infomercial,” I reply, then smile when he laughs a deep rumbling laugh and leans a little farther over the railing between us, causing another plaid shirt—this one blues and yellows—to tighten across his wide chest.

“You didn’t keep them? You never know when you might need an automatic potato peeler.”

“I thought about it, but if I did, I wouldn’t have anywhere to put my shoes, since all of it was stacked up on the floor in his closet, everything unopened.” I smile, watching him grin for a moment before the smile slides away and his eyes move beyond me to the forest that sits behind the house.

“I’m gonna miss him. I know he’s been gone from town for years, but I’ll miss our talks,” he mutters, then looks up at the sky for a moment before meeting my gaze once more. “Why’d you come back? Last time I talked to Pat, he told me you were planning on following him down to Florida.”

His words catch me off guard, since Gramps never told me he kept in contact with Zach. But then again, I never asked. I shouldn’t be surprised they kept in touch, since they we’re close when I was home, and were obviously neighbors before Gramps moved to Florida. Plus, Zach is the sheriff in town. Yet, it still feels strange that he knows about me, while I know nothing about him.

“I was.” I let out a breath, adjusting the blanket around my shoulders. “But I had to wait until…” I trail off, not wanting to talk about my divorce to anyone, especially not him. “Then when Gramps passed away, there was nothing for me in Florida, so I decided to come back here instead.”

“You didn’t want to stay in Seattle?”

“No, I needed something different, so when I found out Gramps left me his house, I just knew I needed to come back here,” I whisper the truth. Ever since I read the will and found out this house was mine to do with as I please, I had a feeling in my gut that I couldn’t get rid of. Something telling me that I needed to come back here.

“This is a good town,” he murmurs, but the look in his eyes is saying something I can’t quite figure out.

“This is the last place I remember being really happy. I hope that I can make it that way for Hunter,” I say quietly, and his face softens.

“He looks like you.” His words and tone catch me by surprise and I sit up a little taller. Never in a million years would I have thought I’d be sitting on my granddad’s deck in the middle of the night talking to Zach about anything. Definitely not about my son.

“You wouldn’t say that if you saw his dad,” I return honestly. “When he was a baby, he looked like me, but not any more.”

“He has your eyes and your smile.” He pauses, taking a drink from his glass. “He seems like a good kid.”

“He’s the best kid.” I take a sip of wine, trying to keep whatever it is I’m feeling right now in check.

“I… I think I saw your son. Um, the other day. He looks like you,” I tell him, wanting to take the words back after I say them, because I don’t want him to think I was spying on him.

“He looks like his mom, but has my personality, which I can’t decide if it’s a good thing or not. My daughter, Aubrey, on the other hand, looks like me, but is sweet down to her core. Where she gets that sweetness, I have no fucking clue.”

“Oh.” I bite my lip, trying to figure out what to say to that. The Zach I knew was a good guy, sweet even. Tina, however, was mostly bitch, and I honestly don’t even know why we were friends. Then again, growing up here, there weren’t a hundred girls to choose from. My graduating class had five girls in it, and none of them liked Tina, which meant none of them really liked me either.

“I better go in,” he says abruptly, cutting into my thoughts, standing to his full height. “I need to be to the station early tomorrow.”

“Sure… uh… have a good night.” The urge to say something that will make him stay hits me hard, and it takes everything I have in me to keep my mouth shut.

“You too, Shelby. And be careful when you’re out here reading. Louie’s out and about around this time of night, searching for food.”

“Louie?” I question, scrunching up my nose. Cordova never had homeless people before, and I can’t imagine it would now.

“Louie’s a black bear. Normally, he sticks to the woods, but he’s been known to nap on the decks now and then.

“Oh, man.” I jump up, looking around for any sign of Louie, not sure how I could forget there are bears out here, since we are in Alaska. “What’s funny?” I frown, turning to face him when I hear his deep laughter.

“You’re in Alaska, babe. You lived here for years. You know there are bears out in those woods.” He nods to the trees.

Babe. Why, oh, why did that word make butterflies erupt in my stomach?

“I know that, but I forgot.” I shake my head and watch his face soften once again.

“Still sweet as pie,” I think I hear him say, but can’t be sure, because his voice dropped to a low rumble that I felt skid across my skin.

“Well, I’m gonna go in too,” I blurt, picking up my Kindle and wine glass. “Have a good night.” And with that, I duck my head and go back into my room. Closing the door I lock it behind me then hurry and get into bed where I try to forget once more about Zach Watters.  

~~**~~

“Hello?” I answer the phone, still half asleep, then look at the clock and notice that even though it’s light out, it’s barely 6:00 a.m.

“Shelby, I’ve called three times,” Max, my ex-husband, says into my ear, and I pull my pillow over my head with thoughts of suffocating myself with it.

