Since Macen “Hammer” Hammerman shares the bond he’s long craved with Raine Kendall and his best friend, Liam O’Neill, he should be looking forward to a bright future. But a vengeful force from the past returns to cast a long shadow. As Hammer reels from a bombshell that exhumed struggles he'd buried after his late wife’s passing, he learns her death may not be ruled a suicide after all.
Worse, a figure from Raine’s childhood surfaces, determined to rip her away for good. As the threats against the trio multiply, Hammer must confront his demons while leaning on Liam to keep their new family intact. But with emotions running high and forces mounting against them, can their love survive so they can finally live happily ever after?
EXCERPT: Friday, February 8
Shadows was haunted.
Macen “Hammer” Hammerman stood with his back to the wall in the dungeon of his BDSM club, watching scenes play out around him. The scent of leather filled his head. A whip cracked. A sub he barely knew let out a feminine moan. Bodies entwined. The constant erotic ebb and flow of pleasure that played out around him night after night made him hunger for the only woman he’d ever craved.
In the corner, a Dom spanked his sub. Hammer clenched his fist. It had been too long since he’d felt the burn of his palm on Raine’s taut, lush backside, heard her cry in his ears.
But after the trauma she’d suffered last December, his Dominant urges raged too hot for her. If he unleashed them, he’d break her. Much better for Raine if he stayed away.
In his pocket, his phone buzzed. He pulled out the device and glanced at the screen. His best friend and the man he shared her with, Liam O’Neill, had texted him a video.
When he clicked on the clip, Raine parted her bare thighs. He’d know her body anywhere. Petal-pink silk clung to her hips, framing transparent black lace that kissed her pussy…where Liam had conveniently focused the lens. She dragged her fingers over the damp, clinging fabric, pausing to rub her clit with an audible pant. “Please…” she cried. “Macen!”
Instantly, his cock jolted to life.
Liam’s accompanying message read: Don’t you wish you were here?
Yes. Balls deep. Every fucking night.
Yet you’re always working while Liam is at home, getting his fill of Raine.
Because his best friend was better at balancing his Dominant needs with his sexual ones.
Goddamn it, every time Hammer closed his eyes, the memory of Raine on her knees, looking up at him with blue eyes full of yearning, taunted him. The phantom grip of her pussy squeezed him. Hell, he could almost taste her on his tongue right now.
More blood surged downward. He went from merely hard to steely enough to pound nails.
Hammer shoved the phone in his pocket with a growl. The nagging in his cock wasn’t going away on its own. It never did.
He’d learned that the hard way.
Biting off a curse, he headed to his fucking office. Again.
As he whirled around, he nearly ran into Pike, one of his dungeon monitors. “Carl is coming to bitch at you. Same shit. Just a warning.”
“I don’t have time. Deal with it.”
“He’s insisting on talking to you.”
“Then throw him the fuck out,” Hammer called over his shoulder.
“For the night?”
“Or for-fucking-ever. I don’t give a shit.”
Macen just wanted five damn minutes alone.
He’d barely finished the thought when Carl—an egomaniac of a Dom—approached with an angry scowl.
“I’m getting tired of Knotty Master not cleaning the equipment after—”
“Either tell the man to clean it up or have your sub do it. Do I look like your maid? Your mother?”
Carl narrowed his eyes. “You can’t talk to me that way.”
Hammer clenched his fist, fighting the urge to punch the prick. “I just did.”
Without waiting for Carl’s reply, Hammer stormed across the dungeon, glowering at anyone who dared to make eye contact. The crowd took a collective step back.
Except Beck, Shadows’ resident sadist. He wore a disapproving smirk.
“What?” Macen glared, never breaking his stride.
“Just admiring your people skills…”
Beck shook his head.
This night just kept getting better and better. Hammer’s cock throbbed. Raine’s luscious video burned a hole in his pocket. Why wouldn’t everyone go the hell away so he could enjoy it in peace?
Lewis, his new security geek, approached with a question on his face.
Hammer preempted him. “Is it death, blood, or a lawsuit?”
“Huh? Oh, no. I’m just not sure how to—”
“Save it for later.”
Macen finally prowled the last steps through his office and into his bedroom. He plucked his phone free as he slammed the door behind him. With one hand, he jerked off his tie. With the other, he tapped his thumb on the cell phone’s screen. The video launched. He lay on the bed, yanked down his fly, and lost himself between Raine’s legs.
His dick was already desperate and leaking when he wrapped himself in a tight fist. He jerked on his shaft as Raine’s breathy plea echoed in his ears. The insatiable lust he’d always felt for her flared in his belly. His hold turned brutal at the sight of her slender fingers teasing the nubbin he loved to suckle. Fuck, what he wouldn’t give to plunge his tongue beneath that veil of lace, lap at her sweet-tart cream, and fuck her with his mouth until she screamed his name.
