EVERYTHING SHE WANTED
The Hunted Series #5
Releasing Jan 5th, 2016
New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Ryan returns to The Hunted series
Ben Knight has spent his life protecting those in need and helping abused women escape their terrible circumstances. He’ll stop at nothing to save the lives of his clients, especially the hauntingly beautiful Kate Morrison, a woman threatened by a man whose wealth allows him to get away with everything—including murder.
Kate’s days spent as a social worker, fighting for those unable to help themselves, means she’s spent her fair share of time in a court room. She and Ben have crossed paths, but never that professional line. When he agrees to aid her in putting Evan Faraday behind bars where he belongs, she must trust the sexy lawyer with her life and that of a precious baby.
Will Kate learn to trust Ben in time to save herself, and will they have a chance to explore the love blossoming between them before it’s too late?
The folks at Avon Impulse are a little sneaky. When you see the cover of a Jennifer Ryan novel, you see these wonderfully handsome hunks on the cover and I automatically think contemporary small town western romance. Ryan's stories are always more. She writes a suspense story that always takes me by surprise with a horrific crime that leaves me saying "Whoa!"
Ben Knight has been a fan favorite throughout the series and this time he gets his girl. He is a wonderful hero, an attorney that helps women and children from abusive lives. He knows Kate through the same kind of work and they have crossed paths before. This night they meet up again when Kate's sister and her fiance are murdered, leaving Kate alone to raise their infant son.
Together they want justice. At first, Kate is a bit reckless. They know who is guilty, but they need to make it stick. But she has already seen the dark side of life and is street smart. Along the way Ben and Kate join forces as they come to trust and love each other.
This story is fast paced and never lets up. There is betrayal and a twist or two that I never saw coming. Jennifer Ryan writes a superb story that makes you count the days until her next novel comes out. Do yourself a favor and give her a try!
“I’m calling him.” Evan pulled his phone from his back pocket frustrated his parents’ fucked up lives always screwed with his. He hit the speed dial for his father and put the phone to his ear, but kept his eyes trained on his distraught, and obviously mad, mother. “Dad, I’m with Mom. What is going on?”
“What did she tell you?”
“That you’re divorcing her and have a new girlfriend.”
“Not new. I’ve been with her over a year and a half. I’m happy. I can’t do it anymore, Evan. I can’t live a lie with your mother. Her deceit, your continued lack of motivation to get a job, build a decent life, and getting into trouble at every turn has pushed me too far. My life with you both has turned into a bad habit that eats away at who I am and the kind of man I want to be. I won’t do it anymore. I’m done. She’ll receive her settlement. I’ll set up a trust for you that will pay a monthly allowance for your rent and utilities but nothing more. The next time you get arrested or need to pay someone off to keep them from pressing charges for whatever trouble and harm you cause, don’t call me. I won’t bail you out again.”
“Dad, come on, you can’t be serious.”
“It’s over. I will not pay both personally and financially for your debased lifestyles anymore. Believe me, under the circumstances, what I’m offering is generous. Push me on this and you’ll get nothing. Unless and until you change your ways, we have nothing left to say to each other.”
“What the hell do you mean by that?”
“Ask your mother. She obviously didn’t tell you everything.”
“You can’t do this.”
“Don’t blame me. Your mother lied and cheated throughout our marriage. She got away with it right up until I discovered the real truth. A truth I never wanted to see, but stared me in the face every day. You never take responsibility for the things you do. You always blame others. So you want to blame someone for this outcome, blame her. She did this to me and to you. I’m sorry for that. Because I am, I’ll set up the trust. Take it or leave it, but that’s all you get.”
Evan wanted to chuck the phone across the room, but held on to his temper. Barely. “Dad, this isn’t fair. I don’t understand what you’re talking about.”
“You want answers, get them from your mother. Let her explain why she did it. Why she does anything. The only things she cares about is herself and the money. I mistook her joy when I gave her things as love. She never loved me. She loved what I could give her. Now, I’m taking it all away.”
Evan stared at his phone in disbelief. His father hung up on him.
“I told you. He won’t be swayed this time. We’re cut off.”
Evan fisted his hands at his sides, the phone digging into his palm, and tried to control the welling anger in his gut. “What did you do?”
“Something that can’t be undone.”
“What did you do?” he demanded.
