I earned that beautiful five star seal from Readers’ Favorite for Girl Behind The Veil! This story was really emotional to write. I loved Salena and Kaden’s characters and their story, but more importantly, I wanted to raise awareness of human/sex trafficking, life after trauma, stereotypes of different cultures/races, and cross-cultural relationships. I wanted the readers to feel what Salena was going through…to understand her pain and her struggles. Although the story is a romantic suspense, it is so, so much more. I am ecstatic and relieved that these professional reviewers were able to see what the story truly was about.
Jalpa Williby exposes the horrific world of human trafficking in Girl Behind the Veil. Special Forces operative Kaden Reid goes undercover to rescue a young woman from a human trafficking ring in Pakistan. His mission objective – act as a client, buy her, get her out and return her safely to her father. The mission is a success, but the girl hidden behind the veil with the beautiful gray eyes pierces his soul. Salena Hamas is delivered safely to her father, but she is forever haunted by her kidnapping. Burying the tragic incident deep inside, Salena finishes college and becomes a successful journalist for the New York Times. But, Salena isolates herself behind an invisible veil. When she attends a charity event to raise awareness of human trafficking, her past collides with her present. Her hero, her savior, Kaden Reid, reappears. The opposite worlds of Kaden and Salena intersect once again. They spend a wonderful life-changing week together, but will their relationship survive another goodbye? Salena returns to work, Kaden goes on another covert mission. Their love is powerful, however, days apart turn into endless silent months; doubt, fear, and heartache overshadow Kaden’s parting words, “Wait for me.”
Girl Behind the Veil is the first book of Jalpa Williby’s The Invisible Veil series. Williby writes an unforgettable, gripping and passionate story of overcoming tragedy. Although suspenseful and romantic, the story focuses on the post-traumatic effect of sexual abuse on its victim. The heroine is beautiful and fragile, intelligent and defiant, desiring security and stability. She is paired up with a masculine, duty or die, honorable yet tender “restless soul.” The supporting cast consists of a doting traditional father, a vindictive woman from the past, new and forever friends. The plot turns predictable, then bam! Suddenly, it hits you with shocking surprises. It is an emotional landslide to the very end. Jalpa Williby writes to inspire. In Girl Behind the Veil, she raises awareness of human trafficking and cultural differences by creating dynamic characters and bringing their tragic story to life – from victim to victor.
Girl Behind the Veil by Jalpa Williby is the first in The Invisible Veil Series. When Salena is kidnapped by human traffickers while visiting her father in Pakistan, Kaden Reid is sent in to retrieve her as a part of his Special Forces duties. What he doesn’t expect is the gray-eyed woman to haunt his every moment for the next four years. However, as fate would have it, he finally sees her again at an award ceremony in his honor. Salena, on the other hand, is still traumatized by the incident of all those years ago, opting to channel her recovery into journalism, working for The New York Times. Yet, Kaden is not the only one haunted by specters of the past. After a memorable week in Chicago, the pair part, but is it the end of their romance, or just the beginning?
Having read Miss Williby’s novels in the past, I knew I could expect a story that would capture my attention from beginning to end. I found both characters, Kaden and Salena, believable; however, there were parts where Kaden frustrated me beyond belief, as did Salena. I think that’s what makes a really good novel, when the characters are flawed and do things that make you want to throw the book against the wall. The addition of human trafficking made the story relatable to a great deal of current events going on in the world, as did Salena’s drive to help victims in similar circumstances to her own. Overall, I was highly impressed with this first book in the series. I will note, the end of the book is not the end of Kaden and Salena’s story, and there is a teaser of things that will come in book two! Girl Behind the Veil by Jalpa Williby is an excellent example of romantic suspense, and I will be eagerly seeking the second installment when it comes out!
Girl Behind The Veil (The Invisible Veil Series Book 1) begins like many others with the hero on a mission to rescue a nineteen-year-old girl from the slave trade. This is what he does for a living. What he does not expect is that he will be attracted to her, and she will see him as her saviour and fall for him. However, I did not see this as primarily a love story but the colliding of two worlds; she is Muslim, brought up in England and now working in New York, while he’s all American. Despite her western education and her father’s campaigning in their native Pakistan for women’s rights, there is still a gulf between them. This is handled very sensitively by the author and I would be amazed if the reader didn’t connect deeply with Azmia/Salena, a woman of today caught between an ancient paternalistic culture and modern western ways. Her rescue successful, Kaden, her saviour, and she part ways, never expecting to see each other again – however, four years later …
I am a great fan of this author. Jalpa Williby paints such vivid pictures with her words. You feel as if you are on the run from the human traffickers, hiding out in the cave, racing to freedom across the wild Pakistani countryside. The story is realistic. Salena’s emotions are just right, neither too hysterical nor dismissive. We suffer with her at every step of the way. The time Kaden and Salena spend together keeps the reader engaged, asking ‘Will they or won’t they?’ I was genuinely worried about her father’s reactions, despite his views on female emancipation (I’m struggling not to give any spoilers here), and every time Salena meets her father the tension rises. While this may be read as a love story, the issues are far, far deeper – the human slave trade, trauma, cross cultural relationships. It’s a story that will stay with you long after you’ve read the last page. I only have one big problem. The moment I finished I immediately went on line to find the next book in the series … only to discover it’s not out yet! I shall be waiting for it the moment it’s published. A well deserved 5 stars from me for an author who writes great stories and whose books I love.
Here’s the link: ReadersFavorite
Girl Behind The Veil is available on: Amazon
Here’s the final chapter of my short story, Best Friends. Hope you’ve enjoyed this sweet escape. 🙂 Please make sure to read the first five chapters before this last chapter.
