Bookworm Express: Ramsay – Mia Sheridan

Hi! I know, I know. I’ve been MIA for a long time. I’m sorry. I needed to take some time off from everything. But you can call off the search parties because ScribblerAlliance is back in business! I thought we’d better kick off the weekend with a Bookworm Express post.

In the time I’ve been away, I’ve read a lot … and I mean a lot. So I needed to think which book to review for you guys first, and I finally settled on something very close to the reason for my hiatus.

As someone who doesn’t have faith in astrology, I have always been skeptical of people who justify whatever’s happening in their life as a sign from the stars. But as many curious minds know, skepticism can lead you to read something you never thought you would. And so, I took a tumble down the rabbit hole to find whether being born under a star sign affects your personality traits or not.

And just like that, I found myself reading Ramsay, a novel from Mia Sheridan’s A Sign of Love series dedicated to the star sign of Aries.


I admit I was intrigued by the brilliant wordplay with the book title (Ram = Aries) even before I started reading. As I ventured into the world of Aries, I was introduced to Brogan Ramsay, a sweet, innocent, extremely sensitive teenager who works as a gardener’s assistant at the house of the girl he has learned to love from afar, Lydia De Havilland. However, his young mind is left scarred forever by the cruel trick Lydia plays on him, breaking his heart.

Cut to several years later, we meet Lydia De Havilland—an heiress without any real inheritance thanks to her promiscuous older brother. It’s been years since the night Lydia gave her virginity to the only boy she has ever truly loved—Brogan Ramsay, but she still holds his memories in her heart with nothing but fondness. That is until one morning when her brother walks into their office to announce that he has lost their father’s company in a poker game … to none other than Brogan Ramsay.

Determined to make Brogan see the error in his ways, Lydia goes in search of the boy she had once loved. However, instead, she comes face to face with a beautiful, handsome stranger who can give the Devil a run for his money with his wickedness. As she ventures deeper into the trap Brogan has laid for the De Havillands, Lydia quickly finds out that this man has returned to her life with nothing but vengeance in his mind.

What follows is a story of lost love, retaliation, the thin veil that exists between love and hatred, and above all, forgiveness.

Here’s a little excerpt from the novel to tickle your senses:

I searched his face for the kind, sensitive boy he’d once been, but saw nothing of him in the hard lines of this man’s face. I didn’t know him anymore. This man was a callous stranger.

“There’s nothing I can do, is there?” I asked. I licked my lips, pulling the bottom one between my teeth.

Brogan studied me, his gaze skittering to my mouth and back to my eyes. Tapping on his desk again, he appeared to be weighing something, some decision. “How much do you want ownership of De Havilland Enterprises back, Lydia?”

My throat went dry. “I . . . I’ll do anything, Brogan. Anything.” My face flooded with hot shame. But it was true. In that moment, I would go to any lengths to fix this mess. For my father, for his dream, I’d do anything. It was his legacy, the only part of him I could still care for in this physical world.

Brogan chuckled, a sound filled with disdain. He rubbed the edge of the leather inset on his desk with his index finger, my eyes following the movement for a moment. He’d always been such a sensual person, always touching something, his hands lingering, caressing, seemingly entranced by textures . . . He had covered his accent, but not that. I grasped onto it—finally recognizing something in this man that had also been in the boy. “Anything? Would you beg for it? Would you get down on your knees and beg?”

I froze, my heart seeming to stop before it picked up an erratic beat, my gaze meeting his. “Is that what you want me to do? Is that what this comes down to? A payback of some sort?”

“Actually, Lydia, some interest has accrued since I was asked to beg. If we’re considering a payback, your begging would have to be on a much larger scale. Grand even.”

“What does that even mean?”

Brogan looked off to the side, seeming to be considering something. Moments ticked by before he finally looked back to me, his light blue eyes a soft and startlingly beautiful contrast to the harsh expression he wore. “Here’s my offer: Come work at my home as I used to work at yours. Do as I ask you to do and every day, you will beg me for your company back. If you do it well enough, I’ll consider your request.”

I gaped. “Are you out of your mind?” I hissed.

He shrugged nonchalantly, his face impassive now. “It’s been said.”

“Said? Said by whom? Because I’d be inclined to agree. It’s a disgusting offer. You’re a pig.”

“That’s been said as well.” Brogan chuckled, leaning back in his chair again, flashing me an arrogant smirk. I blinked. I’d never seen Brogan smile that way before. I remembered a different smile—sweet and slightly shy. That smile used to make my heart flutter.


Now tell me that doesn’t make your heart flutter!

Time for my review. First off the positives: this story took me through an emotional roller coaster, and I admit it made me cry at times … sometimes for Brogan and sometimes for Lydia. Mia Sheridan writes in her unique style which makes you feel every emotion her characters are feeling and you can’t help but fall in love with the way she portrays them. This story shows how difference of perspective can show a story in different lights. I developed a love-hate relationship with Brogan myself because while I hated his RAM-headedness, his raw wounds made me want to wrap him in my arms. And that, I imagine is the true mark of a great writing.