“What I had to do, but that isn’t important. We need to fix this before it’s too late.”
Frustrated with her non-answers, he growled under his breath and tried to think. Without his father’s money, what the hell would he do? The lawyer he’d hired to keep him out of jail cost a fortune. His father paid off that fuck he assaulted at the bar, but he still had the DUI charges hanging over his head. If his father didn’t pay for a top-notch lawyer, he might face some serious fines and jail time.
Furious his mother refused to give him answers and explain why he was about to lose everything, he tried to come up with a plan. Based on the call with his father, the way his father spoke, there was no use talking to him. He’d made up his mind. Evan had changed it many times, but something about the way he spoke, the deep hurt and anger laced in his words set off alarms in Evan’s mind. The rift in their relationship had turned into a tear that couldn’t be mended with empty promises to change his ways.
“I’m telling you, Evan, there is only one way to fix this. If your father lives, we lose everything. You’ve got to make it look like an accident or murder. The insurance company won’t pay out if it looks like a suicide.”
Evan raised his hands, then let them fall and slap his thighs. “Do you hear yourself? Do you know what you’re asking me to do? Kill my own father. It’s beyond reason.”
“You’ve killed before for a hell of a lot less than what you’re about to lose.”
Evan tried not to think about the man he beat to death and left in a dumpster behind a bar over a fucking five hundred dollar bet. The guy cheated. He needed to be taught a lesson. Evan was drunk and high and out of control. He barely made it home that night, too messed up to even remember how he drove home. His mother found him passed out in bed the next morning, his clothes covered in blood from beating the guy’s face in. His memories of that night were more flashes of images than an actual play by play of what happened. They found the guy’s body at the dumps four days later. By the time the cops came to question him as one of the last people who had contact with the guy, Evan had his shit together and his story straight. They played poker. Evan lost and went home to sleep off his night of drinking. His mother backed him up about what time he arrived home. She even helped hide the bruises on his knuckles with makeup before he went downstairs to meet with the cops. That’s it. The cops never came back or linked the murder to him. She always had his back.
Unlike his father who always wanted him to take responsibility, do the right thing, and generally let him suffer whatever fate came his way. No thank you. He didn’t deserve to spend his life rotting in a cell. If it came down to it, he’d go out in a blaze of glory before he let the cops lock him in a cage.
He liked his life. The freedom he had to do what he wanted, when he wanted. Now, his father wanted to take that all away. Make him responsible for earning the money he’d learned to enjoy his whole life. He’d never had to work for anything. Didn’t really know how. Definitely didn’t want to do the whole daily grind in an office or some other shit job. As far as he was concerned, his father made him this way. He couldn’t just cut him off now. Evan didn’t care about the reasons, he wanted what he’d always had, what he deserved as his father’s son. But could he actually kill him? He needed to see his father, this woman, the other life his father had been secretly living.
“What’s the address?”
His mother handed him a slip of paper she took from her pocket.
He walked out the front door without a word to his mother. He got in the Range Rover she got him for his birthday two months ago to replace the car he wrecked. It pissed his father off that she’d given him the gift. His father always wanted to pull back when his mother wanted to spoil him. Well, he’d take his mother being in control of all that money over his dad any day. This wasn’t about killing his father but securing his future.
A thought flickered, maybe the Scotch might be fueling his outrage, before it burned out without really flaring to life inside his mind.
He checked the address and swore. What kind of person buys a house for his mistress this close to his own family? His parents were fucked up. No wonder he didn’t turn out normal. Hell, normal was for all those stiffs working their lives away. Not him.
He was fucked up enough to know what needed to be done. To keep his life, he had to take his father’s.
Enter to Win a Digital Set of
The Complete Hunted Series (Books 1-4)
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Jennifer Ryan is the New York Times & USA Today bestselling author of The Hunted Series and The McBrides Series. She writes romantic suspense and contemporary small-town romances featuring strong men and equally resilient women. Her stories are filled with love, family, friendship, and the happily-ever-after we all hope to find.
Jennifer lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and three children. When she isn’t writing a book, she’s reading one. Her obsession with both is often revealed in the state of her home and in how late dinner is to the table. When she finally leaves those fictional worlds, you’ll find her in the garden, playing in the dirt and daydreaming about people who live only in her head, until she puts them on paper.