Book One of The Oceans Series
Book One of The Oceans Series
Souls Collide as Heart Break…
Livie Acosta is a young woman who at the tender age of twenty-three has suffered such strong and heart-wrenching emotions, that she no longer accepts them into her world. Throughout her life beginning at the age of seven she has rebuked such emotions with a fierce passion. One horrific incident that resulted in her mother's miscarriage started the chain of pain she's had to battle and live with. Through the abuse and abandonment she receives at the heavy hand of her mother, Livie finds the only way she can survive is to curb her ability to feel emotions, and unfortunately the only way she knows how to achieve this paradise is by 'cutting'.
For years she has lived in a sheltered bubble, avoiding people, along with any aspect of life that requires one to show emotion. Not to mention her decision to stay close to her mother has her leaving the comfort of her own home nearly on a nightly basis to save her mother time and time again. It takes the sudden death of her mother to force Livie out into the world in search for a new purpose. Upon this forced quest she immediately meets one of two souls that are going to rock her world into a new dimension. Lawrence Hawthorne knows pain, grief, and emotions period, all too well. Despite his carefree nature and easy going personality he also harbors some tough demons that immediately draw him to Livie. It doesn't take long to recognize the deeply seeded pain that resides in her own soul and that leads Lawrence to call on his right hand man for help in protecting her.
As soon as Ocean Hawthorne steps onto the scene, Livie's world... the void world she's known since forever changes in a way that threatens to expose her secret. The Hawthorne cousins, vow to protect her from her self-destructive qualities amidst the angst, pain, and trials they all individually go through. Desperately they hold onto each other for support and as love and passion blossom it threatens to destroy the weak foundation of solitude that Livie has strived so hard to achieve. Will the intrusion of two beautiful and tortured souls finally be enough to induce the strength Livie needs to fight her demons, or will their love and devotion finally push her far enough to make the deepest cut she'd ever been forced to make?
I heard someone clearing their throat, causing me to snap my head up from my phone.
Coming around the corner was a tall and very, very hot guy. I must have turned into a deer caught in some kind of bright and sexy as hell headlights.
Since when did Alex Pettyfer buff up and open an MMA studio?
“Can I help you?”
Realizing my mouth was open, I snapped it shut and nervously stuffed my phone in to my pocket. “Yes. I was actually wondering if the owner was hiring for staff yet. I saw an article in the paper highlighting a new MMA studio opening. Do you know where I can find the owner?”
“You’re looking at him, Sunshine.” I looked him up and down from head to toe again.
“Serious?” He looked a little offended by my response, but he looked so young to be in this business. He should be modeling or catching some hang ten waves as a professional surfer. He had that look about him.
“Ouch, Sunshine. What’s wrong with me being the owner?” He asked honestly while crossing his thick arms across his chest, and those biceps were oh so yummy.
“Sorry… I didn’t mean for it to sound so rude. You just look very young to be in this type of business. I hope I didn’t offend you.” His smile returned and it instantly calmed me.
“Sunshine, you don’t have to apologize,” he said as he made his way toward me.
He extended his hand out and I took it in mine shaking it firmly. Dad always said a firm handshake was a sign of respect.
His touch was warm and soothing. Something about him made me feel extremely comfortable. It wasn’t just that he was sexy and looked like the delicious Alex Pettyfer. His energy enveloped me and calmed me for some reason. “Lawrence Nathaniel Hawthorne at your service. Nice to meet you.”
Letting go of his hand, I smiled back. “Livie Acosta. Nice to meet you, too.”
“So you say you’re looking for a job? Here at my studio?” He asked this in a rather incredulous way.
I ignored the dumb look on his face, because honestly, he didn’t know I could put him on his ass in a second. I reached into my shoulder bag and pulled out my portfolio. “Yes. I am interested in working for you, especially, if you are going to turn this studio into an MMA training facility. That’s what I read in the paper.”
He took my portfolio and opened it, keeping an eye on me as he perused it. He flipped it open and skimmed through it.
This guy was tall and I had to tilt my chin up just to make eye contact.
God, I hated being short right now!
As quickly as he opened the folder, he closed it and handed it back. “Okay, Livie. You seem to have some experience in martial arts and if you want to work for me, you wouldn’t mind showing me what you’re made of, would you?”
Cocky son of a bitch!
I reached over, pulled my shoulder bag off and laid it on the counter. I emptied my back pocket of my phone and car keys.
Smiling, I looked up at him. “I thought you’d never ask.”
His laughter made my heart sing. He really did have a strange effect on me. It wasn’t sexually charged or intrusive. I could see myself trusting this man with my life if I had to and I kind of wanted to at the moment.
