Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Not The Girl You Marry by Andie J. Christopher

* * * *


How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days gets a millennial makeover in this romantic comedy by USA Today bestselling author Andie J. Christopher.

Jack Nolan is a gentleman, a journalist, and unlucky in love. His viral success has pigeon-holed him as the how-to guy for a buzzy, internet media company instead of covering hard-hitting politics. Fed up with his fluffy articles and the app-based dating scene as well, he strikes a deal with his boss to write a final piece de resistance: How to Lose a Girl. Easier said than done when the girl he meets is Hannah Mayfield, and he's not sure he wants her to dump him.

Hannah is an extremely successful event planner who's focused on climbing the career ladder. Her firm is one of the most prestigious in the city, and she's determined to secure her next promotion. But Hannah has a bit of an image problem. She needs to show her boss that she has range, including planning dreaded, romantic weddings. Enter Jack. He’s the perfect man to date for a couple weeks to prove to her boss that she’s not scared of feelings.

Before Jack and Hannah know it, their fake relationship starts to feel all too real—and neither of them can stand to lose each other.


Source: advance -galley provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review


I know this has been billed as a spin on How to Lose A Guy in Ten Days but it's honestly been ages since I've seen that movie, I don't remember all its details. I'll consider that a plus for me since it means I can read the book as its own thing. 

Jack is a romantic so when he meets someone and falls in love, he's all in ... and then they dump him. Not sure why because he sounds kind of dreamy. Hannah has the opposite going on. She falls in love and the guys eventually leave her because they don't think that she's marriage material. Her last long term boyfriend did a number on her and now she has his words stuck in her head - that she's not the girl you marry. Jack pretty much falls for her immediately and it takes some convincing on his part to have Hannah give him the time of day. He plays it cool and slow so he won't scare her away. Against what she thinks is her better judgment, Hannah does entertain Jack's advances though she's still skeptical about him, about dating, about everything to do with love. Unfortunately, she recognizes that her sour attitude could be holding her back career-wise. She's an excellent event planner but if she wants to move up the ladder she needs to branch out in to wedding planning. That's a huge ask of someone who's cynical about love and happily-ever-afters. Her boss insinuates to her that her career advancement would be within reach if she could show that she's capable of being in a relationship. Hannah thinks that Jack could help improve her image. Coincidentally, Jack is also at an impasse at his job where he's eager to be taken seriously as a journalist and work on hard-hitting stories rather than the fluff listicles he's been writing. They've been superbly popular which is why he's been held back from working on other stories. His boss agrees to give him an opportunity only after he's done with one last fluff piece about how to be the worst boyfriend ever. This goes against his nature since he's never intentionally been a jerk to a girl. With their job demands playing an essential role here, they both start fake dating and keep their secretive agenda to themselves. 

The best part is that they're both spectacularly unsuccessful at it. Try as they might, they're simply not committed to being intentional jerks so they attempt to toe the line between getting their jobs done and exploring what they might have between them. Jack's pretty easy to understand. He believes in commitment and taking care of his girlfriend. Hannah is tougher. Having been let down by previous boyfriends she just doesn't trust easily and she's constantly bringing up her baggage from it. She has a lot of residual anger especially directed at her ex. It is repetitive but considering her upbringing and her struggles with her biracial identity ... uncertainty is always there and the best way she knows to deal with it is to barricade her emotions. Growing up she was constantly figuring out where and how she could fit in, or succumbing to how others tried to fit her into a category that made sense for them. Taking all of that into consideration, Hannah is a complex jumble of mixed feelings and deep trust issues. I understood her, especially when it came to fitting in or not easily fitting into some sort of pre-conceived notion that was easier for other people to get. It just becomes a part of your psyche and it's not something that one can just shake off. 

Jack and Hannah are both irresistible in their own way. I liked that Hannah is so resilient and unapologetic about herself. Life's handed her some hard knocks but she refuses to be backed into a corner. Jack, who's ever optimistic pulls her out of her cynicism and shows her that there are guys out there who are worth taking a chance on. But more importantly, that she herself is worth fighting for and loving, and she is perfect just as she is. I definitely recommend Not The Girl You Marry!

~ Bel


Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Kingmaker by Kennedy Ryan Blog Tour






“Powerful, gripping, unflinchingly honest and sensuously gorgeous writing.”