“It’s only six, Max. I haven’t gotten out of bed,” I grumble, tossing the covers back and sitting up. “What’s going on?”

“I want to fly out there this weekend,” he states, and I fight the urge to toss my phone across the room or scream at the top of my lungs.

“This weekend?” I verify, rubbing my face. “We haven’t even been here a week.”

“I have a few days off and would like to see Hunter.”  

I sigh, considering him and his request. “Our stuff is going to be delivered in two days. Then I start my new job next week, and Hunter has swi—”

“You’re not keeping my boy from me,” he cuts me off, and I can tell by his tone that he’s mad and likely pulling at his ever-present tie in annoyance. Something I make him do often.

“I’m not saying you can’t see him, Max,” I clarify, wishing I had at least one cup of coffee before this conversation. “I’m just explaining to you that we’re trying to get settled in here. Can you wait a few weeks before you come out?”

“Such fucking bullshit. I can’t believe you moved to Alaska, of all goddamn places. A boy should have his dad in his life.” My heart stutters and I feel my pulse skyrocket. We didn’t have a custody battle, but I wouldn’t put it past Max to take me to court to gain custody of Hunter if I step out of line in his eyes.

“Max,” I soften my voice as I walk to the kitchen, “you know we talked about this. You can come see him anytime, and in a couple years, he can fly out to see you whenever he has a break,” I say, then drop my voice even lower. “We agreed on him living with me at least until he’s sixteen. After that, he can choose who he wants to live with.”

“I miss you both.” He sighs, making me roll my eyes. I know he doesn’t miss me. I know this, because he’s been dating woman after woman since I asked for a separation. For all I know, he was dating before that. Hell, the last year I spent under the same roof as him, he hardly spared me a glance. Hunter later suffered from his lack of attention, when we lived in the same town after our separation. With Max, it’s always about him getting his way.  

“Max, please just wait a few more weeks, and then you can come and stay as long as you like,” I offer, the words leaving a horrid taste in my mouth. I will do whatever I have to in order to keep my son, though, including putting up with his dad in my childhood home for more than a few days.

“Fine, when?”

Closing my eyes, I whisper, “Next month. Whenever you like. Just let me know, so I can make sure I don’t make plans for Hunter. I know there are a few camps here he’s interested in.”

“Fine. Where is he now? I called his cell phone, but he didn’t pick up.”

“Sleeping. Like I said, it’s only six here, and he was up late talking to his friends back in Seattle on Skype.”

“You really shouldn’t let him stay up so late, Shelby,” he scolds, sounding disapproving, and again, that’s not a surprise.

“It’s summer, Max, and his ‘late’ is ten, not three in the morning,” I mutter, wondering how the hell I put up with him for so many years. “I’ll have him call you when he gets up.”

“Don’t tell him I’m coming out. I want to tell him that myself.”

“Will do,” I grumble, looking at the coffee pot and begging it to hurry up.

“Talk to you later.”

“Talk to you later,” I agree, setting the phone down on the counter. I make myself a cup of coffee and take it out to the back deck, drinking it while the morning sun beats down on me.

WIDE OPEN SPACES COMING SOON

New from Aurora Rose Reynolds!

Wide Open Spaces releases August 2016!

Add to your TBR at: http://bit.ly/1PDVZsf

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Blurb

That moment your life changes.

That moment that changes your life.

That moment you love someone more than you love yourself.

That was the moment we gave our son up for adoption and the moment I was left bare. A wide-open space that would forever be empty.

There are moments that define you as a person, moments that prove just how strong you are, moments you push yourself to keep going forward when all you really want to do is give up. It was in one of those moments when I reached out and found him waiting for me.

When Shelby Calder left home fifteen years ago, she never planned on returning to the Alaskan town she left behind. But after the death of her grandfather and a bitter divorce, she hopes going home will be a fresh start for her and her ten-year-old son.

Zach Watters has made a lot of mistakes in his life. But when he sees Shelby Calder, looking more beautiful than ever, standing outside her childhood home, he promises himself that letting her go won’t be a mistake he ever makes again.

Some things never change and love is one of them.

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About the Author:

aurora rose reynolds

Aurora Rose Reynolds is a navy brat who’s husband served in the United States Navy. She has lived all over the country but now resides in New York City with her Husband and pet fish. She’s married to an alpha male that loves her as much as the men in her books love their women. He gives her over the top inspiration everyday. In her free time she reads, writes and enjoys going to the movies with her husband and cookie. She also enjoys taking mini weekend vacations to nowhere, or spends time at home with friends and family. Last but not least she appreciates everyday and admires it’s beauty.

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Until June By Aurora Rose Reynolds ♥ Cover Reveal

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Until June (Book Two) Until Her

Until June

Meet June & Evan in Until June releasing on May 24th!

