Title: Past Transgressions: A Russian Roulette Love Story
Author: Janae Keyes
Genre: Contemporary Interracial Romance
Release Date: June 23, 2017
Ms. Responsible, that’s what my roommate and best friend Katya calls me. I spend all my time working and I never take time for myself, always taking care of everyone. Until, Katya has me join her for a trip of a lifetime, three weeks in Russia.
That’s where I met him.
A hitman, a hired killer.
I used to kill for a living, but that part of my life is behind me and she is in front of me. Though the life I left behind is calling me back.
I can’t go back, I have to protect my family and her.
When least expecting, past transgressions return to haunt the unsuspecting.
Janae was born and raised in the California Bay Area. She grew up a very creative only child and has been writing for as long as she can remember.
Janae accidentally met her now husband online, and a whirlwind romance began because of their mutual love of Harry Potter. After dating long distance, Janae picked up her life in California and moved halfway around the world to Belgium to be with him, all in the life of a hopeless romantic.
When Janae isn’t chasing around her active toddler, she is working on new ideas and working to improve her craft. Janae is currently living in a suburb of Brussels, Belgium with her husband and daughter.
players break your heart. They are designed to break your heart. Especially
baseball players like Jacob Baird. Just drafted, just signed, just started in
the minor leagues. And he works like a horse out on the ball field, although
the rumor mill says that’s not the only reason they call him Horse.
date ballplayers because 1, they break your heart, 2, my dad’s the club owner
and that would be awkward, and 3,
good luck trying to explain my falcon to a potential boyfriend, ballplayer or
But why is
my falcon so jealous over this guy?
OK, so I
fell for the Falcons welcome-aboard prank: let the new guy hit on the hot
brunette before he finds out she’s the boss’s daughter. Off-limits? Fine, I’ve
got no problem playing the field.
But why is
my stallion set on playing Katie instead of the field? _____________
yourself as a shifter alone in a world that doesn't know shifting exists.
This is the
Solo Shift world: no packs, no guidance, no mates, and no prospects until
chance, luck, trust, and love all intervene.
you expect from a Solo Shift book? A standalone story with lonely shifters,
shifters who don’t know they’re lonely, love scenes, and no cheating. And at
least one HEA, sometimes more!
with my hot dog and ate it while Baird met the fans. From where I was, it
looked like he was handling the attention well. Smiling, happy to be there,
shaking hands, signing autographs, seemed to be the approachable type. Fit in
real well with the fans. Folks in Welkerville like to see that in theirplayers—and
Baird seemed to be delivering that. That was a good sign, and I knew Dad would
be happy to hear that. He also didn’t seem to be hitting on any of the women,
which was also a good sign.
I let the
fans have their time with him. Most of them needed to get home, and I didn’t;
besides, I was still working on my hot dog.
crowds cleared and my hot dog was gone, I came up to him, smile on my face, and
I shook his hand and welcomed him to Welkerville.
myself from jumping his bones on the spot.
surprised me too. It was like The Awkward Years all over again—hormones all
a-fire and everything.
had muscles. Sure, he had that glowing smile. Sure, he was big and brawny. But
so were the other guys, with the possible exception of the smile. Why were my
spidey-senses tingling—no, wait, those were my lady parts. Why were they
for me, I’ve gotten a lot better at faking normal behavior since The Awkward
fortunately for me, he answered by lifting a line straight out of Bull
Durham. At least, I think he did. The problem with that movie is that it
got minor-league life so right that you’re never sure if you're seeing
an intentional Bull Durham reference or just Life As Usual in The
So I just
answered back with another stock cliche while I tried to keep my tongue in my
cheek, or at least in my mouth. While trying to remind myself what an Executive
Assistant to the Owner was supposed to do—oh, yeah, that’s right, introduce
I could do that, he beamed at me again—oh my God, that smile—and asked, “Are
the stands always this full?”
Good. That was
good. He was talking baseball and the fans. I could talk about that all day
without making a fool of myself.
But then he
followed up with, “Where does everyone go after the game, anyway?”
Part of me
said this was a set-up to a pick-up line. Other parts of me—the tingling
parts—were ecstatic. Fortunately, my Executive Assistant to the Owner side
recognized this was a good time to educate Baird in Welkerville ways. “Home, mostly. Some of ‘em drive an hour or
two to get here, plus most of our fans have cows to milk or feed, or jobs to go
to in the morning. A few of ‘em hit the bars. A lot of folks hit the Taystee
Creem downtown; they’re open late.”
myself on the back. Very educational response, very responsible, very much not
an open invitation to check out that place behind the stands that’s been a
make-out spot for generations of young Welker County residents, get that image
out of your head, Katherine Joy Casey.
Wife of an
IT geek—his words, not mine! Mother of two kids, two cats, and two dogs.
