Blog Tour: GIVE ME STRENGTH – Kate McCarthy
Quinn Salisbury doesn’t think she’s cut out for this whole living thing. Even as a young girl she struggled. Just when she thinks she’s found a way to leave her violent past behind her, the only thing that’s kept her going is ripped away, leaving her damaged and heartbroken.
Four years later, she is slowly rebuilding her life and lands a job as an assistant band manager to Jamieson, the hot new Australian act climbing their way to the top of the charts. There she meets Travis Valentine, the charismatic older brother of her boss, Mac.
From his commanding charm to his confidence and passion, Travis is everything Quinn believes is too good for her, and despite her apprehension, she finds their attraction undeniable and intense.
When her past resurfaces, it complicates their relationship. Instead of reaching out for help, Quinn pushes Travis away, until a staggering secret is revealed that leaves her fighting for her very life.
Torn between running and opening her heart to the man determined to have her, can Quinn find the strength within herself to fight for her future?
Alternate POV: Chapter 18
Exhaling loudly, I rapped reluctantly on Travis’s door, not really
wanting to interrupt whatever the hell he and Quinn were doing in there.
Well, it wasn’t really whatever the hell. I did have a good idea, and I wished
I was doing it right now too. Lucky bastard. I had a shitty day. Having it
wiped out by someone like Quinn would have turned it all around.
“Um, sorry, guys,” I called through the door as I shoved the thought
away, “but, Travis, it’s the phone, mate. It’s one of your work assignments.”
Quickly moving away, I went to the fridge for a beer. It would have to
do the job that sex couldn’t. So would television. I flopped back on the
couch, bottle in hand, and stared blankly at the screen. The movie I’d been
watching with Travis and Quinn was paused, silently reminding me that
there was still another hour of the torture to get through. It was a sappy love
fest with some supposed action thrown in, but I’d yet to see it. I’d lived
through more action sitting at my desk filling out endless police reports.
Travis slipped out of the bedroom door, tying back his hair and sliding
his shuttered expression into place. I knew that face. It was the same one I
wore almost every day. It was a good face. It didn’t tell people shit, and in
our line of work, that could sometimes mean the difference between staying
alive or getting shot.
“Take care of my girl,” he muttered as he slipped by me, heading for
the front door.
Travis glanced over his shoulder at me, and unable to resist, I grabbed
my crotch and grinned. “I’ll make sure she’s well looked after, don’t you
My words smacked the shuttered expression right off his face in favour
of narrowed eyes and flared nostrils. Getting the desired reaction, I laughed
Shaking his head, Travis disappeared out the door, shutting it none too
gently behind him. Well, that was fun for a few seconds, what now?
“Quinn? You can come out. I don’t bite!” I yelled out. “Much,” I
muttered under my breath.
She emerged from Travis’s room in a tank top and little pair of sleep
shorts. Fuck me she was cute. We were already close after knowing each
other for such a short time because we shared a connection. Not a good one,
but one that brought us closer together. I could honestly say I loved her and
with everything going on right now, I wanted to be the big brother she could
turn to when things went to shit.
Finished pouring a wine, she joined me on the couch and glanced at the
television. “Prolonging the torture?” she asked.
I shrugged, liking that she didn’t show me the same reservation I saw
come out in her around others. “Didn’t want you to miss it. If I have to sit
here and watch this crap, you have to too.”
With that I pressed play, tilted my head back on the couch, and zoned
out. What felt like a lifetime later, the credits rolled.
“Mmm,” she mumbled sleepily. “That movie was shit.”
A smile spread slowly across my face at the understatement of the
century and I chuckled. Not yet ready to face a cold, empty bed, I asked,
“Wanna watch another one?”
I probably should have let her get some sleep, but she agreed. Relieved
at having the company, I loaded my movie choice in the DVD player this
time while she returned to the kitchen. Disappearing in my room, I grabbed
a pair of sweatpants and got changed.
I came back out to an open fridge door and Quinn bent over, her head
buried inside it. To give myself credit, I really did try not to stare at her ass,
but I was a man after all. It was almost an automatic requirement. Maybe
not so much when the woman in question was your best mate’s girl, but she
was female, and breathing, and sometimes that’s really all it took.
“Tea, coffee, beer?” she called out.
“Sex,” I muttered under my breath, but obviously that wasn’t on
tonight’s menu. Jesus. I needed to get laid and get sex off the brain. “Beer
me, Quinn,” I told her.
Shrieking a little, she jumped and elbowed me in the chest. Obviously
she wasn’t expecting me right behind her. “Oh God, sorry.”
I smothered a grin at her pretty flush. “My fault.”
Drinks in hand, we returned to the couch. I snatched up the remote, not
willing to let Quinn even look at it, let alone touch it like she did last time.
She glanced at me sideways. “This job Travis got called out to. He’s
not in any danger is he?”
After taking a deep pull of my beer, I exhaled heavily. “Nah,” I lied
casually. Having Quinn up half the night worrying wouldn’t do her any
good. “Just another sorry custody dispute.” That was the truth, but it was
one that was escalating wildly out of control. With my eyes trained to the
television, I explained, “We get called in when it gets out of hand. You
know you’d think it’s good—both parents loving the kid so much they can’t
agree who gets to spend more time with them—but that’s hardly ever what
“What is it about?”
