WIN one of 5 ARCs of Give Me Strength (Book #2 of the Give Me series) – hosted by Reviews by Tammy & Kim and Book Addict Mumma!
This is your chance to read it by 4 September 2013 (actual release date 16 September 2013)!!
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Quinn Salisbury doesn’t think she’s cut out for this whole living thing. Even as a young girl she struggled. Just when she thinks she’s found a way to leave her violent past behind her, the only thing that’s kept her going is ripped away, leaving her damaged and heartbroken.
Four years later, she is slowly rebuilding her life and lands a job as an assistant band manager to Jamieson, the hot new Australian act climbing their way to the top of the charts. There she meets Travis Valentine, the charismatic older brother of her boss, Mac.
From his commanding charm to his confidence and passion, Travis is everything Quinn believes is too good for her, and despite her apprehension, she finds their attraction undeniable and intense.
When her past resurfaces, it complicates their relationship. Instead of reaching out for help, Quinn pushes Travis away, until a staggering secret is revealed that leaves her fighting for her very life.
Torn between running and opening her heart to the man determined to have her, can Quinn find the strength within herself to fight for her future?
READ AN EXCERPT:
Hands in his pockets, Travis shrugged and walked towards me. “Have I given you enough space yet?”
“Yeah.” Leaning his hip casually against the table, he reached out and brushed a lock of hair from my face.
“Space for uh, what?”
“Us. I don’t know if you’re ready for what this is between us, but I can’t seem to make myself leave you alone.”
I shook my head slightly. “I don’t…”
Travis cupped my cheeks in his hands and leaned in. “You’re so guarded and wary, Quinn. I can understand why, but maybe space is not what you need.”
“What do I need?” I breathed, my heart thundering in my chest.
He pressed a sweet kiss on my mouth and against my lips whispered, “Me.”
Pulling back, his hands remained, his eyes taking in every inch of my face as though committing it to memory.
I ducked my head from his gaze.
“Don’t,” he said gruffly. “You’re so beautiful.”
“Travis,” I whispered, both warmth and confusion warring within me. Confusion won. Why did he think I was so special? I had nothing to offer except a sordid, violent past and a broken future. I was timid, unsure of myself, and emotionally unstable. The sleek, flashy women I’d seen at the Florence Bar were a much better fit for him than I was.
I took a step back and his hands fell away.
“I wish I could see what you seem to because I’m nothing like those beautiful girls you were with at that bar. What’s here,” I waved a hand at my face, “doesn’t matter because that’s not what I see. I see what’s in here…” I thumped a hand against my chest “…and what’s in here is ugly, and I live with it every day.”
“Is that what you think?” He shook his head at me, swallowing hard. “Quinn,” he said hoarsely. “I watched you. From the moment you walked in that bar, I saw you. Amongst all the shallow and the fake, you looked like spring, and then you got close and I was right because you smelled like jasmine. When you turned around to leave I thought I was wrong because why did someone as sweet as spring think that life wasn’t meant for her? There was no light in your eyes, and somehow, even though I barely knew you, it left an ache in my chest. How could I let you walk away?”
“You heard me say that?”
“That life wasn’t meant for you?”
I nodded and closed my eyes.
He sighed heavily and reaching out, trailed his fingers through the wild curls of my hair. “Life is hard, Quinn, and the hardest part is being yourself in a world of people trying to make you someone you’re not. I saw you standing apart from everything that was the same, and that was beautiful, not sad. When I was holding you and inside of you, I watched your eyes come alive, and fuck spring because you were hotter than summer, and I want to see that again.” His voice was low and as I opened my eyes and met his, he brushed his thumb across my lips. “I want to see you smile, and I want to touch you again and feel you burn brighter than the sun while I’m doing it.”
My heart swelled until I thought it would beat its way out of my chest. I reached up and covered his hand with my own.
I stood there, maybe breathing—I couldn’t be sure—but wanting to tell him that no one had ever said anything so beautiful to me in all my life. That no one had ever looked at me the way he was doing right now—as though nothing else existed but me.
My lips parted as I tried to find the words, and at the invitation, his mouth slammed down on mine. I moaned at the wild force as he thrust his tongue in my mouth, arms winding tightly around me until I was sure I’d never breathe again and didn’t care to. Travis lifted me and turned, backing towards the couch until he was sitting down, my legs straddling him. He groaned as my tongue rubbed against his, greedily wanting more and fearing it would never be enough. My hands slid up the hard ridges of his chest, reaching his neck and twining through his hair until he broke the kiss, breathing heavy as he shifted his lips to my neck, his tongue licking a path downwards as my body burned.
“Oh God,” I moaned breathlessly, my back arching.
“Want you so much,” he muttered, slipping his hands beneath my tight shirt, frantically pushing my bra out of the way until warm naked skin filled his palms.
Someone’s phone rang. We both ignored it. Instead, Travis returned his lips to mine, his hips grinding into me along with his tongue.
The phone kept ringing.
“Shit,” he muttered, and it stopped as he pulled away.
It was good that he did because there was no way I could. He could have ripped off my pants and filled me right then and there, and I would have been his. That was not good. Anyone could have walked in. In fact, we were both supposed to be working.
I informed him of that very fact and he chuckled. “Maybe you are, but we have enough security out there that I’m not really needed. I’m just here for you.”
Travis cocked a brow. “You’re a full time security job yourself.”
My mouth fell open. “I am not.”
His eyes dropped to my lips. “Careful doing that. It seems to get you in trouble.”
I scrambled off his lap, brushing at my hair and tugging my bra back into place. Nodding at the table where my iPad and pen sat, I said, “I need to do…some stuff.”
Travis stood and my cheeks heated at the obvious bulge he was adjusting in his pants.
I tried not to look. “Maybe you shouldn’t go out there with uh, that.”
He winked. “That is not gonna go down if I stay in here. I’ll leave you to your stuff, but tomorrow night you’re all mine. I’ll pick you up at six.”
“You mean like a…date?”
Travis gave me a short nod.
I’ve never been on a date before. Even with Ethan, most of our time together had been spent at his house, at the beach, or at school.
His eyes widened and I cringed. “Did I just say that out loud?”
“Uh huh.” He reached the door and opened it, letting the wild beat of music pump through. “Don’t worry. I’ll be sure to make it good for you,” he said with a wink and shut the door behind him.
I shivered and practised deep breathing for several moments. Minutes later, the door flew open and Mac strode through. She eyeballed the walls of the dressing room with exaggerated fashion. “If these four walls could talk, I bet they’d have a lot to say, but unfortunately they can’t.” She shook her head in mock sadness before narrowing those knowing eyes on me. “So spill.”
“How do you even know?”
“Because my brother came back all tight lipped, but his eyes were telling me a different story.”
“Oh? What story was that?”
“The same story they told when he was twelve and got the cadet go-kart he’d been hounding our parents about since he was eight.”
I averted my eyes because if she saw all that in his, imagine what she saw in mine?