Where has this author been hiding?! I’ve never read her books before but after reading Colors of Us, I am going to search for her stories. Hunter, oh my, Hunter. He is just...sexy as sin, hot as hell. He’s freaking gorgeous. I really liked him instantly. As if you couldn’t tell. Michelle was damaged, shy and I just wanted to reach out and hug her. Thankfully Hunter did that for me. There were also side characters that were so wonderful and full of life. I just could not put this story down. I wanted to know about their troubles, how they would conquer their fears and issues. Their romance was like a slow sizzle or bringing cold water to a rolling boil. I was completely taken in by Hunter and Michelle. And that ending...Gah! I was yelling at my Nook the whole time. Hunter what are you doing?! Michelle, it’s not what you think?! Lol. This has to be one of my favorite books I’ve read all year.
McAvery Brothers, 1
Everything she knew to be true fell apart. Then fell apart again…
Michelle Willis is running from her past. What better place to hide than in the anonymity of New York City. Finding refuge in a tiny SoHo art gallery, she rebuilds her life one painting at a time.
A wrong turn sends Hunter McAvery on a crash course with disaster. He fights his own demons by following his big brother’s lead - drinking and bed-hopping his way through Manhattan.
A glance at Michelle’s self-portrait triggers emotions Hunter can’t tamp down. Driven to meet the artist, he discovers a fiery chemistry as their lives collide. But when their past threatens to tear them apart, can their love survive?
“I think pink is your color. It looks great against your dark hair.” Reaching past her shoulder, he curled a lock of her hair between his fingers and tugged gently before letting it fall onto her shoulder.
Meeting his gaze, she smiled. “Thanks.” Michelle wasn’t used to compliments. It’d been her goal to fade into the crowd and not to call attention to herself. But her self-imposed rules seemed to float away around Hunter McAvery.
Returning her smile, he continued the lesson. “After you slide your hands into the opening, you’ll wind the long strap around your fingers and wrist like this.” Holding her fingers in his hand, he wound the dangling strap around her palm and over her knuckles. “You want to protect the part of your hand that meets the bag.”
He stepped closer as he slipped the strap around the base of her thumb. When he brushed his fingertips against the sensitive area just below the fleshy part of her palm, a shiver shot up her arm and traveled to her belly. His warm breath ghosted her face as he circled the end of the strap around her wrist and secured the Velcro tab. Before she knew it, strong fingers captured her left hand and guided her arm to the warmth between their bodies. She itched to graze her fingers along his muscled chest, capturing his heat with her palm. Her gaze bounced to his neck and stubbled jaw, which clenched as he slid the other wrap over her hand. Slowly wrapping her other wrist, he secured the strap and held both of her gloved hands in his. “Make a fist,” he said huskily.
Tightening her hands into a ball, she tucked her thumb around the outside of her fingers like he showed her at the gym.
He squeezed her fists. “They look good. You’re a badass.”
“A badass in pink.”
“Let’s see what you got. Show me some upper cuts. Right here.” He tapped his abs.
“You want me to hit you?” She giggled.
“Sure. I can take it.”
Turning her palms up, she made a fist and alternated soft punches to his belly. His rock-hard belly. Each strike made her aware of how alive he made her feel. The force of impact sent ripples up his tight shirt, awakening the planes of his muscular form. She gulped back the desire to open her fists and run her fingertips along the line of each sculpted muscle.
His hands came to rest on her forearms, halting her movement. The pads of his thumbs stroked the sensitive skin near the inside of her elbow, causing a delicious shiver up her arm. Michelle’s eyes met his. The fire brewing in his darkened gaze drew her in. Hunter stepped between her legs, nudging her back against the wall next to the mural. She closed her eyes and choked back a groan. Raising her arms above her, he pinned them against the wall on either side of her head. His scent flooded her senses as she lifted her chin to close the gap between them.
“I’m trying like hell not to kiss you.” Hunter straightened his back but didn’t loosen his grip on her arms.
Her skin prickled from the nearness of his body, and she let her gaze drift to his lips. “Why?” she whispered.
He blew a slow breath between his teeth. “Nothing good would come of it. I’m not capable of giving or feeling… or offering much to you right now.” He shook his head but didn’t move from her body.
“I don’t believe that.” Michelle wriggled her arms from his grasp. Her fingertips lingered on his corded forearms, which flexed under her touch. Easing a trail toward his shoulders, her fingers reminded her of a paintbrush’s first dab of color on a fresh canvas. She’d always believed each canvas had a personality of its own, and it was the symphony of the brush, artist, and canvas that created the work of art. She wanted to explore the blank canvas of Hunter McAvery.
She studied his arms, still caging her in. Protecting her. Wanting her. Her eyes met his gaze. He stared at her, unmoving, but a spark burned in his eyes. She held her breath, afraid to break his trance. Her palms smoothed over his shoulders and down his chest, stopping at the center of his ribs. Pushing into the muscles of his chest, she felt the strong beat of his heart on her fingers. “Kiss me, Hunter.” Raising her lashes, she dared to look him in the eyes, almost afraid of what she’d see.
“You don’t understand. You’re too… good.” He averted his gaze.
“Maybe you should let me decide what’s good for me.” She moved closer, his breath burned hot on her face, and he squeezed his eyes closed.
