Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Relentless Habit - Karen Renee

Relentless Habit
Karen Renee
(O-Town, #1)
Publication date: September 1st 2020
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance


I moved to Orlando for a fresh start.

Nobody could know my secret.

Catching the attention of the hottest DJ in all of Orlando wasn’t in the plan.

He’s got moves, and they’re not just good. They are good.

Like the beats he spins in the booth, I fall fast for him and his crazy family.

When he finds out about my past, it won’t just break my heart but also crush my soul.


The third time I saw her at a crowded club, I had to have her.

After our first kiss, I knew she was a habit I would never want to break.

Knowing what she hid from me reinforces what I’ve known for so long. Women cannot be trusted.

Even knowing the worst, I can’t stay away from her.

But when push comes to shove, will I be able to keep her safe?

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Author Bio:

Karen Renee is the award-winning author of the Riot MC series, the Beta series, and upcoming O-Town series. She has been writing since she was a teen, but has only recently brought her dream to life. Karen spent years working in the wonderful world of advertising, banking, and local television media research. She is a Jacksonville native, as well as a proud wife and mother. When she’s not at the soccer field or cooking, you can find her at her local library, the grocery store, in her car jamming out to some tunes, or hibernating while she writes and/or reads books.

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My Review

Although this is the first in a new series, it does link to previous books and series by Karen Renee. I think if you have read those, then you'll be pleased to see some of the characters reoccurring in this series. I haven't read them, so I can confidently tell you that this works fine as a stand-alone book too.
I do like heroes and heroines that aren't necessarily straightforward and clean-cut and that certainly applies to Cecilia in this book. Not only is she a recovered drug addict, but she has also worked as a prostitute for a period of time. Our hero Brock has to not only contend with coming to terms with Cecilia's past but also has to deal with her incredibly low self-esteem and feelings of inadequacy. I thought that most of this part of the story was dealt with well. It wasn't dismissed as something that once he knew about it and decided to continue the relationship it was all fine. They both had other things to deal with throughout the story.
Brock is a real sweetheart, which is what Cecilia really needs if she is going to be able to have a relationship. They work well together and it's quite nice seeing his protective streak. Cecilia and Brock work well together as a couple. He is very understanding, but he does have issues himself that he addresses as the relationship develops.
This is an enjoyable and entertaining read and I'd certainly be happy to check out the next book in the series, which focuses on Brocks younger brother Gabe. 

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Sunday, 27 September 2020

Try as I Smite - Abigail Owen


Try As I Smite (Brimstone Inc., #4)Try As I Smite by Abigail Owen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Brimstone Inc is a fun series of short paranormal romances. Although I am sure that they would work fine as standalone romances, I think that they are probably really better if you read the series in order. That is particularly true with this one, as it features Delilah, the owner of Brimstone Inc. In the previous books, we have seen her helping out her various clients, but she has remained quite a mysterious character. Now we finally find out what she is, what her story is and why she is a perfect match for her hero Alisdair.
Although this is a quick read, there's still plenty of time for the story to unfold with lots of heat and chemistry between Delilah and Alasdair. They work well together, in more ways than one and this makes a great new instalment in the Brimstone Inc series.
This world is linked to the Dragon shifter series' also by Abigail Owen. Although there hasn't been a direct crossover as yet, they are all part of the same world. If you haven't read any of those yet, then this series might be a good place to start. I'm not sure if there's more to come in the Brimstone Inc series, but I'm looking forward to finding out if there is.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Monday, 21 September 2020

Her Wicked Marquess - Lisa Torquay


Can there ever be real love between a powerful lord and the actress he took as a mistress?

A year ago, Hester Green's fascination with Lord Worcester led her to accept his proposition to be his mistress, her first foray into the delights of the bedroom. And what delights! Every time they spent the night together, he made her even more addicted to his prowess. But now the gossipmongers are abuzz with his impending betrothal to a duke's daughter. That is too much to swallow, and she severs their liaison even though it wrenches her insides to do so.