-- Kristan Higgins, New York Times Bestselling Author

The Kingmaker, the first book in the addicting All The King’s Men Duet, from RITA ® Award-winning author Kennedy Ryan, is available now!


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Power. Passion. Betrayal.
Kennedy Ryan delivers the epic first installment of the All the King's Men Duet.


Raised to rule, bred to lead and weaned on a diet of ruthless ambition.
In a world of haves and have nots, my family has it all, and I want nothing to do with it.
My path takes me far from home and paints me as the black sheep. At odds with my father, I'm determined to build my own empire. I have rules, but Lennix Hunter is the exception to every one of them. From the moment we meet, something sparks between us. But my family stole from hers and my father is the man she hates most. I lied to have her, and will do anything to keep her. Though she tries to hate me, too, the inexorable pull between us will not be denied.
And neither will I.



Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!



Add to GoodReads

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Pre-order the stunning conclusion, The Rebel King!
Releasing November 17th



Be notified FIRST when The Rebel King goes live 

Get notified when The Kingmaker is available on Audio 

Excerpt

“What do you want?”
          The look he pours over me is hot oil, burning me even through serviceable layers of cotton. His heated perusal caresses my face, sluices over my breasts and hips, and then pools at my feet. 
          “Oh, that you won’t ever get again,” I say, my voice a soft, certain promise. “I don’t screw liars. I’m particular that way.”
          “Never say never,” he drawls, tilting up my chin with his finger.
          “Nev–”
          He crushes the word between our mouths. It falls apart in the scorching, sweet tangle of lips and teeth. With one hand, he digs his fingers into my hair. The other splays across my lower back, his grip on me almost convulsive, urging me up and closer. I’m in stasis. I’m completely startled by the kiss, unable to respond. I send a desperate message to my brain.
          Move. Pull back. Push him away.
          But the urgent glide of his hand down my spine to cup my ass melts my thoughts to liquid and they swim in my head. I can’t pull back, and all hope of resistance dissolves when he presses his thumb to my chin, prying me open. He stalks my tongue, hunts down a response, licking and sucking and groaning and growling. His hands tighten on me until I strain up to seek him, yanking his hair, pulling him even closer.
          “Dammit, Nix,” he mutters between kisses. His hand wanders down my neck and across my shoulder, and cups my breast, twisting the nipple through flimsy barriers of cotton and lace. He shoves up my skirt, pulling my legs wider, and pushes my panties aside, his fingers invading me. My body remembers this mad craving that claws out of my bones—that wants out. That wants him. Under his rough touch, my body blooms and my hips rock.
          “That’s it,” he says, taking my earlobe between his lips. 
          My head falls back and I moan. It’s so damn good. His touch awakens me. His hands, his kisses bring me to life. It feels like I’m taking my first deep breath since we were last together, and it fills my lungs, seeps into my pores. 
          “I missed you,” he says, sucking my lips and kissing the corners, quick, hungry. “I’m sorry. Baby, I—”
          “Stop talking.” I reach between us to loosen his belt, catching his zipper and dragging it down, dragging him out. “Shut up.”


About Kennedy

A RITA® Award Winner and Top 25 Amazon Bestseller, Kennedy Ryan writes for women from all walks of life, empowering them and placing them firmly at the center of each story and in charge of their own destinies. Her heroes respect, cherish and lose their minds for the women who capture their hearts.

She is a wife to her lifetime lover and mother to an extraordinary son. She has always leveraged her journalism background to write for charity and non-profit organizations, but enjoys writing to raise Autism awareness most. A contributor for Modern Mom Magazine, Kennedy's writings have appeared in Chicken Soup for the Soul, USA Today and many others. The founder and executive director of a foundation serving Atlanta families living with Autism, she has appeared on Headline News, Montel Williams, NPR and other media outlets as an advocate for families living with autism.

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Connect with Kennedy


Never Miss A Release! Follow Kennedy on BookBub 


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Tuesday, November 5, 2019

We Met In December by Rosie Curtis

* * * 1/2

Following a year in the life of a twenty-something British woman who falls hard for her London flat mate, this clever, fun, and unforgettable romantic comedy is the perfect feel-good holiday read.
Two people. One house. A year that changes everything. 