“Winning,” I muttered bitterly, swiping a hand across my face. All
those parents who claimed to give a shit, it wasn’t about their kids. It was
about them. What they could get and how far they’d go to get it. It made my
stomach roll. “But for there to be a winner, there’s got to be a loser, right?
And we all know who that turns out to be.”
Not wanting to take the conversation further, I pressed play on the
“Is that what happened with you? Travis says he does what he does
because of you.”
Is that what happened to me? My chest tightened painfully at the loaded
question. My fuck up lost me everything, including myself. Maybe I could
tell her one day. Quinn would understand at least some of it, but other parts
might be too much for her to hear. I swallowed hard and forced a chuckle.
“Travis and I have been friends since we started uni, so I know how you feel
around the Valentines, Quinn. They’ll be quick to tell you they’re not the
perfect family, and they aren’t. But they’re not perfect in the way that it
“What way is that?”
“Love of course. They grew up with it. People like you and me, Quinn,
we grew up with fear.”
Perfect didn’t matter when you were loved, because love—the type the
Valentine family share—that’s unconditional. No matter how hard I tried,
and eventually failed, I never experienced anything like it; not until I met
Travis, and even then it took years for me to trust it. No matter what, a
Valentine always had my back. I wanted that for Quinn, and after the fallout
from their Melbourne trip, it still burned that I hadn’t been there.
“I’m sorry I wasn’t there for you in Melbourne,” I told her, effectively
changing the subject.
“But if there’s a next time…” God fucking forbid “…you get straight on
your phone and ring Travis. If you can’t get Travis, you ring me. You can’t
get me, you ring Jared, you can’t get—”
“Casey.” She held up a hand, cutting off what appeared to be the
beginning of a rant. Since when the fuck did I rant? Since now, apparently.
Huh. “I’ve had this chat with Travis already. And Mitch. And Jared,” she
Good. I would have been disappointed if they hadn’t stepped up and
told her how it was going to be, but damn it all if I didn’t want to have my
say. “It’s my turn, and this won’t take long.”
Quinn nodded, sipping at the last of her wine before placing the empty
glass on the coffee table. Sitting back, she appeared to be bracing herself. I
wasn’t that much of a hardass, was I?
“I know what Travis was like before you, and I know what he’s like
since you, and I like the latter.” My voice was firm as I held her eyes and
spoke the truth.
Travis had been there. He’d seen me through the worst. I always had his
back, and he, mine. Seeing the change in him, the spark of happiness in his
eyes, was deserved.
“He smiles like he means it, even after a long shitty day like he’s
dealing with today.” I tapped a finger to my temple. “Up here, there’s you at
the back of all that, making his day not so shit because at the end of it, he
gets you. You leave, he loses that and we lose him, and I don’t like that. I
already feel guilty enough getting him involved in what he does, but it
doesn’t come as easy for him to deal with because he hasn’t lived it. So you
understand me when I say don’t ever think about leaving again.”
Taking a deep breath, Quinn looked away, nodding at the television.
“We’re missing the movie.”
Understanding the diversionary tactic, I saluted her with my beer and
we both settled in to watch The Fast and the Furious.
“Paul Walker’s hot,” she blurted out. “He reminds me of Henry.”
I tilted my head, watching the apparent man of the hour on screen. I
didn’t see it. Paul Walker was dressed like a ten year old. Shaking my head,
I glanced sideways at Quinn. “So you think Henry’s hot?”
“Well I’m not blind,” she mumbled.
“Oh shush,” she muttered, slapping my shoulder.
“I like having you here, Quinn,” I told her, because I did. I felt
comfortable, like I could be myself around her and not have to think
carefully about what I said, or what I gave away.
“Yeah.” I cleared my throat, swallowing a hard lump in my throat. She
was like family, and mine was gone. “I had a brother but I never had a
A multitude of emotions crossed her face, but eventually, her eyes,
wide with shock, found mine, realising what I’d admitted to. “Wait. You
had a brother?”
I nodded towards the television, gripping the empty beer bottle in my
shaky hands so it wouldn’t smash to the floor. “We’re missing the movie.”
With relief, I felt her let it go and face the television. As the movie
played out, I fought to get myself under control until I could breathe again.
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Kate McCarthy grew up in a small town outside of Port Macquarie, Australia. Raised in a house just a short walk to the beach, Kate enjoyed the peaceful, relaxed atmosphere and friendships that come from being raised in a friendly, small town area.She now resides in Brisbane, Australia, a city in the state of Queensland where she works as an accountant, along with a sideline wedding cake business and her writing.She is married with two children, has two dogs and house in the suburbs, and a pile of friends and family dotted all over the country that help keep her sane.When she’s not busy running after naughty kids, filthy dogs, crunching numbers, piping buttercream and writing books, you can find her curled up in bed in the early hours of the morning reading new books and re-reading old favourites. Her favourite books are the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J.R. Ward in which she longs to eventually join the brotherhood and change her name to Phierce Mutha.
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