Tag Archives: second chance love

Release Blitz: Who We Used To Be by Dara Nelson

Who We Used to Be | Dara Nelson

Do-Over Series #1

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Publisher: Dare Publishing

Cover Artist: Dara Nelson

Cover Photo: Dan Skinner/DWS Photography

Release Date: June 15, 2019

Genre/s: Contemporary, MM, Romance

Heat Rating: 5 flames

Length: 51,356 words/280 pages

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Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US | Amazon UK

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Blurb

Ten years ago Zeke Malloy had everything:

A happy childhood, a shot at a state championship wrestling title, a best friend, a boyfriend (albeit a secret one but that was okay because, once they graduated, that would change).

He had love, happiness……a heart.

All of that changed in the blink of an eye.

One moment he was deliriously happy, looking forward to a future with Digger Brandt, building a life, a home, a forever, with him.

And then it was gone, disappearing like the tears that flowed down Zeke’s cheeks as he watched from the back of the church as Digger married Lisa – with his father sitting proudly in the front pew. Those tears were still flowing when he walked out of that church and went directly to the nearest recruiting office. Because he didn’t just lose the love of his life that day, he lost his hopes, his dreams, he lost…..himself.

For the next ten years he was a machine – the best Marine, the best friend, but like a machine, he did it all without a beating heart. His was dead…..or was it?

Was ten years too long?

Was a broken heart too much?

Zeke didn’t know. Hell, he wasn’t even sure he wanted to know.

From the moment Digger walked up behind him and said in that smooth, sexy voice that used to light Zeke up six ways from Sunday, “The man I knew never had a problem with it,”, the only thing Zeke knew now was that he was about to find out.

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Excerpt

Zeke stared at the amber colored liquid in his glass while trying to figure out what he was feeling. That was just the thing. He wasn’t feeling anything.

He was numb.

If he really allowed himself to think about it, he’d been numb for a decade. Since the day he’d opened his front door and had seen that invitation sticking out from under his doormat. That was the last day he’d felt anything at all. And what he’d felt then was total, utter devastation as he collapsed onto the porch swing as those words penetrated his brain. Such a profound sense of not only sadness, but the devastating knowledge that life as he knew it was over.

Everything he thought he knew was shattered.

How could he do this?

Everything he thought he could have was gone.

Did he know her? Had he been cheating the whole time?

And anger – god there was so much anger.

The cowardly fucker didn’t even have the balls to look him in the eye when he destroyed him.

He swore he could feel his heart shattering into a million pieces. It was also the day that he lost all hope of finding his happily ever after.

It was the day he was forced to come to terms with the fact that he and Digger were not meant to be.

Shit. Every time one of Zeke’s crappy relationships ended, he always thought of Digger.

Digger Brandt. The first boy he’d kissed. The first boy he’d touched. The first…and only…. boy he’d ever loved.

Digger Brandt. The man who had destroyed Zeke Malloy. Ruined him for all others.

“Fuck,” he mumbled as he scrubbed a hand over his face. He really needed to stop doing this.

He had to find a way to get over Digger Brandt once and for all.

But how?

As he brought his glass up until it touched his lips, he felt a presence behind him, the heat of someone close, someone big, someone strong, someone that Zeke might be able to get lost in.

“I don’t bottom,” he said, getting that shit outta the way right quick.

A deep chuckle rumbled out of the man’s chest. It was so sexy it made Zeke’s balls tingle.

“The man I knew never had a problem with it.”

Zeke’s eyes squeezed shut.

He knew that voice.

He’d felt that voice.

He’d swallowed that voice into his body when the man came, dozens of times.

He still heard that voice every time he jacked off, despite trying to fight it with everything he had.

If he allowed himself to, he could easily get lost in that voice again.

He shook his head.

No. Not again. Never again.

“The boy you knew doesn’t exist anymore,” he growled and then he tipped back his glass, welcoming the burn as the liquid slid down his throat.

He felt the change in the man behind him, knew without looking that he’d gone from self-assured, cocky even, to unsteady, remorseful…..guilty.

