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“Take me, all of me, broken and in pieces, or say to hell with me.”

This book will break your heart!
From the best-selling romance author of THE EDUCATION OF SEBASTIAN comes a sexy, heart-breaking and heart-warming story about one man and his dog. (Standalone)

Alex is lost and alone, with only his dog, Stan for company. He doesn’t expect kindness from anyone anymore, but sometimes hope can be found in the most unlikely places. He has a second chance at happiness, but there’s a dark side to Alex, and a reason that more than one person has called him crazy.
Single mother Dawn is doing just fine. Except that her ex- is a pain in the ass, her sister isn’t speaking to her, and her love life is on the endangered list.
At least her job as a veterinarian is going well. Until a crazy-looking guy arrives at her office accompanied by an aging dog with toothache. Or maybe Alex Winters isn’t so crazy after all, just … different.
Dawn realizes that she’s treated him the same way that all the gossips in town have treated her—people can be very cruel.

Contains scenes of an adult nature.

This is a standalone novel with no cliff-hanger.

“I had a really nice time today, Alex. We both did.”
He nodded slowly, seeming to ponder my words.
“Nice. Nice?”
“You don’t like that word?”
His reply wasn’t acerbic, if anything, he sounded thoughtful.
“I haven’t had a whole lot of nice.”
I wondered if I should take his words as an opportunity to dig deeper, but he seemed more closed off now and a little sad, and I didn’t want to spoil such a lovely day.
“Nice is good,” I agreed evenly, and was happy when he forced a small smile. “Thank you—for everything.”
I leaned across to kiss him on the cheek, surprised by my own boldness. His eyes widened and he sucked in a quick breath.
Was the world still spinning or had time frozen as we sat there, creatures in the dark our only witnesses?
Is love a disease? An affliction? Or is it something catching? Can you catch love, can you hold it in your hands, can it be communicated like a plague? Or is it like an infectious laugh that makes your eyes water and your stomach hurt, even though the joke isn’t funny?
I’d begun to believe I was immune to love—the kind that exists between a man and a woman. Instead, I’d been gifted an ocean of love for my daughter. I thought perhaps that had filled me full, leaving no room for other love. Other loves.
My lips tingled from the roughness of his day-old stubble.
And is it love when you want someone’s smile as much as you want their body? When their laughter softens your words to a prayer?
My heart began to race.
Or is it sheer animal lust, a torrent of hormones assaulting your blood, heating you from the inside out?
He reached out to touch me, questions in his shadowed eyes as he cupped my cheek. I sighed and leaned into him, eyelids fluttering.
My mother always says it’s the softness of men that she loves most, because it’s at the center of them. Their outsides are hard with muscle; their bodies large, larger than hers—or mine—heavier, stronger. So when a man’s touch is soft, when his fingers drift across your skin like sunbeams, then you’re seeing into his soul.
I never understood. I never believed her.
Until now.
So gently, so very gently, he pressed his dry lips against mine, and I wrapped my arms around his neck, kissing him back.
He tasted of coffee, and he smelled like sunshine and pine forest.
Gentleness turned to want, and want turned to need, and I thought my mother was wrong. I wanted to feel the strength of his body surrounding me, on top of me. I wanted to feel his hardness against me, inside me. I was wearied by supporting the weight of my family alone. I wanted someone to carry me. For just a little while. A single moment.
The wooden arm of the chair pressed into my ribs as I leaned across, and I tried to ignore it. But Alex lifted me onto his lap, shocking a gasp out of me that ended with a soft laugh, because maybe he’d read my mind, because maybe he wanted the same things I did. And then we were kissing again. Again and again for the longest time, hesitance turning to urgency, and long languid kisses to heated mouths and hot sighs.
My fingers fumbled to find the hem of his shirt as I floundered my way down his chest, sliding my palms across warm skin that left shivers in their wake. I started pushing the material upward, and Alex leaned forward and dragged the shirt off, tossing it to the ground impatiently.
All day, I’d longed to touch, yearned to taste, feared to want. I was tired of caution, weary of wading through life alone. If this was just one night, I’d celebrate it forever, and if it was more … well, that was a bridge still to be crossed, a land waiting for discovery.
My hands swept down his back, reading his skin with my fingers as if sight didn’t exist, while we continued to kiss, tongues tasting, learning and teaching. I gripped his biceps, my fingers digging into the ridge of muscle, shuddering with pleasure as he cupped my breast with one hand, the other anchored behind my back to stop me from falling.
Too late.
I’d already fallen for Alex Winters, man of mystery, animal lover, gentle soul, wounded warrior in the battle of life. Or maybe that’s just life. We’re all survivors, one way or another.
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Jane is a writer of contemporary romance fiction, known for thoughtful stories, often touching on difficult subjects: disability (DANGEROUS TO KNOW & LOVE, SLAVE TO THE RHYTHM); mental illness (THE EDUCATION OF CAROLINE, SEMPER FI); life after prison (LIFERS); dyslexia (THE TRAVELING MAN, THE TRAVELING WOMAN).
She is also a campaigner for former military personnel to receive the support they need on leaving the services. She wrote the well-received play LATER, AFTER with former veteran Mike Speirs. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hk1CyB8c0xA )
Author Links


