"If all you can do is crawl, start crawling. Soon, you’ll be able to stand."
S’renaty James lives a privileged life most her age only dream of living. She is beautiful and popular with her entire life ahead of her. Life could not get any better.
Until her entire life shifts, crashing around her...
Bound by devastation, persecuted by the ones she used to call ‘friends’, haunted by disturbing nightmares, and filled with self-blame, she vows to overcome.
Stefan is everything S’renaty swears to avoid. He is carefree and charismatic. He is primitive, complicated and a total badass. He makes her melt like fine chocolate under a hot summer’s sun the first time their eyes meet. There is something about him, and she makes it her mission to find out.
When he meets S’renaty James, he is not prepared for what comes over him because for the first time ever, a girl leaves him breathless. Now, his primary responsibility is to keep her safe.
He will do anything to protect her. Even lie...
Stefan is the one person she has trusted with her heart. After keeping an unforgivable secret, he could be the one to shatter it to pieces. In fact, he may even destroy her beyond repair. Will she overcome and forgive, letting go of the pain, guilt and shame? Or this time, will she be stronger than the hardest lesson of her life — and, become totally ShameLess?
On the heels of the truth surfacing in my head, my body reacts. Rapidly, I do a half-turn, lunging down and digging my right foot into the sand, and spin. I push off, hard with my foot, and take off darting back down the sand heading in the direction we just came from. I don’t wait for a response or a reaction from Stefan. I just run fast and hard. I allow my body to dictate its speed. I sprint, running parallel with the raging tides inspiring my motivation. It’s absolutely fucking freeing. Emotional tension blends with the sexual tension surging, pushing me, and giving me additional grit to push on.
“Who needs a rest now?” I cry out into the air now blowing at my back. Dazed, Stefan didn’t see that one coming, and I chuckle as I continue racing down the beach.
In no time, he catches up to me as we near the house. He grabs my hand, halting me, pulling me to his side. Both of us are covered in sweat, and sex oozes off him. I just want to scream. Instead, I lean forward, placing my hands on each of my knees, gasping through huffing breaths. Damn that felt great!
Before I know what is happening, he whisks my entire body up slinging me over his shoulder, and takes off running. We both plunge straight into the ocean. The frigid water bitch slaps me; no cold shower needed. Together, we come up for air. Freezing water runs down our faces.
“What the hell, Stefan?” I stutter out through chattering teeth as shivers possess me. Between the cool breeze off the ocean, and the frigid water, I can’t get warm.
He pulls me to him, wrapping me in his arms, “I told you, you would be in my arms, Star. And, cheaters always get due punishment. I don’t play.” His words, playful, and firm, offer heated softness. I allow myself to welcome the warmth. How is there any possible way to respond to that? I can’t.
In the next instant, Stefan takes both of his hands to each side of my face, saying, “You will always be in my arms,” then leans in closer introducing his lips to mine in a more passionate kiss than any I have had with him or by anyone else.
In this moment, it feels like the first one. I’m dying inside. This icy water holds no refuge to the fervor his body offers mine. He attempts to pull away, but I bring him to me this time, and take all of him, seizing his lips with my own. I bite his bottom lip, sucking it in, nibbling a little harder, and letting him know I want all of him, not just his lips. I want all of him!
Time has a way of transcending. It surpasses more than the grandest of any of our unanswered prayers. It offers us gifts every single day. Pap is right. Each day is truly a gift. Our past is a gift for our present to open. I’m in the present with the most amazing guy. Right now, nothing else matters except for opening my gift, and accepting my present. God knows exactly what we need exactly when we need it. I thank God for giving me the strength to be here, in this moment.
Tomorrow may still be a mystery, but today is unraveling, slowly. It’s like opening a gift, and one I have every intention of treating with care…unwrapping it gently to savor its blessing. Here is to the present; to us!
I became a fan of Mel Ballew when I read and reviewed Shattered Into Beautiful. True to form Mel hits it out of the park with another emotionally charged romantic and suspenseful novel. ShameLess is a great 4 star read!
Right out of the gate S’renaty (Ren) suffers a life altering tragedy. Time passes and slowly she puts the pieces back together with the help of her family and therapy. Despite all that she has been through Ren is a strong young woman who needs just a little help finding her way.
As Ren is finding the strength to move on she meets Stefan. Stefan definitely leaves an impression but not a good one.
Ren moves away from her friends and family as she attempts to rebuild her life. Imagine her surprise when Ren turns up in her life, yet again.
They have a connection like no other but it is not without its flaws. Both Ren and Stefan's lives have been touched by loss and heartbreak.
"You are my wish come true. You are my girl, my Star."
As fate would have it Stefan is keeping a life changing secret from Ren. Can their relationship withstand? Will Ren suffer yet another heartbreak?
"There are times in your life when you have to accept your past to welcome your future."
"You're the light of my life, giving light to my darkness, and removing the shame I've carried around all these years."
The perfect icing on the cake is the Epilogue. It truly brings the story full circle and gives us the closure we need to heal our soul. I am an Epilogue fan and Mel delivers one of the best I have ever read!
Mel Ballew is a great story teller. You can feel that she pours her heart into every page.
Mel Ballew resides in rural Pennsylvania with her husband and daughter, along with their two adorable cats. An avid reader, she has always had an equal passion for writing and has written her entire life, to date. Her mother initially birthed, inspired, and encouraged these loves. The two often discussed writing together but unfortunately, that dream never came to fruition.
Years later, this happened, that happened—life happened.
She stepped away from writing to place more focus on being wife and a full-time mom. Today, she would not have changed a thing. The day her daughter was born became the first day she realized a significant rhythm to her heart was also born. Her daughter, now preparing to go off to college, has grown into a beautiful and responsible young adult.
A twisted turn of events in September 2009 left Mel unable to work outside of the home. Forced to consider other options, and while embracing a therapeutic approach of transcribing all of the challenges facing her, post-accident, she returned to journaling. Once again, the writer within her has been re-birthed—awakened from slumber.
Mel is a hopeless romantic. Blessed, she has her very own soul mate, which she calls husband, best friend, and lover.
She is a simple country gal, with a profound love of true simplicity. She is just as hopeless in her love of nature and regards many of her writing aspirations to appreciating its beauty, although every single story is birthed from her dreams. Sometimes, in life, simply enjoying a chilled glass of sangria on a warm summer’s eve or indulging in her love of chocolate and peanut butter is an expression of enjoying such simplicity. For her, these moments are truly d’vine.
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