prior reviews

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Assumption (Underground Kings #1) by Aurora Rose Reynolds

Barnes
& Noble:
http://bit.ly/1qaNWJ3
Goodreads
Link:
http://bit.ly/1olp5C0
Blurb
as·sump·tion:
a
thing that is accepted as true or as certain to happen, without proof
They
say when you assume that you make an ass out of you and me. Kenton
Mayson
 learned this lesson firsthand when he made assumptions about
Autumn Freeman and the 
kind of woman she is based on what little
information he had. What he finds out is she’s
 not only beautiful,
but also smart, funny, a fighter, and exactly the kind of woman he
wants to share his life with. Autumn made assumptions of her own
about Kenton, and 
now he needs to prove her wrong in order to protect
her and their future.
 
Prologue
I see you
judging me. I know what you’re thinking. She has to be a slut; she
works at a strip club and takes off her clothes for money. Yes! I
work at a strip club, and you may think I’m a whore for showing off
my body, but this is a talent that has been forced down my throat
since I was a young child. Look pretty and smile. I put on a show for
those who choose to watch. However long I’m on stage, I’m not
even me. It’s what I imagine an out of body experience would be
like—a performance, nothing more, nothing less. The people watching
make assumptions about who they think I am, or cook up a story in
their heads of whom they want me to be. I’m just another beautiful
face.
Beautiful.
I hate that fucking word. Who gives a crap if
someone is attractive on the outside if they are dying inside? My
whole life has been about what I look like. I swear, the only reason
my mother kept me was to have a real-life, living, breathing doll she
could dress up and control, which is the exact reason why as soon as
I became eighteen, I got as far away from her special brand of crazy
as I could. That’s also why I don’t date. The first thing guys do
is look at me and see a pretty face, a nice body, and an empty space
where my brain’s supposed to be. They have no interest in getting
to know the person I am on the inside. They don’t care I volunteer
my spare time, and they couldn’t care less I’m going to school to
be an RN. They don’t ask about my hopes, my dreams, or about where
I see my life in twenty years. They don’t care about me at all.
They just
want someone pretty to follow them around and tell them how handsome
they are, how special they are, while agreeing with everything they
say. Fuck that! I did that for too many years. That’s why I live
inside books. At least there I can choose where I want to be—from
the highlands of Scotland, to a king’s bed in a faraway land—and
even if it’s pretend, sometimes that’s a lot better than reality.
Chapter
1
I look out the plane
window, my finger going to the glass, feeling the cold on my
fingertips as I look out at the land moving quickly below me. It’s
funny how from up here, everything looks so small. I never traveled
in a plane before today; just the idea of being trapped inside a tin
can while flying at six hundred miles an hour never appealed to me. I
take a breath and look at the TV monitor that’s in the seat in
front of me. The small, animated plane on the screen shows we’re
over halfway to Tennessee.
Are you traveling for
business or pleasure?”
I turn my head and look at
the guy sitting next to me. He’s slightly overweight and balding,
but he also has wrinkles around his eyes, giving him the appearance
of someone who smiles often. I debate with myself on whether or not
to answer before replying, “Business.”
His eyes drop to my mouth,
then to my chest as I fight the urge to punch him in the throat. I
hate when men go from nice to creepy. I shake my head, turning away
from him. I don’t know why I even try. I feel a hand on my bare leg
and my head swings around quickly. “Touch me again and I will rip
off your balls and feed them to you,” I tell him in a soft tone,
trying not to bring attention to us. He quickly removes his hand
before swallowing hard.
I…I’m sorry.”
I shake my head before
turning my body away from his. I feel tears sting my nose, but I
fight them back. No way am I going to cry now—not when just six
hours ago, my whole world exploded and I didn’t shed one single
tear. I lay my forehead to the glass, closing my eyes. I still can’t
believe how fast my life changed…
Yesterday
I got up that morning and
went to the hospital like I always do. I work at one of the busiest
ERs in Vegas. I’ve been working there since I finished school, and
was required to get my clinical hours for my RN certification. As
soon as I walked into the building, I was loaded down with work.
