COMPANION 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 offer.
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?”
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, “Amazing.”
“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 it.
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 anymore…
For 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.