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Maybe a sanctuary is exactly what she needs…
Sitting in the bathtub crying into a beer at her own wedding is not the day Brandy planned. And her fiancé is not the man she thought he was. But he’s not the only person who betrayed her.
After leaving her fiancé at the altar, Brandy packs up her heartbreak and moves across the country. A temporary job at the Jade River Sanctuary might be just what she needs to clear her head, steel her heart, and untangle the lies and secrets.
Ash Cooper thought the sanctuary could finally be the place he stayed. But nothing is going according to plan. The place is in ruins and he’s ready to pack up and leave.
When Ash and Brandy clash, they have no idea what’s coming. Ash needs for something in his life to not break. Brandy needs to keep herself together. Ash may be the thing that actually breaks her…
Can two broken hearts find sanctuary in each other?
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Excerpt from Hidden Hearts by Savannah Kade
The firelight made the bright red of her hair into a soft glow. Ash tried not to feel the same gut punch he’d felt when she climbed out of that ridiculous little car earlier, but it was still there.
He ignored it. There was no sense in feeling anything for a co-worker. Not at a new job. Not at one that was taking everything to stay afloat like this place seemed to be.
The little car was like the woman: beautiful and curved in all the right spots, but totally out of place here. He’d thought she might be as ridiculous as the car, but a day and a half later, she’d proved herself useful at least.
Yesterday, just as he’d been repeating to himself that he wasn’t going to let the redhead get to him, Roz had burst in. All smiles and warm greetings, she’d then asked him to show Brandy to her room. He’d looked the new girl up and down, all freckles and red curls, and imagined her disappointment at the cabin.
But it never came to pass. In fact, her shiny, hard sided luggage had sat down right next to the door with a little bit of a thump. She’d looked around the small singular room with the tiny, attached bathroom. And declared it perfect.
Not what he’d expected.
Now, she sat around the fire with him and Roz. Her jeans shorts were short enough he could see where her ass was directly on the wood. That couldn’t feel good. But she smiled and laughed and ate s’mores.
“Did you finally get unpacked?” Roz asked her.
“Yes!” then she faltered. “Mostly.”
He’d put her to work yesterday as soon as she set down her luggage. He’d seen the jean shorts that she was wearing might have been old friends, but her boots didn’t have a single scuff on them. Her work gloves had come with tags.
Now he offered her a tight smile from across the fire. He was being an ass to her, but that was better than asking her out. Better than if he got attached and she left. She was only here for six months anyway. How many times had she told him that?
“No!” she yelped out. “No! No!” as she pulled back the long marshmallow fork that Roz had bought for them.
Brandy blew on the flames as if that would save her marshmallow. “No!”
But it was black already, and one little orange flame kept popping back up. She blew on it angrily two more times before it finally stayed dead. Then she eyed the charred piece angrily. An irritating growl fell from her lush pink lips.
Again, he felt his gut tighten. Nope. Not good, not for a coworker. Not for someone he was technically higher ranked than
One side of Brandy’s mouth quirked, her brows pulling together. “Who wants a dead marshmallow?”
She held the tip of the fork toward Roz, then him.
He’d already learned that she liked her marshmallows golden toasted, and that she wouldn’t even touch it once the black char had set in.
“Here,” he held out the handle of his own fork. “I just got started. Trade me.”
“Thank you,” Brandy smiled at him as she awkwardly slid closer to him to trade the forks.
He smiled back at her even as he thought, Oh, dear God do not let her get splinters in her ass. He might be a trained doctor, but he was a vet and Roz would have to take care of that.
Before he even finished the thought, she was back in place, carefully holding the new marshmallow at the very tips of the licking flames.
Pushing the fork into the fire, he caught her reject-mallow on fire on purpose. Then he lifted his beer as he watched it burn. Brandy looked at him like he was nuts and he wanted to tell her to keep her eyes on her own sugar.
“We’ve got plenty more to do tomorrow and we should probably all get to bed after this last s’more,” Roz announced like a mother hen.
He almost protested that he was an adult and could make his own decisions. But he would have made the same one, so he kept it to himself.
“Amen!” Brandy pulled her perfectly roasted puff off the end of her fork and sandwiched it between graham crackers and chocolate. A minute later when she licked the chocolate off her lips, he hoped that Roz hadn’t noticed him being a complete neanderthal.
“I need a shower and a good night’s sleep,” Brandy announced as she stood up and brushed off her ass.