Drake, the Marquess of Worcester, has no intention of bending to his mother's manipulation. Even less marry the girl the dowager spread rumors as being his intended. And he has zero intention to allow it to damage a perfectly convenient arrangement with the woman he can't get enough of. But Hester moves out of the house he bought her—and out of his life. He'll find ways to keep her close, though the woman is revealing to be more of a rebel and less of the meek mistress she once was.

My review

Her Wicked Marquess: Imperious Lords 4
Her Wicked Marquess: Imperious Lords 4 by Lisa Torquay
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There are many many historical romances that are very similar. Lord meets young Lady, they fall in love, have a few problems along the way and then happily ever after. Her Wicked Marquess is a little different. We join the romance, not at the beginning, but after a year of Hester living as the Marquess of Worcester's mistress. On hearing that he is about to be married, she breaks off her arrangement with him, not being willing to share him. He then pursues her and tries to win her back.
Not only is the romance in this story unconventional, but I think that the whole story is. Drake, our hero is a bit full of himself to begin with and it's only when Hester stands up for herself that he really sees her for who she is and what she means to him. It's clear from the beginning to us at least, that they are both in love with one another. It takes a little longer for them to realise it. For Drake, everything has been fine, why would he want to change anything. For Hester, she has been seeing herself as an object or a possession where Drake is concerned. Of course, for many mistresses, this would have been the reality. Even Drake himself tells us that in the past he tired of the women he took as lovers quickly, sometimes after only a few short weeks of an arrangement.
It's unusual for a romance to touch on this side of things. Mistresses, if mentioned at all are something for the hero to get rid of quickly and even in some cases become the villain of the story.
This is an interesting read with a satisfying romance. If you are looking for something a little bit different to the vast majority of historical reads out there, then I don't think that you will go far wrong with this one.

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Sunday, 20 September 2020

Leave Me Breathless - Cherrie Lynn

Leave Me Breathless (Ross Siblings, #3)Leave Me Breathless by Cherrie Lynn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the first of the Ross Siblings series I have read. Although it's clear that there are recurring characters in this series, I enjoyed it as a standalone read. This is an opposites attract novel, with our hero and heroine having different interests and ways of life. Macy is a country loving horserider from a wealthy background. Seth is a much-inked tattoo artist and guitar player in a metal band. While their worlds don't really belong together, it is clear that when they get together, they work really well.
As well as trying to navigate the differences in their worlds, Seth and Macy both have ex-partners to deal with, who may, on paper at least, look like more ideal matches.
I enjoyed the romance between this pair. To begin with they both try to make out that neither of them is looking for a longterm relationship. Macy wants to walk on the wild side and Seth is just drawn to her. It soon becomes clear that there is much more than that between them emotionally.
This was a good read with a few twists and turns before they sort out what they actually want from one another. I do prefer it when an ex-girlfriend isn't portrayed as a total psycho, but that was just a small niggle with this one. Ultimately, the relationship between Seth and Macy worked well.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Tuesday, 15 September 2020

He Owns My Heart - Evie Drae

He Owns My Heart
Evie Drae
(Owned Heart, Body, & Soul #1)
Publication date: August 11th 2020
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, LGBTQ+, Romance

2019 Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart® Finalist in Contemporary Romance

2018 Romance Writers of America® Heart-to-Heart 1st Place Winner in Erotic Romance

2018 Romance Writers of America® Gateway to the Best 2nd Place Winner in Single Title/Contemporary Series

Only true love can free a captive heart.

Landon Jenks, retired four-time Golden Glove-winning shortstop for the Chicago Cubs, is lonely, heartbroken, and in desperate need of simple human contact. Trapped in the sticky fine print of an ironclad contract that forbids him from revealing his very-much-single status until the season finale of his reality show airs, he calls an elite male escort service that caters to the rich and wretched.

Accustomed to servicing his often less than savory clients at more upscale locales, twenty-six-year-old Toby Carmichael is surprised when his handler sends him to a run-down motel off I-55. But “surprise” doesn’t come close to describing the shock that rocks his system when a delightful stuttering mess covered in tattoos and nearly ten years his senior stumbles into the room—and right into his heart.