Twenty-nine-year-old Jess is following her dream and moving to London. It’s December, and she’s taking a room in a crumbling, but grand, Notting Hill house-share with four virtual strangers. On her first night, Jess meets Alex, the guy sharing her floor, at a Christmas dinner hosted by her landlord. They don’t kiss, but as far as Jess is concerned the connection is clear. She starts planning how they will knock down the wall between them to spend more time together.

But when Jess returns from a two-week Christmas holiday, she finds Alex has started dating someone else—beautiful Emma, who lives on the floor above them. Now Jess faces a year of bumping into (hell, sharing a bathroom with) the man of her dreams…and the woman of his.
 


Source: advance e-galley provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review


If you're one for slow burn romances, and I do mean slooooowwww burn, We Met In December will definitely fall into that category. 

Jess and Alex meet as incoming flatmates and despite a little attraction they don't get together. That's because of the house rules stipulates that there'll be no coupling amongst the flatmates. It's an understandable enough rule meant to keep things from getting awkward or uncomfortable but it's none the less inconvenient. This is an exciting time for Jess as she's finally plucked up the courage to move to London and start her new dream job in publishing. Alex is also embarking on a new career leaving behind his days as a lawyer to become a nurse. It's easy to see one of the reasons why these two get along since they have this in common. Though crushed, Jess resigns herself to the fact that nothing can happen between them so she goes off on holiday with her friends only to return to discover that Alex and their other flatmate have been getting together on the sly. Jess keeps her disappointment and their secret to herself (she doesn't even let on to Alex that she knows) and tries to immerse herself in her new job and her friends. But the pull to Alex is always there. They just get on so well and he's so familiar with the city that they've taken to going on walks so he can show her the London that he knows.

I liked this story and the circuital way Alex and Jess eventually get together. It's a relationship steeped in friendship and camaraderie that's unique from what they share with the rest of their flatmates. Since the story unfolds through both their POVs we get to see how they're taking things in. Jess does tend to get repetitive about being the new girl in the city but I guess I can understand how she's starry-eyed about it. She wasn't exactly sheltered before but she also wasn't adventurous, so yes, she'll wax on about the newness of everything for a bit until it's not so new anymore. I took delight in the many excursions around Notting Hill and London, even looking up pictures so I could travel along with Jess and admire the sights through her eyes. That's the nice thing about her almost tourist-like beginning - it's exciting to experience those locales as if you were one yourself. While they both experience monumental changes within the year of their meeting - uprooting themselves, career changes, ending relationships - the story itself is not overly dramatic or angsty. Yes, the timing sucks and the house rule is annoying but they also have enough going in their own lives to keep them busy. It's really about their self-perception and the new discoveries they make about themselves as they year goes on. And always they're there for each other, a calming constant whenever there's uncertainty which is why they keep circling back.

We Met In December is charming and delivers a happily ever after but only after both Jess and Alex have done their thing and found their footing. You just have to be patient with them. 

~ Bel


Monday, October 28, 2019

Kingmaker Release Blitz & Giveaway

The King Maker - RB banner

“A dazzling, thought-provoking, layered romance that will keep you on the edge of your seat. One of the best books of 2019."

-- L.J. Shen, USA Today bestselling author

The Kingmaker, the first in the all-new powerful and emotional All The King’s Men Duet, from RITA ® Award-winning author Kennedy Ryan, is available now!

KINGMAKER_FINAL

Enter the $50 Gift Card Release Giveaway 


Power. Passion. Betrayal.
Kennedy Ryan delivers the epic first installment of the All the King's Men Duet.

Raised to rule, bred to lead and weaned on a diet of ruthless ambition.
In a world of haves and have nots, my family has it all, and I want nothing to do with it.
My path takes me far from home and paints me as the black sheep. At odds with my father, I'm determined to build my own empire. I have rules, but Lennix Hunter is the exception to every one of them. From the moment we meet, something sparks between us. But my family stole from hers and my father is the man she hates most. I lied to have her, and will do anything to keep her. Though she tries to hate me, too, the inexorable pull between us will not be denied.

And neither will I.

THE KINGMAKER LIVE JW

Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!