The only negative I will count against this novel is, I wanted more of their HEA. After all the struggles this couple went through, I wanted them to have a big happily ever after, but then again, that’s the insatiable reader in me. All in all, in Anne’s scale this book gets 6 stars out of 5. Yes, 6 because just 5 doesn’t seem to be enough.

To round it out, did I find this book entertaining? Definitely. I recognized a lot of traits in Brogan that reminded me of the Aries in my life. Have I turned into a believer of Astrology? Not really. But I definitely give Ms. Sheridan kudos for portraying the personality traits usually associated with Aries perfectly.

Thank you for visiting. If there’s any book you’d like us to review, let us know in your comments.




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Bookworm Express Banner: Yours truly


Anne Express: Poetry Station

Hi there! Welcome back to Anne Express. Today is my best friend and partner in crime, Shae’s birthday. To let her know how much her friendship means to me, I decided to pen a new poem for her. So … enjoy and join me in wishing her a happy birthday!

Heart of My Heart.jpg

In Heart of My Heart


There I stand, all in my lonesome

Drenched in desolation,

Like an outcast in the sea of faces

A heart weeps, crying out,

Forlorn and forsaken.

And then it happens.

Out of the depths of my despair,

A hand reaches out to grasp mine.

It lifts me up, holds me close.

A heart whispers to mine,

I’m here now, you’re not alone.

Two hearts, two worlds apart

Come together, bound by the forces

Of friendship and love.

Through the affection for the written word,

My heart recognizes its counterpart.

So my dear friend, believe me when I say,

You’re one of the most precious persons

In my world, in the heart of my heart.

Bookworm Express: What Eye See – Matt A Byron

What happens when someone dies? They go to heaven, right? However, in between heaven and the land of the living, there’s another world—the spirit world. What if someone living was aware of the spirit world and vice versa? Should they be afraid?

Today’s Bookworm Express features a unique story about the darkness that lingers between the living world and that of the spirits.

This week, Scribbler Alliance brings you Matt A Byron’s story What Eye See.

What Eye See

It is the story of one Emery Hallindale. For her, seeing the non-living isn’t new. She’s been able to see them for as long as she can remember. They’ve always just been there, never bothering her or sensing her; just like gray shadows. Until one day, a brush with death seems to fine-tune her sense of the dead. Suddenly the dead are not so gray anymore; no, they’re solid and colorful, and are very aware of Emery.

With the change in her perspective comes a darkness that threatens to consume her. Question is—will she be able to fight for her life before the darkness engulfs her?

Here’s a little excerpt from the story to give you a hint of what’s to come:


As they walked, Emery saw a woman standing by a tree. The woman’s skin was gray, the clothes seemed tattered, and her eyes were empty. She wasn’t looking for anything in particular, and people walking past her were oblivious to her presence because she was dead.

A spirit left behind perhaps mulling about as if she were part of the living world. The spirit seemed oblivious of her or anyone else for that matter, and she just stood there looking around with no particular point of interest in mind.

Melissa noticed Emery was focused on something as they both stopped. She didn’t see what her sister saw.

“I wonder why you see them, and I don’t. And what’s the point if you can’t communicate with them or help them. It seems creepy.”

Emery looked away from the lost spirit and turned to her sister.

“I don’t know. I have had this for as long as I can remember. Why do I see certain spirits and not others? I never saw mom or dad. I don’t get what this is.”

“Maybe it’s like a radio to where you need to angle the antenna a certain way to get better reception.”

They laughed.

“Like I only see part of it, and the audio is not in tune. I don’t know. There definitely seems like there should be more to it.”


Now it’s time for my review. First off the positives: albeit it’s a short story, it manages to get the message the author is trying to get through to you. So it’s very well-written. Another one is that I don’t usually go for horror stories or movies for that matter. Why? Because I always feel like it’s make-believe. But with this book, I am pleased to report that I had my fair share of hair-raising goosebumps-on-skin moments. So thank you, Mr. Byron, for a story so good. Another thing I’d like to point out is the storyline. It’s different than many books I’ve read and unique in ways that makes it hard for you to put it down and sleep. I might have stayed up all night to finish the book in one go. And I have no regrets.

The only negative I will count against it is the length of the story. It left me wanting more for Emery’s future. But I guess that’s what happens when you read a great story … it leaves you yearning for more. Am I right? All in all, in Anne’s scale this book gets 4.5 stars out of 5. I thoroughly recommend you read this book, bookworms, because this is definitely worth the read.

Thank you for visiting. If there’s any book you’d like us to review, let us know in your comments.




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Bookworm Express Banner: Yours truly

Anne Express: Virtuoso~Chapter-19

A/N: Ready for more?


Chapter-19: Change


A few keystrokes and the light turns green. “I changed it; happy?” I mutter as I get into my home. With the sparse furnishing, it’s what I need, and what Esme despises. She calls it my rabbit hole, but it’s the only place where I can be myself.

