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Archive for the ‘September 2014’ Category

SRR+Xmas+Final - Copy

 

The Christmas Promise by Melinda Curtis

They used to call her the Bon-Bon Heiress…Tiffany Bonander (of Bon-Bon Chocolates) grew up in New York with a silver spoon, a heart of gold, and a lifelong supply of sweets. But now her life is falling apart. Recent changes in cocoa supply are threatening the quality of the family’s chocolate and sales are down. Add to that Tiff’s penchant for falling in love quickly and breaking engagements at the last minute…Now they call her the Bon-Voyage Bride. Can this socialite turn around a cocoa plantation in South America?

Jackson Hardaway is trekking through the Andes in Ecuador as a tribute to a fallen comrade. This wounded warrior didn’t expect to meet a beautiful damsel in distress and her three fairy godmothers…er, trio of meddlesome nuns…on his journey. But everything in Ecuador is bigger – the trees, the snakes, the attraction. Is this love? Or just another case made to label Tiff a runaway bride? Find out in The Wedding Promise (part Runaway Bride/part Romancing the Stone).

Excerpt:

It was raining. Again.

Tiffany Bonander tried humming a few bars of White Christmas. It was, after all, December 23. Cheer was called for.

But the incessant beat of fat raindrops on the tangled foliage of the Ecuadorian rainforest and on her pink rain slicker, drowned out her cheer.

Or maybe she was just drowning under the pressure of heavy responsibilities.

Ankle-deep water rushed down the steep, muddy road toward Tiff and her precious cargo–thirty pounds of cocoa beans. She couldn’t lose the beans. They were the answer to all her troubles.

Thunder boomed. And boomed again. The downpour increased to a deluge.

Tightening her grip on the wheelbarrow handles, Tiff tried to find purchase with her rain boots, tried to make it to the next rise before the road turned into a river. Tried…and failed.   Somewhere above her the river had risen high enough to crest a bank. Water surged toward her.

Tiff’s father claimed they’d abandoned this cocoa plantation years ago for drainage reasons. He should have used the F-word: flood.

Tiff stumbled to her knees, and water rushed into her boots–cute, pink-flowered plastic ones which quickly filled with water and felt as heavy as cement shoes. If not for her grip on the wheelbarrow, she might have been swept downhill. Just last week, she’d heard about a woman who’d been carried away by the cresting river and smashed into a tree. Smashed as in: to pieces. Dead.

That would be worse than being broke and the laughing-stock of the civilized world.

This was karma, plain and simple. She shouldn’t have jilted Chad at their engagement party or left Malcolm at the altar.

 

Bio/Release Info:

MelindaCurtis (574x640)Melinda Curtis is an award winning, USA Today recommended, Amazon best selling author. She writes the Harmony Valley series of sweet and emotional romances for the Harlequin Heartwarming line (book 4 coming 3/2015). Brenda Novak says: “Season of Change has found a place on my keeper shelf”. Melinda also writes independently published, steamy and fun romances as Mel Curtis (a new novella out 10/22). Jayne Ann Krentz says of Blue Rules: “Sharp, sassy, modern version of a screwball comedy from Hollywood’s Golden Age except a lot hotter.”

The Christmas Promise is available in the Sweet Christmas Kisses anthology (14 sweet holiday stories for 99¢ available now!).

Buy Links for Sweet Christmas Kisses:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/Zd6FuJ

iTunes: http://bit.ly/1lVUtc2

Kobo: http://bit.ly/ZgZ2mZ

B&N: http://indi.uno/1mvOISk

Google Play: http://bit.ly/1nbyOgR

 

Special Offers/Freebies:

Join the authors of Sweet Christmas Kisses for a Facebook release party with prizes, freebies, and fun on 9/30. Guest authors include RaeAnn Thayne, Brenda Novak, and Jayne Ann Krentz. Join the party at 3pm Eastern: https://www.facebook.com/SweetRomanceReads

 

Readers of The Romance Reader @ Heart blog will be emailed a FREE fun, sweet novella set within the Hollywood Rules world by signing up for Melinda’s book release email newsletter. Link: http://www.melindacurtis.net/join-melinda-s-mailing-list

 

Website: http://www.MelindaCurtis.net

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MelindaCurtisAuthor

Twitter: @MelCurtisAuthor

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

 

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The_Unsuitable_Secretary_finalHarriet Benson takes her work at the Evensong Agency seriously, but lately, between convalescing from an illness and tending to her father and two young brothers, she’s had to shorten her hours. So when a promising position opens up for part time work, she immediately accepts, despite the fact that her new boss is scandalously indecent—and dangerously appealing.

