Publisher: Tirgearr Publishing
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Cover artist: The Killian Group
Gráinne has moved back to Dublin to get her life straightened out. She dreams of college and a better life. She’s working for her brother, Kieran, in his newly reopened pub, The Blues Tavern, but the money isn’t enough to support herself and pay tuition. Moonlighting at The Klub! as an exotic dancer seems to be her answer fast money.
John ‘JD’ Desmond is a detective working undercover in the Blues Tavern. The Klub!, owned by Jimmy Malloy, is being used as a drug front, headed by the notorious Taylor Wade. JD had intended to get Gráinne to snitch for him, but when he falls in love with her, things get complicated.
When Gráinne witnesses Jimmy’s murder, she and JD are forced to go on the run until Wade can be apprehended. Wade lives up to his nickname, The Hunter, and JD and Gráinne quickly find themselves at the end of a gun and running for their lives.
The Klub!, Dublin City
October, Halloween Night
"You're a mad woman, Jett," Mystique giggled as Jett entered the dressing room. She'd passed other dancers on the way back so the dressing room was empty now except for the two of them.
Jett stepped up to her dressing table beside Mystique's. She removed the money from her thong then pulled on a robe.
"What makes you say that?" Jett asked her friend, removing the black velvet thong and slipping into sensible panties. Once she had the robe adjusted she sat down at her dressing table and started sorting through her tips.
Mystique glanced quickly at her. "You tease those guys relentlessly." Mystique had finished her costume change while Jett was on stage.
"They love it. They know it's part of the act," she told Mystique.
"Maybe so, but that guy you were playing with looked serious to me. I'd be careful if I were you," Mystique warned.
Jett thought about it and was sure Mystique was right. He could be dangerous. He could cause her to forget the promise she made to herself when she moved to Dublin last year. No men allowed until she learned how to appreciate a good relationship. She'd never find Mr. Right if she let him use her. She was tired of being a doormat and it was time to learn to stand on her own feet. And Mr. Tonight was no Mr. Right. The kind of man she wanted wasn't the kind to frequent The Klub!.
Jett snickered to herself. No better way to learn independence than to hide in a wig and dance naked for strange men.
"I'll be careful," she finally promised.
Silence filled the room as the two women went about their tasks in companionable silence.
Mystique stubbed her cigarette out and turned to change her make-up for her next dance as Jett touched up hers. She wouldn't take the chance of being recognized on the street, even by Mystique. The Halloween make up gave Jett an added sense of safety tonight.
Mystique stopped mid-eyeliner application and turned back to Jett. "Do you ever wonder?"
"Wonder what?" Jett asked as she applied the bright red lip liner.
"Do you ever wonder if you'll meet someone special enough that you'll want to give all this up?" Mystique's voice sounded wistful. Jett put down her lip liner and turned to her friend. It sounded like Mystique wanted to say something to her and, as always, Jett had an open ear. She waited for her to continue.
"I mean, there's got to be a guy out there meant for each of us, right?" she asked.
"I'd like to think so," Jett agreed. "But I don't hold out much hope that I'll find the one I'm looking for in a place like this." Jett gave Mystique a slanted grin.
"You don't think so?"
"No, I don't. Look at the losers out there tonight. If they had women, or women they appreciated, they certainly wouldn't be in a place like this. The stage is lined with homely, overworked, stressed out and bored men," said Jett. "I don't want someone else's baggage."
"What about that guy you danced for tonight?" asked Mystique. "His eyes nearly melted the pole out there." She giggled.
Jett grinned. "Yeah, he was fine to look at, but who's missing him at home tonight?" Mystique nodded.
"Why do you stay if you're looking for something else in your life?" Jett asked a moment later.
Mystique grinned. "The money, fool. It's brilliant. I've got myself a terrific savings. I'm going to buy a house when I retire," she said wistfully. "Something posh in D2. Maybe then I'll find someone."
"Sounds like a nice dream." Jett smiled, knowing Mystique's expectations were lofty. D2 was the city's affluent area. D2 meant big money.
"I think so, too." Mystique paused, and then asked, "Do you ever wonder what your guy will look like? What he'll do for a living?"
"Sometimes. What about you?"
"Yeah," she sighed.
"So, go'wan. Tell me," Jett encouraged.
A big smile crossed Mystique's lips. "He's a hunk of course. Has money enough to support me. Treats me well. Has a nice car--the usual."
Jett sighed to herself. Mystique had her own growing up to do. They'd never talked about age, but Mystique was decidedly younger.
"What about love? If he loved you then all that material stuff wouldn't matter, would it?" she asked.
Mystique laughed, incredulous. "You're kidding, right?"
Jett was deadly serious and she knew it showed on her face as Mystique sat back in her chair to listen. "The guy I spend the rest of my life with will be one who loves me. I don't care about how much money he has or what he can give me--outside love of course. He'll forgive my past sins, accept me for the woman I am, and most importantly, he'll love me. Just me, for me, not who he wants me to be or who he thinks I should be. Just me."
"Wow, Jett. I never knew you were such a romantic," Mystique told her.
