Genre Contemporary Romance:
Vivian Book three of The Three Mrs. Monroes
Release Date: October 9, 2014
Digital ISBN-10: 1631120425 ISBN-13: 978-1-63112-042-8
Print ISBN-10: 1631120433 ISBN-13: 978-1-63112-043-5
Purchase link : http://www.5princebooks.com/buy-links.html
From loss breeds new beginnings
Vivian Monroe had been jaded. Her husband’s death only compounded the lies she’d only come to learn about.
Clayton North knows a thing or two about loss. He figured it was fate for him to meet Vivian Monroe. He’ll take on the challenge of helping her mend her heart.
Midst new friendships and new romance, Vivian must let go of her pain and face the woman who helped Adam Monroe weave his deceptive web.
About the Author:
Bestselling Author Bernadette Marie is known for building families readers want to be part of. Her series The Keller Family has graced bestseller charts since its release in 2011, along with her other series and single title books. The married mother of five sons promises Happily Ever After always…and says she can write it, because she lives it.
When not writing, Bernadette Marie is shuffling her sons to their many events—mostly hockey—and enjoying the beautiful views of the Colorado Rocky Mountains from her front step. She is also an accomplished martial artist with a second degree black belt in Tang Soo Do.
A chronic entrepreneur, Bernadette Marie opened her own publishing house in 2011, 5 Prince Publishing, so that she could publish the books she liked to write and help make the dreams of other aspiring authors come true too.
How to reach Bernadette Marie
@writesromance on Twitter
Excerpt of Vivian:
God she was miserable. Vivian Monroe sat in her car just on the outskirts of town. The late November wind was kicking up. It was cold and her damn car had stalled—just like everything had for her for years.
It had been less than six months ago that she found out her husband of ten years had married two other women before his death.
Never in a million years, though, did she think she’d make a new life with those other two Mrs. Monroes. Adam, her late husband, had left her with nothing. His second wife, whom he’d left everything to, had stepped up to make sure that Vivian and her daughters were always taken care of. She may never admit it aloud, but she’d learned a lot from Amelia.
It had been Amelia who had come up with the plan for Adam’s widows to take what he’d left and start a business. It would help to take care of Adam’s children and then no one walked away with everything. They were building a daycare center of all things. It would open next week if everything went according to plan.
Her mind shifted to Penelope, Adam’s newest wife. Though Penelope was only ten years, or so, younger than her, she felt as if she were a mother to the girl. Penelope was eight months pregnant with Adam’s baby. She needed compassion—especially from Vivian, who’d been through the process.
Vivian gritted her teeth and tried to start the engine again. Nothing.
She’d called for help, but it was going to be awhile. Sam, her late husband’s lawyer and Amelia’s new fiancé, was in court. Amelia had an inspector at the old house they were converting into the daycare center. And Penelope and Brock, the man who had been by Adam’s side when he died in combat and now was Penelope’s fiancé, were in a doctor’s appointment.
She was totally alone. Even her own girls were at the rec center daycare for the day. That, she thought, was the only plus to the day.
The day trip to Oklahoma City to find out anything she could on Adam’s mother hadn’t turned up much. Stella Monroe, by all accounts, seemed to be missing.
Vivian hated that she thought it wasn’t really a bad thing to have the woman MIA. But, it did mean they didn’t know where she was and there was a great chance she’d be coming after her.
After Adam had died, her mother-in-law had, well, gone off the deep end. Her husband had even found it beneficial to move her to Florida and away from Parson’s Gulch, Oklahoma where she’d made her home for most of her life.
Still, she’d texted Vivian three weeks ago saying she was coming after her and then the house where they were building the daycare had been broken into. Things just weren’t adding up.
Vivian smiled when she thought about the books that had been thrown around in the attic the night of the break in. They’d all been full of money. Six thousand dollars had been found in between the pages and in the cutouts of the vintage books. Adam’s grandmother had stashed it all there. As far as she was concerned, when they were given the house and all of its contents that included the money too. Of course, now sitting in her broken down car meant it might have to be used for costly repairs.
