UNTAMED by S.C. Stephens (November 3, 2015; Forever Trade Paperback; Thoughtful #5)
The spotlight doesn’t only shine. Sometimes, it burns.
Being the bad-boy bassist for the world’s hottest band has earned Griffin Hancock some perks: a big house, a fast car, and most importantly his incredible wife Anna. The one thing it hasn’t brought him is the spotlight. Anna tells him to be patient, that his talent will win out. But Griffin is through waiting for permission to shine.
Without warning, Griffin makes a shocking decision and takes the gamble of a lifetime. Suddenly he’s caught up in a new level of lights, cameras, and chaos—one that pushes his relationship with Anna to its limits. Anna has always found his unpredictable behavior sexy, but lately he’s seen an ache in her eyes, and it has his soul in knots. Just as the recognition Griffin seeks is finally within reach, the thing he loves most in life could be slipping through his fingers…
When Anna came back into the room, I was my usual self—just a half chub was trying to poke through my jeans. But even that faded when I saw the little miracle in my wife’s arms. “Daddy!” Gibson tossed her hands my way and leaned so hard in my direction that Anna had to struggle to hold on to her. Gibson’s little face scrunched with annoyed concentration while she fought against her mom. Then, with a pout that only a little kid could make adorable, she turned and scowled at Anna. “Want Daddy.” She said it as a command, not a request. Gibson was only around a year and a half, but she already knew what she wanted, and she fully expected to get her way. She was so much like me, it was scary.
Anna rolled her eyes but stepped closer so Gibson could reach me. When her little hands touched my skin, they suddenly became razor-like talons. Like an eagle securing a fish from the sea, Gibson clamped onto my forearm with a surprising amount of freakish strength. “Ow, shit! Relax, Gibs. I’m right here.”
Grunting, I pulled her into my side and examined what was left of my arm. I half expected to see a mutilated flap of skin hanging off the bone. Instead, all I saw were bright red streaks where she’d raked me. Anna winced. “Guess I need to cut her nails. Sorry.”
I shrugged. “The day isn’t truly awesome until a gorgeous girl has scratched me up. I wear my war wounds with pride.” Looking at the design she’d left behind, I added, “I might actually get this one tattooed on me. How cool would permanent shred marks be?”
Anna smiled, then shook her head. “No, if you want claw marks to tattoo, I’ll give you some good ones. Then every time you look at them, you can remember how you got them.”
“Damn…yeah, that’s a much better plan. Fuck, you have the best ideas.”
Gibson grabbed my nose and pulled my attention her way, where she liked it. Girl had a jealous streak a mile wide. Looking at her was like looking at a miniature version of me, if I were a girl. She had the same light blue eyes, same blond hair, although hers was a pristine platinum color while mine was a little dirtier. As it should be. She gave me a smile full of shiny white teeth, then spouted, “Fuck.”
Anna crossed her arms over her chest, but her expression was more amused than annoyed. “I think we’re at the point where we need to start watching our language.”
I looked past Gibson to Anna. “Watch my language? You might as well ask me to hop on one foot while reciting the alphabet backwards. I can’t police myself like that twenty-four-seven. I’m exhausted just thinking about it.”
Anna swished her hands at Gibson. “Well, she’s starting to copy you, and if we don’t put a stop to it now, she’s going to start calling people cocksuckers soon.”
I started laughing. “That…would be so awesome.”
Anna put her hands on her hips; true irritation was starting to edge out her amusement now. “No, it wouldn’t be.” She smiled. “Well, yeah, it kind of would be, but as parents, we have to put a stop to that kind of stuff.” She sighed. “Well, we should try anyway.”
Looking back at Gibson, I frowned. “I suppose I could try.” Even though I was sure she didn’t have a clue what we were talking about, Gibson laid her head on my shoulder, wrapped her arms around my neck, and patted my back like she was encouraging me. Yeah, if it would help Gibson, I would try to control my mouth. There wasn’t much I wouldn’t do for that little girl.
S.C. Stephens Q&A
- What do you think readers will be surprised to see from Griffin in UNTAMED?
I think readers will be surprised to see how much he grows in this book. He’s evolved a lot since Thoughtless, but that growth is nothing compared to Untamed.
- What’s your favorite quote or scene from UNTAMED?
Oh man…there are so many! But my ultimate favorite scene is at the end. I don’t want to spoil it, so I can’t really talk about it, but he lets his guard down and is completely open and vulnerable. It’s such a shocking difference from how he normally is that it really gets to me. I choke up every time.
- What are three things we’d find on your writing desk?
My iPod, my laptop, and my Ned Stark figurine. He helps keep me focused, because… Winter is coming.
- If UNTAMED was being made into a movie, who would you want to play Griffin?
Chris Hemsworth. And I would need to be on set every day.