For the first time since Toby was forced into the life of prostitution, a kiss sparks a desire that has nothing to do with money and everything to do with genuine chemistry and the faintest beginnings of something so much more. But Toby’s dark past and troubled present make it impossible to see a future with Landon. And when the truth comes to light, a horrified and helpless Landon is determined to save Toby at all costs.

Content Warnings: Discussion of childhood verbal abuse by an adult survivor, homophobia from a close family member, discussion of previous self-harm/cutting behaviors by an adult survivor, prostitution with dubious consent (all interactions between the main characters have full consent and there are no on-page depictions of dub-con situations), consensual and experimental Domination/submission play between mostly-novice characters, mild violence between a main character and antagonist, and human trafficking associated with illegal drugs (nothing explicit on-page, only discussions related to and psychological/mental ramifications of addressed in moderate detail).

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Author Bio:

Evie Drae is a registered nurse by day and an award-winning male/male romance writer by night. She has won first place in seven Romance Writers of America® (RWA®) competitions, including the prestigious title “Best of the Best” in the 2018 Golden Opportunity Contest. She is a double finalist in the 2019 Golden Heart®, in both the Contemporary Romance and Romantic Suspense categories, and finished as a second-place runner-up in four additional RWA contests.

One of Evie’s favorite things to do is encourage her fellow writers. To that end, she started the #writeLGBTQ and #promoLGBTQ hashtags on Twitter to support and promote LGBTQ+ authors and allies while providing a safe space to connect and grow as a community. She is married to the love of her life, is the mother of three wonderful fur babies, and runs almost entirely on coffee and good vibes.

Evie loves to link up with fellow writers and readers. You can reach her directly at EvieDrae@gmail.com or find her on her social media accounts listed below. Twitter is where she’s most active but be sure to check out her blog too. She focuses on reviews for LGBTQ+ authors and allies with the occasional quirky advice/recommendation post just to toss things up.

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My Review

I didn't realise when I started this that the book is actually the first in a trilogy that includes the same main characters. When I did discover this, I was a little concerned that I would be left with a cliff hanger and dying to know what was going to happen next. Although there is clearly far more of this story to come, it does actually reach some kind of conclusion that at least gives you a little breathing space and sanity while you wait for the second instalment.
The book itself has a huge amount of warnings about the content. While I think that it is important to warn people about what they may face, I think that some of these were a little unnecessary. Don't be put off thinking that this book is too heavy or too dark. Yes, there are darker themes and both Landon and Toby have faced some pretty bad stuff in their past, but the story itself still has it's lighter and more gentle moments. 
Toby and Landon make a great couple, there are moments where I'd like to grab them both and just tell them to keep talking to one another, but that's often the case with romance books. For the most part they do communicate well and consent is a big part of their story. Probably even more obvious for them, due to what they have both dealt with in the past.
Overall this was a really interesting read and I loved learning more about their relationship. As mentioned before, it's obvious that there is more to come for them and other things to deal with. But, I was still left with a contented smile when I reached the end of He Owns My Heart. Now it's just a case of waiting to see what will happen next for this well-matched couple. 

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Monday, 14 September 2020

The Billionaire's Betrayal - Carmen Falcone

The Billionaire's BetrayalThe Billionaire's Betrayal by Carmen Falcone
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the third book in the Highest Bidder series and the second that I have read. It works as a standalone novel and you really don't need to have read either of the other two books first. This latest instalment is a little different. The first two books are about women who decide to sell their virginity to the highest bidder. I'm not usually a fan of virgins taking their first sexual steps, but the book that I have read was well written and worked well. This time we are focused on Madam Alexa, who runs the virgin auctions. An ex-client died in a car crash after she should have been part of her auction and now her half brother Brookes is looking for answers as to what happened. When he and Alexa meet, the sparks between them fly.
There is plenty of heat and romance in this book. There are lots of quite full-on sex scenes, but they don't feel at all gratuitous and work well showing the heat and passion between our hero and heroine. Alongside this is also the mystery of what has happened to Brookes sister. There are a few surprises and plot twists here, although I had guessed where it was going by the time we reached there.
Overall this is a satisfying and entertaining read with a suspense element alongside the hot romance that builds between Alexa and Brookes.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Friday, 11 September 2020

