Author: Taryn Elliott
Publisher: Loose Id
Genre: Erotic Romance
Rating: 5 stars
Source: ARC provided by author
Shane Justice always does what’s expected of him. Playing it safe has left him with nothing to show for it but an empty bank account and half ownership in a bed and breakfast over three thousand miles away from home. To make matters worse, his joint partner is exasperating, sexy, and drives him to the brink of insanity. He can’t stop thinking about her, wanting her, or touching her. Kendall’s not part of the plan, and he always has a plan.
Kendall Proctor has spent her life taking care of people. It’s all she knows. A legal technicality changes her life, bringing a stranger into the middle of her business and straight to her doorstep. A passion-fueled moment forever changes their relationship adding sex and an unquenchable thirst for more into the equation. Shane and his grouchy but steady ways make her dare to believe that she could count on someone for the first time in her life.
A cross country trip, forced proximity, and a passion that defies all sense and logic is only the beginning of their story.
This crazy world of book blogging has finally fried my brain. ZAP!! Oh Taryn Elliott, how you slay me with your words. Taryn is totally one of my “stop, drop and roll” authors…when she sends me something I get right on it because she never lets me down. Who would’ve ever thought I’d fall in love with a book about sibling love. Before you get all – fuck that shit, Scandal you’ve finally gone around the bend…let me explain. Kendall’s dad left when she was little…he left her and her mother for Shane’s Mom. Shane’s biological Dad is never really mentioned but it’s implied that he left when Shane was a baby. Kendall’s Dad, Lawrence, moved Shane and his Mom across the country to California, he never contacted Kendall again and he went on to adopt Shane as his own. Kendall and Shane are not blood related and they never knew the other existed until Lawrence’s death and subsequent will reading. So climb out of my ass, I’m not recommending some sort of incest nastiness – it’s not even gross at all. In fact, Kendall and Shane have such different memories and of Lawrence, it’s like they’re talking about two entirely different people. I have to wonder if getting the two of them together was some sort of master plan by the now deceased old man. This is a very intricate tale of love, betrayal, loss and trust. The spark between Kendall and Shane is immediate, they both feel it but they both want to hate each other. Yeah, I’m thinking Lawrence was a crafty old bastard…still controlling the situation beyond the grave. Shane and Kendall end up on a cross country trek full of adventures.
So let’s start with Kendall. She’s taken care of her mother since her dad left…she was only 5 years old. Kendall has always treated her mother with kid-gloves because she has never gotten over the love of her life. Seriously, this guy Lawrence must’ve been a pretty dynamic man – everyone who ever crossed his path would pretty much take a bullet for him…except Kendall of course. She’s pretty pissed he up and left her without a good bye so in my book, she gets to own her pissed offness. (is that a word? the red squiggly line under it says no but I’m going with it) Anyway, Kendall is extremely self sufficient, to the point that she has trouble asking for help, much less accepting it. But, in spite of or because of her situation, she is a ray of sunshine. In fact, a tow truck driver they encounter along the way has some words of wisdom for Shane after a very brief chat with Kendall…
“…I wouldn’t let that one get away for very long son. She’s a bottle of sunlight and smiles. There’s always someone out there a little smarter than we are who’ll snap that up…”
Have you ever had the pleasure of meeting someone like that? Not to get all mushy on you but it is Valentine’s Day so I’ll just share, My Guy is like that. He’s never met a stranger, inside of two minutes of meeting him, most will consider him their life long best friend. It’s pretty amazing to watch, so I get it. And much like Kendall, My Guy is far more beautiful/handsome than he understands.
Now, Shane…Shane Justice…hot damn he’s a fine specimen of man. Just my type…broody. (Which is crazy because My Guy doesn’t have a broody bone in his body but whatever…) In fact, Kendall gives him the nickname Oscar, as in Oscar the Grouch which is really befitting his scowl. Shane’s got a lot on his head. He’s pissed that his Dad left him with the situation he and Kendall are in, he’s in mourning also, he and Lawrence were extremely close, and he’s broke. Oh and then there’s the little fact that he’s falling in love with this spitfire of a woman against his better judgement. Kendall and Shane discover the intimate details of each other’s lives during this trip, she doesn’t stop calling him Oscar but she does glean some insights into his moodiness…
His moods were beginning to make more sense. She was pretty sure he wasn’t quite as grouchy as he pretended to be. But she liked his growl face, so she didn’t mind so much.
