By: Sylvie Fox
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Jessie Morales chose her career over love two years ago. Now she’s finally seeing her hard choices pay off. A possible promotion to the KESP news desk is in the works. Except, right after her boss gives her the good news—an earthquake hits, leaving her trapped in an elevator facing the demons from her past.
LAPD officer Cameron Becker is still recovering from the aftershocks of the earthquake when his estranged wife calls—panicked and trapped. He doesn’t hesitate to rush to her rescue. He lost her once. He can’t lose her again.
Yet, when the physical danger has passed, unforgotten longing rises to the surface. He’d made a solemn vow on their wedding day: Once mine, always mine. But Jessie’s not convinced. The fallout from their first breakup nearly broke her—she can’t risk the devastation a second time.
With both their careers on the line, both of their families determined to keep them apart, and the unresolved betrayals from the past, can Cameron convince Jessie to take a risk when fate offers them a second chance?
“I didn’t ask you to come to the U.S., Mama.”
“What was I supposed to do? You were dying there in Mexico. You couldn’t leave the apartment. The doctors we were seeing there only gave you drugs that made you a zombie. I couldn’t take care of you all day and work. El coyote promised good, free medical care on this side of the border. So I did what I had to do. What any mother would have done.”
On that single thing, the coyote had been as good as his word.
“And you’ll never let me forget it,” Jessie said in an unusual show of defiance. Maybe she’d gotten some backbone in their years apart. He’d seen a little bit of it this morning, and more now.
“What is there to forget, mija? I uprooted my whole family for you. We don’t expect anything in return, except a little help from time to time.”
“Mama, I helped you buy this house. I pay some of the bills—”
“What about Dolores? She listened to you and went to Cal State. Took out those loans. But without papers, she can’t get any kind of job. She needs help to get her green card.”
“If I get a promotion, Mama, I’ll be in a better position to help.”
“If I get this job, Mama. If I get married, Mama. Nothing has changed but you.”
Jessie looked at Dolores’ eyes, pleading for someone to stand with her. But her sister said nothing, just rearranged her body for maximum comfort. Why couldn’t they see that Jessie had gone above and beyond? They weren’t doing anything to help themselves. His wife wasn’t Superwoman.
“The empanadas were very good, Mrs. Prado,” Cameron said, ready to get his wife the hell out of here before her family sucked the very life from her. Where he’d been annoyed this morning with her notions about buying a place, he could see now that she needed it. Needed somewhere and something to call her own. He wanted more for her. He wanted to be the one to give her what she required.
After a long commentary in Spanish, Dolores translated a single sentence. “Mama wants to know what you’re really doing here.”
He hadn’t known why he was there an hour ago. But he was sure now. More sure than he’d been in years.
“I’m here to get my wife back.”
"Shaken" is the story of Cameron and Jessie - an estranged married couple. First, let me say that I enjoy Ms. Fox and her writing style. I found that each character and scene is described so that the reader understands the thoughts and feelings of the characters as well as where they are and what is happening. As for the characters themselves, Cameron, an LAPD officer, is terrific! He hates that he's not with his wife anymore and wants to fight to get her back. I was rooting for him the whole way, although, at times, Jessie frustrated me so, I wanted to tell him to run! Jessie, an independent woman that works hard to support herself and mother and sister, has chosen everything else over her marriage. This really didn't sit well with me, being the true romantic I am. So often throughout, I wanted to just shake her and make her open her eyes. Again, Ms. Fox does a great job of showing the diversity of different cultures and the affects that those cultures have on the lives of people involved. For me, this was an ok read. (received copy for honest review)
Sylvie Fox is the author of seven novels: contemporary romance, women’s fiction, and legal thrillers. She is the author of Unlikely, Impasse and Shaken from the L.A. Nights Series of sexy romances, Qualified Immunity and Under Color of Law from Casey Cort series of legal thrillers, and Don’t Judge Me from the Judgment Series. In Plain Sight, the third Casey Cort Novel and The Secret Widow the second book in the Judgment Series will release in fall 2015.
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