BOOK 1: ALL THESE PIECES OF ME
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Emma’s autism allows her to see the world inside out and right past the physical scars that Brandon had begun to think would be the only thing the world would ever see. Set in Dallas, Texas, this is a Contemporary Romance series with BDSM elements and mature, atypical themes, including physical disfigurement, Autism, and OCD. Each book will be a complete story, no cliffhangers.
To say that I’m ugly is like saying a cemetery is quiet. Okay, maybe parts of me are attractive, sure. I’d gotten more than my share of second, hungry glances from women at clubs. Then I’d turn to the other side and they’d get a nice big glimpse of Quasimodo. Only the desperately drunk or the ‘I can fix you’ chicks took a third look. Not Emma, though. She looked right at my scars and didn’t miss a beat. The typical stares from folks noticing my face just blend into the background noise as I try to comprehend this odd little woman. She’s still and quiet, clutching her teddy bear like it’s nobody’s business. And maybe it’s not. Maybe least of all mine.
There’s more there, I’m sure. Way more. And for the first time, I think I’m going to actually put in the effort to find out what, because I think it may just completely blow my sorry world apart.
The guy walking in front of me is seriously massive. I’d heard that everything is bigger in Texas, but this is absolutely ridiculous. There’s also the matter of his face. He has me both ready to swoon and run screaming in the same crazy second. I’m still not sure which of those options my body has decided on. I think the jury is still out on a lot of things to do with my current state of affairs. I wish I could talk the way that I think instead of stammering through life like a little girl who holds onto a damn teddy bear and continues to obsess over the color pink. I can’t, though. My brain just doesn’t work that way. His gentle brown eyes put me at ease for some reason I haven’t quite worked out yet, and I really want to know his story.
Scars are just part of life and we all have them. Most of us are lucky, though, and have scars we can hide deep down inside. Most of us aren’t forced to wear them on our face.
BOOK 2: OBSESSIVE COMPULSION
In book 2, Ian’s OCD draws him to Charlie at the same time it’s pushing him away from her, but Charlie isn’t about to let him control the way their relationship unfolds.
I’m trying to stop my eyes from staring at her, but that’s like trying to tell my brain to stop worrying about the fact that my apartment door might still be unlocked because I only checked it twelve times this morning instead of eighteen times like I do on Thursdays. Even after twenty-eight years of the same shit, my rituals still find ways to argue with one another. Well, I can only assume that I was checking the latch on my crib when I was a baby, but I’m willing to bet money that I was. I’ve never had my place broken into, but it doesn’t matter. I’ve never had a fire, either, but that doesn’t stop me from making sure all my appliances are unplugged before I go to bed. And I mean all the damn appliances. You think it’s no big deal until you’re trying to crawl behind a dryer at two in the morning while you’re in someone else’s apartment. Yeah. No second date from her.
Girls don’t seem to like a guy who’s a little… obsessive about some things. Okay, everything. A lot. A lot obsessive about everything.
Might as well just let it all out, Rider, while you’re staring like a shopping mall puppy, waiting for her to turn your way, see your sad little expression and wagging tail in the window, and then take the more sane puppy next to you home. The one who’s been licking his butt for an hour like a normal dog should instead of obsessing about how unsanitary it is.
Yes, my brain spends as much time obsessing about these clever little analogies as it does making sure I remember to brush my teeth. Three times. Five on Tuesdays. Only once if it’s raining.
I can’t even have a moment alone to myself to admire Charlie’s fiery red hair from afar, because my own mind won’t leave me the hell alone. Her hair captivates me, though, especially on days like this when the sun is brightly filtering down into the factory through the skylights to reflect on her waves of copper as it falls down her back. To say that I’m a little obsessive over Charlie’s hair is to belittle the fact that I’m just obsessive about Charlie in general.
My mom used to say I was just a mess waiting to happen. Disorder. Chaos. An Oklahoma tornado on two legs with fiery waves of hair trailing behind me.