Oh Kendall, I feel you girl. I swear I think that’s why I have the hots for David Gandy like I do…that sexy beast of a man looks like he’s one eye roll away from being supremely pissed off in every freaking picture he takes. AND I LOVE IT!!! It’s a whole, “taming the beast, let me fix you” sort of thing. To be that broody, you have to be broken, or at the very least, bent…and you know I love ‘em broken.
Let me give you a few examples of why I love Taryn Elliott. First off, she writes sex like this…
He tried to back up, but she wrapped her legs around his hips and dragged him inside until he was balls-deep.
Dude, she said “balls-deep” I fucking love that!! Later, when you get to 62% mark, there’s some almost sex that happens in Shane’s truck that is so fucking hot, I literally held my breath and slid to the edge of my seat…much like Kendall in another section, I was ready to go without so much as a touch. Yes, Shane has THAT kind of sexy seeping from his pores. I can not tell a lie…Shane is scandalicious. Ole boy does some shit, tying her hands behind her back that will make sweat form on your forehead just reading it. True story. The sex in Suspened is out of this world hot and sexy.
Taryn is also a big music lover and anyone who works Jared “Jordan Catelano” Leto’s 30 Seconds to Mars into a book is a winner. Oh shit…I almost forgot to tell you about Kain. Fuck me that would be a huge miss on my part. Kain is Shane’s best friend – he’s from Hawaii so be still my swoony heart. Kain is wealthy beyond compare and ridiculously hot. I’m hoping Kain is going to get his own story…hint, hint, nudge, nudge Taryn. Kain and Bells, Kendall’s BFF share a New Year’s Eve kiss that totally rattles both their cages…I don’t think Kain has ever had his cage rattled. I see potential there…or maybe I’m just a horn dog and want to read all about Kain’s sexual exploits…sue me.
Taryn has agreed to share an excerpt of Suspended with you lucky readers. Seriously, you want to read this book…you NEED to read this book. The girl can paint a picture for you, I promise. To sweeten the pot, Taryn has also agreed to giveaway an e-copy to one of you lucky wenches. I told you she’s good people. Sit back, scroll and enjoy! Happy Valentines Day smooches to all of you!
Suspended Exclusive Excerpt
KENDALL SNAPPED HER gum as she waited in line. Nothing, grouchy, a hint of friendly, then stony, and then that. How the hell was she supposed to keep up? Just when she thought she understood the unspoken rules between them, he pulled that bullshit on her.
Her blood was humming as if she’d just run a circuit around the lake at home.
She crossed her arms over her chest to hide her stupid reaction to that man. She was tired of being the one at the end of the strings. Her skin flushed at her neck. She could feel the heat. More than once she’d definitely been tied to him in a different way.
“Can I help you, Miss?”
“Yes, sorry.” Derailed by food. She made her order and added a couple of bottled waters to the list. She turned to lean on the counter and wait. Shane came out of the mini-mart again with another purchase. She saw the telltale red bag and grinned. Well, well. Oscar couldn’t be all bad if he liked Twizzlers.
She turned around and smiled at the kid behind the counter. He smiled back; the sandwich fell out of the bag. She laughed and tucked it in. “Thanks. Have a good day.”
“Yeah…uh, you too.”
She jogged over to meet Shane.
“You do know that kid is half in love with you, right?”
She shrugged. “I’m prettier than the truckers he’s used to.”
His gold-green eyes flattened. “Mmm.”
She shook her head. “You get grouchy about the weirdest stuff.”
He took her bag. “You can’t be that oblivious.”
“What? A seventeen-year-old kid who works in a rest stop got a little fumbly because I gave him my big smile. Big deal.”
“Your big smile?”
“Yeah, the one I gave you the other night when I had my hand around your—”
His dark, uncompromising tone made her want to tease him all the more. She took the candy bag, and he grabbed it back. “Hey!” she said.
He reached in and tossed her the bag of Skittles.
“Something in there you don’t want me to see?”
He turned her toward the door. She grinned at the kid who was still watching them and waved.
“Christ, you’re a menace.”
She looked over her shoulder. “You love it.” His lips twitched. She ripped open a corner of her bag and popped a few candies in her mouth. His moods were beginning to make more sense. She was pretty sure he wasn’t quite as grouchy as he pretended to be. But she liked his growl face, so she didn’t mind so much. It was much better than the fake friendly she got at the inn. Oh, there were genuinely sweet people who came in, but for the most part, it was all about the good old boys who wanted to stink up her shed with fish.
Shane and Kendall walked through the parking lot. He slowed his stride to hers, and instead of climbing into the driver’s side like he usually did, he followed her to the passenger side. He opened the back door and stowed their food, then opened her door. Surprised, she froze.
