Category Archives: Love

Trigger Warning! Finder’s Keepers by BJ Bentley

blurbfinderskeepersCharlotte
I was a world-class thief.
I was tasked with stealing a valuable artifact in order to save my brother’s life.
I must avoid detection, evade capture, and meet my deadline.
Unfortunately, my plans go awry when Jensen Holm, a dangerous and powerful criminal himself, finds me in his home.
And decides to keep me.
Jensen
I was a criminal kingpin.
I collected rare and beautiful things, and nothing was more rare or beautiful than this thief who intended to steal from me.
I had to show her who was in control.
I had to show her who she belonged to.
I had to show her that she had stolen my heart.
**Finders Keepers is a dark romance with possible triggers for graphic violence and non-consensual situations.

author

29136192_175603263078789_8700093008424468480_nFrom her Amazon: I’m a psychic medium, romance author, and cat mom. I shamelessly based my character, Sabrina Rhodes, on myself (write what you know, and all that.) Weaknesses include alpha males and badass babes.
The Intuitive series is a collection of rom-com novellas, and I’m also working on a full-length dark romance novel.
I’m very active on social media, so feel free to stalk me! (Please stalk me, this is a cry for attention.)
Follow me!
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review
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Ok, I’m so going to contradict myself here. Remember my post about things I hated reading about? One of those things was abuse… Well, I just read this book that contains non-consensual situations, and freely states what it is, but I still loved it. I think one of the things I liked was that the author didn’t gloss over it, or say it was something else. Jensen is a bad guy, who thinks of Charlotte as a possession to do what he pleases. However, I was sucked into this book from the prologue, and I couldn’t stop reading. At all. I need to remember to read warnings better… I still would have read this book though. (I think we all have exceptions to our rules… except cheating!)

ANYWAYS

This is the story of Charlotte Benson, pixie, a thief who makes a rookie mistake and is captured by Jensen Holm, a criminal and a collector. He collects beautiful things, and when he catches Charlotte trying to steal something from him, he decides to collect her too. He’s not used to women not wanting him. And he’s not used to being so possessive over one woman.

Poor criminal is still learning…

Jensen slowly comes to terms with his feelings for Charlotte, including the *spoiler* regret he feels over how he treated her in the beginning. I also like the fact that he knows what he did to her, and how it was wrong, and he tries to make up for it, in his Jensen way. And Charlotte has a sense of humor despite what she’s going through at the hands of Jensen. Neither Jensen, Charlotte, nor the author make light of a non-consensual situation. It is not a joke. But it is a part of the world Jensen and Charlotte are apart of so it was in the book.

This is the story of Jensen finding his humanity and Charlotte coming to love his humanity, and his darkness.

This novel is extremely dark. Seriously dark. It has trigger warnings all over the freaking place. Definitely one of the darkest I’ve ever read. That may help me wrap my head around Jensen’s treatment of Charlotte in the beginning, and if not accept it, move on from it. I’m not Charlotte, though, so I really don’t have to accept it. This book also moves extremely fast. Jensen gets over his criminal-minded crap fast. They fall in love, fast. Jensen kills a lot of people-fast. I got the book in the morning, and finished it by the end of the day.

By the end of the book, my heart fell in love with the characters BJ Bentley created, and I fell in love with this book. It was so good. Their love is darkness. Their love is criminal. This book is not going to be fore everybody, but if you can make it past the super ugliness it gets so much better! So…

Can I have the next book?

P.S. DOUBLE EPILOGUES!! (We all know how much I love those…)
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5star

Valentine’s Day Discount

I strolled through the supermarket, pushing the cart in front of me. The wheel was broken and it squeaked as I pushed it down the aisles, searching for the discounted candy. The constant squeak of the wheel as I forced it to go straight instead of the cart turning with the one wheel. Of course I would pick the cart with the squeaky, crooked wheel that wanted to make the cart careen down the aisles.

I turned down the aisle that housed all the Valentine’s Day candy, now 50% off, and smiled for the first time since February 1st. For a second, I allowed myself to bask in the glory that was discounted candy, before I looked through the selections.

