by Jacquelyn Ayres
Hosted by: Bare Naked Words
Becca Campbell is a mother, friend, and widow to a war hero (may he rot in hell). She just wants to raise her daughter right and keep her bed-and-breakfast afloat in this economy. Her traumatic past leaves her with no desire for a relationship—until Grayson James walks through her door. He’s not the type of man you can easily say “no” to. Becca can’t quite understand the pull she feels toward him. But then his controlling nature starts to push her away—and into Ray McNeil’s comforting arms. Which is right where Ray has always wanted her. Who will Becca choose? Will she finally give in to her feelings for Ray, or continue the tumultuous relationship with Grayson? Only one thing is certain—either choice will mean saying goodbye to caution. Warning: This book contains some disturbing situations, dubious consent, strong language and violence. 10% of the proceeds from this book will be donated to YWCAUSA.org to help abused women and children
I am a Domestic Engineer (born and raised in NJ) whose sole responsibility is to guide three young impressionable kids into becoming phenomenal adults. This challenging, yet rewarding work requires a lot of love (coffee), patience (wine) and determination (periodic exorcisms). I work all of this magic in the beautiful state of New Hampshire. Before becoming a Domestic Goddess (not really), I spent over a decade working in the medical field where I wore more hats than the Queen. I have had a love for the written word and the great escape it provides since I was a little girl. When I wasn't reading about people and the places they lived, I was creating my own characters and adventures. Finally, I have been putting a pen to paper allowing my characters to come to life. When I don't have a pen and paper in hand, you can often find me laughing at the conversations my characters are having in my head.
“Becca, are you listening?” He waves his hand in front of my face.
“Yes, sorry. I was watching a very hypnotic, beautiful British man speak. He is a lovely man.” I lean forward on my arms and look up at him with a smile.
“Oh yeah? Do I detect a crush, Ms. Campbell?” He arches his brow.
“Crushes are for schoolgirls, Mr. James.” I sigh nonchalantly.
“Very well then,—what do you think it is?” He leans on his arms as well.
“I think he’s drugging me, truth be told,” I say, with a secretive edge to my voice.
“No! What gives you that idea?” He sounds shocked, matching my disposition.
“Well, every time he comes around me, I get completely intoxicated by his smell. I can’t think straight and I find myself following all of his commands. Once I’m away from him, my thoughts are clear again. What do you make of that?”
“Ms. Campbell, you’re on to something. He is definitely drugging you!” He taps his index finger on the table for emphasis.
“What do you think it is? What drug is it?” I sit up, alarmed.
“Love!” He points into the air matter-of-factly. “It’s crazy, maddening, intoxicating love! Yes, I’ve heard of this type of love before. Tell me, Ms. Campbell. Does your heart beat fast?”
“Do you feel what people call ‘butterflies in your stomach’?”
“Up to my throat in them.”
“Do your knees get weak?”
“I’ve passed out!”
“Is your breathing erratic?”
“Only around him.”
“Do you find yourself unable to stop your thoughts about him the moment you’re apart?”
“Yes! It’s quite annoying.”
“I’m afraid this is a very dangerous situation you’ve got yourself in. Believe me—I know!” He widens his eyes and taps the table again.
“Well, how do you know, Mr. James?” I reach for his arm.
“I suffer from the same ill fate.”
“No! Is she British as well?”
“Worse—she’s American! I’ve been behaving strangely ever since I met her.”
“No! Mr. James, what are we to do?” I look down and shake my head.
“I don’t know, Ms. Campbell.” He grabs my hands, caressing the backs of them with his thumbs. “We’ll just have to stick together. Help each other. Eventually a plan of action will present itself.”
Meet Becca, Grayson, Ray & Hazel
1. When you contrived with Ray to share Becca, did you not consider, knowing your nature, that it might be problem?
I don’t know what the bloody hell I was thinking besides the fact that I couldn’t lose her! I mean, I was completely snookered. Everything sounds brilliant when your rat arsed! I just . . . I really screwed up and I knew I had to do something drastic to attempt to win her back. In all honesty, I didn’t completely factor in the consequences of sharing her with Ray because I didn’t think the arsehole really stood a chance!
2. You seem to fall for Morgan almost as hard as you fall for Becca, is the 'ready made family' part of the attraction?
I was looking for a nice, long overdue, visit with my aunt and a great weekend skiing with my mates. I was not looking to fall in love and I most certainly was not looking to become a father. I never even considered having children—ever. But, my God, you’ve all met Morgan—how could anyone not fall in love with that girl? She’s a clever, funny little thing and I absolutely adore her! So, no, a ‘ready-made family’ was not part of the attraction but the love I feel for them made me ready for a family!
1. Obviously you had reservations about Gray and Ray's plan to share your time, but all that aside, you had permission to enjoy two men! How much fun was that??
Can they hear me?
No. They are in the other room.
Security hasn’t been in here?
No. Why do you ask?
Umm . . . you have met Grayson, right?
Oh. Quite right. No. No one’s been in here but us.
Ok. Let’s just say my Slip n’ Slide never saw a dry moment and thoroughly enjoyed the extensive playtime!
2. How do you cope with the restrictions 24 hour protection must impose?
Well, it definitely hasn’t been easy—that’s for sure! I’ve had to let go—a lot! I’m very impatient. When I need to do something, I need to do it now! Waiting for my detail sucks sometimes. I’m blessed to have Melissa though! She makes it a bit more normal for me. With the exception of the handful I’ve gotten close to, well, it’s just—awkward! I mean how would you feel if there were people outside of your bedroom door every minute—hearing everything? I couldn’t be quiet with Grayson if I tried! So I had to ‘let go’. Now I just think of it like this, ‘Well, at least I’m keeping them all closer to God!’