Nothing in my life has ever been cut and dry. From Emma to Italy, and all the crazy in between, I never have a lack of inspiration for the paint I slap against blank canvasses. Maybe that’s what draws me to Ian. He’s too neat. Too tidy. Too reserved and way too damn uptight. He has a sense of humor, when I can drag it out of him, and he’s one of the most kind men I’ve ever met, but I wish he’d just let lose a little. Get messy and dirty with me.
The man counts light-switch flicks and organizes his desk like it’s a Sudoku puzzle where everything must be in its proper place. He’s also a better man than what I’ve had in my life lately. Maybe a little order could do my chaos some good, and maybe a little tornado-Charlie could bring some much needed upheaval into Ian’s organized world.
BOOK 3: IF YOU STILL WANT ME
In book 3, three lives collide, and it could bring The Stables down with them. This book contains a polyamourous (not menage) relationship.
Victoria hangs my moon. She’s the reason I get up in the morning and try so hard not to screw things up. I know I fail at that all the time, but I try. I love her, but it’s not enough. I’m too stupid, or something, because I just can’t figure it out. Inseparable since we were kids, now suddenly she’s pushing away and nothing I seem to do can pull her back to me.
Sometimes when you love someone, you have to push them away even if it hurts. And it hurts. It hurts so much, but I can’t let him hold onto me. Saul’s never loved anyone but me, but I don’t know if that’s because he’s never tried. I don’t think he knows, either. It’s something he needs to figure out, because when you end up bound to someone for life simply because they were the first person there who gave half a shit, you can come to hate that binding as much as a rope around your neck.
What do I want? I’ve been told what to do for so damn long that I have no idea how to answer that question. All I do know is that a storm is coming. I can feel it in every part of this place that I’ve called home since I got my freedom. Saul and Victoria are heading in opposite directions and pulling The Stables apart at the seams. I think, maybe, they just need someone to connect them again. Someone to help them find the common ground, and maybe they can help me understand the answer to that first question I can never seem to answer.
BOOK 4: PIERCE THE HEART
In book 4, secrets are revealed, leaving Kyle struggling for a hold on his reason, his life and the love he’s had deeply buried in his heart since the first time he saw Sarah.
The Stables pulls together as a family while Sarah faces her demons, her lies and the unbreakable love she has for Kyle. Set in Texas, this is a Contemporary Romance series with BDSM elements and mature, atypical themes. Each book will be a complete story, no cliffhangers.
Everyone is addicted to something. It’s human nature. Part of what makes us tick. People who say they aren’t addicted to at least one thing are just addicted to being in denial, and that’s okay. Me? Well, I’ve been in full-blown acceptance of my many addictions for quite some time. Some of them I hate. Others I deal with. Some I absolutely love. One of them, I can’t make up my mind about – Sarah Levitz.
But sometimes what we want becomes this poisonous, soul-eating reflection of what we can’t have; of what betrayed us, ripped out everything that was good and stomped it into the dirt.
Like the heart that’s not in my chest anymore because she tore it out and buried it in her grandma’s backyard next to the time-capsule we were supposed to dig up together in a future that’s no longer ours.
I know I ain’t smart. I maybe ain’t as bad with learnin’ like my brother Saul, but he did go to U of T while I barely managed my GED. It’s hard – finishing high school while you’re eight months pregnant. Sure, I could’a fit into a graduation gown, but no way in Hell was I gonna waddle my ass across stage so all the two-faced bitches could gawk and whisper.
While others were walking across stage and being handed a roll of paper, I was being handed a beautiful baby girl. When they set her in my arms and the sunlight lit up her sweet, chubby face, I knew I was the luckiest momma alive. That precious angel was mine to cherish, my little Kylie, and damn straight, I was gonna do right by her. Even if I couldn’t do right by no one else.
Even if I couldn’t do right by her father.