Though his reputation paints him as a scoundrel, Sir Thomas Featherstone is more proper than anyone would guess. But Harriet’s wit and luscious curves are driving him to distraction. She’s the perfect woman to fill his office requirements, and other desperate needs he’s been ignoring…

Harriet has always held firm to the rule that a secretary must never fall in love with her employer. Only Thomas is determined to win her affections—and he’s willing to risk any cost to make her his…

 

~~~*~~~*~~~

 

Fatin, thanks so much for having me here to talk about my latest release, The Unsuitable Secretary! I have a little confession to make, just between friends: I am a typing class dropout. So how, you ask, can I write 13 full-length historical romances, the latest featuring an efficient secretary? My three fingers and home row are virtual strangers, and I’d be fired before lunch time if I had to earn my living typing anything accurately.

But writing TUS is kind of homage to my dad, who always told me to have a “fall-back” career. In the Dark Ages when I grew up, the suitable professional jobs for young women were teacher, nurse and secretary (i.e., administrative assistant in today’s world). I get super-queasy in hospital settings, so that was out. I wanted to teach (and I did), but my father always nagged me to learn how to type, “just in case.” I wish now I hadn’t dropped out of adult ed night school typing class, cause maybe I could write books faster. But I took the class with my college boyfriend, and we’d leave at the break to make out in his car, LOL.

But if I can’t be a secretary, I can write about one, right? My heroine Harriet Benson has none of my impediments—she is a graduate of commercial college at the turn of the twentieth century, trying hard to be a modern woman and a help to her family. While her office skills are excellent, she’s never had total self-confidence as a woman until her employer Sir Thomas Benedict Featherstone makes her an offer impossible to refuse.

Thomas has some issues, too—he’s a virgin!—and he thinks Harriet is just the goddess to solve them. He’s asked her to be his mistress for one week, but we all know a week is not enough. J

Thomas was nothing like reconciling a column of figures or typing a letter. She couldn’t compare him to baking her apple tart, either. She had mastery over the business and domestic sides of her life, but being a mistress called for qualities she might be lacking in.

Never in a million years would she have thought of herself as some sort of Delilah. But if clothes made the man, they made the woman too. Harriet knew she’d cleaned up very well tonight. She could almost see in herself what Thomas saw.

It helped if she removed her spectacles.

It wasn’t that she was ugly. But she’d grown so tall and had felt gawky all her adult life. It had seemed best to call less attention to herself. If her mother had lived, perhaps she could have taught Harriet how to comport herself differently.

But her mother was dead, and her father was downstairs making a nuisance of himself. Harriet hoped Thomas would return to give a report. Once he did, Harriet planned to attack him.

Well, not an attack exactly. But they would finish what they started earlier, because they didn’t have all the time in the world.

Harriet gets the ultimate makeover as she turns Thomas’s life upside-down even as she organizes his office. And Thomas, being an art-lover and connoisseur of the finer things of life, knows shy Harriet is the woman for him. It was a delight to bring this couple together, and I hope readers enjoy their journey.

I’ll give away a download of any Edwardian-set Ladies Unlaced book (In the Arms of the Heiress, In the Heart of the Highlander, The Reluctant Governess or The Unsuitable Secretary) to one random commenter. How’s your typing? Do you know how to take shorthand? Have you ever had a crush on your boss? Do you remember the Dark Ages?

 

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Winner!

Natalija

wins a digital copy of Tidal Falls by Jacquie Biggar

*

Congrats! To claim your prize, please email mad @ romancereaderatheart.com (without the spaces). You have 48 hours to email before a new name is chosen.

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JacquieBiggar_TidalFalls_HRALL SHE WANTED WAS TO LIVE HER LIFE
Sara Sheridan found the courage to escape from under her husband’s oppressive thumb, so she sure wasn’t interested in getting mixed up with another alpha attitude laden male. Especially with her ex hot on her trail.


ALL HE WANTED WAS PEACE AND QUIET
Nick Kelley needed escape from the memories that haunted him. He wanted to just be left alone. So what was it about his reticent neighbor and her child that tempted him to give it up?


THEN LOVE GOT IN THE WAY
Nick and Sara’s growing attraction for each other leads them down a dangerous path as her ex-husband closes in on the new life she’s made for her daughter and herself and threatens to blow it all apart.

 

