Excerpt Reveal: Slave To Rhythm by Jane Harvey-Berrick… Coming March 8, 2016

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Slave To Rhythm

By Jane Harvey- Berrick

Release Date: March 8th, 2016

Pre Order: Amazon / Amazon UK / Amazon CA / Nook / Kobo

29361-goodreadsSynopsis

Dance. Guns.

Music. Bullets.

Rhythm. Pain.

Music in my head, dance in my body, the rhythm of my heart.

How far can you fall in just one month? How quickly can the human spirit be broken? Where does evil hide in plain sight?

Ash wants to dance. Needs it. To leave behind a life of expectation and duty, to set his soul free.

But life is never that simple. Every step is a journey on a new road.

For every action, there is a reaction.

Every choice has a consequence.

And when you meet the wrong person, all bets are off.

Laney tolerates her limitations, pushing quietly at boundaries. But when Ash crashes into her world through rage and violence, it sets off a chain reaction that neither of them expected.

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SLAVE TEASER blood, sweat and dance

Excerpt

Laney POV

“Hi, I’m Ash. Are you by yourself?”

It was hard to be sure over the pounding music, but it sounded as if he had an accent. Something Eastern European, perhaps Russian? Polish?

I gave him a polite but closed smile, a cool smile that hid all warmth, a smile for slow servers and rude cab drivers. A smile for men I didn’t trust.

“No. I’m here with my friends.”

The man looked around him, then shrugged theatrically. “I don’t see them. Would you like to dance?”

And he held out his hand, obviously assuming that I would say yes.

I laughed.

“No, I’m not dancing.”

He frowned, his hand still suspended between us. “But you like to dance?”

I stopped laughing and stared, my gaze sinking into his, puzzled, annoyed.

“What makes you think I like to dance?”

He shrugged again and his hand fell to his side.

“You’re in a nightclub, and you’re not drinking. So you must be here to dance. Please, dance with me.”

He held out his hand again, but I shook my head impatiently. “Then go find someone who will dance with you.”

His eyes widened with surprise, and then he grinned as he leaned on the table, his perfect face inches from mine. “Maybe I want to dance with you.”

“Then you’ll be waiting a long time.”

He cocked his head to one side and I noticed a small beauty spot, shaped like a teardrop beneath his left eye—a perfect imperfection. Up close I could see that he was younger than I’d thought, younger than me perhaps, maybe early twenties. My eyes dropped to his lips and then to his throat. I could see a thin silver chain around his neck.

“I’m a good dancer,” he said, looking almost wounded at my continued refusal.

He wasn’t lying, but my anger, smoldering beneath the surface, ignited.

“I’m not dancing!”

“But everyone comes here to dance,” he insisted, his intense dark eyes so focused, it was unnerving.

“Not me,” I insisted.

He was making me anxious now and I glanced around for my friends.

“You’ll have a good time.”

“I don’t doubt it,” I snapped, losing patience. “Your last friend seemed to enjoy herself immensely.”

A dull red flooded his cheeks and he looked away.

His reaction surprised me. I’d hurt his feelings, but I wasn’t sure why.

“Maybe I’d like to dance with a pretty girl for a change,” he said softly, glancing up at me from beneath long dark lashes.

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SLAVE TEASER More than air to breathe

__________________________________________________

6458246For as long as I can remember, I wanted to write. Perhaps it was growing up in a village well known for its mystery and folklore, which sparked my imagination as a child.

I enjoy writing in several different genres, and I’ve just published my first romcom, ‘Dazzled’.

All my books have a little me in them, and I’m inspired by the personal stories of those around me. It’s often from a simple discussion overheard in the train (‘Exposure’), in a café, or in the street, where ideas for characters or scenes come to me.

I fell in love with both Sam (‘The New Samurai’) and the eponymous Sebastian in ‘The Education of Sebastian’ and the sequel ‘The Education of Caroline’, and missed them desperately once I’d finished their stories. I love writing dialogue and always try to include touches of humour in the most poignant stories.