Weekends are always crazy in Sin City, but yesterday seemed worse
than normal—two drug overdoses, three stomach pumps, and one gun
shot victim. Later, I was leaving the hospital exhausted, only to
head to my real job—well, the one that pays me the money I need to
live.
Hey, Angel.”
Hey, Sid.” I gave him
a half-smile as I walked into The Lions Den, the gentlemen’s club I
worked at. Do I like to strip? No. Does it pay my bills? Yes. The
second I get on stage, I’m no longer me; my brain shuts off and my
body takes over, the same way it used to when I was growing up and my
mom forced me into pageants. I’m accustomed to being on display and
used for my appearance. I wish life was different, but it is what it
is. Some people complain about being overweight or having acne; for
me, I hate being beautiful. I know it sounds stupid; I mean, why
would anyone complain about being attractive, right? Here’s why:
men see me as an object, and women see me as competition. No one is
ever willing to give me a chance; they all judge me by what’s on
the outside, never taking a second to find out even the smallest
detail about who I am. I know I’m a walking cliché; I hate being
beautiful, yet I work in a business where I put myself front and
center to be viewed and judged.
The difference? For the
first time in my life, when I get on stage, it’s my choice; no one
is forcing me to do it. I get up there to earn the money so I can
change my life in a way that will make it where I never have to be
objectified again.
Tired?” Sid
questioned, following me. I had worked for Sid for the last three
years. He was a friend of sorts; he’s also my boss.
Yeah, I can’t wait
until my clinical hours are over and I can start working at the
hospital full-time, instead of having two jobs.”
I don’t like that I
won’t see your face all the time, but I know you need to move on,”
he conceded.
Some other girl will
come in and you will forget all about me.”
Never, Angel.” His
eyes move over my face and he shakes his head. “You’re working
VIP tonight.” He followed me down the hall towards the dressing
rooms.
Sure,” I agreed,
already exhausted. I needed a shower and a bed, but knew I was going
to be there for at least eight hours, so I might as well suck it up.
The guys coming in are
important, so you need to make sure they’re happy the whole time
they’re here.”
I have done this
before,” I reminded him, stopping outside the dressing room door to
frown at him.
Normally, I wouldn’t
say anything—you know that—but I gotta go get on a plane, so I
won’t be here to check on them.”
I’ll make sure
they’re taken care of,” I assured him.
Thanks, Angel.” He
kissed my forehead like he often did before walking away. I watched
him go for a second before pulling myself together.
Oh! Look who’s here,”
Tessa said as soon as I entered the dressing room. I ignored her and
tossed my bag into my locker before pulling my scrubs off. Tessa is a
bitch; she is just like the girls I used to compete against in
pageants. To her, life is a competition, and she is determine to come
out the winner, even if she has to throw everyone else under the bus
on her way to the top. “Mick said I could work VIP tonight,” she
said to one of the other girls in the room. I ignored her, knowing
better than to tell her it wasn’t happening. I was sure Mick did
tell her that…after she took him in the backroom and gave him
something to convince him. “Pixie said the guys coming in are some
big-time land developers, so you know the tips are going to be
outrageous. Thank God, because I need to have my tits redone, and
that shit is not cheap.” I rolled my eyes and headed for the shower
room. I had met a couple nice girls during my time here, but most
were just like Tessa—a whole lot of hair, tits, ass, and not much
else.
I stood in front of the
mirror and put on a coat of red lipstick before standing back,
looking myself over. The VIP dress code is different than the rest of
the club. The required outfit consists of a sheer, black overlay bra,
black silk panties, a black garter belt with sheer hose, and black
heels. My long, naturally red hair was pulled back on one side by a
large flower; the rest was loose and wavy, flowing down my back and
one shoulder. My creamy white skin, red lips, and smoky eyes made me
look almost like a sexy vamp.
