“Why do I keep staring at your lips?” It’s an impossible question to ask, and one I know neither of us has the answer to. But I’m only  a man, standing here, with nothing left but his vulnerability and honesty, hoping they’re enough to wade me through this clusterfuck.


“Am I supposed to answer you?” he quips.


Ignoring the taunt, I go on with my thoughts, letting the words tumble out of my mouth freely. “Does it bother you that I can’t seem to take my eyes off them?”


His gaze flicks up to mine, and I watch the tip of his tongue grace his wet, plump, bottom lip. “Does it bother you?” 


“Fuck you, Julian.” The words are empty, as I hang my head between us, force my eyes shut and whisper. “I’m going to fuck this up.”


“Blame the alcohol.”


I snap my head up. “What?”


“Do whatever it is you feel.” He places his hands on my chest, and I feel the heat transfer between us. “And instead of it being awkward after, we’ll blame it on the alcohol.”


“And everything will go back to normal?” I ask, almost hopeful. Why the fuck am I considering this?


“You mean you’ll go home and I’ll be here, and we’ll hate each other?” His gaze darts out of focus, as the last half of the sentence comes out croaky; almost like the words pain him. “Yeah sure.”


With a mind of its own my hand reaches for his chin, and brings his focus back to mine. “I’m an asshole, but that’s not what I meant.”


“Let me go home, Deacon,” he says with a sigh. He wraps his fingers around my wrist. “Sleep off whatever it is you’re feeling, because it’ll probably be gone tomorrow.”


Dropping my hand, his falls too. I take a step back, and shake my head at him, laughing humourlessly. “I can’t.” 


He straightens his stance against the glass window. “What do you mean you can’t?”


“I’ve felt like this all weekend,” I admit, rubbing my hand across the back of my neck. “And for someone who has never even glanced at another man, what I’m feeling has already lasted too long.”


Feeling inundated with nausea, the confession slides out of my mouth, like vomit; with no warning, and just one big mess to clean up.


 Surprising me, he steps forward with an air of confidence I didn’t expect. He tilts his head up slightly, raising his longing filled, chocolate eyes to mine. “So do it,” he says forcefully. The quick rise and fall of his chest is the only tell that I’m not alone in feeling this way. “Do. It.” he enunciates. 


I feel myself swaying, teetering on the thin line of indecision. Toward him? Or away from him? 


WITHOUT YOU arrives March 13th!




“𝐄𝐯𝐞𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐠𝐡 𝐈 𝐝𝐨𝐧’𝐭 𝐝𝐞𝐬𝐞𝐫𝐯𝐞 𝐡𝐞𝐫—𝐧𝐨𝐭 𝐧𝐨𝐰, 𝐧𝐨𝐭 𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐫—𝐈 𝐜𝐚𝐧’𝐭 𝐬𝐞𝐞 𝐦𝐲𝐬𝐞𝐥𝐟 𝐥𝐞𝐭𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐠𝐨.”

Beyond these prison walls an entire life waits. A daughter I barely know. A twin brother I miss. A lifetime of penance to be paid. But regret consumes me, and what-if’s haunt me.

How do you forgive the irreversible errors of a boy, trying too hard to be a man?

Emerson Lane. She’s my how.

Warm. Passionate. Unexpected. She’s everything good in this world. She makes me feel dangerous things. Hopeful things.

Redemption isn’t something I thought I’d ever find. Until the keeper of my second chance found me.

Reclaim is one of those books that tugs at your heartstrings. Filled with lovable characters and an emotional journey you won’t be able to put this one down.
Red Hatter Book Blog

Read an excerpt…

A knock on the door almost goes unnoticed, until I see locks of brown hair walking toward me.
I stand up to meet Emerson, shocked at how much solace her presence gives me.

“Are you almost ready?” she asks. Frozen and unable to speak, I nod. Avoiding my eyes, she looks behind me, and finds the bag of clothes Thompson brought in. Stepping around, she grabs the navy and white checkered shirt and hands it to me. “Put this on over your t-shirt.”

Sliding each arm in, I try and fix the way it sits as best I can without a mirror.

“Here, let me do it.”

Directly in front of one another her breath mingles with mine, speaking their own language of anxiety and anticipation. She folds over the collar, and straightens out the material.

Her fingertips graze my skin and I forget how to breathe. “Are you okay?” she whispers.

Like an idiot, I nod, again. Hands circle my biceps and make their way down to the cuff of the shirt. Slowly she rolls the sleeve up to my elbows, and moves to the other one.

The motions are simple, things that people take for granted daily. But between Emerson and I it’s intimate.


With every touch I feel the scars of my isolation come to surface and the tangible fear of not being able to survive beyond these four walls.

“What are you doing here?” I say, finding my voice.

Pulling back, she finally has the courage to look at me. Her eyes stroke my skin, and for the first time her desire is unreserved and obvious. “I wasn’t going to miss watching you walk out of here.”

“I don’t think I can do this,” I confess.

Holding her hand up in the air, she looks at me expectantly. I mimic her actions and let my palm touch hers. She takes it as an invitation to slip her fingers through mine.

I squeeze her hand, like she might disappear in any moment. Holding my gaze, she squeezes it right back.

“You’ve got this, Jagger. Life’s waiting for you to live it.”

“I’ve got this,” I repeat.


“As, I’ll ever be.”

She unlatches her hand from mine, and the separation is poignant and painful.

“Let’s go.”