Thursday, August 7, 2014

Book Birthday: Revenge Bound by Heidi Tretheway @heiditretheway


On the Internet, secrets never die…

Violet can’t imagine anything worse than having her very private, very naked photos strewn across the Internet.

Until they multiply like a virus.

With her name, address, and phone number attached.

And her boss finds out. And a stalker finds her.

Violet’s refuge is a rock star known for going through groupies faster than guitar picks. Letting Jayce get close enough to protect her exposes her secrets—and her heart—to a man whose celebrity could ruin her.

That’s because being a nobody is the one thing that keeps Violet’s photos from making headlines. And it’s the reason she can never fall for a rock star.

Secrets spread like wildfire when a celebrity fans the flames.

Revenge Bound is a full-length, standalone novel, and a companion to the Tattoo Thief books. It contains steamy scenes and strong language intended for mature readers.

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Jayce discovers that Violet is receiving threatening text messages from a stalker. He escorts her home and stays at her apartment—on the couch—when it’s clear the stalker is watching them.

The silence stretches between us, growing more uncomfortable as I feel his eyes on me. I sip my coffee, desperate to have something to do, plotting my escape so I can shower and change and … why is he still here?

“You didn’t have to stay.”

“I did.” His voice is low, intense.

“I’m a big girl. I can handle it.”

“Doesn’t mean you should have to handle it alone.” Jayce slides a shiny iPhone across the small table to me. “This is for you. A private number.”

What the what? “You can’t give me your phone,” I say stupidly.

“I’m not. This is your phone. A new number, so you won’t have to deal with those texts. Take it, Violet.”

I know I should be grateful, for this and for everything he’s done for me so far, but anger flares instead. Presumptuous, arrogant jerk. “Do you think you can just throw money at a problem and it’ll go away?”

“It works sometimes, Violet.”

My cheeks flame with embarrassment that he thinks I need to be rescued. “Well, it doesn’t work for me.”

Jayce pushes back from the table and grabs our empty plates, spinning toward the kitchen. Plates clatter and water runs.

I lean on the wall by the sink. “Since when do you think you can just wave your magic rock star wand and do this? Fix this? I don’t want your pity.”

There. It’s out there—a four-letter word that stings worse than any filthy epithet. Pity.

“Fuck pity. I don’t want some nasty stalker sending you messages like the ones from last night. Call it a gift.”

I plunge my hand deep into my hair, trying to hold onto my fraying composure. “I don’t like your mouth,” I hiss, hating the F-bomb as it explodes from his lips.

Jayce gives me a slow look, intimate and searching. His hands drip with water, but he reaches to touch my face. I steel myself. I will not flinch.

“Oh, but I love yours,” he murmurs, his thumb ghosting across my lower lip. He strokes my cheek as my color rises. I’m frozen under his gaze. “And this blush. I can’t help it. Seeing what he wrote makes me a bit … protective.”

I stumble backward out of his grasp. I don’t know Jayce from Adam. I was stupid to let him take me home, and to trust him in my apartment while I freaked out and melted down. He could be another stalker, for all I know.

“I don’t want to be protected,” I say, and the lie slides out of my mouth as I edge back toward my room, wishing Neil would hurry up in the bathroom so I could dive in there and get away from Jayce. “I want to be left alone.”

“As you wish, princess,” he says, and he winks. He stinking winks, like he knows I’ll get that line from The Princess Bride. Like he knows I can’t stay mad at him because he’s irresistible.

I can’t. He is. But that’s not the point.

“You can’t just come in here and act like you own me, like you can just do things and I’ll be OK with that,” I say, pointing to the phone, but my argument’s already losing steam.

Jayce shakes his head and picks up his keys from a side table. I think he’s going to walk out the door—and an apology is on the tip of my tongue—but he spins and walks straight to me, invading my space, backing me up against my apartment wall with a soft thud.

His chest rises and I feel heat radiating off him, less than an inch separating our bodies. There’s something so powerful, so masculine about him that my heart beats fast in my chest, and he threads his fingers through the wild tangles of my hair.

“I don’t act like I own you,” he says, his breath on my cheek, tickling the corner of my mouth.

“You act like you want to control me.” I whimper as his hand tightens to a fist in my hair.

“Ah, but control is a different thing entirely. Control can be earned. Power can be given.” Jayce’s nose brushes my cheek. “You gave me control last night. You let me protect you.”

I raise my hands to his chest to push him away, to put distance between us, but I falter as I feel his chest rise and fall, feel his heart beat hard inside it. I shake my head. “No.”

Jayce’s shoulders drop and he allows another inch of air between us, his hands skimming through my hair as he releases me. “No is a word I respect. Always.”

I feel his body shift to turn away from me and I’m suddenly bereft without his touch, limp like I could slide down the wall. “But—”

His body is hard against mine in an instant, erasing the air between us. “But I want to have you. And I will.” Jayce’s mouth twists toward mine and I part my lips, anticipating a kiss. Instead, I feel a sharp sting in my lower lip.

He bit me!

And in one motion, Jayce turns and walks out the door.

About the Author

Heidi Joy lives in Happy Valley off Sunnyside Road. She swears she did not make that up.

Heidi’s obsessed with storytelling. Her career includes marketing, journalism, and a delicious few years as a food columnist. Media passes took her backstage with several rock bands, where she learned that sometimes a wardrobe malfunction is exactly what the rock star intends.

You’ll most often find Heidi Joy with her husband and two small kids cooking, fishing, exploring the Northwest, and building epic forts in their living room.

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