Another car pulled up behind hers, but it wasn’t one of the four people she’d called. She looked into the review mirror and saw Clayton North stepping out of his car.
Great. The one man who had turned her head in all these years had come to rescue her. He and that shiny gold band on his hand that she’d neglected to see the first day she’d met him.
Oh, she had to have looked stupid flirting with him like she was. What made her think he was available? And why did she care, except she’d gotten caught up in all this falling in love that had been going on. First Amelia and Sam and then Penelope and Brock. She was a woman after all. She could certainly blame it on hormones.
She let out a long breath and waited for him to come to her door. When he tapped on the window, she opened the door.
“It’s so dead I can’t roll down the window,” she said, forcing a smile on her face.
“I brought cables. I’ll give you a jump.”
“Thanks.” She popped the hood of her car, climbed out, and watched as Clayton walked back and climbed into his car. He drove it around the quiet road so that he was parked right next to her.
He popped the hood of his car as he climbed out. “It’ll just take a moment.”
He pulled the cables out of his car and walked around to the front of the cars.
Clayton chuckled to himself. “I always forget which way these go.”
“Red ones are positive. Black are negative.”
He nodded. “Right. You’d think that would be easy enough to remember.”
Clayton went about connecting the cables and Vivian watched, then what he said hit her.
“You said you brought cables. You didn’t just have them and saw me stranded?”
Clayton shook his head. “The gal at the front desk of the rec center lent them to me. I’d gone to get my girls and they said you’d called because you were going to be late. I told them I’d come get you.”
Vivian nodded slowly, her stare fixed on this man she’d flirted with and even had invited to a private bar-b-cue. She sickened herself. Though he did come without his wife. That didn’t uphold his character very well, she decided.
“You drove all the way out here to get me?”
Clayton looked around and then back at her. “Because you’re stranded.”
She crossed her arms over her chest as much out of irritation as to shield her from the cold. “Just a nice guy routine?”
Clayton’s sandy hair was blowing in the opposite direction in which he’d combed it, giving it a ledge. His brown eyes were narrowed on her as he held the last cord in his hand.
“No routine going on. I thought we were friends and you needed some help.”
“Friends? I just met you a few weeks ago.”
“Right.” He winced. “You invited me to a party too. Friends do that. Even if they just met. Remember I’m new in town. I don’t know too many people.”
“Whatever. Thanks for coming out. Very strange, but thank you.” She couldn’t even stand the sound of her own voice as she talked to him. The first time they’d met she was giddy and gushy—not like her either. But now she was being crude and snide. More like her, she thought, but not nice.
He clamped the last cable to the side of the engine compartment. “Okay, go start your car.”
Vivian walked back to her car and turned the key. The car sputtered and finally came to life. When she looked up Clayton stood there with an enormous grin looking down at two running engines.
That nerdy grin was making her insides gooey again, just as it had when he’d arrived at the old house looking for a daycare for his girls. Two of the cutest girls she’d ever seen.
It was stupid to be mad at herself just because an attractive, smart guy considered her a friend. And then there was the matter of fact that he was going to be paying some of her bills when his daughters attended their daycare.
She let her mouth slide into an easy smile as she climbed out of the car.
“I really appreciate you coming to help me out. That was above and beyond.”
“I’d like to think that someone would help me someday too.”
Cute and genuinely nice. His wife was a lucky lady—whoever she was.
Clayton took the cables off of the batteries and rolled them around his arm. Vivian slammed down her hood and he did the same.
“Amelia is with the inspector now getting everything signed off on the daycare. If everything goes well, we should be open next week.”
His eyes grew wide. “Oh, that’ll be great. My girls talk about your girls non-stop. They’ll be glad to be around them all the time.”
He was easy to look at and easy to talk to. She found herself wanting to do just that—stare and talk.
“How is school going?” she asked, remembering that he was a new school teacher in town.
“So far, not bad. I’ve been called Mr. South, Mr. West, Mr. East, and Mr. Northbound.”
She chuckled and he eased his hip against his car, which only made him cuter.
“Third graders are funny like that.”
“Sometimes sassier than high schoolers.”