"I guess I am. I never realized it either until my...someone told me about how he met his wife." Jett caught herself just in time before opening herself up more than she'd intended. Her heart beat anxiously at the near flub. When she took this job she didn't intend to make friends with anyone. She was only in it for the money like all the other girls. She had her own dreams and the money she was tucking away would take her there. But she found it difficult not to open up to Mystique as their friendship grew. How could she though? She didn't even know her friend's real name.
"So tell me," Mystique continued, grinning devilishly. "If you found your Mr. Right, what would you do with him?"
Jett raised an eyebrow. "What do you mean?"
"I mean, if Mr. Right came into your life, what would your first night be like? Would you insist he take you to Paris for a wild weekend? Or to Venice and make him take you for a gondola ride on the Grand Canal? What would you do? I rather fancy the wild weekend in Paris." Mystique wiggled her eyebrows.
Jett giggled. Her friend touched on something she'd thought about quite a bit, that first time with Mr. Right.
"Hmmm...," she mused, her lips turning up at one edge in a thoughtful grin. "If I met Mr. Right I would take him into the hills to a secluded cottage in the woods. We'd spend as much time as we could together talking and getting to know each other. Evenings would be spent by firelight, afternoons walking in the woods."
Mystique gave her a shove. "What about the s-e-x?" She wiggled her eyebrows again. "You can't get him to a mountain hideaway and not do the nasty."
Mystique was nothing if not blunt. Jett chuckled. "I wouldn't call it that, but, if the timing was right..."
Mystique smirked. "You're definitely a hopeless romantic, girl. I can see the hearts and flowers circling your head. Oh, wait, what's that I hear? Love birds chirping?" Mystique teased, cupping her ear.
Jett laughed and batted her friend's hand away from her ear. "Give over. It's my dream, not yours."
"I know. I'm just having a go off you," said Mystique. "So, I know where Paris is. Where's your cottage?"
Without thinking, Jett said, "In the West Cork gaeltacht." As soon as the words passed between her lips she knew she'd said too much. She cast Mystique a side-glance, but the woman didn't seem phased by the revelation. She was putting her hair into matching plaits. The costume for Mystique's next dance also included a pink plaid mini skirt and a lollipop.
"Sounds nice, actually," she said, rising finally. "Well, it's show time." Jett watched her friend flounce out of the dressing room, her plaits bouncing behind her.
Jett turned to look at her reflection in the dressing table mirror. The woman in the mirror wasn't the one she'd seen that morning in her bathroom mirror, cat whiskers aside. Jett had spent the last year in Dublin trying to find herself. Was this who she really was all along, an exotic dancer? And if she were, would Mr. Right really want her?
Heart warmng as well aa gripping story line
After reading the other two novels in this series who could have resisted reading this one a well. It gave great pleasure as well as the romantic side of the storey. They were very lucky to have found each other. ~ Wendy Binsley, Amazon
Living a double life
This book had lots of drama and suspense. ~ Paula of Harps Romance Book Review, Amazon
A Well written book full of mystery and suspense with a romantic twist .... Grainee being very unsure to show her love for JD not knowing if he was really in love with her or Jett the pole dancer the name she used working at the Klub! JD is a guardi working under cover investigating the Klub! As the story unfolds I found it hard to put the book down wanting to know what will happen next .... A very good book if you like mystery and romance. ~ bbsan, Amazon UK
Dancing for the big boys!
Some lovely legends are interspersed throughout this novel that explains the origins of our protagonists’ names along with some Irish history and language sure to intrigue the reader. Yes, characters in Dublin and some other minor towns are a force to be reckoned with and the reckoning is both sweet and fierce! This reviewer has been following the writing of Kemberlee Shortland for years, and I’m delighted to say her creative skills in crafting this romance novel have substantially increased and promise the reader a grand read to enjoy and will compel the same to dive into the other books in this notable, recommended Irish Pride series! Keep the stories coming, Kemberlee Shortland – nice job indeed! ~ Viviane Crystal, Crystal Book Reviews and Amazon
Suspenseful and romantic!
There are several escape and evasion scenes that will keep the reader turning the pages and sitting on the edge of the seat. This is a romance with a little something extra besides steamy love scenes. It is a Definately must have for any library. ~ Belinda Wilson, Amazon
This story is as Irish as it could get
I loved Shape of My Heart. I've read a lot of book set in Ireland but the dialect, the slang used, all rang so real. I felt as if I were in Ireland as I read the story. Wonderfully entertaining with characters I could relate to, Irish or not, and a story I never wanted to see end. Can't wait for another Kemberlee Shortland book. ~ petticoat grandma, Amazon
Best book in the series
I was privileged to read the entire Irish Pride series, but I must admit of all three the books I loved this one the most . . . I loved the legend element that made you believe they were destined souls that had to be together since the moment they met . . . The suspense was just enough to make it enjoyable, sexual tension ever building between them, and hunted by an evil man; the two lovers found themselves in difficult times throughout. With family support and love from Kieran and Eilis the scenes were interesting . . . Written with knowledge the author brought you into her world and told the story perfectly; weaving the plot continuously. Her ability to capture your attention, holding the pace and let the story develop made this a great read. ~ Lynelle, Amazon