Shattered Trust

Shattered Trust

Learning to love is the easy part…

As a young woman, Kate Landry trusted the wrong man, and she paid dearly for her naiveté. Alone, pregnant and destitute, she survived by the sheer force of her will. Now forty-two, Kate has made a good living for herself and her daughter as the owner of the Bluebird Saloon. But she’s forgotten how to live. That is until he comes into her bar…

Liam St. James loved a girl once. And only once. After an accident paralyzed her, she didn’t trust he would continue to love her. Brokenhearted, Liam left and soon discovered a world where women did trust him—to be their sexual Dominant. He plays out the scenes masterfully, but the unexpected request from the stoic bar owner will pose his greatest challenge yet…

Kate and Liam embark on a journey to uncover repressed urges and, in the process, they discover new desires. They also fall in love with one another. But when you’ve been shattered as badly as they have by mistrust, deceit and abuse, loving is easy. Trusting is harder, if not impossible, especially when the heart is involved…

Shattered Trust is a BDSM romance. It contains explicit language and graphic love scenes, including bondage, domination, spanking, whipping and multiple partners. It is intended for mature readers only.

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About the Book


From Chapter Three

KATE fortified her backbone and doggedly clung to some semblance of control. But with Liam, that was a tall order.

She realized she’d been pushing him, goading him by insisting he work extra shifts, and then insulting him in front of those girls, all with the hope he’d quit. No luck.

With a sniff, she presented her back to him. “And what things do you believe need to be settled?” She infused as much coolness as she could into her tone.

“Oh, lots of things.”

The nearness of his voice whipped her around. He stood close – very close – to her. So close she could see the dove gray flecks swimming in his sea-green eyes. She wanted to be strong, to stand up to him, but his presence gobbled up all the oxygen, and she couldn’t breathe.

She gulped for air and spun away, but his arm rifled out, cutting off her escape. He stood right behind her, trapping her. The metal edge of the sink dug into her hip.

Her pulse rapped out an erratic beat. She hunched her shoulders to make herself smaller, to make sure he didn’t touch her, and stared at his hand. It looked burly, with a light dusting of hair on his knuckles, able to inflict damage. A lot of damage. “Move back.” She hated that her voice shook.

“But you asked me a question.” His voice, so low and so hard, roiled her stomach. “And it’d be rude not to answer it, right?” His breath wafted over the nape of her neck. “Right?”

His steel-edged voice weakened her knees. Tears gathered in her eyes. Her breaths came faster. It felt like an elephant was parked on her chest. “I said to move back.”

“Make me move,” he purred into her ear.

She pressed her lips together to keep from crying out. Her entire body quaked.

“What’s the matter? Cat got your tongue?”

Stars crowded her vision. Her mouth dried up.

“You’re all about ordering me around like I’m your little bitch. So order me now. Go on. I dare you. Make. Me. Move.”

Blackness swallowed her and she was falling. Down…down into an endless abyss.

“Red light…”



Liam’s expletive echoed harshly in the vacant bar. He scooped Kate tight to his chest to keep her from banging her head on the counter. Off balance, he fell backwards, landing with a spine‑rattling thump on the hard floor. Air whooshed from his lungs in a single, painful exhale.

For a moment, he simply sat there, with Kate sprawled across him, the top of her head right below his chin and her ponytail pressing into his sternum, processing what just occurred.

Kate Landry, his boss and major pain in his ass, said a safe word. He definitely hadn’t seen that one coming.

She trembled in his arms. He couldn’t see her face, but he did notice the sweat beading on her forehead.

Reaching up, he snatched a clean bar towel and clumsily wiped her face. He tapped her cheek. “Kate? Can you hear me?”

With a groan, she shifted, and her elbow came dangerously close to his junk. He angled onto his side to protect his groin, and tucked her into the crook of his arm. Her head lolled to the side. He lightly brushed away the strands of her hair that fell across her face. The dark circles under her eyes and the pasty color in her face didn’t diminish her beauty, just like the tiny wrinkles at the corners of her eyes enhanced her attractiveness rather than detracted from it.

“Kate,” he said firmly. “I need you to wake up.”

Her eyelashes fluttered then slowly opened. She gazed at him with glassy eyes. He knew the instant she realized the situation.

