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Digital Released: April 2014
ISBN: 9781310788833
ASIN: B00JLVCXN6
Kindle US, Kindle UK
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Print Release: April 2014
ISBN: 9781910234044
Amazon US, Amazon UK

SHAPE OF MY HEART
Series: Irish Pride, #3
Author: Kemberlee Shortland
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Digtial Price: $4.99
Print Price: $10.99

Gráinne has moved back to Dublin to get her life straightened out. She dreams of college and a better life. She’s working for her brother, Kieran, in his newly reopened pub, The Blues Tavern, but the money isn’t enough to support herself and pay tuition. Moonlighting at The Klub! as an exotic dancer seems to be her answer to fast money.

John ‘JD’ Desmond is a detective working undercover in the Blues Tavern. The Klub!, owned by Jimmy Malloy, is being used as a drug front, headed by the notorious Taylor Wade. JD had intended to get Gráinne to snitch for him, but when he falls in love with her, things get complicated.

When Gráinne witnesses Jimmy’s murder, she and JD are forced to go on the run until Wade can be apprehended. Wade lives up to his nickname, The Hunter, and JD and Gráinne quickly find themselves at the end of a gun and running for their lives.

Excerpt
Over the next couple hours JD tread lightly around Gráinne and peace settled between them. He hadn’t had the opportunity to talk to her again with the evening prep, but as he looked at his watch he knew her shift ended soon.

He’d tried almost every tactic he could think of to get her to reveal more about herself and he was getting anxious at her continued aloofness. He didn’t want to have to resort to seducing her. While the idea of getting her into bed was appealing, he just preferred to do it under other circumstances. He fancied her like hell, but he couldn’t let his libido get in the way of his job. She was his best hope at getting the information he desperately needed. So he’d have to resort to another tactic if he was going to get her to talk. Blackmail was one he was loath to use, but at this stage in the game, he had little choice.

There was a lull in the pub now that the afternoon crowds were gone and the evening prep had been done. If he was going to confront her, he had to do it now.

Gráinne stood at the end of the bar flipping through a magazine. The twinkling Christmas lights over the back bar shone on her dark hair. As she moved, the highlights reflected like electric current through the strands curling around her face. His heart thumped a little harder looking at her.

He reminded himself he wasn’t here to bartend. He was here to gather information. His future depended on it. He couldn’t afford another wasted day so it was now or never.

His pounding heart made it suddenly hard to breathe. He hated having to do this to her.

“Gráinne, can we talk?”

“Talk?” She put her magazine aside. “About what?”

“I think you know.” He locked gazes with her. He could tell she was nervous by the way she started fidgeting.

Then she turned away, refusing to look at him for longer than a millisecond. “My love life is none of your concern,” she told him, reminding him unnecessarily of their previous discussion.

“That’s not what I’m talking about.”

“Then I don’t know what you mean.” She spun on her heel, intent on leaving the bar area.

He grasped her arm. To his surprise, she didn’t struggle. But something odd happened as he loosened his grasp. He felt something powerful pass between them. His fingers tingled as he touched her. It radiated up his arm and shot through his body.

For the second time today, he felt himself stiffen, and wished that circumstances were different, that she was naked beneath him and gazing up at him with eyes he knew would undo him.

She glanced over her shoulder, but not directly at him. “Let me go.” Her barely audible words shook him back to the moment. It wasn’t a command, but he couldn’t help noticing her words were tinged with pleading.

“Will you stay to talk with me? I think this is important.” His own voice was softer now. When she relaxed he reluctantly released his hold. She kept her gaze averted, her arms folded protectively in front of her, refusing to look at him. He knew she was waiting for something, anything, to draw her away.

Reaching under the bar, he extracted the black plastic sack he’d brought in with him today. He knew the item inside would shatter any peace he hoped to make with her.
He looked at the sack for a moment, thinking about what could never be between them. There was a job to be done and it didn’t include getting emotionally involved. He hoped the more he reminded himself of this fact he’d eventually come to believe it.

Sighing, he extracted a black velvet bra and held it up for her inspection. She only cast it a side-glance.

“I take it you know where I got this.”

“Anne Summers?”

“No.”

“Well then, I have no idea.”

He saw her swallow hard then move over to the taps to pour herself a cola. She swallowed deeply from the glass.

“I think you do. Let’s not . . . dance . . . around the subject, Gráinne. We both know where I got this, and I’d lay odds at Paddy Powers your brother doesn’t know what you’ve been up to.”

His heart ached as he forced himself to goad her.

The look she shot him would have incinerated the average man, but he wasn’t average. He was a man with a mission, and Gráinne was the only one who could help him.

“By that look, I’d say I’ve hit the nail on the head.”

“So, what of it.”

 

“Why haven’t you told Kieran?” he asked, trying to keep his voice calm.

“I somehow doubt he’d understand why I’m . . . moonlighting.”

JD chuckled lightly. “Moonlighting? Is that what they’re calling it these days?”

“Just stop. What do you want from me? Not that it’s any of your business what I do on my own time.”

“I need your help.”

A single brow arched over her eye. “With what? Wait, let me guess,” she seethed, throwing her hands on her hips. “You want a private show. Or you want me to entertain some friends. And you’re going to use this,” she fingered the bra he still held in his hand, “as a bribe to get me to do it for free.”