“Follow me, Sunshine.” He turned on his heels and I followed.
He walked me to the center of the studio where the rubber flooring was the thickest.
Aww… he was trying to make it easy for me.
He really didn’t need to, but he didn’t know that yet. “Alright, I don’t want either one of us to get hurt, so go ahead and stretch. I’ll do the same.” He turned his back to me so I could stretch.
“You got it.” I responded and immediately bent my body forward at the hips. I didn’t stretch for too long, because my body was restless and craving for the physical contact.
He turned to face me and the grin on his face said it all. He was dying for physical contact, too.
A fighter always knew that look in another fighter. That hungry predatory look.
He stepped forward opening his stance. “You ready, Sunshine?”
As my response, I jumped up and did a roundhouse kick to his face and only missed it by inches.
His smile widened showing all his pearly whites. Once he regained his step, he swung his leg wide trying to drop me to the ground. I quickly jumped and rolled on the rubber matting, bouncing back up once my feet hit the ground again.
He came in fast with a jab and hook that I dodged with my quick footwork. I palmed him hard to the sternum and brought my shin up to contact with his left rib cage. They were clean shots and stunned him a little, but not enough.
Before I could pull back, he caught the back of my calf and held it firm.
I dropped my body backward, extending my arms to reach for the ground and brought my left leg up fast, kicking him in the chin.
He let go of my leg as he stammered back. Not wasting any time, he lunged for me picking me up and slamming by back hard against the mat.
I grunted from the impact. Taking it as a sign of weakness, he shifted his weight to pin me, but I pulled my arms up hard snapping his elbows up and out from under him.
Before he could come down hard on me, I took my elbows and buried them in his trapezius muscles, pulling myself up.
Once his face was nearly buried in my cleavage, I kneed him twice to the ribs and was able to fling myself around him putting him in a firm chokehold.
Thinking quick, he rolled onto his knees, pulled his arms around my waste and then flipped me up and over his head.
I came down hard on the mat again. I huffed my bangs out of my face completely hell bent on putting Mr. Pettyfer on his ass.
As he backed up to stand, I kicked my legs under me, propelling my body upright. I bent my left leg and used my right to sweep his legs out from under him and I nailed him.
He fell hard on his ass. When he fell, I bent backwards using my hands to hold my weight and planted both high top sneakers on his chest sending him flying to the treadmills behind him.
“Fuck me!” was all I heard as he slammed into the machines. He didn’t look mad at the moment, just shocked.
Grabbing his ribs, he coughed. I walked up to him and extended my hand out to him. I was a good sport… once I won, that is.
Taking my hand, I hauled him up, propping his shoulder over mine to help him stand. Laughter erupted from his chest and I couldn’t help but to join him. I pulled away from his body once he was on his feet.
“You most definitely are hired.” He breathed heavily.
I wanted to jump up and down, but I wouldn’t allow myself to do it in front of him. I simply gave him a ridiculous smile from ear to ear.
“So now that you’ve officially laid your new boss flat on his ass, do you care to join me for lunch?”
Without even thinking about it, my mouth opened and responded for me. “Yeah, sure. Mind if I go home to get cleaned up first? I’ll meet you anywhere just name the place and time.”
“Yeah, no problem. I need to put some ice on these ribs.” He said laughing. “Why don’t we make it dinner? Give me your address, and I’ll come pick you up. We can talk about the studio and get to know each other better. Is that cool with you?”
“Yes, of course. I have some things I need to do before then, so that works out perfectly.” He walked me to the reception desk where I picked up my stuff.
We exchanged numbers and I texted him the address to my hotel. He gave me a funny look when he read the address, but before he could question me.
I thanked him for the offer and bolted out the door. As my body sunk into the driver seat, I could still feel his eyes on me. Ignoring his stare, I cranked Lucy up and drove away.
I got the fucking job!
★✩★✩ 4- Rough & Dirty -Stars ✩★✩★
If you're looking for a hearts and Flowers romance, this IS NOT IT. This book is rough, dirty, violent and chock full of issues... which is why I loved it. Livie is not your average woman; she's sort of a tomboy and she is a fighter, which is what draws the Hawthorne men in; but she is also incredibly damaged and self-destructive, although she tries like hell to hide it. She has never had any interest in men and has been content just being on her own, but from the minute she meets these two she feels a connection that will rock all of their worlds. They all have their own demons to battle and form a bond that seems unbreakable, but will Livie's nature get the best of her despite her new protectors? Be prepared, this does end with one helluva cliffhanger ~ one that will leave you screaming, but at least book two is now available so it's a manageable frustration. Ms. DeOlmos will certainly push you through a range of emotions with this book and I can only imagine it's gonna get a whole lot worse before it gets better.