When he crossed his arms over his chest, she was reminded of that wedding ring on his finger. She didn’t want to be that other woman to worry about.
Vivian pushed back her shoulders and held out her hand. “Thank you, Mr. Northwest, for helping me out today.”
He grinned as he shook her hand. “My pleasure.”
“I look forward to seeing the girls next week.”
She turned back to her car and began to climb inside.
“Hey,” he called. “I’m taking the fam out for pizza on Saturday night. That place on the edge of town with the video games.”
She nodded. She knew the place too well. That was where she and Adam had spent many of their teenage lustful nights.
“Anyway,” he continued. “Why don’t you and the girls meet us there? We can have family pizza night for everyone.”
Vivian swallowed hard. “They’d like that.”
He gave her a wave as he climbed into his car and motioned for her to drive ahead of him.
She put the car in gear and started back down the road.
Looking back in her rearview mirror, she saw him on his cell phone. No doubt talking to his wife.
She was a big enough woman to be friends with him—and the wife. She’d been lied to and she didn’t trust anyone, so this would be a good step for her. Trust a man she just met that makes her insides gooey—and spend time with his kids and wife.
Nothing seemed off about that at all, she tried to convince herself. He was just a good, decent man. He’d come to her rescue and his daughters would be in her care next week when her business opened.
But it didn’t stop the fact that he was so handsome and she wished he was single.
Genre: FICTION / Romance / Paranormal
Release Date: October 9, 2014
Digital ISBN 13 978-1-63112-071-8 ISBN 10: 1631120719
Print ISBN 13 978-1-63112-072-5 ISBN 10:1631120727
Purchase link : http://www.5princebooks.com/buy-links.html
Braving the Darkness
All have sacrificed, but one will sacrifice all…
Just when Olivia thought she’d finally have everything she always wanted, she was never closer to losing it all. Haden rocked Olivia’s foundation when he professed his love for her, and then turned himself in to the High Court. Although it was for the best, watching him walk out of her life was one of the hardest things she’d ever done.
Liam has always been the angel that holds her heart. But nothing will test the bonds of that love more than when a sick twist of fate brings all their lives crashing back together again.
Bitter enemies in love with the same woman, Liam and Haden must put their differences aside to battle an evil whose reach is far greater than either of them ever imagined. It will take all their strength to protect Olivia from an enemy that’s come to claim her and usher in a power-play to overthrow the High Court.
Love, sacrifice, and betrayal… It all comes to a heart-stopping conclusion in Braving the Darkness.
An avid lover of paranormal romance, Melynda was inspired to write her own series after reading the Book of Enoch. She’s always had a fascination with stories about angels, and the role they’ve played in the history of our multi-dimensional world.
She attended Bethel University in Minnesota and graduated in 2003, holding AA, ASN and BSN degrees.
She lives in Northern Minnesota where she has plenty of snow-filled days to curl up in front of the fireplace with her Chihuahua, and a hot cup of coffee, to write. She’s blessed with two amazing children, and a wonderful husband of nineteen years.
“Writing the Redemption Series has been a fantastic adventure, culminating a world of mystery, suspense, love and deception. Have you ever wondered what it might be like to see beyond our dimension? Step into Olivia Norton’s world, where nothing is quite as it seems, and evil lurks where she least expects it.”
Excerpt of Braving the Darkness
The knot of unease tightened in Liam’s gut as he waited for her to answer. Muttering an oath under his breath, he stormed down the stairs and headed in the direction Haden had come. He should have known the bastard would be early, his only regret was agreeing to meet him here. The farther that bastard stayed from Olivia, the better. But unfortunately at the time, he’d been of no mind to argue location. He’d just been relieved Haden hadn’t decided to bolt, leading him on a merry chase that would take him away from Olivia.
As he entered the hall, he came to an abrupt halt at finding her standing by the kitchen, staring at—nothing. She looked utterly shell-shocked, as if her world had suddenly come crashing down on her.
