Pieces (Book 1) Amazon
Broken Pieces (Book 2) Amazon
Fitting the Pieces (Book 3) Amazon | Barnes & Noble Jake's Journal (Book 3.5) - coming soon to Amazon
Jake Lanza is one of Riverdale New Yorkâs favorite sons. He owns a tattoo parlor in the small upstate town and prides himself on being a fun-loving, live by the seat of your pants type of guy. He has everything he wants in life, a thriving business, a great family and a best friend with whom he could never live without. Cara Sloane weaved her way into Jakeâs life when they were fifteen years old. After her life fell apart at such a young age, Jake helped her heal, and began to pick up the pieces of her fallen life. His unconventional ways slowly had him becoming the anchor in her life. Now fourteen years later Jake begins to see Cara in a new light. The things he thought he never wanted, he suddenly began to yearn for. The only problem was they were both too frightened to lose the greatest love either of them has ever known. Can Jake convince Cara there is more for them than just a friendship? Is he willing to take that gamble himself?
Last call was about an hour ago the bar had cleared out pretty quickly. Sam and the guys had left about fifteen minutes ago, leaving Cara to finish her work. Jake had offered to stay behind and walk her out like he always did. She insisted she was fine as she always did and told him he should go home with the rest of their group. She slid the clean glasses into their rightful spot, wondering about Jake and the latest girl to catch his attention, Joanna was her name, if she remembered correctly.
No matter how nice Cara had been to any of Jakeâs girls, they all seemed to dislike her, and once Jake caught wind he cut them loose. She couldnât help but wonder when the right girl came along, if he would cut her loose. She didnât want to believe that he would do that to her, but the reality of it was if, he found the girl he wanted to spend the rest of his life with, where would that leave her? For as long as she could remember Jake had been front and center in her life. Not ready to allow herself to face that truth, she decided to wrap it up and call it a night. She grabbed her jacket and pocketbook from under the bar, shrugging the jacket on she glanced at the clock, it was already four thirty in the morning. The sun would be coming up shortly and she would be going to sleep. She shook her head and closed the lights. Once outside, she locked the bar, testing the door to make sure it was in fact locked.
She stepped into the parking lot, lifting her head; she stopped short when she saw Jake. He was leaning against his motorcycle, which was conveniently blocking her car in. He looked up at her as he toyed with the helmet in his hand.
âWhatâre you doing here? I thought you went home with everyone else?â She was surprised by the hoarseness in her voice.
He shrugged his shoulders and pushed off his bike. âSomething you said tonight kind of stuck with me.â He straightened his shoulders, stepping closer to her, causing her own breath to hitch.
âSomething I said? Donât pay attention to me. I just kind of ramble on after a while spewing all sorts of nonsense, you know? Kind of like right now.â She frowned as she realized he of all people knew that when she was nervous or caught off guard she rambled. So right now, even though she was staring down at her shoes, she knew the grin that played upon his lips, knowing very well that she was nervous.
âIt wasnât nonsense. And you werenât nervously rambling when you said it either.â He lifted her chin, forcing her to look straight at him. He smiled as he placed his helmet on her head, reaching under her chin, securing the strap. âHop on; weâre going for a ride.â
She smiled at him, her eyes lighting up with hope. âReally? Youâre not worried Iâm going to get road rash or something?â She teased as he straddled the bike.
âIâll just take care of you like I did the last time. Only, this time Iâm prepared. I have a first aid kit.â He winked at her as he patted the seat behind him.
She chewed on her lower lip, fighting to suppress the grin that wanted so badly to make an appearance. She hopped on the bike behind Jake, wrapping her arms around his waist, before leaned her chin on his shoulder. He revved the engine to life and something awakened inside of her as well. His hands tightened around the handlebars before he glanced over his shoulder. His tongue sneaking out to moisten his lower lip as he caught her eye.
âHold on, and watch forââ
âExhaust pipe, yeah, yeah, I know.â She said cutting him off. Cara smiled, squeezing him tighter, anxious for their ride. He kicked up the kickstand and they peeled out of the parking lot smoothly.
Jake didnât speed even though there were hardly any cars on the road at this hour. He whipped turns smoothly, not trying to impress her, but as if, he was carrying precious cargo with him. She patted his chest with one hand to get his attention. Jake leaned his back into her to listen to her. âFaster!â She said into his ear. She felt the rumble in his chest as he laughed, causing her own smile to widen.