“Reeces, or a bag of assorted? Bite size or full size?” I debated quietly, while lifting a bag of Reeces Pieces, and another bag full of assorted bite size candies.

“Oh, Mary! What a surprise!”

I suppressed a groan, and turned toward the voice of my neighbor, Debby. I knew for a fact I waved to her as I got into my car today, so I know she saw me leave. Did she leave the house five minutes after I did this morning? Follow me here?

Debby had the perfectly straight, blonde bob; her makeup was flawless and looked natural, but I knew her makeup routine took an hour. She was wearing skinny jeans, not mom jeans like she should be wearing, since she had three kids and still looked like a high school cheerleader. Her purple sweater had little red hearts all over it. I tried my hardest not to roll my eyes at her tacky Valentine’s Day sweater. I swear I tried, but its possible my eyes rolled. Just a little.

“Deb, what are you doing here?” I made my lips move in semblance of a smile, but it probably looked more like a grimace.

“Oh, I forgot the boys have a game on Friday, so I need to pick up some groceries for Saturday. They always have friends over the next morning,” she smiled, her perfect white teeth gleaming. Then she looked over my outfit, which consisted of a hoodie with the Egyptian goddess Tawaret, and black yoga pants with black converse, and then she looked at the candy in my hand. “Oh, honey I’m so sorry. Yesterday must have been really hard for you. I should have come over and seen you.”

I forced another smile.

“Actually I was fine. I’m just here for the discounted candy.” I laughed slightly. Awkwardly.

“Oh yes of course. I just meant, you know, that you’re single now. So a day all about love must be really difficult. If you need anything you just come right on over. Ok, hun?” Before I could thank her and try to escape the conversation, she pat my arm and kept talking. “Now you listen to me, Mary. You will find someone ok? Someone better than Joe. Do not even think about him and his new girlfriend. I heard they’re having a baby now, did you hear that? Anyways, don’t even think about them.”

She kept talking to me but I tuned her out. Yes, my ex-husband was a cheating scumbag, it was the day after Valentine’s Day, and we broke up last year on Valentine’s Day. Yes, I was wearing yoga pants when I so obviously was not doing yoga. I was not depressed, my life was not over, I was just trying to buy a bag of assorted bite size (“fun size”) candy for half the price it usually was.

I.
Was.
Fine.

I had mourned the loss of scumbag, as I usually called Joe in my head. I had cried that he left, cried that he was a lying jerk, cried that he gave another woman what he told me he didn’t want. I cried about it all, and I grieved the loss of someone in the house with me. But I was done grieving the loss of someone I didn’t miss.

I was happy he was out of my life because now I could live my life. I could go and find someone who wasn’t a jerk.

In fact, I went on a date a couple weeks ago, but nobody seems to care about that. We were going out again soon, but we just didn’t want to date around Valentine’s Day because there was so much pressure to have someone on a day that was created by the greeting card companies. We both thought it was stupid.

Debby was still talking to me, her mouth was still moving, but I still was not listening to her. I just put the candy down in my cart, next to my purse. I opened my purse and grabbed the gun and pulled it out, pointed it at her head and shot her. Right between the eyes. She was annoying anyways. I put the gun back in my purse, and went back to debating on what candy I was going to buy. I heard people milling around me, I heard them wondering if they should call the police. But I didn’t care. I was going to buy my damn candy and no one was going to say anything about it.

I did not care that Debby was bleeding out on the floor, that her blood had started to pool around her head. I did not care that the blood would eventually run and might soak my sneakers. I was tired of caring what Debby said, or what she did, or even if her blood stained the bottom of my sneakers. I just didn’t care!

Debby wasn’t the only one either. My whole town, though it was small, would see me and want to talk to me about Joe, his new girl, their new baby, the baby they had when we were still together, how was I feeling?, had I spoken to Joe?

It got old. Really. Old.

“Hon, you gonna get your phone?” Debby’s voice brought me out of my day dream, and I reached into my purse to grab my phone. I looked at the caller ID before putting it away.

“Telemarketer,” I said with a little smile. Debby just smiled her perfect, Stepford wife smile.

