My life with Damien has never been fuller. Every day is a miracle, and every night I lose myself in the oasis of his arms.
But there are new challenges, too. Our families. Our careers. And new responsibilities that test us with unrelenting, unexpected trials.
I know we will survive—we have to. Because I cannot live without Damien by my side. But sometimes the darkness seems overwhelming, and I am terrified that the day will come when Damien cannot bring the light. And I will have to find the strength inside myself to find my way back into his arms.
I already know that Damien is running later than I am, because he’d called while I was stuck in traffic. Now I dismiss Bree for the night, then go peek in on both my girls. I want to wake them, to cuddle them close, but I let them sleep, contenting myself with watching the steady rise and fall of their little chests.
Then I take a quick shower, change into yoga pants and a T-shirt, and stretch out on our lovely iron bed, surrounded by paperwork.
That’s where I am when Damien finds me—although I’m asleep instead of busily working.
“Hey,” he says, brushing a kiss on my shoulder. “Long day?”
As I claw my way back to consciousness, he gathers my papers and sets them on the bedside table. There’s a glass of wine, too, and he hands it to me. I try to avoid alcohol since I’m breastfeeding, but I also did the research and know that a little bit isn’t a problem so long as I wait to pump or feed Anne.
“The longest,” I say, then take a grateful sip. I lean sideways against him, my back supported by the pile of pillows that rest against the wall. I give him the full rundown, the highlight of which is Eric’s surprising departure.
“You can handle continued growth,” he says, his loyalty giving me a nice warm boost of confidence. “But you’re also well-positioned to simply hold the line if that’s what you want to do. Even to downsize if it works out that way.”
I push away from him, frowning as my chest tightens uncomfortably. “What?”
“I’m just saying that you don’t have to go back to work full-throttle.”
I sit up straight. “Excuse me? Why? Because you can support us?”
“I can support us. But what I’m—”
“So I’m supposed to feel guilty about wanting to work just because you bring in billions?” Dammit, he knows how important my job is to me. How hard I’ve worked to build my business on my own, not relying on money that comes from Stark International.
He stares at me like someone might stare at a wild hyena. “That’s not what I’m saying at all.”
Kim's 4 Star Review
It’s nice to know that no matter how much money you have life is never easy.
Damien and Nikki are back again but this time is much different than the rest. Their last book left us with a tidbit about Nikki being pregnant but with her high chance of miscarriage rate due to medical complication we never really knew if she would actually have a child of her own. It really didn’t matter to both Damien and Nikki as they were finally able to bring their adopted daughter Lara home.
The good news is that Nikki gave Damien another daughter to spoil. As Nikki learns the joys of motherhood she also learns what it’s like to go back to work and leave your child. We all want to be there for our kids first and while Nikki has advantages that most of us don’t she still has the drive to work which put her in the same hard spot that all working mother face.
I love how Damien dealt with the roller coaster ride of emotions that Nikki was throwing at him and how well he handled it. This is the time where most men have no clue what to do and I truly don’t blame them. Damien came through it and gave his wife everything she needed, and everything that they had being working towards
We got to see Nikki finally able to deal with moving past the need to cut when she felt like everything was spiralling out of control. I believe it has to do with being a mother and how that has made her take the final steps out from under her mother’s shadow. Damien has always said that Nikki was strong but this part of their story showed just how strong she truly is.
I fell in love with Damien and Nikki when their story first started and I don’t know all ever get enough. Julie has brought her readers characters that will stand the test of time and characters that you can’t help but fall in love with or get enough of!!!
About the Author
J.Kenner (aka Julie Kenner) is the New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, Wall Street Journal and #1 International bestselling author of over seventy novels, novellas and short stories in a variety of genres.
Though known primarily for her award-winning and international bestselling erotic romances (including the Stark and Most Wanted series) that have reached as high as #2 on the New York Times bestseller list, JK has been writing full time for over a decade in a variety of genres including paranormal and contemporary romance, “chicklit” suspense, urban fantasy, and paranormal mommy lit.
JK has been praised by Publishers Weekly as an author with a “flair for dialogue and eccentric characterizations” and by RT Bookclub for having “cornered the market on sinfully attractive, dominant antiheroes and the women who swoon for them.” A five time finalist for Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA award, JK took home the first RITA trophy awarded in the category of erotic romance in 2014 for her novel, Claim Me (book 2 of her Stark Trilogy). Her Demon Hunting Soccer Mom series (as Julie Kenner) is currently in development with AwesomenessTV/Awestruck.
Her books have sold over three million copies and are published in over twenty languages.
In her previous career as an attorney, JK worked as a clerk on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, and practiced primarily civil, entertainment and First Amendment litigation in Los Angeles and Irvine, California, as well as in Austin, Texas. She currently lives in Central Texas, with her husband, two daughters, and two rather spastic cats.