Unexpected Protector by Sloan Johnson
Book #2 in Isthmus Alliance Series
RELEASE DATE: SEPT. 26th
Everyone makes mistakes in life. Unfortunately, Holly Richards has become an expert at taking the wrong path in life. This time, she may have gone so far that she has alienated the one person who has always been there for her. Will she be able to make the right decision for once in her life?
Tommy Reed’s world shifted the night he found Holly Richards lying in a pool of blood on the ground. For reasons he can’t explain, he feels the need to protect Holly from her own past. In the process, he’s hoping to also teach her that there is more to D/s than releasing pent up emotions.
Life isn’t easy for the former-junkie and the cop. Some of those closest to Tommy are less than thrilled with his devotion to Holly. Those who pressured Holly into her former life are worried she’ll share what she knows. Is there any way for both of them to come away from the situation unscathed?
Goodreads (Unexpected Protector, Book #2):
Tasha Skinner finally shed the baggage of a failed marriage. Now, she’s looking forward to a night of margaritas and man-bashing. Tasha’s friends have other plans, including Leather, Lace and liberation.
Dylan Caprese didn’t want to go to Marquee, but he and his friends were on a mission. They took it upon themselves to make sure things didn’t get out of hand when wannabe Doms mixed alcohol with playtime at the monthly Leather and Lace night.
From the moment he set eyes on Tasha, he knew there was something different about her. She wasn’t some bondage babe who thought she knew what it meant to be into BDSM. She was much, much worse; she was innocent and trusting. He can tell she is something precious.
When Tasha’s past threatens to destroy her, Dylan begins to realize that while their paths have never crossed, their lives most definitely have. Will he be able to save her before it’s too late?
Goodreads (Unexpected Angel, Book #1):
About The Author:
Sloan is a Midwestern mom who began writing nearly seven years ago as a way to make money while staying home with her daughter. Now, with two kids in tow and having written more articles on how to assemble various pieces of furniture than she can count, she is reaching to make her dreams come true.
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I don’t know why I’m here. I walk into her room with a cup of coffee and a bagel every day and sit with her until late at night. The nurses think I’m the compassionate boyfriend, not willing to leave her side.
The truth is, I’m no one to her.
“Holly, I don’t know if you can hear me,” I whisper in her ear, wrapping my hand around her fingers. “You need to wake up. Tasha’s starting to think you’re slipping away but I told her she’s wrong.”
There’s no response. There hasn’t been for the past two weeks and I’m starting to worry there never will be. The first ten days, they kept her in a medically-induced coma so she wouldn’t suffer from the drug withdrawal. They started easing her off the medication a few days ago and she should be awake by now. The doctors are now classifying her as being in a “vegetative state” because she’s breathing on her own.
If only she would give us some sign that she’s still in there…
I reach for bottle of lotion beside the bed. Every day, I massage her hands and arms, hoping that my touch will cause her to open her eyes and say something. My fingers trace the outline of every flower inked from just below her elbow up to her shoulder. Her half-sleeve gives her a hard exterior from a distance, but upon closer inspection, the tattoos form a magnificently detailed garden on her pale skin.
As I take her hand in mine, preparing to work the lotion into her fingers, I feel her jerk away from me. Startled, I look to the head of the bed and see her eyes open, staring at me.
“Hey, sleepy,” I say, my throat dry and raspy from the recycled air in the hospital. “You had us scared for a while.”
My body feels pulled toward the ground by lead weights, I can barely move. Even if not for the pressure, everything feels stiff. As I assess my situation, I hear voices around me, arguing. I focus on my breathing, trying to keep it steady so they won’t know I’m awake. If I open my eyes, I’ll have to face him and I’m not ready to do that.
“I’ve already arranged to help her get clean, I don’t see why you think we owe her anything beyond that.” I may not know Dylan well, but it doesn’t take a genius to know he’s pissed off. But at whom?
“Dylan,” a deep male voice warns. I’m trying to figure out why that voice sounds familiar to me. “Do you really mean to tell me you’ve never fucked up?”
“Like this?” He sneers. “No, I’ve never almost gotten myself and someone I claim to care about killed because I was so fucked up I couldn’t think straight.”
The words are completely true, but that doesn’t make them sting any less. While I have no clue what day it is or how long I’ve been asleep, I remember everything that led to me being here. I wish this was one of those times when the movies had it right, that I had no clue what happened to me.
“Dylan, you’re not being fair,” Tasha sobs. Her voice is further away than the men. Knowing she’s in the room causes an internal struggle. I want to see her, to apologize to her, to beg her to forgive me, but I’m not sure I deserve her forgiveness. I’m the one who led her into the arms of her ex-husband in a feeble attempt to save myself.
“Tasha,” Dylan scolds her in a low voice. “You’re the only reason I’m even standing here having this conversation. Don’t push your luck tonight.”
“Dylan, calm down,” the deep voice encourages. There’s no one in my life I can think of who would be sticking up for me this way, so who is he? “Take a look at your woman. Do you see how much this hurts her? How torn she is? Don’t make this even harder on her. Holly hasn’t always been the mess you know her as…”
“And how would you know? You’re the one who told me she was bad news. Now, all of a sudden you’re saying she’s not really a messed up junkie?”
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