Pocketful of Sand – 4.5 Stars

pocketful of sand

M. Leighton

Release Date: March 14, 2015



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book blurb


“She’s beauty for my ashes and I’m hope for her heartbreak.”


A story of heartbreak, loss, redemption and second chances: POCKETFUL OF SAND from New York Times bestselling author M. Leighton.


I don’t know what makes a great love story. Is it that instant attraction when boy meets girl? The passionate kisses and the fairy-tale ending? Or is it a lifetime of tragedy, paid in advance, for a few stolen moments of pure bliss? The pain and the suffering that, in the end, you can say are worth it for having found the missing piece of your soul?

The answer is: I don’t know. I don’t know what makes a great love story. I only know what makes my love story. I only know that finding Cole when I did, when Emmy and I were running from a nightmare, was the only thing that saved me. That saved us. He was more broken than I was, but somehow we took each other’s shattered pieces and made a whole. If THAT is what makes a great love story, if THAT is what makes an epic romance, then mine… OURS is the greatest of them all.

**Contains material that some may find disturbing. Not intended for readers under the age of 18.**


“Hiya, Cole.  Didn’t know you were here,” he says as if there is no tension in the room.

“Jason,” Cole nods. “What brings you by?”

Conveniently, Jason holds up a white slip of paper he’s carrying.  “Brought the receipt for the items you bought at the store. Jordan forgot it when she bagged it all.  I told her I’d bring it on out, but you weren’t at your place or across the street, so I thought I’d drop it off with Eden.  You know, since you were fixing things here.”

I guess that makes sense, but still, it seems like an awful lot of trouble for a receipt. “Thanks,” Cole says coolly, reaching for the paper.  He folds it up and sticks it in his jeans pocket.

“Were you on your way out?” Jason asks Cole innocently enough, pointing back over his shoulder at the door.

Unruffled, Cole simply says, “As a matter of fact I was.”  Jason moves farther into the living room as Cole approaches the door again.  “Call if you need me,” he says.  Then, with one long look, he’s gone, leaving an empty space in the room that ten Jasons couldn’t fill.  I feel oddly…bereft, a sensation that’s becoming more pronounced every time I’m around my handsome landlord and then he leaves.

“I thought you didn’t have a phone,” Jason reminds after the door is closed and the room is quiet again.

“He brought me one,” I confess, not following him into the living room.

His eyebrows shoot up. “He did?  Well, looks like you’re bringing him out of his shell.”

I shrug.  I don’t know what to say to that, although his observation makes me happy.

“The guy needs all the friends he can get.  Nobody really wants to have anything to do with him, so…”

I know what he’s doing. I know what he’s getting at.  And it infuriates me.  I don’t let him see that, though.  “I’m glad I can be different then.”

“You are definitely different,” Jason says, his genuine (if a bit shark-like) smile returning.  His gaze skims me appreciatively.

As if sensing my discomfort, Emmy jumps up from her place on the floor and runs to me, wrapping her arms around my waist and looking up at me with her big, shiny green eyes.

“Well, thanks for bringing that by for Cole.  Emmy and I were just about to get into her lessons for the day.”

His expression sobers, but he still seems pleasant enough.  “I’ll see myself out then.”  When he passes me, much closer than what I’d have liked, he stops and bends toward my ear.  “If you need help, you’d be better off calling me.  I don’t think you want to put much faith in Cole.  Not with a history like his.”

I frown. I want to ask questions. I’m sure he knew I would want to ask questions.  But I’m not falling into his trap.  “I guess you should leave me your number then.”

That seems to satisfy him quite a bit. He takes out his wallet and removes one of several crisp business cards.  They read JASON BAILEY.  OWNER.  BAILEY’S QUICK STOP.  BAILEY’S PROPERTY MANAGEMENT.  BAILEY’S IMPORTS.

What doesn’t he do in this town?

“Call me anytime.  I mean it.”

He gives the underside of my chin a quick brush with his hooked forefinger, like we’re that familiar, and then reaches for the knob. I wait with bated breath for him to disappear, unlike with Cole, who I have to resist the urge to beg to stay. And when the door is closed behind Jason, I can’t help noticing the relief I feel. Nothing like the empty, yearning sensation I get when Cole goes.

