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New Release! Her Only Salvation by J. C. Valentine

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Her Only Salvation

by J.C. Valentine
Publication Date: September 13, 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Sweet / Clean Romance, Thriller

Her Only Salvation Cover

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Amazon (99c or #FREE with #KindleUnlimited): http://amzn.to/2bEdxJD

 

Synopsis: Sometimes, relationships can be deadly.

Terri thought she was marrying a strong, loving man, only to find that beneath that handsome face lies something cold, brutal, and dangerous. After years of abuse, her husband takes things a little too far, and Terri finally summons the courage to take matters into her own hands and make her escape.

But freedom comes at a price.

Forging a new life, Terri moves to a new town and tries to forget her past, but she can’t help looking over her shoulder at every turn. When prison bars can no longer hold her husband, and her past comes knocking, Terri finds that the strength to trust again may be her only salvation. When her attractive new boss steps up to the plate and vows to protect her at all cost, she’s inclined to accept…but can she ever allow herself to trust her instincts again?

*Author Note* Her Only Salvation is a bold and enticing storyline with a hint of romance (sensual but not explicit). This book was originally released under J.C. Valentine’s given name and was entitled “Spring Cleaning.”

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EXCERPT

She wasn’t on the floor for more than five minutes when Cathie called her behind the bar.

“You have a phone call, doll.” Passing off the receiver, she flashed a quick grin over her shoulder and said, “It’s a guy.”

Not knowing anyone who would possibly be calling her, let alone a man, not to mention at work, puzzled Terri. With a dark frown, she lifted the receiver and pressed it to her ear.

“Hello?”

At first she didn’t hear a thing, the noise in the bar drowning everything out. Turning her back to the room, she cupped her hand over the phone and repeated the greeting.

At first, she didn’t trust what her ears were hearing. The voice was too distinct, too familiar to be real. Her first inclination was to throw out the most obvious explanation and come up with something that she was better equipped to handle mentally. However, when his voice came down the line again, rough and laced with menace, reality slammed into her like a freight train.

“Hi there, sweets,” Randy said smoothly. “Miss me?”

Terri’s voice seemed to be caught in her throat, a lump that she had difficulty even getting her short breaths past.

“Judging by your silence, I’ll take that as a yes. Don’t try to deny it,” he snapped, then quickly reigned in his temper.

Terri didn’t realize she had been shaking her head. In that instant, she knew he was watching her. Immediately, she spun on her heel and scanned the crowd. There were so many people tonight, she could barely make out their faces, let alone single one out. As he continued to talk, she slowed her visual inspection, breaking the room down into square foot sections, taking in every face methodically. Randy had distinct, pale blonde hair, and anyone who didn’t fit that description, she tossed out of the equation, and those with similarly blonde hair she subjected to intense scrutiny.

“You’re looking good, sweets,” he complimented her from his hidden vantage point.

“Always knew you would live up to your full potential one day.”

She could almost feel him moving through the room, his eyes pinned to her every step of the way. It made her skin crawl.

“From housewife to barmaid,” he continued. “Wouldn’t your mother be proud.”

“My mother was always proud of me,” she sneered into the phone. Bringing up her deceased mother had always been a sore spot for her, and he well knew it. She would not allow him to sully her memory any longer.

Randy snickered, loving that he had managed a reaction out of her. “You always were easy to rile up, sweets.”

“Don’t call me that,” she nearly shouted in return, but managed to lower her voice at the last minute to avoid attracting any unnecessary attention.

“Not so fond of that nickname anymore?” He clicked his tongue thoughtfully. “How about love bug? Does that suit you better?”

“I hate it,” Terri growled, hoping to sound as angry as she felt.

“Good, love bug it is. Now,” he went on, uncaring of her growing temper. “I must be going, but before you beg me to stay, I want to assure you that I won’t be far.” Suddenly it was as if the sound coming through the other end of the phone had entered a vacuum.