You ready, Angel?”
Sid asked, pounding on the door.
Showtime,” I
whispered before opening the door.
You look beautiful; I’m
going to take you in there and introduce you before heading out.”
Sure.” I followed him
down the hall to the club. The Lion’s Den is well-known in the area
for its exclusivity. The walls are painted a dark brown, and the
booths are designed into the walls, making the space feel intimate.
The stage is in the center of the room, with a single spotlight
shining down on it. Every booth has a girl assigned to it, and VIP
has two girls. We aren’t allowed to interact with the customers
without being asked directly to do so.
The club is less of a
strip club, and more of a place for men to hangout and drink while
having beautiful women tend to them. If they choose to, they can
watch the girl in the center of the room put on a show. I had been on
stage several times in the three years I’ve worked here. I never
told Sid I didn’t like it up there, but he normally put me in VIP,
or assigned me to a booth for the night.
Why are you so worried
about these guys?”
They’re thinking
about opening up a Lion’s Den in one of the new casinos they’re
building.”
That’s huge!
Congrats, honey.” I squeezed his bicep and gave him a smile.
One day, Angel, I’m
gonna take you away from this place and show you happiness. I wanna
see that smile everyday.” My heart did a little thud. Sid is a very
attractive man, but he’s not for me. I don’t want or need a man;
they get you all discombobulated, filling your head with a bunch of
lies then expect you to follow them around. I did that once. I
thought a man was going to save me from the hell I was living in. I
gave him my virginity and my heart, and he gave me a child I wasn’t
allowed to keep and a heart so broken nothing or no one would ever
put it back together again.
I looked through the
two-way mirror at the men around the table in the VIP room.
All right,” Sid says
from beside me, “the man in the center at the table is John
Barbato; he is the owner of three of the largest clubs in the city.
The guy there on his left is Steven Creo; he’s some big wig on Wall
Street and has backed more than half the new clubs and casinos
opening on The Strip. The guy to the right of John has a location
they’re interested in purchasing.”
Got it. Who’s working
with me?” I asked him.
Tessa, Mick said she
would be the best out of the girls we’ve got on the schedule
tonight.”
I’m sure he did,” I
mumbled, looking back into the room. “What other bouncers are on
tonight?” I hated when Mick and Craig worked together; they were
both more concerned about hooking up with the girls than what was
going on out on the floor.
Link’s here now.”
Good.” Link was a
good guy and a close friend. He also took his job seriously.
All right, let me
introduce you quickly before I head out.”
Sure.” I followed him
into the room; the men’s heads turned in our direction smiling.
Guys, I want you to
meet Angel. She’s gonna be your girl for the night. You need
anything, you ask her, and she will make sure you’re taken care
of,” Sid tells them, gesturing to me.
Nice to meet you,”
one of the men said, smiling while the others nodded.
Nice to meet you.” I
smiled back.
Angel will be right
back; give me a minute guys.”
Sure,” the one that
spoke before said. As Sid and I stepped away, I heard from behind me,
“Do you think the curtains match the drapes?” and they all
laughed. I hated that saying, and I swore once I was free of this
lifestyle, I would kick the next man in the nuts who said it.
Okay, I gotta head out.
I won’t be back for two weeks,” Sid said once we were standing in
the hall.
Have a safe trip.”
His eyes searched my face.
His mouth opened and closed like he was going to say something, but
instead, he shook his head, kissed my cheek, and walked off down the
hall muttering something under his breath.
Tessa came around the
corner a couple seconds later with a smug smile on her face. I hate
to admit it, but she is beautiful. Her skin has a natural glow that
makes her look healthy and youthful. Her hair is black and thick,
reaching the top of her ass. Her eyes curve out at the corners,
showing off her Asian-American heritage. “You ready?” she asked,
looking at me from head to toe. I avoided rolling my eyes at her
before stepping into the room behind her.
After we took the first
orders, we stood back while the men talked. I learned a long time ago
to zone myself out. We were there as eye candy and nothing else.