A Whisper of Treason - Lynne Connolly

A Whisper of Treason (The Daring Dersinghams Book 4)A Whisper of Treason by Lynne Connolly
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'm reading the Daring Dersinghams series completely out of order, but I don't think that really matters. Having finished book one a week or so ago, I've now read book four. I'll have to go back for the others in the series.
This book deals with Delphi Dersingham and Adam, Duke of Kilsyth. Now that her triplet sisters are married, Delphi remains the only member of the Dersingham family who hasn't married. She did expect to be proposed to by the Duke of Kilsyth but he vanished without giving her word of where he was going and leaving her subject to the ridicule of London society after being abandoned. Now in Rome, to distance herself from the gossip, she finds herself back in his company and just as attracted to him as ever.
This is a fun read with treason and intregue alongside the usual romance elements. I don't know a great deal about the Old Pretender and Young Pretender in exile or Georgian history in general. It is a fascinating period though and added to the richness of this book. I enjoy historical romances as much fo the history as for the romance and this series has a great sense of time.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Wednesday, 9 September 2020

Machiavellian - Bella Di Corte

Bella Di Corte
(Gangsters of New York, #1)
Publication date: May 8th 2020
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense

I hungered to be seen.

There were three things I knew about Capo Macchiavello:

He was gorgeous.
He was reclusive.
He was considered one of New York’s most savage animals.

And he wanted me as his wife. A simple arrangement – you do for me, I do for you. Nothing owed, no expectations. Except for one: never leave.

Life was never that simple, though. By the age of twenty-one, I was parentless, jobless, and homeless, and I had come to learn the hard way that nothing was ever free. Even kindness comes with strings.

Capo might’ve been the only man to ever see me, but I had made a vow to myself: I would never owe anyone anything. Most of all, the man I called boss.

I killed to stay hidden.

Mariposa Flores thought she owed nothing to no one, but she owed everything…to me, the ghost the world had once called The Machiavellian Prince of New York.

Machiavellian is the first of three books set in the savage world of the Gangsters of New York series.

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Author Bio:

Bella Di Corte has been writing romance for seven years, even longer if you count the stories in her head that were never written down, but she didn’t realize how much she enjoyed writing alphas until recently. Tough guys who walk the line between irredeemable and savable, and the strong women who force them to feel, inspire her to keep putting words to the page.

Apart from writing, Bella loves to spend time with her husband, daughter, and family. She also loves to read, listen to music, cook meals that were passed down to her, and take photographs. She mostly takes pictures of her family (when they let her) and her three dogs.

Bella grew up in New Orleans, a place she considers a creative playground.

She loves to connect with readers, so don’t hesitate to email her at belladicorte@gmail.com if you’d like to reach out.

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My Review

Machiavellian tells the story of Mariposa and Capo. From the time that they first met, eighteen years ago, it seems that everything has been leading towards their coming together as a couple. Even if Mari has no memory of Capo, or idea of what he did for her when she was just a child of five.
This is quite an involved story and there's a lot of detail to get through in the opening chapters. I was worried that it might become bogged down in information and struggle to keep up any kind of pace. I don't mind admitting that I was wrong. The more the story unfolded, the more I wanted to know where this story would lead and how the plot would unfold. This is slightly on the longer side for this type of book, but there is so much to uncover and learn about that it's needed. There were a couple of things that I wasn't completely convinced about, but it didn't really matter, I don't read romance for complete realism. 
Capo is one of those rare scary/sweet heroes, with a heart of gold when it comes to his woman. Mariposa has strength and grit and despite all that, she has suffered a kind and gentle nature. They work well together as a couple and while I'm not always keen on the hero being the answer to everything for the heroine, without her doing much to solve her situation, this time I didn't mind.
This was a great read. Many of the supporting characters felt as though they had appeared in previous books, but as this is the first in the series and as far as I can tell the first from this author, I can only assume that she has been 'living' in this world for so long that they are all so well known to her. The second book in this series features Keely, Mariposa's best friend. I didn't really warm to her in this book, but that's often the case when it's not their story. Either way, I'll no doubt be checking out the rest of these books as they come out. A great start to a new series. 

