Book: Upper Hand
Series: Cedar Tree #5
Author: Freya Barker
Cover Designed: Margreet Asselbergs
Model: Alfie Gordillo
Photographer: Reggie Deanching of R+M Photography
Hosted By: Francessca’s Romance Reviews
More often than not, Clint Mason has his foot firmly wedged in his mouth, which tends to get him in plenty of hot water with the ladies. Although his laid back good ole’ Southern charm does not fly far with the female population of Cedar Tree, the big burly contractor hides his dark side well.
The only one Beth Franklin allows herself to rely on is Beth, and so far that has served her well. Just when her son disappears after dropping his little guy off on her doorstep, her life seems to spiral out of control. For the first time ever, fearing for his safety, the fiercely independent waitress is forced to be on the receiving end of a helping hand. That’s not easy for her, especially since the shovel-sized hand belongs to a man whose approach has run hot and cold the last year, leaving her feeling off balance. With a steady and commanding force, he exposes her softer side, while doing everything he can to keep her and those close to her safe.
**Due to some content of a sexually explicit nature, this book is recommended for a mature audience only.**
EXCERPT for reading:
I watch her puttering around the kitchen wondering whether I should call her on the strange mood she’s been in since she got home. It’s not even nine-thirty yet, by all accounts early for a Saturday night and what better way to spend it than try and make some headway with this stubborn woman.
“You okay, Beth? You’ve been a bit off since you got home from the diner, is it that time of the month?”
With a clatter the spoon she was holding to scoop coffee grinds drops to the counter and I realize in that moment I probably just fucked up again.
Damn that woman can look angry.
“I just meant that you seemed a bit off, like you weren’t feeling well or something.” I struggle to recover but once unleashed, there is no escaping the wrath of Beth.
“I’m off and so being a woman it must be my time of the month? Un-fucking-believable! You are such a Neanderthal, Clint. What do you call it when a guy is ‘off’, huh? Oh wait, that’s right, men stronger than that, right? Not bothered by ‘little’ things that would affect only us ‘fragile’ women?” The sarcasm is dripping off and before I have a chance to throw up a defense, she’s back in action, the coffee spoon clutched in her hand, waving around like a weapon. “For your information, buster, I haven’t had a period since the doctor removed my chicken coop twelve years ago!”
I swear I try to follow what she’s saying and I think I’m doing okay until she brings up a chicken coop. Confused I shake my head and repeat it back to her.
For a minute I think the dramatic eye roll is all I’ll get for an answer, when in reality she’s just gathering steam. Fucked up as it may be, it makes me harder than steel to see her all riled up. My cock is straining behind my zipper to the point of serious self-mutilation.
“Oh. Em. Gee. Yes Clint. Chicken coop. The works. The baby factory. I had a hysterectomy, you baboon!”
Okay, sue me, but all I can think right now is the promise of sliding into her without the barrier of a condom between us. Fuck yeah.
EXCERPT for reading:
Her hands on her rounded hips in challenge, she stirs the darker side of me. A challenge like that is not wasted on me and before she can blink I am on her. My arms pull her tight into my body, one hand sliding down to clasp that luscious ass and the other one tugging at the damn elastic band in her hair so I can weave my finger through.
Eyes wide and mouth opening in what I assume to be protest, I take away that option forcing her to swallow her words when I slam my mouth down on hers. Hands that were braced against my chest in rejection, slowly curl to find purchase in my shirt as my mouth eats at hers in a dance for the upper hand.
Her whimper along with the moulding of her body to mine shows me that underneath that bristly fierce creature lives a woman who craves giving up control. Who despite the tight reigns she keeps on her life and everyone in it, secretly wants to let go. The knowledge that I’m able to bring that out in her makes my chest swell with emotion. Fuck yeah.
With Beth wedged between my body and the counter I hold her head in place with my hand tangled in her hair, while the other hand goes exploring. Over her soft hips to the dip of her waist, skimming the slight swell of her stomach I can feel her suck in, to the weight of her breast overflowing my palm. I pull back slightly, leaving my lips barely touching hers and will her eyes to open to mine. I need to see her reaction as I use thumb and forefinger to sharply pinch and tug on her nipple poking through the lace of her bra. The sharp hiss and instant darkening of her chocolate brown eyes tells me enough.
“Bed,” I mumble against her mouth. “I need my mouth on you in the worst possible way and I’ll end up on my face if we don’t get horizontal right fucking now.”
What Others Are Saying
I just took a wonderful trip back to Cedar Tree. Freya Barker is a brilliant, creative, and freaking amazing writer. I love her stories. I love her characters. She delivers another great addition to the series. ~ Goodreads Review
This is my second Freya Barker book and I loved it! Her writing style is so down to earth and it’s a refreshing change from all the fluffy stories I come across. Her characters are just people, not glamour dolls. ~ Goodreads Review
The suspense plot line is well thought out and paced. Love this series and am anxious to read more from this author. ~ Goodreads Review
I love the excellent mix of romance, humor, and mystery that is woven through the book. A page turner from beginning to end. Definitely recommend! ~ Goodreads Review
About The Author
Freya Barker craved reading about 'real' people, those who are perhaps less than perfect, but just as deserving of romance, hot monkey sex and some thrills and chills in their lives – So she decided to write about them. Always creative, from an early age on she danced and sang, doodled, created, cooked, baked, quilted and crafted. Her latest creative outlets were influenced by an ever-present love for reading. First through blogging, then cover art and design, and finally writing. Born and raised in the Netherlands, she packed her two toddlers, and eight suitcases filled with toys to move to Canada. No stranger to new beginnings, she thrives on them. With the kids grown and out in the world, Freya is at the ‘prime’ of her life. The body might be a bit ramshackle, but the spirit is high and as adventurous as ever. Something you may see reflected here and there in some of her heroines.... none of who will likely be wilting flowers.
CEDAR TREE Sales Links:
Slim To None (#1)
Hundred To One (#2)
Against Me (#3)
Also by Freya Barker:
”FROM DUST”A Standalone Dark Emotional Romance Novel