Let’s talk about expectations…
When you hear that an author who’s previous books you liked – and I mean REALLY liked – releases a new book – what are your thoughts or feelings about it?
Well – I can not judge what you all think but I can tell you that I get giddy with excitement. And in the same moment I get scared when I notice that excitement. Will this new book make me feel the way the previous ones did?
Will I like it AT ALL?
I think in a way those feelings are similar to the ones that an author must be feeling when he releases his new baby to the world. And the more books you read and liked of a certain author the higher this expectation grows – you can not prevent that feeling, no matter what you try to tell yourself deep inside you hope that this next book will make you feel the same way the others did.
I accepted a long time ago for myself that I usually always will have one book that I love most and even though I rate several of the same author with an equal amount of stars this one book will always be the dearest to me.
Thinking of Jane Harvey-Berrick this book seems to be “Dangerous to Know & Love”. You might wonder why I say “seems to be” yeah well – it looks that there really might be possibilities for that to change in the future.
Only a few days ago I might have said NO WAY but now ?
NOW I read “One Careful Owner” and I there wasn’t much missing and this book would have been in the same prime position as my all time favorite “Dangerous to Know & Love”. It is hard to tell you anything about this book without giving away stuff and throw around spoilers.
Maybe feelings are the right way to talk about it. I need to feel – like in laugh, cry or get angry to give a book 5 stars. So When I read “Dangerous” I cried and it received 5 stars… – but when I cried during reading “Careful” I was about to rip a star out of that rating – but the anger I felt towards the plot development as well as the devastation – were again the reason to leave the star where it was. (cryptic much – yeah I know – sorry)
I expected what happened but I can not say I liked it – that would be a lie. But I should have known that this author is not scared of using all the tools available to draw emotions out of me. I love a special kind of leading characters, those characters all have certain – lets say loosely “flaws” (I mean something different but again cryptic much) so Alex kind of hit that nerve very hard.
But I must admit it was STAN that stole my heart. Not quoting, but just from my memory – (and this is not a spoiler I hop). Stan thought something like “My boss is sad… maybe he should lick his balls … I am always happy when I do that”! It was that moment when I could not stop laughing… it was simply hilarious with all the surrounding plot that was far from funny it was STAN.
And then there was Dawns daughter. When I think about it, actually she moved me more than her mother did. She had such a strong presence, with Stan and with Alex. This way that only children have or very special adults can maintain. This way of seeing further than the surface of things. This way of not assuming but simply being present. Its one of those things that gets lost when growing up, because assumptions and public opinions become more important. Yeah thinking about it – we could learn from children. Some questions that children ask seem embarrassing to us in public – but we should question our reaction sometimes on the reasons for that (loosing focus sorry)
Anyway – “One Careful Owner” should not only be read because it is a wonderful plot. No it should also be understood as a lesson not to judge books by their cover or people by their surface and also to trust your own guts / intuition more than the assumptions of other people.
So yes – Dear author – you came near – very near to change my favorite book in “your shelf” but not quite – there was just one thing that “ruined” that – but I know its like “Dancing in the rain” it could not be helped – but I still do not have to like it right ?
But I can promise you create another Lead like Daniel and you will get one of my 5 Hot Read spots on our BlogPage in that year, Alex was close VERY close…
(If anybody needs more information’s on my cryptic comments I answer PM’s I just want to avoid spoilers here – oh and in case you haven’t read “Dangerous” – DON’T read any comments or reviews you might find out things that you’d better experience while reading the book)
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