Title: The Power to See
Author: Jennifer Anne DavisPublished: May 16th, 2014 by Crimson Tree PublishingWord Count: 99,000Genre: NA Crime, Suspense, RomanceContent Warning: Graphic violence, sexual themes including assault, adult language, and drug usageRecommended Age: 18+
At first glance, twenty-two-year-old Brianna’s life seems perfect. But she harbors a deadly secret—her father is the leader of a ruthless drug cartel. Brianna struggles to find her place in a world her father meticulously controls, and believes she is nothing but a pawn in her father’s deadly games.After graduating from college with an enormous debt, Dominic finds himself lured by money and power into a job that appears too good to be true. He doesn’t realize he works for a drug cartel until he’s in too deep. Trying to keep his family safe, he takes a deal offered by Brianna’s father and agrees to marry Brianna while continuing to work for the cartel.1021Brianna and Dominic must rely on one another as their lives become further entwined in the lethal drug world. When Dominic discovers a deadly secret, he begins to question everything and turns to Brianna for support. However, Brianna’s heart belongs to another man—an undercover DEA agent.The DEA closes in on the drug cartel, forcing Brianna and Dominic to choose sides, igniting a battle between family loyalty, love, and survival. Brianna soon realizes that she may be the only person capable of bringing down her father’s empire—if she can find a way to outsmart the master manipulator, without losing herself, and her heart, in the process.
Excerpt:There was a soft knock on her door. Matt popped his head in, making her flush. As much as she fought against it, Brianna had to admit, Matt was hot. She hadn’t seen him since their dinner the other night. There was something different about him from other men she’d known. She liked that Matt was intelligent and highly sought after in the law field. Even though he was confident, he wasn’t cocky, and there was something gentle about him. She couldn’t put her finger on it, but she liked that he seemed interested in getting to know her. It was a refreshing change. Of course, it was also nice that Matt was untouched by her father.“Do you have any plans for the weekend?” he asked, giving her a half smile.“Nothing too exciting. I have a lot to do before we meet with the judge on Monday.”“Well, you can’t work all weekend, so I have a proposition for you.” Matt walked in and sat on the edge of Brianna’s desk, pulling two tickets from his shirt pocket. “I’m taking you to a baseball game Saturday night.”Did he just ask her out? Was Matt interested in her? This wasn’t good. Why couldn’t Matt be married or unattractive? Why did she have to meet him now? “I don’t know,” she managed to say.“You owe me a dinner,” Matt reminded her, the dimple in his cheek showing.“I can’t.” She really wanted to, but her father would never approve.Matt raised his eyebrows. “I’m not asking you out on a date, so don’t get all defensive. I’m simply asking you to a baseball game, and it’s work related if that makes you feel any better.” He leaned in close, smiling like they shared a secret.Why did he have to keep looking at her like that? “Work related how?” she asked. Perhaps there was a way to get her father’s approval.“The firm has a box. So, technically it’s a work function.”“Is anyone else going?”“No,” he whispered.Brianna wanted to be alone with Matt, but she wasn’t sure she could control herself around him. Salazar’s plan was very direct and specific, and Matt was definitely not a part of the plan. She couldn’t afford to lose focus now. But the way Matt sat on the desk, his smile, those eyes—she was drawn to him. She closed her eyes, smelling his musky scent. Not once in Brianna’s life had Salazar ever asked her what she wanted. Everything was planned and she was expected to go along with it. Against her better judgment, she agreed to go to the game.“I’ll pick you up at six.” Matt smiled. He slid from her desk and strolled to the door.
It was hard for Dominic to imagine Brianna friendless. Her voice was desperate and he realized she must be lonely. He wanted to be the one to fill that void. “Brianna, I know we each want a real marriage, and we’re hoping we can make this work—that we can be happy. But before we can have a marriage and truly be in love with one another, we need to be friends. Sometimes great love develops through friendship.”
She hugged Dominic. “Why did you take this job?” she cried. “You’re such a nice guy—you’re nothing like him. How can you do it? How can you work for him?”
Dominic almost lost his train of thought with her arms wrapped tightly around him. He smelled her sweet perfume and felt the warmth of her body. He held her tight, not wanting to let go. “So far he seems nice. We get along, although he’s a little bossy at times.”
“He’s a monster,” Brianna said. “He somehow managed to have me drugged with GHB.”
Dominic flinched. The last time they spoke, Salazar suggested Dominic give her something to loosen her up. “What’s GHB?” he asked, afraid of the answer.
“The date rape drug. It’s the only thing. A glass of wine wouldn’t make me drunk, and it sure as heck wouldn’t make me forget what happened. The way you describe my behavior is consistent with someone who has been given GHB. And the room—it was all romantic and neither one of us did that. It was my father.”
What dad would do that? “It doesn’t make any sense,” Dominic said, not wanting to believe her.
