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Title: Sliver of Truth
Series: Shattered Hearts of Carolina, Book #3
Author: Jody Kaye
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: October 22, 2020
ON INSTAGRAM TAG: @jodykayewrites
A stripper. A handyman. An impossible secret.
Is it love or lust? And what happens when a mill girl breaks the cardinal rule?
Men beg to touch her body. Yet, I’m the one grasping onto Cece time and time again.
I tried to keep them away for her safety and to help her reach the goal of a better life. We were careful to make sure what happened between us remained unnoticed. But when our impossible secret gets out, I’m the one labeled an opportunistic creep.
I’m a simple man. All I want is a chance. Though, it’s uncertain Cece’s ready to defend the love we share. It’s obvious now our silence was golden... And there’s more than a sliver of truth that I’ll never be the one for her.
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“What did they break this time?” Morgan points at the bucket I carry around with me.
“It was nothing. No installs?” I turn the question of why he’s at the factory today back on him.
If Morgan finds out his sister is the one breaking me I’d be a dead man. It was over a year ago my buddy trusted me to walk Cece home from her shift at Sweet Caroline’s. He’d had to duck out early and I jumped at the chance to bring her back to the mill safe.
Cece was the only dancer who hadn’t interacted with me like I was a lost puppy or a two-year-old. She’s compassionate, and that alone is an attractive trait. I didn’t feel as if she treated me any different. I never saw pity in her face. She never once talked down to me as if unclogging toilets is all I’m capable of.
My current job isn’t rocket science. My last one was, and it had the same pressure as the flames shooting out of a space shuttle on lift-off. I’d gone back to working for my former employer after the accident. It hadn’t lasted long. My cognitive abilities are all there. My speech? I’m more eloquent in my head. No stuttering. No pregnant pauses getting the correct word off of the tip of my tongue. The ability to articulate oneself leaves a lasting impression on people. Unfortunately, the inability to do so once will as well. Back then I’d slip up, get embarrassed. Exhaust myself trying to prove I was still as competent a man as I’d been.
The thing is, the way I look doesn’t help matters. Most people never understood my desire to get into a top-notch university when my physique screamed “World Wrestling’s Monday Night Raw Headliner”. I’d spent years trying to change people’s perception. After almost losing my life, I haven’t the inclination anymore.
Let people believe what they want to.
Hell, saying I hadn’t agreed to take Cece home because of her hot little body is a lie. But I’d hoped she was more than a pretty face before leaning in to kiss her sweet lips. And I was right.
subject to change
©2020 Jody Kaye
Dusty gets out of the truck and rounds the hood. His right fist pounds twice on the metal and his left palm reaches out to encircle my waist. He draws me to his chest before his fist tangles in my hair, bringing me in closer for a toe-curling kiss.
I stumble in my heels, touching my lips. “What was that for?”
“Bye, Cees.” He’s walking backward as it dawns on me Dusty means it. We’ve never said goodbye. It’s so… final. My heart and my jaw are scraping the pavement with the sting of a skinned knee.
“But what?” His spine stiffens to the point I swear I hear it crack. “What are we doing here?” His arms stretch wide in question. “Why bother to come out if it wasn’t to let me down easy?”
“What do you want from me?”
“A fucking chance?” He musses his hair. “God, I’ve never met a woman more interested in a quick roll and less intent on a second date than you.” He bats a hand as if I’m not worth his time.
“Cause you’re gorgeous. And smart. And I liked hanging out with you as much as I like banging you, Celine.”
The emphasis in those last words is caustic, cutting me for being the user, for acting like I’m entitled to use Dusty’s body and not care about his feelings. I hang my head, understanding I’m more than playing hard to get. I’m the player in this scenario, and I’m treating Dusty unfairly.
Dusty’s hands are in his pockets. He’s rolled his shirtsleeves to his elbows. The jovial smile he wore all night has vanished and I’m left with a cold dead stare.
subject to change
©2020 Jody Kaye
Jody's husband asked what she'd been doing all day. After five years she finally confessed, "When no one is around, I write."
Okay, it was more like it was more like a bunch of stammering and trying to get out of saying a thing. Jody's a writer. You want it pretty. Let's compromise.
"Just finish one," he said, challenging her to complete a story and share it. Little did he know that those words of encouragement meant they’d return from a family vacation with a wild and defiant set of quintuplets stumbling their way through life. Wasn’t raising their three sons enough?
A native of nowhere, Jody settled in New England for 17 years before agreeing to uproot her brood of boys and move to North Carolina. She spends most of her time reading, writing, and hoping that her ravenous children haven’t eaten all the ingredients before she cooks dinner.
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/JodyKayesQuintessential