(7 customer reviews)

A dark secret keeps Bishop Kelly unattached and closed off. She has only one persistent friend, and now she’s moving away from him.

Running her online fitness group from a borrowed professor’s home in Constantine Falls, New York, seems like any other life decision. There’s no one to consult and no one who has her back. Life is what it is – a solo gig.

Bishop isn’t expecting a strange local, Finn “Honey” Sinclair, to jump start her memories, her  desire, and her heart. He has his own intense history that haunts him. In the heart of this oddly quaint town, Bishop is suddenly learning that even in the midst of unexpected loss, there can be inexplicable gain.

Publisher’s Note: This steamy contemporary romance contains themes of power exchange.

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Sample Chapter

Chapter One



People were always starting over because of some trauma. Abuse. Someone died. God knew how many books Bishop had read where the person started a new life because of the death of a loved one. Her great trauma was no trauma. No one in her life she loved enough to be devastated by their death. No family at all, really. And certainly, no abuse. Any guy who had the balls to hit her would be hit right back, and then the cops would be called.

She was no one’s punching bag. And no one’s next of kin. She was no one’s anything.

Most of the time, she liked it that way. Sometimes she didn’t.

She folded the last of her tees and closed the trash bag. That made her laugh.

“Only the finest traveling luggage for me.”

Zed, her one eyed, black cat jumped onto the trash bag and regarded her stoically.

“Yeah, I see you, squashing what I just did. And I have no fucking clue why I folded them to put them in a trash bag.”

Zed blinked her lone eye and yawned, bored already.

“You about ready to move down by the river?”

Bishop started humming Neil Young as she sealed a box that held her meager kitchen equipment—an electric kettle, a pressure cooker her former boss had given her when she got a new job, some mugs, a single frying pan, mismatched silverware and dishes. Not that she’d need any of it, really. The house she was going to was fully stocked.

There was a knock on her door. Bishop ignored it. She packed up some of her DVDs and left a pile of them stacked against the wall.

More knocking. “I know you’re in there, you river whore!”

She shook her head and rolled her eyes. “Jesus,” she said to Zed. Zed’s response was to jump down and saunter to the front door and sit there.

More knocking, that turned to pounding. Bishop stood there, leaning against the doorjamb, arms crossed—waiting. Finally, she heard, “Fine!” And the door opened.

This was the closest to family she had. And he was a pain in the ass.

Chris flounced in, putting on extra gay for whatever drama he was about to assault her with. “You can’t even open the door for your best friend in the world?”

“Best friend in the world?”

“Yes. Everyone needs a best friend. Even a hard hearted, hardcore introvert, fuck the world, eye rolling bitch like you.”

“And you’re here for the job, eh?”

She turned her back to him and pushed a few odd throw pillows into another trash bag. Bishop ignored the twinge in her gut that said she’d miss him, that he was her friend, that he was one of the few beings on earth she cared about. The other one had one green eye and was currently lazily scratching behind her ear.

“I am. And you should be kissing my gorgeous booty for it. Here, I got you this—”

He was suddenly in her field of vision thrusting a bright pink gift bag at her. The opening was tufted with white and pink and red tissue paper.

“Ugh. What is it?”

He straightened and narrowed his eyes at her. “That’s a lovely way to receive a gift.”

“You know I’m an asshole,” she said, pulling the paper out one sheet at a time and dropping it on the scuffed-up hardwood floor.

“You’re a curmudgeon,” he said. “How that’s possible, given you’re female and twenty-eight years old, I don’t know. I can’t explain every oddity of the universe. Why, for instance, did I get all the gorgeousness in the family and my sister looks like Mr. Mole from The Wind in the Willows?”

Bishop snorted because Cathy Cook did look like Mr. Mole. And her brother was gorgeous. Especially when he did flamboyant makeup, which he’d done tonight. His big brown eyes were done up impeccably. His lips shimmered with pale pink lip-gloss. This was one of the reasons it drove him bonkers that Bishop didn’t even own a makeup palette.