Add to GoodReads

THE KINGMAKER AN SIERRA QUOTE

Pre-order the stunning conclusion, The Rebel King!
Releasing November 17th



Be notified FIRST when The Rebel King goes live 

Get notified when The Kingmaker is available on Audio 

About Kennedy

A RITA® Award Winner and Top 25 Amazon Bestseller, Kennedy Ryan writes for women from all walks of life, empowering them and placing them firmly at the center of each story and in charge of their own destinies. Her heroes respect, cherish and lose their minds for the women who capture their hearts.

She is a wife to her lifetime lover and mother to an extraordinary son. She has always leveraged her journalism background to write for charity and non-profit organizations, but enjoys writing to raise Autism awareness most. A contributor for Modern Mom Magazine, Kennedy's writings have appeared in Chicken Soup for the Soul, USA Today and many others. The founder and executive director of a foundation serving Atlanta families living with Autism, she has appeared on Headline News, Montel Williams, NPR and other media outlets as an advocate for families living with autism.

KR W Bckg Verti
Connect with Kennedy

Never Miss A Release! Follow Kennedy on BookBub 


Instagram   I   Facebook   I    Amazon 

Pinterest   I   Book+Main   I   Website 


Thursday, October 24, 2019

Southern Heartbreaker Release Blitz & Review

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He was the bad boy I fell for in college. Now he’s a sexy single dad and Charleston’s most successful venture capitalist. Dominant and decisive, Ford Montgomery is used to getting what he wants. And he just set his sights on me...

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Southern Heartbreaker, an all-new standalone contemporary romance in the Charleston Heat series by Jessica Peterson, is LIVE!

Ford Montgomery was my first everything.
First love.
First guy I slept with.
First heartbreak when he dumped me without explanation.

A decade later, it’s just my luck he’s the first guy I run into after moving back to my hometown of Charleston. Three piece suit, tie, and a watch worth more than my car--being a mogul looks good on Ford. So does being a doting dad to his adorable four-year-old daughter.

I tell myself I can resist him. But one impulsive, ill-advised kiss later, and Ford is in hot pursuit. He’s determined to make up for his past mistakes, and convinces me to give him a second chance.

What started out as fun between the sheets gets really serious, really fast. Problem is, I swore I’d never give up the dreams I worked so hard for to settle down and do the family thing.

But seeing Ford light up around his daughter--seeing how he’s chasing his ambitions while rocking fatherhood--is making me rethink what I want out of life.

It doesn’t help that behind his corporate veneer is the bad boy I fell in love with. And bad boys aren’t afraid to play dirty...or break hearts.

Southern Heartbreaker is part of the Charleston Heat Series, which is a series of interconnected standalone novels set in the steamy southern town of Charleston, South Carolina.

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Download your copy today or read free in Kindle Unlimited!

Amazon US     I     Amazon Worldwide     I     Add to GoodReads 

Release Blitz.jpg
About Jessica:

Jessica Peterson writes smart, sexy romance set in her favorite cities around the world. She grew up on a steady diet of Mr. Darcy, Jamie Frasier, and Edward Cullen, and it wasn’t long before she started creating irresistible heroes of her own. She loves strong coffee, stronger heroines, and heroes with hot accents.

She lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with her husband Ben and her smelly Goldendoodle Martha Bean.
Connect with Jessica:


Author Page     I     Instagram     I     Email 

Review:

* * * *

Southern Heartbreaker is a second-chance romance for Ford and Eva who we were introduced to us in book 3 (Southern Gentleman). These two college sweethearts who went heavy and strong throughout those years broke up when Ford decided to break things off upon their graduation. Eva always felt slighted by the breakup and how he did it. He said some condescending and hurtful things about how her dreams not aligning or being ambitious enough and went on his way. Ford admits that he was stupid and didn't know what he was doing back then. Who hasn't done stupid things in their youth? Now he's older, wiser, a widow and a dad. Life has taught him a lot since then. Eva in the meantime pursued her own dreams despite what Ford said and achieved success as a food blogger and then with her first cook book. Feeling the pressure of writing her second book and afflicted with the lack of inspiration, she hopes a return visit home will spark something in her. Turns out Ford is that spark. They reconnect and relive the better moments from their high school years while also dealing with the reality of what they have going on now. They both have full plates but rekindling their previous magic seems to jump-start their creative juices and shift their perspectives on life.