“Happy?” Esme snarls in my ear. “Do you take your security lightly now too? Have you become that reckless? You’re lucky I was there to save the day today.”

Resisting an eyeroll, I plop my ass down on the futon and let out a sigh of relief. “I know, Es. That was a foolish stunt we pulled.”

She snorts as if to say ‘Ya’ think’ and then says, “She’s not safe for you.”

I feel a smile tug at the corners of my lips as I reply, “Safety is overrated. She’s exactly right for me.” Before she can launch into another whine-fest, I quickly change the subject. “So have you heard the recording in James’ phone?”

“I did.”

“And?” I press.

“The voice is a positive match for Philip Dywer.”

I slap a hand to my thigh. “I knew it! My hunch was correct!”

“Yeah, yeah, stop clapping yourself on the back. Do you even realize that how many powerful people are out there to get to you? You really want add to that?”

I nod. “He asked the Volturi to get rid of me. Do you think they framed me for the Simmons murder?”

Esme’s quiet for a moment. Then she asks, “If they did, what do you plan to do about it?”

“I’ll get even,” I say simply. “Before they can get rid of me, I’ll get rid of them.”


I play the voice recording of Virtuoso again and wait for him to respond. When there’s no answer to my silent question, I decide to voice it. “So what do you think of your student?”

A soft chuckle sounds before his voice comes through the speaker. “He’s got balls, that one.”

“Balls?” I repeat. “He’s way over his head, and all you’ve got to say is that he’s got balls? Mr. Biers, might I remind you that if Edward finds out about his father’s shared past with Philip Dwyer he might go rogue?”

“You mean the fact that his father, Phil, and I were friends?” he asks mildly. “You’ve spent the last few years in close contact with him, Detective, tell me do you think he’ll go rogue?”

“Shut the fuck up!” I burst out before I can control myself.

He laughs. “Still hate being reminded of your past, huh?”

“Never call me that,” I snap at him. “YOU brought him up, Biers, so you tell me.”

“Honestly? I think the boy’s crazy with a capital K,” he says. “I mean he wants to quit this job and live in a deserted island. That’s just … crazy!”

I huff, my heart aching for the boy I’ve watched grow up into a man. “Mr. Biers, he’s not the crazy one,” I say angrily. “All his life, he’s been left by those he loved. His mom, his grandmother and then you, his mentor. So you really shouldn’t fault him for wanting to get away from the hurt.”

“What’s this, Platt?” He sounds amused. “Are you going soft? Have you forgotten what his father did?”

“Edward Masen Sr., born 1963, was convicted of murder of his best friend, Charlie Swan, I know. But I don’t hold it against Virtuoso. He shouldn’t be punished for what his father did.”

In a sardonic tone, Riley Biers says, “Edward’s mom told him his dad died in a car crash. How do you think he’ll react when he finds out the truth?”

“He’ll deal with it,” I say tightly. “He’s a strong man, not the pitiful boy anymore.”

“Good,” he says before the call disconnects.


I manage to fall asleep … almost. But a sudden beep makes me aware of my surroundings again.

I see that like most days I’m lying on my couch with the Animal Planet tuned on TV. Beep

“Where’s that sound coming from?” I wonder as I sit up. That’s when I see it. The briefcase I carry to work, lying inconspicuously on the table. There’s a cell phone in there. Is that where the beeping is coming from?

Just as I open the briefcase, the sound comes again and this time I see the faint blue light of the cell phone light up the screen. It’s Anthony’s phone. I’m pretty sure no one has the number. Esme got this for appearances sake. Then who…?

My question is answered as I slide to unlock the phone. 3 messages. I scroll through them and feel a smile tug at the corners of my mouth. Silly girl.

Message 1:

Hey Tony. This is your number, right? I got this from your employee file. Just checking in to make sure you’re okay.

Message 2:

Tony, you fucking coward! How could you run away like that? Were you that scared? You could’ve told me instead of leaving me, idiot!

Message 3:

Are you okay? You were so scared, weren’t you? I understand, Tony. Just call me. Let me know you’re okay.

As I’m reading the messages for the second time, a fourth message pings.

Message 4:

I’m sorry for throwing you into that crazy-fest. God … I feel like dying.

I feel my brows pull together at the last sentence. She feels like dying? Why? What could’ve happened while I was gone?

A/N: Another piece of puzzle for you guys.

Share your thoughts with me and leave a review.

Thanks for reading.



Chapter Pic Source Source: Pinterest

Virtuoso Banner: Yours Truly

Bookworm Express: Learning to Live – Brenda Kennedy

Falling in love should be easy. Effortless. But what happens when you meet the right one in your fifties? Is it that easy to trust someone with your heart and the one you hold most dear to your heart when you’ve been abused for thirty years?

Today’s Bookworm Express features a love story between two people who meet in the dusk of their lives, rather than at the dawn.

This week, Scribbler Alliance brings you the first novel from Brenda Kennedy’s Learning Trilogy, Learning to Live.