~~~*~~~*~~~

 

As the cooler temperatures come upon us with the onset of autumn, our souls search for warmth and serenity. Maybe with a crackling fire, warm blanket, and a good book. Or perhaps a nice bubble bath with scented candles, soft music, and a glass of wine.

Still others spend the day in the kitchen baking up delicious treats for their loved ones to enjoy. In my book, Tidal Falls, Grace Martin loves baking for her customers at Grits and Grace only second to her love of matchmaking. And when her young friend, Sara Reed, introduces Grace to the handyman hired to fix Sara’s house, her mind fills with ways to bring these two together.

Sara, on the run from an abusive ex-husband, wants nothing to do with matters of the heart. She’s already painfully learned how fickle that organ can be. But she can’t deny her attraction to the handsome Nick Kelley either.

 

Excerpt from Tidal Falls by Jacquie Biggar:

 

Pulling up to the curb in front of Grits and Grace, Sara turned off a grumbling Mirabelle, all the while arguing with herself over saying yes to a date with Ty. She wasn’t ready to jump back into the dating world. It’d taken her months after Tom to get to the point where she could even converse normally with a man.

She was perfectly satisfied with the status quo, thank you very much. Well okay, maybe not exactly…satisfied, per se. But she could certainly make do without men. Walter, her battery-operated boyfriend worked if she found herself desperate. The problem was Sara hadn’t realized until The Kiss, how much she’d missed some of the intimacies to be found between a man and a woman. Maybe it’d do her good to go out and test the dating pool. Have some fun, before her ovaries shriveled up like year old prunes.

Ignoring Miss Doom and Gloom going on inside her head, she pushed open the door of the diner, smiling as bells above sang out a tinkling welcome. Stopping for a moment, she was hit with a sensory overload of frying bacon, coffee, the clang of the till and chatter of happy patrons. Popular with the locals, it was much like stepping into a past era. A beautifully preserved Jukebox stood sentinel in a corner of the room, a slightly scratchy rendition of Teddy Bear emitting from its large speakers. Red leather seats, Formica tabletops and black and white checkerboard flooring were all straight out of a fifties sit-com. Looking for Nick, she found him at one of the window booths. He reminded her of bad boy, James Dean as he sat there with an arm over the back of the booth, flirting with Grace Martin, the diner’s owner.

One of her favorite people, Grace was every bit as tall as she was round. She epitomized the old adage, Never Trust a Skinny Cook. Blessed with a face that never seemed to age, she was one of those people you meet once and feel like you’ve known forever. Her diner was the perfect place to sit, have a thick slice of homemade apple pie topped with a generous scoop of slowly melting vanilla ice cream, and catch up on all the juicy gossip which made small town living so unique.

As she slid into her seat across the table from him, Nick cast those gorgeous lake blue eyes in her direction, and the sparkle lighting their depths reeled her in effortlessly—the man was lethal.

“Well, well, if it isn’t my, Sara Sunshine. Where you been hiding, girl? Old Gracie hasn’t seen you in far too long. And where is little, Jessica Bean?” Grace’s smoky voice drifted over her like a warm blanket.

Dragging her gaze away from Nick, Sara smiled at her friend. “Hi, Grace, and you’re right, it has been too long. Jessica is over at Tess’s house, probably baking up a storm.” They both grinned, well aware of Tess’s infamous messes whenever she got it in her head to bake. No dish was safe. “I wanted to drop in and see Annie for the paint I’d ordered, and thought I’d better stop for some of the delicious food you always spoil me with.”

