NOVEL to the TANGLED WEB series
Kory McCallister has had her eyes on
tattoo artist Stone Bowman for quite some time—so long, in fact, that no other
guy will do. Stone pushes every turn on button Kory has—he’s tattooed from head
to toe; he’s hot; he’s funny and charming; and he’s also mysterious. So when
Kory’s friends dare her to ask Stone out on a date, she can’t believe she
actually finds the guts to do it.
More surprising? He takes her up on the
She discovers that, while his past might not be quite as dark or
mysterious as she’d imagined, it’s bigger than she’d expected, and it’s
something she will need to contend with if she decides she wants to keep him
around to color her life for good.
Stone grabbed her hand and they began
walking toward the river where they would find the trail.
Kory had never
been on the river walk before, so this was going to be a treat for her. She was
aware of the cool air, of the sound of chirping crickets in the background and
the roar of the river in the foreground, of seeing dark leaves rustling in the
tall trees near the river. But she was most aware of Stone’s hand holding hers.
His hand felt like something sure—it was strong and as confident feeling as he
was. It was the hand of an artist, the one that had permanently drawn on her arm
less than a week earlier, the same one that had held her face while he’d kissed
her. This was a hand she thought she’d want to hold forever, because of the man
attached to it.
When they got closer to the river, Kory noticed a
gravelly path beside it, up and away from it but close. She imagined that if the
river ever flooded, parts of the path would wash away, but most of it was far
enough away that it seemed safe. Of course, a huge flood—one that had the
potential to damage houses—would wreck it all. She didn’t remember the river
ever flooding Winchester, and she’d lived there her whole life. Surely, it had
flooded at some time. All rivers did.
The rushing noise created by the
water sounded somewhat violent to her, but it felt peaceful at the same time.
Maybe it was because the water here would always flow, whether someone was here
or not. It would continue bringing water from wherever it came from high up in
the mountains and keep going down until it joined with another river and then
another, so this very water right here would eventually wind up in the
Mississippi and then the Gulf of Mexico. The enormity of it humbled her, and she
suddenly understood the draw of nature.
Stone must have sensed her
feelings because he said, “Really cool, isn’t it?”
continued walking along the path, taking their time, breathing in the air cooled
even further by the rushing water, absorbing the secrets of the night. Suddenly,
Kory thought Stone was a genius. This truly was the perfect date, and for the
first time in a long time, she felt her soul grow quiet and full of
He paused and Kory stopped beside him. They’d walked far enough that
houses and highways were behind them. It was truly dark and solitary. “Look at
the stars. They’re bright tonight.”
She looked up. She felt so silly,
because she’d been so engrossed in the earth that she hadn’t even stopped to
consider the sky above her. God, it was incredible and just contributed to her
sense of overwhelming humility and wonder at what surrounded her. She breathed,
“Yeah,” he agreed and touched her face. It was the perfect
time for a kiss, really, because she wanted to share this feeling with someone
else and needed to be distracted from the beauty of the moment, because she
wasn’t sure how to handle it. She was brimming with emotion and needed to expend
She didn’t know if Stone was feeling the same way or if he could
simply sense what had been brewing inside her, but their kiss was passionate.
Hot. Unbelievably so. And Kory realized she’d never wanted anyone as badly as
she did Stone in that moment. Her fingers were in his hair and he pressed her
into him, his hands firm on her lower back. One kiss led to another and another
and another, and suddenly the night didn’t feel so cool
years, Jade C. Jamison tried really hard to write what she thought was more
“literary” fiction, but she found herself compelled to write what you read by
her today—sometimes gritty, raw, realistic stories and other times humorous,
light tales—but most of the stories she writes revolve around relationships and
characters finding their way through life. While she doesn’t confine herself to
just one genre, nor is there a nice neat label for what she writes, most of her
work could be called erotic romance.
She lives in Colorado with her
husband and four children.