Good.

“Zeke, I….”
“Don’t, Digger. Just fucking don’t. Go back to your perfect house, your white picket fence, your beautiful wife, your two point five kids. Go back to whatever fake little happy life you built and leave me the fuck alone.”

God. Ten fucking years of trying to forget him erased in sixty seconds.

He signaled to Joe, the bartender, for another and tried to ignore the fact that he could still feel Digger behind him.

When Digger slid onto the empty stool next to Zeke, he wanted to turn and walk out.

But he couldn’t.

He felt like he was anchored to his spot with a one-ton boulder.

To be honest, he was anchored, but not by a boulder; by a six-foot-one heart-breaking asshole named Douglas Digger Brandt.

Zeke refused to turn and look at the man.

Truth be told, he was afraid to look.

Afraid that he just might drop to his knees and beg the man to love him, to really love him, the way Zeke thought he had all those years ago, the way Zeke had loved him, the way a still fucking loved him.

Hell, he’d probably even offer to be his dirty little secret if Digger asked him to.

Just anything to get the man to touch him one more time.

Nobody had ever touched Zeke the way that Digger had, like he was trying to fuse them together, like he was pulling whatever it was that made Zeke, Zeke, into himself. He didn’t even have to touch Zeke’s dick, although that was amazing too. Just the tips of his fingers on Zeke’s skin or the brush of his lips on his neck made Zeke feel like he was the only thing in the world that mattered.

Everything that was Digger slid effortlessly together with Zeke like the pieces of a perfect puzzle.

A puzzle whose pieces Digger had scattered to the wind the moment he had walked away.

Maybe nobody had ever touched Zeke like that since because he’d never allowed it, because he’d never let someone get that close.

Never again.

A heartbreak like that was something you never forgot – it changed you.

About the Author

I did not choose to write…..writing chose me

Kendel Duncan is the pen name for Dara Nelson. Why a pen name? I first chose it because I was initially writing in two different genres (M/F Paranormal and Gay Romance). I’ve since transitioned into a strictly gay romance author – writing romance, action, suspense and second chance romances.

I’ve tackled subjects that I’m very proud of, including losing a spouse, living with HIV, among other things.

I was born and raised in the Bay Area of Northern California but have made my home in the Pacific Northwest for more than two decades. My husband & I live on a small farm surrounded by chickens, goats, 5 dogs, and a cat, in the shadow of stunning Mt Rainier.

With my grown children and grandchildren nearby, my life is always busy, happy and full of laughter.

I am an active Blogger, having created Love Unchained Book Reviews out of my love for all things reading – mostly MM books.

Owner of Dare Publishing & Design – Offering quality, affordable services for indie authors, including:

Editing, Publishing, Book Cover Design and more!

When I’m not on the phone with my best friend (which is at least once every day) – I am an avid, addicted reader. It is my passion, my escape, my joy
And I am most definitely a writer. The characters in my head are constantly demanding that their story be told.
But above all that – I am a human being. My passion for people is unparalleled, my firm belief in Love is Love unwavering, my hope that all can be accepted, undying. I do not write because I want to, I do it because I have to. I write because these voices, these beautiful men, have chosen me to tell their stories – and how damn lucky am I for that?

As an author, I write under both my name and my pen name (Kendel Duncan), with total transparency and honesty.

Dara Nelson is the author of:

Author of the successful ‘Healing Hearts’ series (Love in the Aftermath, Love After Chaos, Love Worth Fighting For – and more to come soon)

Under the pen name Kendel Duncan:

Author of the popular & critically acclaimed ‘Black Ops Heroes’ series and the new top-selling ‘Doyle Global Securities’ series

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A twist of spice keeps this festive romance on track

Mr. Frosty Pants (Home for the Holidays, #1)Mr. Frosty Pants by Leta Blake

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As ever with a Leta Blake romance the narrative has a twist of spice to go with the sugar and an undertone of bite which brings human frailties along with the love.

