The Barrera family has recently lost one of our own, Rene Barrera. We don’t know why he was taken away from us but he leaves with us a little girl he left behind. To Eliana he was her hero and her Daddy. Gone to soon is the gibberish talk of daddy, daddy ever morning. He may be gone but in her eyes we will see Rene every day. To my sister-in-law Esmer he was her love and not just loved her but the daughter Nevi that made him have a family of his own. To my mom he will and still always be her little baby boy gone too soon. To me, my sister and little brother, Rene will always be the one that made us whole. Rene to some might have seem troubled but he was turning his life around and doing so good. He was there for us when we needed him whether it was a car breaking down, killing a spider or just cutting the yard. Rene was taken away from us to soon and now we will always have just the memory of him with us.
One thing for sure is life is full of unexpectancies and losing Rene is a huge one. We never imagined our last get together was Mothers Day as a family and now we are uniting again for his funeral. We need all the help to remember our brother, son, husband and father, Rene Barrera. The only peace we have is Dad is there by his side guiding him up there.
Any help at the link below will be appreciated as we take time now to remember him Reviews and any promotions wi be back in a month.
I knew who I was before Olivier Durand came along. Despite growing up among the privileged elite, I never cared about corporate ladders or dream weddings. I proudly wear the label of social justice warrior. Until a car accident changes everything overnight. A video goes viral: Chicago’s Hottest Bachelor, billionaire Olivier Durand pulling me from my burning car. When he sets his sights on me, the whole world is watching. He can chase after me all he wants, but my answer will be the same: I loathe the ultra-wealthy. Even when they’re handsome, persuasive and…I have to admit, charming. It’s a hell no from me, though. Until suddenly, I’m not sure I’m the woman I thought I was.
Now I know how the players on the NHL team I own must feel. Relentlessly hounded. Once the video of me pulling a woman from her burning car goes viral, privacy becomes a thing of the past. For whatever reason, Twitter has collectively decided this woman and I should become a romantic thing. A hashtag combining my name with hers is trending daily. Absolute nonsense. But then I meet her, and realize Twitter got it right. Daphne Barrington is beautiful, funny, brilliant and sweet. Now I just have to convince her to date me. Easier said than done. She’s maddeningly stubborn, and my deep desire to be with her soon has me writing massive checks. Not for jewelry or cars, but to charities. Winning Daphne’s heart is going to cost me, and I’m not sure even I have enough money to do it.
Brenda Rothert is an Illinois native who was a print journalist for nine years. She made the jump from fact to fiction in 2013 and never looked back. From new adult to steamy contemporary romance, Brenda creates fresh characters in every story she tells. She’s a lover of Diet Coke, chocolate, lazy weekends and happily ever afters.
Hearing the disbelief from my best friend’s mouth makes the events of my failed date sting that much more.
I would like to make it known, I have a lot more swagger than what it seems. I don’t normally ask a girl out, have her fail to recognize it’s a date, and then give me a high five–as if I’m her wingman–and take off with someone else.
No. Normally I’m the one taking the girl home but with Stella, it’s been one failed attempt after another and frankly, I’m done trying.
But thanks to my best friend getting married in Hawaii right before the school year starts, I’m stuck on a tropical island, watching Stella parade around in what she claims is a bathing suit.
Unfortunately, that’s not the worst of it, just the tip of the iceberg. Because what I think is going to be a relaxing vacation, avoiding the one girl I can’t seem to make it work with, has turned into a spectacle of being recruited as Stella’s doting fake fiancé so she can save face with an old “friend” from high school.
Now I’m navigating through purgatory while trying not to get turned on by the way she holds my hand or kisses my jaw. It’s all fake, that’s what I keep telling myself, even though it feels entirely too real.
“Do you want to sit next to Stella on the airplane?” Arlo asks.
“What? Fuck, no,” I say while turning up the game so I can hear the announcers over my tedious, wedding-planning best friend.
Arlo snatches the remote from my hand and turns off the TV. The room is silent for a moment before uproarious objections fill the air.
