Sweet As Sin
Moonrise Beach, #2
by Ana Jolene
Release Date: April 17th 2018
Release Date: April 17th 2018
I have not had the opportunity to read book one of this series, but to be straight with it. I did not know that there was a book 2 until I already got engrossed with Maison and Hutch. I was drawn in by the sweet sexy Maison and her dilemma. She really tried to keep things on the up and up with Hutch but he was just too much for her to resist forever. Hutch had not idea of Maison and her desires. He had not intention to get involved with anyone, period. I found so much to love about this story. I found even more that I wanted to know about the Happa-Hewitt family. I wanted to learn more about Moonrise Beach and it on set of characters. I find myself excited to go back and read book one and pick up any new additions to the series. The flow of this one had you laughing, crying, and celebrating. It was more than just a good ole reads. You could take this one to the beach and forget you were there.
Maison Lane has finally found her place working at Gleam Enterprises. But when her boss’s hotter-than-hell son, Hutch Happa-Hewitt, begins to work at the office, she realizes that she may be in over her head. Keeping Hutch on a leash will be hard enough; keeping her feelings for him under wraps will be virtually impossible.
Life in the Army was everything Hutch ever wanted, but after losing his lower leg in an ambush, Hutch must now return to civilian life. War has hardened him to life and Hutch has no idea of the effect he has on Maison, but he’s starting to see more of what he likes in the curvy, sweet-as-sin secretary. Has his taste in women really changed or has his combat skills finally deserted him, leaving his heart vulnerable to Maison and her sweet ways?
Dirty, bloody battle.
For most people, it was something to fear. However, Hutch Happa-Hewitt loved it. He loved everything about being in the Army. He loved the strategy, the training, and the hard work. He loved the blood, the sweat, and the tears involved. And he loved being out there, fighting for what he’d always believed in.
However, he would no longer be living out his dream. Since the attack, his life had drastically changed. It’d been so quick and unexpected that only brief moments had stuck with him. He’d been the only one in the Stryker vehicle when the explosion happened, and as a result, his entire right side had been hit. As fire ripped through his system, he’d been forced to act quickly.
No amount of training would’ve prepared Hutch for the kind of pain and agony. Knowledge meant nothing when you could smell your own flesh burning.
Teeth gritted against the pain, he’d done his best to hold on, to stay conscious. He remembered hearing the sounds of gunfire before help came. It’d felt like eternity ago, and yet, the phantom pain of it still stayed with him.
He remembered waking up in a hospital, screaming at the top of his lungs. His whole body was on fire, but it centered in his right leg the most. He’d done his best to lift up his head, but he was weak and his movements were limited; his head slammed back hard against the pillow.
When he woke again, it was to find someone before him. It took him a while to realize that it was a nurse asking him about his family. She wanted to know if she could call someone to be here with him so that he wouldn’t be alone and to help him through his recovery. But as far as he was concerned, he was alone, and he would always be.
There was no one he wanted to call, no one that would help him through this mess. If he wanted to get out of here, he’d have to do it on his own.
His family wouldn’t help him. They wouldn’t come to see him, and even if they did, what good would their presence do? He didn’t want them to see him like this anyway.
Pain was all he felt now. Pain and anger.
“Why doesn’t he call his family?” he heard one nurse whisper when they’d thought he was asleep.
“He doesn’t have any.”
“Yes, he does. He just chooses not to let them know.”
He could hear the confusion in the other nurse’s voice. “Why wouldn’t he want their support?”
“Maybe they’re not close. Maybe they wouldn’t come.”
Now confusion was replaced with pity. “How terrible.”
Hutch was tempted to open his eyes but instead he lay there as still as a corpse with only one thought running through his mind.
Need to return.
But he didn’t mean returning home. No, he fully intended to go back to the Army where he belonged.
It wasn’t until weeks later when he realized that he no longer had half his right leg that he fully grasped his new situation.
