Title: Pierce My Heart
Series: Women of Willowbrook #1
Author: Kelsey Jensen
Genre: New Adult/Contemporary Romance
Release Date: August 9, 2016
It all began with a choice...
Anna Pierce had, by all accounts, a blessed life. She grew up in a home full of laughter, love, and support. Where the biggest problem she faced (other than how to deal with her family's crazy antics) was deciding her plans for college. Little did she know the ugly path her choice would drag her down.
A choice that left her free-falling...
Fast forward five years. Her life still held that same laughter, love, and support, but it was no longer full. A shadow hung overhead, waiting. Always threatening.
Until he caught her...
Jake Taylor stormed into her life and turned her world upside down. He made her feel things she'd hidden away from; made her face life again. But, most importantly, he helped her find the light.
And gave her happily ever after...
*This book contains adult content (lots of swearing, a little drinking, and some sexy times) and is intended for readers 18 and older*
**This is book one in a series, but each book will be a STANDALONE with a new couple. NO cliffhanger**
GOODREADS LINK: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26822046-pierce-my-heart
(WARNING. Contains mentions of physical abuse)
“No, wait, forget the clothes. There’s something I’ve got to tell you. The guy, he’s—”
“Crimeny,” I mutter, interrupting her as I fumble with the plates. “Take these would you? If I fall I don’t want to listen to Nate and Robby bitch because I dropped their sweets,” I tell her, practically throwing the plates into her arms.
“Anna!” she snaps again, this time in impatience.
That’s when it happens.
Someone must be heading towards us because Juliet gives a huge yank that sends me flying forward. A small scream makes its way up my throat but never clears my mouth. That’s because instead of face planting (almost for the second time that day) I find myself pressed against a hard body with strong arms surrounding me.
The familiarity is unmistakable, but it isn’t Robby, Nate, or even Dad.
What the hell is he doing here?
“What the hell are you doing here?”
Yup, that just came out of my mouth.
“Anna Victoria! That is no way to talk to a guest,” my mother chides. I look around his hulking frame to see her standing just inside the door. “Say thank you to the nice man for not letting you fall on your face. Yeesh! You’d think I raised you with no manners,” she gripes, shaking her head as she turns and walks further inside.
I hear a chuckle and turn my eyes back to him.
He has both hands on my hips, his eyes shining with amusement, and a small smile that crosses his lips.
I get a little lost in the curve of his mouth, only moving my eyes when I see it widen.
Shifting my eyes to his I ask (a little nicer this time), “What are you doing here?”
Robby decides to make his appearance now.
I notice the smile disappear and his eyes close with a flash of annoyance.
“What’s going on?”
I try to take a quick step back only to notice that Juliet has plonked her booty down behind me leaving no room to move away. I heave out a sigh and look at Robby, who’s heading our way, but a cough has my head swinging around to see Evan giving me big eyes.
I totally forgot she was out here.
God, I have to stop doing that when he’s around.
By the time I shrug and turn back, Robby is standing to the side, his eyes moving between the two of us as his brows raise in question.
I open my mouth to say something, but Evan moves in, grabs the leash from my hand and shoves it into his.
“Come on, Robby. You bring the dog, I’ll take in the desserts,” she bosses, moving towards the door.
“Dog?” he asks, looking down at Juliet with confusion.
“Yeah, Anna adopted one today. Now move your ass otherwise the brownies are mine.”
At this threat he moves.
No way was he about to miss out on those, but I don’t miss the look he throws at me over his shoulder.
I’d hear more about it later.
That left us standing here, staring at each other in an awkward silence.
At least it is awkward to me.
“So, you’re Robby’s friend I’m guessing.”
I nod my head before something hits me.
“That means when I was rambling on like a lunatic today, you knew who I was and that you’d see me later.”
His lips lift into a grin as he shoves his hands into his front pockets.
I’m coming out the bathroom when I hear heated voices coming from my right at the end of the hallway. Being the nosey girl I am, I tiptoe in that direction to see what the heck is going on, half preparing myself to intervene if Nate’s trying to taunt Robby into another wrestling match.