What can I say? It's another hit for Peterson!  Each book has featured a special set of circumstances and in Southern Heartbreaker it's about two people trying to bend and mold their passions to fit nicely side by side with their responsibilities. Their reunion does come with complications. Ford, who has never before prioritized personal time over his devotion to his kid or his career has to learn that it's okay to take a break every once in a while. Eva has to accept that Ford and his daughter, Bryce are a package, and it's an overwhelming commitment for someone who's never considered having children. I did think she overreacted under stress at times but then, who doesn't? Ford and Eva get their sexy on quite a bit and these are the scenes we've come to expect from Peterson. There's one moment that I absolutely adored and it's when Eva remarks about how his tattoos are perfectly covered up by his name brand shirts but she knows what's under there. I just liked that bit of info because it felt so personal and intimate. Ford is so professional and put together for so much of his adult life these days and then he's with Eva and all of a sudden they're the naughtiest, kinkiest couple around. It's just good to see them happy.

Jessica Peterson's Charleston Heat series is borne out of love for the city and its culture, and is enticing comfort food for the romance reader's soul. Southern Heartbreaker shows that Peterson always delivers heart and passion in her stories and is a must-read for anyone who wants to experience that sizzle and sweetness!

~ Bel

* Source: advance egalley provided in exchange for an honest review


Monday, October 21, 2019

A Hive of Secrets and Spells Blog Tour


  
Welcome to A Hive of Secrets and Spells Blog Tour! We're excited to share with you this brand new release that's sure to add some magic to the Halloween season!



Synopsis for A Hive of Secrets and Spells:

Cupcakes, romance, and lovable canines abound in Heather and Sinead’s next adventure, but it isn’t all fun and games. The girlfriends are investigating a very personal kidnapping, and the threatening notes left behind accuse Sinéad and her punk-rocker twin brother of hiding something.
But after solving their first mystery together last Christmas, this one should be a piece of cake.After all, no one’s been murdered this time, and their witch-sorcerer rivalry is a thing of the past.Except it turns out there is a murderer, and a jewel thief as well, and why on earth does everyone keep talking about bees?


It appears Starford is a lot more exciting than Heather’s home town of Old Wetchhaven, and Sinéad’s insistence that Heather move in with her brings a whiff of trouble to their private paradise. Can Heather adjust to life near the big city? Or will the mounting secrets prove too much and turn their second case into their last?


A Hive of Secrets and Spells is a witch cozy mystery with a sweet lesbian romance and heart-warming magic.


Order now!




Enjoy this excerpt:

Heather stared at the wall in front of her, eyes unfocused. She was sure she’d done nothing wrong, but the heavy lead in her stomach turned over rapidly, making her question everything about those blurred few days. Out of the corner of her eye, the rain cloud thundered harder than ever. With the timing of its dramatic antics, it was almost as if it had known what was coming, though Heather wasn’t sure how it could.

Had it predicted this? The spell she designed shouldn’t be able to predict anything. And anyway, why did it still act as though something bad hid around the corner? After Roger Branson’s call, nothing worse could come of today.

Then she looked over and saw Sinéad frozen in horror, staring down at a sheet of paper in her hand. It didn’t look as though she’d heard any of Heather’s conversation, which at least explained why she hadn’t been demanding Heather pass her the phone so she could unleash her outrage.

“What is it?” she asked, reaching out to rest a hand on her girlfriend’s knee.

“It’s a letter,” Sinéad said slowly.

Heather resisted the urge to poke fun at her for stating the obvious. Something was very wrong.

“It says they’ve been taken, I’m being watched, and I need to meet with him so we can work together before it’s too late.” Her voice caught on the words with a faint edge of panic that didn’t suit her.

“Who’s been taken?” Heather asked, fear rising in her chest. Her hands shook where they pressed against Sinéad’s knee, but she wasn’t sure which of the two of them was causing it. “Who do you need to meet with?”

Who could worry Sinéad so much? Sinéad’s close friends were few and far between, and as an orphan, she had no family to worry about.

“My parents.” Sinéad looked up, her eyes wide and startled. “And I need to meet my brother.”

Behind them, the rain cloud shattered in a crack of lightning two foot tall, then disappeared.


