Sebastian Stark just isn’t cut out for normal life with a girlfriend in the hot and humid city of Miami. All in all, he’d rather be back on the island where it was just the two of them, and he could keep everything in balance. The bar down the street tempts him daily, but he’s determined to remain strong. Adjusting to normal life is difficult, but Bastian is doing his best to keep himself together and the nightmares away. Raine’s happy, and that’s what matters to him the most. But not all nightmares can be driven away. When Bastian’s former mentor comes into the picture and presents him with an ultimatum, Bastian slips into old habits. Though he wants to shield Raine from the truth, the shady circumstances of his past form into a hurricane he can’t control. In an effort to protect her, Bastian has no choice but to throw himself back into his old job – death match tournaments – just one last time. Dropped into the arctic wilderness with weapons loaded, Bastian has to compete against representatives from major crime lords all over the states. He’s studied his competition, he knows their weaknesses, and he’s ready to battle for the woman he loves. There’s only one opponent in the mix that causes him any concern. In order to guarantee Raine’s safety, Bastian will be pitted against the key hit man for Chicago’s largest mob family – a guy who’s known as one hell of a shot. A guy named Evan Arden.
Genre Romantic Suspense/ Erotica
Publication Date June 19th 2013
Breathing through my nose, I tried to inhale deeply and let the air out slowly. It just made my chest hurt. I gripped Raine tighter and tucked my head into her shoulder. Soft fingers caressed the back of my neck. “Bastian?” I couldn’t answer. “What’s wrong, baby?” “Nothing,” I croaked. The word was utterly ridiculous. Raine moved her fingers down to my chin and pushed my face to look at her. I did so reluctantly, and as soon as I met her eyes with mine, some of the tension faded, and I could breathe right again. “Nightmare?” I nodded. “Can you tell me about it?” I shook my head, and Raine nodded in response. She moved one of her arms around my shoulder and the other around my head. She held me against her chest as I tried to regain some semblance of sanity. Raine knew me so well, it frightened me. Whereas she used to press for more answers, she was now quick with yes-or-no questions I could answer without speaking, and she knew when to give me a little mental space. Eventually I’d tell her what the dream was about, and she knew that. Still, even when I heard her reasons, sometimes it didn’t make the feeling of inadequacy go away. Maybe it was all from the lack of affection during my fucked up childhood, like Raine thought, or maybe it was because the one man who did offer me any kind of parental connection was also the man who taught me how to be a killer—a damn good one. Maybe it was because I missed being a killer. “I can’t do this,” I whispered to Raine as my throat and mouth went dry. “I want a drink so fucking bad.” “I know, baby,” she replied, “but you’re stronger than that.” I closed my eyes a moment and shook my head vigorously. “Only on the outside.” I met her eyes again. “You have more strength inside than I do.” She moved her fingers into my hair and brushed it away from my sweaty forehead. “You have more than you know,” she said. “You work at it every day, and every day you get stronger on the inside too.” Everything in my head wanted to deny it. I didn’t feel strong. I just felt like drinking or fucking. “I wanna fuck you,” I said. I saw the little twinge in her eye at the phrase but couldn’t bring myself to regret it. “Always so crass,” she muttered. I fought with my head for a way to explain. “When I’m inside you, everything changes,” I told her. “It’s not about getting my dick wet; it’s about being so close to you that I can feel your strength in me. When I feel your arms on my back, and you hold me against you, that’s when I feel strong.”
About the Author
Shay Savage lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with her husband, two children, and a variety of household pets. She is an accomplished public speaker, and holds the rank of Distinguished Toastmaster from Toastmasters International. When not writing, she enjoys science fiction movies, and loves soccer in any and all forms. During the fall, she coaches her daughter’s soccer team. Though she currently works in the technology field, her school background is in psychology, and she brings a lot of that knowledge into the characters within her stories.
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Shay comes up with some of the best characters I have ever read. This book has Evan Arden and Sebastian Stark. I think I died and went to readers' heaven. I mean what is it about a guy who straddles the line between 'wanting to be better' and 'past gone bad' that fires up my insides? Yes they have issues obviously.
Sometimes it just boiled inside of me.The fucking anger."I don't know that I can control those...those urges. There's a need inside of me to lash out. It's so fucking deep, and I can't explain it; I just know it's there. As far back as I can remember, it's always been there."
If I were ever in a life or death situation, I would want them on my side. This time they are put up against each other. Gasp! But I love both men. This cannot be!
Surviving Raine is Bastian's series so I'm gonna focus on him. Poor guy—Can he still be thought of in that manner after all he has done? I say yes.—So, poor guy just cannot catch a break. He wants to feel normal, to be away from all the bullshit, to have his girl...Really he just wants to go back to the island, where he felt peace, where outside life didn't invade his relationship, where Raine only needed him. He really does love that girl. When a tough killer speaks of someone the way he does of her, it touches me more.
With this angle, we could look right into each other's eyes, and I could feel her inside of me as much as I could feel myself inside of her.
I had a whole range of emotions while reading this book, and I welcomed every moment of it.
I appreciate how the men have real grit. I also relish how everything is realistic as it can be. Nothing is over romanticized in this series. The good, bad, ugly, pretty, dirty and clean are all given voice. Of course I'm talking about the living, the surviving, the fighting, etc, but I also am talking about the kid. Usually they overly cute a kid, but it makes the exchange feel unnatural. The kid in this book acts just like real kids do so I liked that.
Basically, I liked every word, and you should read the book. It's one of my top reads for the year.