Eyes darting frantically across the sea of dancers, Terri honed in on a set of familiar wide shoulders set against a tall frame and a head of pale blonde hair cut short in an almost military fashion, exiting the club. It had to be Randy, she thought, but he was gone from view so quickly, she couldn’t be sure.

Except that she would know him anywhere.

With shaking hands, Terri replaced the phone on its station, and without saying where she was going, walked mindlessly down the narrow passage leading to the locker rooms. She needed to be alone. She couldn’t think. Her mind was too clouded with visions of her murder, of Randy strangling the life out of her once and for all.

With panic setting in, Terri burst through the locker room doors and ran for the washroom where she proceeded to vomit her dinner into the toilet.

Luke found her soon thereafter, worry and annoyance warring for dominance on his broad face.

“The girls are wondering where you disappeared to,” he informed her, crossing his arms over his chest as if she were a child in need of reprimand. “You know you can’t just take off without telling someone where you’re going.”

“I know,” Terri muttered, keeping her head low. She lacked the strength to hold it up, too weakened from the turmoil eating at her insides to do much else than sit there and ponder her fate. “I’m sorry. Tell them I’m sorry.”

Luke was suddenly sitting beside her. She hadn’t even heard him move.

Lifting her chin, he narrowed his deeply blue eyes on her and tilted his head. “Are you sick or something?”

“I’m fine,” she managed, trying to find some strength to lie effectively and failing miserably.

Tucking a chunk of hair that had escaped her ponytail behind her ear, he shook his head.

“Talk to me, Terri. I know everything isn’t fine. I know there is something going on with you, and I want to know what it is.”

“It’s nothing,” she insisted, forcing herself to meet his gaze.

Dropping his hand, Luke’s expression changed from soft and understanding to a mix of anger and annoyance like a switch had been thrown.

“That’s bull and we both know it. Now this…whatever this is,” he waved a hand through the air encompassing her, “is starting to affect your performance here. This is a business, Terri, and if you want me to be understanding, then you’re going to have to level with me.”

Terri narrowed her eyes on him. “Are you saying you’ll fire me if I don’t confide in you?”

Luke sighed deeply, pinching the bridge of his nose in exasperation. “No, I’m not going to fire you, Terri. I just need you to help me understand. I can’t help you if you don’t.”

The pained expression he turned on her, one of utter defeat, somehow compelled Terri to open her mouth and admit this one person into her shrunken world.

“My husband,” she began, and swallowed hard to tamp down the tremor in her voice, “he’s been released from prison.”

Luke looked at her in a way that told her he was trying to be sympathetic but still didn’t grasp the gravity of the situation.

She went on. “He was here tonight, and I think he was here last night too.” She grimaced, knowing in her heart of hearts that what she was about to say next was the truth. “I think he was the one who hit that boy in the parking lot.”

Luke’s eyes widened, understanding mixed with equal parts anger and worry twisting through them until the blue seemed to swirl with his anger.

“I’ll kill that asshole,” he seethed, his fingers curling to form tight fists against the bench they sat on.

Terri shook her head. “You can’t. They would lock you up, and then who would watch out for me?”

She didn’t want Luke to get himself into trouble. It was obvious he was a fighter, willing to go up to bat for any cause he deemed worthy, but she didn’t want to see him get caught up in the drama of her life. Not if she could help it.

She hadn’t meant to, but she started to shake a little, almost as if the cold outside hadn’t fully left her.

Seeing this, Luke wrapped her in his arms and squeezed her to him. “Hush,” he murmured. “I won’t let anything happen to you.”

“Promise?” she asked, then sniffed back the start of a runny nose. Had she started crying too? Jesus, she really was a mess.

“Promise. It will be a cold day in hell before I let that creep get anywhere close to you again.” He petted her hair absently. “Don’t you worry about a thing, I’ll work something out.”

Closing her eyes, she leaned into his embrace. For the second time in her life, Terri decided to put her trust into a man. This time, she only hoped she wouldn’t get burned.