Learning to Live

The story opens with the serenity and the aroma of freshly baked goods of a bakery where Nichole, a self-reliant woman in her fifties is trying to raise her grandson as her own. But looks can be deceiving. No matter how put together Nichole’s life looks on the outside, there’s a history of hurt and domestic abuse behind her every smile.

Then there’s Luke Tanner, retired army veteran and a man of his principles. For Luke life is simple—working on his own farmhouse, playing with his dog and avoiding a psychotic ex-girlfriend. That is until he feels an invisible pull to the owner of the bakery he frequents. What he doesn’t tell anyone is that he has skeletons in his closet too including PTSD from years of service to the country.

When Luke asks Nichole out, it should be effortless because when two single people are attracted to each other, they should date, right? Alas! It’s not so simple. Luke has to work his way to her heart. As for Nichole, she has to learn to trust Luke; but after being abused by her now deceased ex-husband and her adult son, trust doesn’t come so easily.

Here’s a little excerpt from the novel to give you a taste of this love story:


Just before I take her home for the night, I secure another date for the next weekend. “Is this something you’d like to do again next weekend?”

“Luke, I’d love to, but you should know now that childcare could be an issue for me.”

“I’d be willing to do something with Connor as long as you’re there.”

I think I see her blush, which makes her all the more beautiful. “You’d be willing to go to Chuck E. Cheese and see a matinee on a Saturday afternoon with little Connor and me?”

The way she says that, I’m not sure what my answer should be, but I say, “Yes? How bad can it be?”

She laughs a throaty laugh. “Should I plan on you picking us up around 1:00 pm on Saturday, or should we meet you there?”

“No, I’ll be there to pick you up.”

I walk her up to her apartment and wait for her to unlock the door. She doesn’t invite me in, and I wouldn’t expect her to. I also don’t try to kiss her, although I want to.

“Thank you, Luke. I had a great time, and I can’t wait to learn more about you.”

“I had a good time, too, and this will be interesting.”

“Yes, it will.”

“Maybe I’ll run into you this week at the park.” I’m hoping she’ll tell me a day and a time when she’ll be there.

“Maybe you will.” That’s not the answer I was hoping for. “Thank you and be careful driving home.”

“You’re welcome and I will.” Walking away I say over my shoulder, “Maybe I’ll be in for coffee this week.”

“I hope so. Good night, Luke Tanner.”

“Good night, Nichole Anderson.”


Ah! Love … feels like they’re courting instead of dating, doesn’t it?

Time for my review. First off the positives: this is a feel-good romance story with mentions of darkness but with small points of light scattered around to dispel the darkness. So kudos to Ms. Kennedy on that. And another thing I’d like to point is the flow of the story. Although it feels like a slower read than most, it also feels right for this couple to fall in love slowly rather than diving headfast into a relationship or a bed, or both. I loved how this book divulged information about their pasts like unwrapping layers of paper until the true gift—their souls and love for each other—is laid bare. It’s as if you fall in love with their love as they fall in love with each other. One more positive was how well the storyline was preserved. It was never blindsided by the love story, rather it evolved around it.

The only negative I will count against it is the horrible cliffy we’re left with at the end of it. But it’s a TRILOGY, guys. So we get to read TWO more books, nothing bad about that, right? All in all, in Anne’s scale this book gets 4.5 stars out of 5.

Thank you for visiting. If there’s any book you’d like us to review, let us know in your comments.




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Bookworm Express Banner: Yours truly

Anne Express: Virtuoso ~ Chapter-18

A/N: Enjoy!


Chapter-18: Tunnels


I’m brought out of my haze of thoughts by the placement of a steaming mug of coffee in front of me.

“I didn’t know how you take your coffee. So I put both cream and sugar in it,” Agent Whitlock says as he takes a seat across from me.

“That’s fine. Thank you,” I say gratefully, wrapping my palms around the mug, letting the heat seep into my body.

“So,” he starts. “You went to interview Royce King?”

I nod, suddenly feeling like I’m in an interrogation room like the TV shows despite being in the middle of a buzzing police station. “I did, but he behaved unprofessionally. I witnessed him physically abusing one of his female employees. Hell, I was nearly beaten myself,” I add with a shudder.

Agent Whitlock frowns. “Were the men following you present during this encounter?”

“Yes, I think they were guarding Royce King’s place,” I reply. “I think they were the same men who tried to kidnap me just days ago.”

“They tried to kidnap you? Did you file a report about it?”

I shake my head. “I didn’t know who they were, but there must be a note or something in the police files stating that they got a 911 call and saved me before the men could hurt me.”

“Is there any witness to prove that the same men tried to kidnap you?”

“Anthony, my junior reporter was with me when they took me. He even got beaten trying to save me,” I tell him, my heart suddenly crumbling at the thought of poor Tony.

Agent Whitlock furrows his brows. “If he was injured, there must be a medical record of it?”

“No, he gets spooked easily,” I say. “So I took care of him myself.”

“Is he the one who hit my car and then ran?”

I cringe at how reckless that makes Tony sound. “I think he got scared after he learned that you’re FBI,” I try to explain. “He has a tendency to run away when he’s afraid. But he’s not a coward … he’s just immature.”