Joel was a complex and complicated character who had only firm convictions of his lack of worthiness to keep his emotions banked hot and the fires in his belly alive.

I loved reading how Casey’s unwavering commitment – once he had decided that he was just as much in love with Joel as he had been four years earlier – began to break down the ice he’d covered his heart with.

As Joel melted into his relationship with Casey, so did my feelings for this prickly young man.

Although this is a young/new adult romance, with the characters just 22, I do honestly believe they had the love and the legs to be a forever love.

Oh and first-time virgin everything in the talented pen of Leta – not only powerfully emotional but also quite deliciously sensual too.

#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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Release Blitz: The Omega’s Second Chance by Kenna Grace

The Omega’s Second Chance | Kenna Grace

Bundle of Joy #2

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Cover Artist: Ana J. Phoenix

Genre/s: mPreg, MM, gay romance

Length: 52, 000 words

Buy Links

Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/ book/show/40773944-the-omega- s-second-chance

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/ B07FDG57QK
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/ B07FDG57QK

Blurb

Two best friends reunite and discover they could be something more in this mpreg, gay-for-you, second chance romance.

Cody

I left home a decade ago to get away from my crush on my straight best friend. Traveling the world helped me get over him, and now that I’m back to take care of my uncle, I should be immune.

Except I’m not. I want him as much as I did before, but this time is different. This time, he seems as interested in me as I am in him, but how can that be when he’s straight? Soon enough, his baby is inside me, but that drives us apart instead of bringing us together.

Derek

Cody was my best friend, and I always ignored any feelings that were more than friendly. It was easy then, since I was about to marry my childhood sweetheart. In the years since, I’ve learned there’s nothing sweet about Heidi, weathered a divorce, and the loss of my NFL career.

I’m home again and ready for something more. Cody is just what I want, but when he gets pregnant, I know it can’t be mine because I’m infertile. Aren’t I?

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About the Author

Kenna Grace is a small woman with a huge personality. By evening, she can be found writing, reading, and getting lost in her wild imagination.

In her other life, she’s a behavioral analyst and devoted partner, but writing about men falling in love and their happily-ever-after is so much more exciting!

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Release Day Blitz: Play It By Ear by K. M. Neuhold

Play It By Ear | K.M. Neuhold

Replay #2

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MM ROMANCE | RELEASE DATE: 07.02.18

Amazon US| Amazon UK

Play it by Ear Cover

BLURB

Lando

My muse is gone, and I haven’t written a word of music in over a year. Every time I close my eyes, all I can see is Dawson. Nine years ago, just before Downward Spiral’s first major tour, I met my soulmate and then I walked away. Now that I’ve finally tracked him down again, things have changed. I’ll have to make him fall for me all over again. But is it possible I put our single weekend together on a pedestal or could Dawson really be The One?

Dawson

A traumatic brain injury nine years ago left me deaf and with spotty memory of the first twenty years of my life. When one of the biggest rock stars in the world shows up and seems to know me, I’m not sure what to believe. Is it possible he’s telling the truth when he says he’s been in love with me for nine years, even if I can’t remember ever meeting him?

***Play it by Ear is the second book in the Replay series. Each book in the series will focus on a different band member getting a second chance at love. Each book can be read as a stand-alone.

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EXCERPT

The blank pages taunt me cruelly. No matter how many times I put the tip of my pencil to the paper, it remains blank. Have you ever felt like your entire life depended on your ability to do something that you suddenly couldn’t do? Not that I’m going to die if I can’t write. But if I can’t do this, the band will be dead, and I might as well die along with it.

“Just write,” I command myself, putting the tip of the pencil to the paper once more. “It can’t be that difficult. You’ve written three dozen songs, if not more. Just put one word in front of the other until you have enough words to fill three minutes or so.”

I drill the tip of the pencil into the paper, but still no words come.

“Goddammit,” I roar, snapping the pencil in my fist and throwing the pieces to the ground. “Dammit, dammit, dammit.”