Whether you like adult romance novels, new or young adult writing, thrillers, or fantasy, I hope you’ll enjoy the journey through my stories.

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads

Slave to the Rhythm COVER

Cover Reveal: Moth by Jennifer Foor

A brand new standalone from Jennifer Foor. MOTH will be all suspense and sexy a guaranteed page turner, releasing on APRIL 25!

 

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moth2revealebookjpgAfter his stepbrother is found murdered following a drug deal gone wrong, DEA agent Timothy (MOTH) Douglas goes undercover to take down the people responsible.

Posing as a college student, he sets out to learn more about his estranged younger sibling, infiltrating his circle of friends to further help the investigation.

The moment he meets Windy Lewis he knows she holds the answers.

MOTH pretends to be interested in the mysterious woman, only to fall victim to his own desires. For the first time in his career his personal feelings take him down a road he may never come back from.

When MOTH gets in too deep he will have to make a choice.

Justice or Love

 

 

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jennfoor1A Maryland native who spends most of her time devising a plan to live off the land on some remote island, where no one will ever find her.

She is a married mother of two kids, who may or may not drive her completely bonkers. In her spare time she enjoys shooting pool, camping and spending time with friends and family.

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Cover Reveal: A Mess Of A Man by A.M. Hargrove & Terri E. Laine

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Social Butterfly PR is proud to team up with A.M. Hargrove & Terri E. Laine to share their cover for A Mess of a Man releasing March 21, 2016!

A MESS OF A MAN EBOOK cover

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A Mess of a Man Synopsis

Womanizer, Man Whore, Player, Heartbreaker are all familiar names to Ben Rhoades. He prefers Money Man or Sex God, but he doesn’t let other people’s opinions rule him. And he’s only gotten worse without his compass, his best friend, whose devastating death at a young age has taught him a valuable lesson about not getting too close to anyone … ever. Until one smart and stubborn woman with eye-catching curves throws him for a loop and refuses to be tamed.

Samantha Calhoun has her life on track even after the shattering break-up with the guy she’d thought she’d wanted to marry. With her chin held high, she focuses on her career, building her business and making a success of it all. Only a chance meeting has her lost in a set of alluring steel gray eyes that have her steps faltering and her heart leaping out of her chest. Forewarned by not-so-flattering rumors plus his no-holds-bar rules, she tries desperately to play his game while guarding her heart.

Only they have no idea of the journey they’re about to undertake when their lives collide. Ultimately they’ll tackle the biggest test of their lives because she is his game changer. The one, who through the ensuing wreckage, can domesticate the mess of a man that he is.

a mess of a man cover reveal teaser

A Mess of a Man Excerpt

There is finality to the sound of the door closing behind her. A sort of tormenting peace knowing the end has come. It’s not like I should have expected things to go on this way for long. How could they?

I stare holes in the walls as if I can still see her, the one woman I let in.

Sweeter than peach cobbler, she hardly has a bad thing to say about anybody—until now. Her parting description of me, beginning with ass and ending with hole, reverberates through my hollow heart, as I stand here rooted to my spot. I’m not even shocked, as this isn’t the first time I’ve been on the receiving end of that sentiment. I’m only surprised because I don’t think I’ve ever heard her so much as mutter a single curse word before. And the first time I do, it’s aimed squarely at me.

My hands tighten around a tumbler filled with amber liquid before I toss back its contents hoping for oblivion or something close to it. This road is so familiar. Only this time is different. I never cared like I do now. She means more to me than a quick fuck. Hadn’t I been about to tell her just that? How could things have gone wrong so fast?

Don’t be a dumbass. You can still fix this.

Instead, I stubbornly stay embedded to my spot because nothing can change the outcome. It’s a truth she and I know will haunt me until my last breath. And it’s created a wall between us I’m unable to climb … even if you gave me a damn ladder.

I’ve never been much of a risk-taker when it comes to matters of the heart. I can fill a bank account with a number having many zeros behind it from my astute choices in the market. But I can’t be a man a woman stays with. Hadn’t I warned her about that too?