“Oh, I didn’t know they had cell phone numbers. Anyways, I have to go finish shopping. You come over anytime, ok, hon?”

I nodded my head as she walked away, and I blew out a breath. I put both bags of candy in my cart with a muttered fuck it.

I bought two bags of candy.
I was single.
But most of all, I was happy.

I was happy being single, and not in a relationship with someone who was comfortable. I enjoyed dating. I enjoyed having my house to myself. I was living life again for the first time in years, and I didn’t need someone else to make my life complete. Sure, sharing my life with someone would have been nice; but I wasn’t going to settle for second best. Not again.

Joe-shmoe. I was fine. I would continue to be fine. Hell, I may even be better than fine. I was not going to let the scumbags get me down.

And I was going to eat my damn candy.

Changing the Ending…

Prologue

Remus

She took her last breath staring up at the green eyes that had haunted her dreams for over a decade. The eyes she thought were meant to be her salvation, but ultimately ended up being her demise.

The end.

Wait, what?!” I yelled, “Charlie dies?!”

“Ah, you finished it,” my sister, Reggie, said from the doorway. I looked up to find my fraternal twin leaning on the wall with her arms folded across her chest. Her chestnut hair was cut short, just brushing the tops of her shoulders. Today, she was wearing a white, short sleeved t-shirt and light jeans, with brown knee high boots and a brown leather jacket. She actually looked pretty good today, considering she usually left her house wearing sweat pants with her hair a mess.

Jesus, now I’m talking about her clothes.

“You made me read a stupid romance novel, said how amazing it was, how awesome it was, but it was utter bullshit! Charlie dies! How is this a romance novel?!” I yelled again, “‘You gotta read this, Rem!’ she said, ‘It’s a romance novel, but it’s so good!’ she said.” I threw the book at her, but she just ducked and started laughing.

“It is a romance novel, you ass!” she laughed again picking up the book. “Charlie finds love, but has to die to save the world, ” her golden brown eyes stared down at the cover of the book, as she stoked it lovingly. I was ready to toss her out of my bedroom window. She looked back up at me with a huge grin.

“Aren’t romance novels supposed to have happy endings?” I asked, throwing my hands up in the air. I got up from my bed and paced, while I ran my fingers through my hair.

“Not all of them have them, Rem. Just like real life, not everything can end with an HEA.” When I gave her a questioning look, she just chuckled. “Happily Ever After.”

With that, she took her book and sauntered out of my room. I could still hear her in the kitchen somewhere, but I wasn’t paying attention anymore. I was thinking of ways I could change the ending, maybe pull a Misery/Stephen King style stunt, but I wasn’t sure I was up for a kidnapping. I didn’t want to go to jail, I just wanted Charlie to live.

For some reason, I felt her deep in my bones. I connected with her in a way that I never had with a fictional character. I’ve never read romance before, usually sticking to my tech journals, but Reggie had convinced me to read this one. She wanted to talk to me about something other than the newest technology.

I walked out of my room, still in my sweat pants that I slept in, into my office and sat down at the desk, my brain going a thousand miles a minute. I put my head in my hands, elbows resting on my desk, as I stared emptily at the wall where the display for the computer was. As I started sorting through different articles that appeared on the projection, one article caught my eye.

New technology proves alternate universes exist! Not just sci-fi anymore!”

Alternate universe? Could Charlie be in one of them?

Chapter 1

One month later…

Charlie

Ding dong!

“Coming!” I yelled, racing to the door.

Ding dong!

“Jesus,” I muttered, “I’m coming!” I yelled louder. I stepped over Reggie, my lazy golden retriever who wouldn’t even bark if my entire living room was on fire, and opened the door.

“Woah,” I whispered looking at the man standing on my door step. He was at least six feet tall, which compared to my five foot frame, I considered to be giant status, and had broad shoulders like a football player. His chestnut hair had golden highlights in it that my mother would have paid hundreds of dollars for, but looked natural on him. His eyes were a golden color, not brown. He had a pair of black glasses that were rectangular, and didn’t take up too much of his face, but looked kind of odd since he looked like a linebacker, and the glasses made him look almost nerdy. He had a big smile on his face, and showed his perfect white teeth, as he stared down at me and I looked him over. He was wearing an olive green polo, which looked really good with his light complexion, and brought out his eyes even more, tucked into a pair of khakis.

