Visibly Broken

Visibly Broken

by Chelsea Camaron, MJ Fields

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Overview

In a powerful, smoldering novel from the bestselling authors of the Caldwell Brothers series (“Bad boy heroes to die for!”—Tracy Wolff), two tortured souls team up to overcome the past, finding the courage to heal . . . and to love.

Jason “Cobra” Stanley was born to fight. With a father like his, he had to toughen up just to survive. Now Cobra tries to take out all of his frustration, all of his anger, and all of his pain in the MMA cage. But after he receives one too many hits to the head during a match, the cycle of violence comes to a screeching halt. Cobra wakes up in the hospital, under the care of a nurse whose blond hair shines like a halo—and whose pure heart touches him on the deepest level.

Lorraine Bosch is a fighter too. The lone survivor of a chilling family tragedy, she prides herself on remaining professional, despite the chaos of the ER. But Cobra is the ultimate distraction. Lorraine knows she should run away screaming from his rippling muscles and shattered psyche. And yet how can she deny this broken man a second chance—especially since she knows exactly what he’s been through? Lorraine’s used to playing guardian angel. Now it’s her turn to find heaven in Cobra’s arms.

Praise for Visibly Broken

“When I go into a book hating the hero, and then by the end of the book love him, I know I have found an exceptional read. Visibly Broken is that read.”—Ryan Michele, author of the Ravage MC & Vipers Creed MC Series 

“Can you be the light to someone’s dark? Can a new start help kill the demons of the past? Chelsea Camaron and M.J. Fields deliver a TKO with this book. Cobra takes my breath away.”—S.M. Donaldson, author of the Marco’s MMA Boys Series 

“Chelsea Camaron and MJ Fields deliver another tormented, sizzling couple that grabs readers’ hearts and boils our desire.”—Rochelle’s Reviews

“I loved every second. . . . Thank you Chelsea Camaron and MJ Fields for telling Cobra and Lo’s story. Although heartbreaking as it was, it was well worth the read.”—Twinsie Talk

“Brilliant read.”—Best Book Boyfriends

“Wow. . . . I love being surprised and this story got me. The feels, the constantly being on edge, the need for more, the rawness of the main characters. Just wow!”—Once Upon an Alpha

“The epilogue was what got me. I was crying at the end.”—Life of a Crazy Mom
 
Visibly Broken is a gritty and raw romance with dark and dangerous undertones. . . . The romance is passionate and intense [with] two people caught up in the violence of an ugly and distressing world.”—The Reading Cafe

Includes an excerpt from another Loveswept title.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101969205
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/20/2016
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 292,869
File size: 803 KB

About the Author

MJ Fields is the USA Today bestselling author of the Love, Wrapped, Burning Souls, Men of Steel, Ties of Steel, Rockers of Steel, and Norfolk series. A former small-business owner who recently became a full-time writer, Fields lives in central New York, surrounded by family and friends. Her house is full of pets, friends, and noise ninety percent of the time, and she wouldn’t have it any other way.
 
USA Today bestselling author Chelsea Camaron grew up turning wrenches alongside her father, which just so happened to inspire her Love and Repair and The Hellions Ride series. When she’s not writing, you can find her playing with her kids, attending car shows, going on motorcycle rides on the back of her husband’s Harley, snuggling down with her new favorite book, or watching any movie that Vin Diesel might happen to be in. She lives in Louisiana with her husband and two children.

Read an Excerpt

Henry Ford Hospital emergency room has been extremely busy today. I swear it’s a full moon. It’s six o’clock, five hours after my shift was supposed to end, but there is no way I am getting out of here anytime soon.

All hope for leaving totally dies when a large, tanned man comes in through the ambulance entrance.

“I need some help here!” he yells, carrying the unconscious body of a barely dressed man who has been brutally beaten.

I grab the only spare gurney and rush down the hall toward them. Once he is on the bed, I yell for another nurse.
“He gonna be okay?” the man who brought him in asks.

“We will do everything we can. Have a seat in the waiting room. When we know something, we’ll let you know,” I tell him as we rush his friend to an examining room.

Later, when one of the staff goes out to the waiting room to give an update and try to get the patient’s name, the man who brought him in is long gone.

His injuries are pretty superficial, aside from the concussion. The bruising and cuts on his ribs and face are unbelievable. His hands are cut up, too.

When we cut his clothes off and I see the lean, ripped, muscular build of his tattooed and naked body, I am pretty sure my assumption about him is correct. He is a fighter. Not just a fighter, but an underground fighter. For a month now, we have seen an increase in patients coming in looking like this. From what I have been told, the fights always increase in the summer months.

Violence is senseless. At different times, it brings on different emotions from me: either fear or anger.

As I sit next to him, even with the assumption he is a fighter, I can’t help wondering if he isn’t a victim. Maybe he was out for a jog, and some random criminal jumped him. Maybe some person with no conscience or consideration for human life decided he didn’t deserve his. Then I become angry. I am angry someone hurt him.

As I carefully clean the blood from his wounds, I sigh and whisper, “You’re going to be okay. We’re going to make sure of it. You’re not alone.”

After he is cleaned up, stabilized, and all vitals are solid, I sit next to him, making good on the promise that he won’t be alone. The entire time, I tell him repeatedly that he will be okay.

After a while, his eyes begin to flutter and appear to be preparing to open. I quickly go out to the hall and grab a doctor.

I stand on the patient’s left and the doctor on his right when his eyes open for the first time and he groans.