His lips turn upwards and without another word on the topic, he opens up the laptop sitting on the desk between us and types up something. Then he turns the laptop to show me the screen, and I see my article about Rose staring back at me.

“Ms. Barone, did you write this article?” he asks.

Squaring my shoulders, I say, “Yes, and that’s why I went to see Royce King. I want to write a follow-up report on it.”

“Is the woman you mentioned in his article Ms. Rosalie Hale?”

Smiling, I tell him, “I can’t give you that information, Agent. That’s confidential.”

He chuckles. “What if I tell you that Mr. King has just sued Ms. Hale?”

“That prick!” I can’t help but bite out. “What is he suing her for?”

“Defamation,” he answers calmly. “You and your editor is also being sued for harassment. As for the accusations you made about him hurting his employee, my men found no evidence of it when they got to his house. He was alone in his study.”

The words make the hairs on the back of my neck stand, and suddenly, I feel like I’m making a huge mistake by talking to the cops without my father there to defend me. Quickly, I grab my purse and stand up. “Thanks for the coffee, Agent, but I’ve got to go.”

“Ms. Barone …”

I plaster a trademark smile on my face and say, “I’m a reporter for the Inside Out News. Call me at my office anytime you need. It was good to meet you, Agent Whitlock.” With that, I practically run out of there, without allowing him to utter another word.

Getting out of there, I dial my dad’s number. Two rings and then it goes to voicemail. Disconnecting the call, I try again with the same results. Then, I decide to call my mom who thankfully, picks up.


“Mom! Where’s dad?” I ask. “He’s not taking my calls.”

“He went to the police with Rosalie,” mom answers. “She’s supposed to give her statement today.”

“Oh crap!” I slap a hand to my forehead.

“Is everything okay?” Mom asks, sounding worried. “Honey, talk to me. Are you alright?”

“Yes, Mom. Everything is fine. Don’t worry. I’ll talk to you when I get home.” I hang up before she can question me further.

For a moment, all I can do is breathe, letting the oxygen get to my brain. If Royce has sued Rosalie, her statement won’t be a victim’s but rather a defendant’s now, I realize. Suddenly, it feels like I’m in a tunnel with darkness pressing on me from all around. Like any tunnel, however, I see a point of light … one way to protect the truth.

It takes me barely twenty minutes before I am clutching a paper with a phone number scribbled on it. I take a deep breath and send a quick prayer to God that I’m doing the right thing before dialing. The call connects after just one ring.

“Hello?” a voice answers, familiar and gravelly.

“Mr. Cullen,” I greet. “This is Isabella Barone.”

He sounds delighted when he speaks next. “Ms. Barone! What a pleasant surprise. To what do I owe this honor? A lowly news-thief like myself?”

I feel my cheeks flush at the not-so gentle reminder of our previous encounter. I decide to be honest and lay it all out to him. “Listen, Mr. Cullen, I know what I said earlier, but this is bigger than I can handle.” Before he can gloat, I add, “I don’t have that big of an influence to handle it, that is.”

“So now you want my help?” his smugness is palpable.

“Sadly, yes,” I reply. “But I have my conditions.”

“Let’s hear them then.”

“First,” I state, counting with my fingers. “You’ll have to relay the truth. I will give you Rosalie Hale’s statement and even an interview with her if you want, but you’ll need to convey the news as it is.”

“Why the change of heart, may I ask?”

I sigh. “Royce King has pressed charges against Rosalie Hale, as well as on me.”

“I see,” he says mildly. “Your article said Ms. Hale was blackmailed, how exactly?”

“Royce has videos of her … videos that would ruin her and her family.”

“Have you procured any of these videos?”

I can’t help but roll my eyes heavenward. “You think I’d be asking for your help if I had? That bastard Royce has them, I’m sure. If I was trained to be an investigative journalist like you, I would’ve worked it out by myself, but I … can’t,” frustration runs through me as I confess my inability.

There’s a pause in the line before Carlisle Cullen speaks again. “Alright, Ms. Barone, I’ll help you,” he says. “But from now on, you’ll have to do exactly as I say. Do we have a deal?”

Straightening my back, I whisper, “Yes.”

God help me! I hope I didn’t just make it worse.

A/N: So… thoughts?

Share them with me and leave a review.

Thanks for reading.

See you next time.




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Anne Express: Poetry Station

Hi there! Welcome back to Anne Express. On the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr, I decided to pen a new poem for you. This was written using a pinterest prompt. So … enjoy!


Prompt: Write about the sound, color and smell of loneliness


Title: Loneliness


A whisper.

The murmur of a butterfly’s’ wings.

The drip-drop of water running from a tap.

The beating of a single heart.

I wake up with a start.

Could this be? Is it real?

Bursts of colors … red, blue and green, make me feel.

The smell of freesia and lavender makes me

Hope against hope…

With a trembling hand I reach out,

But just like a bubble, it burst.

Leaving me with an unquenchable thirst.

