Publication Date: April 18, 2017
Genres: Romantic Suspense, Contemporary, Romance
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SYNOPSISLove is blind… Especially when you’ve been abducted. Caught in the dredges of life, Elise had come to the grudging conclusion that mediocrity was all she’d ever have. Until a routine shopping trip turns into a deadly affair. Taken. Two men, one a brute and the other an enigma. A cabin in the woods. One dangerous agenda. Blindfolded and held captive, Elise’s mundane existence just got a whole lot more interesting. Thrust into the unknown, held prisoner by a man with rough hands and a gentle voice, she’s faced with her own demise while struggling against a growing desire for the unacceptable—her captor. Will Elise make out with her life—and heart—intact?
EXCERPTWhat kind of person became attracted to their kidnapper? It was too early for her to claim Stockholm Syndrome, so that just left insanity. Or the sex drought. She hadn’t had a close encounter of the penis variety in far too long to be healthy. Well, she wasn’t about to start with his!A door creaked open, and Elise felt the air change as they stepped into another room, the musty smell of dirt and dust thicker than in the rest of the place. Spinning her around, Manhandler gave her a gentle push, and Elise plunked down onto the edge of the bed, its springs screaming in protest as she bounced and fought against rolling backward into the center of the mattress.“This thing must be ancient,” she commented without thought.“I’d say seventies, at least.”“Seventy years?” Elise screeched in disbelief. She almost leaped clear off again, considering what manner of filth it must harbor.“That’s not much better.”“Suck it up, buttercup.”And so she would. Elise glared behind her blindfold at him, hoping he could at least feel her indignation and resentment. Except she hardly felt it herself, so he probably couldn’t either. Drat. She was a piss poor hostage. Where was her fire? Her raging sense of self-preservation? That snappy attitude all the fictional heroines in her plethora of romance novels had?Left all that back in Neverland, she thought to herself. A self-deprecating smile began to form. Elise had never been much of a fighter. Just a sad and lonely girl living in a lonely world. Blah, blah, blah. Guess I’ll go eat worms.“Whatever you’re planning, don’t,” Manhandler said in a calm manner that belied the threat inherent in his statement.Elise wiped the smile off her face instantly. “I’m not planning anything.”“Right.” He didn’t sound convinced. “Let’s keep it that way, shall we?” His hand smacked her thigh, startling her. “Lie down. Get some sleep.”Elise eased herself down onto her side, grimacing as she thought of all the critters that were probably living among the blankets and within the mattress. God, was the pillow even safe to touch? “Where will you be?”She heard Manhandler move around to the opposite side of the bed, and when he sat down, her body rolled to meet him in the middle. “Right here, buttercup.”Elise gasped, scrambling for the edge of the bed—as far from him as possible without defying his orders.“What,” he said with a laugh. “Did you really think I was going to leave you alone in here, so you could get up to mischief? Not hardly.”That wasn’t exactly what she’d been thinking, but Elise would have done some snooping around, maybe searched for an exit. Not that she expected either man to leave her in any position to get them into trouble. They seemed to be one step ahead at every turn. Turns that were few and far between.Elise froze in place as he settled in behind her. Releasing a little groan of approval, he shocked her to hell and back when he grabbed her around the middle and hauled her back up against his chest. Breath puffing against the back of her neck, Manhandler said in a sleepy voice, “This is for your protection as much as it is mine. Don’t get any ideas, just sleep, and we’ll get along just fine. Deal?”What could she possibly say? No deal? He had her right where he wanted her, leaving Elise no choice but to play the hand she was being dealt. Unable to make her voice work, Elise simply jerked her head in affirmation.“Glad you agree, buttercup.” Within a matter of seconds, he was out cold, his arm a vice holding her in place. And Elise? Well, she wasn’t going to sleep anytime soon.“Seventies as in what decade it’s from,” Manhandler clarified.
J.C. Valentine is the USA Today and International bestselling author of the Night Calls and Wayward Fighters Series and the Forbidden Trilogy. Her vivid imagination and love of words and romance had her penning her own romance stories from an early age, which, despite being poorly edited and written longhand, she forced friends and family members to read. No, she isn’t sorry. Living in the Northwest, she has three amazing children and far too many pets. Among the many hats she wears, J.C. is an entrepreneur. Having graduated with honors, she holds a Bachelor’s in English and when she isn’t writing, you can find her editing for fellow authors. Sign up for J.C.’s newsletter and never miss a thing!