Chapter 1: Link
Chapter 2: Link
Chapter 3: Link
Chapter 4: Link
Chapter 5: Link
For the entire month, Ryan did not try to reach her. She missed being able to talk to him about nothing and everything. She missed running with him, asking for advice, watching movies with him, and most of all, arguing with him. She hadn’t realized how much Ryan had become a permanent fixture in her life. Now, without him, she was utterly lost and empty. Nobody knew her better than Ryan. Hell, he probably knew her better than she knew herself. Some days, it got so unbearable that she couldn’t help but try to contact him. She tried everything from calling, texting, and even liking every single one of his pictures on social media, just so he would receive a ton of notifications from her. Each time, though, he ignored her.
As far as Jeff went, he was angry with the rejection and did everything he could to ruin her at work. But, to her surprise, she was promoted. Her boss told her she was one of his top attorneys, and she deserved the recognition.
Her colleagues from work insisted on celebrating with her. They were taking her out for dinner and drinks the next Saturday evening. On impulse, she texted Ryan.
Hey Ryan. I wanted you to know that I got a promotion at work. They’re taking me out to celebrate on Saturday. I would rather celebrate it with you. It would mean a lot to me if you could stop by. We will be at Jon’s Karaoke Bar at 10pm.
Most of the coworkers from her firm joined them, including Jeff. She had avoided him for the last month and still had no desire to be anywhere near him. She knew he came to celebrate just to save face.
As the night progressed, she couldn’t help but keep checking to see if Ryan walked in. It was hard to even enjoy herself because her focus was on the front door. Just when she was about to give up, she saw his tall frame standing at the entrance. He was wearing black jeans, a white, button-down shirt, and a black, casual blazer. As soon as she saw him, Kat’s heart jumped. His hair was the same messy look, but seemed to be longer than last time she saw him, making him look even sexier.
Noticing her, Ryan stopped for a brief second before heading toward their group. Kat wanted to run to him and jump on him. In the last seven years, she had never gone this long without seeing him or talking to him. As soon as they were done with college, Ryan had contacted her, and instantly they’d become best friends once again.
Kat left her friends and met him halfway. “Thanks for coming,” she said, restraining herself from pulling him into her arms. She hadn’t seen him in over a month. All she wanted to tell him was how much she missed him not being in her life.
“I can’t stay long. Maybe about half an hour,” he responded. He leaned down and kissed her cheek.
Kat’s heart skipped a beat as his soft lips caressed her. Although it was a brief kiss, the burning lingered.
“That’s fine. I’m just glad you came,” she said, her voice sounding breathless even in her own ears.
“Jeff got you the promotion?” Ryan suddenly asked.
Kat narrowed her eyes at him. “Is it that hard to believe that my promotion was from my own merit?”
“Not at all. Apparently, you had a hard time believing that when you thought you needed him to help you move ahead.”
“Jeff is a nobody to me, Ryan. And yes, I was promoted because of my hard work.” Kat turned to walk back toward their group.
Ryan grabbed her arm and swung her back toward him again. “Hey, I’m proud of you.”
Kat smiled, knowing the truth in his words. “Come on, have a drink or two before you head out.”
Once at the table, everybody swarmed around Ryan, glad to see him. Of course, Jeff kept his distance.
“Our next singer is Katrina Tyler,” the MC announced.
Everybody started clapping and screaming for her. Kat squeezed Ryan’s hand and headed to the stage. Although she was nervous, at least she knew she looked good. She had her tight leather pants on with her stilettos, and her sequined, tan blouse revealed just enough of her cleavage to leave any hot-blooded man begging for more.
Taking the mic, she cleared her throat. “Hello!” Kat paused and cleared her throat again. “This song is dedicated to my best friend. He knows how much I hate putting myself out there, but he’s worth it.”
The crowd hollered for her while her work colleagues turned their heads toward Ryan. Getting up from his chair, Ryan left the group and leaned against the pole, watching her.
When One by Ed Sheeran began playing, Kat lost herself in the song. She changed the word “man” to “woman” in the first line instinctively. She sang the song to Ryan with all her heart, never looking away. Ryan remained motionless, but kept his focus on her…only her. Neither noticed the crowd had gone silent, lost in the magic that was unfolding before their eyes.
When the song finished, people whistled, clapped, and sighed. Kat made her way where Ryan remained standing by the pole, watching her every move.
“Nice song,” he said, as a slow smile played on his lips.
Caught up in the moment, Kat leaned forward and kissed him on the lips while everybody cheered. “I love you, Ryan Stark,” she said, once she stopped kissing him.
“I know,” he answered as he reached to put a lock of her hair behind her ear.
“You do?” Kat asked, feeling like her legs were going to collapse.
“Kat, I’ve been in love with you since the first time I saw you. You know what I remember? The first time you popped my zit. Now, that’s true love. You wouldn’t have done that for me unless you loved me.” Ryan smirked, cupping her chin to look at him.
Kat laughed, remembering that incident all too clearly. They must have been twelve years old, and she had pinned him down to get at his zit. He didn’t want her to do it, but she’d insisted, and finally had to tackle him down to get to it.
“You know what I remember? When we were in kindergarten, and we were in the same soccer team. I fell and scraped my knee. I’m sure I must have cried.”
“You not only cried, but you let out a bloody scream, Kat!”
“Anyway, I was on the ground, and you were all the way on the other side of the field dribbling the ball. You were about to score when you heard my scream. Instead of kicking the ball to get that goal, you ran toward me all the way across the field, helped me up, and brought me to my parents. All that in the middle of the game. Now, that’s true love.”