Batting his thumb over the play button again and again, Hammer watched Raine’s self-induced suffering in an endless loop. Memories of the first time she’d drowned him in the wicked heat of her mouth—in this very bed—assailed him. He’d broken his own rule and sunk his fat crest into her narrow slit right here, too. The devastating friction had unraveled every one of his good intentions. He’d fucked her hard.
His cock grew thicker, his skin stretching impossibly tighter, as he quickened his fist and pawed himself with unrelenting strokes. A familiar tingle edged down his spine.
Hammer slammed his fist down to his hilt, aching to feel Raine shatter. When she came, her snug cunt clamped down as if she sought to force him out. But he always shoved his way back in, taking her again, driving through her spasming flesh until she clawed him and screamed.
He stroked harder. His balls drew up tight. His pulse thundered in his ears.
With a yell, he erupted into his hand, his seed spilling, his body humming.
As he lay staring at the ceiling, panting and sweating, he dimmed his phone.
This shit would be so much better if Raine were really with him. In cuffs. Begging. And Liam loomed behind her, squeezing into her tight ass while Hammer stuffed her cunt full and—
“Fuck.” He rolled off the bed and kicked his pants away. If he didn’t stop thinking about Raine and sex in the same sentence, he wouldn’t make it out of his office for the rest of the night. He should know. He’d been jacking off in here for weeks.
Each night, he went home so fucking desperate to claim her. To make her strip. To tie her to their bed. To crawl inside her head and, together with Liam, command her body.
But two months ago, Hammer had found her car door gaping open in his empty parking lot at four thirty a.m., the contents of her purse on the ground, and Raine nowhere in sight. He’d been shaken to the soul. He and Liam had searched frantically to stop her attacker before the bastard raped and murdered the only woman who completed them. Miraculously, they’d found her in a dingy warehouse nearby. She’d been clutching a slick knife in her delicate fist, naked and freezing, rocking despondently in a pool of blood near the father she’d been forced to kill.
She hadn’t been the same since. None of them had. So when he forced himself to go home in the wee hours of the morning and saw Raine sleeping, guilt and contrition inevitably strangled him. His cock battled his conscience.
His needs almost always lost.
Why should Raine have to fulfill his sexual demands when he hadn’t even provided her the basic safety she deserved?
Shoving his question aside, Hammer rose from the bed and made his way to the shower. He scrubbed his body as if he could wash away his failures. It went against his grain to sulk like a bloody weeping vagina, as Liam would say.
That manipulative son of a bitch. He’d sent the video of Raine to torture him.
It had fucking worked.
With a heavy sigh, Hammer shut off the water and snatched a towel off the nearby hook. Wrapping it around his waist, he stepped from the shower stall.
“Did you give yourself the best thirty seconds of your life again?” Beck leaned against his bathroom wall with a smirk.
“Don’t tell me your sad personal stories, man.”
“You’re not funny. Didn’t your momma ever warn you that if you keep pulling on your peter, you’ll go blind?”
“Is that why you wear glasses when you work?” Hammer drawled and stepped toward the fogged mirror. “What the fuck are you doing here?”
Beck held up his phone. Not even three days of dark stubble could disguise the sneer on his face. “Why is your BFF texting me to ask if everything’s all right?”
“Want to tell me why you’re biting off everyone’s heads?”
Fuck. Beck was here to be “helpful.” The last thing Hammer wanted to do was talk. It wouldn’t change a damn thing. “Because people like you won’t leave me alone.”
“Oh, you’re hurting my little feewings.” Beck chuckled. “Seriously, all this pouting is going to ruin your big, bad Dom reputation.”
“But you think a sadist acting like a nagging wife will improve yours?”
“I haven’t even started nagging at your sorry ass.” Beck reached behind him and shoved a bottle of tequila at Hammer. “Drink up. I’ll drive you home later.”
“What is this for? You think I’ll be your cheap, easy lay for the night? Pass.”
“Your witty one-liners are sounding a lot like someone avoiding his problems. I’ve been telling you for weeks to vent whatever’s bothering you, but—surprise, surprise—you’re not listening. Since the only time you ever purge your shit is when you’re drunker than fuck, I bought a bottle of your favorite. Go for it.”
“No, thanks. You’re not my type.”
Hammer glared. “I don’t have a goddamn thing to purge.”
“Really? Then why have you become the poster child for self-induced happy endings?” Beck scoffed. “Raine is smarter than you. She knew she needed a therapist to process everything that’s happened. But you, dumb fuck? Still refusing to talk to anyone. Do you really think you can fix yourself? Or are you just afraid they’ll shrink the wrong head? I promise, when they’re done, you’ll still have your little toy to play with.”