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ABOUT J.C. VALENTINE

JC Valentine

J.C. Valentine is the USA Today and International bestselling author of the Night Calls and Wayward Fighters Series and the Forbidden Series. Her vivid imagination and love of words and romance had her penning her own romance stories from an early age, which, despite being poorly edited and written longhand, she forced friends and family members to read. No, she isn’t sorry.

J.C. earned her own happily ever after when she married her high school sweetheart. Living in the Northwest, they have three amazing children and far too many pets and spend much of their free time together enjoying movies or the outdoors. Among the many hats she wears, J.C. is an entrepreneur. Having graduated with honors, she holds a Bachelor’s in English and when she isn’t writing, you can find her editing for fellow authors.

Sign up for J.C.’s newsletter and never miss a thing! http://bit.ly/1KxXWWB

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Dirty Rich

Cover Reveal! Her Only Salvation by J.C. Valentine

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Her Only Salvation

by J.C. Valentine
Publication Date: September 13, 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Sweet / Clean Romance, Thriller

Her Only Salvation Cover

#Preorder (99c or #Free with #KU): http://amzn.to/2bEdxJD

Synopsis: Sometimes, relationships can be deadly.

Terri thought she was marrying a strong, loving man, only to find that beneath that handsome face lies something cold, brutal, and dangerous. After years of abuse, her husband takes things a little too far, and Terri finally summons the courage to take matters into her own hands and make her escape.

But freedom comes at a price.

Forging a new life, Terri moves to a new town and tries to forget her past, but she can’t help looking over her shoulder at every turn. When prison bars can no longer hold her husband, and her past comes knocking, Terri finds that the strength to trust again may be her only salvation. When her attractive new boss steps up to the plate and vows to protect her at all cost, she’s inclined to accept…but can she ever allow herself to trust her instincts again?

*Author Note* Her Only Salvation is a bold and enticing storyline with a hint of romance (sensual but not explicit). This book was originally released under J.C. Valentine’s given name and was entitled “Spring Cleaning.”

Her Only Salvation Full Jacket Cover

EXCERPT

Luke stomped across the floor and poured himself a glass of water. Gulping it down, he placed the empty cup in the small sink basin and turned to survey the room.

Terri didn’t try to make small talk this time, not after what happened the last time. Instead, she cleaned around the human pillar parked in front of the taps. He would have to move sometime, but she wasn’t about to tell him that.

She could feel his eyes on her as she moved about the confined area.

“The police said it was a hit and run.” Luke’s voice was gruff, tortured.

Sensing his need to unburden himself, she put the glass she was cleaning down and met his eyes. “Yeah?”

“Yeah.” He broke eye contact, staring at the shelves of liquor above her head as if deep in thought. Eventually, his gaze shifted back to hers.

“They said since it was on my property, I might be facing a lawsuit.”

Terri rose up straight. “How is that possible? You weren’t the one that ran someone over.” Anger for Luke’s situation had her fisting her hands against her sides.

A shoulder lifted and fell. Luke sighed deeply, as if he were exhausted by the whole ordeal. “It all depends on whether the guy lives or not and how much he can tell the detective about what happened tonight.”

“What do you mean, if he lives? How serious was it?”

Luke smirked humorlessly. “Every hit and run is serious, Terri.”

She raised an eyebrow at that. “Duh. What I meant was…” She shook her head. “Yeah, I don’t know what I meant.” She huffed at her own stupid remark.

Retrieving his cup, Luke poured himself another glass of water. He sipped it slowly, thinking. “The guy was only twenty-one,” he stated, as if that should clarify everything. The look she gave him said it didn’t. “He left my club falling-down drunk, intending to drive home.”

Terri winced. The dram laws said that bartenders, and anyone else who served alcoholic drinks, were supposed to monitor how much was too much for any one customer. If they looked like they weren’t handling it so well, they weren’t allowed to leave unless it was by cab or some other designated driver. It was a good rule that kept a lot of heat off of the Sunset Black.