Her blue eyes expanded with terror. She jerked and rolled away, almost bashing her temple on the bottom of the mini refrigerator handle.

He grasped her shoulders to keep her safe. “Easy. You’re gonna hurt yourself.”

“Let me go.”

The demand was little more than a raspy, whispered croak.

He released her, his hands raised as though in surrender. She pushed against his abdomen, her thumbs grazing his belt and her body undulating until she was on the other side of the narrow space. She stared at him. Her cheeks billowed with each of her rapid breaths.

Very cautiously, Liam stood. Her overly bright gaze followed his every movement. Once on his feet, he extended his hand to help her. Her expression said she’d rather touch a poisonous snake. He backed up to the end of bar.

She moved onto her knees, gripped the counter for purchase and managed to get to her feet. She swayed, a hand to her forehead and lurched into the liquor bottles. Several wobbled. In the next blink, he was beside her.

She wrenched away. “Don’t…t…touch…m…m…me.”

“Then don’t crash into the booze.” He quieted his tone. “Take it easy. You’re gonna hyperventilate. Take slow breaths. Like this.” He inhaled deeply and blew out the air between his pursed lips. “Now you.”

She gaped at him, tears tracking silently down her face. Her enormous pupils consumed her dark blue irises as she continued to pant.

“C’mon, Kate. Take a deep breath.”

Still nothing.

“I said to take a deep breath.”

He injected authority into his voice. Her eyes grew rounder and bigger. But she followed his instructions and her breathing evened out.

“Okay. Good. I’ll get you some water.”

He hastily filled a glass and handed it to her. She stared at it, bent at the waist and her arms wound tightly around herself.

He gently pried her fingers free and pressed the glass into her palm. “Drink. It’ll help.”

Her hand shook so much, the water sloshed out.

“Here.” He held the very bottom of the glass and tipped it to her lips.

Her teeth clattered against the rim as she took two tiny sips.

He set the glass down and gave his most reassuring smile. “Good.”

As benignly as he could, he wrapped an arm around her shoulders. She recoiled like he’d punched her.

“C’mon,” he soothed. “Let’s go sit down.”

She shuffled beside him, shivering to the point where she almost couldn’t walk. After one-handing a chair to the ground, he sat her in it then dashed back behind the bar to scrounge through the lost and found for something heavier for her to wear. Shock was setting in.

Jesus Christ…he’d been such dick. Yeah, she’d been pushing his buttons big time, but he should’ve had better control over himself. He was a Top for crissakes. Control was his mantra. Shame and guilt swamped him.

Grabbing an oversized Texas A&M sweatshirt, he noticed the coffee pot was still on. He poured a half a cup then rushed back to Kate. She hadn’t moved an inch.

“Here.” He draped the sweatshirt over her shoulders. “And take this.” He helped mold her shaking fingers around the mug. “I wouldn’t suggest you drink any,” he kidded. “But holding the cup might help to warm you up. Where are your keys?”

She stared up at him. “M…my keys?”

He barely heard the murmured words, but at least she was talking.

“Yes. I’ll drive you home.”

She started to stand. “No. Hafta close.” She plopped back onto the hard seat.

“I’ll walk back and finish up. You’re going home. No argument,” he added in a sterner tone when she opened her mouth.

Kate flattened her lips into a mulish line and narrowed her gaze.

Liam grinned to himself. She was feeling better. “So…your keys?”

“In my purse…in the office.”

“Be right back.”

When he returned, she’d donned the sweatshirt. Thankfully, a little color had reappeared in her cheeks. He extracted her key ring and set her purse on the table.

She pushed to her feet, slanting away before he could assist her. “It’s not necessary for you to take me home. I’m feeling better.” She tossed her head, and she dropped back into the chair.

“Yeah. You’re peachy.”

She glared at him.

“Look, I’m not letting you drive in this condition. You’re weak and your heart is racing.”

“How do you know my heart is racing?”

“Your pulse is hammering so hard at your throat, I can see it from here.”

She pulled the sweatshirt tighter around her neck.

“You’re not driving. Period.”

“But I’m fine. Really.”

He peered at her. “You don’t want me to know where you live, do you?”

Two spots of blazing red sprang to her white cheeks. “It’s not that−”

“Good.” He pointed to the door. “Let’s go.”




Series: Trustworthy Texas Trilogy, Book 1
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