Ryan kissed her again. “Yes, it is. Let’s get out of here.”
Holding each other’s hands, both escaped the crowded bar. Although it was raining outside, neither cared. They both ran in the rain, laughing.
Suddenly, Ryan stopped her. “I’m ready to collect my debt now.”
Confused, Kat said, “Huh? What debt?”
“You owe me, remember? When I agreed to be your pretend boyfriend. You said you’d do whatever I asked.”
Kat laughed. “Yes, I do remember. Okay, name it. Your wish is my command.” She then bowed dramatically in front of him.
Kat’s legs buckled and would have tumbled down if it weren’t for Ryan grabbing a hold of her.
Pulling her close to him, he continued, “I don’t want to be friends with benefits. I don’t want to be your boyfriend in some silly relationship. I’ve always known I was going to marry you one day. I want you in my life forever, Kat. Marry me.”
Unable to hold the tears back, Kat wrapped her arms and legs around him as he spun her. The rain danced with them as they lost themselves in their past and the new memories yet to be created in the future.
“You wander from room to room, hunting for the diamond necklace that is already around your neck.” -Rumi
That’s Best Friends. I absolutely loved writing this story. So many times, special relationships are right in front of us, and we don’t even notice.
If you’re interested in reading any of my books, here’s my Amazon page. Link
They are also free on Kindle Unlimited!
Ryan and Kat’s story is getting a bit complicated, huh? This is Chapter 5. Please make sure to read Chapter 1-4 before you read this chapter. I would put this short story in contemporary romance and romantic comedy categories. Hope you’re enjoying it. 🙂
Chapter 1: Link
Chapter 2: Link
Chapter 3: Link
Chapter 4: Link
During their drive home, Ryan was back to himself once again. She was quiet, though, confused about her encounter with Jeff.
“Okay, what gives? You mad at me for not having sex with you?” Ryan teased.
Kat couldn’t help but laugh. He always knew how to make light of awkward situations. “No, you were right, of course. It would totally complicate things. I think it must have been just that intimate setting.”
Ryan reached for her and caressed her cheek with his finger. “No biggie. I know I’m hard to resist.”
Kat shoved his hand away, groaning. “Ugh, you’ll never let me forget that incident, will you?”
“Seriously, though, I can tell you got a lot on your mind. Is it Jeff?”
Kat sighed. “He came into the room when you went for a run.”
“He said a lot. Basically, he said he wants me back and he made a mistake.”
“Hope you told him to shove it up his ass,” Ryan said, frowning angrily.
Kat remained quiet.
“Kat, please tell me you did.” His frown got worse if that was even possible.
“It’s complicated, Ryan. You know I cared about him a lot at one point.”
“Yeah, and then you saw his true colors! What is wrong with you? You don’t need somebody like him in your life. He’s going to hurt you again.”
“Wow, thanks for the optimism. You can try to be a little more supportive, or at least understanding.” Kat turned back to stare out the window.
“You just don’t want to hear the truth. You’re so much better than him. He doesn’t deserve you. Please tell me you know that.” Ryan was gripping the steering wheel tightly, his knuckles turning white.
“First of all, outside of my feelings for him, you know he’s a big shot at the firm right? He’s a big deal, Ryan.”
Ryan turned to her, his eyes wide with shock. “You want to date him because he’s a big shot? Are you serious? Guess not much has changed since high school.” He turned back toward the road, staring straight ahead.
“That’s not fair. It’s a different world where I work. You wouldn’t understand because you’re a teacher. I mean you teach third graders, for God’s sake. It’s cutthroat where I work. Jeff could ruin me if he wanted to.”
“I can’t believe what I’m hearing right now. Maybe I was wrong about you. Maybe I don’t really know you after all,” Ryan mumbled.
Kat reached for his hand. “Just hear me out, okay? It’s not just that.”
Snatching his hand back, Ryan interrupted. “Stop talking to me. I don’t want to hear anymore, and I don’t want to talk to you right now.”
Kat had never seen him this angry. While she was always more emotional between the two of them, Ryan was always cool and collected. Knowing he meant it when he said he was done with the conversation, Kat remained silent the rest of the ride home.
Once he pulled in front of her high rise, Ryan pulled her luggage out and handed it to her. “Look, I want some time to myself for a while.”
Kat frowned. “What do you mean?”
“I mean, I don’t want you to call me or contact me in any way. If you must know, I see you in a different light right now. And I just don’t really feel like hearing all your drama with Jeff.”
“Wait, so what are you saying? How long do you want?” She couldn’t fathom the thought of not being able to talk with Ryan whenever she wanted.
“Take care of yourself, Kat.” Ryan turned back to his car and screeched away.
True to his word, Jeff called her that evening. Kat ignored his numerous calls, not ready to deal with him. All she could think about was how long she had to wait before she could contact Ryan again. But after Jeff continued to call her for almost the entire week, she finally agreed to allow him to come over Friday night.
He wasted no time with bringing up his feelings again when he arrived. “Have you thought about what I said?”
“Jeff, I just don’t know,” Kat whispered, hesitant to trust him.
“Of course you know. Look, I broke up with Angel as soon as we got back because I knew my heart was with you. You remember all our special times together, right?” Jeff pulled her into his arms and led her to the sofa.
“My feelings are all over the place, Jeff.”
“Let me help you remember.” He lowered his lips to hers and showed her how much he had missed her.
Kat closed her eyes and relaxed against the familiar kiss. Soon, she felt him unbutton her blouse and slip his hand inside.
Instantly, she pulled away. “No, stop. You’re going too fast.”