Although this man was a complete stranger, he seemed oddly familiar.

“Charlie?” his deep timbre shook me out of looking him up and down, and I looked back up into his eyes. I tilted my head in confusion.

“You know my name?”

“My name is Remus Montgomery, but you can call me Remy, and although we’ve never met, I do know you.”

He smiled again and I shook my head, my hair falling in front of my face. Don’t let a pretty face beguile you Charlie. When I heard a laugh, I looked back up and could feel my cheeks heat.

“Did I say that out loud?” I whispered.

“Yup,” he chuckled again.

“Look, bud, I don’t know you, and I’m not sure how you know me, but it’s quite frankly freaking me out, so there is no way I am letting you into my house. You could totally be an axe murderer or something,” as I started to close the door, his name finally registered in my head, and I whipped the door back open. “Wait, did you say Remus Montgomery?”

This time, his head tilted in confusion, “Yes?”

I left the door open, as I turned around and went into the living room to get my favorite book, which was still sitting on the end table since I had just finished re-reading it, yes, re-read because I like to re-read my books. Don’t judge me. I picked up the book and walked to the front door, flipping through the pages until I reached the description of Remy. I tripped on Reggie, since she had apparently decided to move without me noticing, and put my hands out in front of me to catch my fall. I felt two strong arms come around my waist, catching me before I fell flat on my face.

“You alright?” he asked me, his hands lingering on my hips as I straightened my self.

“Yeah,” I said, clearing my throat. “Reggie,” I said turning to the laziest beast I had ever met, “when did you move, girl?” I swear she just rolled her eyes at me.

“Did you just call your dog Reggie, and did she just roll her eyes?” Remy asked from behind me. See! Dogs can totally roll their eyes.

“Yes, her name is Reggie. Why?” I said looking back at him.

“No reason,” he said, his eyes on the dog, but I swear I heard him whisper, “Reg is gonna love that.”

I opened the book again, since I hadn’t dropped it when Reggie tried to kill me, and flipped back to the part I was looking for. I read the description out loud,

“Remus Montgomery, known as Remy to his friends, was barely listening to his sister Reggie as she prattled on about some book he didn’t care for. He was too busy trying to get into the hard drive of a computer that the local police department had sent him. Although he was a technical genius, he was built like an athlete, and it usually surprised people to find out he was not a lacrosse player, but spent his time creating the newest technology out there, and spent his free time working on cases for the police department. His glasses slipped down his nose again, for the thousandth time that day he wished he had gotten the surgery to just fix his eyes.”

I paused looking back up at Remus, and he had his mouth hanging open.

“Can I see that?” he asked, holding out his hand. I put it in his hand and watched as he read the back of the book.

“How is it, that you look exactly like the Remus Montgomery that I’ve always pictured when I read this book, and you just showed up on my doorstep?”

Remy cleared his throat as he looked up at me.

“I read a book my twin sister, Reggie, convinced me to read, and you’re the main character. Charlotte Rose King, also known as Charlie, and I didn’t like the ending of the book. I was thinking of going Anne Wilkes on the author when I found out that alternate universes were real, and tried to find you. So here I am, trying to change the ending.” Remy looked at the book again, and checked the author. “Whoever wrote this book, wrote the book in my universe too,” but it sounded like he was talking to himself more than anyone else. “Quick question,” he said looking back at me. 

“Yeah?”

“Did you name your dog after my sister?”

I could feel my cheeks heat again. 

If you liked this, and want to read more, please comment below.

Three days.

It’s been three days since I’ve slept. Three torturous days since I’ve been able to sleep peacefully. I can’t stop my mind from racing. Every time I try to close my eyes, your image flashes back at me, and they pop open again. I  can’t stop seeing your smile in my head. The sound of your laughter keeps me up at night. I toss and turn, but the minute I feel sleepy, the minute my eyelids shut, your face zaps into my head.

