Blog Tour: 4 Stars for Pieces of Heaven by Natasha Madison!

 

 

 

I didn’t want this life.

But sometimes you’re forced to make the best of the crappy hand you’ve been dealt. I wanted to teach my daughter that. No matter what happens you face your problems head-on.

Never cower. Never give up.

Then someone took her and I had to put my faith in a system that had failed me, and my hope in a man I didn’t know.

Serve. Honor. Protect, are the only things I’ve ever cared about until her case was dropped on my desk. As we searched for her missing daughter, the last woman I thought I’d fall in love with became my reason for living.

Then the world came crashing down around us.

One secret would change everything, but I had one more hand to be dealt. And if I played my cards right, maybe, just maybe we’d get our piece of heaven.

My Review:

4 stars!

If you haven’t read Natasha Madison, shame on you. She is a new name on the scene, but once you crack one of her books, you will hooked…just like I was.

Pieces of Heaven is book 2 in the Heaven and Hell series. It can be read as a standalone, but I highly recommend reading book one because it does closely tie in and, well, it is a darn good book. Mick appeared in the first book, a cop and partner to Jackson (the hero in book 1). Mick was a hot mess – drunk, having an affair with a married woman, constantly hung over. I knew under all that mess, there was a great guy waiting to come out.

Boy was I right.

Mick is complicated. He had a crummy childhood, always coming second to everyone in his life. He has been carrying on a seven year affair with a woman he has been in love with since high school. When he meets Marissa, things change…but not until after he makes a donkey of himself with his grumpiness and judgemental comments/attitude. Marissa is his match, however. She is unapologetic, strong and lives her life for her daughter. When these two meet it is under circumstances that are not ideal.

This book is a gem. A hot, alpha hero with a huge heart + sassy, single, hard-working mom = sexy, suspenseful goodness!

 

 

Chapter Fourteen
Mick

I stand back and watch Marissa do her thing. As soon as we got back to her place, she went straight into Lori’s room. She walked around, inspecting things, checking to see if anything was out of place. I can see how much she hopes for this search to be different, for things to be out of place. Her shoulders droop in disappointment when she realizes that everything is exactly as it was the last time she checked. Watching that hope in her eyes quickly fade back to sorrow guts me.
Looking up at me with tears brimming in her eyes, she quietly says, “She hasn’t come back yet.”

“I’m going to get her back to you.” It’s not like we haven’t been trying, it’s just been one dead end after another. One minute we think we have something, only for it to turn out to be nothing. She nods her head.

“I’m going to change and then we can go,” she says as she walks past me, leaving me in the room by myself.
I walk around, taking in all the little ‘booby traps’ that she set up. The scotch tape on the drawers, the picture frames with strings attached to them, all in the hopes that she’ll come home and realize that Lori had been there. I can’t even imagine what that constant level of worry and devastation would do to me. I never really thought that I would be the kind of man who cared so much about children, but Lilah changed that for me. She really is the perfect kid.

Walking the room once more, I notice that her clothes haven’t been washed. She doesn’t want to touch anything. I’m about to sit on the bed and see if maybe there is something here that we’ve missed when she walks into the room.

“I’m ready,” she tells me, and I take in her outfit. Gone is the skirt she wore to work, and in its place are tight blue jeans that mold to her body with a bulky sweater that gathers at her waist. The look is finished with a pair of black Chucks. Her hair is tied high on her head in a ponytail, and her makeup free face makes her look like she’s a teenager herself.

 

“Can I say something before we leave?” I ask her, waiting for her nod. “We get out there, the minute I feel something isn’t safe, I’m stepping in. I don’t want you to get all huffy and puffy. I need you to trust me, trust my instincts and my experience. I want to find something that leads us to Lori just as much as you do, but I’ll do it without compromising your safety.” The minute I say that, her head cocks to the side, and she crosses her arms over her chest. I don’t give her a chance to give me attitude before I continue. “You get me?”

“I can take care of myself.”

“I have no doubt that you can, Marissa, but now you have me to help with that. So just give me this, yeah?” The question hangs in the air for a couple of minutes before she finally gives in.
“Fine, I’ll give you this,” she says. “But you can’t scare these people off. If you go into cop mode with them, they won’t talk.”

