After The Hurt
by Shana Gray
Shana Gray’s provocative novel features a resilient fighter going round for tantalizing round with the one that got away—a headstrong woman bent on seduction.
Pepper Chapman refuses to throw in the towel. Six months ago, she made the biggest mistake of her life. Blinded by grief after her mom’s death, Pepper abandoned the man she loves. Now she wants a second chance at everything she gave up: strong hands driving her to ecstasy . . . a deep voice whispering naughty promises in her ear . . . the future they’d planned since they were teenagers. So Pepper comes home looking for forgiveness, ready for a new beginning—if he’s willing to give her a shot.
Retired MMA star Tank Sherman may be used to low blows, but Pepper’s emotional sucker punch left him reeling. Trying to ignore the pain and forget the pleasure of her body beneath his, Tank is prepared to ring the final bell on their relationship. Then Pepper shows up out of the blue, radiating pure sex. But Tank won’t let himself get hurt again, and that means resisting the heat that still burns between them. Because if he takes Pepper back, he knows he’ll never be able to let her go again.
“He’d had a long time to feed on his anger, and the cold block of ice that used to be his heart would take a solar flare to melt.”
“The air seemed to light up and crackle as if cut by lightning, burning the oxygen out of the room.”
Constant angst is not my cup of tea and sadly, this story was 75% angst… but then I reaped a bit of a reward as the remaining 25% consisted of atomically hot and steamy love scenes that were somewhat interspersed. This couple was an indecisive and frustrating hot mess. The back and forth and up and down of their individual inner musings and contemplations of the possibility of reviving their decimated relationship became rather repetitive and tedious for me, but I know others find that entertaining. There was also an enjoyable subplot of intrigue and brief respites in the tension when they recalled their happier times, and thankfully the HEA ending was satisfactory and upbeat.
About the Author
Now writing under her new name, she will be published with Loveswept/Random House and Harlequin Blaze. Shana is represented by Louise Fury of The Bent Agency.
Shana’s passion is to enjoy life! She loves to travel and see the world, be with family, friends and experience the beauty that surrounds us. Much of her experiences find their way into her books. First published in 2010 as Cristal Ryder, Shana has written contemporary erotic romances for Sybarite Seductions, Lyrical Press (now Kensington) and Ellora’s Cave. Her stories range from scorching quickie length to longer erotic romance novellas.
She splits her time between her house in a small Ontario town with her twentysomething son’s, four cats, two budgies and, as the world knows him, Meat Man’s house. It’s an adventurous challenge that she loves.