Loyalty to each other and their newly built family is the glue that binds all those dreams together. But with loyalty and the need to protect each other, comes secrets.
Growing up in foster care, Malcolm has never known his birth family. The first twelve years of his life is riddled with trauma and abuse. His only dream in life is to make it to eighteen years old so he can join the military and change his fate. When Malcolm’s placed in the care of a new foster home, he meets Adler and Sal. Three boys having grown up with no family, no connections and no hope of a steady life, they find something in each other they never thought they’d have. Family. After a horrific trauma occurs in this new foster home, Malcolm, Adler and Sal are thrust into uncertainty and an indefinite separation from each other. That is, until an unlikely savior steps in.
Trauma brought three boys into the lives of the Keating’s. The love they carry as brothers will guide them into the life they’re meant to have. Their shared dream of joining the military just a short time away. Loyalty to each other and their newly built family is the glue that binds all those dreams together. But with loyalty and the need to protect each other, comes secrets.
Clara has had her own fair share of trauma. After a life altering event, Clara vows to move on with her life and be happy despite all that is stacked against her. When she meets the mysterious Malcolm, her curiosity about him leads her to an unlikely turn of events. And a life she never expected. Which way will her heart sway? Will the path it takes tear apart a brother’s bond?
Will all the secrets kept between these lives break the loyalty of this family?
Standing up straight and looking into the mirror, I see Sal standing behind me, wet from a shower. His chest is bare with the exception of a thin silver chain, a cross attached and dangling from his neck. The only thing he has on are gray track pants, hanging low on his waist, showing the perfect shape of his toned hips and slender build. The definition of muscle from his chest to his stomach as it makes its way down his body has my mouth watering. God, he’s perfect. He has a towel in his hand, the motion of drying his short hair halted at the sight of me in his bedroom. His dark eyes burn into mine. I can feel his stare all the way to my toes. Those familiar goose bumps are back and covering every inch of my skin. Without breaking eye contact, I explain my intrusion into his personal space, “I…I um, the door was open.” He looks over at the door then back at me. Heat rises up my neck and I feel it coloring my cheeks. I turn to face him, my face red with embarrassment. The tension is heavy that I came in without being asked and found him half naked. “You said you wanted to talk to me? Before I left.”
He doesn’t say a word, just walks towards me and puts the towel onto the chair next to his bed. As he passes me, he lays a hand on my waist. Sal pulls me closer to him as he turns. His arms wrap around my waist and I’m surprised at the intimate way he hugs me. Sal holds me tight, like he’s missed me. It’s strange but feels so good. His hand moves up my back and rests on the back of my head. I sink deeper into his arms. My hands come up to rest on his chest, my cheek pressing against him just below his neck. He holds me as if I’m cherished, as if I belong here in his embrace. Inhaling deep, I’m lost in the sweet scent of sandalwood, sawdust and fresh cut grass. He pulls away from me a little, just enough so that our bodies still touch. His forehead comes down to rest against mine. My eyes are closed, and I can feel his breath against my lips. I don’t move, I don’t breathe. Sal removes the band holding my braid at the base of my spine, releasing my unruly hair. I exhale the breath I’m holding as his hands separate my braid section by section. He slightly pulls on my hair as he climbs his fingers up toward my scalp. The curls surround me, the smell of lavender from my conditioner overtaking his scent. He rubs my scalp, keeping his forehead against mine. It’s the best feeling. The tenderness of my head from the heavy braid easing a little from his attention. His hands move around to my neck, his thumbs caressing my jaw. His voice is like gravel when he finally speaks. “You. Are. So. Beautiful.” Each word he says as a statement, with so much passion behind each word. “When I’m around you and I can’t hold you like this, I can’t breathe.” He lays a kiss on my forehead, then each of my cheeks. “I want to take you somewhere. Will you go somewhere with me, tomorrow?” His hand now rests on my cheek. The look in his eyes makes me feel needed. Wanted. I can’t believe that so quickly I would feel this safe and secure with Sal. Just knowing that no matter what he asks of me, I won’t deny him.
About the author:
Jen was born in San Diego, California and was raised in Lubbock, Texas. Jen's life took her into a career of nursing. In 2008, she earned her Registered Nursing degree and began caring for patients in a fast-paced Intensive Care unit. Her dreams led her to obtain an undergraduate degree in Nursing followed by a Master's degree in Nursing Leadership and Organizational Management. Jen has always loved reading and books. The idea suddenly came to her one day to sit down and start writing Shipley's Secrets. The process at first, was a release from the busy day to day life of a Registered Nurse in healthcare management.
Jen's inspiration to finish and self-publish came in the form of encouragement and love from her husband Jason. Jen gets her inspiration from authors like Pepper Winters, Jamie McGuire, and Colleen Hoover. Jen hopes that the inspiration from writing Shipley's Secrets will inspire her to keep writing in the young adult and contemporary romance realm.
Jen likes to read, write and watch movies in her free time. Any chance to drink champagne and eat pasta, she jumps on. Jen lives in Northern Colorado with her husband Jason, daughter Alyssa and their dog Lady Simmons.
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