Because of You – Out again!

because-of-youI recently acquired the rights back to Because of You (the contract time had elapsed). As such, I have the wonderful opportunity to release it once more with a brand new cover. If you missed this book when it was out before, I hope you’ll pick up a copy today. This story really tugs at the heartstrings!

Starting over isn’t always a bad thing.

Jessie’s life is a mess. Her husband died in a freak accident, she’s been mugged, her house trashed, and she’s receiving frightening pranks calls. In an attempt to leave the danger at home behind her, she takes a vacation and meets Caleb James, a dedicated ER doctor.

The attraction is instantaneous and hot, but Jessie’s heart was lost when her husband died and she’s not emotionally ready to commit to anyone new. When it becomes apparent her bad luck is connected to the death of her husband, Caleb decides—ready or not—Jessie needs his help. And his love.

Excerpt:

“Husband?” he asked and she saw his eyes dart to her ring finger. She given up wearing her diamond engagement ring, but she couldn’t seem to part from the actual white gold wedding band.

She sucked in a breath at his question. She’d carefully avoided talking about Tommy all night. She’d wanted a night to forget, a night to pretend that her life was normal and happy and that she hadn’t had her heart ripped out of her chest eight months earlier.

“I’m a widow,” she said and the sound of that simple word released the flow of ice cold water throughout her body once again. For a few hours, she’d been warm. Hell, between Caleb and the alcohol, she spent more than a few moments on fire and it had felt so damn good.

“I’m sorry,” he said, rising and crossing the room to take her icy hands in his. She didn’t realize until his touch that she was shaking. In just one evening, he’d diminished the shadow of fear that constantly hovered over her. He’d rejuvenated her, made her feel alive.

She shook her head, desperately willing away the chill, the sadness. Dammit, she didn’t want to be cold anymore. She was tired of being afraid. “It’s been eight months and I’m afraid I sometimes tend to talk about Tommy in the present tense, like he’s still here.”

“Had he been ill?” he asked and she smiled sadly. He sounded very much like a doctor.

“Freak accident. He slipped on a patch of ice and hit his head on a car door. It was late and brutally cold and he was the last person leaving work that night. It was several hours before I found him and by then—”

“You found him?” he asked, pulling her gently to a chair in the kitchen. He pushed her down before sitting next to her. He never released his grip on her hands and she knew he felt the coldness in them as he began to rub them with his own as if to warm them.

“I was concerned when he didn’t come home and didn’t answer his cell. He was an accountant and it was audit season, so he worked late occasionally, but it wasn’t like him not to call and check in. Finally, I worried myself into a frenzy and decided to drive by his office, fully prepared to give him holy hell for scaring me so.”

He nodded. “I’m sorry it was you who found him.”

She shrugged and closed her eyes. She was a master at controlling her tears, yet here with Caleb it seemed harder to do. She’d managed to push her pain deep inside her and she even found it easier of late to discuss Tommy’s death. Tonight, whether it was the alcohol or her tiredness or Caleb’s compassion, the emotions were threatening to bubble over and she refused to let that happen.

“Well, I suppose I managed to bring tonight’s fun level down. That’s me—the official ruination of all parties,” she tried to joke. She pulled her hands out of his comforting grip and went back to the counter. “Do you like cream and sugar in your coffee?”

“No, I drink it black, and, Jessie, you didn’t ruin anything. You’re going through a damn hard time right now, dealing with something no one should ever have to deal with. Don’t be so hard on yourself. I wish I could give you an easy fix, but I’m afraid nothing except time will cure this.”

She grinned over her shoulder, determined to return to the easy banter they’d enjoyed all night. “That’s quite a bedside manner you have, Dr. Caleb.” The flirtatious line felt rusty and foreign as it fell from her lips, but Caleb didn’t seem to notice.

He gave a short, brief laugh. “Oh yeah, I’m a master at bedside—” He paused mid-sentence and she was surprised when he walked over to her and placed his hands on her cheeks. “Christ, Jess. I want to kiss you so badly it hurts.”

“So kiss me,” she whispered, uncertain where the words had come from, his and hers. From the second he touched her face, she wanted him with a passion she’d thought long gone.

He leaned down and took her lips gently, sweetly, but she refused to be patronized, treated with kid gloves. She was a living, breathing woman and she wanted him. Wanted him beyond reason, beyond care.

She reached up, gripping his hair in her fingers roughly, pulling his face more firmly to her. She opened her mouth and welcomed his tongue, before pushing it out of her way to explore his lips, his teeth with her own.

He moved his hands down to her waist, his grip stronger, more certain, more controlling. She was giving him everything her broken shell of a body had left to give and she sensed he was more than ready to take her up on the offer.

His lips slid from hers, gliding along her cheek to her earlobe, down her neck. The whole time he worshipped her with his mouth, his hands roamed, finding their way beneath her T-shirt to her breasts. She groaned at the hot touch of his hands against her taut nipples and he ground his hard erection into her pussy.

“God,” she gasped, his touches, his lips, his body pushing hers rapidly into overdrive. “More,” she demanded. “Please, Caleb. More.”

He continued his sensual assault and she fought to keep up. She shoved his hands off her body for a moment so that she could pull his T-shirt over his head. The image of his bare, sculpted chest was a visual treat, but she couldn’t make herself take the time to enjoy it. She was on fire and her body was demanding that she take everything he had to give immediately. She leaned down, nipping at his small, hard nipples and he hissed with delight. His hands began working at the button and zipper of her jean shorts, shoving them and her panties over her hips, leaving her bare from the waist down.

Somewhere in the recesses of her mind, she wondered what the hell she was doing, but that thought was quickly squelched by a single touch of his fingers against her clit.

“Yes,” she whispered hoarsely. His hand delved farther and soon she found herself roughly pushing her hips toward him, forcing the two fingers he plunged inside her deeper, harder, faster. She was cresting on the edge of an orgasm within moments, but she refused to come alone. Caleb had given her so much tonight. Without realizing it, he’d offered her an escape, a refuge from the mourning, and she wanted to give him back some small part of the incredible pleasure he was building inside her.

“You,” she demanded. “I want you.”

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