Holly Hewitt is a survivor…
After witnessing her mother’s murder, Holly was returned to her abusive father. Resorting to drugs and alcohol, she ends up landing herself in foster care, where she is separated from her sister and utterly alone.
Zander Harrison is the light to her darkness…
Zander is young, athletic, and carefree, with the support of a loving family. But when Holly is placed in foster care with his brother’s in-laws, she turns his world upside down.
He’s driven to protect her, and to show her the past has made her strong, life is worth living, and love is worth fighting for. If only he can convince her to trust him and stop resisting their mutual attraction.
But sometimes even love isn’t enough to heal a shattered soul.
And all the hard work in the world can’t save…
A broken survivor.
Jennifer Labelle resides in Canada with her husband and three beautiful children. After her third child she became a stay at home mom. In her busy household Jennifer likes to spend her down time engrossed in the stories that she creates. She is an active reader of romance,mystery and anything paranormal. With an education in Addictions work she’s decided to take a less stressful approach in life and hopes that you enjoy, as she shares some of her imagination with all of you.
Pink and orange hues filled the sky with a warm beauty while the sun set. Holly wrapped her arms around herself and lifted her face toward the sky to soak in the last few moments of the sun before the chill of the night descended upon them. This was definitely not going to be an easy talk to get through. She just hoped they’d both be okay when it was done. Zander stepped up behind her, and she felt the heat of his body before he wrapped his arms around her from behind. The way she was drawn to him made her wonder if he had a magnetic pull,and it kind of scared her a little bit. Holly tried to enjoy the view as they were silent for a few moments.
“As much as I hate to let go, I think maybe we should sit so we can finally talk,” Zander said.
She hesitated a moment before taking his hand while they walked back to his house and sat beside each other on the patio. This is it.
“First, I want to clear up earlier,” Zander said. “She was just a friend, nothing more. She has only ever been a friend.”He lifted their linked hands and kissed the top of hers.
“This isn’t any of my business, but does she realize that? I got the impression there was much more than a friendship there.” Holly held her breath and didn’t exhale until after he answered her.
“Not for a really long time, and we were never a couple.” His posture slumped. “Before today, I hadn’t heard from her in months. She just showed up out of the blue, but I swear nothing happened.”
“Why are you telling me this?” Holly shifted to face him. “So you and she were friends with benefits a while ago. I have to admit I didn’t like seeing you with her, but I don’t have any right to be mad.We’re taking things slow, remember?”
“That’s just the thing. I want to be with you, Hol. As in, I’d be staking my claim. You’d be my girlfriend, exclusive.”
“I’m actually kind of glad you said that. I’ve recently figured out that I’m not made for casual.” She bit her lip nervously.“I don’t even care about your friend anymore because I sort of have some huge news, which throws going slow out the window anyway. That is, if you don’t freak out and feel like you want nothing to do with me after this.”
“Okay, now you’re making me nervous,” he joked nervously and playfully nudged her with his shoulder. “What’s up?”
“You probably should be.” Holly smiled weakly and then exhaled long and hard. “I didn’t want a relationship when you came into the picture, and I didn’t want to care for someone so much. But then there you were all sweet, caring, and persistent and screwed up my original plans. So let’s get that out there.” She smiled and leaned into him. Her head lay on his shoulder and she looked up at him needing to be close. “That’s the best part by the way because I’m glad I’ve let you in. I care for you a lot. I’ve messed up,though. We both have. Do you remember the night at my sister’s?”
“How could I forget?” His eyes lit up and she snorted.
“It was a good night, huh?” She licked her lips just thinking about it. “Well, I haven’t been feeling like myself lately,so Lauren decided to take me to get a checkup…”
“O-okay, you were sick and…?” Zander’s brows scrunched together in confusion, but as if he sensed her discomfort, he gave her a quick reprieve to pull herself together before she had to spit out the big news. He captured her mouth. His soft, plump lips caressed hers, then he moved to nip and suck on her bottom lip. His tongue coaxed her mouth open farther, and she tasted his mutual arousal as he probed the slit of her mouth with his tongue. One of her hands fisted in his shirt and held him closer,while the other massaged his nape and into his hair. They both moaned in the heat of the moment, and she could feel his chest rise and fall more rapidly before he pulled away.
“God, I’ve missed this,” he said. “You get sick again and I’m coming over with some chicken soup and taking care of you.
“That sounds amazing.” She smirked. “I’ve missed you too.” Holly shifted so that she was facing him now and rested her forehead against his while they caught their breath.
“Don’t go home yet. Call Lauren and let’s recreate that night.” He wiggled his eyebrows up and down.
“You are such a goofball. As tempting as that sounds, I need to finish what I was saying before you distract me too much.”She gave him a quick peck on the lips and leaned back.
“But the distraction is so good. I can’t help myself.” He lifted a sexy, dark eyebrow in question. “Can we fool around a bit while you talk? I’m a great multitasker.”
“I’ll tell you what, if after I tell you everything I need to, you still want to fool around or more, then yes, we’ll go inside your place and I’ll make it worth your while.” She wiggled her brows back at him and smiled as she caressed the side of his face. I just hope I don’t ruin things first.
“Lauren might not be too happy if she finds out the truth.”
“Really?” He looked at her in shock. “I find that hard to believe after her and Shelby practically pushed us together.” He smiled and kissed the back of her hand. “Remind me to thank them for that one day.”
“I really hope you still feel that way after you hear what I have to say.”
“Quit stalling and just tell me already.”
“So you know I haven’t been feeling well lately, but what you don’t know is why she’s been on my case. She had some concerns that drove her to take me to the doctor in the first place.” She leaned way back in her chair and closed her eyes.
“Is she still hung up about the new apartment?”
“In a way, I guess, but right now what’s bothering her is her assumption that I might be pregnant.” She peeked in his direction to gauge his reaction.
He stiffened a bit on the seat next to her and sat straighter. “Wait, what?”