The colors disappear, the smells fade.

Until all remains is the sound of a heartbeat.

A lonely heart.

My heart


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Anne Express Banner: Yours truly

Anne Express: Virtuoso~ Chapter-17

A/N: Sorry for the delay. I had a surgery and life was pretty demanding. But now that I’m recouping, I have lots of time in my hands to write. So updates will be quicker. Thanks for your patience. 🙂


Chapter-17: Dead Leaves


I have no recollection whatsoever of running out of that decrepit place. All I remember is clutching Tony’s hand in a death grip as he led me out of there. I focus on taking as much air as I can in my lungs, needing to keep the panic attack at bay. By the time I’ve got my breathing under control, Tony has me ducking behind a bush as he watches the men surrounding the house look around in apparent confusion.

“Ar-are they looking for us?” I manage to ask in a hoarse voice.

Tony nods in silence from next to me.

Just then, something catches my eyes. With a whoosh, James’s white Ferrari scoots past the men before turning around and rushing in the opposite direction. The stench of burnt rubber fills the air as the car races with its tires squealing.

“Fuuuuck!” From somewhere out of my vision, I hear James cry out in fury. “Whoever the fuck is doing this is going to wish he was dead. I’mma kill that son of a bitch!”

One of his men asks, “Who are you talking about, Boss?”

James curses again. “It must be that fuckwit Virtuoso. He’s yanking my chain. He’s known for his notorious sense of humor.”

Amidst the scene unraveling before our eyes, my mind races. This diversion is our chance, I realize. “Tony?” I call.

He manages an unintelligible mumble under his breath then asks, “Yes, Ms Bella?”

“Get ready,” I instruct him. “The men are busy now. This is our chance to get out of here.”


“I’ll count to three. On three, we’ll both run out of here and make a dash for our car. You’ll take the wheel and I’ll be there to support you.”

When there’s no response from him, I turn my head to face him. He gulps and then asks in a whispered voice, “Can we exchange roles? Maybe you should take the wheel and I should be the backup …”

I spear him with a glare and ask back, “Do you think I’d have asked you to do that if I had a driving license?”

He blinks. “You don’t …?”

“Failed three times,” I answer bitterly. Taking in a deep breath, I ask, “Ready?”

He lets out a sigh and answers, “Ready.”

And then, we’re running like bats out of hell, making a beeline for the car. I just about wrench open the car door and throw myself in the passenger seat. Turning my head, I see that Tony has managed to get there too. “Hurry!” I yell.

He shifts gears and we’re off. A collection of screams tell us that we’ve been noticed. “They’ve seen us,” Tony says, sounding panicked.

“Just drive and get us out of here,” I instruct as he accelerates.

In the mad dash to get away from the mob of men carrying various weapons coming after us, Tony swerves and crashes into an oncoming car. “Shit!” he curses as smoke rises out of the bonnet.

“Let’s  get out,” I say, throwing open my door. “We can ask these people for help.”

Without arguing, he follows my suit just as a tall man with straw-colored hair gets out of the car we’ve crashed into. The man adjusts a badge on his hip and marches up to us. He gives us a once-over before asking, “Do you have any idea that you just damaged a federal vehicle?”

“You’re a cop?” I ask back, feeling relieved.

He shakes his head. “FBI.”

“Even better.”

Just then, the crowd chasing after us reaches the spot and both Tony and I duck behind the FBI agent. With their weapons flashing in the sunlight, they try to get to us as the agent steps forward and raises a hand to stop them. “May I ask why you gentlemen are running around with firearms in broad daylight?”

“Who’s asking” one of the men bark out.

“FBI special agent Jasper Whitlock.”

The hands holding weapons lower at the sound of his designation and one by one the men disperse. Agent Whitlock stares after them for a few moments before turning around to face me. “May I ask who you are and why they were following you?”

I fish out my id and hand it over to him. “I’m Isabella Barone. I work for Inside Out News. Those men are angry about an article I wrote …”

“Right,” he nods as he hands me back my id. “You’re the one who wrote the article about Jacob Black.”

I’m shocked to find out that even the FBI has read my article. “You’ve read it?”

He grins. “Ma’am, we’re humans. Everybody loves a little gossip.”

I straighten my back and shoot back, “It’s not gossip if it’s true.”

“Point well made,” he says.

“Anyway, you need to hurry,” I tell him. “There’s a girl in there … Royce King was physically abusing her. I witnessed it. We both did, right, Tony?” As I look to my side, I realize that the spot where Tony was is empty. What the fuck? Did the guy just ditch me?

“Who’s Tony?” Agent Whitlock asks.

“My junior journalist …” I answer, smiling in embarrassment. “I think he ran off after seeing the men.”

“In that case,” he pulls open his car door and holds it for me. “I’ll be happy to escort you to the station.”

“But the girl …”

He motions to his men walking up to the house. “My men are on it, Ma’am. You need to come with me and lodge a complaint with the police.”

I nod. “Let’s go then.”


