Title: A STEEL TOWN
Series: A Gateway to Love, #3
Author: Chloe T. Barlow
Genre: New Adult, Romantic Suspense, Mystery, Contemporary Romance
Release Date: January 11, 2016
BlurbHow do you protect the woman you love, when you fear you are the very person who could destroy her?
Claudia McCoy has been told what she can't do enough for one lifetime. After a near-fatal childhood battle with juvenile diabetes and having to accept that her dreams of serving in the military would never come true, she's thrilled to begin a life on her own terms. Yet, when she finally starts her career in the FBI, Claudia is furious that her condition and overbearing big brother, Wyatt, have both once again interfered with her ability to have the life she truly wants. Now derailed from her high-profile aspirations of a position in the FBI's D.C. headquarters, she is instead planted far away from the real action, and practically right in her brother's Pittsburgh backyard.
Trey Adler is known for fixing things, but he's broken just as many — leaving him with regrets that never go away. He'd be the first to agree he should stay away from a nice girl like Claudia, but he can't deny his friend Jenna Sutherland's request when she asks him to use his position as a temporary FBI consultant to keep Claudia safe — especially as it's clear this little firecracker needs protecting. Far away from all the action she so craves, Claudia is more determined than ever to prove herself in her first major investigation at whatever cost — and those costs are proving to be dangerously high.
Their battle of wills turns quickly into a powerful need for one other, making them both rethink everything they ever wanted.
Will Trey be able to keep her alive long enough to give them an opportunity at something real together — a future that can survive the danger in their present, as well as the darkness of his past?
Preorder for 99¢ on iBooks!*This title will be available on all ebook platforms, but this preorder provides immediate access to the prologue through chapter two of A Steel Town!*
EXCERPT - A Steel TownClaudia's mouth didn't seem to work. All she could do was stare at his naked chest, transfixed by so much artwork and his pierced nipples — the way his skin was still shiny with the remnants of his unintentional shower.
After her silence continued for an almost interminable amount of time, he looked down and smirked at her. The twist of his lips yanked her back into reality.
"Did it hurt?" she finally asked, tilting her head up to meet his eyes.
"When I fell from heaven?"
"No. All that stuff on your chest," she said, waving her hand back and forth in the direction of his chest.
"Here," he purred, before taking her hand and placing it gently against one of his pecs. His skin was damp and warm against her palm, and the cool pressure of his metal piercing caused something deep inside her stomach to clench and relax repeatedly. "Does it feel like it hurts, Claudia?"
"It feels…" Her mouth was dry and her throat spasmed in a way she couldn't control. She peered down at her olive-toned hand as it rested against the tanned skin covering his heart. She could feel its beat beneath her quivering hand. Though his face was still, she sensed the pace of his pulse quicken the longer she touched him, and that knowledge made her hand quiver in response.
Then something struck her, and she couldn't hold the thought inside. Looking up into his sharp gray eyes, Claudia licked her lips and asked, "Why don't you have a tattoo here, Trey? You have them all over your chest, but not here where your heart beats."
Trey's face twisted slightly and he backed away from her. The sudden removal of his warm skin from her touch filled her with a chilling sense of loss.
"I told you — just one question," he stated so sternly that it felt like she was being chastised for something.
Trey turned away from her and reached for his shirt off her kitchen counter. Yet, her frustration with his repeated bullshit and her own abysmal inability to manage any moment she shared with him was impossible to deny. Before she knew it, Claudia grabbed him by the waistband of his jeans and spun him back around to face her.
"I never agreed to you being an ass afterward."
Claudia didn't know who she was more aggravated with — Trey for being so stubborn, or herself for always having such a knack at killing a mood. Other girls seemed to know how to get a guy's attention, and hold it without saying something stupid, but Claudia just couldn't help herself. Her mind always had to make itself heard, and in this instance her body was getting the losing end of the stick.
"More conditions, little one?"
"Yes. You're not the only one who gets to lay down ground rules. You always want to boss me around…"
"Oh, so it's your turn now?"
"Maybe it is."
"I happen to like bossing you around. Why do you think I should share all the fun?" he asked, a smirk playing on his face, making him completely unreadable to her. Claudia crossed her arms over her chest and huffed out a hard breath.
"You'd better think about it, because you're pissing me off. I don't know what else to do to reason with you, or make you talk to me, unless you want me to go back to potentially wounding you."
"I don't think that's why you're upset."
"Oh, you don't? Because you know everything there is to know about the world?"
"I didn't say that. And that was another question. You're going to owe me a lot if you keep trying to change all the rules."
"You're in my house, you son of a bitch…"
"Shhh… I'm sorry. How about this…" Trey eased toward her, a sly grin creeping across his face.
Before she could collect herself, Trey grabbed her by the waist and hoisted her onto her kitchen table, so her knees just barely grazed the sides of his denim-covered thighs.
"Fine. I'll answer your question about the bare spot over my heart, but you have to answer one for me. And you better tell the truth."
Now you can experience the first half of the critically acclaimed Gateway to Love series, which takes you on a twisting and turning roller coaster ride of romance and suspense from Pittsburgh, to New York, and Shanghai, all in one sitting! Like the succession of rings from a stone hurled into a pond, one cataclysmic moment can send unseen ripples of change throughout many lifetimes — the effects of which can be both unknown, and seductive. When Althea Taylor became a widow at twenty-four, she could never have predicted how many lives the mysterious death of her husband, Jack Taylor, would eventually change forever. In her Gateway to Love series, Chloe Barlow tells the sexy and emotional tales of the many lives, and loves, inexorably connected to this tragic, and suspicious loss. Each story is a fully contained standalone, with no cliffhangers. Yet, secrets and thrills imbue each page, continuing into the next story in a way, which has kept readers around the world eager for each upcoming installment. In Three Rivers we meet Althea and her best friends, Jenna and Aubrey, who encourage her to take a baby step toward a new life beyond grief, if only for one night, with an irresistible stranger. Griffen Tate certainly fit that bill, but he is not who he seems. In fact, he is so much more; as are the many secrets he keeps. Next, in City of Champions, orthopedic surgeon Dr. Jenna Sutherland fights to resist injured NFL quarterback, Wyatt McCoy, a man who's willing to do anything to stay on the field. Can their torrid secret holiday affair make it through to the New Year, and overcome hidden threats at every turn? And in Shanghai Wind, the most suspenseful installment yet, we meet Feng and Colin. These two fell hard for each other when Colin was an eighteen-year-old bad boy forced to stay with Feng's family in Shanghai. Yet, Colin would go on to break every promise he ever made to her. These high stakes aren't just for their hearts — it could be for their lives.
Chloe is a contemporary romance novelist living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with her husband and their sweet puppy. Chloe has always loved writing and cherishes the opportunity to craft her fictional novels and share them with the world. When Chloe isn’t writing, she spends her time exploring Pittsburgh with her husband and friends. She also enjoys yoga, jogging, and all Pittsburgh sports. She is an avid reader and wrote her debut novel Three Rivers in her spare time. She loves to research every last detail relating to her books. For example, in an effort to bring authenticity to Three River’s treatment of grief and loss, she consulted with a psychologist and grief counselor during its preparation.
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