Her hands traveled up his chest and rested on the bulk of his strong shoulders. Pulling him in, her breasts molded into his chest and, finally, he crashed his lips down on hers. She met every stroke of his tongue as her fingers raked through the ends of his hair. Moaning into his mouth, she straddled his muscular thigh as warmth flooded her sex. She’d never felt more alive.
His hand grazed her cheek before taking her chin between his thumb and index finger and pulling away from their kiss. He tipped his forehead to hers, his raspy breath hot on her mouth. “Shit.”
Michelle widened her eyes. “What?” she whispered.
“You. Me. This can’t happen. Not now. Not like this.”
Loved it!!! This story moved me. Two people hurt by their pasts and both trying to be strong for each other. Michelle and Hunter helped each other and at the same time healed their own wounds. I couldn't put this book down. Loved all the characters especially Cheyenne : ) honestly Sandra did an amazing job, I have a long list of quotes from her characters. Hunter's "Stay with Me". "Please, can't do this without you" or Michelle's "you brought me courage and hope..." Poem. brilliant writing.
I received this book from the author and from Paranormal Romance and Authors That Rock. Both Michelle and Hunter are trying to get over their pasts, and struggling with it. I really liked Hunter. He was a sweet guy with his own ghosts but even though he had issues he was still like-able. Michelle didn't grab me as much. A couple of times I found myself thinking she was a little ridiculous, but in general understandable. I really enjoyed this book and I'm looking forward to reading more about the other McAvery brothers. If you like a story about overcoming the crap life throws to find something better, this ones for you. I give this 5 fangs.
I loved this story! Hunter and Michelle both had personal issue they needed to work through before they could truly find their way together. There are a lot of stories that drag the angst out but this is not one of them. This story makes you fall in love with both main characters and all the secondary characters. As you read this all you want is to see them together. I'm looking forward to reading more if the McAvery's family and friends!
I LOVED Colors of Us. The chemistry between Hunter and Michelle was absolutely wonderful. I truly enjoyed both these characters and look forward to getting to know the other two McAvery brothers. Alex you meet in this book and he definitely has a story to tell. Liam on the other hand is a complete unknown but I look forward to him explaining his actions. After reading this first book, the next two are a definite must read for me.
I've read several, if not all, of Ms. Bunino's books but haven't come close to loving any of them as much as I loved this newest one. This was a great introduction to the McAvery brothers, Hunter and his older twin brothers, Alex and Liam. Michelle was introduced to us as a somewhat broken character. She had no family, she often had nightmares, she never took the subway, she didn't socialize, and her only friends were Chey and Miranda from the gallery. Eat, sleep and work were all she knew. And then a sexy, tattooed bad-boy walked into her life. I loved the heroine from beginning to end. Her past was revealed slowly, but she didn't elicit feelings of pity, nor did she speak to the people she came into contact with any discernible reservation. On the surface she appeared normal. Despite having a player-type show an interest in her, she didn't run away from him, but she didn't make it easy for him to get to know her either. Hunter was a more complex, tortured character. He suffered from survivor's guilt over the loss of someone close to his heart. Hunter then followed in Alex's footsteps, drinking and sleeping his way through women, to escape his demons. By the time he met Michelle, he'd somewhat got his act together. It became evident that he wasn't really the player type. Of all the brothers, he was the softer one, the one most likely to make something more of himself. Throughout the story, he struggled heavily with moving on. Not just from the past but also getting out of the bar life and going back to his old job. I felt sorry for Hunter when Alex kept reprimanding him for something or other, or when Michelle kept catching him with some woman hanging over him. My heart broke for Michelle in those moments, and I wanted so badly to smack him upside the head. If you're expecting a lot of sheet-gripping, sweaty sex from the get go, you'll be disappointed. Their attraction was instantaneous, but the progression of their relationship was a very slow burn. They got carried away a few times, but it never led to more. Instead, you're in for a wonderful development of a friendship where they opened up to one another about their ghosts, Hunter helped build her confidence through boxing, and whenever he f*ed up, she allowed him to explain himself. The sheet-gripping didn't happen until near the end, but it was so worth the wait and suited them perfectly. The ending was a tear-jerker. That had to be the saddest "ending before they even began" scenario I'd ever come across. But don't worry, these kids eventually got their act together for their HEA. Alex turned out to be a decent guy in the end, and the tension with Miranda has me excited for their story. *Complimentary copy provided by the author for the purpose of an honest review*
Great story from start to finish. I instantly fell in love with the main character Michelle, and slightly drooled over the good hearted bad boy Hunter. This was such an emotional roller coaster from start to end. They both have deep issues from the past that have very much over shadowed their present, it's great to see the emotional roller coaster they go through to work through everything. I was on the edge throughout the book because I couldn't wait to see what would happen to them. I definitely recommend this book, you will not be disappointed.
Michelle is an artist who had a traumatic experience when she was younger. The only friends she has are the ones from the art gallery that she works at. Hunter is a bartender in his brothers bar where he was going thru a different women every night and drinking heavily. Until a year ago when he realized his drinking was out of control. His brother commissions her to paint a mural on the bars wall. They both learn to forgive themselves and see that they are stronger people. Great story just make sure you have tissues handy.