“Too fast? What are you talking about? It’s not like we’ve never had sex before. And if I remember correctly, you made me wait a long time before you finally gave it up the first time.”
Jumping up from the sofa, Kat distanced herself from him. “I made a mistake. Sorry, Jeff, but you need to leave now.”
“No, wait, Katrina. You’re right, maybe I was too fast. I can wait. Please give me a chance. Hope you left that boyfriend of yours. He can never meet your needs like I can.”
All this time, Kat had put Jeff on a pedestal, but she finally saw him for his true colors. Jeff craved attention. He couldn’t stand the thought of her being with Ryan. Not because he cared about her, but because it was a challenge to win her back.
“Please leave, Jeff. There will never be us. I don’t know what I was even thinking, but I know I made a mistake.” She walked to her front door and opened it, waiting for him to exit.
“You’re going to regret this decision,” he hissed as he rushed past her.
After he stomped out of there, the first person Kat wanted to call was Ryan. She wanted to tell him he was right all along–that Jeff was a prick. She knew Ryan would be proud of her when she shared how she’d kicked Jeff out. But when she called his cell, he didn’t pick up. Kat’s heart suddenly felt unbearably heavy. It had been almost a week since she’d last talk with Ryan. Didn’t he miss her? They typically spoke to one another every day, even if it was briefly. Taking a deep breath, she texted him to call her back.
Ryan didn’t return her call or her text.
That’s chapter five, folks! Chapter six will be posted next week. Any predictions on what you think is going to happen to these two?
If you’re interested in continuing with this story or any other short stories, you can get Loving You Hurts So Good on Amazon. It’s also free on Kindle Unlimited. Amazon
If you’re interested in reading any other books, here’s my Amazon page. Link
Many of you have been following Kat and Ryan’s story in Best Friends. This is a romantic comedy, and I absolutely loved writing this short story. Before reading this chapter, please make sure to read Chapter 1, 2, and 3 first. Here are the links:
Chapter 1: Link
Chapter 2: Link
Chapter 3: Link
The strong body braced against her pulled her closer. When the powerful arms embraced her from behind and wrapped around her, she sighed. It had been so long to have a warm body next to her. As soon as the hand snuck under her shirt, her eyes flung open. Immediately recognizing that it was Ryan’s hand exploring her body, Kat froze. Was he even awake? Did he know what he was doing?
Kat wanted to stop him, but she was unable to resist the way he was making her feel. Her breathing hitched when his hand found her breast. She bit her bottom lip to stop the moan from escaping. A part of her knew this was wrong in every way, but it felt too good. What was wrong with her? It was Ryan, her buddy, for heaven’s sake!
She felt his face in the nape of her neck, as he continued seducing her with his tongue. When he played with her nipple, Kat couldn’t hold the moan back. She knew Ryan was aroused when she felt him against her hips, and she couldn’t stop herself from leaning into him.
“I want you, Sarah. I have to have you, right now.”
Reality hit her like a ton of bricks. Ryan was apparently still asleep and thought she was Sarah. Kat pulled herself out of his hold and rolled off the bed.
Confused, Ryan’s eyes sprung open as he tried to process the situation.
Kat stood back up, grabbed her pillow, and hit him with it. “Are you crazy? It’s me, dummy! You’re trying to make out with me.”
Ryan continued staring at her and finally realized what happened. For a brief second, he was embarrassed, but then he chuckled under his breath. “I wake up horny every morning. What do you want from me?”
“You called me Sarah!” Kat accused.
“Of course I would think you’re Sarah. I’ve been with her for the last couple of months. Would you have rather I called you Kat? Now, that would have been weird, wouldn’t it?”
Kat remained silent. He was absolutely right, of course. The only problem was that she knew it was Ryan that had turned her on. Suddenly ashamed, she turned away.
“I’m going for a run this morning. I think I need it. You coming?” Kat decided to change the subject. She knew it was pretty early in the morning, and the others were probably still sleeping.
“Of course. I’ll see you downstairs in about ten minutes?”
Kat dodged to the bathroom with a change of clothes. She put on her jogging shorts and her tank top, pulled her hair up in a high ponytail, and headed downstairs. Ryan was already waiting for her by the front porch wearing his tank top and basketball shorts. Kat always knew he had a fit body since he worked out all the time, but noticing how sexy he looked was making her feel uneasy.
Deliberately pushing all thoughts away, Kat took her frustrations out on the run.
The group decided to go horseback riding and canoeing that day. Once again, Kat was annoyed at how hard Jenna kept trying to get close to Ryan. True to his word, though, Ryan continued to focus his attention on Kat and be the devoted boyfriend.
By the time they got back to the cabin, Kat was beat and was ready to crash. She was glad the trip would end tomorrow since this charade had drained her. Not understanding her feelings toward Ryan, she decided to call it an early night. By the time Ryan got into their room, she was fast asleep.
The next day, Kat woke up extra early. She took a quick shower and watched Ryan as he still remained asleep. She always recognized that he’d grown up to be a beautiful man, but she’d never thought of him as anything more than her best friend. Lying there shirtless, Ryan’s chiseled chest, defined abs, and muscular arms screamed for her. Bottom line was, she wanted him.
Just then, Ryan’s eyes flew open. “What’s up? Why are you staring at me?”
Kat wondered if Ryan had been awake all that time and somehow figured out that she had shamelessly fantasized about him. “Has this weekend been weird for you?” she finally asked.
“What do you mean?”
“Okay, you’re my best friend, and I can tell you anything, right? I mean, I’ve always been able to tell you anything I wanted, so why should it change now?”