“Well darlin’, I’ll get right on that, but first, who’s this young stud muffin? He’s been busy trying to sweet talk me into running away with him,” she smirked, her cheeks rushing up to meet her eyes. “It’s about time sugar-pie. I was beginning to think you needed me to find you a nice young man, but looking at him, you did a fine job all by your little lonesome.” Grace grinned at Nick, and Nick grinned back, looking already half in love, and he hadn’t even tasted the food yet.

“Oh no, it’s nothing like that.” Her cheeks warm, she hurried to clarify, “Nick’s my neighbor. He’s been doing some repairs on my house for Tess.” She caught a look that flickered across his face. How did he expect her to introduce him? She squirmed in her seat as his gaze dissected her for a long moment, his eyes now deep, reflective pools.

Then his mouth quirked, “Sweetheart, you’re going to give Grace here the wrong idea. You know I’m at your house more than I’m at my own.” Stretching across the table, he lifted up one of Sara’s hands and ran his thumb in a slow caress over the tops of her knuckles, causing goose bumps to erupt and her nipples to tighten.

Oh, man.

Pulling her over-sensitized hand out of his, she crossed her arms over her chest and chastised, “Nick, quit goofing off and let’s order. I’m starving.”

His low, “Me too, honey, me too,” sent quivers of lust shooting through her belly. She had a feeling he wasn’t talking about food anymore.

Grace gave them both a “get a room” look, but thankfully refrained from commenting on it. “Okay chickies, specials today are Broccoli and Cheese stuffed Tilapia, My Grace of God Meatloaf, or a Sloppy Joe Grilled Cheese. And for dessert, we have To Die for Strawberry Rhubarb Pie or Momma’s Recipe Pumpkin Bread Pudding with a warm caramel sauce drizzled over the top.”

“Well, I can’t turn down meatloaf, and the bread pudding sounds perfect. What do you think, Sara?” Nick asked, skimming a knowing look at her arms.

“I think I’ll stick with a nice salad, maybe with some grilled chicken on top. I need room for your strawberry pie, Grace; you know I can’t leave without having some of that.” She laughed.

“No wonder you’re so skinny, child. You need food if you’re going to put some meat on those bones.” Shaking her head, Grace waddled into her kitchen, no doubt intent on performing gourmet miracles.

 

Tidal Falls is available now on Amazon.com

 

Jacquie would love to connect via her website, Jacquie Biggar

 

Facebook or Twitter

 

GIVEAWAY

For the chance to win a digital copy of Tidal Falls just leave a comment below. The winner will be drawn on Sunday. Good luck!

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Cate Beauman is back with the seventh installment in her bestselling romantic suspense series, The Bodyguards of L.A. County. Saving Sophie will be on sale September 4th through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iTunes!


Saving Sophie On Sale September 4th!


02 Saving Sophie_ebookWhen the only choice is to run…

Jewelry designer Sophie Burke has fled Maine for the anonymity of the big city. She’s starting over with a job she tolerates and a grungy motel room she calls home on the wrong side of town, but anything is better than the nightmare she left behind.

Stone McCabe is Ethan Cooke Security’s brooding bad boy more interested in keeping to himself than anything else—until the gorgeous blond with haunted violet eyes catches his attention late one rainy night.

Stone reluctantly gives Sophie a hand only to quickly realize that the shy beauty with the soft voice and pretty smile has something to hide. Tangled up in her secrets, Stone offers Sophie a solution that has the potential to free her from her problems once and for all—or jeopardize both of their lives.



Read an excerpt from Saving Sophie: (more…)

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Love like a Rock Star! A Review for ROCK ADDICTION by Nalini Singh

Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.

When Nalini Singh first announced that she had an entire new – contemporary – series underway, I was a little apprehensive but also very excited for this unexpected bonus series, starting with Fox and Molly’s story in Rock Addiction.

RockAddiction

The Blurb:

A bad boy wrapped in a sexy, muscled, grown-up package might be worth a little risk… 

Molly Webster has always followed the rules. After an ugly scandal tore apart her childhood and made her the focus of the media’s harsh spotlight, she vowed to live an ordinary life. No fame. No impropriety. No pain. Then she meets Zachary Fox, a tattooed bad boy rocker with a voice like whiskey and sin, and a touch that could become an addiction.

