A GIRL TRYING TO LEAVE HER PAST BEHIND
I was a normal teenager who loved music and dancing, until the day I was attacked in my favorite record store. A few years later when my mom succumbed to depression and took her own life, I couldn’t stay in my hometown with all the memories and the curious stares. I decided to get in my car and just go – except my car decided it was done going outside a tiny place called Evergreen Grove. That’s where I found Jake. Or I guess Jake found me.
A GUY WHO CAN’T LET HIS GO
For the last eight years, all I can think about is the day I ended another man’s life. Then I manage to save Cassie’s, and I feel like maybe I’ve got some kind of second chance. To do what I couldn’t before, or maybe even for something bigger. Something like love. If only I could feel like I deserve her...
*ABOUT THE COVER*
Cover Photography by Michael Stokes
Cover Model – Adam Von Rothfelder
Cover design by Babski Creative Studios
Elisabeth Staab loves passionate stories and happy endings. Her books have been called “emotionally delicious,” “action-packed,” and “gloriously snarky.” When not writing romance, she enjoys date night with her husband, reading Harry Potter with her kids, and marathoning her favorite books or TV series. Find out more at ElisabethStaab.com, follow along on Facebook and Twitter, and keep up with new releases and giveaways by signing up for her newsletter.
“So nobody should get close to you? I thought the same thing about myself. It’s lonely though, right?” She looks worried about me now. That’s worse than when she looked like she wanted to kiss me.
I tug on a strand of that hair one more time. An excuse to touch her without really touching her. “There’s no need to worry about me. I’m great.”
I’m not looking at her when I say those last few words. I’m jingling my keys and looking back toward my truck, the universal symbol for “I really gotta get the fuck out of here.” This conversation is getting more touchy-feely than I know how to handle.
So I’m busy thinking about getting back to the truck. I don’t see it coming when she reaches up to brush her lips across mine.
It’s not an aggressive kiss. It almost doesn’t even qualify as a kiss at all, compared to what I’m used to. Her lips are as soft as I figured they would be from looking at them, and they fit so easily against mine. The way she throws her arms around my neck though, I’ve got this armful of Cassie and the only thing I want to do is hold on. Anyway, she could fall backward if I let go. I can’t let her fall.
I open my mouth to remind her why this is all a bad idea, and instead of words I hear a low, strangled sound come out of my throat. She uses the chance to slip her warm tongue against mine. She’s a great kisser—an amazing kisser—soft but firm, and insistent. I don’t know why I didn’t expect her to be good. It means she’s kissed other guys, and right now I can’t think about her and other guys.