A familiar resentment simmers in my chest. If Lincoln wasn’t such a mess, I wouldn’t be in this position. When we signed our first contract with Epic Records a decade ago, Lincoln and I agreed we’d share the responsibility of writing music. How many songs has Lincoln written? Two. Two fucking songs in ten years while I sit here with an ulcer over needing to get a whole album written in the next few weeks.

“Fuck you, Lincoln, and fuck me, too,” I mutter, heaving myself off the couch and heading to my kitchen to grab another beer.

How’s this for the wild Friday night in a rock star’s life? Drinking beer and berating myself in my deathly quiet penthouse.

I wander over to the window that takes up the entire east wall. City lights twinkle like stars all around, but when I tilt my head to see the actual stars, there’s nothing but hazy light polluting the sky.

I lift the bottle of beer to my lips and gulp down half of it in one go. None of this was how it was supposed to be. When we started this band, we were nothing more than best friends sharing a love of music.

When we were signed by Epic, we were all so sure this was going to change our lives. We weren’t wrong. A decade later we have seven albums, three of which went platinum, we’re a household name, our songs—my songs—are on every radio station. We’re living the dream. So why does it feel so empty?

I rest my palm against the frigid glass of the window and wonder for the millionth time what the point of all this is.

The shrill sound of my phone ringing makes me jump. I reach into my pocket and see Archer’s name on the screen. There’s only one reason our band manager would be calling me after midnight on a random Friday.

“Is he okay?” I ask as soon as I answer. My voice sounds flat to my own ears, and I wonder if Archer notices it. I feel wrung out physically and emotionally. I’m a battery with only ten percent life left and no charger in sight.

“He’s in the hospital,” Archer replies, sounding just as exhausted as I am.

“How bad is it?”

“Not sure yet. They’re pumping his stomach. It looks like he drank a liter of whiskey. I found him asleep on his balcony, damn near frozen.”

“On his balcony?” I put my hand back on the freezing glass and shiver. “It’s like twelve degrees outside.”

“Yeah,” Archer agrees.

“What do you need me to do?”

“Nothing tonight. I just wanted to let you know, and I was hoping I could swing by to talk after he’s out of the hospital. Maybe tomorrow evening?”

“Yeah, any time,” I agree. “Do you want me to call Benji and Jude?”

“It’s okay; I need something to do to distract myself while I wait. Thanks though.”

“No problem. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

I hang up and gulp down the rest of my beer. Sometimes it feels like these aren’t the lives we were meant to live. We all got off track somewhere. I can pinpoint exactly where my life split into a before and after.

I’ve written a dozen songs about him. I’ve stayed up nights thinking about him. I’ve gotten drunk and cried over him. I hardly know him, but in nine years, I haven’t been able to shake him. What I wouldn’t give to go back and do something differently. Maybe I’d never leave him. Maybe I’d beg him to come with me. I don’t know what I’d do, but it wouldn’t be this.

I toss the empty bottle in the recycling and amble to my bedroom, stripping out of my clothes as I go. Maybe I’ll dream some damn lyrics and save my own ass. More likely I’ll dream of him.

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I’m an author of m/m and new adult romance. I have a strong passion for writing characters with a lot of heart and soul, and a bit of humor as well.

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Jay’s latest takes a path less travelled for a complex look at a second chance love

Second ChanceSecond Chance by Jay Northcote

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Awesome, awesome book from Jay which is all about finding your true self, living an authentic life and finding that the one who stole your heart as a teenager not only still has it, but is willing to hand theirs over too.

It’s authentic and at times it reads harsher than the norm because it’s not just your typical romance where guy meets guy, guy falls for guy, there’s a bump in the road and then all ends well – although fear not all that does happen here too!

There’s past history between Nate and Jack, but it’s complicated by Nate’s pre-transition role in Jack’s life, when he was still Nat and his best female friend.

It doesn’t avoid the conversations about what it’s like for a gay FtM transgender character to get involved in a relationship with a cisgender gay man, it lays it out clearly that it won’t be smooth sailing.

There’s discussions about how Nate prefers to name his genitals, there’s discussions about how the sex will happen.