A one-night stand with the hottest rock star on the planet, that’s all it was meant to be…

Fox promises scorching heat and dangerous pleasure, coaxing Molly to extend their one-night stand into a one-month fling. After that, he’ll be gone forever, his life never again intersecting with her own. Sex and sin and sensual indulgence, all with an expiration date. No ties, no regrets. Too late, Molly realizes it isn’t only her body that’s become addicted to Fox, but her heart…

The Review:

“She wanted to bite his lower lip.”

Can anyone create characters as hot and intriguing as Nalini Singh? I have read books by a few authors that have come close, but no writer seems to have honed the technique as brilliantly as Ms. Singh. The characters in Rock Addiction, including the supporting cast, are fleshed out, complex and intense. While we get to read the Fox and Molly’s back stories in depth – both of which are unique and heart-wrenching – we only get a small glimpse of darkness surrounding the secondary characters.

Molly’s got legitimate reasons for shying away from the limelight. I’m not talking stage fright, but actual reasons that make you feel for her when they are revealed at least. Fox, on the other hand, is a rock star so publicity is part of the game. From right off the bat, these two seem like an unlikely couple, but Fox and Molly – Folly – seem to make it work.

However, I was a little hesitant to read about a rock star hero. (I’m a little prejudice against “famous” heroes because Hollywood has such a bad rap when it comes to romance and relationships among celebrities.) But, by the third chapter of Rock Addiction, I stopped thinking of Fox as a rock star hero, and started thinking of him as a Nalini Singh hero instead – smart, sexy, and uber-alpha…I was expected him to shift into a changeling at any point in the novel or spout wings! Seriously, Ms. Singh’s got the alpha-male formula down pat!

Likewise, Ms. Singh has a very distinctive voice in the romance genre. She controls her writing the way a poet would control the rhythm on his poem.

“You know when you get the whisper of a melody in your head, or the murmur of a song? And you have the gut feeling that if you could just hear the rest of it, just capture the music…you’d have something fucking amazing?”

There was very little about Rock Addiction that I didn’t find entertaining – thought I had moments of frustration with both the hero and heroine. They both jump a little fast from a one-night stand to affair to relationship – I’m talking Romeo and Juliet fast, although granted that Fox and Molly don’t get married and die in the span of five days. Both Fox and Molly know very little about each other, and seem to jump into this relationship and move in together despite the fact that they have obvious issues to work out.

But just when I would have judged Molly a weak character, she stands her ground so ultimately I was more impressed with her than frustrated. Fox, who had his own trauma to overcome, is so utterly devoted to Molly that it’s hard to stay mad at him for long.

But despite their erotic connection, sex wasn’t the first thing that came to his mind when he thought of Molly. It was her smile.

Fox proves that he is a romantic at heart and that this story, despite the scorching sex is really more about love than lust! (It certainly stole my four fifths of my heart!)

Rock Addiction releases on September 9, 2014, and look out for Rock Courtship – Noah and Thea story – soon thereafter!

Rika Ashton

Ebooks available through Amazon or Kobo. (Trade paperback links not available yet.)

 

RBR

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image002In Bed with a Rogue

By Samantha Grace

Soucebooks Casablanca

Historical Romance

September 2, 2014

ISBN: 9781402286612

$6.99/£4.99

Mass-Market Paperback

 

He’s the Talk of the Town

The whole town is tittering about Baron Sebastian Thorne having been jilted at the altar. Every move he makes ends up in the gossip columns. Tired of being the butt of everyone’s jokes, Sebastian vows to restore his family’s reputation no matter what it takes.

 

She’s the Toast of the Ton

Feted by the crème of society, the beautiful widow Lady Prestwick is a vision of all that is proper. But Helena is no angel, and when Sebastian uncovers her dark secret, he’s quick to press his advantage. In order to keep her hard-won good name, Helen will have to make a deal with the devil. But she’s got some tricks up her sleeves to keep this notorious rogue on his toes…

 

 

image004SAMANTHA GRACE

 

Historical romance author Samantha Grace discovered the appeal of a great love story when she was just a young girl, thanks to Disney’s Robin Hood. She didn’t care that Robin Hood and Maid Marian were cartoon animals. It was her first happily-ever-after experience and she didn’t want the warm fuzzies to end. Now Samantha enjoys creating her own happy-endings for characters that spring from her imagination. Publishers Weekly describes her stories as “fresh and romantic” with subtle humor and charm. Samantha describes romance writing as the best job ever.

