Who Will be Your Hero? – by Anne Conley

Valerie Dunaway is a former socialite who has hidden from the public eye for years, due to a horrific attack that left her scarred—physically and emotionally. 
When a strange masked man makes himself at home with her, she’s unable to run. She calls the cops, but the agoraphobic won’t go into protective custody, so Detective Hollerman calls the only people he trusts: Pierce Securities.
Quinten Pierce is a Renaissance man—artist, lawyer, fighter—but his latest assignment has him losing his ever-present control. He’s got one fight left in his career, and although he can’t wait for it to be over, his opponent seems to have ties to Valerie, thus forcing him to hold on until he finds out exactly who he’s working with.
With the help of the Pierce team, the scarred princess and the gentle giant must silence the murmurs of the past that threaten their future.


They worked side by side for hours, with Quinten doing periodic checks through her quarters. Her mask continuously slipped, and Valerie continuously adjusted it. She was working on smaller, detailed pieces of her bird houses, making little shutters for the window holes, and the small reciprocating saw she used was difficult to see through the eye holes. Finally, Quinten had enough.

He’d cut all his pieces and ground the edges smooth and had begun taping them to solder together. But he finally stopped with a sigh.
“Do you have to wear the mask? Valerie, I’ve seen you. It’s obvious you don’t typically work with it, and you’re liable to hurt yourself because you’re limiting your vision with it on.” He took a step closer, and she stiffened, so he froze, looking at her eyes through the holes of her mask. “You’re fucking stunning. With or without it. Just take it off,” he said quietly, then held his breath.
She was a bird again, ready to take off in flight at any moment. He longed to yank it off her face and bury his mouth in the softness of her lips, but he relegated that thought to imagination only. Her eyes darted around wildly, and her hands twisted in front of her. She waged an inner war, and Quinten had no idea what was happening inside her head.
“It’s just us,” he reiterated. “I won’t even tell anybody if you don’t want.” Lowering his voice, he reminded her, “I’ve seen you without it.”
Her mask today was the purple one, and it went with the lavender swirly patterns in the long dress she wore. Her fingers trembled as she reached for it and slowly peeled it off her face, inch by inch. When she had it off, her eyes were closed as it dropped to the ground.
Quinten took a step closer, his eyes gazing at her mouth, plump and lush and utterly kissable.
“Look at me, Valerie.”
Painfully slowly, she opened her eyes, and they made a tortuous path up his body before landing on his face.
Quinten tried fisting his hands at his sides. He tried to shove them in his pockets. He tried putting them behind his back. But they wouldn’t mind him. Instead, they traveled to her head, cupping her cheek with one palm and her neck with the other. His thumb traced her bottom lip, and her tongue snaked out to wet it.
Valerie’s eyes were the greenest of green, like Caribbean pools at the base of waterfalls you saw in magazines. They watered with uncertainty, and Quinten would have done anything to reassure her.
“Fucking stunning.”
She let out a wild sob and grabbed the front of his shirt, yanking him toward her. So he kissed her. And promptly lost his mind.
Her lips were so soft and warm, and as soon as they touched, she let out a sobbing cry. Instinctively, Quinten knew she needed him to show her exactly how beautiful she really was.
He could only imagine her life up until now—only being worthy because of her beauty and then having her perception of that beauty taken away in such a horrific way. So horrific, she felt she deserved to be shut away from the public eye when she was used to being in the public eye at all times.
So Quinten kissed her for all he was worth. It began with a melding of lips, just tasting her sweetness against his lips. Then he tickled her lips with his tongue and when she opened, he swooped in.
It was dizzying, the way she tasted—so fucking sweet. He grounded himself by pressing his body against hers, pushing her up against the workbench, but it wasn’t enough.
He would never get enough.
He tangled one hand in her blonde locks while the other went around her waist and pressed her fully against him. It was tacky, but he pressed his erection into her hip because he needed her to see somebody wanted her. Desired her. 
Needed her.
His lips were wet with her tears, and Quinten wanted her to tell him why she was crying. He needed her honesty—with him as much as herself. He broke the kiss and leaned his forehead against hers, looking into the depths of her green eyes.
“Why the tears, Princess?”
She laughed but sobbed at the same time, and he used his thumb to wipe the track down her face.
“Because you’re not disgusted.”
Had someone told her she was disgusting? That right there broke Quinten’s heart, and all thoughts of waiting until this was over evaporated in one lust-hazed instant. 
“Let’s go back to your bed, and I’ll show you just how not disgusting you are.” 
Read other stand-alone novels in the Pierce Securities Series:



“Have you read The Book B!tches, yet?”