Unable to see past my own shitty existence, I long for her to come back. I want to believe it’s all been some kind of mistake and I can forget what I know to be true. As the seconds continue to tick by, the inevitability that things are really over sinks in. My window of opportunity quickly closes as fast as her car door slams and the engine fires to life.

She’s so close, yet miles away. The longer I let the minutes expand between us I know distance won’t make the heart grow fonder. But maybe it’s for the best. Love, or whatever masquerades as it, just isn’t enough for the dirty, fucked up truth. Right when things were better than I ever expected, facts messed it up.

Groaning, I launch the crystal glass worth a small fortune at the door I can’t seem to force myself towards. A beautiful show of light plays off the shards as they cascade down in an explosion of fireworks. Visually, it’s what I feel inside as desolation constricts and then obliterates my chest because the best thing I ever had is gone … leaving me with only the certainty I’m meant to be with her.

I love you, I whisper for the first time and in place of goodbye. She left me and will never hear it. I can only pray we both survive what’s to come.

A MESS OF A MAN full cover wrap

A Mess of a Man about the authors

A.M. HARGROVE

One day, on her way home from work as a sales manager, A. M.
Hargrove, realized her life was on fast forward and if she didn’t do something
soon, it would quickly be too late to write that work of fiction she had been
dreaming of her whole life. So, she rolled down the passenger window of her
fabulous (not) company car and tossed out her leather briefcase. Luckily, the
pedestrian in the direct line of fire was a dodge ball pro and had über quick
reflexes enabling him to avoid getting bashed in the head. Feeling a tad guilty
about the near miss, A. M. made a speedy turn down a deserted side street
before tossing her crummy, outdated piece-of-you-know-what laptop out the
window. She breathed a liberating sigh of relief, picked up her cell phone, called
her boss, and quit her job. Grinning, she made another call to her hubs and
told him of her new adventure (after making sure his heart was beating properly
again).

So began A. M. Hargrove’s career as a Naughty and Nice Romance Author.
Her books include the following: Edge of Disaster, Shattered Edge and Kissing
Fire (The Edge Series); The Guardians of Vesturon Series (Survival,
Resurrection, Determinant, reEmergent, and Beginnings); Dark Waltz, Death
Waltz, Tragically Flawed (Tragic 1), Tragic Desires (Tragic 2), Exquisite
Betrayal, Dirty Nights; and lastly Freeing Her, Freeing Him, and Kestrel—all
part of the Hart Brothers Series.

Other than being in love with writing about love,
she loves chocolate, ice cream, and coffee and is positive they should be added
as part of the USDA food groups.

FACEBOOK | WEBSITE | TWITTER

 

TERRI E. LAINE

Terri E. Laine is an avid reader and the co-author
of Cruel & Beautiful. When she isn’t writing romance with heart and heat,
she is crazily managing a household with her husband and three kids.

FACEBOOK | WEBSITE | TWITTER | GOODREADS

 

Release Blitz: Wolf Bite by Nina West – Wolf Cove Series – Book 2

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We are so excited to bring you the Release Week Blitz for Nina West’s WOLF BITE, the sequel to the #1 Erotic Fiction bestseller, WOLF BAIT. WOLF BITE is the highly anticipated second novel in her Wolf Cove Series releasing on Monday, February 29th! Grab the newest book in this addictive series today!

 

Wolf Bite, Book 2

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Add WOLF BITE to your Goodreads!

 

 

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About WOLF BITE (Wolf Cove Series #2):

Isolated in the luxurious Wolf Cove Hotel in Alaska, Abbi Mitchell is thousands of miles away from her family and friends.

In the hands of a predator. Potentially.

After discovering condemning information about the mercurial man who controls her day-to-day work life and, now, her most intimate private life as well, Abbi’s not sure she can continue on with… whateveris going on between her and Henry Wolf. Especially when he’s about to be thrown into a fiery media circus ring, and she, along with her reputation, will undoubtedly get dragged into it with him.

But breaking things off with the Big Bad Wolf now likely means losing her job and her summer of freedom, and going back to the farm and her controlling mother.

