Karen’s Killer Book Bench: Isabel’s Awakening by T.D. Hassett


Welcome to Karen’s Killer Book Bench where, every Wednesday, readers can discover talented new authors and take a peek inside their wonderful books. This is not an age-filtered site so all book peeks are PG-13 or better. Come back and visit often. Happy reading!

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Book Blurb

It’s been five busy years, and Newcastle-born singer/guitarist Thomas Morgan is still punishing himself for his younger brother’s death.

Thomas’s young, fashion-model wife once led her husband’s idolizing brother, Chris, into both drugs and an adulterous relationship. The loss of his brother and total destruction of his marriage destroyed Thomas. To avoid entanglements with others, even his young son, Thomas focused on promoting his music and the management of his now highly profitable record company. He thought he had everything at a safe distance, at least until Isabel literally slammed into his life.

High school teacher, Isabel Warren, finds herself falling head over heels in love with the sexy-as-sin guitarist for the rock band Becket. Soon Isabel’s orderly world of lesson plans, thesis writing, and student loan debt is competing against desire, passion, and her vulnerable heart.

Isabel struggles to navigate her newly stirred passions with her rising academic career and independent nature. As the sex sizzles, the two lovers will have to decide which parts of their dreams they will sacrifice for their fledgling relationship.

Can Thomas ever trust and love again, and will the young woman he meets ever have the confidence and strength to be with him?




Isabel woke up disoriented. This was not her apartment; in fact, the bedroom was bigger than her entire apartment. The clock on the nightstand read 4:10 a.m., and she saw a brand-new copy of Dune lying open on the table. She was in Thomas’ suite at the casino’s hotel, and she could hear the quiet strumming of a guitar coming from the next room. She got up and made her way to the large double sink, turning on the lights over the vanity mirror. She didn’t look as scary as she’d feared. Her eyeliner was a bit smeared and her hair tangled, but her face was no longer flushed and swollen. She rummaged through the drawers of the vanity and found a brand-new toothbrush and toothpaste, hotel soap, and a small comb. They had thoughtfully provided both hand and facial soap, so she ran the water and got to work. It was amazing how much better she felt with freshly brushed teeth and a washed face. Her stained blouse and skirt were no longer in a pile on the floor, so she put on the fluffy hotel robe and prepared to exit the room.

Thomas was on the couch, picking at the strings of a guitar, his eyes closed and his head tipped to the side, letting all that beautiful, streaky hair fall across his cheek. He wore his faded jeans and a tight T-shirt that showed off his impressive biceps. Oh my, she had walked in on Apollo, Greek god of music and poetry.

Isabel smiled at him shyly. “Hey you, thanks for taking care of me.”

He looked at her and smiled back. “Did I wake you?” He didn’t appear as if he felt bad about the possibility.

“No, I think the medicine just wore off, and I figured I was okay to leave now. Besides, I’m guessing you’re working or composing or something?”

He grinned playfully, full-on Apollo. “Something. You looked so peaceful sleeping in there I was jealous. I have horrible insomnia, so I try to work on new stuff when I can’t sleep. There is just something about four o’clock in the morning and writing in a hotel room.”

He patted the couch next to him and shifted his guitar a bit. “Sit with me.”

She couldn’t resist that look and offer. Isabel sat next to him like an anxious, happy puppy. She was going to get really hurt when this little adventure ended.

“So tell me what you’re working on.”

“Oh just a new song about how people are so contradictory, love history but read tons of science fiction, that sort of thing.” Hmm, like us, maybe? She thought but didn’t say. He slid his hands lovingly up the guitar’s body. “This is my favorite guitar; she’s a 1963 Fender Telecaster, made before I was born. I had her customized after Becket’s first album went platinum. She’s sort of my good-luck charm.”

Thomas continued talking while gently placing her into a case on the coffee table. “My first guitar was a Gibson that I got when I was twelve years old. I guess my dad was sick of me running around the house as the master air guitarist. I don’t think I put that guitar down for a whole five years. I fell asleep playing her and woke up fingering the frets. Do you play any instruments?”

Isabel admitted with some embarrassment that she’d been kicked out of the school choir because her voice was so off key and the Suzuki violin teacher suggested she try a different extracurricular activity after only a dozen ear-splitting lessons.

“No, I’m not musical. The only familiarity I have with guitars is that all the characters in the science fiction movie Cyborg were named after famous guitar makes, Gibson, Fender, Marshall, Pearl…”

He chuckled, at her expense no doubt, but he admitted to having seen the movie, so they were equally nerdy on the science fiction front.

“Come here,” Thomas said.

He reached for her and pulled her over his lap and then grabbed the guitar back from its case. He positioned the guitar in her arms and organized her fingers on the strings. He had amazing patience because each time he set her fingers into position she would move them just out of place. At long last Thomas was happy with her hand placement, and he held her fingers onto certain strings over the frets and guided her right hand across the bridge strings.

They strummed the strings a few times, and he whispered into her ear, “You just played a chord.”

His breath warmed her ear, and he kissed the lobe gently. Isabel shifted around in his lap a little bit, and she was rewarded for her squirming with a little nip to the neck.

“Hmm, quit rubbing around like that or your music lesson will be over,” Thomas threatened.

Isabel was done with music lessons and wanted a biology lesson at that point. Please, please let the teacher say it’s time to change classes! Her inner girl predicted success.

TDPhoto  Meet T.D. HASSETT, Author….

T.D. Hassett  grew up reading the romance greats, Jackie Collins, Julie Garwood and Judith McNaught.  She was certain that life should be like a romance novel, lots of passion, some incredible adventures and a guaranteed happily ever after.  She attended college in New England earning a B.A. in history and a M.S. degree in clinical psychology before changing her mind again and studying education.  Currently Ms. Hassett lives in Connecticut with her very patient husband and two young children.  Her rambunctious family shares their home with 3 crazy cats and a darling golden retriever named Delilah.  Her eccentric relatives and their quest to make her feel like the only normal nut in the family tree inspire her writing.


Links to T.D.’s website, blog, books, etc.




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**SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT:  T.D. will give away an e-book copy of ISABEL’S AWAKENING to one of her lucky readers who comments on either her Monday Interview or Wednesday Book Bench blogs!!  Winner will be randomly selected and announced Monday, September 23, 2013.  Thanks, T.D., for sharing your stories with us!

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