Power of Love (Book B!tches #1)

Follow Anne here: 


FREE Novels!  

Contemporary Romance: 
Neighborly Complications
Paranormal Romance: 
Falling for Heaven


Anne has written her entire life and has the boxes of angst-filled journals and poetry to prove it. She’s been writing for public consumption for the past several years. Currently, she has four romance series. In Stories of Serendipity, she explores real people living real lives in small town Texas in a contemporary romance setting. In The Four Winds, she chronicles God’s four closest archangels, Uriel, Gabriel, Raphael, and Michael, falling in love and becoming human. In Pierce Securities, she gives us Ryan, Evan, Miriam, Zack, Quinten, and Simon. Her newest series, Book B!tches, is all about a group of women in Mystic, Texas who get into all sorts of shenanigans. She lives in rural East Texas with her husband and children in her own private oasis, where she prides herself in her complete lack of social skills, choosing instead to live with the people inside her head.

Enjoy Florida’s Hotels in Fort Meyers, Panama City, Gainesville and More


The post below was originally published on Leah Travels on September 9, 2016, by Leah Walker. Florida is always better in fall. The sticky days of summer have passed, the crowds are headed home, and hotels are offering huge discounts to lure in travelers for the shoulder season. Florida sees average highs between 75 and 90 degrees […]

Continue reading...

Visit the City of Chicago and Stay in Rosemont, IL

The post below was first published on English Blog Montenegro.com August 2, 2016 by Montenegro blogger Rosemont, Illinois has all the characteristics of a small community, but due to its excellent location, which means only five minutes from O’Hare Airport and twenty minutes from Chicago’s downtown, the place earned the reputation of  a flourishing touristic and commercial place. […]

Continue reading...

Hipmunk Hotels: Find Comfort in Wheeling, Newport, Norfolk and More!

The post below was originally published on Nomad Chick on August 10th 2016 by Jeannie Mark. It’s that time of year to travel and a staycation is a great way to save money, but still have a satisfying trip. If you live in the northeastern part of the states, take a chance on some off-beaten places you […]

Continue reading...

How to Pack

This post was originally published on Hipmunk’s Tailwind Blog on March 18, 2016 by TheHipmunk Traveling for a marathon? Great! Not only is training for and running a marathon its own reward, but choosing to attend a destination race is a great excuse to travel to new places. There’s just one caveat: It can be easy to […]

Continue reading...

How to Avoid Getting Sick

This post was originally published on Hipmunk’s Tailwind Blog on Jan 22 2016 by TheHipmunk Forget snakes on a plane. Worry about the germs. Research shows that air travelers are at a higher risk for infection than people going about their daily lives. Just how are illnesses spread on a plane? It comes down to two main factors: Airborne germs […]

Continue reading...

Star Trek: Beyond

Screen Shot 2016-09-04 at 18.50.53

On the 8th of September 1966, the first episode of Star Trek showed US watchers high adventure set in space. No one could have predicted its success in the decades that followed.   Yesterday, I watched “Star Trek: Beyond.” Star Trek pictures a pluralistic, moral future society that has rejected greed and hate.   The […]

Continue reading...

The Best Inns in Tulsa, Grand Rapids, Columbus and more

The post below was originally published on X Days in Y on May 26 by Avichai. Are you riding across America’s Heartland on an epic coast-to-coast road trip? Traveling on business? Visiting some family or friends? Whatever the reason might be that brings you to the Midwest, there’s one thing for certain: you’ll need a place to […]

Continue reading...

Elements of Style

Narrative is a different kind of prose. It’s not journalism, and it has to render rather than report. O Tempora, o Mores,  what is accepted today as good narrative prose is different from books and novels of the past. Flowery prose, pedantic descriptions, passive voices that were part of the accepted narrative styles of even half a […]

Continue reading...

The Insider’s Guide to Conquering Comic Con

This article was originally published on Hipmunk’s Tailwind Blog on April 13th 2016 by THEHIPMUNK. Another year, another multitude of Comic Cons to attend. Whether you’re hitting up the mother of all Cons in San Diego, cosplaying in NYC, or attending a smaller Comic Con in Grand Rapids or Amarillo, the following strategies will help ensure that you have a truly delightful time. […]

Continue reading...
Translate »