She’s not doing that.

Abbi does have something to hold over Henry’s head. If he forces her hand. If she has the guts to do what amounts to blackmail.

But will the all-powerful Henry Wolf concede, or will she finally feel his bite?

 

 

Wolf Bite - RWB teaser 1

 

 

And don’t miss the first book in the Wolf Cove Series, WOLF BAIT! Wolf Bite is Book 2 in the Wolf Cove series and should be read after devouring Wolf Bait (Book 1)…

 

Wolf Bait -cover

Amazon US | Amazon UK

 

About Nina West:

Nina West lives in the city but spends her summers in the wilderness with her husband. She loves having a steaming cup of cocoa in one hand and a steamy story full of angst in the other. Follow her on Facebook or on Twitter!

 

 

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Cover Reveal: Too Hot To Handle by Tessa Bailey

TESSA BAILEY REVEALS THE COVER FOR TOO HOT TO HANDLE

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When Rita Clarkson’s Suburban takes its last breath on a New Mexico roadside, rescue roars up on a Harley in the form of smooth-talking honkey tonk owner, Jasper Ellis, a man as mysterious as he is charming. Rita’s cross-country journey to New York City–with her three estranged siblings in tow–is only beginning, but now that Jasper has found Rita, his plans do not include her leaving.

Amazon – http://amzn.to/1PWXTXl

B&N – http://bit.ly/24nRnR9

iBooks – http://apple.co/1T5bW0Z

Kobo – http://bit.ly/1SRy3YC

Google Play – http://bit.ly/1QedVxs

About Tessa Bailey:

10929005_328734870648822_8403984229136741124_nTessa Bailey is originally from Carlsbad, California. The day after high school graduation, she packed her yearbook, ripped jeans and laptop, driving cross-country to New York City in under four days.

Her most valuable life experiences were learned thereafter while waitressing at K-Dees, a Manhattan pub owned by her uncle. Inside those four walls, she met her husband, best friend and discovered the magic of classic rock, managing to put herself through Kingsborough Community College and the English program at Pace University at the same time. Several stunted attempts to enter the work force as a journalist followed, but romance writing continued to demand her attention.

She now lives in Long Island, New York with her husband of eight years and four-year-old daughter. Although she is severely sleep-deprived, she is incredibly happy to be living her dream of writing about people falling in love.

www.facebook.com/tessbailey

www.twitter.com/mstessabailey

 

Blog Tour + 5 Star Review: Set The Pace by Kim Karr

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Set the pace FOR WEB

 

Every city needs a hero, but Detroit’s white knight just might be a villain.

A rough childhood branded Jasper Storm trouble. A bad boy. Not worth a damn. His love of cars was the only thing that could battle his delinquency. With the need for speed in his blood, he overcame his wayward ways. Mostly. All grown up, the broken city of Detroit hails him their shining star. And the man behind a new cutting-edge automobile is ready to turn this bankrupt town around.

Everything he does in life is fast. He talks fast, f*cks fast, and drives fast. But when one reckless turn brings him face-to-face with the childhood he has tried very hard to forget, he finds himself on the edge of wondering if he shouldn’t slow down.

Charlotte Lane was the tomboy who lived next door. She was his best friend. He was her protector. Then tragedy struck and she disappeared, forever—or so he thought.

Jasper has many reasons to hate Charlotte and keep his distance, but she’s infiltrating his every thought and he can’t stay away. Back in town with an agenda of her own, she should push him aside. Make him turn around. Walk away herself. Yet she can’t.

With the past lurking between them, they proceed with caution. That is until one sex-filled night leads to murder. When Detroit’s biggest ally suddenly becomes suspect number one, will Charlotte—the girl Jasper once kept safe—be the one to save him?

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STP - White Knight - Dual (1)

 


 

EXCERPT

 

 

Set the Pace

Excerpt

© 2016 by Kim Karr

 

Charlotte Lane

Buzz. Buzz.

Startled, I jump and quickly place the frame back in its place.

