So, the last we chatted I left you with a cliffhanger – my bad – with SHREDDED . . . SPOILER ALERT – let me refresh your memory:
Z and Ophelia were closer than close and the guys were preparing for pre-Olympic trials and Ash is told a terrible accident occurred —- involving his parents and only brother.
I know -what an ending, right?
Well, SHATTERED clears all of that up rather quickly — you know, immediately, what happened to his parents and his brother. It’s summer and Ash is working in a resort sports shop renting equipment to tourists — life has changed dramatically since that day and Ash is just trying to find his way while taking care of his brother, on top of the shit-load of guilt he’s assigned himself with.
Life throws you curve balls and only the strong survive. Ash is one of those guys and Tansy is one of those girls. . .
Wild, fun, and impulsive, Tansy is a cancer survivor who spent the past several years waiting to die — now, cancer-free, Tansy has a fresh perspective on life and that means making the most of her time while she still can.
When the story starts their chemistry is intense. Both characters deal with trauma no adult should have to deal with at such a young age —- Tansy has already picked up the pieces of her shattered life, can she help Ash do the same?
Romantic, emotional, life-changing — yes, this story makes you appreciate the simple things and cheer for the strongest couple ever!!
Don’t miss this fantastic story – the second book in the Extreme Risk series, on sale now – order here
And here’s a random sneak peek!!
I grab a bottled water from the vending machine, then head down the hall to the rental shop. In the winter, it’s all about helping tourists get their snow gear—boots, skis, snowboards, helmets. I’m definitely not planning on being here for that. But in the summer, it’s not so bad. I rent out hiking boots, oars for the canoes, outdoor games and a bunch of other sun stuff. I also teach mountain climbing and run day hikes sometimes.
It’s not a great job, but it’s good enough. It keeps me outside a lot of the time, keeps me moving and busy. And most importantly, Alex, my manager, is pretty flexible about my schedule. Between all of Logan’s doctor’s appointments and his daily physical therapy, it’d be impossible to stick to something rigid.
My phone rings just as I duck behind the counter of the shop. Employee rules are we can’t take calls while on the floor, but when I glance down, I realize the call is from Logan’s home health care aide. I don’t have a choice. I glance at Mandy, the girl who’s been working the counter with me all morning. She’s finishing off her shift—as soon as I get back from break, she gets to go home. But I have to take this.
She can see it in my face, and though she rolls her eyes a little, she motions for me to take the call. I mouth a quick thank you, then dart back out to the hallway to answer.
“Yeah? Is everything okay, Sarah?” Even as I ask the question, my blood is turning to ice in my veins. She never calls me unless there’s a problem, so even as I ask, I know something’s not right.
“Everything’s fine,” she tells me in her soothing voice. Of course, that’s another clue that it isn’t—she only uses that tone when she’s getting ready to break the bad news.
“He’s in the car, with me. He’s fine, but we had a little accident and I’m taking him in to Urgent Care to have him looked at.”
My palms start to sweat. “What’s wrong? His back?” Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. I knew I shouldn’t have left him this morning, knew I should have stayed home. He wasn’t happy, wasn’t feeling right and—
“He was outside, shooting baskets, and he ended up losing his balance. He fell out of his wheelchair and hit his head pretty hard. The doctor and I agree he should have an X-ray.”
“Shooting—“ I cut myself off before I spew obscenities all over her. What the fuck was my paralyzed brother doing outside, shooting baskets? “Where are you taking him? I’ll meet you—”
“No, you won’t.” Logan’s voice comes through the speaker phone. “I’m fine, man. Just finish work and I’ll see you at home later.”
“You’ll see me at the Urgent Care clinic in fifteen minutes—“
“Jesus, Ash. Stop fucking motherhenning me, okay? I’m good. Just a little bump. I wouldn’t even be going except Sarah wrestled me into the car.”
“I’m not arguing with you about this. Put Sarah back on the phone.”
“I’m here. And he really is fine, Ash. We’re just being cautious.”