I walk to her, grabbing her face in my hands. “We are going to get her back. I promise you.”
She nods her head as I lean down and kiss her lips. I was going for a soft kiss, but the minute she leans into me, my body takes over. One arm wraps around her waist as my mouth opens to tangle her tongue with mine. Our tongues dance together, both of us trying to get the upper hand over the other.
She pulls back from me and breathlessly says, “We should go.” She licks her lips before walking to her purse and pulling out two pictures along with her keys.
“Ready.” I follow her out the door, watching as she locks it.

We walk out of her building, and I guide her to my car with a hand on her lower back as I take in our surroundings, making sure that no one is watching us. I hate that she lives here, but I know that she isn’t going anywhere till Lori comes back. I don’t even have to ask her to know that if Lori never came back, she would stay there her whole life waiting, just in case. But I make a mental note to discuss it with her when I bring Lori back.

 

“Where to first?” I ask her while starting the car and merging into traffic.

“I usually start at the soup kitchen down on 5th Street. If there aren’t that many people there, I go to the homeless shelter down the street before doubling back to the soup kitchen. After that, I go to the alley behind the bodega on 7th Avenue—”
The second she says it, I lose my shit.

“Are you fucking telling me that you’ve been down to pier warehouse next to the alley near the bodega? By yourself? AT NIGHT?” The thought of her down there at night by herself sends chills down my spine. Homeless men, women, and junkies gather there, many of them getting drunk or high. It’s fucking dangerous down there, even for me, and I’m a fucking cop with a weapon and experience. I get that she’s worried and feels like she has to do something, anything, to help bring her daughter home, but I am furious that she is so reckless with her safety. I need to take a few calming breaths so I don’t lash out at her.

“What if one of them saw her? What if she was there? I have to do what I have to do. If you have an issue with this, maybe you should just drop me off so I can get what I need to do done.” She continues, “You think this is the first time I’ve done this? I’ve been on these streets every day since she left. I don’t have enough energy left in me to argue with you right now. So are you driving me or not?”

I don’t answer her. I’m still deep breathing. Instead, I start making a list in my head. Change the lock on her front door, follow up on Lori’s Facebook page, and investigate all of her friends, turn her ass pink before fucking her raw. My mind lingers on that last item on my to-do list. Thoughts of her lying across my lap, her ass in the air, pink from my hand, and her drenched pussy ready and waiting for me has my cock springing to life and throbbing in my pants.

“Okay, Mick, just spit it out. What’s on your mind right now?” she asks as she turns her body in her seat toward me.

 

“Honestly?” I ask her, not sure she really wants to know. She glares at me, her eyes practically shooting daggers at me. “I was thinking a couple of things. First, I need to change the lock on your door. It can be picked open easily with a spoon, that’s how weak it is. Then I was thinking about digging deeper into Lori’s Facebook friends. Finally, I was thinking about how pink I’m going to turn your ass if you ever go back down there without me again.” I pin her with my own glare before I turn my eyes back to the road.

“Turn my ass pink?”

“Turn your ass pink. With you laid across my lap, I’ll use my hand to turn that perfect little ass a pretty shade of pink.” I stop at a red light and assess her. A second more and I would have missed the pink of her cheeks, the hitch of her breath, the way she pressed her legs together tight. “Right before I fuck you,” I say, and even I can hear the huskiness in my voice.

“I haven’t had sex since Lori’s dad left,” she says without meeting my eyes. My mouth hangs open as she continues, “Which was a long, long time ago.”
I don’t say anything because I hear a honk behind me. Looking up, I see that the light has changed to green.
“Just so you know, if you thought that I slept around, I don’t.” The last part is whispered softly as she turns in her seat again to stare out the window.

I pull over into an empty parking lot, reach over to unbuckle her seat belt, and pull her into my lap. “Look at me, Marissa, and hear what I’m saying. I was a dick when I first met you.”
She places her hands on my chest, her thumbs stroking it gently.
“I can’t take that back, but what I can promise is that I will always treat you with respect. I will treat you like a queen, my queen, because that is what you deserve. You deserve that and so much more.” I kiss her on the tip of her nose. “Let me in, Marissa,” I ask her quietly, holding my breath as my heart pounds so loudly, I’m certain she can hear it. “Let me in, baby, so I can do all of that for you and more.”