“Gentry is up next,” Gunner, my other best friend and former teammate, complains from next to me. “He’s three for three so far.”
“We need to talk,” Arlo says in that stern, alpha-like voice that won over his fiancée. Little does he know it doesn’t work on me.
I reach for the remote but he swats my hand with a resounding thud, causing me to yank my hand back. “What the actual fuck, man?”
When I decided to have the guys over to my loft, I assumed we’d tear up some wings, drain some brews, and watch the Bobbies game. Never in my wildest fucking dreams would I have pictured Arlo Turner, the grumpy curmudgeon of the Forest Heights English department, to roll in like a beaming bride, holding a wedding planning folder to his chest, and consume the night with questions about what he should wear and if coconut cake is too “Hawaiian-y” for his Maui destination wedding.
But here we are.
“Cut the crap, Romeo.”
“Cut what crap?” I reach over to the coffee table and pick up my almost empty glass of beer.
“I’m not about to have the Bickersons attend my wedding, so what the hell is going on with Stella?”
“Nothing is going on,” I answer, then take a small sip of my beer, making the liquid last so I don’t have to get up for a refill.
Gunner leans in and asks, “If we get to the bottom of the problem, can we turn the TV back on?”
“Yes,” Arlo answers.
“Then it was the baseball game he took her to.”
“Dude,” I say in protest while sitting up on the couch. “What the fuck happened to don’t say anything?”
Gunner unapologetically shrugs. “I really want to watch the Bobbies kill the Rebels in interleague play.”
“What baseball game?” Arlo asks. “Do you mean the game you took her and Cora to?”
“Yup.” Gunner pops a chip in his mouth from the bowl on the coffee table. “Except Cora wasn’t supposed to go. It was supposed to be a daaate,” Gunner drags out.
“You asked Stella out?” Arlo asks, shocked.
“Way to sell me out for a game, you dick.”
Not showing an ounce of remorse, Gunner stands from the couch and takes my glass from me.
“I’ll top you off. You’ll need it.”
Seething, I pass my hand over my head and say, “Yeah, I asked her out. She invited Cora. End of story.”
“That’s not the end of the story,” Gunner says from the kitchen, the open concept of my loft allowing his voice to carry to us easily.
When you think a friend is trustworthy and then they go and shock your fucking nuts right off by divulging everything you told them in secret . . . without even a blink of an eye. Gunner is dead to me.
You’re probably wondering why I didn’t say anything to Arlo about what happened, given he’s one of my best friends, right? It’s simple. Gunner got me drunk and I relished in the comfort of far too many cold beers and a listening ear. If it wasn’t for that, I’d have kept my mouth shut, because the entire incident was fucking humiliating.
Between you and me, I’ve liked Stella Garcia, the Spanish teacher at Forest Heights, for a while now. Far too long actually. I can’t quite pinpoint when it happened, but all I know is over the three years I’ve known her, I’ve been pining after the girl for the majority of the time.
Fucking bold, quick-witted with a sharp tongue, loves sports, shy when it counts. Flat-out gorgeous with her long, wavy brown hair and fascinating green eyes that have a ring of brown around the pupil. She’s had my attention for a while and last year, I decided to finally make a move.
Enough was enough. We shared too many dinners together as friends. She’s pressed her lips to my beer glass without a second thought way too many times. The moment presented itself, I grew a pair, and asked her out to a baseball game knowing she loves watching the sport as much as I do.
But fuck did it backfire.
“What’s the end of the story?” Arlo asks, growing agitated. His patience runs thin, which is surprising, given his profession of educating the youth.
He’s not going to drop it.
Arlo’s relentless when he wants to know something.
Dragging my hand down my face, I say, “It was supposed to be a date.” Gunner sits next to me and hands me my refilled glass, which I gladly take. “She invited Cora. Which was fine. We had a good time, I still sat next to Stella, and we shared jokes even if there was a third wheel. But it was what happened afterwards that—”
“That gutted him,” Gunner finishes for me. When I snap a look at him, he smirks. “That’s what you told me. Just thought I’d help tell the story.”