Book Two of The Oceans Series
Book Two of The Oceans Series
If You Drown, I Drown…Remember?
Twenty-seven year old Ocean Hawthorne thought he'd known loss and pain when his twin sister Stormie died. It was his fault the world would no longer see her beautiful smile or hear her captivating laughter. The former world champion in the vicious world of MMA fighting thought he'd been through the worst and has now carried that guilt and pain with him since. Then he met Livie Acosta. The moment he laid his eyes on the exotic beauty, he was hooked. In that split second of looking into her wild and hurt eyes, his heart began to beat again. He knew then that he would never be able to let her go... but was that the right thing for him to do? Because yet again, Ocean found himself surrounded by a familiar darkness, a pain so strong that even breathing hurt, and living felt impossible. He'd pushed too far in the effort to love and help her, and now... now he didn't know if he'd ever see her again. Lawrence Hawthorne has been through the ringer when it came to hurt and disappointment, but nothing could have prepared him for the possibility of losing Livie. He'd just found her and now-well, now he didn't know what to think. To him, Livie was more than just a girl, more than just a friend. To Law, Livie was someone he needed to help and protect, even from herself, and he'd failed that simple task. Will the Hawthorne cousins who have sworn to protect Livie survive her selfish act, or will they crumble, yet again?
That was it! What kind of pussy would say some shit like that? If he wished it were him that took her virginity then he should have claimed her first. Livie was mine. I loved her.
My fist came up, launching for his face when I felt a tug on my shirt that sent shockwaves of awareness through me. My head snapped down and pulling on the rim of my shirt was Liv’s trembling hand.
I looked up at Law whose face was whiter than usual as he stared at her hand still weakly trying to grab my shirt. Her eyes were still closed, but she had her lips pierced as if she was focusing on trying to do something. I looked up at Law again who was still frozen.
I pushed him hard on the shoulder to get his attention. When he looked up at me with a dazed expression, I rolled my eyes. Such a fucking punk.
“What the hell Law? Don’t just stand there! Go get your mom!”
He let go of the side rails, stumbling back a little. “Yeah, yeah mom.” He hauled ass out of the room once he got his legs to work.
I looked back down at Liv who was still trying to grab at my shirt. I leaned in closer to her and that was when she finally slipped her hand under my shirt. Her fingers were shaking and unsteady as she pressed them against my skin. Her hand was ice cold and her touch made my body break out in goose bumps. As she rested the back of her hand on my stomach, the trembling in her fingers calmed down a bit.
I leaned down to bring me face closer to hers. “Come on, Livie. Open your eyes baby. Open them for me. Please. I’ve been here with you waiting for this. Baby, open your eyes.”
I could tell she was trying by the squinting of her eyes and the way she was pulling her lips in. I moved the IV lines away from her neck, pulling down her hospital gown to expose her neck. I looked at the door then quickly leaned in kissing her on my spot that I’ve been missing so much.
When I pulled back, my heart skipped a beat and my breath stalled. Her eyes were fluttering rapidly as she tried to gain control of them.
I reached under my shirt to grab her hand, steadying it against my stomach. As the rapid flutters came to a slower opening and closing of her eyes, she frantically searched around the room looking dazed and confused.
I used my free hand to steady her chin so she could focus on me. “Hey baby. I’m right here. Look at me. Don’t worry about anything else, just look at me.”
With what little strength she had, her cold and trembling hand squeezed mine. Her blinks slowed down to longer, more tired blinks until she was able to focus on my face.
She tried to open her mouth to speak, but I shook my head at her placing my finger over her mouth. “Don’t speak. Law went to get Aunt Layla. She’ll be here soon.”
Her eyebrows pulled together as she tried to squeeze onto my hand tighter.
“Stop Liv, I’m not leaving. I’ll be here, where I’ve always been.”
The door swung open as Aunt Layla rushed to Liv’s bedside. Two other nurses came in, along with the surgeon who performed the surgery on her arm, followed by Law.
Aunt Layla looked at me with a stern look. I knew that look meant to keep my ego in check and step aside, so I did just that.
As I let go of Liv’s hand, her eyes started to blink fast again and her heart rate spiked. The nurses rushed to either side of me to see what was happening.
“Ladies, give him a minute before we start.” Aunt Layla nodded at me to make it quick.
I leaned in to kiss her forehead and then pulled her quivering hand up to my lips for a reassuring kiss. “Liv, remember I’m right here. They need to take care of you and you know I can’t do it myself. Calm down baby, I’m not going anywhere.”