He couldn’t go back. Not like this.
He couldn’t even manage sitting up on his own without feeling excruciating pain. Still, his stubborn attitude hadn’t allowed him to give up. He spent months in recovery, relearning how to move, how to walk. It’d been the toughest experience of his life but pain and anger had motivated him and kept him alive.
Too bad that it still wasn’t enough. When he’d tried to come back, they’d refused him. He’d lost his speed and stamina and they’d deemed him unfit to serve. All those months of pushing himself hadn’t been enough to get him back to where he used to be. Now, he’d be forced to go home. But Hutch would’ve preferred to die on the battlefield than return to Moonrise Beach.
And wasn’t that fucked up?
Hadn’t he had enough already? Hadn’t losing his leg been enough for him to stop and try to live a peaceful civilian life? Was he so messed up that he still longed for that adrenaline rush despite the fact that he’d almost died?
He’d been a damn good soldier though. He’d earned every ounce of what he’d had. No one could ever say that his father had given him this; he’d climbed the ranks on his own. People had long ago stopped asking who he was because the simple answer was that he was a soldier.
Now he was simply an amputee.
Get a fucking grip, man. He had to stop feeling sorry for himself. He was acting like such a pussy. People used to praise him on how tough he was, but the truth was, he didn’t feel tough at all. He felt raw and vulnerable and he wanted nothing more than to drown himself in alcohol.
Too bad that there was no whiskey left. He’d drunk it all yesterday. Now he’d have to go hunting for something around the house.
It was already late in the evening, but time held no meaning for him. Since he was out of a job, he could stay up all night if that was what he wanted. Except staying awake, staying conscious made the days feel longer. Everything was like one long torture session that never ended. Right now, Hutch wanted peace. He wanted oblivion and he knew he would find it once he had another bottle in his hand.
He searched the kitchen, finding it surprisingly empty. The wine cellar didn’t have any of the hard stuff that he was craving either so he went to the place where he knew he’d have some luck.
Luckily, his father’s office wasn’t locked so Hutch stumbled his way in, cursing his leg when he got caught on the expensive Aubusson rug. He headed straight for Matthew’s secret stash, whispering “jackpot” when his cold hands wrapped around the bottle of whiskey.
Snatching up a shot glass, Hutch dropped himself on the chaise and poured himself a shot. The first one was sweet nectar on his tongue so he drank some more, greedy for the oblivion this drink would give him.
After shooting back five in a row, he stopped to gaze around the room. It was dark; he hadn’t bothered with turning on the lights when he’d come in, so the only source of illumination was the moon.
He poured himself another shot, luxuriating in the feeling of his body already heating up.
He’d put a lifetime of sweat and blood into the Army so having it taken away was a crushing blow. He was going to have a difficult time living life in Moonrise Beach without losing who he was.
Hutch stared at the shot glass in the moonlight. He knew he shouldn’t be doing this. His father would no doubt rip him a new one if he found him here, but despite the threat, he continued to drink. He was that desperate for release. He wanted to escape the pain, to escape the memories, and escape the loss that wouldn’t let him go.
The more he drank, the faster the world spun around him. Soon the tension in his body lessened and Hutch took another shot, feeling his chest relax even more.
With his next shot, his pain was blissfully, gratefully . . .
Ana Jolene is the author of the Glory MC series and the Contemporary Romance series, Moonrise Beach.
Growing up as a rebellious kid didn’t allow for much reading time. It wasn’t until she was in university that she found her passion for books and has since then devoured every book placed before her. Ana holds a B.A. in Psychology and has worked in both IT and Administration. But she’s had the most fun in the bookish world, working as a reviewer, columnist and assistant to multiple sites and authors.
Ana currently lives in Toronto with her family and an extremely lazy Shih Tzu whom she adores. To learn more about Ana and her books, visit www.anajolene.com and subscribe to the newsletter to be notified of the hottest new releases and giveaways!