No splinters. He smiled at her, as did Roz, who told her, “Tomorrow we’ll see what we can do about putting your talents to work.”
He wondered what Brandy’s talents were . . .
Meet The Author
Savannah wrote her first romance at age eight—even then it was clear she was looking for a story about a breakthrough. Though that particular book shall never again see the light of day (please, don’t even ask) it set the stage for everything after.
Savannah writes steamy, twisty, emotional series in Contemporary Romance, Paranormal Romance, and Romantic Suspense and is a National Excellence in Story Telling and Maggie Award winner.
A Savannah Kade book is an escape with all the heady feelings of falling but with enough depth and passion to make you believe in real love.
Interview with Savannah Kade
Q: What makes a Savannah Kade story different?
SK: I think I love this quote from a review “Romance so real it could walk right off the page!” All romance novels are an escape of sorts, but I love the idea that you could actually have THIS romance. A lot of romance plays to a truly fantasy-based man (he’s a biker & a billionaire & a cop by night–when does he sleep? I’ve also never seen a real billionaire in real life that I would even date…) So I wanted all the romance and the heartbreak but I wanted these stories to feature real people, someone you can relate to. So they have flaws and some of them don’t have enough money, and they struggle and doubt themselves. I want it to be a role readers could really see themselves living.
Q: What sparked your interest in romance writing?
SK: I started writing as a kid. I wrote my first romantic suspense when I was eight, and it was terrible! I’d read a Kathleen Woodiwiss and Clan of the Cave Bear and I thought I knew what I was doing in elementary school. But as an adult, I wasn’t finding enough of those real stories. I wanted to see smart women finding romance and adventure. I wanted to see romances that didn’t feature women giving up their dreams at the end or trying to love men who hurt them. If readers love that, there’s plenty out there for them! But my niche is heroines whose men don’t assume she’ll just pick up and move cross country because they fell in love. She has a mortgage and friends and a career, and her life is as important as his is!
Q: Where is your preferred writing spot?
SK: I have spent years tweaking my office! I have a comfy office chair (that really needs to be replaced, but I won’t!) And a large desk that I have completely covered with all my stuff (it’s probably ADHD?) And a bank of windows that let the sun in to make cozy spots for my kittens to sleep. So I sit there and I slouch horribly in my chair and just write!
Q: Where do your story ideas come from?
SK: Sometimes they come from something I see and I think, Oh! That needs to go into a book. But mostly I get one thing–a character, a scene, a goal– and it rolls around in my head until it becomes a whole story. By the time I’m writing it, I know the whole thing. I wrote the Touch of Magic series because I wondered what it would be like to have real witchcraft and powers in a modern, big city like Hollywood. And I wrote WildFire Hearts because I did a ride-along with a firestation for almost a week and I saw so much and it sparked so many ideas!
Q: How do you keep track of all the overlapping characters in the various worlds you have created?
SK: I don’t know! And I tie a lot of my series together. Charlie–who will get his story coming up in the Breathless series–was first in the Against All Odds series and he’ll have a guest spot in the new Jade River Sanctuary series, too. And that’s not uncommon. But by the time I’m writing a story I know all of it. So these characters are like family members to me. I can see them and I know them, so I think I keep track the way you keep track of your friends!
Q: What is your favorite of all the books you have written and why?
SK: Oh this is so hard! It really is like choosing one of your kids. But I think Our Song, because it was the first one published and I know readers just love the four stories in that series about an up and coming band. And also Hidden Hearts, this new one. I put some really personal things in there and I started this new series with an idea of really giving characters more. And I hope I did it!
Q: What was your inspiration for the Jade River Sanctuary series?
SK: I love animals and rescue animal organizations (I watch all the foster kitten videos online). And I wanted to build a series that worked around that. A friend of mine had one of the first diabetic alert dogs, and I worked as an ASL interpreter as a teenager, and those things sparked ideas for me. As I got started, I realized the sanctuary is for the people as well as the dogs.
Roz, the sanctuary owner, is a bit of a bleeding heart–so when she hires workers, she hires people who need her and the sanctuary as much as the dogs need them. Ash, the veterinarian, doesn’t see how to run a vet practice that saves all the animals he trained to help without running it into the ground, and Brandy, the new hire, is a civil engineer who just fled her own wedding and can’t even tell anyone why without hurting her whole family. A sanctuary is exactly what these two need!
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