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No Bravery - cover

No Bravery

T.A. Chase

Publisher: Totally Bound

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Summary

A man looking for revenge discovers a man who wants to save a city.
Farris O’Laughlin has been back in Chicago for five years. He’d spent thirteen years before his return in a mental asylum after his brother had him committed for ‘insanity’. Farris plots revenge in the way he knows will hurt his brother the most—bringing down the family business.
Darien Shaunessy is Farris’ new driver and guard. He’s around to keep Farris in line…or so Farris’ brother thinks. Darien has his own reasons for working for the O’Laughlins, but Farris wasn’t part of his plan.
When two men from different parts of the city come together, powerful men could lose their wealth and control. And the lovers could find bravery they never thought they possessed.

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    With a summer storm threatening to ruin his Friday afternoon, Asa Burton packs his briefcase and bolts for home before the driving gets dangerous. On the interstate, stuck behind an accident, he regrets his decision until he sees Ford Weston standing along the side of the road talking to a police officer. 
    Ford Weston can’t believe his luck, bad and good. First his car gets clipped on the tail end of an accident, and then none other than Asa Burton pulls over and offers him a ride home. Coming face-to-face with the biggest regret of his life leaves Ford off-balance. He screwed up with Asa all those years ago. It was his fault the relationship ended. 
    Asa can’t believe he’s found Ford again, so why is he angry with himself? Could it be because Ford walked out on him without a word seventeen years ago and he did nothing to stop him? Asa’s sure of only one thing – Fate just handed him the opportunity to win Ford back – and get some answers.  
    * * * 
    It felt like he was on hold forever even though it was only a few seconds. Lord, he was going to screw this up somehow. He almost dropped his phone when Asa answered. 
    “Hello, Ford.” 
    “Asa. I, um, hope you don’t mind me calling.” Boy, that was slick. 
    “No, no. Not at all. What can I do for you?” 
    Ford took a breath in the hope of steadying himself. He hated to sound stupid and he was certain he did. 
    “Would you have time to see me today? You know, as a lawyer.” 
    There was a slight pause before Asa replied. “May I ask what this is about?” 
    Crap. Did that mean Asa would only see him for business? It was time he admitted to himself he wanted a lot more than that. 
    “I landed a big job today. Actually, it’s the most important job I’ve ever gotten. I need a good lawyer to look over the contract. I thought – I hoped you’d agree to look it over.” 
    “Is that all you want, Ford?” 
    Was that a note of hope in Asa’s quiet voice or did he want to believe it so badly he imagined it? 
    Ford closed his eyes and saw a younger Asa. 
    Asa had trusted him and for at least that one night, he hadn’t let Asa down. 
    “No, Asa. I need to see you.”
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    Give Me One Night

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    Brody O’Connor joins the revelry of the yearly St. Patrick's Day pub crawl, hunting a like-minded man for a night of fun and frolic with no strings attached. When a mystery man in an emerald green shirt engages Brody’s interest, it doesn’t take long for the hunter to become the prey. 
    Well-matched with his mystery man, Brody regrets his "no strings" approach to a night of shared passion that leaves him hungry for more. The morning after, Evan is gone, as agreed. Brody knows it was a mistake to let him go, and vows to find him. 
    Evan also never expected to meet someone like Brody. Now Brody wants to change the rules, and Evan decides he’ll give Brody one more night to convince him to stay. 
    *_*_* 
    By nine o’clock, I wasn’t sure if I was worried or angry, but I was jittery. Caught up in that first flush of a new relationship, I missed him on a visceral level. I longed for his presence, for his smell, his heat. His laughter. 
    I resisted the urge to call his cell phone, mainly because I didn’t want him to think I was checking up on him. A family visit could last a lot longer than anticipated. A lot. 
    What had begun between Evan and me was not imaginary. It was remarkable and real, powerful and potent. Yes, we had a lot to learn about each other still, but I wanted to take my time, peel back the layers of him slowly, savoring each new revelation. 
    I’d reached my mid-thirties and had learned a few things. I could read people pretty well. Evan was as serious about me as I was about him. The only games he would play were those like the night of the pub crawl, open and for all to see. If he planned to see someone else on his way back to me, he would have said so. 
    Midnight came, draping a heavy cloak of worry over my shoulders. I knew, beyond any doubt, he’d not purposefully stood me up. I paced the floor, trapped by the four walls and a sense of impending disaster.  
    When the doorbell rang, I was unprepared for the adrenaline rush of fear that paralyzed me. I shook it off, bolted to the door, and flung it open. Darren and Cole stood there, grim-faced. A cold finger of unease traced the length of my spine. 
    “Do you two know what time it is?” 
    Cole, another of the Rumours partners, and an old friend, grasped my elbow. “Brody, we need to sit down.” 
    I pulled away from him. “Why? What’s wrong?” 
    “Brody, just how is it between you and Evan Delapontes?” 
    My stomach roiled, churning up acid. “Serious. What’s wrong?” 
    Darren moved to my side, close. “Listen, Brody. We don’t know much. Cole was on call this afternoon.” 
    My knees threatened to give out. Cole was a paramedic. 
    “What call?” I grabbed him by the front of his jacket. He didn’t try to shake me off, just covered my hands with his. 
    “About five o’clock, someone ran a red light and broad-sided Evan Delapontes’ Jaguar. I recognized him ’cause he works in the same building with Nate. When I got to the club just a bit ago, Darren said you and he had a thing going…” 
    Seven hours ago. I should not have worried about pissing him off and gone looking for him. 
    The world took on an unreal, distant quality. The air in my lungs felt heavy, liquid. Surely I hadn’t heard Cole correctly. Darren’s voice came to me through a tunnel. 
    Cold fear, so icy it burned in my chest, kept me from asking the question, the answer to which could end all the hopes I’d built during the day. 
    Darren saw and spared me. “He’s in intensive care at County General.”
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  • Cattle Valley Box Set 3 - cover

    Cattle Valley Box Set 3

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