Stone Walls: A True Heroes Novel

Stone Walls: A True Heroes Novel

by A. M. Madden

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780425284957
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 12/15/2015
Series: A. M. Madden's True Heroes Series , #1
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 323
Sales rank: 132,109
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

USA Today bestselling author A. M. Madden is a wife, a mother, an avid reader of romance novels, and now an author. A self-proclaimed hopeless romantic, she loves getting lost in a good romance book.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1
Ben

Holy crap, I want to kill him.

Rob Withers is my best friend, my partner on the force, and my constant nemesis.

He sits across from me with a look of disbelief. I sit across from him, wanting to take out all my issues on his ugly face. The kicker? I love this guy. He has my back. He is always there for me, and yet I want to punch him in the face.

When I woke up this morning, all I wanted for this day was to do my job, go home, get hammered, and go to sleep. Getting drunk and passing out is my yearly tradition. I don’t drink except for a few here and there. Every year on my birthday, I set out to become completely inebriated. I have two goals: to suppress the memories that take hold every year around this time, and to pay homage to the reckless youth of which I was robbed. It may be a juvenile thing to do, but so what?

“Come on, Ben. Would it really kill you to do something different this year?”

“Yes.”

“Don’t be an ass.”

“I’m an ass because I don’t want to go to this damn club tonight?”

“Yes. It’s your birthday, man.”

“I’d rather drink alone. You know how I feel about my birthday.”

“All the more reason to go out and try to forget.” Rob groans audibly. “I didn’t want to tell you this, but Andrea is bringing a friend.”

And there it is, damn it.

By admitting his girlfriend is bringing a friend, he knows he’s put me in a position where I won’t say no. Andrea has this insane obsession with setting me up, and except for that one annoying quality, I love the girl.

Rob and Andrea have been together for a few years now, and she’s a great person. He’s lucky to have her. I often admit to Rob that the only reason we are still friends is his better half. I’m kidding, of course. It’s not like I have any romantic feelings toward her. She’s like a cousin, albeit an annoying one. Andrea’s sole mission in life is to set me up with the woman of her dreams. To do so means getting rid of Natalia. Andrea can’t stand Nat.

Nat is a dispatcher whom Rob and I have known for a few years. After I had ignored her advances, Nat decided to flirt with Rob to get my attention. It was harmless, but to “the girlfriend,” there’s no such thing as harmless flirting. Nat eventually wore me down. Against Andrea’s wishes, I’ve been in a very casual arrangement with Nat for almost a year.

When I first started screwing Nat, Andrea asked if we were exclusive, and I admitted that we weren’t. I’ve always been honest with Nat, completely transparent that I wasn’t interested in a committed relationship. Honesty is key. She can never claim I used her. With Nat, it’s been easy, comfortable. Lately, she’s not happy with me and thinks it’s time we move things along or end it. I completely agree. It’s time to end it.

“So?” Rob asks.

“Rob, I’m tired of this shit,” I counter. “I’m not in the mood for another night of matchmaking. You can tell Andrea I said no.” Relationships are exhausting. I’m not interested.

“This girl is perfect for you.”

Unlike his girlfriend, Rob feels I need that perfect person to complete me. I don’t believe she exists. I’m too cynical to believe in true love. People change, events occur, and before you know it, your true love stabs you in the heart. I have no idea if that’s even true, never having been in love, but I’ve seen firsthand what happens when love goes wrong. Screw that shit. I have enough to deal with in my life.

It’s safer to be alone. It’s also smarter. I account for no one but myself. I don’t expect anyone to account for me, either. There’s a reason I built a big-ass stone wall around my heart, and it has to do with never getting hurt again. Acting like a prick is a foolproof deterrent to anyone trying to breach it.

It’s not DNA that makes up a person. It’s not background, or beliefs, or even upbringing. It’s events and experiences we are forced to endure that create the people we eventually become. I say “forced” because I never signed up for what happened to my mother, my family. Then it happened, and they altered me as a person . . . they made me an asshole.

In all the years I’ve known Rob, I never had a serious girlfriend. The dick had the nerve to ask me if I was gay. We were fresh out of the academy. He sat next to me in our squad car and said, “Hey, man, I don’t care. Whatever floats your boat, but I’d like to know if we should be considering the men we know instead of the women.”

I have enough on my plate. Being a New York City cop keeps me plenty busy. My job is my mistress. The moment I graduated from the academy, I became addicted to the rush that can come only from danger. I took risks, and I was extremely reckless in my approach to my job responsibilities. Always the first to volunteer, first one in no matter how dangerous the situation was. It got me far on the force, which benefited Rob, too.

“Dude, I’m not gonna stop until you agree. So just get it over with and promise you’ll meet us later.”

“If I come, you need to promise not to give me a hard time when I’m ready to leave, because I will hurt you if you do.” I hope that will supply a distraction. Maybe, with luck, I’ll get into a brawl and be able to release my pent-up hostility.

“Promise.” He crosses his heart like a Boy Scout.

“Let’s get out of here,” I announce before heading out of the break room. We are closing in on a case, and today would be a good day to find that asshole.

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Stone Walls: A True Heroes Novel 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awesome story. First off I loved how the story was over 200 pages. This meant that the story had time to develop and you were able to fully get invested in the main characters and then understand their relationship. Great story line, awesome characters and spicy love scenes.
SaraBetty More than 1 year ago
Excellent book... And, boy, I did not see that one coming!!! Ben is a real hunk and Ella makes a perfect match... I don't usually do police/crime/mysteries but this was great and I look forward to the next book in the series... Main characters were excellent and supporting characters were very good... Writing was terrific and story line was original and very well done... Excellent book in all respects...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved reading this book! Very well written.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was great. Really loved the characters and the storyline. On to bk#2.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved Ben & Ella - can't wait for Nick's story next!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not my cup of tea.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MBurton More than 1 year ago
This was an enjoyable read. The first quarter of the book is both of them denying each other despite their attraction. There was just a little bit of OW drama in the beginning but resolved very quickly. Once they stopped fighting the attraction they were devoted to each other. It got a bit cheesy at that point but then the plot twist came into play and I enjoyed the suspense. It had a great ending and epilogue.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent read with wonderful characters. I enjoyed from start to finish!