Ten years ago, Jarrett Brandt left home and abandoned everyone of importance. After a hard reality check, the irresponsible young man matured into a ballsy DEA agent with a kickass Harley Davidson and a million-dollar bounty on his head. Ordered by his superior officer to take refuge at a safe house just days before Christmas, he headed back home to Washington State, instead, to make peace with his deceased brother’s memory.
Marissa Reinn Brandt never expected to see Jarrett again. Best friends since childhood and lovers as teenagers, immaturity, over-demanding parents and illicit drugs ripped them apart. Now a successful chef at a posh restaurant, the young widow and her son offered Jarrett a place to stay for the holiday. Even though she expected nothing from her former lover—the twin brother of the man she married—fate intervened.
As Jarrett and Marissa rekindled the flames of love and lust that once bound them together, an enemy from his past and a trusted mentor from his present vied their time in the snowy dark and threatened to destroy everyone he held dear. Needing a Christmas miracle to save his family, Jarrett needed the love of a good woman to save his battered heart. His second chance with Marissa meant the world to him and nothing, no one, would stand in his way of cherishing her for all time.
He felt like shit. He didn’t want to relapse but he needed just one hit to soothe his nerves.
When I initially opened this book I noticed that it was only 94 pages. My first thought, cliffhanger! Not many authors can write a story with substance in 94 pages, well Amber Daulton proved that theory wrong.
Harold growled. “What am I to expect? My son ran away like a coward, doped up on cocaine. You never called. Never came home. You were a disgrace.” He scowled at Jarrett’s leather jacket, sweater, denim jeans and biker boots. “You still are. When was the last time you shaved? A week ago? Are you living out of that backpack?”
This story is about a man named Jerrett. He ran away as soon as he could to get away from responsibility, leaving behind his family and girlfriend. He know that going home after so long is not the best idea, but can’t seem to stop himself. When he gets there nothing could prepare him for the animosity his father shows and the open arms his ex girlfriend and love of his life, Marissa has for him.
Marissa doesn’t want to take Jarrett back, but she doesn’t want him to feel like he is an outcast to the family. He did after all choose his drugs over her and she would have gladly followed him, if drugs and responsibilities hadn’t of been a factor. She wants to know where he has been and how his life has been treating him but, desire and a love that never died, soon find their way between them. Marissa learns that Jarrett is hiding secrets and is on the run for his life.
“God, I really lucked out. You’re the only woman I’ve ever wanted or loved.”
This story is about a man, through mistakes and misjudgments finds forgiveness for his past. He finds love and opportunity from the one place he has avoided most of his life. I loved this story. I loved the characters in all of their flawed glory. Amber Daulton wasn’t on my radar until this story, but she is now and I can’t wait to read more from her!
Interview with Jarrett
Hello Jarrett. Thank you for taking the time to sit and chat.
Glad to be here, Emily. *He checks his cell phone, likely for messages, and then shoves it back in his leather jacket.* The media circus has finally died down but work is never slow. Let’s get to your questions.
Alrighty. Now you had a drug problem previous to reuniting with Marissa, was your drug issue present while you were with Marissa in the past?
*He groans.* I’d hope you’d ask fluff questions but okay, fine, whatever. *Jarrett tunnels a hand through his dark hair as he flushes red.* Yeah, the drug problem was very much present. I started using after I turned sixteen. My story isn’t much different from the norm. I was at a party, I tried a tiny amount of cocaine on a dare and the high was incredible. I threw up afterwards but that didn’t stop me from trying it again. I kept using to reach that same high—which I never could—but I didn’t expect to get addicted.
Marissa noticed changes in my behavior a few months later. I always had a rebellious streak but I started to act out more, especially around my dad and at school. She then found a little powder-filled baggie in my jacket and freaked out on me. Understandably, of course. She begged me to stop but I didn’t listen. I never used around her, never acted violent around her, so I didn’t think it was a problem.
I’ve loved Marissa for as long as I can remember but, somehow along the way, she took a backseat to my addiction.
*I bit my lip as the sexy man fidgets in his chair.* Has it been hard to turn your head to the drugs, now that you are sober?
I’ve been sober for seven years but I’m still an addict. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about my drug of choice. Do I want it? Hell no, but it’s still difficult. There was a time, not too long ago, when I easily could have slipped back into that insane lifestyle. Instead, I stayed strong and refused the temptation. Too many people depended on me. I couldn’t backtrack because of them. I couldn’t break the promise I had made to myself and ruin everything that I had worked so hard for.
There wasn’t much background to you and Marissa, how did the two of you get together?
*His face lights up with happiness.* I met Marissa in elementary school. She lived a few streets down from me and we were inseparable all throughout our childhood. Our friendship became a relationship out of the blue. We were both sixteen. We left the movie theater after a midnight showing, my brother was with us, and Marissa’s Aunt Carol was late to pick us up. A few older guys that always hung out around the theater kept staring at Marissa. They even made a few catcalls. So, I just grabbed her, kissed her and gave those guys a good go to hell look and they backed off. After that, we just started dating.
What memory of you and Marissa are you most fond of?
Well, that’s a little personal. *Jarrett wiggles his eyebrows.* Marissa will have me on the couch for the next month if I give details—and yeah, I could go into explicit details about our first time together—but I won’t. I really love our bed and, more importantly, the woman in it. But I will say this… that night was magical for both of us. It was perfect.
*I blush and scribble in my notepad* What is one thing you wish you could change?
I wouldn’t change anything about my past. Not the drugs, not leaving home, nothing. If I did, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. I like me, for the most part.
Well, okay, I would change one thing. I wish I would’ve come home sooner. I spent too many years away from Marissa. I missed out on a lot of important things and I regret that.
Do you think the events in your life made you appreciate things a little more about your life?
Yep. I’ve made horrible mistakes, hurt the people that I loved and I went through hell and back to get my life back on track. Life is precious. It’s easy to screw it up and you never know when it’s gonna be over. Marissa is my world. Without her, I’m nothing.
Favorite Scent on a woman? – I’m partial to Marissa’s cookie-scented shampoo and body wash.
Boxers or briefs? – A teddy. No wait… a g-string. No, a naughty elf outfit. Do I have to choose? Oh, you mean for me? Boxers.
Favorite position? – My lady on top!
Favorite comfort food? – Marissa would kill me if I answered that. *Wink.*
What are five things you cannot live without? – I’m a simple guy. I don’t need five things. Marissa, our kids and my job keeps me happy, and I could go without the third one.
*His phone vibrates within his jacket pocket. He grabs it and stands up.* Gotta go. *Jarrett shakes my hand.* Thanks for having me, Emily. You and the girls at The Sub Club are the best.
About Amber Daulton
Amber Daulton lives in the beautiful foothills of North Carolina with her wonderful husband and their five crazy kitties. Writing takes up most of her time, aside from her day job in the retail industry, but her husband doesn’t mind cooking most nights to keep her well fed.
As a fan of contemporary, paranormal and historical novels alike, she can’t get enough of feisty heroines and alpha heroes. Her mind is a wonderland of romance and adventure, laughter and awesome ways of kicking a guy when he’s down. Writing is her passion and she probably wouldn’t be too sane without it. After all, what’s a girl to do when there are people jabbering away in her head and there’s no way to shut them up? Write! Nothing else works.