About the Author:
Jennifer Kacey is a writer, mother, and business owner living with her family in Texas. She sings in the shower, plays piano in her dreams, and has to have a different color of nail polish every week. She’s the Amazon top seller and award winning author of the Members Only Series and the Surrender Series along with several stand alone novels and novellas. The best advice she’s ever been given? Find the real you and never settle for anything less.
We’ve actually been enemies for a while. As in…hmm….going on 12 years.
My digestive system wonked out when I had my son. Took me several years to figure out it was WAY different and then several more years to figure out what was really wrong. I have several food allergies. Cheese is the biggy, and cheap sugar. Oof. Yeah. Eating out can be a challenge.
Long story short my body kind of forgot what it was supposed to do with food. The nerves in my stomach register food as pain. It was pretty rough. But after 2 years of testing they tried a magic little pill that costs me literally $4 a month that helps me SOOOOOO much. Craziness!!! So thankful my docs stuck with me and didn’t let me give up on finding an answer to all my digestive nightmares.
Now, what’s ironic about this is I tend to write foodies into my books.
In, Final Surrender, it’s Mark, Angela’s brother and Clay’s best friend. He loves Danish, and NYC coffee, and Chinese food and yeah….the list goes on.
I’d always seen tv shows and movies and read articles about the food in NYC being incredible so I did some research when I wrote this book on places people loved to eat. Chinese Merch and Meli Melo were two places in Manhattan where Angela would be that fit perfectly into the book.
At Christmas in 2013 my parents and I took my son to NYC for the first time. I fell in love. The noise of the city, the hustle and bustle of the subway and train stations and cabs, wonderful. Not overwhelming or awful. The trash on the other hand – OMG!!!
And something we made sure to do was eat lots of iconic foods. A hot dog from a street vendor, chestnuts, French Macarons as an anniversary present for my parents, Champagne and so many things in between. I’ve gone back several times since and absolutely love it…including the food!!!
Ten years ago, Angela Meyers told everyone she went to New York to find herself. It was a lie. She fled from the aftermath of one hot night with Clay Waters. A night filled with wet heat, all-consuming releases…then his regret.
Now, with a stalker threatening to destroy her career, there’s only one man she trusts to protect her. The man she still loves, hates, needs with every breath she takes.
It’s not that Clay never craved his best friend’s younger sister. With a ticket to boot camp burning a hole in his pocket, he couldn’t allow himself to love her. The moment he lays eyes on her again, the old need—to take down her tightly wound hair, press her long, lean body to his—surges inside him stronger than ever.
But this is no ordinary bodyguard assignment. The best way to identify the voice in Angela’s shadow is to lure it into the light of day. Even if it means convincing her to trust him with her heart…and surrendering his own.
Clay kept silent and let the new reality of what she was…what they were dealing with sink in. He absentmindedly played with her hair. His fingertips pulled the wet strands slowly to the end. Angela licked her lips nervously, glancing at Clay out of the corner of her eyes.
“Are you trying to distract me?”
“Yes, is it working?” he asked with a playboy smile she didn’t know he still possessed.
“It always works, Clay. Anybody else I can tune out. Everybody else is on the outside, except for you. You’ve always been my Achilles’ heel, but you know that.”
Angela laid her head back against the couch cushions and decided she needed to stop talking. Her insides were already feeling hot and needy, and wanting this man beside her wasn’t going to help her heart or her life stay in one piece. She was brave last night in the near darkness of her bedroom. This morning, not so much.
“I’m nothing special. You could have any man you wanted, and that’s the God’s honest truth.”
He got up and took his cup back to the kitchen and didn’t hear her whisper, “Not every man I want, apparently.”
After he sat back down he asked, “So, want to go out and take a walk, or do you want to stick around here, order in and watch reality TV?”
She lifted her head off the couch with a scoff and said, “You don’t really watch that crap, do you? Every moment you watch is more brain cells you’ll never get back.”
“Please, what do you watch, almighty TV guru?
“The Big Bang Theory, which is the only sitcom that should be allowed on TV. It is fantastically funny. Always makes me laugh no matter what I have going on. Have you ever seen it?”
“Nope, but if it makes you laugh, with that perma scowl you’ve got going on, then it must be pretty good.”
Clay got hit with a pillow out of the blue and he turned to see Angela hiding a wicked grin behind her hand.
“Oh, if you didn’t have a concussion, it would so be on.”
“Well, see, there’s the silver lining of being blown off those steps. I win a pillow fight with you by default. My day is complete. Oh no, not yet. I haven’t had any chocolate.”
“Chocolate, the way to every woman’s heart.”
“Of course it is.”
“So you want to venture out?” he asked again.
“I don’t know,” she answered softly.
“Little bit. I feel like I’ve got a big target on my back. I don’t want to hunker down and hide from the world, but maybe today we could keep a low profile. I’ve gotta call Mark and my parents.” She stammered again at the thought of being alone with Clay all day and the rest of her breath left her lungs in a rush as Clay’s knuckles brushed her cheek.
“How about we’ll dress you up.” His voice was soft and seductive. “That way you can feel safe and still get out for a little while.”
He stood and looked down into her wide doe eyes and without thinking, she took his hand and let him pull her to her feet.
He mesmerized her with a simple glance. He was two different people, one when they were alone and another when others were around. But she was too, if she really wanted to admit it. They were more alike than she cared to recognize.
The head injury had left her weak and a bit dazed, but Clay standing in front of her threw her completely off balance. He pulled her into his arms and she rested her cheek on his chest as he stroked her hair.
“We’ll fix this.”
“My stalker or us?” she asked before she could clamp her mouth shut.
“Hopefully both before you get completely sick of me and kick me out, like you’ve been threatening.”
“It’s no threat, Clay,” she said, pulling away from him so she could wander back to her bedroom. “It’s a promise,” she added with a snicker.
“Ah yes, but I know the secret to making you happy now,” he said as he moved to follow her.