River's story is finally here!! I'm so excited! The truth is, I fell for River back when he was only a flicker in my head. He's so in need of love. I rarely cry when I read or write, but River choked me up more than once. I truly hope you all love him as much as I do. :)
Also, I've had the question asked, is River's story the end of Blackwater? Well, I do have one more story in mind. If you read River's book then you might be able to guess whose book that might be. Happy reading!
He’d make her his future…if only he could rewrite his past.
Blackwater, Book 5
Before his adoptive parents stepped in, River’s childhood was little more than hellish misery. He still has the demons to prove it. Too bad he can’t seem to convince Jeanette Munroe that he’s damaged goods, and anything beyond friendship is an act of futility.
He’s done everything in his power to keep his ugly past from touching her sweet, innocent heart. Yet when he learns she’s been mugged, nothing will keep him from her side. And soon all he can think about is stripping her bruised body naked.
Ever since she tripped over her clumsy ninth-grade feet and into his life, Jeanette has been secretly crazy about her best friend. To her frustration, he’s never seemed to notice—until he comes to her rescue like the white knight she’s always believed him to be.
River never realized how deep and hard he hungered for Jeanette until her kiss, her touch sets his desire free. But as the heat between them rises to fever pitch, his secrets threaten to shatter any chance for a future.
Product WarningsContains a green-eyed devil of a man with a tortured past, and a woman more than capable of chasing his nightmares away—one scorching kiss at a time. May cause an uncontrollable desire to give or get a hickie.
Knocking. Loud and persistent. It yanked River out of the nightmare, and he shot upward in bed. Sweat soaked his sheets and hair. His heart raced, and he had to force the nausea down. The memories always made him physically ill. Just once he wished he could sleep in peace. He didn’t think one night was too much to ask.
“Christ,” he muttered. Another series of thumps came from the front of his apartment. River sat upright and twisted around so he could read the neon-green display on his alarm clock. Five o’clock on a Friday morning? “What the hell?”
He hoped nothing was wrong. His mother’s smiling face popped into his head, and a jolt of concern had him fully alert in seconds. Several months back, she’d suffered a mild heart attack, and it had scared River the way nothing else could. She’d recovered, though. Even taken up yoga and started eating healthier. She was out of the woods now, right?
Wanda Jennings meant the world to him. She and his adoptive father had taken River and his four brothers from foster care and given them a home to be proud of and the kind of love River had never before known. Two years ago, a massive stroke had taken his dad away. River still missed hearing the sound of his deep voice and his powerful arms wrapping him up in one of his characteristic bear hugs.
He stood and slipped into a pair of black pajama pants and strode from the room. As he approached the front door, River stopped and looked through the peep hole. Reilly, his twin, stood with his hands in the front pockets of his old, worn jeans, a worried look creasing his brow. Reilly and River were mirror images of each other with their pale green eyes, shaggy black hair and six-foot-four frames. The only difference, most folks would say, was River’s constant scowl.
When River saw his brother’s customary smile replaced by a frown, his anxiety level ratcheted up a few notches.
“Open up, bright eyes,” Reilly called out.
River jerked open the door and let Reilly step around him before he muttered, “It’s five in the morning. Something’s wrong.”
“It’s Jeanette,” Reilly said as he shoved a hand through his hair.
The name sent River’s heart into full throttle. Jeanette had been his closest friend since high school, and she was the only woman who managed to put up with his shit. The thought of losing her brought his nausea back tenfold.
River knew Jeanette had it in her head to take their friendship to a more intimate level. She’d had a crush on him for years. He wasn’t blind. And he’d be a lying ass if he didn’t admit to feeling a rush of desire for her whenever her name was mentioned. River had fantasized more than once about that lean body and subtle curves. Her sexy, long, dark hair always made him want to reach out and stroke it. The sweet package was only part of the appeal. Jeanette was gutsy and gave as good as she got.
But she was also too innocent. She deserved someone whole, someone who hadn’t been to hell and back. Touching her would be wrong on every level. He knew it. He’d tried to make her understand how wrong he was for her, but she’d always refused to listen to reason. Still, River knew better than to fuck up the one good relationship he had going in his life.
“What happened?” he asked as he quickly moved to the kitchen to grab his keys and cell phone off the counter. He mentally prepared himself for the worst.
“She was mugged outside of the Dawg Pit,” Reilly replied. “She’s okay, nothing broken. Just got banged up a bit. She’s more angry than anything, to tell the truth.”
“She in the hospital?” River frowned. “And what the hell was she doing at that end of town? There isn’t anything but meth labs and felons out that way.”
“No, she’s at home.” Reilly sighed. “And you aren’t going to like her reason for being at the Dawg Pit any more than I did.”
Reilly and Jeanette had always been close, but lately River had noticed her confiding more and more in Reilly. And it was starting to piss him off. “Spit it out.”
“She’s working there.”
No way could he have heard right. “At the Dawg Pit? What the fuck, Reilly? The place is a dump.”
His brother held out both hands. “Hell, I didn’t know either. I just found out tonight. She said she needs the money for college.” He shook his head. “Can you believe that?”
Jeanette was working on a law degree. When she wasn’t in class, she was studying. It was a tough schedule, and River couldn’t be more proud of her. “Then why didn’t she come to us for money? Or she could’ve worked at the Blackwater if she’d wanted a job. Either is preferable to that shithole.” They would make room for her at the family restaurant they’d all worked so hard to save after their father’s death. Jeanette had only to ask.
“Jeanette has pride in spades,” Reilly replied, bringing River back to the current problem. “No way would she ask for a handout.”
“It’s not a handout,” River grumbled as he headed for the door. “She’s practically family, and she knows it.”
Reilly caught up to him. “If you value your private parts, please don’t tell her you have nothing but brotherly love for her. That’s too cruel, and you know it.”
River ignored him and took hold of the doorknob. Reilly slammed a palm against the wood surface of the door as if to stop him from going to her. He’d have better luck stopping a Mack truck.
“Where are you going?”
“To see Jeanette,” he bit out. “Where else?”
“You can’t.” Reilly’s voice softened. “It’s not even light out yet. Let her sleep before you start lecturing her. She’s had a long night, River.”
River saw red. “And you’ve been right by her side, haven’t you?”
River knew it was guilt that caused his brother to look away. Hell, he knew the look too well. They were twins, after all. “She called me from the police station, needing a ride,” Reilly said. He’d know nothing short of full disclosure would appease River.
The words pierced his heart. “Why didn’t she call me? She can always come to me. She knows that.”
Reilly cleared his throat. “Um, she’s still not over the incident.”
The incident that Reilly referred to had taken place months ago. Jeanette had walked in on River having sex with…Holly, he thought was the woman’s name. A curvy redhead and the exact opposite of Jeanette. They’d been on the couch, naked. Jeanette had used the key he’d given her years ago and let herself in. When she saw the two of them together, she’d lost it. He was a jerk, she’d shouted. She was through being his friend. At first, River had thought Jeanette would get over it. She could never stay mad at him for long. But this time was different. She was pulling away from him more and more every day. He could feel it. The fact that she’d called Reilly after having been mugged was proof. She’d needed a friend tonight, and she hadn’t chosen him. His gut churned at the thought.
River couldn’t figure out why Jeanette was still so pissed off about seeing him with another woman. He’d always been very careful to keep his relationship with Jeanette strictly platonic. And even though she’d always had a crush on him, and he’d had some scorching fantasies about her, Jeanette had seemed content to keep it just friends. Sex would screw everything up; he knew it in his bones. But things were changing between them, and River didn’t like it.
Yes, Master--February 26th!