There was a knock on the door, and I knew the drinks had arrived.
Tessa answered it, opening the door wide, and the man who brought the
tray in was someone I had never seen before. He looked to be
mid-thirties, had long, shaggy black hair, and brown eyes. When he
set the tray down on the table in the corner, he turned and did
something odd that had me watching him more closely. His hand went to
his back as he looked over at the men who were still busy talking.
When his eyes came to me, he smiled before walking out of the room. I
looked at Tessa to see if she had noticed anything strange, but she
was busy handing out the drinks and flirting with the men at the
table.
We stood to the side again
once the men had their drinks; every once in a while, they would ask
me a question about the club, and I told them what I knew. About
thirty minutes after they had their first drinks, I called and had
more ordered. This time, when the guy came in, he did the same
thing—hand at his back, looking at the table. I had no idea who he
was, but planned to find out as soon as the men left. One of the men
received a phone call and stepped out of the room, and when he
returned, he had another man with him. They all sat down, and this
time when they called me over, they wanted a bottle of Chives Regal
Royal Salute Scotch. One glass of the stuff cost close to six hundred
dollars, making it over ten thousand dollars for a bottle. I placed
the order and waited for it to be delivered. When the knock sounded
on the door, I opened it up, and the same man from earlier came in
and set the tray down. I watched to see if he would do the same thing
he had done the previous times.
Sure enough, his head
turned towards the table and his hand lifted behind his back, but
this time, he lifted his jacket, pulling out something black. It took
a second for me to realize what it was, and by that time, it was too
late. He let off four rounds in rapid succession, then turned and
fired a round, hitting Tessa. I screamed as he turned the gun on me,
and before I could think, I ducked down and ran as fast as I could
out of the room. I felt a bullet whiz past me as I turned the corner,
and another as I entered the main part of the club. I spotted Mick;
right away his eyes got wide and I yelled at the top of my lungs, “HE
HAS A GUN!”
Everyone started screaming
and running in every direction. I ran into a solid wall, and when I
looked up to see it was Link, he wrapped an arm around my waist,
turned, and pushed me behind the bar. I stumbled in my heels, falling
to my knees and hitting the ground hard. I crawled under the counter
and curled myself into a ball, shaking out of fear for my life. I
listened as people screamed, but didn’t hear anymore gunshots. I
don’t know how long I stayed like that, but it felt like forever
until I heard police sirens.
Autumn,” Link called
my real name, snapping me out of my terrified huddle. I peeked out
from behind my hands as he crouched down in front of me.
Did you get him?” He
shook his head, putting out his hand for me to take. I shook my head
no—I was safe; I didn’t want to move from that spot.
Come on, Angel, he’s
gone.” I shook my head again. “Nothing is going to happen to you.
I promise you’re safe.” I swallowed against the lump in my
throat, squeezing my eyes closed.
Tessa?” I asked him.
His eyes closed and his head dropped forward. “No,” I whispered,
shaking my head. “No.”
Sorry, Angel,” he
said quietly.
Why?”
Not sure, but the cops
are here. I need you to come out of there so you can talk to them,”
he told me gently, holding out his hand again. I nodded, reluctantly
taking it. Even though I didn’t like Tessa, she didn’t deserve
what happened to her. None of the people in the room deserved what
happened to them.
I should have tried to
help her.”
Nothing you could have
done,” Link said, and my eyes went from to the floor to his. He
shook his head, wrapped his beefy arm around my shoulders, and walked
me over to a barstool. I sat there until the cops came up a few
minutes later and told me they needed to talk to me at the station.
Can she get some
clothes on?” Link—who had given me the shirt off his back and
hadn’t left my side—asked one of the detectives.
Sure,” the guy
mumbled.
