When at war, aim for the heart…
BETWEEN LOVE AND LOYALTY
Releasing Oct 18th, 2016
When at war, aim for the heart…
Connor Duffy is desperate. His tell-all book on corrupt Chicago alderman Brady Cavanagh isn’t telling enough to get publisher interest, and in order to get the hot dirt, he must find a way to get closer to the man who let Connor go to prison to cover for his own son’s misdeeds. So when fate puts Cavanagh’s lively, artsy daughter across Connor’s path, he decides to take advantage of the first bit of good luck he’s had in a long while.
… but don't forget to keep your own under guard.
Fiona Cavanagh needs a break. Between assisting with her father’s political campaign, trying to please her unpleasable mother, and dealing with an ex who won’t go away, she has no time for a life of her own. One night she meets sexy and mysterious Connor and everything looks like it’s about to finally turn around… until she discovers that the one man she thought she could love was using her to get to her father. As dark family secrets unravel around her, Fiona finds herself caught between love... and loyalty.
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Aiden stared into his eyes, and Connor knew when recognition hit. So much for his costume being a disguise. The damn thing hadn’t helped at all.
“Holy fuck. What the hell are you doing here?”
A range of emotions crossed Aiden’s face before Connor could develop an answer for Aiden’s question. “You’re the guy Fiona’s with? What the fuck are you doing with my sister?”
A smirk lifted Connor’s mouth. “You really want the answer?”
Aiden stepped forward with fists clenched.
Connor glanced down at Aiden’s hands. “You might want to rethink. Remember what happened last time.”
“I was drunk and high last time. I’m in full control of my faculties now. I knew you hated me, but why the hell would you go after Fiona?”
The accusation poked at him, but the conversation felt natural. Just like it always had with his friend. “I didn’t go after her. She came onto me at a bar and introduced herself as Fiona Wells.”
“But you knew who she was.” Aiden’s gaze shifted.
“Yeah, but surprisingly, I never lied about my name and it didn’t ring any bells for her.”
“She was away at school. She never knew.” Aiden’s shoulders sagged.
Connor could almost feel the weight pushing between them, compressing the past into a flurry of emotions. If only he could turn back the clock. The number of things he’d do differently. He couldn’t help but wonder if he and Aiden would still be friends if things had taken a different course.
“You can’t continue to see her.”
“Why not? Afraid of the truth?”
Aiden’s weary gaze met his. “Hell, yeah. I care about her. If you want to come after me then bring it, but Fiona isn’t part of this.”
Connor was taken back by Aiden’s honesty. “She made herself part of it.”
“I tried to make things right. You know I did.”
Old anger swelled in Connor’s chest. “There is no making this right unless you tell everyone the truth. Are you prepared to do that?”
Aiden shook his head. “I can’t.”
“That’s what I thought.”
“It wouldn’t change anything anyway.” He took a deep breath and stared out at the street. “I’ll tell her to stay away from you.”
“I’m sure you will, but she doesn’t strike me as the type of woman to listen to her big brother.” Besides, Connor knew Aiden wouldn’t tell Fiona the whole truth out of fear that Fiona would get to hear Connor’s side of the story. Connor could tell her and possibly ruin Aiden’s relationship with her, but it wouldn’t be enough. Brady Cavanagh wouldn’t suffer.
Aiden took another step. They stood eye-to-eye. “I’ve reformed my life, but if you hurt her, I will come after you.”
“You can try.” Deep down, Connor knew he might hurt Fiona, but the chances of her destroying him were much greater.
Political scandals abound in this story of finding love where you least expect it.
Connor made a choice years ago as a young adult, a choice that he thought was the right thing, a choice that now all the consequences are arriving he's realized wasn't a good thing at all. He didn't know what was going to happen to himself, to his life, to his future back then and now that he does, know that he's seeing the reality of his situation, he's out for one thing, Revenge. Alderman Brady Cavanagh is the man responsible for his life situation, the man who is corrupt and bad and needs to be removed from public office and Connor will stop at nothing to see that done. Until he meets Fiona Cavanagh and finds himself lost to her charms.
If there's anything Fiona dislikes its the feeling of not being herself. Her family expects this of her and that of her, but nobody ever asks or wonders what she wants for herself. Fiona loves her family, but she doesn't care about their political aspirations, she doesn't care about dressing up in designer fashion and parading about lavish parties. Meeting Connor, who doesn't appear to recognize her as a Cavanagh, gives her an escape from the stress of being the aldermans daughter. Gives her a chance to be just Fiona.
Though their relationship initially starts out built on semi-lies and half truths, their connection grows and soon becomes much more. The budding love makes Connor focus less on revene on more on his happiness with Fiona while it makes Fiona want to go against her family and be who she is. I loved the struggles shown between Fiona and her desire to be a part of her family, but also her own person, and Connor's struggles to give up his revenge plot for love of the good woman he's found in Fiona.
Between Love & Loyalty brought a host of emotions into play and also several life lessons. Fiona learned the hard lesson that sometimes the people we love the most, those we'd trust with anything are often the ones who hurt us the most when we discover the truth about their character. Connor learned that sometimes revenge is not the way and that people are not always who we think to them to be on first impression. And above all I think everyone in the story learned that sometimes people can earn second chances and deserve them.
I loved how this story played off both sides, we got to see how Fiona was with her family, how they interacted, get to see her inner feelings, and we got to see how Connor had been affected by his past decision, how he blamed it all on Brady and wanted to use anything he could to bring the man down a peg or two. I loved that when the truth came out, that both Fiona and Connor did for the other what they thought was what they wanted rather than trying to make themselves happy. It showed a depth of character and how much the two had grown throughout the experience.
Shannyn Schroeder is the author of the O’Leary series, contemporary romances centered around a large Irish-American family in Chicago and the Hot & Nerdy series about 3 nerdy friends finding love. Her new series (For Your Love) will release this summer with the first title Under Your Skin. When she’s not wrangling her three kids or writing, she watches a ton of TV and loves to bake cookies.