USA Today Bestselling Author
Dewey Stone spent seventeen years serving his country and more than ten of them as a fighter pilot with a death wish. He constantly searched for that one adrenaline rush that would make all others pale in comparison.
He found it the day his Super Hornet stalled and subsequently spun out of control and crash landed in the Mediterranean Sea.
But Dewey hasn’t quite been the same and for the last two years, he’s focused finding his new normal and for the first time in his life, relaxing and maybe even finding the right woman to settle down with.
Magnolia Clarke had been dealt a crappy hand since the day she’d been born. She did her best with what she had. Her sole goal in life was to make sure she didn’t end up like her parents.
Dead or in prison.
However, when someone from her past shows up in her tattoo parlor with threatening her demise if she doesn’t do something for her incarcerated mother, Magnolia believes she has no choice, but to run. Having no other options, she turns to Dewey and the Brotherhood Protectors for help. Dewey will save her from her mother…
And he’ll steal her heart.
Magnolia has a successful tattoo shop and she’s been very happy here in the foothills of the Crazy Mountains. Now she fears she has to leave, a man sent a picture of her mother’s crew tattoo and asked for an appointment. She put him off but an employee found the room. The events following the completion of the design make her fear for her life.
This is a favorite scene.
Slowly, she slipped her hand into her pocket.
He shook his head, making a clucking noise. “I wouldn’t do that if I were you. My gun is bigger, more powerful, but I won’t shoot to kill, and neither will the two men outside. Nope. They will enjoy you first, and then they will toss you at the mercy of your mother.”
“You have me mistaken for someone else,” she said behind a tight jaw. She had been damned no matter how she’d played her cards. If she’d continued to tell him no, he probably would have kidnapped her or killed her.
And since she’d inked him for her mother, they believed they had some control over her, and they did, to a certain extent.
Calvin laughed. “No, Magnolia. I know exactly who you are, and your mother and I are excited to have you on the team.”
She shook her head. Her vision blurred. Her chest tightened. This couldn’t be happening. No fucking way was she going back to inking her mother’s crew.
She would die first.
She pressed her hands flat on the counter. “You tell my mother she can go fuck herself.”
“Not the right answer.”
“How the hell is she managing all this from behind bars?”
“Oh. You haven’t heard, have you?”
No. No. No. Please don’t say her mother was getting out of prison.
“New evidence has been entered into the court regarding your father’s death, proving your mother didn’t murder him, and she’s going to be released in a few months since she’s paid her debt to society for her other crimes.”
Suddenly it became difficult to fill her lungs. Magnolia had suspected her mother hadn’t murdered her father. Well, not with her own two hands.
Her mother didn’t have the stomach to kill, but she had no problem hiring someone to do it. So when Joey, ‘the bat’ Bronco, a man her mother used often, was arrested for her fathers premature departure from life, Magnolia knew without a doubt, her mother was guilty as the sky was blue.
“They already picked up Joey and he confessed. Unfortunately, He had a lot of enemies and he didn’t last more than ten days in jail. He took a shiv in the heart while exercising in the yard.”
Magnolia hadn’t heard that name in years. Letting him get away with murder was a small price to pay in order to make sure her mother never saw the light of day. “What exactly did he confess to? And did he say who hired him if it wasn’t my mother?” When the story broke, curiosity had gotten the better of Magnolia and she found herself reaching out to an old friend who told her that it had been rumored that her mother’s boyfriend, some dude by the name of Big Cal, took out the hit on her father, but it had never been proven. Since the weapon had been Flower’s and her prints had been all over the gun, there was enough evidence to convince a jury.
“Some guy that was sleeping with your mother.” He winked.
“Was that guy named Big Cal?”
“Could have been,” he said.
She shivered. “You’re Big Cal.”
“I’m impressed,” he said with a beaming smile. He had some seriously white teeth. So bright she found herself squinting as she stared at them.
“Why are you just now getting my mom’s tattoo?”
“Timing. It’s all about timing,” he said. “So, if you know what’s good for you, which I’m sure you do, you’ll take good care of our friends as we send them to you. That’s all we want. Nothing more. Nothing less. Do that, and we’ll all get along just fine.”