Between fending those two off trying to put me in a headlock and wading in when they were trying to body slam each other, I should’ve gotten a job refereeing for the WWE.
Shaking my head, I move further along when I notice the voices are coming from the office on the left side with the door mostly closed. Just as I prepare to push in, I hear Robby say my name angrily.
“Seriously, J.T., what are you doing with Anna? And, how in the fuck do you even know her?”
“I met her earlier today when Roc, Man, and I stopped by to see Grace and help her out,” he explains and, I note, evading Robby’s first question.
Apparently Robby did too.
“You didn’t answer my question, man. If you only met her today, why the hell does she keep looking at you like she’s half in love with you? Anna doesn’t get close to guys like that. Not anymore.”
What the hell?
I was not looking at him like I was half in love with him.
I mentally shook myself.
Of course I wasn’t, that’d be crazy.
I just met him.
“I don’t know what to tell you, but I did. Can tell you she feels anything like I do that look is not a bad thing.”
My face scrunches.
What does that mean?
“What the fuck does that mean?” Robby snaps.
“Man, it’s none of your business. It’s between Anna and me.”
That isn’t going to go over well with Robby.
He’d always been protective of Nate and me growing up, but especially me, and it only got way more intense after the whole Xavier thing—how that was possible I wasn’t sure, but it did.
“It sure as hell is my business. That’s my sister. I know how you are with women, J.T., and Anna is not one of those bitches. No fucking way. If you think for one minute I’m gonna stand by and let you fuck her over, you must’ve been hit in the head with a two-by-four one to many times. It ain’t gonna happen.”
Nope. Robby is not fucking around anymore.
I hear some shifting around before Jakes voice comes again.
“You think I’d come in your home knowing who she was to you, and I knew before I came tonight, then make a play and bail? Let me point out, man, you knew how I was in college with women, but you do not know how I am now. There’s rumors sure, but that’s all they fucking are. No way I’d make a play with your sister and not follow through with that shit.”
Suffice to say I’m not so crazy about him calling a play about me ‘shit’.
There’s a long pause.
Looking back, if I’d known what was coming next, I could’ve braced myself, run the other way, or jumped into the room and did a jig.
But, I didn’t.
Instead, I stand and listen while all the air leaves my lungs.
“She’s been hurt.”
“Rob, I got that,” Jake snaps in irritation.
“No man, she’s been fucking hurt,” Robby grinds out, the pain and anger in his voice is still as fresh as when he’d first seen my face after it happened.
I feel the air ping with something intense; even a little scary.
“She’d kill me for telling you this,” he mutters.
He’s fucking right.
No one needs to know this shit, ever. Especially Jake. It’s over and done with. There’s no point in bringing it up when he’ll just end up looking at me different.
“Tell me,” he demands.
Robby sighs but tells him, “A few years back I get this frantic call from Evan, says Anna called her up crying, freaking out. Tells me to get my ass in gear and get up there. Nate was with me and heard the conversation, bitched at me until I gave in and we jumped in the car. When we got there, Jesus, man…” he trails off, likely trying to control his anger at the memory.
I, on the other hand, am using all my energy to keep my legs under me.
“What?” Jake bites out.
“The piece of shit hit her. Backed her into a fucking wall and punched her in the goddamn face.”
My heart is pounding so loudly in my ears I don’t hear a response, but Jake must’ve done something, made some sort of face, because Robby responds to it.
“Yeah, man, so you can see my dilemma when a guy who was the epitome of a ‘get him some’ guy comes sniffing around my baby sister after she’s already endured that shit. I’d rather some shy, balding, dull-as-shit guy who worships the ground she walks on go after her, but that’s a fucking dream. No way Anna would ever go after some boring, bald dude.”
I have to agree with him on that one.
A man who chooses to be bald and works it, yes. A man who is balding, chooses to hang on to his hair, and ends up going for the whole comb over look, not really my thing.