Buzz. Buzz.

It’s the call button from the lobby. I’m not sure what to do. I should probably ask Jasper if he is expecting anyone before I let whomever it is up.

The hallway he disappeared down is fairly long and at the end are two doors. Both are slightly ajar. I can hear the shower running and music playing. I try to place the song. Just as I go to knock, I pause, and then grin, it’s Led Zeppelin—the same music that used to blare from his garage when he was out there with his father.

Somehow in my absentminded quandary, my fingertips have nudged the door open just enough that I can see inside the bathroom. Perfectly. In my direct line of sight is a huge glass wall and he is just beyond it.

My pulse is beating so hard I can feel it pounding at all my pulse points. I should leave. I don’t need to bother Jasper. Whoever it is buzzing to come up can just come back later. Yet, I can’t move. Or maybe it’s more like I don’t want to move.

Steam hovers in the air but there’s not nearly enough to obscure anything. And there he is, naked in the water, head bent as it sluices over him. His eyes are closed. One hand is on the wall. The other slides slowly down his belly and lands between his thighs.

Oh, God.

Now I really can’t move. I’m frozen in place. His hand is on his cock. I swallow the noise my throat tries to make, but I’m sure I don’t do a good job of it. Thank you, Jesus, he doesn’t seem to notice. No, he definitely doesn’t notice because oh, my God, now he’s stroking himself. Slowly. Deliciously. Up, then down, and a twist of his palm around the head of his cock.

I shouldn’t be watching this, and yet I can’t look away. This is private. For him only, and yet I have to wonder if it’s because of me. Is it his attraction to me that made him step back just moments ago? Made him have to relieve the desire he was feeling? Then why did he say he wouldn’t kiss me again?

When he moves his wrist faster, I have to stifle my sudden harsh breath with my hand. My eyes are glued to his body and although I should leave, I can’t. I just can’t. Jasper, doing this to himself, is the most erotic thing I’ve ever seen in my life. The only thing stopping me from reaching between my own legs is my perverted fascination with wanting to watch him come. Oh, and of course the terror of getting caught.

His mouth opens, water filling it and overflowing when he tips his face into the spray. I want so much to be in there with him, share the water, and feel that mouth on my body, but I’m not sure that’s ever going to happen. We seem to be dancing around the attraction we feel for each other. Like both of us are afraid to take that leap from a two-decade-old friendship to intimacy. Afraid perhaps of where it might lead, or maybe where it won’t.

I can’t be sure.

Then again, it could be that the ghosts that accompany us are just too strong to bear.

Soon he’s fucking into his fist with a deliberation that makes me weak at the knees, and I watch. I watch the way his muscles cord in his arms, the way his cock moves within the confines of his fist, the way his face contorts into pure pleasure.

Looking at Jasper, watching him about to come, it opens up something within me. The feeling is hard to describe and I can only think of one word that is fitting—primal.

His cock disappears inside his curled fingers and this stroke seems somehow more determined. Up, down, a twist around his crown, and then another twist. This time his head dips down, and then lowers still.

I press my thighs together to ward off the ache of arousal that is flooding me. I can’t hear him, but I wish I could. I know what he’s feeling, though, because I can see his mouth open and his face contort with satisfaction. He’s close. I can tell. And then soon enough, his taut belly strains, the muscles in his legs bunch, and then it happens—his desire jets out.

Never in my life have I wanted to make myself come like I do right in this moment. No, that’s not true. Never in my life have I wished for a man to take me the way I wish for Jasper to take me right now. Still, this is all kinds of wrong. I shouldn’t have watched him. I know this. Chiding myself, I lick salt from my upper lip and slowly, cautiously take a step back.

“Is there a show going on that I wasn’t invited to?”

That voice. I know that voice. The cynicism behind the tone.

Oh, God.

No. No. No.

__________________________________________________

5Star

Michel’s Review

Imagine my shock when Set The Pace by Kim Karr released early. Our blog was scheduled to review the book on the original release day. I was scrambling to get this book read and have the review up before too many days passed by. As I began reading I was immediately sucked into their world.