He pressed his foot heavier on the gas, the speed of the bike picking up as he did so. She gripped him tighter as the wind blew the ends of her hair. The road rounded and as they shifted their weight with each turn and bend. The exhaustion she had been feeling earlier vanished and for the first time in a long time she felt alive. She felt like she and Jake were the only two people who existed at the moment.
They drove for about forty-five minutes into the night. The only light on the road was those from the headlights of his bike. He started to slow down as they reached a peak of a mountain. She had no idea where they were headed, nor did she care. He made a turn and they went off the road. Slowly they made their way to a grassy path. He kicked the kickstand down and straddled the bike. He planted his feet firmly on either side of the bike, turning the engine off; she dropped her hands from his waist.
âWhere are we?â She asked softly as he stretched his arms and cracked his knuckles. She wasnât sure if she should get off the bike instead, she followed his lead and straddled the bike.
âI want to show you something.â He said as he maneuvered off the bike, holding his hand outward to assist her. She took the hand he offered and swung one leg over the bike and jumped onto the ground. âCome here,â he murmured. Jake led her through the grassy path. âI found this place a long time ago. Itâs where I come when I need to think.â
They reached a platform that overlooked train tracks that had a spectacular view of the pitch-black mountains. The only noise was that of nature. She took it all in and watched as he climbed carefully onto a large rock. She stepped towards him and placed her hands in his and he helped her up. Together they sat on the rock overlooking the mountains and the tracks.
âIn about an hour they start loading the cargo trains.â Jake said simply, âJust as the sun begins to rise.â
âDo you come here a lot?â She asked him staring out into the darkness.
âWhenever I get the chance.â He shrugged beside her as their sides brushed against each other. âIt grounds me for some reason, the serenity of it, it just calms me.â
Cara turned and looked at him for a moment. âI wish I had a place like this.â
âIt could be our place.â He said softly, taking her hand in his.
âWhy do you do that?â She asked absent-mindedly.
His eyebrows furrowed as he looked at her. âWhy do I do what?â
âShare everything with me.â She cocked her head to the side and tried to jumble the thoughts that were spiraling in her mind. If something went wrong in her life, he searched for the resolution. If she was missing something, he made sure she had it. Whenever she felt like she was drowning, he was her lifeline, her S.O.S.
âBecause I want to;â He said so simply, and she wondered if it really was that simple.
âYou know one day youâre going to get married. Youâll want to share all these things with your wife.â She said for certain. âYou should really keep some of these places for her.â She said half joking, half pondering the inevitable. She choked on her words, for that day, scared the shit out of her. He slung one arm around her shoulders and tugged her closer to him, bringing her into the crook of his arm.
âMarriage is over rated and definitely not in my foreseeable future.â He laughed as he pressed his lips to the top of her head. âBesides, youâre my person, if I donât have you to share things with, theyâre not as meaningful.â
âYou donât mean that. You told me yourself you want kids one day.â She said, leaning her head against his shoulder. Theyâve sat like this time after time, tonight; there was a certain intimacy about the way they held each other so comfortably.
âTrue.â He waited a beat and then began again. âSo what do you say, if weâre both still single in five years, you and I get married and have a kid or two?â
She shook her head and a small chuckle escaped her lips. âSure, Jake. Whatever, you say.â She looked up at him when he tugged on a strand of her hair, lightly. âHey!â
âHey, yourself, Iâm serious. You want kids too. Two to be exact. You donât want your kid to be an only child like you. And if weâre getting into specifics you want a boy first so he can watch out for the girl.â
Cara looked at him, shocked that he remembered exactly how she pictured her future family. She often allowed herself to dream of what it would be like to have a family of her own. She could always see the kids, but never the face of the man she would call her husband. She bet Jake remembered that too.
âWho better to have kids with than your best friend, no? Seems like a no brainer to me.â Jake said completely sure of himself. She smiled at him. She loved that about him. When he was adamant about something, he owned it with his whole being.
âOkay, if in five years from now, neither one of us are in a relationship, weâll get hitched and have some babies.â She shook her head at the ridiculousness of her agreement and the fact that she was sincere. He dropped his arm from her shoulders and held his hand to her.