“Spit it out, Kat. What’s wrong?” Ryan sat up, suddenly curious.
“Well, I’ve been kinda sorta attracted to you. It could be because we’re in an intimate setting? I don’t know. But I need to get it out of my system. Do you want to be…you know?”
Ryan raised his eyebrows. “No, I don’t know. What are you saying?”
“Geez, Ryan! Do I have to spell everything out? I wouldn’t mind if we were friends with benefits. I mean, I’d be willing to try, if you were.”
Ryan jumped out of the bed and marched toward her. “You want to have sex with me?”
“Don’t worry, no strings attached. Admit it, Ryan, you were turned on yesterday morning. Sure, you thought I was Sarah, but it was still my body. I think we’re adults enough to handle it.”
Ryan stood in front of her and stared down hard at her, making her feel nervous. “I don’t know whether to take your proposal as a compliment or an insult.”
“Why would you take it as an insult?” Kat placed her hand on his bare chest, no longer in control of her actions.
Ryan grabbed her hand by her wrist and shoved it away. “Because, Kat, you just made me feel like a piece of meat.”
Kat rolled her eyes. “Will you stop analyzing everything? You sleep around with girls all the time. You have one night stands, for heaven’s sake!”
Clenching his jaw, Ryan pulled away from her. “No, the answer is no. I don’t want to be your friend with benefits. It would completely ruin our friendship.” Ryan walked toward their door. “I’m going for a run…alone this time.”
Hearing the door slam, Kat closed her eyes. She had no idea why he was upset with her, but she probably shouldn’t have said anything to him. This whole experience at the retreat had been awkward for both of them, and she couldn’t wait to go back to her normal life.
Surprised to hear the soft knock on the door, she said, “Come in.”
Jeff strolled in, closing the door behind him. “Trouble in paradise?”
“What do you mean?”
“Ryan slamming the door woke everybody up, Katrina.”
“As usual, I think you’re reading too much into it, Jeff. What do you want?”
“Look, I didn’t come here to argue. I just haven’t been able to get you alone at all this weekend. I have to get this off of my chest. I’m still in love with you. I’ve never been able to get over you.” Jeff walked toward her, his arms reaching for her.
Kat stepped away from him, confused. “What are you saying? We broke up six months ago. What about Angel?”
“Angel is nobody serious. You know that. I was upset because you wouldn’t agree to move in with me at the time. I was ready for the next step, and you weren’t. I’ve regretted my decision to end our relationship ever since. Please give me another chance, Katrina. What we had was special. Don’t give up on us.”
Kat frowned, her mind completely jumbled from this new information. “Jeff, you’re throwing a lot at me right now.”
“I know, honey. But, I had to just go for it. I would forever regret it if I didn’t fight for you.” Jeff reached her and took her hand. Kissing it softly, his baby blue eyes stared into her green ones. “You know I love you, right?”
Kat inhaled a deep breath. “I’m confused, Jeff. I need some time to think this over. You can’t just expect me to forget the last six months since our breakup.”
“No, of course not, dear Katrina. Let’s just get back home, and I’ll call you this evening when we can talk in peace.” Jeff leaned into her and teased her lips with his before turning around and walking out of the door.
Okay, chapter five will be posted next week. Hope you’re enjoying how this story is developing. What’s up with Jeff? Ugh, can’t stand him! Love how Kat suggest to Ryan that they should be friends with benefits. 🙂
If you’re interested in continuing with this story or any other short stories, you can get Loving You Hurts So Good on Amazon. It’s also free on Kindle Unlimited. Amazon
If you’re interested in reading any other books, here’s my Amazon page. Link
I posted Chapter 1 and 2 in the last two weeks. Each week, I’m going to try to post another chapter of my short stories. These stories were fun to write, so I want to share these amazing characters to my readers.
Here are the links to Chapter 1 and 2, so please read first before continuing. Chapter1
The day consisted of hiking the trails of the nearby lake park and a picnic. Everybody seemed to enjoy themselves-even Ryan. Kat couldn’t help but notice how Jenna kept migrating close to Ryan every chance she got. She wasn’t sure if she was the only one who noticed and what Jenna’s boyfriend thought about her flirting. Apparently, Ryan seemed to enjoy the attention from her.
Kat’s attention shifted to Jeff and his new girl. She was disgusted with how clingy Angel truly was toward Jeff. She held his arm and acted like a damsel in distress as she hiked. Jeff was more than willing to be her knight in shining armor, as he steadied and guided her through the narrow trails. For the life of her, Kat couldn’t understand why guys were attracted to such pathetic women.
Besides the annoying people around her, including Ryan, she enjoyed the warm breeze and the fresh country scent. She lived in downtown Chicago, so this tranquility was definitely a nice change. Kat was determined to stay to herself and allow nature do its magic on her. It wasn’t until she heard Jenna scream and grab onto Ryan’s arm that she knew she had enough. Kat was well aware that Jenna had pretended to lose her balance to have Ryan’s arms around her to steady her. It was the oldest trick in the book.
Kat deliberately walked to Ryan and said, “Babe, come here. Let’s take pictures by this spot.” She grabbed his hand and dragged him away from the crowd.
“Hey, Kat, this is fun, isn’t it?” Ryan asked, smiling innocently.
She rolled her eyes and when she knew they were away from earshot, she said, “Jenna is all over you. I know you can see that.”
Ryan smiled and shrugged his shoulders. “She’s a looker, Kat. I’m enjoying the attention.”
“Clearly!” Kat hissed. “We’re supposed to be in love, remember? I mean, you went through this elaborate story of serenading me—which by the way, I was not prepared for—and now, you’re giving me no attention.”