I slid off the barstool
and dazedly walked to the dressing room. When I walked in, all the
girls were there, huddled together and crying. I didn’t know what
to say to them; most of them had been friends with Tessa. I felt
horrible they had lost their friend, but was unsure if they would
want me to express my condolences. I walked to my locker and started
to pull off my stockings when one of the girls came up to me,
wrapping her arms around me. Shocked, I hugged her back, and more of
the girls gathered around me. We all stood there silently for a few
minutes; most of the girls were crying while a couple mumbled about
how everything would be okay. I wasn’t sure anything would ever be
okay again; I just watched five people die and was lucky to still be
alive.
I have to go with the
police,” I told the girls when it didn’t seem like they were
going to let me go. After a second, they all started breaking away
from me one-by-one, giving me reassuring hugs.
Call me if you want to
talk,” one of the girls, Elsa, said, handing me a business card
with her personal information on it. I looked at it for a long second
before nodding. I had never really been friends with any of them.
Maybe that needed to change. I went to my locker, pulling off my
clothes before slipping on a pair of jean shorts, a black tank top, a
large, oversized grey sweater, and a pair of black flip-flops. I
grabbed my bag, shoved everything into it from my locker, and left
the room without a backwards glance.
Link was waiting for me
outside the dressing room door, his back against the wall, his head
tilted back, looking at the ceiling. I had known Link since I started
working at The Lion’s Den. He was a nice guy, blonde hair cut low
to his head, tan skin, blue eyes, and a southern drawl that made
women fall to their knees. He used to flirt with me when I first
started, but when I didn’t return any of the banter, he laid off
and became a friend. He’s one of the only people who knows about my
past and the things I’ve gone through. “You didn’t have to wait
for me,” I told him, pulling my bag across my body.
I’m not letting you
go through this alone.” He pulled me into his side. I could feel
tears sting my eyes, and I fought them back. I wasn’t going to cry
until this was all over, when I could do it alone, hiding under my
covers with my face stuffed into a pillow…like I always did.
Thank you.”
He gave me a squeeze, and
I felt his lips at the top of my head.
*~*~*
I don’t understand
why I have to leave the state,” I told Link, putting another pair
of shoes in my bag. I had no idea how long I would be gone, and Link
made it sound like I wouldn’t be able to come back to Vegas for a
long while.
Angel, I hate to remind
you, but you’re the only witness, and from what the cops said, the
guy is a killer paid by the mob to do hits on people.”
I sighed, looking around
my house. I hated I was leaving, but knew it was for the best. I was
at the police station for over eight hours going over what happened
then sitting with a sketch artist. Somehow, the guy who had shot
Tessa and those men had avoided every camera in the club. The cops
informed me I needed to be extra cautious. I was the only witness,
and they were concerned he would come after me. When Link found out
what they said, he made a call to one of his friends from back home
in Tennessee and asked if he would be willing to let me stay with him
until the police caught the guy. The man, Kenton, agreed, telling
Link I would be safe. I hated I was leaving my home, but if my only
options were either death or moving, the choice was begrudgingly
clear.
I hope they get the guy
fast,” I mumbled.
Me too, but until then,
you will be far away from here where your safe.”
Are you sure it’s a
good idea to have me stay with this guy? I mean, how well do you
really know him?”
We were best friends
growing up. He’s a good guy; you’ll be safe with him.”
I bit the inside of my
cheek and nodded before going into the closet to get another
suitcase. Might as well pack enough stuff to last me. Once I was all
packed and ready to go, we got into Link’s SUV and headed for the
airport. I was nervous the whole way, feeling like something crazy
was about to happen…
Today
Ladies and Gentlemen,
we’re about twenty minutes out from our arrival destination. The
weather in Nashville is mostly clear and sunny; the temperature is
eighty-five degrees. The pilot has now turned on the fasten seatbelt
sign. Flight crew, please prepare for landing,” I hear through my
sleep-ridden state and lift my head from the wall where I had rested
it. I wipe my mouth with the sleeve of my sweater before looking
around to see everyone is putting their belongings away. I make sure
my seatbelt is secure before sitting back. My leg starts bouncing up
and down quickly, and I rub the tattoo behind my ear, trying to think
about something other than the plane landing.