“Not quite. While I wouldn’t mind a private show, it’s not entertainment I’m looking for.”

“What’s this?” Kieran suddenly appeared behind the bar, startling them both. JD saw Gráinne’s face go pale, and thought she would faint then and there.

What the reviewers are saying
Ms. Shortland does a wonderful job crafting a heroine who considers herself worldly, but is actually very vulnerable. J.D. wrestles with using Grainne for spying, even though he’s aware it will endanger her. The Irish phrases and setting add color to what could have been just another version of “Pretty Woman” with guns. There is plenty of steam between the pages, which should be expected when the heroine is a pole dancer . . . “Shape of My Heart” is a tight, well-paced romance complete with a happy ending and enough heat to sear the reader’s fingers! ~ Morgan Stamm, InD'Tale Magazine

• • •

romance and suspense!
The romance and suspense was well balanced. The sleazeballs were completely sleazy-- but, as in all good romantic suspense books, right prevails. But not without some heartstopping moments beforehand. ~ It's Raining Books, Amazon

• • •

Sparkling read
The author maintains the pace throughout. Believable characters grapple with the seedy side of city life. Realistic dialogue gives a sense of place. A romance between Grainne and JD is central to the plot but the course of true love - true to tradition - has many obstacles to overcome. ~ Noreen, Amazon

• • •

This is a solid romantic suspense novel with an Irish flair. The chemistry between Grainne and J.D. sizzles. The suspense is more on the crime drama arena since we know who the bad guy is and what he's into. It's a matter of trying to keep Grainne from becoming a victim and bringing down a crime syndicate. This was pretty good stuff. I enjoyed the romance, the family ties and I liked the suspense being somewhat gritty. There is also a little bit of a cautionary tale here. It could be someone's honest intention to just temporarily dabble in a certain lifestyle and then find themselves trapped in that life. Working in a “gentleman's club” may earn you lots of cash, but those businesses, no matter how upscale are often seedy and it's not hard to imagine drugs and sex crimes taking place in the background, maybe even human trafficking. Thankfully, Grainne had family and friends and of course J.D. To help her avoid that trap. J.D. is dreamy! Despite the hard core crime drama they are involved in, Grainne and J.D.'s love story is deeply romantic and sensual. Grainne also learned that her brother's marriage and impending fatherhood didn't mean she was going to be left out of his life and so she had no reason to be jealous. Maybe sometime in the near future Grainne will find herself married too! ~ Julie, Goodreads

• • •

Heart warmng as well a gripping story line
After reading the other two novels in this series who could have resisted reading this one a well. It gave great pleasure as well as the romantic side of the storey. They were very lucky to have found each other. ~ Wendy Binsley, Amazon

• • •

Living a double life
This book had lots of drama and suspense. ~ Paula of Harps Romance Book Review, Amazon

• • •

A Well written book full of mystery and suspense with a romantic twist .... Grainee being very unsure to show her love for JD not knowing if he was really in love with her or Jett the pole dancer the name she used working at the Klub! JD is a guardi working under cover investigating the Klub! As the story unfolds I found it hard to put the book down wanting to know what will happen next .... A very good book if you like mystery and romance. ~ bbsan, Amazon

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Dancing for the big boys!
Some lovely legends are interspersed throughout this novel that explains the origins of our protagonists’ names along with some Irish history and language sure to intrigue the reader. Yes, characters in Dublin and some other minor towns are a force to be reckoned with and the reckoning is both sweet and fierce! This reviewer has been following the writing of Kemberlee Shortland for years, and I’m delighted to say her creative skills in crafting this romance novel have substantially increased and promise the reader a grand read to enjoy and will compel the same to dive into the other books in this notable, recommended Irish Pride series! Keep the stories coming, Kemberlee Shortland – nice job indeed! ~ Viviane Crystal, Crystal Book Reviews and Amazon

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Suspenseful and romantic!
There are several escape and evasion scenes that will keep the reader turning the pages and sitting on the edge of the seat. This is a romance with a little something extra besides steamy love scenes. It is a Definately must have for any library. ~ Belinda Wilson, Amazon

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This story is as Irish as it could get
I loved Shape of My Heart. I've read a lot of book set in Ireland but the dialect, the slang used, all rang so real. I felt as if I were in Ireland as I read the story. Wonderfully entertaining with characters I could relate to, Irish or not, and a story I never wanted to see end. Can't wait for another Kemberlee Shortland book. ~ Petticoat Grandma, Amazon

• • •

Best book in the series
I was privileged to read the entire Irish Pride series, but I must admit of all three the books I loved this one the most . . . I loved the legend element that made you believe they were destined souls that had to be together since the moment they met . . . The suspense was just enough to make it enjoyable, sexual tension ever building between them, and hunted by an evil man; the two lovers found themselves in difficult times throughout. With family support and love from Kieran and Eilis the scenes were interesting . . . Written with knowledge the author brought you into her world and told the story perfectly; weaving the plot continuously. Her ability to capture your attention, holding the pace and let the story develop made this a great read. ~ Lynelle, Amazon

 

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