âCome on now, itâs not real unless we shake on it.â He raised an eyebrow and waited for her to shake hands on their promise to one another. Cara slid her hand into his and they shook hands, sealing the deal. âNow that thatâs settled, thereâs just one more thing.â
âWhatâs that?â She asked, curiosity spiking in her voice.
âAbout before and what you said.â She looked at him trying to remember what she had said. âIâd never take off without you.â
Realization dawned upon her as the first glimpse of sunlight made its way above the mountains. âOh, that. I was just kidding around.â She said as she took a deep breath of the fresh air.
âKidding around or not, I just want it to be made clear. I need you, Cara, just as much as you need me, if not more.â
She didnât look at him, instead, she just continued to take in the view. Without uttering a word, she laced her fingers with his and gave his hand a squeeze. The simple gesture assuring the both of them that, that need would never diminish, for either of them.
Nick Foti left Riverdale New York, seven years ago, leaving his dreams and the only family he ever knew behind. Most of all he left the one girl that managed to completely unravel him. Samantha Lanza was his best friends little sister. She wasn't meant to be his, she was his to protect like a sister. When he finally decided he couldn't fight his attraction to her, events unfold that force him to leave her and the only life he has ever wanted behind. Forced to work for his father in Seattle, Nick is miserable. He spends most his time in the boardroom playing the corporate mogul. The rest of the time he loses himself in a bottle and random woman that will never compare to the one he left behind. One day Nick hits rock bottom and decides heâs had enough, he hangs up his suit and tie and sets out to reclaim the life he was meant to have. He heads back to Riverdale just when the family he has always loved as his own needs him the most. Everyone welcomes Nick with open arms, except Sam. She wants nothing to do with him. Can he convince her heâs a changed man who wants nothing more than to have her in his arms forever? Or has is the betrayal she feels too great to forgive.
Broken Pieces excerpt
Sam groaned as she began to awake, there had to be a mariachi band playing over her head. She could picture the band stomping around dancing on her brain. She fought to open her eyes, wondering to herself if she would be able to lift her head that felt as if it weighed a ton. She recognized a scent, it was musky and woodsy yet fresh and clean, it smelt delicious. She didnât remember her sheets ever smelling this good. She sniffed her pillow one more time, indulging in the scent, before rolling over and stretching her body along the mattress. As she went to stretch her arms over her head when she noticed the long sleeve shirt she was wearing. Startled she sat up and looked down at her chest, she had on a manâs button down shirt, and well, that was it. She pulled back the covers and lifted the shirt that was creeping up her thigh. Relief washed over her. At least she was wearing underwear.
âShit! Shit! What did you do Sam?â She said as she buried her face in her hands. Okay all she needed to do was think. Whose shirt was she wearing anyway? No please God, no. She combed her fingers through her hair, or at least attempted to. Failing miserably, she figured her hair must resemble a nest of some sort. She jumped out of bed and took in her surroundings. Her clothes were nowhere in sight. Great more good news, she was never going to drinking again. She couldnât remember a damn thing, other thanâ¦that son of a bitch!
The last thing Sam remembered was Nick Foti telling her and her friends he wouldnât mind her dropping her panties for him. She suddenly felt sick as she glanced over to the chair in the corner. There were Nickâs jeans and shirt from the night before draped over the arm of the chair. Funny, how she was able to find his clothes, but not hers. She swung open the door and stomped barefoot out of his bedroom. She was going to murder him.
His apartment wasnât that big, two steps out of the bedroom and she was in the open concept living room that led straight to the kitchen. If she wasnât so damn mad she wouldâve taken a moment to appreciate the fact that all he wore was basketball shorts. He turned around and she forgot what she was mad about. She hated that part of herself.
âCoffee?â He asked as he brought his own mug to his lips and took a sip.
âAre you kidding me? Coffee? Thatâs all you have to say for yourself?â She said putting her hands on her hips to further emphasize her mood.
âI didnât think you were a morning person. Good to know Iâm two for two.â He said as he reached into his cabinet and pulled out another mug. He began to pour her a cup.
âWhat the hell does that even mean?â She asked as her brows furrowed in confusion. She couldnât help but stare at his sculpted chest. He was a piece of male perfection, truly he was. Her breathing hitched when she noticed the brown hair that trailed from beneath his belly button down to, holy crap. He couldnât possibly be wearing any underwear. She swallowed hard.