I hate it. I hate every minute I lay there thinking of you.

People are starting to see that something is wrong with me. My eyes are bloodshot, there are bags under my eyes, my hair that was once so shiny is now dull and stringy. I think I even lost weight. I don’t know how much longer I can last without seeing you. I can feel my mind slowly deteriorating again.

I feel like I’m starting to dream while I am awake. I am starting to see you even when I don’t close my eyes. Something happens and I turn to tell it to you. I try to text you, but it won’t go through. I forget that I’ve blocked your number. It’s for my own good, I know, but it doesn’t help. I search for you in all the social media. I look for you on every website I can think of, but your name doesn’t come up. It’s like you never existed. Like you were never a part of my life.

Dammit I know you were there! I cried to you about my family, I was at your house, I ate dinner with you, gossiped with you, I loved you.

But it wasn’t enough for you and I know that now. It’s why I blocked you in my phone, why I erased your name from existence. My head remembers it’s for my own good, that I did this only to myself, but my heart screams out that I didn’t do it, someone else must have. Because you love me and I love you.

But it’s not true.

It’s the middle of the night and all I can do is lay here and hope that tonight I will finally sleep. It’s been three days since I’ve slept.

Dahlia

Dahlia sat with her back straight in the chair. Not blinking or moving. Her long, voluminous black hair hung down to her backside, curling off the chair. The oak chair she sat in was far from comfortable, which only added to tension to the situation she had found herself in. Across the room stood the love of her life, the man she thought she’d marry and make babies with. She could feel the anger rising in her again about his betrayal, but she swallowed it down. She had decided it would be better to look impassive than to look like the crazy woman he accused her of being. There he stood, looking as perfect as the day she met him, while she sat looking like a frump, forced into the clothes by the situation. God, she hated him almost as much as she loved him.

If only she hadn’t been so naive to think someone as perfect as him could love someone as flawed as her.

She remembered it clearly, the day her heart broke into a thousand pieces and her world turned on its side. It had been early, six thirty in the morning. Dahlia had just finished putting on a tight black dress that emphasized her curves. She put on a little bit of foundation to make her pale white skin gleam a pearly white. A pop of dark red lipstick pulled her look together. Her icy blue eyes just made her look even more innocent in her eyes. By seven, she was out the door, driving to Matthew’s house. The man who held the key to her heart.

She had met Matthew two years earlier at work. They both worked for an accounting firm in the city. His shaggy, dark blonde hair and hazel eyes gave the impression that he would be a surfer, but he was as dedicated to his job as he was to her. They dated for two years, and Dahlia was sure he was going to ask her to marry him.

Until she walked through the door.

When she unlocked the door to his house, she heard a noise upstairs. She followed the noise, walking quietly up the carpeted staircase. She had slipped off her heels when she came into the house, because Matthew was a neat freak. There were many shoes by the front door, so she didn’t think anything of the female slippers sitting besides Matthew’s loafers. A trail of clothing, both male and female, led to the master bedroom. She opened the door to his room, and there he was, with another woman, laying in the bed. Naked. Dahlia’s not sure what sound she made but two pairs of eyes turned her way at the same time. It’s possible she screamed.

“Dahlia! What are you doing here!” Matthew yelled. She started laughing, while tears fell from her eyes.
“Matthew, honey, I came to make you breakfast,” Dahlia said quietly. She couldn’t drag her eyes from the pair on the bed.

Matthew got up, pulling on a pair of boxers. The woman just pulled the sheet up to her chin.

“Dahlia, sweetheart, we broke up,” he said, coming towards her.
“Matthew, tonight is our anniversary. You were supposed to ask me to marry you!”
“We broke up a year ago! Aren’t you listening to me?”

Dahlia didn’t answer. She just turned around and closed the door to the bedroom quietly, locking it. After that she couldn’t remember.

And now these people were saying she killed Matthew and his little whore. But how could she have killed him, when he was standing RIGHT THERE, smiling at her? Smirking at her? LAUGHING AT HER? She was sentenced to death because of him, and they weren’t even looking at him! She was going to die because of him!

