All In

Part 2

Book Cover: All In
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The second part in The Blackstone Affair series! Looming danger. A love worth fighting for. A man who’ll go all in.

Ethan Blackstone has a problem on his hands. He’s broken Brynne’s trust and she’s left him. He’s unwilling to live without her and isn’t giving up—he’s dead-set on getting his beautiful American girl back. The passion between them was explosive, but the secrets they hid from each other are dark and chilling and are powerful enough to destroy their shot at a life together. With political threats now directed at Brynne, Ethan is running out of time and he’ll need to gather all his strength and agility to protect her from the dangers that could take her away from him forever. Will Ethan be able to save Brynne from a past that keeps her locked in fear? Will he ever feel the warmth of her touch, the solidity of her trust again? This is a love-struck man who is willing to do whatever it takes to possess the heart of the woman he loves. He’ll go to any lengths to protect her. He’ll go all in.

Here is the fiery story of what happens when two people surrender to a love so great it can heal the scars of the past and give way to a life of pure, rapturous ecstasy.

Excerpt:

Day two of my exile from Brynne and it sucked.  I was moving around and doing things but nothing felt right.  How long would it be like this?  Should I call?  If I thought about my situation too much, fear started to creep in so I left it alone.  I left her alone.  The empty space inside me pushed for action but I knew it was too soon to try to go to her.  She needed some time and I’d made this mistake before.  Pressing too fast and too hard with her.  And being an utter fucking fool.

I parked on the street next to the house where I’d grown up.  The lawn very tidy, the gate straight and the shrubbery clipped as it had always been.  Dad would never leave here.  Not the home where he’d been with my mother.  My dad was a stubborn old man and this was where he would die some day.

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I picked up the cold beer off the seat and went in through the gate.  A black cat dashed ahead of me and waited.  It was not quite a kitten and not fully grown either.  A teenage cat I suppose.  It sat down right in front of the door and turned and looked at me.  Bright green eyes blinked as if saying for me to hurry up my too-slow ass and let him in the house.  When in the hell had Dad gotten a cat?

I rang the bell and then opened the door and stuck my head in.  “Dad?”  The cat slithered into the house faster than the speed of light and all I could do was stare.  “You have a cat now?” I called out and went into the kitchen.  I put the beer in the fridge and flopped on the couch.

Remote pointed, I turned on the TV.  European Championship.  Fucking perfect.  I could focus on football for a few hours, hopefully drink four out of the six beers and forget about my girl for a little while.  And cry to my Dad.

I leaned my head back and closed my eyes.  Something furry and soft climbed into my lap.  The cat was back.

“Ahh, well you’re here then, and I see you’ve met Soot.”  My dad walked up behind me.

“Why did you get a cat?”  I couldn’t wait for this answer.  We’d never had cats growing up.

My dad snorted and sat down in his chair.  “I didn’t.  You could say that he got me.”

“I can imagine.”  I stroked my hand down Soot’s sleek body.  “He just came in the house the second I opened the front door like he owned the place.”

“My neighbor asked me to feed him while she left to take care of her mum who’s very ill.  She’s had to move into her mother’s house and I got him by default.  We have an understanding I s’pose.”

“You and the neighbor, or you and the cat?”

My dad looked at me shrewdly, his eyes narrowing.  Jonathan Blackstone was very perceptive by nature.  Always had been.  I could never slip anything by him.  He always knew if I came home drunk and when I started smoking, or if I was into trouble as a lad.  I guess he’d been that way because he was a single parent for most of our lives.  My sister Hannah and I were never neglected despite the loss of our mum.  His senses got keener and he could sniff out problems like a bloodhound.  He was doing it now.

“What the hell happened to you, son?”

Brynne happened.

“That noticeable, huh?”  The cat started purring in my lap.

“I know my own child and I know when something’s off with you.”  My dad left the room for a minute.  He returned with two of the beers cracked and handed me one.  “Mexican beer?”  He lifted an eyebrow at me and I wondered if I looked the same way when I did it.  Brynne had remarked on my eyebrow quirking more than once.

“Yeah.  It’s good with a sliver of lime shoved down the neck.”  I took a slug and stroked my new ebony friend.  “It’s a girl.  Brynne.  I met her, and I fell for her, and now she’s left me.”  Short and sweet.  What else was there to say to my own father?  This was all that mattered or all that I could think about.  I was aching for her and she had left me.

“Ahhh, well that makes more sense.”  Dad paused for a moment as if letting it all sink in.  I am sure he was surprised by the revelation.  “My lad, I know I’ve told you before so this is not news by any stretch.  You came to your good looks from your mother, rest her soul.  All you got from me was the name and maybe my bulk.  But your blessings in the Adonis department made it very easy for you with the ladies.”

“I’ve never chased women, Dad.”

“I didn’t say you did but the point is you never had to.  They chased you.”  He shook his head in remembrance.  “Gods, you had the females clamoring for you.  I was sure you’d get caught sowing your oats and make me a granddad long before you should have done.”  He gave me a look that suggested he’d spent much more time worrying about this than he’d wanted to.  “But you never did…” Dad trailed off and got a rather sad look in his eye.  After school I’d shipped off to the military and left home.  And nearly didn’t come back...

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