Pre-order your copy at:

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Blurb

June Mayson and Evan Barrister’s whirlwind courtship resulted in a secret marriage right before he left for boot camp. Evan knows deep in his gut that June is too good for him, but after getting a taste of the beautiful life they can have together, he’s unwilling to let her go. June promises to wait for him, knowing neither time or distance will ever change her feelings for Evan—that is until she’s served with divorce papers while he’s overseas and she’s forced to let him go.

Her marriage and divorce a well-kept secret, the last person June expects to run into when she moves back to her hometown is Evan. Angry over the past, she does everything within her power to ignore the pull she feels whenever he is near. But how can she ignore the pain she sees every time their eyes meet? How can she fight the need to soothe him even if she knows she’s liable to get hurt once again?

Is it possible for June and Evan to find their way back to each other again? Or will they be stopped by an outside force before they ever have a shot?

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About the Author:

aurora rose reynolds

Aurora Rose Reynolds is a navy brat who’s husband served in the United States Navy. She has lived all over the country but now resides in New York City with her Husband and pet fish. She’s married to an alpha male that loves her as much as the men in her books love their women. He gives her over the top inspiration everyday. In her free time she reads, writes and enjoys going to the movies with her husband and cookie. She also enjoys taking mini weekend vacations to nowhere, or spends time at home with friends and family. Last but not least she appreciates everyday and admires it’s beauty.

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The COURAGE Anthology

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Title: COURAGE Anthology

Release Date: September 15, 2014

All proceeds will be donated to the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer via the Fifty Shades of Pink team. www.avonwalk.org/goto/50shadesofpink

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Amazon | Barnes And Noble | IBooks

J.L. Berg- Never been ready(The Ready Series Book 2)

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Leah Morgan was done with men. After barely surviving a horrendous childhood, and a boyfriend who bailed when things got rough, Leah had given up on love. Then she met him, Hollywood’s new golden boy who suddenly had eyes only for her. She tried to convince herself that one night couldn’t hurt, but after six months, the memories of his mesmerizing gaze and searing touch still invaded her every thought.

Declan James had just one rule when it came to women. Keep it simple, and never linger. That all changed the moment he met Leah. Even across a crowded bar, he could tell she was different. Sweet, with just the right amount of sass, she made him break his golden rule and now he couldn’t walk away.

When casual becomes anything but, and emotions run deep, will Leah and Declan fight their fears, or let old insecurities tear them apart? When Declan’s past comes roaring back in a way neither of them could have expected, will they stand united or be torn apart by the challenges that lie ahead?

It was only supposed to be one night, but only forever will do.

****

L.A. Casey- Dominic(Slater Brothers #1)

Dominic

WARNING: If you don’t like leading males that are possessive pr**ks, Dominic is NOT for you. If you don’t like leading females that are stubborn bi**hes, Dominic is NOT for you. If you don’t like characters who have bad tempers, Dominic is NOT for you. Most of all, if you don’t like characters who CURSE A LOT and say EXACTLY what they feel and are thinking without sugar coating it then Dominic is REALLY NOT for you.

After a car accident killed her parents when she was a child, Bronagh Murphy chose to box herself off from people in an effort to keep herself from future hurt. If she doesn’t befriend people, talk to them or acknowledge them in any way they leave her alone just like she wants.

When Dominic Slater enters her life, ignoring him is all she has to do to get his attention. Dominic is used to attention, and when he and his brothers move to Dublin, Ireland for family business, he gets nothing but attention. Attention from everyone except the beautiful brunette with a sharp tongue.

Dominic wants Bronagh and the only way he can get to her, is by dragging her from the boxed off corner she has herself trapped in the only way he knows how…by force.

Dominic wants her, and what Dominic wants, Dominic gets.

***

Kirsty Mosely- The Boy Who Sneaks In My Bedroom Window

the Boy

Amber Walker and her older brother, Jake, have an abusive father. One night her brother’s best friend, Liam, sees her crying and climbs through her bedroom window to comfort her. That one action sparks a love/hate relationship that spans over the next eight years.

Liam is now a confident, flirty player who has never had a girlfriend before. Amber is still emotionally scarred from the abuse she suffered at the hands of her father. Together they make an unlikely pair.

Their relationship has always been a rocky one, but what happens when Amber starts to view her brother’s best friend a little differently? And how will her brother, who has always been a little overprotective, react when he finds out that the pair are growing closer? Find out in The Boy Who Sneaks In

My Bedroom Window.

***

Erin Noelle- When The Sun Goes Down(Dusk Till Dawn Book 1)

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A story of deception…

Trina is a quiet, reserved music teacher at an inner-city elementary school. Because of the traumatic events of her childhood, she’s skittish of people in general, but men especially frighten her. However, when Lucca Ellis appears in her life, he refuses to take no for an answer. Will he be able to help her overcome the past that has kept her a prisoner for over eight years?