Hammer didn’t even want to look at him. “Go whip a sub.”
“Nah. I’m having far more fun with a masochist right now.”
Beck meant him, and Hammer wanted to punch the asshole. But he’d probably psychoanalyze that need, too. “I’m not in the mood for this.”
“But you’re in the mood to masturbate?” Beck sent him a sly glance. “Are you beating your meat so hard because it owes you money?”
“Are you giving up the medical field so you can take this act to The Improv?”
“Raine would give it to you for free, you know.”
Macen nearly lost his temper. “Get your thoughts out of my sub’s pussy.”
“Believe it or not, I’m worried about you. When was the last time you took a night off?”
Hammer didn’t need Beck dabbling in his life right now, even if his old pal was right.
“Most every Sunday. But it’s a busy Friday night, and I have a club to run. Thanks for stopping by.” Macen gestured him to the door.
“It’s so busy you have time for self-love. Got it.” The stare Beck shot him said to get real. “Go home. You’ve got a competent staff. The place practically runs itself. I’ll watch over everyone and call if there’s a problem.”
Why should he go home and torture himself with what he shouldn’t have?
Goddamn it. The soothing serenity he’d felt when Raine had first come into his life was long gone. Of course, back then, he’d done a pretty good job of protecting her. But once Liam had come from New York and forced him to see her as a woman, Hammer’s long-tested restraint had torn off its leash. He and his best friend had fought like snarling dogs to claim her…before they’d realized they should put her between them. Together, they had turned her life upside down.
They had gotten her pregnant.
And they had unwittingly roused the monster who had nearly taken her life. When Raine had needed him most, Hammer hadn’t been there to save her. He would never forgive himself for that.
“I can’t,” he finally admitted.
“Liam’s text says you can. Go. Sandwich the princess between you two.”
He didn’t take orders from Beck—or anyone. Still, the video of Raine’s legs spread open in invitation for him to drown inside her was burned deep in his psyche. Hammer didn’t want his hand. He wanted her.
“Fine.” He sighed. “I’ll cut out early. You have a key to lock up?”
Beck patted his pants pocket. “Right here.”
With a sly smile, the sadist bumped his shoulder. “Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.”
“So basically, anything goes. Got it.” Macen sighed. “And thanks.”
“I’m sure you’ll be happy to kick my ass if I ever need it.” With a wave, Beck headed for the door, closing it softly behind him.
After tossing on some clothes and combing out his hair, Macen pushed his way out the building and jogged for his Audi, jingling his keys in his pocket. He was going to go home, hold Raine, and talk to the two people he loved most. Somehow, he was going to fix whatever was wrong between them because he was tired of fighting the ghosts lingering in the dungeon, haunting his life.
Halfway across the parking lot, he glanced over his shoulder to make sure the door had shut behind him. His gaze snagged on the camera in the alcove—the one that had captured Bill Kendall’s snarling face when he’d tased Raine and dragged her away to her near death.
Just like that, the ghosts swarmed Hammer again.
He jerked his car door open and revved the engine. He tried to picture Raine waiting for him at home, wearing those panties…and nothing else. He strained to imagine him and Liam enveloping their woman together for the first time in months and blowing her precious mind.
Tires screeching, Hammer tore out of the lot. One of the last times he’d squealed away from Shadows, he’d been frantically searching for Raine after he’d realized she was in her father’s clutches. A memory of the fucker’s maniacal grin stabbed its way through his brain. The array of implements he’d spread out in order to torture Raine in that fucking warehouse hit next, obliterating every thought except murdering a man who was already dead.
Hammer’s heart thudded. With one fist, he gripped the steering wheel. With the other, he punched the dashboard. When would he be able to chase these ghosts away?
That thought terrified him.
Fuck, he couldn’t go home to Raine and Liam half-hinged. He’d be a liability, a loose cannon. He had to get his shit wired tight.
Because if he didn’t, Hammer already knew his ghosts would follow him home.