Making my escape from Bella is easy thanks to her one-track mind being focused on the men charging us. I duck into a public restroom and change my clothes before contacting Esme. “Where’s James now?”

“Chasing after his car like a fool,” she answers. “How long should I stall him?”

“Enough stalling,” I tell her. “Take him to the place he took Bella to.”

“But …”

“NOW, Es!” I yell as I take off in that direction.

As I run, my muscles stretch like a well-oiled machine, and feeling the wind blow against my face is as exhilarating as it always is. “He’s there,” Esme’s voice says in my ear.

“So am I,” I answer as I pull on my mask.

For a second, I watch as Esme makes the Ferrari stall and James gets out of the car he took from his men. He approaches cautiously and starts throwing threats to the air. “Get out now, you bastard. Whoever you are, you’re gonna wish you never touched my car,” he shouts.

I sneak up to him from behind. He presses a remote and the convertible roof of the car retracts, revealing that it’s empty inside.

“What the fuck?” His frown is clear in his voice. “Is this a joke?”

That’s the moment I chose to jump at him from behind, pushing his head to the car’s windshield. He screams and flails his hands. “Who are you?” he yells.

I pull out a cable tie from my pocket and tie his hands to the steering wheel with his face looking away from me.

I take a seat in the back seat of his car and let out a satisfied sigh as I look at my handiwork.

“Who the fuck are you?” he shouts again.

“Take a guess,” I answer, egging him on.

“You’re that Virtuoso dude, aren’t you?” he asks after thinking for a moment.

“Bingo! See you’re not as dumb as you look.”

“Uncle Aro told me that you might come after me,” he says. “So it’s true then. You’re always around that newsgirl.”

I feel anger take hold of me as he addresses Bella so callously. “That newsgirl has a name,” I bite out.

He laughs. “Why are you so interested in her? She’s not even hot.”

She’s fucking beautiful, I want to say, but hold my tongue because he’s blind to that kind of beauty. Instead, I land a kick on his butt that’s facing me and say, “Don’t be an asshole just because you are a jerk. And for your information, I am not interested in her. I used her as a bait.”

“A bait?”

“Yes,” I answer. “To lure you out here.”

“If you needed to meet me so badly, you could’ve come to my office.”

“Well, if I did, I wouldn’t be able to do this …” I say as I push his head down and check his jacket pockets. I find two cell phones in there – one with a cracked screen which he obviously uses regularly. The other phone is shinier and newer and I figure that he doesn’t use it regularly … possibly to just contact his special clients.

I drop the first phone and hold the second up to him. “What’s the password for this?”

He has the balls to laugh. “You think I’ll just hand you the password on a platter?”

“Fair point.” shoving the phone in my pocket, I pull my own phone out and switch on the camera. “Say cheese, motherfucker,” I say before rapidly clicking a series of his pictures, all with his tied hands visible.

“What the fuck are you doing?” he demands, blinking at being momentarily blinded by the flash.

I stroke my chin and reply thoughtfully, “Well, I’m wondering what would happen when I hack into your security company’s website and post these images there. Maybe I’ll even add a caption giving myself the photo credit. What do you think?”

“Fucking asshole!” he curses out. “Why are you doing this?”

I hold up his phone to his face. “Give me the password.”

“James1,” he answers begrudgingly.

I nod and put in the password the screen lights up to reveal his ugly mug with an arm around a girl. “Fuckwit,” I can’t help but spit out and then start to search through his contact list. I feel my eyebrows pull together in confusion. “Why’s there only one contact in your list? The Owner.”

“T-that’s mm-my girlfriend,” he stutters, all bravado gone all of a sudden.

This must be what he’s afraid I’ll find, I realize. I start looking for media files in the phone. No images. Weird. That’s when I stumble upon it … a voice recording.

Hitting play, I hold the phone to my ear.

A voice I recognize as James’ says, “We’ve found the reporter who wrote that trash story about Mr. Black.”

An unknown voice retorts, “What have you done about it so far? I need results, James!”

“Yes, Sir,” James says. “We’ve figured out that she’s connected to Virtuoso, the mercenary, somehow. It’s like that son of a bitch is protecting her.”

“Get rid of him then,” the voice commands. “Or do I need to call your uncle Aro to tell him how you’ve been slacking?”

The recording stops and I hold the phone up to James’ face. “Who are you talking to here? Who’s The Owner?”

James cries out in  pain as I pull his hair from behind. “Come on, man! You know I can’t tell you. What happened to the business code? We’re both on the same line of work here.”

I yank on his head just a little more and snap at him, “I’m nothing like you! And if you won’t tell me who he is, how about I call him then? Shall I call him and say that his little bitch spilled the beans on him to me?”

At the mention of him, James starts shaking like a dead leaf. “Please, don’t do this,” he pleads. “I’m telling you the truth. I don’t know the man. I’ve only talked to him over phone.”

Narrowing my eyes, I ask, “How did you come across him?”

“A few months back, Uncle Aro told me that this man bought our security company in the stock market. He holds the major shares of Volturi Guards. That’s all I know.”

