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She’s always been his safe place to land.

Jensen has shared a special bond with Tuck for as long as she can remember, their friendship a language that never needed words. But as life threw her one curveball after another, that secret language turned to stony silence.

He’s always been her protector.

Tuck has looked out for Jensen since the day she was born. As his best friend’s little sister, he’s tried to keep her firmly in the friend category. But she’s always been more.

All it takes is one moment of weakness to send Tuck’s fiercely guarded walls crumbling to the ground. As a new fire burns between them, someone watches. Someone who doesn’t like the new life Jensen’s building for herself.

And they’ll stop at nothing to keep her in the dark.

EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT: Beautifully Broken Spirit

Catherine Cowles

Expected Release Date: 22 October 2019

Book Series: 

The third emotional standalone in Catherine Cowles’ Sutter Lake series is out this week, and I have a little sneak peek for you.

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A wet and naked Tuck was not what my sex-deprived self needed. He was my friend. Probably the best one I had. I needed to keep him in that box. It was safe. I quickly shed my clothes, stuffing them into the laundry bag, and then stepped under the spray. The hot water was everything I needed in this world.

I took my time washing up and even gave my hair a cursory blow-dry before steeling myself to step back into the room. Get ahold of yourself, Jensen. He’s just a good-looking man. You’ve resisted making a total fool of yourself in front of him for most of your life.

I pulled open the door and made a beeline for the hall to set our laundry outside. I could sense that Tuck was on the bed, but I couldn’t get myself to look quite yet. I dropped the laundry on the floor and retreated back inside the room. Turning, I took in Tuck. He was sprawled cozily as could be across the mattress, a beer on his nightstand, and a paperback in hand.

My gaze caught on the book. My brows rose. A shirtless man in a kilt graced the cover. “Interesting reading material you’ve got there.”

“There weren’t a lot of options, but at least with this one, I know I’ll get sex.” He patted the bed next to him. I crossed the room and settled myself against the pillows. He handed me the book. “Want to read aloud to me?”

I took the paperback from his hand and smacked him with it.

“Oh, you’ve done it now. You’ve insulted Kiernan and Marion’s love, prepare to go down.” Tuck went straight for my ticklish sides. I let out a peal of laughter but did my best to bite it back since I knew the other rooms were occupied. I wiggled and squirmed, trying to escape until Tuck stilled.

His body was pressed flush against mine, his lips a breath away, and I suddenly became aware of something long and hard pressed against my inner thigh. I sucked in air. Before I had a chance to tell myself it was a monumentally stupid idea, I closed the distance between us.

My mouth met his in a bruising kiss. It wasn’t pretty or graceful. It was pure need. Tongues dueled. Teeth caught on lips. I pressed myself into him, my thighs clenching.

Tuck pulled back on a gasp. “I can’t.” He stared down into my eyes, his hand coming up to cup my face, not looking away. My heart hammered against my ribs. “Oh, fuck it.”

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Sutter Lake - Recommended Reading Order

(standalone stories with interconnected characters)

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