Once we are on the ground,
I wait until everyone is off the plane to make my way out into the
terminal. I go to baggage claim and look around, but I have no clue
what this guy looks like. All I know is that his name is Kenton, and
he is supposed to be picking me up.
I don’t see anyone who
looks like they’re searching for someone, so I go to the conveyer
belt and spot one of my bags as soon as I get there. I pull it off,
stumbling back slightly from the weight, as every guy here just
watches me without offering to help. I look around again, wondering
if I’m supposed to call someone to tell them I landed. I pull my
phone out, click it off airplane mode, and send a text to Link
letting him know I had arrived. He sends me a message back letting me
know Kenton had called and told him he couldn’t make it to pick me
up, and I should just catch a cab to his house; the door would be
unlocked.
I shake my head, cursing
under my breath, and almost miss one of my other bags going around
the belt. Luckily, I catch it at the last second. I carry it over to
my other bag, and turn around just in time to see my last bag about
to go through the tunnel. I run as fast as I can in my flip flops,
and land half-on the conveyor belt, my bottom-half being dragged
along the floor as I grab the handle of my bag, pulling it back so
hard it flies over my head, causing me to land on my back with my
hands over my head.
You must be Autumn,”
I hear rumbled from above me. I tilt my head back and look up at the
man standing over me. He’s upside-down, but even from my awkward
position, he is good looking. His chuckle makes me grit my teeth
though, and I stand up, putting my bag on its wheels before turning
back to face him.
You are?”
He raises a brow to me,
shaking his head, looking me over from head to toe. My body heats
immediately under his gaze. I take my sweater off, wrapping it around
my waist and clearing my throat. “You are?” I ask him again,
getting annoyed that he’s obviously finding this so funny if the
smirk on his face is anything to go by.
Kenton.” He smiles.
“Those bags yours?” He nods towards my other two bags.
Yes.” I blow some
hair out of my face, looking into his blue eyes and wondering why the
hell I feel so hot all of a sudden. He looks away, going over to my
bags while I take the time to look him over.
He’s tall—much taller
than my five-five. His hair touches the edge of the black t-shirt he
has on. He needed a cut a while ago, but judging by the dark scruff
along his jaw, I can tell he doesn’t care much about grooming. His
shoulders are broad, tapering down to a lean waist; his thighs are
thick, incased in a pair of dark jeans that have shredded around the
bottom by his heels, and his wallet is imprinted in the back pocket
like he wears them often. I look at his ass as he leans over. I can’t
believe I’m checking a man out; I’m not one to be the slightest
bit sexually interested in anyone. My eyes travel lower, looking at
his feet, which are enclosed in a very large pair of black boots. I
wonder absently if what they say is true about shoe size. I shake my
head at my thoughts, dragging my bag with me towards him. “I
thought you couldn’t make it,” I tell him when I reach his side.
My head tilts back to look up into his eyes.
Yeah, change of plans,”
he mutters, looking at me. I wait to see if he’s going to say
anything else. Apparently, he isn’t going to, so I shake my head
again and lower my face towards the ground. “You tired?” His
voice is dark and rich, and does something crazy to my insides. I
nod, lifting my head. “Let’s roll; you can sleep when we reach
the house.”
I don’t say anything
else. Something is wrong with me; maybe I’m getting sick. I follow
him out of the terminal into the car park. When we reach the parking
lot, he stops and pulls a set of keys from his pocket. I hear the
beep and look around, expecting him to be driving a large truck, a
Hummer, or maybe even a tank. I never expected him to be driving a
Dodge Viper, the black-on-black of the car only making it look
hotter. I look at my bags, wondering how we will get them in the car.
