That’s how Adam Ashworth feels. He’s stuck in a thankless job with a father he loathes, and his secret childhood love is marrying somebody else. In a desperate attempt to forget it all he used a friend in a night of drunken passion.
Golden Oakes’s golden girl, Cassie Burton’s life has been a torment of impossible parental expectations, lies, and secrets. The only constant has been her close friendship with the Oakes brothers, and her kickboxing coach turned boyfriend, Jay.
Now training for the fight of her life, Cassie has to trust in Jay more than ever. But when his demanding ways begin to spill beyond the ring, Adam puts the past behind him and vows to be there to protect, support and comfort Cassie.
Falling in love had been the last thing on their minds, but with life taking them along the unpredictable cliff edges of life, will they be there to catch each other if they fall?
This book discusses issues of emotional, physical and sexual abuse and may be a trigger for some.
Contains adult content, scenes of explicit sexual nature and language some may consider crude or offensive. It is intended for readers aged 18+.
Book two in the Golden Oakes series, but can be read as a standalone.
Disclaimer: Unedited and subject to revision or removal
“So, what are we doing today? Cardio? Weights? ” He started walking towards the locker rooms to change. A small jolt of anticipation raced through me imagining him all hot and sweaty, his arms bulging from the exertion of pushing weights. I bit down on my lip trailing my gaze down his muscular back to his firm arse. God, he had a fine backside.
He stopped suddenly and turned sharply causing me to stumble into him. His hands came up quickly and grabbed my arms, holding me firmly and preventing me from an embarrassing and ungainly arse plant on the floor.
“I think I might start swimming again,” he said, his eyes raking over my body.
Good God. The thought of his already athletic body showcased in a pair of speedo’s, with droplets of water dribbling down his lightly tanned chest had my pulse racing and my tongue begging to reach out for a taste.
It was difficult to decide which visual was better—Adam in swimwear, water droplets trickling down his body, raking a hand through his wet hair. Adam in workout gear, sweaty with muscles bulging and veins popping, and his sounds of exertion… Oh God. Or Adam in one of his hotter than sin suits.
“Are you okay, Cass? You’ve gone a bit pale.” A large palm pressed against my cheek and forehead. “You feel a bit clammy.” The hand moved to my neck. “And your pulse is racing.”
Suddenly, I was lifted off my feet, engulfed in strong arms as Adam carried me toward the private staff area.
Yanking myself from x-rated visions of Adam’s aquatic and other adventures, I shrieked, locking my hands behind his neck.
“What are you doing? I’m fine you nut. Put me down.” I laughed twisting my fingers into the overlong strands of his honey-blonde hair.
“I thought you were ill,” he muttered sliding me down his body, my feet still dangling off the floor. Our faces were now only inches apart, intimately close.
Stormy blue eyes met brown and held, the magnetism between them firm, unyielding. Under my touch his shoulders lifted and fell, his lungs sucking in a deep shuddering breath. A large knot of emotion lodged in my throat when I tried to swallow. For the longest moment, we stood mute, our eyes and the deafening silence communicating a barrage of thoughts and questions.
He shifted me in his arms, the movement jostling my chest against his. A shiver of need misted over my bared flesh as goose bumps, my nipples tightening beneath the cotton of my sports bra.
God, what was I doing? I shouldn’t be lusting after Adam. He was my friend.
I untangled myself from his hold and dropped my feet to the floor. I took two steps back. “I’m fine,” I mumbled forcing myself to appear unaffected and meet his gaze.
Blinking several times, Adam took a moment to come back from the haze of whatever weird cosmic connection it was we’d just shared. A brief shake of his head and a swipe of fingers through his hair, he too took a step back further breaking the invisible threads that had been pulling us together.
A resident of London, UK, E.J. Shortall writes contemporary romantic fiction. Writing characters described as ‘real’ and ‘relatable’, E.J. creates captivating stories that will draw you in a leave you wanting more.
Having worked in education for the better part of twelve years, she decided a change was needed. Following a moment of inspiration, she decided to put pen to paper not expecting anything to come from the few words she had. Soon those few words turned into her first novel, Silver Lining, first published in February 2014. Now, several books later, she feels it is safe to say she loves ‘this writing business’.
She has always enjoyed reading but found it was mostly just something she did on vacation. Then she discovered a certain worldwide best seller that reignited and her passion. Reading quickly became an obsession, and she couldn’t devour books fast enough. The books on her shelves and reading devices now range from sweet, Young Adult romances, to smouldering erotic encounters. If pushed for an answer she would say that sexy rock star romances are her favourite.
Aside from reading and writing, EJ also enjoys dabbling in amateur photography, playing around with graphics and cake decorating.
“I’m on one amazing roller coaster ride at the moment and loving every minute of it. I have met so many new and wonderful people, discovered new music gems to integrate into my stories, and learned so many new skills. I cannot wait to see where this journey takes me.”
If you would like to join E.J. on her journey, please follow or contact her. She would love to hear from you!