“Oh, are you jealous, darling? Maybe you miss me?” Ryan teased, watching her squirm from frustration.
“You’re impossible. Look, we had a deal, okay? Don’t mess it up. Besides, I can tell that Jeff is jealous of you, and I keep catching him looking at me.” Kat smiled at the thought of Jeff still having feelings toward her.
“Who cares? He’s an ass.”
“Again, we had a deal. Just don’t screw it up. Please!”
“Fine, fine. I’ll behave. I promise.” Ryan grabbed her hand and led her back to the group, giving her tender kisses on top of her head along the way.
When they returned to the cabin that evening, Kat was exhausted. She immediately jumped into the shower, needing to wash the sweat off. Once in their room, she changed into a clean pair of shorts and tank. While she was freshening up, she heard Ryan laughing and mingling with everybody. She had no idea why that was bothering her. He was clearly being friendly with everyone, and it was obvious they all loved him. And why wouldn’t they? He was very charismatic and had the gift of winning everybody over, especially women.
When Kat heard the knock at the door, she assumed it was Ryan. “Come in,” she yelled.
To her surprise, Jeff walked in, closing the door behind him. “Hey, Katrina. I’m glad I got a moment alone with you.”
Kat was suddenly nervous, not used to having Jeff in such close proximity since their break up. “What do you want? I don’t think you should be here.”
“Why not? Two friends can’t catch up?”
“I’d hardly call us friends, Jeff. Besides, I’m sure your girl, Angel, would not like you to be in here.”
“What she doesn’t know can’t hurt her,” he replied, walking toward her.
Kat began taking steps back, needing the distance from him. She had no idea what he was doing here, and she wasn’t sure how she felt about it. “You need to leave, Jeff. I know Ryan wouldn’t like you being in here at all.”
“No, I wouldn’t.” Kat and Jeff swung their heads around to see Ryan standing in the doorway, his arms folded across his chest. “Is there anything you want with my girlfriend, Jeff?”
Kat watched the two men and was astonished by the difference between the two. As tall as Jeff was, Ryan still had an inch or two on him. Where Jeff liked to have his hair nicely groomed, Ryan preferred the messy look. Kat was used to seeing Ryan in jeans and t-shirt, where Jeff typically dressed up. After the hike, Jeff had changed back into his kakis and his polo shirt, while Ryan remained in his shorts and t-shirt. Ryan never was the one to particularly care about his looks, but Kat clearly remembered Jeff spending more time in front of a mirror than her.
Ryan continued to glare at Jeff. “Do you need anything, Jeff?”
“No harm done, man. Just checking on her. We were close at one point, if you remember.” Jeff chuckled under his breath.
“That was history. I want you out of our room, now.” Ryan stepped in and opened the door wider, gesturing him to exit.
Without causing a scene, Jeff strolled out, and Kat released a sigh of relief. She had no idea why she had been holding her breath.
Closing the door, Ryan turned to Kat. “Why did you let him in?”
She could tell he was annoyed when she noticed the familiar frown on his forehead. “I didn’t let him in. He walked in,” she answered.
“He shouldn’t be walking into our room like that. It’s completely disrespectful. He’s clearly trying to make his moves on you.”
“No, he wasn’t. Wait, do you think? Do you think he’s still interested in me?” Kat wasn’t sure if she should be happy or annoyed, especially since his girlfriend was downstairs.
“Stop. Just stop. Here’s how it’s going to be. You want me to play your devoted boyfriend? Fine, I agreed to it, but you better be playing the devoted girlfriend.” Ryan came closer to her and lifted her chin up to look at him. “Do you understand? I won’t be playing this game of yours if it’s just one sided.”
Kat had no idea why her heart was beating out of control as his ocean, blue eyes pierced into her. She had known Ryan her whole life for God’s sake. But, for some strange reason, this was not the same Ryan she had known all those years. This Ryan was a confident, prideful man, who was not going to allow anybody to make a fool of him.
Trying to duck past him, Kat was surprised when he braced her against the wall. “I didn’t get my answer.”
“Why are you doing this? I won’t make a fool of you, okay? It’s only two more days, and this charade will be over.” Kat shoved him away and ran out of their room. Not understanding her behavior, she sprinted straight to the bar and chugged a shot of the whisky.
Later in the night, as the men played pool, Jeff turned to Ryan and said, “I’m still surprised to see you and Katrina together, Ryan.”
“Why would you be surprised?” Ryan asked, as he took another gulp of his beer.
“I mean if you two were going to hook up, why wait all these years? Why wouldn’t you have hooked up prior to this?”
Ryan laughed while Kat held her breath. “What makes you so sure that we didn’t hook up through the years?”
Jeff almost choked on his beer, and Kat had to walk away to pour herself another drink. “Nah, I doubt that. I’m just surprised because, frankly, I thought you were gay all this time.”
This time, it was Kat’s turn to choke on her drink. The room became silent as everybody’s attention shifted to their conversation.
Ryan smirked and asked, “Why would you think that?”
“Well, Katrina is clearly hot. No man would wait all these years to finally make his move on such a hot girl.”
Ryan remained calm and collected as he finished his beer. “Well, that’s where you and I differ, Jeff. You see Kat as a hot girl. I see her as so much more.”
Kat closed her eyes, processing what Ryan had just said. She moved toward them and took his hand. Staring straight at Jeff, she said, “Ryan is nowhere near gay, Jeff. I should know.” Smiling seductively, she turned back to Ryan and softly kissed him, seducing him. She caught a hint of surprise in Ryan’s eyes when she finally pulled away.