So there she sat, with her back straight in the chair. Not blinking or moving. The oak chair she sat in was now unbearable to sit in, which only added to tension to the situation she had found herself in. The man beside her strapped her to the chair, and hooked a machine to her head. And across the room stood the love of her life, the man who had falsely accused her of murdering him. There he stood, looking as perfect as the day she met him, while she sat strapped to a chair in an orange jumpsuit. God, she hated him almost as much as she loved him.

Unfollow

Inhale. Exhale. Unfollow.
Inhale.
Exhale.
Unfollow.
I stare at the computer screen, looking at their Twitter, my hand braced over the “unfollow” button.
It’s easy. I lie to myself. They’re already out of my life, I don’t talk, text, or e-mail them anymore. I haven’t seen them in months. This is just the next step. I have to unfollow them. Permanently erase them from my life. Easy, sure.
God, when did life get this hard? It used to be so easy. You just stopped talking to a person. You could try to convince yourself that you just fell out of touch, that people grow apart. But you knew it was that you couldn’t have them in your life. But you could just not answer their calls, tell yourself you’re busy. That’s it. Now, you have to make a conscious decision to remove someone from your life. Not just not talking to them, but by removing them from your social media.
I put my hand on the mouse, but as I lift my hand from my lap, it starts to shake.
It will be healthier for me. Now that’s the truth. No more online stalking, seeing what they’re up to. No more causing myself more pain by seeing their newest beau. No more writing updates and seeing if they understand I was talking about them. It will definitely be healthier.
I need to breathe, but I can’t. I can only stare at the “unfollow” button, with my hand on the mouse, willing myself to click the button.
You’ll be happier this way. I probably will be happier. I can’t torture myself anymore, which is good. Now I just have the memories of them to torture me. Great.
Will unfollowing them from my social media really help me? Will deleting them from Facebook, or unfollowing them on Instagram really help me happy and healthy? It’s not like we talk anymore, or see each other, so why not just leave them where they are? The memories won’t go away anyway. Will I really stop thinking about them? No, I won’t. I won’t lie to myself. I’ll still hear that song, our song, and I’ll think of them, still see that movie, the one we wanted to see together, and I’ll wonder if they’re seeing it too. So what’s the difference?
I know I’m trying to convince myself to not unfollow them, to let them continue to torture me, even if they don’t know that is what they’re doing to me. I’m trying to keep them in my life, any way that I can. But I know, deep down in my head, not in my heart, that I cannot continue to do this to myself. My head knows what I need to do, but my heart doesn’t want to do it. But I will, one click at a time, one breath at a time.
Once I do it for Twitter, I’ll have to it for Instgram, Facebook, and Snapchat. Anything I follow them on, I will have to undo. I will have to make the conscious decision to remove them from my life, to delete them, unfollow them.
I didn’t think unfollowing one person would be this hard.
The worst part? They probably won’t even notice that I did this.
Inhale.
Exhale.
Unfollow.
I click the mouse, and they’re gone.

unfollow-twitter

Goodbye

Goodbye, my love.

This is the hardest letter I have to write, the hardest goodbye I have to say. We both knew this day would come, but we both ignored it.

I have no regrets, if you were wondering. Even though I will never know the taste of your lips, or what it feels like to be the center of your world, I do not regret a thing. Even though every time I hear our song, or watch our show, I will think of you, I do not regret it.

Even though it was unrequited, I do not regret loving you.

I will miss how excited you get over your comic books; how you smile at the corny jokes; how your eyes crinkle when you’re laughing until it hurts.

You are the hardest goodbye I have to make, because I know it is forever. There will never be another hug to cheer me up, or late night phone call because you can’t sleep. Never again will I hear your voice, and that’s the most painful part of it all. Eventually you will move on from me. You will first forget what my voice sounds like. Then you will forget the color of my eyes and the color of my hair. My features will fade in your mind, until you forget my name. 

But I will never forget you. 

Know that I wish you the best in life, and that I will always love you. I would tell you to call me if you ever need anything, but it would be pointless. You’ll never call me again. 

So goodbye, my love, my friend. I will never regret falling in love with you, and I will never forget you. 

Goodbye.