Author: Sloan Johnson
Series: , #2
Publisher by: Independent
Published on: October 25, 2013
Genres: Erotic Romance
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?
How many of you read Unexpected Angel & hated Holly? Raise your hand. *hand raised*
How many of you wanted to keep hating that skank-ass bitch…I mean, Holly? *hand raised*
*sigh* I no longer hate Holly. I know it’s probably for the best. Hate is a draining emotion, & in the end, it hurts us more than it hurts others…especially when the people we hate are fictional. (Right now I kinda hate Sloan, though, but it’s only because I have to wait for the next book. 😉 )
Holly is in the hospital because she nearly died in the last book (& I know it’s mean, but I wanted to cheer). She brought her best friend to an abusive ex, because she owed him a shit-ton of moola for drugs. Tommy saw her at the scene lying in a pool of blood & is obsessed with her. He’s been staying with her in the hospital, waiting for her to wake up, & then for her to heal enough to get out of the hospital. She gets well enough that she can go to rehab & meets a yummy shrink (who bears mentioning because he’s yummy). She moves into Tommy’s house, they have some sexy-sexy time, she goes to school, & they live happily ever after. At least I hope they do. This isn’t exactly a cliffhanger as much as it’s open-ended…& as you can imagine, I’m a little irked.
I loved this book. It took me a day to read it (split between 2 days, though, because I can’t seem to stay off of FB). I enjoy stories where you get the opportunity to watch one of the main characters grow. I HATED Holly in the last book. In this one, she hated herself enough that I got over it & actually grew to like the person she’s become, or would have been, if she had never gotten into drugs. I don’t know what to say about Tommy, other than he’s great. He’s not perfect, but he is wonderful. He is dominant, yet sweet. (Someone needs to take hubs, train him to be like Tommy & then return him to me. What, that’s not an option? Damn it!) I loved Holly & Tommy together. He helped her grow strong enough to believe in herself. I’m also a little jealous of his friends. They’re not just friends, they’re family. We should all have friends like them.
“Spanking,” I say, my voice barely audible.
“What was that? You need to speak up.”
“I want you to spank me,” I whisper a little bit louder. I don’t recognize my strained voice.
“Spanking how? You said you weren’t into pain, but now you’re saying you want me to spank you. Do you mean lightly, teasing you as I run my fingers through your pussy. Or are you willing to let me push you to your limit, spanking you hard with my bare hand or possibly a belt, thrusting my fingers into your throbbing core until you come so hard your juices are dripping down your thighs?”
Hearing him list the different ways he could turn my ass red brings my body to life. I feel myself growing wetter with every suggestion, not wanting but needing to feel the sensations he describes.
“I want that,” I admit meekly. As I sit next to him, our bodies barely touching, I resist the urge to climb into his lap, pushing fabric to the side and taking what I need at this moment. “I need you to show me that pain can be pleasure.”
“Are you sure?” He asks sincerely. “I can respect the fact that you said you don’t want pain. I won’t lie and say I don’t enjoy inflicting it to an extent, but if that’s not something you crave, it won’t be fun for either of us.”
I look him in the eye, wanting him to see and feel the sincerity of my words. “You might be the only man I have ever trusted enough to explore that with.”
He wraps his arms around me, nearly pulling me off my stool. “I’m honored that you feel that way, babygirl. What else?” He urges me to continue. I shift in my seat, feeling a damp spot forming in my panties. If the thought of him doing these things to me affects me so deeply, I’m going to be slipping over myself when he’s actually touching my body.
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?”
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.”