3. Do you feel any guilt that you and Ray could have probably stayed friends if not for the arrangement?
That’s the worst part of this. I was bound to lose one of them. Ray has been my best friend for about five years now. We’ve done everything together. I have to believe in my heart of hearts that eventually, things will mend between us. We love each other very much and on such a different level. I can’t see how anything can wipe that all away. But to answer your question—yes, the guilt is unbearable. I’ve handled this whole situation very poorly.
1. Why did you wait until Becca was happy with another man before deciding to declare your feelings?
Oh, let me guess who you got that information from! That prick is unbelievable!
Well, we’re only going by what we’ve been told in general. There’s not much evidence to tell us anything different.
There are two sides to every story.
Tell us yours then.
Why so secretive?
We’ve all got our secrets, lady.
(Ladies, I believe Ray just dished out one of his wink/air kiss combinations at me. I may need to change my knickers!)
To answer your question though, I didn’t wait for another man to show up. I’ve always told Becca how I feel . . . in my own way. I love Becca with all my heart but she is one oblivious woman!
2. How do you manage the fact that you actually like Grayson, even though you hate him for having Becca?
I did like him when I first met him. I tolerate him now—barely. I’ll tell you why I do tolerate him, though. That dude is a loose cannon! When Becca has finally had enough of his bullshit and realizes he’s not the man for her, I’ll be waiting—with open arms. Just you wait and see!
People might say the same thing about you, Ray. Call you a loose cannon.
(Ray has just given me, what I believe Becca calls, his ‘sit n’ spin’ face and is now leaving. I have to admit—his arse does do wonders for those jeans. I may or may not have just fallen out of my chair from leaning to keep a good watch on that arse!)
1. Did you have hopes from the beginning that Becca and Grayson would fall in love?
Well, I had hopes that they would like each other and maybe want to date. But I was not expecting all of this. Honestly, I think it’s been all too much for Becca—given her history.
2. When Becca and Grayson argued who did you deep down feel most protective of?
Such a simple question, dear, and yet so complicated. You know I raised Gracie from the time he was fifteen so he’s like the son I never had. Becca, though I’ve only known her for the past several years, is like the daughter I never had. It really depended on the argument. Becca, though she is so strong, is still quite fragile from her past. You know, she didn’t walk away from George on her own accord—he was killed—well, so she thought. So I feel very protective of her when I see Grayson behave so aggressively. My Gracie has never acted that way before. I’ve also never seen him so torn up and broken down by a woman. To see what she has done to him—my heart leans in his direction. Now that I’m with Charlie, I just try to spend as much time with him and let those two kids try to figure things out for themselves.
3. Errrrrrr – speaking of Charlie, Hazel—have you found Jesus yet, and if so, how was it? ;-)
Oh, you are just as bad as Becca is, you naughty girl! Can’t you girls think about anything besides sex? (You should know that she is giggling and blushing at the moment)
No. It’s no secret that women are worse than men! Come out with it then! Is Charlie taking you to church, Hazel?
We may have said Hallelujah a few times. (giggling) Oh no! Don’t put that in there! Oh dear, that’s not going to be seen in a national newspaper, is it?
No. No, of course not! (Internationally on the internet but we won’t tell her that!)
Oh good! (sigh of relief) Well, it was so nice to talk to you, dear! Make sure to come and stay with us at The Morgan Inn—we’d love to have you!
Thank you, Hazel! (I want to steal
Fire Questions—One Worded Answers
1. What is your favourite colour?
2. Describe Becca.
Becca: Me! (I shoot her a look) oh…um. Shut-up! Who are you talking to? Cautionary Sybecca—her ticker board said DUMBASS. She’s such a bitch! We’ll just move on to the next . . .
Grayson: Awesome (chuckles)
Becca: Vineyard Really? Wine. Right.
4. Favourite TV show
Becca: Criminal Minds
Ray: ESPN Isn’t that a sports network? Yeah? Um . . . alright then.
Hazel: Weeds What? She’s clever—I admire her. She’s also sex crazed. Must be an epidemic with you young girls! (I’m stealing her!)
5. Describe Grayson
Becca: Everything. Can I just mention that, I’ll be your Everything by Tommy Page, is now playing. I don’t hear it. Good. That would be a little creepy if you were in my head!
Grayson: Mr. Right!
6. Favourite Sex Position
Becca: on top
Grayson: Any position I can pin her down good while I’m taking her. (Bloody hell, there goes another pair of knickers!)
Ray: Becca No. I said favourite position. If I’m inside of Becca, it’s my favorite. It doesn’t matter how I’m in there. (Feck it! I’m going to go commando and flood the fecking place out!)
Hazel: On a plate? WHAT? I like my snacks on a plate, dear. I said SEX! Christ, Wendy, I’m not deaf! Clearly. What is your favourite sex position? Behind closed doors, you nosy, naughty girl! (I may join Becca on the vineyard!)
7. What did you want to be when you grew up?
Becca: A Singer.
Grayson: Football player for Manchester United
Ray: Baseball player
Hazel: A Dancer
8. Describe Ray
Grayson: A thorn
9. Who would you die for?
Grayson: Becca and Morgan
Ray: Annie & BeccaHazel: Charlie