“And you have no idea who you work for?” I ask incredulously.

He shakes his head. “I’ve only spoken to him twice. He usually communicates with my uncle. Please let me go.”

Judging by the way his knees are shaking, I decide to accept his answers and get out of his car. “Well, James, I’m sure your men will find you here,” I tell him as I drop his phones in the back seat of the car. “Pray you never cross my path again.”

A/N: Share your thoughts with me and leave a review.

Thanks for reading.

See you Friday.

Take care.


Imagination Express#3: The Doctor

Hi, guys! Welcome back to Imagination Express!

Imagination Express is where we let our imaginations run wild! And it will give YOU, my dear readers, a chance to write a story of your own. Wanna know how it works? Well, first, I give you a 6-word story by yours truly written using a word prompt. You get to enjoy it, and then, you are welcome to share your own interpretation of that 6-word story in the form of a drabble story of no more than 100 words. Sounds fun, right?

So here’s the new 6-word story for you written using the prompt – The Doctor.


Discarded stethoscope. Time of death, midnight.


Now let your imaginations run wild and write a story for ME in the comments! Remember the word limit is 100 words. Please include your word count and twitter handle (if you have it) in your comments so I can give a twitter shout out to those who write for me. 😉

Happy imagining!



Bookworm Express: Seduce Me At Sunrise – Lisa Kleypas


One little word.

One word that can encompass the whole world.

Have you ever been so in love that that very love scared you? That you were afraid of hurting the object of your affection because you loved them too much?

Today’s Bookworm Express features a story of one such love.

This week, Scribbler Alliance brings you the second novel from Lisa Kleypas’ The Hathaways series, Seduce Me At Sunrise.

Seduce Me At Sunrise

The love story unfolds between the prim and proper daughter of a respectable scholar, Miss Winnifred Hathaway and the gypsy boy her father rescued from a fighting ring, Kev Merripen. Physically, they couldn’t be more different. While Merripen is strong and well-built with a brute force about him, Win is delicate like a china doll. On emotional level, however, both of them are good at hiding their true feelings, putting on a mask for appearances sake.

What starts as a friendship born of their wish to protect the other, turns into love when Win has to leave England for France to undergo therapy. Merripen is left confused and angry when Win leaves him and takes his heart with her. In the following years, he tries his best to forget her, keeping himself occupied with various projects. When Win returns, stronger and more beautiful than ever, he’s determined to fight his love for her, afraid of his own strength to hurt her. However, all of Merripen’s will evaporates when another suitor appears to fight him for Win’s affections.

As Win battles herself to decide between spending all her life loving and pining away for the man she loves and making the sensible choice, Merripen fights his own demons that threaten to overwhelm him.

Here’s a little excerpt from the novel to tickle your fancy:


She approached Merripen cautiously. It was obvious he was aroused. Painfully so. She wanted to touch him again. Most of all she wanted him to put his arms around her and tell her how overjoyed he was to have her back.

But he spoke before she reached him. And his tone was not encouraging. “If you touch me,” he said in a guttural voice, “I’m going to drag you back to that bed. And I won’t be responsible for what happens next.”

Win stopped, plaiting her fingers.

Eventually Merripen recovered his breath. And he gave her a glance that should have immolated her on the spot.

“Next time,” he said flatly, “some advance warning of your arrival might be a good idea.”

“I did send advance notice.” Win was amazed that she could even speak. “It must have been lost.” She paused. “That was a f-far warmer welcome than I expected, considering the way you’ve ignored me for the past two years.”

“I haven’t ignored you.”

Win took quick refuge in sarcasm. “You wrote to me once in two years.”

Merripen turned and rested his back against the wall. “You didn’t need letters from me.”

“I needed any small sign of affection! And you gave me none.” She stared at him incredulously as he remained silent. “For heaven’s sake, Kev, aren’t you even going to say that you’re glad I’m well again?”

“I’m glad you’re well again.”

“Then why are you behaving this way?”

“Because nothing else has changed.”

“You’ve changed,” she shot back. “I don’t know you anymore.”

“That’s as it should be.”


Love hurts, doesn’t it? But sometimes, the pain is what we need to know that it’s real.

Time for my review. First off, I wanted to kick Merripen where it would hurt the most for being so stubborn, but then I also wanted to wrap my arms around him because on the inside, he was a boy afraid to hurt the only one he has ever loved. Lisa Kleypas writes a love story that makes you yearn for that kind of love, to be able to love someone so much that you’ll fight yourself to choose what’s best for that person. The writing is so beautifully articulate and sensual, it keeps making you turn the page until you hit the end mark and then wish there was a few more pages to go. In Anne’s scale this book gets 4.8 stars out of 5 stars. I’m deducting a little bit of it because I wanted Merripen to apologize to Win for hurting her through his rejections, but the way he loves her makes up for it … almost.

Thank you for visiting. If there’s any book you’d like us to review, let us know in your comments. A new section named Imagination Express has started where YOU, my readers, will have the opportunity to write for ME. So stay tuned for Imagination Express tomorrow.



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