“Are you taking him to the clinic on Maple? Or the one on–”
“If you take off work for this, I swear, I’ll put itching powder in every pair of underwear you’ve got. You know Luc and Cam will help me.”
“Say good-bye, Ash.”
The phone goes dead, and though I call back—twice—nobody picks up. Goddamnit. Stupid fourteen-year-old punk thinks he knows what’s best for everyone, even me. Especially me.
I take a deep breath, run my hand over my eyes as I try to get my shit back together. I need to go in there and try to charm Mandy into staying late so I can get to the doctor’s. She’s done it for me before—three times this month alone—and I hate to ask it of her. But Logan’s been my responsibility ever since my parents died. I have to be there for him. I have to.
Except Mandy takes one look at my face when I walk in the shop and starts shaking her head. “I can’t today, Ash. I can’t. I have to take my grandma to the doctor.”
Shit. “Yeah, of course. Go. I’ve got this.” I look at the short line of guests in front of me and want to hit something. I feel like I’m being drawn and quartered, pulled into so many different directions at the same time that I’m beginning to rip straight down the middle.
“You want me to call Alex?” she asks as she ducks out from behind the counter. “See if he can take over?”
“Nah. He’s not here right now, anyway.”
She hesitates. “Is Logan okay? I mean, maybe I can—“
I force a smile that I don’t feel. But she’s a good friend and I don’t want her to feel guilty for something that totally isn’t her fault. “He’s fine. Fell out of his wheelchair, but he’s fine. He’s with Sarah and I’m just overreacting.”
She relaxes. “Okay, then. I guess I’ll see you tomorrow?”
She leaves and I turn to help the next people in line. It’s an easy rental—they want some sports equipment and a stroller—but I’m so busy worrying about Logan that I fuck it up anyway. And the next order and the next one and the one after that.
By the time the line dwindles to nothing, I’m about to jump out of my skin. I call Sarah again, who answers this time and tells me they’re waiting their turn at the Maple Street clinic. She assures me one more time that things are under control, but I can’t help worrying.
My brother, my responsibility. If anything else happens to him, I don’t know what I’ll do. It’s already my fault that he’s in that wheelchair, my fault that he’s got to finish growing up without his parents. Anything else would be serious overkill.
But if I’ve learned anything these last six months, it’s that the universe doesn’t give a fuck about overkill. Sometimes it just keeps heaping on the shit until you can barely stand up under the weight. Then it heaps on some more, just for the pleasure of watching your knees slam into the ground.
I hang up from Sarah, glance behind me at the rental counter. There’s only one person in line right now, a young girl with short, bright pink hair and I hold a finger up to her, in an I’ll-be-right-there gesture. Then I do the only thing I can do, call Cam and beg her to go check on Logan at Urgent Care.
“Sure, of course,” she tells me without any hesitation at all. “Is he at that one on Maple?”
“Yeah. Sarah says he’s fine, but—”
“But you just want to be sure. I get that.” I can hear her turning off the TV, then the rattle of her keys as she scoops them out of the old trophy she keeps them in. “I’ll call you once I’m there and I know something. Okay?”
“Yeah, that’s great.” I close my eyes as relief sweeps through me. I really do have the best fucking friends in the world. “Thanks.”
“Don’t be stupid.”
She hangs up before I can say anything else.
I’m still jumpy, still freaking out about the whole thing, but at least I can breathe a little now. At least I can focus. Maybe.
I turn back to the counter with a smile I don’t even try to make look real. And come face to face with the little girl with the pink hair. Except, one good look tells me she’s not so little, despite her small, short, frame. A second look tells me she’s fucking beautiful—all big, hazel eyes, pale, smooth skin and pink, puffy lips that would look great wrapped around my cock, or any other part of my anatomy.
Maybe the afternoon isn’t a total loss, after all. Especially not if I can get laid in the supply closet by the prettiest girl I’ve seen in a long, long time. If nothing else, it’ll take my mind off my brother for ten minutes.
Maybe longer if this girl is as athletic as I’m hoping she is …