And his lady Pepper. Yes, she's just as fiery as her name implies.
After The Hurt - release day March 29, 2016.
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“Brimming with sensual detail and loaded with heart, After the Hurt brings together two characters you won’t soon forget. Shana Gray gives us a winning combination of sizzling chemistry and emotional depth. Bravo!”—New York Times bestselling author Vicki Lewis Thompson
Pepper Chapman refuses to throw in the towel. Six months ago, she made the biggest mistake of her life. Blinded by grief after her mom’s death, Pepper abandoned the man she loves. Now she wants a second chance at everything she gave up: strong hands driving her to ecstasy . . . a deep voice whispering naughty promises in her ear . . . the future they’d planned since they were teenagers. So Pepper comes home looking for forgiveness, ready for a new beginning—if he’s willing to give her a shot.
Retired MMA star Tank Sherman may be used to low blows, but Pepper’s emotional sucker punch left him reeling. Trying to ignore the pain and forget the pleasure of her body beneath his, Tank is prepared to ring the final bell on their relationship. Then Pepper shows up out of the blue, radiating pure sex. But Tank won’t let himself get hurt again, and that means resisting the heat that still burns between them. Because if he takes Pepper back, he knows he’ll never be able to let her go again.
After The Hurt - is about overcoming grief, accepting that actions have consequences and forgiveness -- if possible. The basis of Pepper's initial motivation and why she does what she does after her mom's death has devastating results. I put a personal touch on this, Pepper's mom's death is based on my own mom's death in 2012. So it was pretty tough. In fact, the lawsuit over my mom's death just settled three days ago, and it doesn't bring mom back. So this book was dedicated to her.
But, life goes on. And all of our experiences make us who we are. Just as the experiences in After The Hurt made Tank and Pepper who they are.
Tank stared into her violet eyes. The ones that had the ability to turn him inside out. But not today. Not tomorrow. Not ever. The shock of seeing her after the door slammed shut had been enough to stop his heart. He’d been about to step out from behind the floor-to-ceiling glass-walled wine cooler to do one last check of the details for the engagement party this evening and froze midstep.
Now she was back in his arms; he was staring into her face. A face he’d loved from the moment he’d laid eyes on her in high school. What the fuck was she doing here? Now, after all this time without even a peep from her, she’d returned. Where had she been? What had she been doing? Pepper had vanished into thin air. He wanted to rage at her but bit his tongue. The rush of emotions crashed over him and he didn’t trust himself not to say something he’d regret. His actions probably gave away much of what he was feeling but holy hell, touching her again felt amazingly right, which only confused the fuck out of him even more.
His breath ceased as if there were a band wrapped tight around his chest squeezing the life out of him. She’d been able to bring him to his knees in the past, but by God he’d not let it happen anymore, especially after what she’d done. He was still reeling and not thinking straight, unable to believe his eyes. When she’d come through the door just a few minutes ago, Tank felt like a starved man seeing food for the first time in days.
He’d watched her weave between the tables with an elegance and grace a dancer would envy. When she’d removed her coat and slid onto the stool, her red leather skirt hiked up to reveal a very familiar, tantalizingly trim thigh, it had nearly done him in. Her long, slender, and yes, magnificent legs had him mesmerized, especially when she’d hooked a high heel on the rung, crossing one leg over the other. He swore those were the same heels she wore the last time they’d fucked. Once he would have called it making love. That didn’t suit them anymore. That was the past.
But those damn shoes. They matched her flaming red hair, and the memory of her sprawled naked before him, arms flung wide, was imprinted on his brain forever. Like it was yesterday, he could still see her alabaster skin in vivid contrast against the glossy black sheets. The clear violet of her eyes gazing at him under her finely arched ginger brows. She’d lain there, taunting him to do as he wanted with her. And he had.
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Advance praise for After the Hurt
“After the Hurt is a second-chance romance that sizzles and satisfies to the very last page. The chemistry between Pepper and Tank is both heartwarming and explosive.”—Stina Lindenblatt, author of This One Moment
“Incredibly sexy and heart-melting, the chemistry in this story is explosive. Pepper and Tank’s emotional struggles were so real and just jumped off the pages. After the Hurt is an excellent read.”—Violetta Rand, author of Persuasion