About the Author:

Ellen Jane Phillips is an Australian indie author of wlw romance. She loves writing about LGBTQ women who experience complex lives, emotions, needs, and desires. Her books are written for people who crave love stories where friendship is just as important as romance, and who want to experience cosy warmth with a hint of mystery, magic, and emotion.
You can find her writing under two pen names: Ellen Jane, and E.J. Phillips. If you like light, cosy wlw romance suffused with magic and mystery, Ellen Jane is the pen name for you. If you prefer something a little heavier, and you like your wlw romance tinged with magic and tender angst, E.J. Phillips is the one you want. When she isn't writing, you can find her walking the dogs, playing D&D, or bemoaning the number of days since she last ate nachos.

Author Links:

Website     I     Instagram     I     Tumblr     I     Twitter



Hard Chrome Release Blitz



Book synopsis

He’s tough. But she’s tougher.

Tanner Ellis left American Heavy Metal in her rearview mirror. She didn’t see the beauty behind the grease stains and the polished chrome until it was too late. Now she’s back, determined to save her father’s legacy—and bring the South’s premier classic-car shop into the new century. Nothing is going to stop her—especially not the sexy tech who refuses to follow her lead.

American Heavy Metal is the only home Duke Wilson’s ever known, and no high-heeled, sharp-tongued princess is going to take it away. He tolerates Tanner’s advice, and it’s fun to push her buttons, but she doesn’t belong in the shop—never has, never will. The sooner she realizes that, the sooner he can find his new normal.

When Tanner falters, revealing the pain beneath her bravado, Duke comforts her the only way he knows how. And when violence from his past threatens their future, she’ll be there for him, offering him the one thing he’s always wanted—a shot at a real family. He just has to convince himself to take it.

This book is approximately 49,000 words

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise : all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!
 



Warnings

Hard Chrome deals with subjects some readers may find difficult, including domestic violence,
animal cruelty, drug use, and teen pregnancy.

All buy links or pre-order links 



 


About Vanessa North


Vanessa North is a romance novelist, a short fiction geek, and a knitter of strange and wonderful things. Her works have been shortlisted for both the Lambda Literary Award and the RITA© Award, and have garnered praise from The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Publisher’s Weekly. She lives in Northwest Georgia with her family: a Viking, twin boy-children, and two large dogs. 

Connect with Vanessa


Vanessa's website     I    Books2Read     I     Newsletter     I     Bookbub

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Giveaway

     
Vanessa North is celebrating the release of HARD CHROME with a big giveaway! Three prizes are up for grabs: (2) $10 Amazon Gift Cards and (1) Signed Paperback of Hard Chrome + some serious auto-shop inspired swag! 

Teaser



Since I never met trouble I couldn’t land in face first, I stand and follow Tanner out to the kitchen.
 She’s leaning over the sink, her eyes closed, breathing slow like she’s in a yoga class. Elbows locked, knuckles white. I get the feeling if she let go of that countertop, she’d crumple to the ground.
 “Are you okay?” I ask softly.
 She nods, not opening those pretty eyes for a long moment; then she turns and she stares right at me. “Do you know what it’s like to have everyone counting on you? And you know you’re going to let them down, but you can’t say no, so you just let it happen?”
 And I’m twelve years old, testifying against Clifton for beating Ma.
 And I’m fifteen years old, doing it again.
 And I’m twenty, when they finally lock him up for fighting dogs.
 And I’m tired and relieved when he gets time added to his sentence for punching a guard, because it means I don’t have to stand up there again and watch my mother’s heart break when all I ever wanted was my family to be safe.
 And still he got paroled.
 “Yeah. I know what it’s like.”
 “You don’t think I can do it, do you? You don’t think I can run the shop?”
 Can she? I don’t know. Tom Ellis didn’t raise no fools. Maybe she’s looking for an out, any excuse to cut and run, and she just needs someone who isn’t her family to give it to her.
 “I don’t think you want to. I don’t think you love the cars, or the work, or this town.” I swallow, hard.
 “Families are fucked up, all of ’em. I get why you want to stay. I just don’t get what hurting yourself and them to prove something does for anyone.”
 She scowls then turns back to the sink and her yoga breathing. My fingers itch to touch her, to comfort her somehow, but I can take a hint. Besides. I don’t even like her.