âFirst you were in fact wearing black underwear, second your morning attitude is just as bad as your rest of the day attitude.â He slid the coffee mug across the counter.
She snapped out of her trance and glared at him. âYou try waking up in a strange bed with someone elseâs clothes on and tell me how your attitude is.â
He looked as if he was actually contemplating the scenario she had just offered up to him. He shrugged his shoulders. âIâd go about it differently than you.â He took another sip of his coffee.
âOh let me hear this one.â She said as she rolled her eyes and took the first heavenly sip of caffeine.
âWell I suppose my first question wouldâve been along the lines of âwas it as good as I hoped it would beâ?â
She spit out her first sip before she could even swallow it. Nick hid his mouth behind his mug and Sam was certain he was hiding a smirk. Her eyes widened.
âAre you saying what I think youâre saying? You and I had sex?â She stared at him in horror. How could this have happened? She wanted to kick herself because not only did she ask herself how it happened, she followed it with how could she finally have sex with Nick and not remember one single detail. She stared down back at the bulge that was so evident through his loose fitting basketball shorts. For crying out loud how could she forget that?
Nick cleared his throat, and raised an eyebrow at her.
âAre you going to put some clothes on?â She squeaked.
âThat depends.â He said as he gripped the edge of the counter, his arms flexed. âAre you?â
âGladly. If you would just point out where they are.â She crossed her arms against her chest and sulked. This was the worst morning after ever. She looked up at him. âYou didnât answer my question.â
âWhich one? You asked a bunch.â He said as he walked around the counter, carrying his cup of coffee. He sauntered into the living room and bent down, holy hell he had a killer ass too. When he rose to his full height he held out one of her heels to her. Well now we were getting somewhere, she supposed.
âThanks.â She muttered and snatched the shoe from him. âDid we sleep together?â
Nick turned around and stared at her. She felt her cheeks flush as his stare traveled the length of her body. What the hell are you embarrassed for now? She thought, heâs probably seen it all. The bastard probably remembers too.
âYou really donât remember?â He said and took another step closer to her. She couldnât find her voice, well she could, but she just didnât trust what she would say. What sat on the tip of her tongue begging to come out was, âNo how about a re-enactment?â
Nick reached out and toyed with the top button of his shirt that she wore. She stared up at him watching as his eyes darkened. She couldnât read him. His lips were a straight line, and his eyes dipped lower and settled on the button he toyed with for another moment. When his eyes finally met hers he removed his hand.
âLetâs clear something up. We didnât sleep together, yet.â
âYet?â She wouldâve slapped him if she could stop the band in her head or her eyes from radiating towards his shorts. Her body was all out of whack.
He nodded confidently. âIâve already made up my mind that we most definitely are going to be sleeping together. I also decided Iâd like you sober and very much alert.â
She swallowed hard and felt the temperature rise around her. Suddenly her lack of clothing was having her feel overdressed. She forced herself to gain control.
âHa! Well thatâs too bad, because I have decided Iâm not interested!â She glared at him, crossing her arms. There Nick Foti, take that!
He laughed, he actually laughed. âIf you wanted me to believe that you probably shouldâve stopped undressing me with your eyes a few minutes ago.â
Samâs mouth gaped open, and as if on cue her eyes found his shorts again. What the hell was wrong with her? She snapped her eyes shut. âI am not undressing you with my eyes.â
âSo youâre not picturing how big my dick is right now?â He asked dead serious. There wasnât even a hint of humor in his voice.
Sam was in big trouble. She needed to get the hell out of there, and quick.
âWhatever it is youâre figuring, just add on a couple of inches.â His hands played with the elastic of his shorts, teasingly. âYou know what never mind, Iâll just show you.â
âNo!â she shrieked. Why? She had no idea. âWhere are my clothes Nick? Iâm done playing games with you.â
He snapped the elastic band of his shorts against his waist and shrugged his shoulders.
