Title: My Only One
Author: Charlotte O’Shay
Genre: Romantic Suspense
My Only One, Book One of the Fortunato Family series, is a friends to lovers, romantic suspense that’s chock full of feels. Esme:
We grew up in side-by-side New York City tenements. Shane was my first friend, my first crush, and when he enlisted, my unforgettable heartbreak. When fate brings us back together after ten years, I’m in a world of danger. But I’m not a kid anymore and I know what I want. Shane and I have a second chance at forever and there’s no way I’ll lose him again. Shane:
Brilliant, beautiful, bound for success, Esme was the girl next door and a temptation I had to resist. I was too old for her, but I couldn’t forget her. When we meet again after ten long years, she’s caught in the crosshairs of a deadly drug kingpin. But I wear a badge now. Nothing will stop me from protecting the woman who claimed me—heart and soul—so long ago. I’ll keep Esme safe or die trying. Time’s running out for Esme to pay her father’s debt to the cartel.
The rough as gravel voice bellowing my name was raw with disbelief. I faltered, my gait unsteady. It took me a second to recognize the voice even though I hadn’t heard it in ten years. Even though I never thought I’d hear it again. It was deeper, gruffer than before. And yet somehow, it enveloped me like a warm blanket. Had I collapsed? Was I hallucinating? Probably not because the chill April air blowing in from the river was whipping my hair into my eyes. I swiped a hand across my face to brush it away so I could see, swaying as my numb legs slowed to a stumbling walk.
It was him. Shane. Everything in me stilled. Calmed.
I stopped moving but I couldn’t see more than shadows. My vision was disoriented by the glare of the lamp-post I stood under as well as the klieg-type security lights, which stayed lit twenty-four seven in certain parts of the World Trade Center area. Instinctively, I backed out from under the spotlight of the lamp-post. For all I knew, Rojas’s guy was right behind me.
“Esme!” The voice carried the weight of command, the authority to halt me right there at the corner of Liberty and West Streets. Now that I’d finally stopped moving it took effort to remain upright when all I wanted was to sink into the pavement like summer rain on sun-parched earth. I stopped my freefall by bending forward, bracing my palms on my scraped knees, hauling in gasping breaths, feeling the sting of every tiny cut on the bottom of my feet. On top of that my muscles were burning in shocked surprise at my impromptu workout. High school track was almost ten years ago.
Had tonight’s traumatic events pushed me into a dream state where my deepest desires became reality? Was I so weak I’d conjured him up out of my pathetic need for comfort and security? Giving in, I turned, hopeful, but not believing. His protective nature and friendly, twinkling eyes had once been everything to me. Everything masculine, everything sexy, quite simply everything to fifteen-year-old me. In truth, Shane Joseph Fortunato, eldest child in his big family, meant everything to me from the first time he welcomed me, him a beanpole twelve-year-old boy offering a can of soda to the new kid on the block— the shy, Spanish speaking five year old who moved next door to the boisterous Fortunato family.
“Esme, it is you.” Deep and incredulous, his voice carried from the passenger seat of a beat up Nissan sedan stopped at the light. In seconds he was out of the car and coming toward me, his loose-limbed stride purposeful. I froze. I couldn’t have moved if my life depended on it and man, I hoped it didn’t because I’d do anything to stay put, right here, with Shane.
He muttered something over his shoulder to the driver who took off with the light change. Then he stood there, his physique nothing like the lean frame of the twenty-one-year-old Shane I remembered. His bulky, thickly muscled shoulders strained the fabric of his gray tee shirt as he shrugged into a leather jacket and stuffed his big hands into the front pockets of his black jeans.
He stared, shock evident in his unsmiling eyes as he leveled his intense blue gaze on me, his expression severe, critically intent and so different from the laughing Shane of our childhoods. He didn’t miss one bit of the grime-streaked, perspiration soaked dress I’d rented, the once sophisticated up-do of my long hair, presently hanging down my back in a sweaty tumble. His hard gaze narrowed on my cut up, grimy feet, scraped knees and elbow before skimming back up to my face. I wanted to laugh at the irony. After all this time, this was so not the way I pictured meeting Shane again. And God help me, I’d pictured our reunion way too many times to count.
But none of that mattered now. I had to keep my focus and keep going.
“Shane.” I raised my chin then dropped it down quickly in a nod of acknowledgement, my voice a little breathless from an hour of running but happily quite steady, as if meeting Shane Fortunato on a random city street, after midnight for the first time in ten years—with me, grubby and barefoot, was no big deal.
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What makes your featured book a must-read?
My Only One is where the Fortunato Family saga begins. Esme and Shane’s story is a friends to lovers, “high stakes” romantic suspense set in NYC. My Only One is an award-winning “adrenaline rush” you’ll want to read before Finn’s story is released this fall. Let me know what you think at email@example.com
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There's only one thing best-selling, award-winning author Charlotte O'Shay loves more than reading steamy, page-turning, contemporary romance where happily ever after always wins.
Her writing has been called "intoxicating, emotional and irresistible." N.N.Light BookHeaven
Inspirations: Mac, her ever-growing family and New York City
Influences: Bruce Springsteen, Audrey Hepburn, red wine, Terminator, Gladiator, all the other 'ator movies.
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