 

 

Website: http://www.samanthagraceauthor.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Samantha-Grace/264436686918343

Twitter: @SamGraceAuthor https://twitter.com/SamGraceAuthor

Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4946067.Samantha_Grace

Buy: Amazon | B&N | BAM! | IndieBound | !ndigo | iTunes

 

For the chance to win a book bundle by Samantha Grace, you can enter the contest by clicking this link.

 

The six Samantha Grace books include:

  • Miss Hillary Schools a Scoundrel
  • Lady Amelia’s Mess and a Half
  • Miss Lavigne’s Little White Lie
  • Lady Vivian Defies a Duke
  • One Rogue Too Many
  • In Bed with a Rogue

***Giveaway is sponsored through Sourcebooks

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New series coming out by Maya Banks in 2014. Woot! 🙂

LETTING GO, February 4, 2014
GIVING IN, May 6, 2014
TAKING IT ALL, September 5, 2014

MB_lettinggo

Josslyn found perfection once, and she knows she’ll never find it again. Now widowed, she seeks the one thing her beloved husband couldn’t give her. Dominance. Lonely and searching for an outlet for her grief and wanting only a brief taste of the perfection she once enjoyed, she seeks what she’s looking for at an exclusive club that caters to people indulging in their most hedonistic fantasies. She never imagined that what she’d find is the one man who’s long been a source of comfort—and secret longing. Her husband’s best friend.

Dash has lived in an untenable position for years. In love with his best friend’s wife and unwilling to act on that attraction. He’d never betray his best friend. And so he’s waited in the wings, offering Joss unconditional support and comfort as she works past her grief, hoping for the day when he can offer her more.

When he finds her in a club devoted to the darker edges of desire, he’s furious because he thinks she has no idea what she’s getting herself into. Until she explains in detail what it is she wants. What she needs. As realization sets in, he is gripped by fierce, unwavering determination. If she wants dominance, he is the only man who will introduce her to that world. He is the only man who will touch her, cherish her…love her. And the only man she’ll ever submit to.

MB_givingin

Kylie sees the way Jensen looks at her. The dark promise in his eyes. That rough edge of dominance she knows he possesses. But dominance is the one thing that frightens her above all else. She and her brother barely survived a childhood steeped in violence and abuse. She could never give up total control and submit to a man. Especially a man like Jensen. Could she?

Jensen sees the shadows in Kylie’s eyes. Knows he has to tread very carefully or risk losing any chance he has with her. All he wants is the opportunity to show her that dominance doesn’t equal pain, bondage or discipline. That emotional surrender is the most powerful of all, and that to submit—fully to him—will fulfill the aching void in her heart in a way nothing else ever will.

MB_takingitall

Chessy and Tate have been married for several years. In the beginning, their relationship was everything she wanted. Passionate. All consuming. She offered her submission freely and Tate cherished her gift with a tenderness that made her feel safe. Content. Wanted. And loved beyond all measure. But as the years have gone by, Tate has become more immersed in making his business the success it has become, and Chessy has taken a back seat to his business obligations. Growing unhappier with the status of their once blissful marriage, Chessy knows that something has to give. Or they stand to lose it all

Tate loves his wife. Has always loved her. Providing for her has always been his number one priority. But lately she’s seemed unhappy, and he’s worried. Worried enough that he arranges for a night together that he hopes will reignite the fire that once burned like an inferno between them.

But a business call at the wrong time threatens everything. Chessy’s safety, his concentration, his wife’s faith in him as her husband, a man sworn to love and protect her above all else. Gutted with the realization that he’s going to lose her—has *already* lost her—he readies for the fight of his life. Whatever it takes, he’ll get her back. And prove to her that nothing is more important than her love. And that if she’ll allow him to prove himself one more time, he’ll take it all. Everything. But he’ll give far more back. Himself. His undying love.

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