“I wasn’t gutted.”
Maybe I was a little.
Hell . . . I was humiliated.
Gutted isn’t a strong enough word for what happened.
“What the fuck happened after? Christ. Why are you taking so damn long to get to the point?” Arlo practically growls.
“Go easy on our guy.” Gunner grips my shoulder. “He was embarrassed, man.”
“It’s fine, I’m over it now,” I say in a passive-aggressive tone.
“You’re clearly not if you and Stella can’t even be in the same room together. I don’t want anything ruining this trip for Greer, and your constant arguing with Stella is driving everyone fucking crazy.”
“Great, then I just won’t talk to her. Simple.”
“Just tell him,” Gunner says, nudging me.
Staring down at my beer, I quietly say, “She went home with someone else that night.”
The room falls silent.
They don’t have to react for me to know what they must be thinking. They know I’ve liked Stella for a while. They know I’ve been trying to figure out a way to ask her out.
And this . . . hell, this was an epic fail on my end.
It wouldn’t be as bad if I weren’t already carrying a chip on my shoulder about the way I was forced to twist my life around.
Five years ago, everything changed.
Five years ago, I was stripped of the one thing that brought me life.
A ruptured Achilles tendon ended everything for me.
I never got the chance to appreciate my last game.
I never had the opportunity to sit on the field and say goodbye.
Instead, playing professional baseball was stripped from me and I was forced to fall back on my teaching degree I earned while playing in college.
To say I’m bitter, resentful, and fucking angry . . . yeah, that’s an understatement.
I live with regret daily and harbor more animosity than anyone should.
So, when I took Stella to the game, on a date, hoping to tell her how I feel, and she went home with someone else, it fucking stung.
Do you know what stung more, though?
The fact that she looked right past me and instead went for a rookie on the Bobbies.
Why go out with a washed-up baseball player turned phys ed teacher with a slight limp in his walk, when you can go out with an unmarred professional baseball player?
Yeah. There’s resentment for a reason. She chose the star. That’s who she wants.
That’s who I’ll never be.
And that’s why I plan on staying as far away from Stella Garcia on this trip as I can.
And when we get back to Chicago and the school year starts, everything will go on as planned.
Off the Record: A With Me in Seattle Mafia Novel by Kristen Proby is now live!
From New York Times Bestselling Author Kristen Proby comes the thrilling conclusion to her With Me in Seattle Mafia series…
Rafe “Rocco” Martinelli was never one for the family business. Alas, being born into a crime syndicate means doing the family’s bidding and making sure you’re connected–and, yes, breaking a few kneecaps. Rafe would love nothing more than to hang up his enforcer apron and live a quiet life, but as more and more higher-ups in rival clans turn up dead, Rafe realizes he doesn’t have a choice. Especially not when the captivating and gorgeous bratva princess needs his help.
Dr. Annika Tarenkov learned early on that her belongs to her family. She’s a pawn in the long game, a bargaining chip for power and prestige. She gave up the only person in her life she thought she could be happy with, all for the greater good of the family. Now, a newly made widow and desperately seeking answers, she’s forced to confront her past as it converges with her present. But all it does is make her wonder about her future and how she can make Rafe hers again. While being with him is like wrangling a toddler at times, he still makes her heart race and her breath catch. And she wouldn’t feel safer with anyone else.
With the chips seemingly stacked against them, they must work to uncover the perpetrators of the nefarious plot that’s been brewing for some time–before it’s too late.
Download today on Amazon, Apple Books, Audible, Kobo, Barnes & Noble!
Kristen Proby has published more than forty titles, many of which have hit the USA Today, New York Times and Wall Street Journal Bestsellers lists. She continues to self publish, best known for her With Me In Seattle and Boudreaux series, and is also proud to work with William Morrow, a division of HarperCollins, with the Fusion and Romancing Manhattan Series.
Kristen and her husband, John, make their home in her hometown of Whitefish, Montana with their two cats.