âYouâre loss. Now youâll just have to wait a little longer.â
This was crazy, when did she lose control? âNo if I die with never seeing your dickâ¦â
âHorrible way to go,â he cut her off. âDonât worry baby, Iâll make sure it doesnât end like that for you.â
Youâve laughed with them. Youâve cried with them. Now itâs time to say goodbye to the Lanza Family, in the final installment of The Riverdale Series. Luke Lanza is a man who has always done the responsible thing. He has faced a lot of challenging obstacles in his life; from raising his daughter on his own, to building a successful business, even being the only viable donor that could save his brotherâs life. Knowing this about his brother and knowing that he was going to die, Jake asked him to look after the love of his life. Now Luke is torn between the promise he made to his brother and the pull of something heâs never known before. âPromise me, I need to hear you say it, Luke.â Luke swallowed. âI promise Iâll take care of Cara, you donât have to worry about her.â A tear slipped down his cheek as he finished his vow to his little brother. Jake smiled slightly and closed his eyes. âI could always count on you.â Cara Sloane is struggling with the loss of her first love and the power of addiction. Jake had been her rock for so long, with him gone she realizes how broken she is. She doesnât want to feel anything, least of all the emptiness in her heart. âI know youâre at peace and I should be thankful for that, but I canât be. I never realized what a selfish person I was. You were suffering and all I could do was pray for you not to leave me.â A tragic accident leaves Luke and his family pleading with Cara to change the course of her life. Can Cara face her demons and learn there is life after Jake? Can she learn that she can hold onto to the beautiful memories they made together and still live her life? âI donât want to fix her because sheâs broken.â He said with his own voice sounding a bit broken. âI want to help her because losing her too isnât an option.â Individually they try to heal, together they wonder if they can fit the pieces of their broken lives.
Fitting the Pieces Excerpt
Luke rounded the bend and slowed down as they made their way in front of the center. It looked like a resort that had been tucked away overlooking a lake, he thought, and felt a little more comfortable that he was leaving her in a decent place. It was almost serene. He pulled into a spot that was assigned to visitors and turned the car off. Her hand gripped the handle of her door tightly yet she remained perfectly still.
âIâll grab your suitcase.â He said softly as he watched her nod before he got out of the truck to retrieve the suitcase from the back. She heard the tail gate open up and Luke rustle around in the back of the truck. She took a deep breath, and felt as if she was going to be sick. She bent down and dropped her head to her knees and prayed she wouldnât lose it.
Luke came around and opened her door. âCara?â
âI canât do this.â She said weakly.
âHeyâ¦â He dropped the suitcase beside him and placed a hand on her back. âLook at me.â He said and waited for her to do so. She slowly lifted her head to meet his gaze, looking at him expectantly. He reached for her left hand and gestured towards her hand. She looked down and saw his finger tip run along the tattoo of strength she had scripted on her ring finger. âYou see that?â He asked, watching as she gazed down at their hands and the way his fingertip underlined the word.
âYou can do this. You are strong enough to do this. I promise.â He said softly before he dropped her hand onto her lap.
She stared at her band of strength. Funny, she thought, how when she and Jake had gotten those tattoos she really believed that the reminder would will him to do anything. Why was it so hard to look down at that band now and have it mean the same thing to her? She looked up at Luke, he looked so confident in his proclamation that she was strong enough to do this. He believed she could kick her habit, it was right there in the eyes that were looking back at her. She took a deep breath.
âOkay.â She whispered and he took a step back, allowing her room to step out of the truck. Luke pulled up the handle on her suitcase as she closed the door behind her. He looked her over and watched as she shoved her hands into the pockets of his sweatshirt as they started to walk towards the entrance of Lakeview.
He dreaded the end of the walk, knowing that once they made their way to the entrance of the facility, he would have to say goodbye and leave her. He couldnât walk her in, hold her hand and make sure she was alright. She would walk into that building with her own fate in her hands and completely out of his.
He questioned himself and how he should say goodbye to her. Since her stay in the hospital, she wasnât as cold as she had been the last few months, yet still he held back from acting the way he yearned to when it came to her. Did he hug her or kiss her cheek? Or did he wait for her to make a move to say goodbye? He blew out a strangled breath when he realized she had stopped walking in front of him and that they were standing in front of the entrance of Lakeview.
She looked up at the building before her and then turned around slowly to meet Lukeâs gaze. âWell, this is itâ¦â She said, letting the last word of her sentence trail off.