Kat is a woman scorned and out for revenge. Wronged by the men in her life, she thrives on belittling and dominating all men that she comes in contact with. Her end goal is to make the one man, the one who stole her life away as a child, pay for his actions, and she doesn’t care who she has to destroy to get there.

These two lives that both thrive on control, were never supposed to overlap, but anything can happen… When the Sun Goes Down.

***

Tess Oliver- Freefall: Custom Culture #1

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Ever since a tragic accident killed her family and left her alone in the world, Scotlyn James hasn’t spoken one word. Up until now she didn’t care that she had no way of talking to people. Her awful aunt would never have listened, and Lincoln Hammond the arrogant, selfish man who pulled her from the streets of Los Angeles wouldn’t hear her words if she could speak. But when Lincoln insists she get a tattoo to cover up a scar on her side, Scotlyn meets the artist, Nix Pierce. And now she longs for her voice. Now she has found someone who will hear her.

***

Kate Perry- All for You (A Laurel Heights Novel)

All for YouCover

Anna Godwin likes it spicy.

At least she used to. Somewhere between law school and real life, she lost her sparkle. Now she wears boring business suits to boring dates in her boring life.

The last time Anna remembers feeling that sizzle was with the one man who’s all cayenne and passion: Max Corazao, the one who got away.

Except Max still sees Anna as a woman full of spice. And Anna intends to do whatever she can to be that woman again—with his (unknowing) help…

***

Julie A. Richman- Searching For Moore

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I lost the love of my life when she disappeared without even a goodbye.

It was the 80’s – there was no internet, no Google, no cell phones.

If you wanted to disappear, you could.

And she did.

She crushed my soul.

A friend just told me he saw her on Facebook.

And now I’m a keystroke away from asking her the question that’s haunted me for two decades.

“Why did you leave me?”

Two decades after she broke his heart, sexy entrepreneur Schooner Moore uncovers the truth and betrayal his life has been built on when he Facebook friend requests college love, Mia Silver. Determined to win Mia’s love once again, Schooner embarks on a life-altering journey that could cost him everything.

***

Aurora Rose Reynolds- Until Trevor (Until Series Book 2)

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Trevor Mayson had his life planned out – make the family business successful and play the field for a few more years before eventually settling down. Then he sees her. Liz Hayes was beautiful, shy and everything that he could ever want…but she didn’t fit into his plans. After Trevor painfully rejects her, Liz finally starts to move on, but Trevor is finding it difficult to truly let her go. It seems the more he tries to stay away, the more intense his feelings for her become. Like a stretched rubber band, he can only take so much before snapping.

Liz Hayes is done waiting for Trevor and isn’t interested in getting her heart broken by him again, but Trevor is making it difficult for her to forget him when he shoves his way back into her life.

Can Trevor prove to her that he is worth falling in love with again, and is he ready to change his life plan to let her into his heart?

***

Hilary Storm-In A Heartbeat (Rebel Walking #1)

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Eaven Bennett is a college student with a passion for photography. She has high hopes of completing college and starting a new life as she moves away from her hometown with her best friend, Ivy Adams. Her last boyfriend ruined any chance of her trusting ever again.

Talon Walker is the dark and intriguing drummer for the up and coming band ‘Rebel Walking’. A tragedy in his past has left him empty with no desire for a relationship. That is until he meets Eaven.

One minute your heart is filled with love, the next your entire life comes crashing down. Everything can change in a heartbeat. Can Eaven and Talon overcome the obstacles in their way and find love?

***
Pepper Winters- Tears Of Tess
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“My life was complete. Happy, content, everything neat and perfect.

Then it all changed.

I was sold.”

Tess Snow has everything she ever wanted: one more semester before a career in property development, a loving boyfriend, and a future dazzling bright with possibility.
For their two year anniversary, Brax surprises Tess with a romantic trip to Mexico. Sandy beaches, delicious cocktails, and soul-connecting sex set the mood for a wonderful holiday. With a full heart, and looking forward to a passion filled week, Tess is on top of the world.

But lusty paradise is shattered.

Kidnapped. Drugged. Stolen. Tess is forced into a world full of darkness and terror.

Captive and alone with no savior, no lover, no faith, no future, Tess evolves from terrified girl to fierce fighter. But no matter her strength, it can’t save her from the horror of being sold.

Can Brax find Tess before she’s broken and ruined, or will Tess’s new owner change her life forever?

A New Adult Dark Contemporary Romance, not suitable for people sensitive to grief, slavery, and hard to read subjects. A story about finding love in the strangest of places, a will of iron that grows from necessity, and forgiveness that may not be enough.

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