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Wednesday, 2 September 2020

Calypso's Heart - M.C. Solaris

Calypso’s Heart
M.C. Solaris
(Orion’s Order #1)
Publication date: May 15th 2020
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance

If you enjoy Psy-Changeling and Black Dagger Brotherhood, this new series is right up your alley!

Sexy shifters. Hot vampires. Intriguing immortals. Strong heroine. Sizzling romance. Page-turning plot full of emotion and excitement. Modern and fresh take on fated mates.


Do you dream of ridiculously hot men? Okay, maybe you do. (And yes, I’m well aware I should lay off the romance books before bed.) But do you actually ever meet those men you dream about in real life? I didn’t think so. That’s probably a good thing though because I have… And these men from my dreams have done nothing but pull the rug of reality out from under me… which was how I fell and ended up in a world that I thought only existed in romance books.

My name is Caly (AKA Callie) and I’m just an ordinary single woman living the LA dream… paycheck to paycheck. Except whose dream is it? I’m not really sure… but it’s not my dream. Especially because I have really weird dreams… like really weird. Then again, everyone has weird dreams, right?


I am an alpha wolf shifter and leader of Orion’s Order, a pack of… well, not wolves. We’re an unconventional pack of highly skilled specian hunters that do one thing: hunt the evil in our world. And we were hired by SILE (Species Investigative Law Enforcement) to hunt a bloodthirsty criminal who is infamously untraceable. That was until an irresistible female brought an unexpected twist to our hunt and set things in motion… a motion that has left my pack and our world forever changed.

Welcome to The Order and a secret world of magic and mystery, where a pack of unlikely friends find love and fight against an ancient evil force.

Devour this addictive series at your own risk…

+ Happily Ever After

+ Steamy Paranormal Shifter Romance

+ Multiple POV

+ Mature Content


CALYPSO’S HEART is an adult paranormal wolf shifter romance. If you like swoon-worthy males, heroines with feminine strength, an engaging plot, satisfying relationships, steamy love stories, happy ever afters, and getting sucked into a supernatural story, then you’ll want to immerse yourself in the world of species! 

You’ll feel right at home if you’re a JR Ward, Nalini Singh, and Dannika Dark fan.


“It has the elements you need – love, pain, heartache, action, revenge, some light comedy, etc. I thought the sex scenes were SPOT ON! Like damn those were great. I really felt immersed in it at times and I felt transported into the story.” ★★★★★

“The descriptions and imagery are on point. It’s easy to picture the characters and scenes. I like the multiple POV shifts to better understand and immerse myself in the character’s mind. The sex scenes are steamy and kept me turning the pages.” ★★★★★

“…if you are looking for a book that punches you in your face, right out the gate, with unrealistic action, tasteless sex scenes, and emotional turmoil, this won’t be it. Go watch Shameless instead. But if you are looking for something that unfolds at a pace that gives you time to decipher the characters, setting, and complexities of the story that is to come, then this is for you…” ★★★★★

“…at one point in the book, a group of characters are all introduced in a short amount of time. While this might not be standard protocol for fictional stories, it’s realistic. Trust that it was done with purposeful intent. Without giving away too much about the story, you get to learn about a pack of males in their environment, doing what males do…” ★★★★★

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Author Bio:

M.C. Solaris’s life took an unexpected turn during the super blood moon eclipse on January 20, 2019. She woke up and began writing bios for her imaginary friends that she met that day. As soon as the pen hit the paper (or fingertips to the iPhone), she couldn’t stop. It was kind of like one of those fire hydrants, spewing copious amounts of water all over the place. The characters and their stories just flowed out of her. She is honored to be the scribe, getting to share her friends’ stories. You can read all about her gifted friends in the Orion’s Order series (Book 1 is Calypso’s Heart).