Copyright 2016 Shelley Bradley LLC, Dream Words LLC, and Tale Spin LLC
Raine Kendall has been in love with her boss, Macen Hammerman, for years. Determined to make the man notice that she’s a grown woman with desires and needs, she pours out her heart and offers her body to him—only to be crushingly rejected. But when his friend, very single, very sexy Liam O’Neill watches the other Dom refuse to act on his obvious feelings for Raine, he resolves to step in and do whatever it takes to help Hammer find happiness again, even rousing his friend’s possessive instincts by making the girl a proposition too tempting to refuse. But he never imagines that he’ll end up falling for her himself. Hammer has buried his lust for Raine for years. After rescuing the budding runaway from an alley behind his exclusive BDSM Dungeon, he has come to covet the pretty submissive. But tragedy has taught him that he can never be what she needs. So he watches over her while struggling to keep his distance. Liam’s crafty plan blindsides Hammer, especially when he sees how determined his friend is to possess Raine for his own. Hammer isn’t ready to give the lovely submissive over to any other Dom, but can he heal from his past and fight for her? Or will he lose Raine if she truly gives herself—heart, body, and soul—to Liam? AMAZON *** AMAZON UK *** B&N *** iBooks *** Kobo *** Smashwords Raine Kendall has everything a woman could want…almost. Sexy, tender Dom Liam O’Neill is her knight in shining armor, but Raine keeps pinching herself. Is he too good to be true or is this growing connection one that could last a lifetime? She’s constantly torn by her abiding feelings for her commanding boss, Macen “Hammer” Hammerman, especially in the wake of the mind-blowing night he cast aside the barriers between them and ravaged every inch of her body. Hammer, Liam’s former best friend, can’t stop coveting Raine. But Liam is determined to hold and guide the woman he loves and see if she can be the submissive of his dreams. However, he’s finding that her trust is hard won and he needs a bloody crowbar to pry open her scarred soul. So he risks everything to win her once and for all. But once he’s put his daring plan in motion, will it cost Liam his heart if he loses Raine to Hammer for good? Amazon *** Amazon UK *** B&N *** iBooks *** Kobo *** Smashwords After spending weeks trying to reach Raine Kendall, Dominants Liam O’Neill and Macen Hammerman have finally broken past the walls to their submissive’s wounded heart. Before they can enjoy their newfound closeness, Liam’s past comes back to haunt him when his ex-wife drops in—with a secret that could tear his world apart. Forced to leave Raine in Hammer’s care, Liam is stuck on the outside, stewing in frustration and insecurity…and wondering if Raine no longer needs him or if Hammer alone completes her. Always the pillar of strength, Hammer tries to help Liam while sheltering their woman. But Raine soon discovers the truth that threatens the trio’s chance of a happily-ever-after. Determined to hold them together, the two men cook up a scheme to uncover the ex’s secret. When an old nemesis returns and targets Raine, can Liam and Hammer come together to slay the danger and save the woman they both love? Amazon *** Amazon UK *** B&N *** iBooks *** Kobo
ABOUT SHAYLA BLACK: Shayla Black is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than forty novels. For over fifteen years, she’s written contemporary, erotic, paranormal, and historical romances via traditional, independent, foreign, and audio publishers. Her books have sold well over a million copies and been published in a dozen languages. Raised an only child, Shayla occupied herself with lots of daydreaming, much to the chagrin of her teachers. In college, she found her love for reading and realized that she could have a career publishing the stories spinning in her imagination. Though she graduated with a degree in Marketing/Advertising and embarked on a stint in corporate America to pay the bills, her heart has always been with her characters. She’s thrilled that she’s been living her dream as a full-time author for the past seven years. Shayla currently lives in North Texas with her wonderfully supportive husband, her teenage daughter, and a very spoiled cat. In her “free” time, she enjoys reality TV, reading, and listening to an eclectic blend of music. Always be in the loop and sign up for Shayla’s FREE Newsletter Visit Shayla’s website Visit Shayla on Facebook Visit her Amazon Author Page
ABOUT JENNA JACOB: Bestselling author Jenna Jacob paints a canvas of passion, romance, and humor as her Alpha men and the feisty women who love them unravel their souls and heal their scars to find their happily-ever-after kind of love. Heart-tugging, captivating, and steamy, Jenna's books will surely leave you breathless and craving more. A mom of four grown children, Jenna and her Alpha-Hunk husband live in Kansas. Jenna loves books, Harleys, music, and camping. Jenna's zany sense of humor and lack of filter exemplify her motto: Live. Laugh. Love. Meet the wild and wicked family in her sultry series: The Doms of Genesis. Or become spellbound by the searing love connection between Raine, Hammer, and Liam in her continuing saga: The Doms of Her Life (co-written with the amazing Shayla Black and Isabella La Pearl). Journey with couples struggling to resolve their pasts to discover unbridled love and devotion in Jenna's new contemporary series: Passionate Hearts.
ABOUT ISABELLA LAPEARL Hello Friends! My name is Isabella and I write sexy, erotic romance. I'm a wife, mother, writer, reader and I love to ride my motorcycle. To say it's been an extraordinary journey thus far would be an understatement...what a rush! What a thrill to realize dreams and see them go from a seed to fruition. So for all you aspiring Authors who like me, have a fire inside that burns brightly and demands to be sated by writing... Never give up.