“You don’t usually open my door for me.”
“Yeah, well, I should.”
She grabbed the Oh, Jesus handle and hauled herself up. His wide hands curved around her hips as he gave her a boost. She bounced on the seat and met him face-to-face. He had such an interesting face. Almost pretty. But the beard softened his jawline in some ways and hardened it in others. She smoothed her thumb through the dent in his chin and placed a quick kiss on his lips. She reached for her seat belt, but instead of closing her door, he stepped up on the running board, held on to the roof of the truck, and sealed his lips over hers.
The cool bite of the soda he’d drunk mixed with his taste. Then the glide of his tongue dissolved the rest of her thoughts. Gentle was a useless commodity between them. His hand slid along her ribs to grip her waist. His thumb traced the line of her underwire. A teasing touch that should have been nothing more than a little pleasure. Instead, it made her even more aware of how close he was to her nipple. His mouth was an invasion, and her defenses were nonexistent when it came to this man.
The wide, flat pad of his thumb was relentless.
He was going to drive her insane, and then she had to sit next to him for another hour?
She slid her hands up between them and turned her cheek to break the kiss. “Shane.”
He nipped her ear, then buried his nose in the curls that escaped her braid. “Buckle up, babe.” He stepped down and waited for her to get situated. She pushed her hair back.
When he continued to stare, she widened her eyes. “What?”
He grabbed the seat belt and slid it across her chest, making sure his forearm brushed her breast and the side of his hand grazed her left. She slammed her back into her seat as he clicked the tab into the buckle. “I can do it myself, you know.”
“Just being helpful.” He grinned and shut the door.
“Damn that man.”
He opened his door and climbed in. Without another word, he turned on the engine, buckling as he pulled out into the merge lane.
They didn’t speak for the next hour. She forced herself to look at the brochures for Yosemite and not at his profile. But as the highway road flowed into a winding road that was filled with rich amber yellows and hints of rust-colored trees, she fell into the scenery and the cloudless blue sky.
A few signs gave directions to attractions nearby. She rolled down her window and closed her eyes for a moment. Crisp air with a hint of water. The flavor was a little different from home but no less recognizable. He turned off a road—at least she was pretty sure it was a road. She braced her hand on the dash when they hit a dip, and she felt air between her ass and the seat.
“Why are we going off-road?”
“This is a road.”
She grasped the handle along the window frame and the dash as the nose of the truck suddenly dipped. “Oh, really?”
His lips quirked at the corner. “Yes.”
Oh, great. Now he was going to grow a sense of humor? She slapped the roof of the truck when her ass lifted again, and she was jarred back down. “I hope you’ve got good struts.”
Again he didn’t say a word.
“You’re enjoying this.”
“Maybe.” He made a hard turn. The truck groaned over a hill, and she gasped, unlatching her buckle. Majestic and timeless, the mountains exploded out of the trees. Shale gray was the dominant color of the cliffside with rusty tips that made the mountains look like they’d been dusted in cinnamon. The surrounding trees were a deep evergreen color. Oaks and birch trees swayed in brilliant yellows among the green. A river roared beneath the tiny vista.
“This is your place?”
He nodded. “Merced River.”
She ducked her head out the window as he parked. She couldn’t get over how immense the mountains looked.
“Kendall, get back in here.”
She sat on the window frame and nudged his shoulder with her sneakered foot. “Be quiet. I’m communing with nature here.”
She slid back inside and knelt beside him on the bench seat. “Did you just laugh?”
He shook his head solemnly. “Nope.”
She drilled a finger into his biceps. “I think you did.”
“Go commune with nature.”
She spun around on the seat and opened the door and hopped down. “I think I will.” She ran to the edge of the vista, and the water and expanse of field on the other side made her itch to explore.
She turned around, then rushed forward to take a bag from his overburdened arms. “It’s gorgeous. That view is to die for.”
“Wait until you see the next one.”
“Really? It’s better than this?”
He looked up. “Clear skies. Yeah, it’ll be even better.” He dropped the sleeping bag, then released the ties and snapped it out.
The sun was well past its zenith, but it was still warm enough that she stripped out of one of her layers and threw her shirt at the corner of the sleeping bag, leaving just her skinny-strap tank top. She toed off her sneakers, kicking them onto the grass, stretched out on her stomach, and propped herself on her elbows. The supercushioned and insulated material was almost better than her mattress. With the sun on her back and the view, could it get any better?
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