“It’s a long way from Charleston, South Carolina, just to get a fucking tattoo.”
Calvin lifted his baseball cap off the coatrack and sauntered toward the main door. He gripped the handle with his massive hand. “When your mother gets her walking papers, we’re relocating.”
As soon as he was outside, she raced across the room and locked the door. Leaning against the wood, she slid to the floor and clutched her chest. Her mother wouldn’t be satisfied with Magnolia simply inking her crew. No. Her mother wanted more.
Pop, pop, pop, pop, pop!
She dropped to her stomach and crawled across the uneven wood planks, hiding behind the counter while the roar of gunfire echoed all around her.
Her mother didn’t want more.
Her mother wanted her dead.
She found her phone and dialed 9-1-1.
A few more shots pelted the building before the store went eerily quiet. The smell of bitter smoke filled the air. Her mother would require proof of death. She pulled out her weapon, inched to the right, and aimed for the front of the store.
Well, if Big Cal walked back through those doors, the only proof mommy dearest would get was that her boyfriend was a dumbfuck. He should have killed her while he was standing in the shop instead of trying to make it look like some random whatever.
The sound of an engine revving made the hair on the back of her neck stand up on end.
“9-1-1. What’s your emergency?”
“This is Magnolia Clarke. I’m at Mags Tattoo Parlor just outside of town. Shots were fired at my—”
“Yes. Someone called that in already. Where are you?”
“Inside. But it seems to have stopped.”
“Stay right where you are. Help is less than five minutes away.”
The door rattled.
She squeezed the trigger. She’d never killed anyone, and she didn’t know if she could, but she didn’t want to die today. Not at the hands of anyone connected to the bitch that birthed her. She blinked. Perspiration beaded across her forehead.
A boot stepped onto the floor.
Holding her breath, she kept her gaze glued to a bronzed belt buckle as a tall familiar man entered the lobby with a weapon drawn. “Whoa, Magnolia. Put that thing down. It’s me. Dewey.”
She dropped the gun and let out a gasp, cupping her cheeks, hoping she didn’t start bawling like a baby, especially in front of Dewey Stone.
He knelt by her side, tipping her chin up with his thumb and forefinger. He’d pushed his shades on top of his head, which had taken some of his thick, sandy-brown hair with them. He had this scruffy, sexy hair style that looked like he hadn’t bothered even running a comb through it, only she suspected he spent hours on it. He had piecing blue eyes that captured her attention. She couldn’t turn away if she tried.
“Are you okay?” He patted down her arms, adjusting her smock, smoothing his hands over her jeans, down her thighs, even across her calves. “Did you get hit?”
She shook her head. “I don’t think so. I heard a car.” She wasn’t sure what she should say to Dewey, if anything at all. She needed to empty her bank accounts, sell what she could, and leave by the end of the week.
She needed to sneak out in the middle of the night, when no one was looking, especially Big Cal.
“Maddog and I saw some guy jump in a sedan and race out of here like a bat out of hell. Any idea who was shooting at you and why?”
“No,” she said quickly.
Jen Talty. Saving Magnolia: Brotherhood Protectors (Kindle Locations 118-170).
You know that Dewey and the Brotherhood Protectors aren’t going to let her run, they’re going to figure everything out and make sure she can live her life free of her mother and all the leftover minions.
Fast-paced, action-packed with plenty of suspense and sizzling heat.
I haven’t read the other books connected to this world by Jen but somehow they just found their way to my kindle.
5 Contented Purrs for Jen!
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Welcome to my World! I’m a USA Today Bestseller of Romantic Suspense, Contemporary Romance, and Paranormal Romance.
I first started writing while carting my kids to one hockey rink after the other, averaging 170 games per year between 3 kids in 2 countries and 5 states. My first book, IN TWO WEEKS was originally published in 2007. In 2010 I helped form a publishing company (Cool Gus Publishing) with NY Times Bestselling Author Bob Mayer where I ran the technical side of the business through 2016.
I’m currently enjoying the next phase of my life…the empty NESTER! My husband and I spend our winters in Jupiter, Florida and our summers in Rochester, NY. We have three amazing children who have all gone off to carve out their places in the world, while I continue to craft stories that I hope will make you readers feel good and put a smile on your face.