RELEASE DAY PARTY!!
Rating: 5 Stars
Haunted by vivid nightmares that force her to relive the night she was shot, Judy Adams struggles to heal physically and emotionally. Rejected by her family; she finds a ray of hope when an unexpected friend shows up on her doorstep. However her recovery is quickly derailed when she begins receiving sinister threats.
Fueled by revenge and vowing to stop the one causing the terror towards the one he loves, Jace Alexander along with the men of VIP Bodyguard Service decide to take matters into their own hands. Using the training they received in the military and enlisting the help of some unexpected allies, they stumble upon some dark secrets from the past.
With danger and tragedy looming around every corner, can their relationship withstand the strain? Or will it crack under the pressure taking with it everything they cherish most.
I was given an ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I seriously loved this book, maybe even more than Protect Me, but I still enjoyed them both. Cherish Me is books 2 in The Protect Me Series by Jennifer Culbreth. Jennifer left me hanging at the end of the first book and Cherish Me flowed on nicely, except now its Judy and Jace’s story. Trent is still on the run and threatening as ever especially towards Judy and Abbi. Jace and Ryan will do everything in their power to protect their girls. A friend from Judy’s past shows up unexpectedly and her brother returns, so there is a lot that is going on in this book and its keeps you interested the whole way through.
I fell in love with the characters all over again, I like how easily I can connect with them. Judy and her witty comments and come backs, there are parts where I was literally in fits of laughter. Jennifer does not disappoint she is a fantastic writer and captivates her audience.
I highly recommend this book if you love romance, witty humor and some steamy scenes that get your heart racing. And once again beware Jennifer Loves leaving you hanging and wanting that next book right now! Thank you for the opportunity to read and review this wonderful series, I look forward to the next installment.
From: Protect Me
Book #1 of The Protected Love Series
By Jennifer Culbreth
Location: Chapter Twelve, Page 204
She leaned back in his chair as she flipped open the top to the pizza box. She wasn’t hungry, and food would just make her more tired at this point. She unlocked her phone screen and hit her contacts button scrolling down until she saw the newly updated picture of her and Ryan next to his contact name. She had taken it the afternoon they had gone to the chocolatier. She smiled at the thought of how much fun they had. She was too tired to fight at this point. She really just wanted to be home, with Ryan. She pressed the dial button as she put the phone to her ear.
It rang twice “Babe, are you ok?” His voice came through the receiver.
“Yeah, I’m fine. I’m just really tired and I don’t think I am going to make it until closing. Is there any way you could come and get me?” She could hear the exhaustion in her own voice.
“Of course I can, I will be there in just a few minutes. What do you say you come back and stay at my house tonight? I can have anything you need brought over, or picked up and delivered.” He sounded hopeful that she would say yes.
“Um, sure. I would love that.” She smiled into the phone as it reflected through her voice.
“Ok, I will see you in a just a few minutes.”
“Ok, see you soon.”
She pressed end on the screen, and was startled when she saw the door open to Trent’s office. At first she thought that maybe he had left something and was returning to get it before he went to his meeting. When she looked up to the man in front of her, she realized it wasn’t Trent. To her surprise Mr. Wilcox came in through the office door dressed in a designer suit and shoes. She immediately shot up out of the chair. The invasion of privacy immediately making her feel uneasy.
“Excuse me, I didn’t mean to startle you, Ms. Hastings” He held his hand up as if to excuse himself for barging in. “I was looking for Mr. Williams but apparently he is not in this evening.” His familiar southern accent rang out through her ears.
“Uh, no. Trent isn’t here. He left for a business meeting.” Her eyes darted around the room in search of something to protect herself with. “Mr. Wilcox, what are you doing here in LA?”
“Well you see, Abbi, I happen to be a pretty well-known business man out here. I happen to do business with your boss as well; meaning I do a lot of traveling from Atlanta to Los Angeles, mostly for the weather though.” He regarded her coyly before stepping closer. She could feel her body immediately tense. Causing the aches through her body to sing out. “Mr. Williams has explained that the two of you are particularly close aside from your working relationship. You can imagine my surprise when he mentioned your name.” He smiled over at her before continuing, “Now, seeing as how I helped with your father’s estate maybe you could tell me who might he be meeting with tonight? I didn’t realize that Mr. Williams had any other associates aside from myself.”
“Oh, no Trent and I aren’t in a relationship.” She stepped back and shook her head. Where on earth would he have gotten that idea? Why is Trent telling people they were together? Why was Mr. Wilcox here in LA? All of the questions began piling into her head. He’d seemed harmless when she’d first met him but something in her gut was telling her that he wasn’t the most honorable man.
“No need to explain anything to me, I pass no judgment on how he runs the business. I can assure you I won’t report it back to HR.” He gave her a sideways grin as he stepped closer to the desk.
She felt the sudden urge to get out of there. She wasn’t sure what he was here for, but she could tell that it wasn’t anything that she wanted to be involved in.
“Listen, Mr. Wilcox, I really have no idea why you’re here. I also have no idea where Trent is or who he is meeting. So I should just be on my way.” She made a step towards the door.
“By all means, I understand you have a very important job to do. However I would like for you to pass along some information for me, I want my money. And I don’t like having to wait.” His tone suddenly turned very serious.
“Listen, I have about twenty dollars in my wallet. If that will cover it than I will go get it right now. If not, then I think you’re talking to the wrong person.” She edged her way a little closer to the exit at the side of the room.
“You’re very funny, Ms. Hastings. I would hate to have to break that funny bone of yours because of your boyfriend’s misjudgment in my patience.” He reached towards her and she flinched back. He recoiled his hand, “Please pass the message on to him, and let him know that I will be back, soon.” With that he turned and headed towards the door.