 

“Lori is my life. The reason I never dated was because I didn’t want her to see a revolving door of men. I wanted her to know that love is special and something worth waiting for. Something that should be cherished if you’ve been lucky enough to find it. But mostly I wanted her to know that she came first, always. She’s my baby even though she’s almost an adult. So I can only tell you that I will try, but I can’t make you promises till she comes home. Till I hold her in my arms again. I can’t let you into my heart because it’s shattered. It’s in pieces and the longer I’m without her, the harder it will be to put the pieces back together. Because you, Mick, you deserve my whole heart, and I can’t give that to you yet.”

“Let me be there for you, Marissa. Let me hold your hand, let me hold you, let me guard the pieces of your heart till she comes back. I’ll take them, one piece at a time, until I have the whole thing.”

She doesn’t say anything else to me, just rests her cheek on my chest and nods. She pulls back and kisses me on the nose. “Can we please go and see what we can find out about my girl?” She climbs back into her seat and buckles her seat belt. “Chop chop! Let’s go, Moro!”

I let out a laugh, feeling lighter than I have in a long fucking time. I buckle my seat belt and put my car into drive, heading straight to the first stop on her list, hoping and praying that tonight is the night we get a lead.

 

 

When her nose isn’t buried in a book, or her fingers flying across a keyboard writing, she’s in the kitchen creating gourmet meals. You can find her, in four inch heels no less, in the car chauffeuring kids, or possibly with her husband scheduling his business trips. It’s a good thing her characters do what she says, because even her Labrador doesn’t listen to her…

 

Author Links

 

 

New Release! Pieces of Heaven by Natasha Madison

 

 

 

I didn’t want this life.

But sometimes you’re forced to make the best of the crappy hand you’ve been dealt. I wanted to teach my daughter that. No matter what happens you face your problems head-on.

Never cower. Never give up.

Then someone took her and I had to put my faith in a system that had failed me, and my hope in a man I didn’t know.

Serve. Honor. Protect, are the only things I’ve ever cared about until her case was dropped on my desk. As we searched for her missing daughter, the last woman I thought I’d fall in love with became my reason for living.

Then the world came crashing down around us.

One secret would change everything, but I had one more hand to be dealt. And if I played my cards right, maybe, just maybe we’d get our piece of heaven.

 

 

Chapter Eleven
Marissa

The bells over the door ring every single time someone walks in. I’ve been on edge ever since I got in this morning. Lucky for me it’s been non-stop people coming in, so my mind hasn’t been able to wander to Lori.

Now that it has been quiet and I’m filling the salt and pepper shakers, my mind wanders. It wanders to my baby girl, who is somewhere out there begging to come home. The sound of her voice plays in my head on repeat. My hands start to shake, so I close my eyes and sit down on a chair before my knees buckle.

I blink away the tears threatening to fall over, my heart starting to beat so fast I hear the echoes in my ears. A plate of meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and gravy is shoved in front of me. Phyllis’s eyes greet me when I look up.

“Eat that and then go home. You are done for the day. You’ve been here for fourteen hours.”
I look over at the clock hanging behind the counter that reads 8 p.m., realizing she’s right.

“I’m just going to finish filling the shakers then I’ll take off.” I know she’s about to argue with me when the bell over the door rings again, making us both look up.

His eyes find me right away. My heart that was starting to calm down is now speeding up. I focus on my meal, cutting a piece of meatloaf and dipping it in the gravy before popping it into my mouth. I try to ignore the heat of his stare, try to think of anything but him and that naked woman from last night. His girlfriend. I was so stupid to think that he would actually want me. I’m a used up stripper whose daughter ran away from home. I’m the opposite of what he wants or needs.

The chair in front of me is filled with his big frame. The scent of his aftershave, of cologne lingers around us. Musky, rich, and woodsy. It’s the smell that has seeped its way into my memory along with the way his lips felt on mine. The way that I just fit, like I was made for him. I blink away the memory, looking up at him.