Brianna’s body shook. “In case you haven’t figured it out, Salazar isn’t your typical father. He lives in a different world than what you’re used to. Salazar’s life is centered on family—and his drug empire is part of that family. To him, blood is what binds. Now that he has chosen you as his successor, our marriage will tie us, but you won’t be bound until you’ve produced a child.”
Dominic shuddered. Things were starting to look different now. When he first met Brianna, she talked about love and fate. Now she spoke of ties and being bound. The entire situation seemed surreal. Thinking back to the nightclub, Dominic wondered if the bodyguard had slipped the GHB into Brianna’s glass of wine. He had the perfect opportunity when he brushed up against Dominic.
“My father has done worse,” Brianna said. “A lot worse. He should know by now that he doesn’t have to stoop to such measures. All he has to do is tell me what he wants, and I’ll do it. I thought we were past the games.”
Excerpt #3So, this was the elusive Matt from her firm. His lips curled into a smile, and she knew this man was trouble. Brianna carefully stood, trying to appear self-assured and in control. “Yes, I’m Brianna LeBlanc. And you are?” She decided to play with him a bit—attempt to take his confidence down a notch or two.
“Matt Fueller,” he responded.
“Yes, Steve mentioned you would be valuable in assisting me on the case.”
Matt’s smile faded and he cocked his head. “Assisting you? I thought Steve put me in charge, and you’re the paralegal assisting me.”
Arrogant bastard. “You are quite mistaken,” Brianna said. “I’m handling the case, not you. If you care to help, you’re more than welcome. But I’m in charge. This is my case, and this is my client. Are we clear?” She would not let this man walk all over her. She needed to remain in control.
“So you’re not a paralegal?”
Brianna couldn’t tell if he was making fun of her or not. She squared her shoulders and replied, “No, are you?” She was sure her face was bright red.
Matt was about to respond when their names were called and a correctional officer escorted them to a private room. When they entered, they found Hector sitting at a table, his hands and feet bound.
Not wanting to give Matt the opportunity to take charge, Brianna said, “Hello, Hector. You may recall my name is Brianna LeBlanc. This is Matt Fueller. We’re here from Eric Smith and Associates, and we’ll be representing you.” She took a seat across from him. Matt slid onto the seat next to her.
Hector sneered at Brianna, his eyes roaming over her body and stopping at her chest.
Brianna wanted to remain professional since Matt was in the room. “I spoke with the prosecution this morning,” she said. “They’re seeking the maximum—twenty years. I want to go over your arrest to make sure we can’t get you off on a technicality.”
Hector licked his lips suggestively. Brianna focused on her notepad, unable to look at the crude man.
“Why don’t you tell us everything you remember about your arrest,” Brianna said.
Hector gave no indication he was going to respond.
“Mr. Esteban, you understand English don’t you?” Brianna asked.
“My English is just as good as yours,” Hector leered. “But I’m not really all that interested in talking about my arrest with you. Why don’t you come a little closer so I can smell you?” He leaned forward with a lecherous smile.
“Excuse me?” Brianna scooted her chair back. “I’m your attorney, not your eye candy. I need for you to work with me here.”
“I am more than willing to work with you, but if you really want to help me, then come a little closer.” Hector’s eyes darted to Matt.
Brianna had the distinct feeling that if Matt weren’t next to her, Hector would somehow find a way to rape her. Glancing down, she made sure his feet here still locked in the chains and secured to the table.
Trying to appear confident, Brianna cleared her throat and said, “Mr. Esteban, I don’t have time for this. Your arraignment is less than two weeks away. Don’t you want to get off?”
“I know that you will get me off. I have no doubt you will.” Hector laughed as he gyrated his pelvis.
“Hector, get a grip,” Matt said. “I’ve done her and she isn’t worth it. It’s like fucking a brick wall. She’s nice to look at, but that’s it.” Brianna’s face went flaming red. Matt continued, “Has Phillip talked to you?”Jennifer graduated from the University of San Diego with a degree in English and a teaching credential. Afterwards, she finally married her best friend and high school sweetheart. Jennifer is currently a full-time writer and mother of three young children. Her days are spent living in imaginary worlds and fueling her own kids’ creativity.
Playlist for Power to See by Jennifer Anne Davis:
Castle of Glass by Linkin Park
Demons by Imagine Dragons
Let Her Go by Passenger
Summertime Sadness by Lana Del Ray
Don’t You Worry Child by Swedish House Mafia
Someone Like You by Adele
Pumped up Kicks by Foster The People
Out of Time by Stone Temple Pilots
Burn It Down by Linkin Park
Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol(an adult division of Clean Teen Publishing)Crimson Tree Publishing Links:Giveaway Details:There is an international tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:Reader's choice of Clean Teen Publishing eBook and bookmark swag pack.