There's a certain magic about release day, no matter how many titles an author has published. This one holds even more for me. Not only is it coming on a holiday weekend, for the holidays, but this whole project is very special. Collaborating with Alicia Dean and our Dyann Love Barr was incredibly challenging, but oh so fun as well. Nothing like sitting down to pow-wow characters and plots and knowing we are all going to use the same rough elements, then seeing each one take shape and come to life individually.
The whole series is awesome, if I do say so myself, and the reviews coming in are proving that.
Way to go Dyann and Alicia!
Now, for a little tidbit about my book, the third book in the Three Kings Series.
The Three Kings, Book 3
When a man's dreams are in ruin, all he needs is someone to believe...
Struggling Thoroughbred breeder, Clint King, hasn’t been home for Christmas in five years. Like his brothers, Alex and Heath, life has kept him away. Clint’s farm is barely hanging on. His prize mare's due to foal any day, and in the wake of his father’s death, Clint can’t stand the idea of returning. The memories are too much, let alone his father’s imposing shadow. Except, Alex is getting married on Christmas Eve, and their mother’s put her foot down. She’ll have her boys at home. With his mare in tow behind him, Clint prepares to meet a sister he’s never known and Alex’s unexpected triplets. The one salvation he looks forward to is childhood companion, tomboy Jesse Saurs. Yet when he reunites with Jesse, he uncomfortably discovers she’s become all woman.
Jesse Saurs has everything she needs – financial security, a home, and a foster child who’s about to become her son. She’s spent two years breaking down Ethan’s emotional barriers, and with the final hearing scheduled just before Christmas, this year promises to make his dreams come true. When she learns Clint and his brothers are returning, she anticipates a holiday reunion that’s sure to entertain Ethan. But on the night of Clint’s return, the ‘brother’ she expected leaves her trembling after just a single hug. Even worse, Ethan makes it clear Clint's not welcome.
Will this Christmas destroy what's left of hopes and dreams, or will it give the three the gift they've all been longing for?
“You’d like him, Ethan. He was a lot of fun when we were younger.
”“Uh huh.” Noncommittal, he answered in a flat tone.
Jesse lapsed into silence, sensing she walked a thin line. Still, she couldn’t let the subject rest. There had to be a way to convince Ethan that Clint wasn’t a threat to his stability. Until she achieved that, she couldn’t just let go and let him harbor hate. Clint didn’t deserve it. Cautiously, she ventured, “Horses could be a lot of fun.”
“You might give it a try. Something new and different. It can’t hurt, at any rate. If you don’t like Angel, well, then you’ve at least given it a shot.”
He tossed his controller in front of him, his interest in the game lost. She braced herself for the inevitable, knowing full well, whatever came out of his mouth next would hurt.
“Give it up, would you? I don’t want to know him. I don’t have to like your friends.”
He scooted away like she’d cracked a whip in his face. “Enough! Don’t you get it? I don’t give a fuck about him.”
“What? Too crude for you, Jesse?”
She flinched, drew in a deep breath and held it. Jesse. He hadn’t called her by her first name for over a year. Exhaling slowly, she set her controller down and slid off his bed. Though she knew in her heart, too many years of pain drove his emotions, the barb stung. On the same hand, she’d pushed. Ethan couldn’t tolerate pushing. He had to come to things on his own time.
Foregoing the lecture, she crossed to the door. “Goodnight, Ethan.”
He said nothing. Merely picked up his controller and set the options back to one-player. On a heavy sigh, Jesse left his room.
Inside hers, she clicked on the lamp by her bedside and reclined against her pillows. Tears brimmed in her eyes. She closed them to keep the salty flow at bay and curled her fingers into the sheets. In a thousand years, she never would have imagined that the only man she’d ever truly wanted would be Clint. In his arms, she felt safe. Protected. Undefeatable. He lit her up in ways she had only begun to comprehend, and it seemed as if fate determined to work against her.
If she weren’t careful, she’d lose Ethan. Every agonizing step she’d made would crumble under the weight of his fears. He’d close up, inevitably turn back to the life he’d known before he entered hers, and she couldn’t stomach the thought of where that would lead him. Jail, if he were lucky. Dead, if he wasn’t.
Yet, shouldn’t she be allowed some personal happiness as well? There were so many unwritten rules to parenthood – sacrifice for the children, put all personal goals aside, give up everything to see to their happiness. She’d exchange her life for Ethan’s in a heartbeat, but Clint offered something no child could. Even if it was only temporary, and this giddy feeling that brimmed in her soul would end when he left, he promised fulfillment of a need that ran so deep she couldn’t name it.
A tear slipped between her eyelashes and trickled down her cheek. She sniffled to hold the rest in check. She never should have let him kiss her a second time tonight. The first had been catastrophic enough. The second…
She wouldn’t be satisfied with anything but all of him after that second kiss. Instinct demanded she leap at what lay in front of her. Hang on to it until it burned itself out with his inevitable departure. Logic, on the other hand, warned her that if she did, she’d lose the one thing that mattered most – her son.