“Do you know where you are?” Dr. Bennett asks him. He is my favorite doctor here. He is good with everyone and has a great bedside manner, which many seriously lack. We also have a close personal relationship since his son dated my sister.

“Hell,” he groans. “Kill the light.”

Dr. Bennett gives me a wink, then looks back at the patient. “Can I ask you a few questions?”

“Not right now,” he grumbles in a sleepy, deep rumble.

“Thank you for staying,” Dr. Bennett tells me. “Things have quieted down out there. You should take off; it’s way past the end of your shift.”

“You sure? I don’t mind,” I say, looking from Dr. Bennett to the patient.

I love my job. It is my reason to get up every day. I swear, if they let me, I would live at the hospital. Helping save lives, fix breaks, clean wounds, ease pain, and comforting those in need are what make me feel something other than tragedy. It’s odd, I suppose. Who finds comfort in crisis?

“Take off.” He nods to the door. “Get some sleep, because who the hell knows what we’re in for tomorrow.”

“I have the afternoon shift; I’ll be fine.” I can’t help looking at the patient, battered, beaten, but still breathing. There is no greater moment in my profession than when I see a patient’s eyes open, since in all reality, it’s never a given it will happen.

“Take off. I promise I can handle it,” Dr. Bennett jokes.

I walk into the nurses’ lounge and wash my hands before grabbing my purse and coat out of my locker. I make sure to fish my keys out before I leave the building.

I head out into the parking lot and make my way to my little white Ford Focus. It’s not yet dark, and I am grateful for that. If I hurry, I can be home before the sun goes down.

Twenty minutes later, in a suburb outside of Rock City, I pull down my street toward my house on a cul-de-sac in a once middle-class neighborhood where kids played in the streets until after dark, riding skateboards, playing basketball, riding bikes, or skipping rope.

Four years ago, that all changed. Now, as I drive slowly toward my two-story colonial, childhood home, I see security system signs in every yard, bars on windows, and no children playing outside. Yards are not immaculately landscaped anymore; there is debris in the gutters; and darkness seems to have settled over the house at the very end of the road.

I hit the garage door opener and race into the garage, quickly hitting the remote to close it behind me. I wait until it is completely closed, look around the well-lit garage, and see Boots, my gray cat with four white feet, sitting on the stairs, waiting for me.

I take a deep breath and get out, closing, then locking, the car door behind me.

“You happy to see me?” I ask as I stand in front of the entry door to the kitchen, allowing him to walk in a figure-eight pattern between my feet as he rubs against my legs. “That’s a fine welcome home, Sir Boots.”

I squat down and scratch under his chin, behind his ears, and then run my hand down his back a few times before standing up, grabbing the bat that sits by the door, and then punching in the code to unlock the house.
The lights automatically go on inside, and I take a deep breath and step in.

I scan the room as my heart beats against my chest, then close the door behind me. Without turning around, I lock the door, using the three dead bolts, and then punch in the code so that the security system’s call center knows I am in for the night.

I walk around the kitchen to make sure each window is locked before walking into the dining room, then across the hall to the family room, doing the same. I then peek my head in my parents’ old room, seeing the closet doors are wide open and empty, as is the room.

After checking all their windows, I check the bathroom, making sure to look behind the shower curtain. Everything looks good.

“Come on, Boots.” I call him to the bathroom.

He walks in and sits by the tub, licking his paws while I lock the door and dead-bolt it.

I undress fast, then start the shower. While waiting for it to heat up, I brush my teeth and wash my face. I use the toilet, close the lid, set a towel on top of it, and Boots jumps up and sits while I get in the shower.

I wash and condition my hair quickly, then shave my underarms and legs even more quickly. I scrub my body with a swiftness that I have grown accustomed to and am out of the shower in seven minutes flat. I then dress in the nightclothes I brought from my room this morning and towel off my hair before brushing it.

I take a deep breath, grab the bat, and unlock the door. I open it, holding my breath the entire time. When I walk out, I look ahead at the stairs. I hate the stairs, which is why the entire stairway is enclosed in plywood and secured with enough screws and nails that it would not go unnoticed if someone went up there without permission or a sledgehammer.

I grab an already prepared salad out of the fridge and a bottle of water. Then I look at the clock and start to feel anxiety rise. I grab another water bottle, knowing I need it for both of the cats’ water dishes.

“Come on, buddy,” I call to Boots as I walk to the doorway and punch in the code to the thick, steel door. As soon as I open it, Boots heads down the stairs, knowing the drill.

I step on the landing, close the door behind me, lock the three dead bolts, the chain lock, and the one on the doorknob, and then I walk down the stairs to the basement where Socks, Boots’s brother, is waiting for us.

“Hey there, did you have a good day?” I ask as he stretches his back, then his front paws, and stands.

I grab the keys next to the door to my room downstairs and unlock it. The lights automatically come on, and once Boots is inside, I lock it—all three dead bolts, two chain-link locks, the doorknob—and finally feel like I can breathe.

I set the food and water on the small table that also acts as my desk and look around my twelve by twelve bedroom. There are no windows and one thick, steel door. The walls are bare, I can’t look back on family pictures. I exist down here with just what we need to get by.

I bend down and pick up Socks. “We’re going to be okay. We’re going to make sure of it. We’re not alone.”

After a few minutes, I set him in the recliner near the bed with his brother and pick up the picture of my family. I run my finger over the frame, then the side of each of their cheeks and whisper, “I’m so sorry I was late.”

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