With Jason gone, Emmy happily returns to her spot on the floor.  I drift to the chair and sit down, lost in deep thought.  What is Cole doing to me?  How can I be so taken with someone I hardly know?  What is it about him that pulls me in, that has taken such a hold on me and won’t let go?

What.  Is it.  About.  Cole?

I don’t know how many minutes have passed–ten, twenty, sixty?– when an insistent fist bangs on the door. Two sharp knocks.   My heart is thumping heavily in my chest when I get up to go answer it.  But that’s nothing compared to the wild galloping that commences when I open it to find Cole staring at me with hunger in his eyes.


He came back.

And he’s going to kiss me.

I can feel it like static, stimulating every fine hair on my body.

And then he drags me into his arms and puts an end to my curiosity.

His lips. I knew they’d taste like heaven. And they do. They’re the perfect mixture of firm and soft, and they move over mine with a power I always knew him capable of. It prowls in him, just beneath the surface, like a caged animal. Right now, the animal is barely contained.  I feel it in the way his lips urge mine apart, in the way his tongue tangles and dominates mine, sending shockwaves of thrill all the way through to my core.  I feel it in the way his hand threads into my hair to hold me still for his plundering.

He’s capturing me.

And I’m captured.

He wants me.

And I’m all his.

And I love it.  I love it all. More than I ever thought I could.

When we’re both panting breathlessly, Cole raises his head and spears me with a blue gaze hotter than the tip of a flame.  As I watch, he licks his lips, as if savoring the taste of me.  Saliva pours into my mouth, making me crave the fresh mint of his tongue more than ever.  Now that I know what it’s like, I won’t be able to get enough.

“Eden,” he says in his incredible voice, staring down at me with his incredible eyes.

“Yes?”  I all but sway, hypnotized by the spell he’s cast over me.

He could ask me anything right now, anything at all, and I’d agree to it. I’m putty in his hands.

“Get out of my head.  Please.  I don’t want you there.”  His words are soft.  Sincere.  Heartbreaking.

But before devastation sets in, I realize exactly what he said. What it means.  And I’m thrilled.

I’m in his head.

about the author

M. Leighton

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author M. Leighton is a native of Ohio. She relocated to the warmer climates of the South, where she can be near the water all summer and miss the snow all winter. Possessed of an overactive imagination from early in her childhood, Michelle finally found an acceptable outlet for her fantastical visions: literary fiction. Having written over a dozen novels, these days Michelle enjoys letting her mind wander to more romantic settings with sexy Southern guys, much like the one she married and the ones you’ll find in her latest books. When her thoughts aren’t roaming in that direction, she’ll be riding horses, swimming in ponds and experiencing life on a ranch, all without leaving the cozy comfort of her office.

Author’s Links

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my review

4.5 Stars

Oh my – Pocketful of Sand seriously takes you on an emotional ride and its characters will capture your heart.

Holy history and baggage. Cole and Eden are both damaged souls – broken by life.  Their romance is not flowers and witty banter. It’s tender and fragile. The connection and attraction that they feel is undeniable but they both are terrified to try. They are content to suffer in their silent, lonely worlds.   The only bright light in it all is Eden’s daughter, Emmy.

This book demands your attention because of the pain and sadness that Cole and Eden wear like a second skin. You feel their torment and crave a happily ever after for them. The moment they surrender to one another is powerful and passionate. It feels like the start of something beautiful but whatever causes the drama and heartache in life is not ready to let them find peace yet. It’s a rough journey for Cole and Eden.

I could not put their book down. It’s a very well written story – I could easily imagine the characters, their world and feel their despair.  Chapter after chapter – you’re treated to stolen moments of lust.  Private moments of pain. Brief glimpses of happiness.  Grief.  Fear.  It’s an emotionally intense and entertaining read.  I loved it.

Even though I thought it was a quick read, I quickly became attached to this trio and I would definitely recommend you read their book, Pocketful of Sand.


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