“Well, that’s our cue. Time for us to go to bed,” Ryan announced and guided her to their room.
“Thank you, Ryan,” she said when alone in the room. “What you said and did downstairs…well, I appreciate it.”
“Anything to get that kiss from you, darling,” Ryan teased.
Kat rolled her eyes, grabbed her toiletry, and hurried to the bathroom down the hall. She noticed Ryan had the same idea because he headed toward the second bathroom. Kat wondered if maybe she had drunk too much alcohol because she was feeling lightheaded and was having difficulty focusing.
By the time she got back, Ryan was already stretched out on the bed, his eyes closed. She immediately noticed that he had taken his shirt off and was wearing only his shorts to bed. It’s not like she hadn’t seen Ryan shirtless before, but for some reason, her insides were doing somersaults as he filled the full size bed. Blaming it on the alcohol, Kat forced herself to look away.
“You sleeping on the bed?” Kat asked, wondering how she would be able to sleep next to him with such close proximity.
“Where else would I sleep?” he asked, opening his eyes to look at her. “Nice pajamas by the way. Sexy.”
“What’s wrong with my PJ’s? They’re comfortable!” Kat looked down at her black and white, plaid pajamas. They were her favorite pair. Granted, the matching top and bottom were hideous to look at, but she didn’t wear them to feel sexy. Focusing back on the task at hand, she continued, “You can sleep on the floor. I’ll give you the comforter, and I even brought a sleeping bag.”
“I’m not sleeping on that hard, wooden floor. If you have a problem sharing this bed, you can sleep down there.”
“We can’t both fit on there,” she whined.
“We’d both be on top of one another. There’s no room, Ryan.”
“Again, I don’t have a problem with this. You figure out what you want to do. I’m crashing. Good night,” Ryan said, turning away from her.
Kat wondered what happened to the nice Ryan who had just defended her downstairs. She stared at the bed a few more minutes, contemplating what to do. Giving up, she crawled on the other side of the bed and squeezed in next to him. For several minutes, she remained stiff. Then, reminding herself that it was only Ryan, she closed her eyes and soon fell into a peaceful sleep.
That’s all for now, y’all! Chapter four will be posted next week.
If you’re interested in continuing with this story or any other short stories, you can get Loving You Hurts So Good on Amazon. It’s also available on Kindle Unlimited. Amazon
If you’re interested in reading any other books, here’s my Amazon page. Link
Hello, good people! Happy 2018! I have decided to share some of my short story collection right here on my website. Most of these stories are in Loving You Hurts So Good, which is available on Amazon.
I will post a chapter at a time. Hopefully, you guys enjoy reading the stories as much as I enjoyed writing them. Today, I’m posting Chapter One of “Best Friends.” It’s a contemporary romance/romantic comedy. I just think it’s really a cute story, and literally, I laughed out loud writing some of the parts. I totally fell in love with Ryan and Kat and their story.
“You drag me to dinner with you just to watch you mope around? Come on, Kat, you’re acting ridiculous.” Ryan watched her play with her food.
“Ryan, you don’t understand how serious this is. I have to go to this stupid retreat with my firm. There’s no way I can get out of it.”
“Can’t you just say you caught the flu at the last minute or something?” Ryan took another bite of his steak.
“No. You see, that’s what everybody is expecting. They think I’m going to back out. I just can’t give Jeff that kind of satisfaction.” Kat slammed her fork down onto her plate.
“Then go there looking hot and show him what a mistake he made. Show him you don’t even notice him.” He cut another piece of his steak and brought the fork to her mouth. “You’ve got to try this. It’s freakin’ delicious.”
Kat opened her mouth and accepted the tender meat. “Mmm, yes! That’s sooo good.”
“Told you! Here, if you don’t like your food, you want half of mine?”
“Nah, I’m too worried about next weekend to enjoy it. I’m sorry, Ryan. I’m a terrible company.”
“Yes, you are. You need to stop letting this loser make you feel like this. You guys have been broken up for over six months now.”
“I know! I know! This is definitely not me. But damn it, I have to see him at the office every day. And now that he’s got a new girlfriend, it’s just that much harder. He’s bringing her to the retreat, so I’ll have to watch him flaunt her around. Why me?”
“If you had started dating again, you could have brought your new boyfriend to the retreat and shoved it in his face.” Ryan’s eyes were dancing as he teased her.
“You know I’ve had a hard time moving on after Jeff. But yes, that would have been the perfect revenge. He dumped me after an entire year of dating. I’ve never dated anybody that long for God’s sake. And this is exactly the reason why I don’t.”
Ryan smirked. “You broke your own rule on this scum, Kat. Hope you learned your lesson.”
She rolled her eyes. “You think this is funny, don’t you?” She snatched his plate. “Give me this. I change my mind.”
As she began eating his food, all Ryan could do was laugh at his friend. He was happy to see her eating something. “So, what are you going to do?”
“I like your idea of bringing a boyfriend. But there’s no way I can find one by next weekend. I’m screwed.” She continued to devour the food. Suddenly, she stopped eating. “Wait a minute. I got an idea.”
“Oh, no. I don’t like the sound of that. One of your ideas usually means trouble.”
“Um, okay. Let me think. Remember when you told me you owed me big?”
“No, when did I say that? I think I remember you saying that to me.”
“Ryan, of course you’ve said that. You say it all the time to me.”
“You have a very selective memory, Kat. But okay, what do you want?”
“Just hear me out with an open mind, first, okay?” Ryan nodded hesitantly, worried what she was about to say. “I want you to come with me to the resort. You know, as my new boyfriend.”
Ryan laughed. He couldn’t help it. His friend was going nuts through the years. “I know you’ve lost your mind now.”