When she didn’t respond, he took her face in his hands and bent down, breaking into her line of sight. She blinked a few times, as if coming out of a trance, and those beautiful emerald orbs slowly shifted into focus. Instinctively, he stretched his senses, searching for their connection, trying to take her emotional pulse. Encountering nothing, but that damn empty void, his jaw, clenched in frustration, biting back the snarled curse hovering so close to his lips. Any fool could see she was upset, but the why of it was what had him concerned.
Damn Haden! No doubt that bastard was to blame for this. What had he said to rattle her so soundly? Odds were she wouldn’t tell him if he asked. For some reason, she’d taken it upon herself to protect him. She claimed her concern was for his salvation—and maybe it was—but part of him wondered if there wasn’t more to it.
“Olivia, are you all right?” He tipped her face up to get a better look at her. “You’re pale.” Pale? She looked downright ghostly. Fucking Haden…this son of a bitch was quickly turning into the bane of his existence.
Her hand absently flittered to the flat of her stomach, looking as if she was about to be sick. “I’m…fine.”
Her airy, haunted voice told him she was anything but that. Wrapping an arm around her shoulders, he gently guided Olivia into the kitchen and pulled out a chair for her to sit down. She had that look she often wore right before her stomach rebelled.
Come to think of it, she’d been ill a lot since they’d left Rebecca’s. He knew she was prone to motion sickness and they’d spent a great deal of time traveling over the last few weeks, but they had been home now for several days and the nausea still plagued her. Were they still bonded, he’d sense if anything were amiss. His loss of connection to her continued to seethe like a slow, burning acid in his veins.
“Do you have any of Rebecca’s ginger tea left?” Grabbing a mug from the cupboard, he filled it with water and stuck it in the microwave.
“No, but I think there’s some holiday spice in the drawer by the stove. Liam…?”
He tensed at the uncertainty in her voice and glanced over his shoulder. She worried at her bottom lip, a nervous habit that gave away her unease. “Yeah?”
For a moment, she didn’t speak as if she wasn’t certain she should or could put her thoughts into words. “What do you think will happen to Haden once you get to court?”
So that’s what this was about? He ground his teeth together, biting back the snarled curse just begging to get out. The Neph—it was always the Neph. Schooling his features as to not giveaway the extent her concern for the half-breed galled him, Liam shrugged as if to say he cared not either way—which he truly didn’t. Were it not for Liam’s devotion to this female, and a hefty dose of guilt that made it neigh impossible to refuse her, Haden would have been dead thrice by now. “Hard to say... I suppose that will depend on him.”
The microwave stopped and the shrill beep stung his preternaturally acute hearing. He yanked the door open, cutting off the alarm, and pulled out the mug, dropping a tea bag inside the steaming water before carrying it over to her.
“Umm… Liam? There’s something I have to tell you.”
Well, this didn’t sound good. He took a seat beside her and pressed his palm against her forehead, checking for a fever. “Are you sure you’re feeling all right?”
Despite her nod, he wasn’t the slightest bit convinced. Her hand held a notable tremor as she raised the cup to her lips. When she sat it down, he took both her hands and gently squeezed—a silent encouragement to proceed. “What do you have to tell me, Olivia?” Whatever she had to say couldn’t be good. The pulse in her wrist battered against his thumb as he lovingly caressed her silken flesh.
Liam hadn’t seen her this shaken since the night he and Haden rescued her from Gahn. That night still haunted him and would for some time to come, for too many reasons to name, and for others he refused to lay claim to. Still, the one unanswered question that continued to plague him, above all, the rest: Why didn’t Gahn kill Olivia in the
Everglades? It was no secret he wanted her dead; he’d
tried and failed for years. She was too great a threat to the Dark Court to keep
alive, so why not finish it when he had the chance?
The way he’d staked her to the floor, the salt, the pentagram—all of it indicated he’d had every intention of ending her life that night. So what had changed his mind? Liam wasn’t fool enough to think the demon had been struck with a moment of conscience. Perhaps Haden would know the answer. He knew the demon better than anyone else, having been raised by him, and those two were cut from the same cloth—deceptive, ruthless and rotten as hell.