She tugged the gift out and snorted. It was a coffee mug with his big old mug on it. And of course, in the picture on the cup, his face was done up like a supermodel. Prettier than a super model.

“I knew you’d be needing that.”

She cocked an eyebrow at him. “You did, did you?”

He dropped onto her old gray sofa and put his feet on top of a bag of clothing. So much for the folding.

“I did. Are you sure you won’t let me come with? I can take one room. You can take the other. It’s a little house. You said the word house.”

“I also said the word little. And you know you and I would kill each other in about five minutes. We need the buffer of a floor between us and separate apartments.”

“You love me.”

“As much as I can love anyone,” she said, only half joking. She rewrapped the mug and put it atop the kitchen box.

“You love. You just don’t have anyone to love but a one-eyed cat and a startlingly beautiful gay boy. It’s a hard knock life.”

“Aren’t you supposed to be on a date?” She didn’t ask him; she simply went to the bag of disposable dishware she’d bought for her last few days at the apartment. Bishop took two plastic cups and filled them to the three-quarter mark with cheap red wine from a box.

“Ah, you know me so well.”

Bishop tapped her glass to Chris’s and sat down next to him.

“I was. But I had this idea you might sneak off in the dead of night like a bandit if I didn’t corner you and say goodbye.”

“You know I’m leaving. It’s not sneaking off.”

“I know you’re leaving, but I’d like to say goodbye. I know you think you’re above human interaction, but some of us do care about you.”

“One of you,” she corrected.

He nudged her with his shoulder and her wine sloshed. She snorted.

“It would be more than one if you weren’t such a cunt.”

Then she did laugh in earnest. She located the remote and turned the TV on. A rerun of a medical show blared until she turned it down.

“Duly noted.”

“What about that dude you were knocking boots with?”


Chris shook his head. “Kip. Who names their kid Kip? But yeah, him.”

“What about him?”

Chris blew out a dramatic sigh and downed half his wine. “You are hopeless.” He turned to her and spoke slowly as if she were hard of hearing. “What. Does. He. Think? Of you leaving?”

Bishop couldn’t help it. She raised her hand and flicked him hard between the eyebrows. “That’s for being a dick.” Then she shrugged. “I have no idea. I didn’t ask him.”

Chris made a sound of distress. “Okay. You didn’t ask him. But did he react?”

She thought back. “I don’t know. I guess he was…okay? Upset?”

“There’s a big distance between okay and upset, sweet cheeks. This is your problem with people. You don’t pay attention.”

Most people couldn’t keep her attention, she thought. But she left it unsaid.

“See!” Chris slapped her thigh.


“You didn’t pay attention!”

“I heard you.” She rolled her eyes and clicked at Zed. Zed stoically ignored her.

“Did you say goodbye to him?”


Chris tossed his head back and howled at the ceiling. “Have you ever been tested for ADD?”

“I told him I was leaving. Isn’t that the same as saying goodbye?”


“Oh. Well, no. I didn’t. It was just a fling, C; there is no reason to get your panties in a knot. I told him I was moving. We fucked. I said goodnight. That was it. It’s fine. Stop worrying. You worry too much.”

“I worry just fine. Someone has to worry.”

“Not all the time.”

He leaned against her and she allowed it, the same way she would have with Zed. “I should worry less, and you should worry more.”

“You should worry less, and I should stay the way I am. I’m on point.” Then she found a movie and told him to shut up.


7 reviews for Honey

  1. Lori

    I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.  There’s not a lot of spanking in this book, but so good.  Can f buddies be more?   Two broken people who seem to find what they need in each other.  Pain, guilt, loneliness, sarcastic wit, bitchiness.  This girl has it all.   They both find that you can touch the darkness and come out on the other side   Hand, stick.

  2. Marybeth

    I’m not even sure how to describe this book. Bishop is a closed off woman. She had terrible things happen to her as a child and she is afraid to love anyone. Honey, Finn, buried his wife and then his father. He doesn’t want to love either. They get brought together and they fall in love, not easily, but it happens. I enjoyed this story.