Set The Pace was quite different from my first impressions after reading the synopsis for this book. I had it in my mind that this book was going to revolve around the auto racing sport. I was completely wrong. This book revolves around car designs and manufacturing. Detroit was the perfect city to set the scene for this story. But… there is much more to this book than developing and marketing a car in a decaying city. There’s a complex plot that began twenty years earlier. There are two murders, one obvious suspect, several people of interest, and one determined detective trying to close the case. Add a tragedy from twenty years earlier that destroyed hundreds of families and the children of that tragedy who are seeking their own peace of mind., the story becomes more complex.

For one it’s turning a tragedy into a positive beginning for the future. For another, it’s finding the answers as to what really happened and putting the ghosts to rest. For another, it’s seeking vengeance and revenge. Add a few players from the past, some self serving players in the present, and four men that want their car on the market, the plot becomes all the more complicated. Among all the mystery is a sizzling hot romance between two of the major players in the story. Before the budding relationship can blossom into a true commitment, the past and present tear them apart. To make this story even more interesting is the backdrop, Detroit City. The city takes on a life of itself. The people of Detroit have long memories, shattered hopes, poverty, and a dying city. All their hopes are on this new car manufacturer to bring jobs and prosperity back to their city.

Jasper Storm has a passion for cars. He has worked his entire adult life developing the car of the future, The Storm. Just as he is realizing his dreams, they are quickly becoming destroyed. He’s being framed for murder. It’s possible that someone is trying to sabatoge his creation, The Storm, before it hits the market. To make matters worse, the girl he hated for twenty years reappears back in town when everything begins to fall apart. The hate he has harbored turns into something beautiful when he gets to know the woman the girl has become.

Charlotte Lane disappeared in the middle of the night twenty years ago. The life she has lived has been haunted by the events of her last night in Detroit. She’s back in town to get answers and understand the truth. When her co worker, a writer for the blog is murdered on the night that could dictate the future Jasper Storm’s car, things become more complicated. Charlotte is forced to face the boy she left behind, Twenty years ago she desperately needed Jasper’s friendship. Today she desperately desires the man Jasper has become. It doesn’t matter what happened in the past or that Jasper could possibly be behind her co worker’s death. Her heart has always belonged to Jasper.

As the story unfolds, there are many twists and turns. The mystery becomes more complex. Kim Karr not only delivered the beginnings of a passionate romance but also a story that will keep the readers glued to the pages. Her vivid descriptions bring the characters to life, the city to life, and the mystery to life. She created so many questionable characters and questionable circumstances, that it makes it impossible to formulate a concrete theory. This book in many ways reminds me of the older detective television series from the past where solving a murder was anything but cut and dry. It was refreshing to become involved in this kind of story once again. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

 

 

 

About Kim Karr

 

 

Reader * Writer * Coffeelover * Romantic
Kim Karr is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. She is a daydreamer. So much so that if daydreaming could be a hobby it would be her favorite. It’s how her stories are born and how they take root. An imagination that runs wild is something to be thankful for, and she is very thankful. :)
She grew up in New York and now lives in Florida with her husband and four kids. She’s always had a love for reading books and writing. Being an English major in college, she wanted to teach at the college level but that was not to be. She went on to receive an MBA and became a project manager until quitting to raise her family. Kim currently works part-time with her husband and with the rest of her time embraces one of her biggest passions–writing.
Kim wears a lot of hats! Writer, book-lover, wife, soccer-mom, taxi driver, and the all around go-to person of her family. However, she always finds time to read.
She likes to believe in soulmates, kindred spirits, true friends, and Happily-Ever-Afters. She loves to drink champagne, listen to music, and hopes to always stay young at heart.

 

Cover Reveal: Collared by Nicole Williams

Cover reveal

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AP - Synopsis

When a seventeen-year-old girl vanishes,
A community is shaken.
Parents turn desperate.
Friends hold vigils.
And the boy who loves her searches.

When a year goes by,
The community is recovering.
Parents feel hopeless.
Friends feel helpless.
And the boy who loves her continues his search.