âYouâre going to be just fine...I promise.â He said softly, and then in an effort to busy his hands, he rolled her suitcase to her side and took a retreating step backward. He shoved his hands into his pockets and looked down for a moment, unsure what to do. He lifted his head and looked back at her. She tilted her head to the side and studied him for a moment.
âI guess I should go inside.â She placed her hand hesitantly on the handle of her suitcase and began to turn around. She glanced down at herself and noticed she was still wearing the sweatshirt she had borrowed from him. âOh, I almost forgotâ¦â She said and turned around towards him. âYour shirt.â She said as she went to grab the end of it to lift it over her head.
Luke placed his hand over hers instantly and shook his head. âKeep it. When youâre feeling lonely, itâll remind you youâre not alone and that Iâm only a phone call away.â He dropped his hand quickly.
âThe website says I canât have any contact with anyone until after I complete detox.â She stated and her eyes searched his. For what she had no idea.
âSo then Iâll hear from you in a few daysâ¦â He said giving her the green light for her to call him. Little did she know heâd probably be staring at his phone until she did.
Cara nodded and then reached into her purse and pulled out an envelope. âI will call you then.â She stared down at the sealed envelope that had Lukeâs name printed on it.
âWhatâs that?â He asked.
She tore her eyes away from the envelope and reaching out to hand it to him as she looked up at his face. âI found a journal of Jakeâs and there were some letters in the back of the book. This one was addressed to you.â
Luke stared down at the envelope for a moment, recognizing the familiar handwriting that belonged to his brother. His breath hitched, a little piece of his brother lived on in that note, he thought. It was something new to Luke, that Jake had never said whether it was written or spoken, there was something Jake wanted to say to him. He swallowed the lump that was lodged in his throat and reached for the letter.
She watched on as he stared down at it in his hands for a moment before he carefully slipped it into his back pocket.
âThank you.â He said hoarsely.
She nodded. âOkay, Caraâ¦ time to put your big girl panties on.â She murmured as she took hold of the suitcase one more time and turned around.
Luke smiled slightly when he heard her coach herself, a little piece of the Cara Sloane he once knew, shining through the broken version that stood before him. âHeyâ¦â He called and she glanced over her shoulder, raising an eyebrow towards him. âCâmere.â He whispered.
She looked at him confused for a moment and turned around to completely face him. He stepped forward and closed the space between them as he wrapped his arms around her delicate frame.
âIâm proud of you for taking this step.â He whispered into her hair as he held her against him for the briefest of moments. He didnât give himself a second to question his actions and did as he felt. After a moment he pulled back and nodded towards the door behind her. âNow you can go.â He said and offered her a smile.
The corners of her mouth curved slightly and she treated him to a smile before she turned around and this time she didnât hesitate, she walked straight through the automatic doors that opened for her. Luke watched them close behind her and stood still for a moment, sighing heavily as he let her go.
Jake's Journal (The Riverdale Series 3.5)
Coming Soon to Amazon
In honor of the one year Anniversary of the series you can now read Jake's Journal.
If someone wouldâve told Jake Lanza he would have ever kept a journal, he probably wouldâve laughed in their face. Journals were for females. His sister had a journal. He would know, being as he stole it once and read all her deepest darkest teenage secrets. Yet, to his surprise when Nick gifted him a blank journal, he decided to give it a try.
Dear Diary, Fuck. That donât sound right. In fact it sounds kind of gay. Why donât these books come with instructions? You know what? Fuck this.
Jake (Because I think Iâm supposed to sign my name)
During the most the darkest days and most trying times, Jake used his journal to expose the deepest thoughts he wouldnât allow himself to say out loud. In this journal you will read the thoughts of a man fighting for his life. Read his letters to Cara as he pours out his heart and soul to her, through his works and drawings he wished to create. Discover the plans he had for his loved ones and the promises he left behind. Enjoy the legacy Jake Lanza left behind.
Janine Infante Bosco lives in New York City, she has always loved reading and writing. When she was thirteen, she began to write her own stories and her passion for writing took off as the years went on. At eighteen, she even wrote a full screenplay with dreams of one day becoming a member of the Screen Actors Guild.
Now in her early thirties Janine is dedicated to her family, her boys the lights of her life. In her spare time, she wrote the Riverdale Series a labor of love and family that she is so very thrilled to share with you. Hope you enjoy the Lanzaâs.