  3. Ronald

    I enjoyed reading this book. It was an interesting story about two people with serious emotional problems in their past. Bishop is a 29 year old woman that has had problems for most of her life and avoids people; Finn or “Honey” had a serious loss that left him mentally wounded. They meet, and despite their problems a relationship develops – first based on sex and a few spankings, but later developing into something much more meaningful. Both main characters were intelligent and strong – and the three minor characters were also interesting. The story flowed smoothly and was well written.

  4. Margaret

    I don’t know if I enjyed reading this book. It’s very well written and told. All the characters are well done, very rounded and real. Nothing like what I expected. There are some very hard themes, very sensitively dealt with. It also has some sweet sexy scenes and a few spankings. I voluntarily read an advanced reader copy of this book and I highly recommend it. A very different and interesting read.

  5. Michele

    Loved the relationship these two neighbors develop. She’s a fitness instructor who has moved in next door to a burly, hot, gruff guy who is a beekeeper and sells Honey! They are both strong and independent, and although they are very attracted to each other – they are constantly sparring. They decide to have a casual hookup and before they know it sparks are flying! Well written and steamy – this is wonderful read and I highly recommend. I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

  6. Cindy

    Ms. Marsden truly knows how to pull her readers in and not let go from the first page until the last page I was enthralled. The characters are both relatable and interesting with a heart wrenching moment and a HEA. This story is beautifully written and engaging and I would recommend it in a heart beat.

  7. Redrabbitt

    What an emotional roller-coaster journey Ms. Sommer Marsden will take her readers on with the tale of two very broken, damaged people. One was shattered as a young girl, the other lost the love of his life, and both are still living in their past. It is a story of reliving the pain and heartache and eventually moving forward into the present. It’s acknowledging what happened and finally deciding to not allow it to control you.

    Bishop Kelly is a woman who works as a fitness expert, not in person, but more online, with video calls, and internet followings. She is not a people person, and her only real friend is a drag queen, Chris, who she is now moving away from. She is going to a small town that only has a little over two thousand people to stay in a home for a year while the owner is abroad. With her work, she can live anywhere.

    Finn “Honey” Sinclair lives next door to the Professors home, so he is not surprised when Bishop moves in. Why Honey, because he supplies the area with his local honey as a beekeeper. His mother lives next door, and she just shows up in his house unexpectedly and often since the death of his father. Finn is a widower for over four years now and still dreams and talks to his late wife, Sammie.

    The plot will have Bishop moving to Constantine Falls, New York to live for a year. One of her followers lived there and recommended her to the Professor—trust me; she has ulterior motives. Bishop is crass, holds everyone at a distance, and is definitely not a people person. Finn is a broken man who still isn’t over the death of Sammie. But when they two meet, there is an underlying chemistry, and they can’t stay away from each other. It doesn’t take them long to hook up with no commitment sex, and often.

    “Finn was very aware that her face to face issue was a very real thing. It stemmed from somewhere, possibly dark, and he didn’t want to hurt her soul. She was just as cracked and damaged as he was. He could smell it on her now. Facing his mirror human, someone who operated almost exactly as he did, he decided to push her, because, so far, he hadn’t had the balls to push himself.”

    “She wanted to laugh at their ridiculous clumsiness. They were two people who no longer knew how to people. He’d had it all and lost it. She’d never had it. Now she was starting to wonder if she could handle it if she got it.”

    The story has the good, the bad, the ugly, and the painful. It is lost innocence, stolen love, placing up walls to keep from getting hurt, and slowly having those walls tore down when you meet your mirrored soul. It is grieving, forgiving, and moving forward. It is being broken and having someone else who is also broken help put you back together.

    “We’re a weird pair. Like two dented cans in the clearance section at the grocery store. No label. You have no idea what’s in them or what state they’re in—and yet, intriguing.”

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