“Why not?” she whined.
“I’m not going to this boring retreat and pretend to be your boyfriend, Kat. It’s not going to happen.”
“Why not? I would do it for you.”
“No, you wouldn’t.”
“Yes, I would! If I knew you were desperate, I would do it. Why wouldn’t I do that for my best friend? Like best friends are supposed to be there for each other. Through thick and thin. And you said to go with a hot boyfriend. You’re the perfect hottie! Everywhere we go, the girls drool all over you.”
“It’s not going to work, so you might as well stop. Besides, everybody at your job knows me, including Jeff. And let’s not forget, I have a girlfriend.”
“It’s just for three days. Sarah doesn’t have to know. Just make something up. Or just tell her the truth if you’d like. As far as my work goes, I’ll just tell everybody we realized that we had feelings for one another all this time.”
“I would not tell Sarah anything, Kat. You really think she would support the idea? She’s already jealous of you.”
“Yeah, why does she hate me so much? How long have you been dating her? Two months now? Isn’t that your time limit with girls?”
Ryan couldn’t help but laugh. It completely sucked that Kat knew him so well. But he wasn’t tired of Sarah yet, and he certainly didn’t want to break up with her just to be a “pretend” boyfriend for Kat.
“What’s in it for me?” he finally asked.
“My company isn’t enough?”
“Nope, I can get that anytime. If I went along with this stupid idea of yours, I’d have to deal with your uptight colleagues for three whole days. If that’s not torture, I don’t know what is.”
“Fine, I’ll give you that. What do you want?”
Ryan rubbed his chin, narrowing his eyes. “Let me think about this. I’m going to make sure this is well worth it for me.”
“I’ll tell you what, Ryan. You don’t even have to tell me right now. You do this huge favor for me, and I’ll do whatever you ask of me.”
A sly smile began to form on Ryan’s face as his eyes danced in mischief. “I like the sound of that. Hope you know what you’re getting into.”
Okay, that’s Chapter One. I will post the second chapter next week. If you absolutely can’t wait and need to read this one and other stories, you can get Loving You Hurts So Good on Amazon. It’s also free on Kindle Unlimited. Just click here.
Hello! I have an update on Girl Behind the Veil! It’s now available on print! 🙂 It’s on preorder on Kindle, but will be released on October 12th. So only few more days left for the special offer of 99cents! Get your copy now, guys! Amazon link: Click
I’m so so excited that the ARC reviews are coming in, and they’ve been raving about the novel.
“Jalpa Wiliby delivers an extraordinary tale of a young woman’s survival and subsequent rescue from human traffickers by a heroic US soldier. Their extraordinary circumstances deliver them into each other’s arms and straight into our hearts.
Powerfully written with an incredible authenticity, touching on a very topical subject of human trafficking, but allowing the reader to feel every emotion, every spine tingling risk the characters took in escaping the captors.
Definitely a book worth reading and an incredible journey through Jalpa Wiliby’s words.”
“Wonderful book! This is a story that will warm your heart and stay with you. I love that the author added so much culture to this book. It was unique, memorable, and so interesting! Also, I really love the characters, especially Salena. Salena is a victim of human trafficking, but she is so strong and I love strong female characters. I felt so many emotions while reading this book. It’s a romance, but there is some suspense/action to it also. It kept me on my toes!”
“Ms. Williby has done it again! She made me laugh, she made me cry, she made me angry at the injustices of our world, but ultimately, she made me fall in love again.
Girl Behind the Veil is a love story between Salena and Kaden. Kaden a US soldier and Salena is the daughter of a political activist in Pakistan. Our heroine, survives enormous hardships but continues to move forward when many would have quit. This book addresses human trafficking, post-traumatic stress disorder and the struggles Middle Eastern women often face in society. Ms. Williby takes us into worlds we will hopefully never have to experience, but makes us feel like we have.
I was hooked right from the start and only put it down long enough to grab more tissues! If you enjoy a good cry, a great love story and a strong heroine, this is your book. Be aware there is a definite cliff hanger, but it should be worth the wait. I have a feeling we will be hearing more from Kaden’s point of view in her next book.”
A huge shoutout to the amazing ARC readers! I so appreciate you reading this heartfelt story and leaving your honest reviews. ❤
Note: Please go to Amazon or Goodreads to read more reviews.
I have more news! I will be one of the attending authors at Pheasant Run Resort in St Charles, Illinois (sponsored by Love Books and Alcohol). It’s on Oct 14th from 10am-12pm and 1pm-4pm. If any of you are around, I’d love to see you there!
As always, I am humbled by your support! Thank you for everything!
“Opposite worlds. An impossible dream. A forbidden wish.”
I’m so so excited to share this cover for Girl Behind The Veil. It totally captures what the story is about. I hope you guys love it as much as I do.
And, the best part? It’s available for preorder for a special introductory price of only 99cents! This is for limited time so get our copy now. I know you’ll love this story. Amazon link to preorder
Here’s the blurb:
His assignment is simple.
Buy the girl and get out.
Going undercover to catch the bad guys is nothing unusual for the American soldier, Kaden Reid.
But this time, it isn’t the bad guys he is after.
This time, he has to save the mysterious, gray-eyed girl behind the veil.
While visiting her father in Pakistan, Salena is suddenly kidnapped.
Three weeks in captivity.
Three weeks of torture.
Lifetime of invisible scars.
When the paths of two strangers from opposite worlds collide, their lives are irrevocably altered. Can they overcome not only the society’s barriers, but also their own inner turmoil? Can their hearts find the courage to fight for the forbidden dream?