What do I
want in my romance stories? Men who aren’t total asses. Women who avoid total
asses—either from experience, or by being smart enough to avoid them in the
first place! Men who survive just fine without a woman. Women who survive just
fine without a man. Men and women smart enough to know the perils of jumping
into love, and brave enough to do it anyway. And of course, a
Sometimes you can’t help falling in love with the wrong
Successful art director, Brynn Callahan has had it in for
adventure vlogger, Paxton Mercer since he introduced her fiance to the love of
his life and caused her engagement to end. But when their group of friends
heads to the tropics for a fun getaway, an unexpected kiss to end all kisses
convinces her what she needs is a little adventure with a man who knows how to
But a vacation fling isn’t enough to build a relationship on
and Brynn is a girl who has her future all planned. Once they’re home it’s
going to take more than flirty banter or through the roof electricity for Brynn
to take a chance on someone who goes wherever the wind blows him.
Can a guy who lives on the edge convince a woman who loves
to play it safe to risk her heart with him?
I toss my suitcase onto the bed and unzip it. Unpacking gives me a reason not to stare at Paxton. Obviously he’s already settled in because he’s swapped jeans and a T-shirt for a ridiculously bright pair of swim trunks and nothing else. They ride low on his hips, showing off his ripped body. My fingers twitch as I pretend to be absorbed in my task, but I can’t stop myself from biting my lip as my pulse starts to race. Damn it. I can’t afford to be attracted to him. He ruined my life. I don’t like him.
It’s just a simple physical reaction to a gorgeous man. I haven’t had sex in a long, long time and there’s no question that he’s hot.
“Hey, I have those. They’re great.”
He’s referring to the travel cubes that hold all my clothes. Made of nylon and mesh, they come in various sizes and enable me to keep everything organized and wrinkle free.
“You mean you don’t stuff everything into a duffel and head out?”
“With all the traveling I do, I needed a better system than that.” He gives me a long, lazy look. “Hey, there’s something else we have in common. I bet we spend the weekend finding out that we’re two peas in a pod.”
I don’t like the way he’s looking at me. Heat begins to build beneath my skin and suddenly I’m imagining the two of us in that huge shower I can see in the bathroom beyond him, naked and going at each other. I’m almost overcome by the urge to moan.
I. Am. Not. Attracted. To. Paxton.
I can’t be. His actions resulted in my broken heart. How many times do I have to remind myself of that?
“Look,” Paxton says, “I want to be cool with you this weekend.”
Cool? I’m feeling anything but that. I grab my make-up bag and head toward the bathroom. He backs up just enough to let me by. Again I’m assaulted by the scent of him. Bittersweet citrus, mint, and something peppery for heat. Clean and manly. Faint enough to make it necessary to lean close. Almost before I realize what I’ve done, I suck in a deep breath. Sharp desire spears straight to my core, awakening a keen ache.
And suddenly I want something besides my lungs filled with him. My stomach drops as I imagine wrapping my legs around his waist as he enters me. Damn it. I hate carnival rides and that’s what being around Paxton is like. Pulse stopping dips and exhilarating twists.
As I scowl at his reflection in the mirror, it’s no challenge to pitch my voice into frustrated tones. “But that’s going to be really hard if you talk to me. At all. Why don’t we keep the distance of the house between us at all times and everything will be great.”
“So you need me to stay away from you to remain cool? What happens if I get close?” His voice is a self-satisfied purr. “Are you going to heat up?”
He demonstrates by setting his hand on the countertop and shifting in my direction. My heart hammers so hard, I’m sure he can hear it. There’s no missing the bright color that pops into my cheeks or the sudden glazing of my eyes. Despite the warmth of the room, goose bumps appear on my arms.
“Please.” My voice breaks on the word. “Don’t play with me. It’s not fair.”
“I’m not playing.” And he’s not smiling. His gaze is keen and probing as it meets mine in the mirror. “I’m deadly serious about you.”
My mouth opens to ask a question but nothing comes out. I don’t want to know what he has in mind or why. “We’re not a good fit, you and me.”
“Are you so sure?” The light kiss he drops on my shoulder make my toes curl. “You’ve never given me a chance.”
I gape at him. “Why should I after what you did?”
“I mean before. Back in high school.”
“High school?” We’d barely known each other. We hadn’t had any classes together and I’d hung with my own friends. I didn’t know who he was before Julie started dating Zach. And I don’t think I said two words to him after that. “We ran in completely different circles.”
“You with the future leaders of America,” he says with the lightest touch of sarcasm. “Me with the future losers?”
“I’d hardly call you, Paul, or Zach losers.” In fact, they all owned their own businesses and had done exceptionally well. “And I’m no leader.”
In fact, when I allow myself to think about it, I’m disappointed in both my career and personal life.
“Besides,” I continue, “From what I remember of you then, I wasn’t the sort of girl you were interested in. You liked to party and that wasn’t me.”
“That doesn’t mean I wasn’t interested.”
“We would have been a terrible fit.” I don’t know why I’m so insistent that he agrees with me. “It’s no better now.”
He doesn’t say anything for a long moment and then shakes his head. “I disagree.”