It’ll be tight, but
they’ll fit,” he mumbles, pulling my other two bags with him. I
can’t help noticing the flex of his muscles as he gets my bags into
the car, or the fact even his fingers are attractive. It takes some
maneuvering, but he does get my bags to fit. I sigh, sitting down on
the warm leather once we’re done. “I’m just gonna drop you off
at the house. I gotta head out for a bit, but you have free rein.
Just make yourself at home; there’s food in the fridge, and fresh
sheets on the bed in the guest room.”
Thank you for doing
this,” I tell him, looking at his profile. He is seriously good
looking, and the butterflies in my stomach are making me feel anxious
about staying with him.
Don’t mention it.
So…you and Link?” It took a second to decipher his words between
the thickness of his accent, his smell, and the nervous energy I was
feeling. Being in his presence, my brain seemed to have shut down.
He’s a friend.”
Shit, maybe I should have said he was my boyfriend. I looked over at
him again; he didn’t seem to be as on edge as I was. He was
probably used to women swooning over him. My gut tightened with
something, and it took a second to realize what it was. My body
froze. Jealousy, really? I must be going into shock or something—I
don’t get jealous.
How’d you two meet?”
We work at the same
club,” I murmured, squirming in my seat.
Oh yeah,” he mumbled,
his knuckles turning white from his grip on the steering wheel. I
didn’t know what that meant, but the energy in the car changed,
making me want to get away from him.
We drove in silence for
the next half-hour, the car winding its way through one small town
after another until we went up what seemed like the side of a
mountain. The area was surrounded by forest on either side of the
road. We drove for about five minutes more before turning onto a dirt
road that took us deeper into the forest. I wanted to ask if he lived
out here and about where he worked, and a million other questions,
but my mouth had gone dry, and the energy in his car hadn’t gotten
any better, so I decided to keep my mouth shut.
I was going to be stuck
with him for a while, so I figured there would be time for all of
that later. I looked ahead of us, and squinted as the image of a
large house came into view. It was a very large brick house; the
front had two porches, one on the first floor, one on the second, and
both wrapped around the front of the house. It was beautiful and
expansive. I looked over at Kenton again, gaging if I should ask him
if this was his house. His jaw was ticking, and the vein in his neck
was pulsing wildly. I had no idea what had set him off, but figured
my best bet was to sit there quietly until he calmed down.
We parked in front of the
house, where there was no real designated parking place. He unfolded
himself out of the car without saying anything, and I took that as my
cue to follow him. By the time I made it to the back of the car, he
had both of my bags out and was back on the driver’s side, sliding
his seat forward so he could get to the bag in the backseat. Without
a word, he carried two of my bags up the front porch and right into
the house. I dragged my last bag with me, following close behind him.
He set my bags down at the
bottom of the staircase, then turned to look at me. “Your room is
at the top of the stairs to the right. There’s a bathroom across
the hall you can use; I have my own.” He ran a hand through his
hair and looked me over again, anger apparent on his face. “I don’t
want random men in my house, so if you need to get off, take care of
yourself.” I blinked at him as he continued. “The code for the
alarm is 4593; don’t forget to set it when you’re in the house. I
don’t know when I’ll be back, but you’ll be safe here.”
Before I even had a chance to form a complete thought, he was closing
the door behind him, shouting, “Set the alarm.”
I stood there for a few
minutes, just looking at the door, then I looked around for an alarm,
but didn’t see one. Tears stung my nose again as I recalled the
look of disgust on his face when he told me to get myself off. I said
a silent, “Fuck you,” and looked at my bags then the stairs,
shaking my head—I could cry once I got settled in the room. I
carried my bags up the stairs one at a time, and by the time I was
done, I was so exhausted that I laid face first on the bed, put my
head under the pillow, and cried until I fell asleep.
There
was a pounding on the door, and I rolled, falling off the bed and
onto the floor. “You didn’t set the alarm,” I heard growled. I
stood up, pushing my hair out of my face, glaring at Kenton, who
stood in the doorway with his arms crossed over his chest.
I looked and didn’t
see the alarm to set it.” I copied his posture, crossing my arms
over my chest.