An eerie silence transcended throughout the office. It was so quite her ears were ringing. She needed to get out of here. She didn’t give a damn if she had to wait outside for Ryan she was not going to stay in this building any longer tonight. She found herself very jumpy as she made her way out of the office and down the hallway, checking over her shoulder every few steps. The feeling that someone was going to jump out from behind a door caused her to almost run. Relief flooded through her body as she made her way out of the door and down towards the bar counter. She nudged her way through the crowd as she found Judy standing just towards the end of the bar.
In this deleted scene you see that Mr. Wilcox, the attorney from Atlanta who helped her with her father’s estate in the beginning chapter of Protect Me, is actually used as the villain. I read over this scene many times before deciding to change. I felt as though Abbi had entrusted too many less than honorable people by this point in the book. I wanted some of the people she had relied on to actually have good intentions.
The other reason I decided to change Mr. Wilcox as being the villain to Mr. Hernandez is because I felt it would flow easier. I knew that certain characters wouldn’t be continuing on to the next book and I wanted to keep the threat of retaliation alive. So instead I re wrote this scene and introduced Mr. Hernandez. Other scenes earlier in the book, i.e. when Abbi is eaves dropping on Trent’s conversation with the “mystery man” were added to incorporate this scene into the book.
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· Protect Me (Protected Love Series Book #1) released July 30, 2013
· Cherish Me (Protected Love Series Book #2) To Be Released October 26, 2013
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1) What author(s) influenced your writing?
I grew up reading the classics. I fell in love with Mr. Darcy and Gatsby before the playboys like Christian Grey and Gavin Blake had even been thought of. Now, don’t get me wrong… I love a schmexy CEO just as much as the next girl. But I not only fell in love with the characters in the classic literature that littered the small book case in my room, most importantly I fell in love with the words. The beautiful words that brought the story to life. Authors such as Jane Austen, Leo Tolstoy, and Robert Louis Stevenson were my main influencers. The most influential authors for me, for their support and guidance, have been Gail McHugh and Teresa Gableman. When I started this journey I was scared to death, alone as I knew no authors, and clueless. I reached out asking for help to a number of authors whose books I had read and enjoyed and both Gail and Teresa graciously answered back. I truly have to say if it hadn’t been for them motivating me to take the leap I wouldn’t be where I am in this journey today.
2.) What tips do you have for someone who is thinking about writing a book?
To go for it! Never in a hundred years would I have imagined I would be able to call myself a published author. It doesn’t matter what background you come from, or what your walk of life is. I grew up a tomboy who hunted and fished, and yes I still do to this day. I went to college first to join the Police Force and then graduated with a degree in Business thanks to the coaxing of my family. However I have had no formal training to become a writer. I had a passion. One that I embraced and stayed focused on and this journey for me will never end.
If you are considering self-publishing and you have the creativity, thick skin, and motivation to find the answers you need you have already met half the battle. The publishing world is full of amazing creative minds, being able to think outside of the box and explore new story lines and characters is important. Along with having thick skin. The Indie Author world can be tough and you have to really be able to take criticism. You will at some point get less than pleasant reviews, you will have those who want your cover to look a certain way, or want your story to go differently. But you have to always keep the spark alive and remind yourself that not every reader will fall in love with your book; and that’s ok. You will have readers who will love your work support you and those are the ones that truly matter.
I am always available to help in any way that I can to give advice and guidance to anyone interested in becoming an Indie Author. I have been blessed to have the amount of support from others through this journey and the most humbling part is being able to pass the torch sort of speak. I can always be reached via fb or email.
3.) What do you do for fun?
Growing up in a rural area there wasn’t a lot to do for fun. We made the best of it though driving along dirt roads, hunting, fishing, and having cook outs with friends and family. We are all avid SEC Football fans and enjoy the family rivalries during the fall. Go Gators! I am lucky to come from a huge family and I love spending time with them. Two years ago I married First Class Petty Officer Culbreth and have been blessed to have an amazing partner in life. He inspires me, teaches me, and motivates me every day. I am very lucky to have him in my life.
We just moved to Colorado Springs and look forward to being able to enjoy the mountains and the outdoors here. Being a Florida native for more than 26 years you can imagine my thrill in looking forward to the snow! Hopefully before that happens we will be able to travel up and enjoy the sights of Cripple Creek and Pike’s Peak.
I would have to say my favorite hobby would be trying new foods. I don’t know if you would consider that a hobby but as often as I eat I think we can categorize it as such! I have a slight obsession with s’mores… I love Indian cuisine, and Gordon Ramsey is my favorite person to watch on TV. I look forward to heading up to the bakery I have heard so much about in Woodland Park and trying a bacon maple twist!
4.) What is your favorite movie?
I absolutely LOVE movies with action. That is one of the primary reasons why my books contain elements of suspense. I have to have something that keeps me on the edge of my seat. My favorite movie is Act of Valor. I balled in the movie theatre (only movie to ever make me do that), I cry like a baby every time I watch it at home, and even when I read the book. I can stand in the same places as those wives being married to an active duty US Navy Sailor myself. I can feel their pain, their angst, and their sadness. I love movies that draw me in like that.
However I don’t only like movies where explosions happen in every other scene. I also enjoy a movie that will make me laugh. This is The End is probably one of the only stupidly funny movies I have ever liked. If you are in need of a funny movie that will make your abs hurt from laughing I recommend it!
5.) If you were going out on a hot date what would it be?
Well, as most of you know I am just a down home country girl. Born and raised in the backwoods. So if I could choose any date it would probably be taking my huge, lifted, SUV out in the mud! Bonfire, good friends, apple pie moonshine, old country on the radio, and my hubby to cuddle next to. Of course at some point someone will have to make me s’mores…