On a personal note, M.C. Solaris is actually the pseudonym of Marina Schroeder, women’s health enthusiast and lover of all things paranormal romance (PNR) and happily ever after (HEA). When she is not curled up on the sofa with her partner’s oversized hoodie, a PNR novel, peppermint tea, and one of her three cats, you will find her either at the ocean with her toes in the sand or in a forest hugging a tree. Well truthfully? There is one more place you might find her: trolling the aisles of Whole Foods for a satisfying combination of salty and sweet while hiding in her partner’s hoodie… like any proper PNR-writing introvert.

Want to get the latest scoop, sneak peeks, and short shares all about her imaginary friends? Go to www.mcsolaris.com and sign up for the newsletter.
Welcome to The Order!

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Caly/Blake — Attraction

With her hand hovering over the door handle, her mind was flooded with thoughts of how she hadn’t really thought this through. She jumped ten feet up in the air when the door suddenly swung wide open.

Blake. Blake was standing there... in nothing but red boxer briefs. She swallowed at the unexpected male underwear model scene. Meanwhile, she was only adding to the scene by standing there in nothing but his white T-shirt which barely covered her butt. Nope. Not awkward at all.

He inhaled and immediately said, “Caly, what’s wrong?” His voice was low, morning gravel.

“I… I had a nightmare,” she admitted on a shy whisper.

Both Blake and his wolf liked that she ran to him when she was scared. He would protect her from anything and anyone. But he didn’t like that she was scared to begin with.

Still half asleep and on autopilot, he picked her up and held her close to his chest.

“You’re safe, Caly,” he reassured her and felt her body relax as she curled in closer. It wasn’t until he was a few steps into his current mission that it hit him. Walking Caly to his room in nothing but his boxers while all she wore was his T-shirt, which he most definitely approved of, was so not a part of the gentlemale plan. Fuck it. She needed him. Quietly shutting the door behind him, he made his way to his bed and gently laid her down.

Now what, genius? he thought, as his sleepy state faded away a bit more. He was just standing over her in nothing but his boxer briefs. Yeah, real gentlemale of you.


“Yeah, Caly?”

Christ. He wanted to punch himself. Maybe that would knock some sense into him instead of standing there basically naked.

“Will you… Will you stay? Please?”

Okay... So, he wasn’t expecting that. But then again, she did come to him for comfort. He wanted to say, Caly, I will never leave you. But that probably wasn’t the brightest idea at the moment, considering the boxer brief situation.

“Of course," he said as his eyes automatically flicked toward the couch. Before he could command his feet to move, she peeled back the covers next to her and looked at him in question.

Gentlemale. Remember your gentlemale plan, he thought, sliding into the bed next to her and keeping a respectable distance.

That was when he noticed the light coming from the bathroom. Remembering what Caly said about it being complete darkness where she was held, he wanted to go round two with the punches. He was so used to being able to see in the dark that it didn’t register how dark his room was at night. He inwardly cursed. He should’ve thought of that. He decided he was going to rectify the situation and get her a night light. Actually, make that plural: night lights. Yeah, he was going to light up his room like it was a Christmas tree.

What are you doing? Caly thought. You’re now in bed next to him practically naked. Again, notice how he is keeping his distance? Congratulations. You’ve just breached the clinger scale and are now off the charts.

Laying on their backs, with eyes glued to the ceiling, they both stayed silent for several minutes.


“Yeah, Caly?”

“I’m sorry. I don’t mean to make you uncomfortable. I…”

Just come out and say it, McClinger Queen.

“I just feel safe with you.” She paused. “I had a nightmare about…” Suddenly, she had a lump in her throat. She swallowed.

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