“Okay, but how can this be held over your head? He never drove away, and they can’t prove the guy who hit him was drunk,” she pointed out “Maybe not, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have some responsibility to make sure my customers make it home safely.” Pushing off the bar, Luke returned his glass to the sink without finishing it. “If he wakes up, he might decide I didn’t hold up my end. If I’m sued, I’ll probably lose this place in legal fees alone.”

“Well what about this driver? Didn’t anyone see who it was? What kind of car they were driving? Anything?” Terri felt desperate for answers. It wasn’t even her business to save, but she felt a kinship with Luke, and that made her concerned with what happened to him in his life.

He had offered her a job when no one else would. She was uneducated and hadn’t worked since the day she married. To top it off, he treated her kindly, something she hadn’t experienced in years, and he was her friend. Those she called a friend she stood behind fully. His fight was now her fight, as far as she was concerned, and anything she could do to keep him from losing his livelihood—his dream—she would do.

“One of the witnesses said they saw a late model blue pickup speeding away. They didn’t get the plates or see who was driving, though. So they probably won’t catch the guy, which leaves just me, unless that boy recovers and gives us something good to go on.” Reaching out, Luke placed a gentle hand against Terri’s cheek. “Hey, you’re all pale. What’s wrong?”

She didn’t know how she could’ve missed it, but her eyes were wide open now. The guy at the club earlier with the broken beer bottle and the driver of the truck in the parking lot responsible for running down one of their patrons…

Shaking now, Terri peered up at Luke hoping he wouldn’t confirm her worst fears. “Who was the victim? The guy they took to the hospital.”

“Terri, I don’t see how—”

“Please,” she pleaded, “I have to know.”

“It was that guy who hassled you tonight. The college kid.”

Terri’s legs crumbled beneath her. Luke’s quick reflexes made sure she didn’t fall. Scooping her into his arms, Luke carried her quickly to his office before anyone noticed what had happened.

Luke place Terri on a very smart-looking sofa in his office. He left her long enough to close the door, then returned, pulling up his desk chair and sitting down to face her.

“Want to tell me what just happened out there?”

Terri shook her head. Words failed her. They were all locked up in her throat. Blood pounded through her veins, making her pulse thunder inside her ears.

Rubbing two fingers across his chin, Luke studied her. “Okay. Do you want to go home, Terri?”

She thought about it. The idea of going back behind that counter, walking around the dark club floors where someone could be watching her, and she’d never know it, terrified her.

“Yes” was all she could say.

“Okay then.” Luke stood and rounded the desk. He slid open a drawer and drew out a set of keys. “I’ll drive you home.”

Terri’s attention snapped back to him. “What about my car?”

Luke held up a hand. “Leave it. I’ll pick you up tomorrow afternoon on my way in. Your car will be fine until you get back.”

Terri didn’t argue. She stood up and let Luke lead her from the office, thoughts of Randy racing through her mind. Had he finally been released from jail? Was he free to come after her now? If he was, would he really do it after all this time? But she already knew the answer to that. Of course he would.

The question now was, would he be waiting for her, ready to run her down the moment she stepped across the protective barrier of the club provided her like he did to that boy?

She could only hope that having Luke by her side would be enough to keep her safe.

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ABOUT J.C. VALENTINE

JC Valentine

J.C. Valentine is the USA Today and International bestselling author of the Night Calls and Wayward Fighters Series and the Forbidden Series. Her vivid imagination and love of words and romance had her penning her own romance stories from an early age, which, despite being poorly edited and written longhand, she forced friends and family members to read. No, she isn’t sorry.

J.C. earned her own happily ever after when she married her high school sweetheart. Living in the Northwest, they have three amazing children and far too many pets and spend much of their free time together enjoying movies or the outdoors. Among the many hats she wears, J.C. is an entrepreneur. Having graduated with honors, she holds a Bachelor’s in English and when she isn’t writing, you can find her editing for fellow authors.

Sign up for J.C.’s newsletter and never miss a thing! http://bit.ly/1KxXWWB

WebsiteTwitterFacebookPinterestGoogle+Amazon Author PageGoodreads

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY

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