Olivia swallowed and the arid click in her throat broke the silence stretching between. “Liam, I’m—.”
Bang! Bang! Bang! The pounding against the kitchen window cut her off and Olivia jumped, letting out a startled yelp. Liam’s head snapped up and he leveled Haden with a murderous glare.
“Come on!” the half-breed barked impatiently, scowling through the glass. He lifted his wrist and tapped his finger where a watch should have been.
“Just a minute,” Liam snapped. Had he ever wanted to kill anyone more than this bastard right now? Well, perhaps Gahn, but that was beside the point. Turning his attention back to Olivia, he mumbled an apology for Haden’s rude interruption. “Go on, now what were you saying? You’re what?”
She hesitated, suddenly seeming unsure. Then, as if decided on something, she exhaled a breath she’d been holding and blurted, “I’m…I’m really going to miss you.”
Liam’s chest tightened as if an invisible hand had reached into his chest and squeezed his heart. Damn, he didn’t want to leave her again—even if only for a few days. “I’m going to miss you, too, sweetheart, but I won’t be gone long. I promise.”
“Will you do me a favor?”
He nodded. “Of course...” Did she even have to ask? There wasn’t anything he wouldn’t do for her.
“Please…tell Haden…thank you. And that I’m sorry.”
At the mention of Haden’s name, Liam tensed; his face tightening to a furrow of displeasure, his waning patience for the bloody male was well beyond its expiration date. “I feel as if you and I need to talk when I get back,” he grumbled, no longer trying to hide his ire.
She nodded, and once again he cursed his broken connection to her. In the week since they’d returned from the
Liam had intentionally given her space. What she’d gone through had been
terrifying and traumatic. He’d hoped that with a little time she’d open up to
him on her own and talk about what had happened between her and Haden that
night out in the yard. Liam’s measure of grace only stretched so far, and it
seemed this male was quickly becoming a sore subject between the two of
them—one that was going to need to be dealt with sooner rather than later.
Resigned not to part from her with strife growing between them, he stood and kissed her goodbye. “I love you, Olivia, always and forever. You know that, right? Nothing will ever change that.”
She nodded, a pensive smile touching her beautiful lips. “I love you, too. Always and forever,” she returned the vow, her fists twisting in the collar of his shirt as she clung to him, seeming reluctant to let him go.
He sensed no hesitation in her words. No deceit or confusion as she confessed her heart to him. But, undeniably, her heart was troubled. About what, he intended to get to the bottom of as soon as he got back. With a final brush of his lips against her forehead, Liam turned and walked toward the door. The only thing that kept his feet moving was the knowledge he was coming back—alone.
As far as Liam was concerned, he couldn’t part ways with Haden fast enough. That Olivia felt the need to apologize to the bastard was proof enough that this manipulative shit was still trying to get his claws into her. More than once over the last week, he regretted his decision to go back into that burning building. Had Liam refused Olivia’s plea to save Haden’s life, his world would be a shit-load less complicated right now, and he wouldn’t be saying goodbye to Olivia so he could play chauffeur to this prick who was too arrogant to realize the opportunity set before him. Life or death—it was his to choose. The bastard was damn lucky the decision wasn’t up to Liam.
“It’s about damn time,” Haden growled as Liam stepped off the porch. The Neph stood beneath a palm, leaning casually against the tall, curved spine. His arms crossed defiantly over his chest, his tawny brows knitted in that perpetual scowl of annoyance. Bracing his shoulder against the tree, the male shoved off and lumbered toward him. “Let’s get this over with.”
When the Neph approached, Liam stuck out his hand. Haden stopped short and gave him an ached look. “I’m not sure what I’ve done to give you the wrong impression, but I don’t swing that way. Sorry to tell you. But truly, I’m flattered—.”
“Shut the fuck up,” Liam growled, grabbing Haden’s hand in a crushing grip. The tough bastard didn’t so much as flinch. “Were there any other way to get you into my world, believe me, I’d do it.”
“Then by all means, here’s my other hand if you want it.” Liam knocked the offending extremity out of his way and marched around the house to a more private place to disappear than the front yard on a Monday morning.