When ten years go by,
The community has forgotten.
Parents cling to the past.
Friends move toward the future.
And the boy who loves her . . .

Brings her home.

Jade Childs spent ten years in captivity, but now that she’s back, the real battle for survival begins. The media shadows her. Flashbacks haunt her. Her old life evades her. Her so-called new life rejects her. She spent too many years in the dark to recognize the light. She spent too long repressing her feelings to remember how to express them. She spent a decade abandoning hope and cannot dare letting it back into her life. Jade’s not just defined by what happened to her—she’s collared to it.

When the twenty-seven-year-old woman is found,
A community wants to know the story,
Parents want to forget the story,
Friends want to be a part of the story,
And the man who still loves her faces the greatest challenge yet: letting her go.

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AP- Excerpt

He holds my eyes, not letting them wander away from him. “Why have you been avoiding me?”

I wander my room, not sure where to go now that he’s here. I’m not sure where I fit now. I’m not sure where I belong in his life.

“You know why,” I say quietly.

“I want to hear you tell me.”

“Why?”

“So I can change your mind.” His hands slide into his front pockets, and the sunlight catches on his dad’s watch and casts golden beams through the room. It lights up like someone just lit a million candles at once. “I can’t do that unless I know exactly why you don’t want to see me.”

He wants a reason? I’ll give him a whole list of them.

“Because I don’t want to drag you into my mess of a world any more than I already have. Because I don’t want to smear you through the mud on the media’s march to burying me. Because I don’t want to hurt you—again—and because I want to protect you.”

“I can protect myself from them.”

I shake my head and cover my chest with my hand. “To protect you from me.”

Torrin’s jaw hardens. He works it loose the moment after. “I don’t need protection from you.”

“Everyone needs protection from me. There’s something dark in me now, Torrin, and I can’t get it out. It’s growing, spreading, and I don’t want it to infect the people I love.”

He pushes off the closet doors and crosses the room before I know he’s coming. “There is nothing dark in you, Jade. Nothing.” He backs me into the wall and stares at me, unblinking. “There is light and good in you. There always has been. There always will be.”

“That’s gone. He took it from me.”

“No, he didn’t.” Torrin’s hand slams into the wall beside my head. “It’s still there. You had to bury it to keep it safe, but it’s still there. You’ll find it. I know it.”

I want to believe him, but that doesn’t make it true. “You can’t find what isn’t there, Torrin.”

“Dammit, stop talking like that,” he says, his jaw tensing. “It’s there. I know it.”

“I’ve tried. I can’t find it.” Even as I say it, I start to feel different. It’s because of him being so close, saying what he is in the way he is. He’s the tether that keeps me from floating away.

His eyes lower to mine. “I’ll help you find it.”

I feel my heart again. My lungs. Everything else. I feel it waking up. “What makes you so sure you can find it?”

“Because when I look in your eyes, I still see it.” His other hand fits against the wall beside my head. “Because when I’m close to you like this, I can still feel it.” He leans a little closer, and I feel something too. “It’s there, Jade. It’s not gone. He took ten years of your life—ten years.” The corners of his eyes crease as an emotion fires in his eyes. “Don’t hand him the rest of it by believing that kind of shit.”

AP - about the author

Nicole Williams is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary and young adult romance, including the Crash and Lost& Found series. Her books have been published by HarperTeen and Simon & Schuster in both domestic and foreign markets, while she continues to self-publish additional titles. She is working on a new YA series with Crown Books (a division of Random House) as well. She loves romance, from the sweet to the steamy, and writes stories about characters in search of their happily even after. She grew up surrounded by books and plans on writing until the day she dies, even if it’s just for her own personal enjoyment. She still buys paperbacks because she’s all nostalgic like that, but her kindle never goes neglected for too long. When not writing, she spends her time with her husband and daughter, and whatever time’s left over she’s forced to fit too many hobbies into too little time.

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Nicole is represented by Jane Dystel, of Dystel and Goderich Literary Agency.

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