BOOK 5: BY THE HORNS
Something’s rotten in Johnson County, and Texas Ranger Cole Carter aims to find out what. What he doesn’t expect to find is a tough county judge who asks him to go undercover at a place that requires a safeword. Judge Bruce Montgomery knew it was a crazy idea from the start, but he’s desperate to discover who’s been blackmailing club members. If he gets closer to the handsome Ranger in the process, then it’s a favorable verdict either way.
I like to think it takes a lot to surprise me. I’ve seen enough strange cases and people in my courtroom to make me think just about anything is possible. Unicorns? Sure, might have actually dated a few. Aliens? It is an awfully big universe. Pigs that can fly? Alright, but they better start making sturdier umbrellas for bigger fellas like me. But, Cole Carter standing in the Giddy-Up parking lot? I can’t believe it; despite the fact I’m looking right at him. He flushes, breaking eye contact with my chest. Yeah, he’d been staring too damn long, too. Not like I wear a tight t-shirt to hide the fact I’m built like my namesake at The Stables.
The Bull. And God help me, I’m seeing red.
I’ve been through negotiations training, marksman certification and participated in hostile threat takedown exercises that made it feel like we were going to war in the middle of San Antonio. Spent years on the beat and undercover, playing the corrupt cop or a lowlife trafficker for SVU operations. Been spit on, shot at while in pursuit, hit a couple times in the vest and once in the leg. Hell, my Captain even tasered us all just so we’d know how it felt. I prefer being shot, in case you’re wondering. But nothing, and I do mean nothing, can prepare a man for the day he’s standing half-naked in a leather harness with a collar around his neck. How the heck did I let Bruce talk me into this? I’ll tell you how – my own damn curiosity and my desire to nail a blackmailing bastard to a wall. I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t underestimated exactly what I was getting myself into.
Book 6: Crows Don’t Sing
Deputy Sheriff James Darcy has been chasing after Jude since high school, when she showed up out of nowhere and gave him a black eye for picking on a freshman. For just as long, Jude has been running away from James and all the things he makes her feel. As Johnson County begins to burn around them in the midst of scandal, they will have to sideline their chase and work together to save The Stables, their friends, and the entire county from the fires of corruption. The corruption in Johnson County runs deep and old, though, and it will force Jude and James to dredge up unwanted memories and face misunderstood pasts if they have any hope of building a future together.
The first thought that crosses my mind as my boot heels clack against the old wooden porch is that I really shouldn’t be here. In fact, I should probably be anywhere but here. God have mercy, I’ve finally lost my damn mind.
Fisting my shaking hand, I knock three times on the door. A heavy sigh exhales as the hand falls back to my side, and my heart races against my chest. So many times, I’ve thought about this moment. About being here where I shouldn’t be. About giving in to what I’ve wanted for so long.
And before this house, this porch and this quaint neighborhood, it was the five trailers over from my mom’s, in Alvarado’s only official trailer park. Back then, we’d both been dirt poor and fighting to raise our heads against circumstances. Back then, Jude still didn’t give me the time of day unless she was beating my ass for being an idiot.
Why is it on Friday nights I can play the Dom as easy as second nature, but the rest of the time I’m dancing to the crack of her whip? I’m a bit of a Switch, I know, but I’m no pure submissive. Except when it comes to Judith, and it’s so damn confusing.
Once again, I’m running. Sitting there, in Crow’s warm, strong arms had set my heart racing. I wonder if he could feel it pounding against my chest; if he knew that samba rhythm was for him.
My heart has always skipped a little beat when he’s near – ever since that first day in the parking lot of Alvarado High, when I punched him in the gut for picking on a freshman. Then, we’d ended up on the same bus home and got off at the same trailer park – the only one in Alvarado’s picturesque rural paradise. He teased me about my ripped jeans and the yellow ribbon in my hair. I gave him a black eye. I swear it was love at first sight.
Twelve years later, and I’m still in love with that damn crow.
Twelve years later, and I’m still running away from him.