“Yeah, Rob, I can see your dilemma. Since you shared all that with me, I’ll give you something in return. First, I’m not backing off your sister. Yeah, I can see that displeases you, but I also don’t give a shit. Second, no fucking way I’d take in everything you just said and not go about this with the utmost care. You know she’s not just some woman and she’s not gonna be some woman who’s just gonna warm my bed for a night. There’s something there and it’s up to us to figure out where that’s gonna go, not for you or anyone else to decide. For us. The last thing I’ll give you is the same promise I gave her not two hours ago. No one is going to hurt her again, ever. Not one person. Doesn’t matter if what’s building between us goes sour, not a fucking person will hurt her again,” he finishes rocking my world, unaware he’s even doing so.
I decide now is the best time to make my move, so I do just that.
Love at first sight was for movies and romance novels. It wasn’t real life.
Thankfully, I'm saved from having to answer (or think any more about it) when I hear Gran complain.
“Oh, give it up you old coot. I know you’re only faking it.”
I swing my head to see Gran with an annoyed look aimed at Gramps, who looks like he’s been knocked back by a gust of wind against his chair.
His head flung back, one arm thrown out while the other clutches his chest, and a groaning noise that's a mix between a howling dog and a car trying to start, coming from his throat.
Dad, Mom, and Robby are deep in conversation about a client, Maddy and Grace have moved on to specific breeds of dogs and the pros and cons to each, Mia’s half watching, half texting, and half stuffing her face.
Obviously the scene is nothing new for my family.
Evan, Jake, and myself seem to be the only people really paying attention to what's happening. Evan (who always got a kick out of the shit my family pulled) is avidly watching.
This goes on for five minutes.
I know, I'm timing it.
Finally, Gramps sits upright in his chair, dropping both hands to the table with a bang causing all conversation to halt. “I coulda been dying, woman!”
“And how exactly do you know that?” Gramps demands, giving her his own version of an annoyed look.
With a suffering sigh, she explains, nodding to Jake. “Because I just asked Hot Buns over here if he wanted a big family and how soon.”
Gran’s head swung to myself, Mom, then Dad, then back to me. “What? It’s something to know! I’m not getting any younger and I want some great-grandbabies running around soon.”
“It’s none of your business, Ree,” Gramps tries reasoning.
She waves her hand like she's swatting away his words. “Oh pish posh, Cammy. Anna’s my grandbaby, it’s certainly my business.”
I drop my head in my hands and groan, only lifting it when I feel Jake's hand rubbing my back. When I look at him, I see his eyes smiling. Moving my eyes further down, I notice he isn't doing a very good job of keeping said smile off his face.
“This isn’t funny,” I whisper.
“It wasn’t, babe, but now it fucking is,” he chuckles.
I roll my eyes and drop my hands.
Kelsey is a romance hoarder (seriously, 2500+ and counting on her kindle. She'll have to read until the day she dies and beyond to finish her TBR), an amateur baker, an experimental cook, a Bob Seger groupie and a die-hard fan of all things leather, fringe, silver, classy, and full of sparkles.
Kelsey grew up the only girl in my family, and because of the age difference between the kids, she turned to books and barbies for enjoyment. That is when she wasn't horsing around the cul-de-sac with the neighborhood kids.
Her love for reading and creating stories only grew from there.
As she got older, she got more involved with sports (mainly golf and softball), friends, boys, (duh!) but that never stopped her from enjoying books, or from making up background stories for her barbies and then later the sims in her game.
Summer of '15, she found herself at a point where one character wouldn't let her keep the story quiet.
Anna came to her while she was mowing, of all things, and wouldn't stop until she put the story down.
While giving Anna and Jake their HEA, they introduced her to all the awesome people in their lives. And because she's a huge sucker for a HEA, she'll be assisting everyone (that wants it of course) in finding their own happily ever after.
But, when she's not lost in the world of Willowbrook and all it's inhabitants, exploring a new planet, or finding new places to lose herself in characters, she can be found deep in the world of other authors, trying out her baking skills on her family and friends, learning, then tweaking new recipes from the Food Network, immersing herself in good music, relaxing and cackling with the people close to her, or disappearing as she binge-watches seasons in a day on Netflix.
There is a giveaway for 10 swag packs (US only)