 

“All the seats in this place are open and you sit in front of me?” I ask him before scooping up more food. I didn’t notice how hungry I was till I started eating.

“You didn’t text me back.” His voice is hard, his muscles tight, his jaw ticking.

I take out my phone. “Oh, I put the do not disturb on under your name. Maybe that’s why.”

My phone is snapped out of my hand in a blink of an eye. “What the fuck?” I see him touching the screen angrily and turning it off.

“You know you’re doing that for nothing since I can turn it on again?” I finish off my whole plate, making my stomach hurt since it’s the first thing I’ve eaten since last night.

“What if I had information on Lori?” Bulls-eye, hit straight through my heart. He must see the color drain from my face as I realize that I fucked up. I’m not going to admit it to him, though.

“I don’t have Jackson’s number blocked, and he would have called me.” I shrug my shoulders, picking up my plate to bring it to the gray bussing bin.

Walking over, I wipe down the table right when Phyllis comes out from the kitchen.
“There you are! I have your order ready. It’s being boxed up. Did you want dessert with that?”

His eyes never leave mine. “No, that’s okay. Thanks, Phyllis.”

I grab my phone from him, putting it in the front pocket of my waitress pouch. “I’m taking off. My feet are killing me. See you tomorrow, Phyllis.”

I don’t wait for her to say anything to me before I walk out the door to my car. Turning it on, I drive home, determined not to give Mick another minute of my thoughts. Just one problem with that plan, though. No one mentioned to my head that I wasn’t thinking about him because his eyes flash in my mind, the hard lines around them. The sorrow that is buried there, the sadness that he thinks no one sees but is there, if you look long enough.

 

I make my way into my apartment, taking my shoes off my throbbing feet at the door.

Walking into the kitchen, I take out the tips from my pocket and count them out. Three hundred and seventeen dollars. Two hundred of that is going to that damn debt that I’m still paying off. I can’t fucking wait till it’s over. I walk over to Lori’s room like I do every single night, turning on the light to see if maybe something has been misplaced or moved.

I’ve put scotch tape on the drawers to alert me if they’ve been opened, but it’s still intact. I’ve labeled her clothes hanging in the closet by number, and I count them, seeing that none have been taken either.

The bed is exactly how she left it. I crawl into her bed and grab her pillow, breathing in her scent. Tears run down my face, seeping into the pillow. This has become my nightly routine. I sleep here so I’m closer to her. I lie in this bed, talking to her. Telling her about my day, praying that she calls me again. I tell her stories about when she was small, about the day they placed her in my arms. The tears never stop. It’s like an endless river.

The soft knock at the door has me raising my head. Walking slowly to the door, I look through the peephole and see that Mick is in the hallway. His hands are braced against the doorframe, his head hanging down.

I place my forehead on the door, take a deep breath in, and open the door. His eyes land right on mine. The tears continue to roll down my cheeks, right off my chin on their way to the floor. He brings his thumb up to my chin, catching them.
“Marissa,” he whispers, and it’s all I can do before I collapse into his arms, sobbing. Begging. Pleading with him to bring her back to me.

He picks me up and carries me inside. Sitting on the couch with me curled into a ball in his lap, my tears soak his shirt. I’m so exhausted from the fear, stress, and worry. I’m just too tired to move.

 

“I’m a good mom,” I whisper to him. “I was tough on her only because I wanted better for her. Wanted her out of this life. Wanted her to be something.” My hand lies on his chest, the beat of his heart pounding against my palm.

“I know, baby, I know.”
I don’t say anything more. I just continue to soak up the feeling of his heart beating as it calms me. My eyes droop, and the exhaustion drags me under.

I don’t move from this position all night. I wake the next morning with the same heart beating against my hand.

 

 

When her nose isn’t buried in a book, or her fingers flying across a keyboard writing, she’s in the kitchen creating gourmet meals. You can find her, in four inch heels no less, in the car chauffeuring kids, or possibly with her husband scheduling his business trips. It’s a good thing her characters do what she says, because even her Labrador doesn’t listen to her…

 

Author Links