I kissed the back of her hand again. Her face turned into somewhat of a frown. I think that moment was the first time in two weeks that I actually smiled.
Even in her condition and barely being able to move or speak, she was being as stubborn as ever. I laid her hand gently at her side, finally letting go.
The nurses unlocked the wheels on the bed while Aunt Layla disconnected the IV’s from the machine. The doctor held the door open as they wheeled her out less than a minute after I let go of her hand. .
“Where are you taking her?” I called to my aunt.
She turned to me with a smile on her face, something I haven’t seen since Liv was admitted. “Don’t worry, we’ll bring her back. The doctor needs to run some tests. She’ll be in much better shape when we bring her back.” She hurried out the door after her crew.
Law moved back into the room before the door could close on him. I looked up at him leaning against the door running his hand through his hair before he made eye contact with me.
“Look man, I’m sorry about what I was saying, but I meant it you know.”
“Yeah Law, so did I. She’s not just any other virgin, you know that. I fucking love that girl with all of me. There is no one else, Law. No one.”
“So looks like you got her back. Congrats, I was hoping she’d come back to you.”
I shook my head at him. “She came back to us, not just me. I’m a dick, but even I know how much she means to you. I don’t like it, but I get it.”
He kicked off the wall, making his way towards me. “You know she’s going to Shiloh’s Therapy Facility, right? I looked it up and researched all the workers. Hell I even did a fucking background check on the entire staff, Ocean.”
I could have laughed at him for that, but I just didn’t have laughter in me anymore.
“It’ll only be for a month so she can attend physical therapy and talk to someone about what happened. The facility is about an hour away and visiting days are Tuesdays and Sundays.”
My chest tightened thinking about her alone in a rehab facility. I was there once, alone and pissed off at the world because I was there. I’m thinking her reaction will not be much different, but she had to get through this to find herself again. I was praying that she did because honestly for me, I was a lost cause without her.
My other half was gone, my mother left abandoning me when I needed her the most, and the woman that I finally fucking gave my heart to just tried to kill herself. I wasn’t enough for anyone to stick around for.
“When is she leaving?” I was glad he had all the details because the less I knew about this the better. If it were up to me, I’d take her away and lock her ass up until she got over her shit.
“Mom wants her there as soon as possible. If all her tests turn out well enough, she will leave tomorrow.”
The knife that resided in what was left of my heart twisted and turned as I tried to keep my composure. “I’m going with you, Law. I’ll try not to make a scene but I can’t let her go without me.”
“Yeah man, I know. I wouldn’t have pictured it any other way. I’m really sorry Ocean. You do know that she truly loves you because too seriously pass me up, she’s got to love your sorry ass pretty bad.”
His attempt at humor was lost on me. I shrugged my shoulders unconvinced. If she loved me that much, I should have been enough to keep her from wanting to kill herself. It was that black and white for me.
I understood that she didn’t love herself the way I did, but I still should have been enough for her to stop, to call for help, to call me for help. I would have been there for her.
In the middle of my thoughts, Law grabbed me pulling me into a hug. I wanted to push him off, punch him in the face, and send him to hell along with everyone else, but I couldn’t. I reached out grabbing onto to him and we cried together like the two fucked individuals we were.
I predicted that this journey was gonna get much harder before it got better and I wasn't wrong. These people all have some serious issues and violent, destructive tendencies. But that's what I love most about this series, it makes the characters feel more real; their not perfect cookie-cutter clones from another book ~ they're are unique in their own fucked up ways. I love every last dark part of them even when I wanna throat punch them. Livie was the one who had to be strong this time around as Ocean lost his shit; I was so friggin proud of her, as my heart was tearing apart at Ocean's downward spiral. We also get a fabulous addition to the Hawthorne crew, Blue is as spunky as Livie but she is also hiding some serious demons that we only get to see the surface of. OH- and let me just say; nothing like THAT ever happens when I have a movie night :( damn that was hott.
We are once again left with a whopper of a cliffhanger and I can't even begin to imagine how this new twist will affect Ocean's well being or his relationship with Livie. Shit is about to get crazier, I have no doubt. Which begs the question ~ WHEN THE HELL DOES THE NEXT BOOK COME OUT?!
My name is Melissa DeOlmos, an aspiring author and a newbie to the world of indie writing. I live in sunny side Palm Bay, Florida with my two lovely crazies ages five and two, along with my Law Enforcement champ of a husband.
I could say that writing novels has been a passion that I’ve always pursued, but I can’t. Writing for me has always been my own secret escape into a land of wonders and opportunities. Filled with love and so much trouble, I sometimes wonder if I need medication for the stories that pop into my head.