You should have called
and asked me where it was.”
I scoffed. “With what
magic? I don’t have your number.”
You could have asked
Link for it.” He shook his head.
I’m sorry, but if you
wanted me to have your number, I figured you would have given it to
me,” I retorted.
Did you eat?” he
asked, changing the subject suddenly and throwing me off-guard.
Pardon?”
Did you eat something?”
No, and I’m not
hungry; I’m just really tired,” I told him, rubbing my face. All
I wanted to do was go to sleep and forget about the last forty-eight
hours.
You need to eat
something,” he chided, uncrossing his arms and placing his hands on
his hips.
Okay, don’t get me
wrong; I’m really thankful for you looking out for me, but I have
been taking care of myself for a very long time. I don’t want nor
need a babysitter.”
Suit yourself.” He
shrugged then looked me over again, his eyes lingering on my chest. I
glanced down and groaned. Seriously? My boobs were in my bra, hanging
over the top of my tank-top. I quickly adjusted my shirt before
narrowing my eyes on him. He smirked, looking up into my face. “Make
sure you set the alarm from now on. The panel is inside the room off
the entry, first door to the right.”
Got it.” My body was
doing that hot thing again, and I wondered why it kept happening when
he was around.
All right, doll, get
some rest. I’ll see you tomorrow.” He let his eyes linger on me
for a few moments more, and then shook his head, stepping out of the
room. I went to the side of the bed and turned on the light before
walking to the door and shutting it. I leaned my head back, closing
my eyes and breathing in deeply. I ran a finger across my tattoo
behind my ear before opening my eyes and looking around. I could do
this; I had lived through much worse and came out on top. I just
needed to get a plan in place.
Erin’s Review

Have you ever met someone and made a snap judgement about them? Made an assumption that was totally off from the way they really are? Autumn and Kenton seem to be doing a lot of that with each other.  And they both couldn’t be further from the truth.
What started out as a place for Autumn to hide quickly becomes the place where she feels most at home.  There’s just one problem…Kenton. 
She’s a job to him, someone to help a buddy out. A stripper isn’t the type of girl you bring home to your mother after all. 
This book was more than I thought it would be.  
It’s a fast paced thrill ride that will have YOU looking over your shoulder. And of course there’s sex, hot steamy sex. Kenton is a total alpha male who’s sole job is to protect Autumn. He just didn’t bank on it becoming more than that. And Autumn is a woman who is used to being independent and living her life the way she chooses, so when events happen that send her in to hiding, she has to lay low and rely on Kenton to do something for her she’s always done for herself. 
The supporting characters are an eclectic mix that round out the story. Viv, Kenton’s mother, Sid…they each play their own intricate part in this story. 
This was my first Aurora Rose Reynolds book and I immediately one clicked her others after reading this. I Love this book and cannot wait to see what’s next in this series. 

 

Additional
Books by Aurora Rose Reynolds
The
ENTIRE
Until Series is
AVAILABLE
in one box set 

Until
Series (Individually)
Until
November (Book 1)
Barnes
& Noble:
http://bit.ly/1k2XK31
Until
Trevor (Book 2)
Barnes
& Noble:

http://bit.ly/1iWBUQK
Until
Lily (Book 3)
Barnes
& Noble:
http://bit.ly/1pzOdYk
Until
Nico (Book 4)
About
the Author
:

Aurora
Rose Reynolds is a navy brat who’s husband served in the United
States Navy. She has lived all over the country but now resides in
New York City with her Husband and pet fish. She’s married to an
alpha male that loves her as much as the men in her books love their
women. He gives her over the top inspiration everyday. In her free
time she reads, writes and enjoys going to the movies with her
husband and cookie. She also enjoys taking mini weekend vacations to
nowhere, or spends time at home with friends and family. Last but not
least she appreciates everyday and admires it’s beauty.
Giveaway
— $100 Gift Card
 

a Rafflecopter giveaway