Now that doesn’t mean this book isn’t as sexy and that the lovemaking between the two isn’t hot, not one bit. Their experiences together are even more emotional, given the history, and they’re just as erotic and treated with the same skill as all Jay’s other books.

These two are beautiful together and it’s a joy to read them exploring their feelings again, especially as its also a mature romance, both men are in their 40s and isn’t that a lovely change from all the super perfect young things normally found in the genre!

There’s turbulence on the way, families complicate things and Jack totally screws things up through his own fears but there is some great groveling, a bunch of soggy daffodils, and the blessing of a teenage daughter to make it right.

The epilogue is just all ends up perfect and I had such a huge smile on my face as it jumps just a small way into the future but enough to know these two will be growing old together over the roast beef dinner and spotted dick while the rest of the world just gently passes by.

#ARC kindly provided by the author in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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Release Day Blitz: Promise Me We’ll Be Okay by Nell Iris

 Universal Buy Link

Length: 27,000 words approx.
Publisher: JMS Books
Blurb
 

What do you do when your past comes knocking?

Six hundred and ninety-five days. That’s how long it’s been since Jude’s fiancé broke off their engagement. With the help of his brother and his all-encompassing love for music, Jude glued the broken pieces of his heart back together, but when his ex shows up on his doorstep late one evening, Jude fears it will fall apart again.

Two years ago, Vincent made a terrible mistake. He left the love of his life for stupid, ill-advised reasons. It took a traumatic event to bring what was truly important in his life into focus. Older and wiser, he’s now ready to do whatever it takes to win Jude back.

Their chemistry is as explosive as ever, but will they be able to work through the real issues? Can trust once broken be rebuilt?

 Excerpt
 

I was still wide awake when someone knocked on my door half an hour later, and I knew who it was before I even got out of bed. Who else could it be at four in the morning but Vee?

I didn’t bother to turn on the lights or get dressed, and I opened the door in my boxers. My heart lurched at the sight of him. He still hadn’t shaved and he had black rings under his eyes. His usual confidence was nowhere to be seen. Usually, his presence took over the entire room, but today he looked as if he was trying to make himself smaller.

Without a word, I stepped aside and let him in. I grabbed his hand and led him to the den. “We’ll talk in the morning. You can sleep on the couch,” I said. “I’ll get some sheets.” I got some fresh linen from the closet and grabbed an extra blanket — he was always cold when he slept — and made up the sofa for him. He didn’t move from the spot where I’d let go of his hand, and he didn’t take his eyes off me.

“You gonna sleep in your clothes?” I asked.

He shook his head and peeled off his lavender V-neck sweater — probably cashmere — and flipped open the jeans’ button while I fluffed his pillows and spread out the cozy blanket. When he pulled down his pants, I had to avert my eyes. To stop myself from staring, I jogged to the kitchen and brought back a bottle of water for him.

He was tense when I returned as if he’d thought I’d gone to bed without saying goodnight. I didn’t like seeing him uncertain. He was a guy who was assured of himself. Never doubted himself or his intelligence. But he was never arrogant. No, he hid a kind and generous man behind his cocky smile. It was one of the things that had attracted me to him in the first place; all the different layers of his personality. The sides of him he only ever showed me.

“Go to bed,” I murmured and lifted the blanket in invitation. After a brief hesitation, he lay down and curled up on the couch. I tucked him in — pulling the blanket all the way up to his chin — and made sure it covered his naked toes, too.

I resisted leaning down and kissing him on the cheek. I managed to keep myself from ruffling his hair or touching the unfamiliar stubble to see if it was as silky as I imagined. And I didn’t beg him to take off his T-shirt so I could run my fingers through his treasure trail. I simply gave him a smile and said, “Sleep well Lovee.”

As soon as the old endearment slipped out I wished I could take it back. He, on the other hand, lit up, and for the first time since he’d knocked on my door yesterday, something looking a lot like hope shone from his eyes.

I whirled around and ran out. Dove under my covers, and buried my face in my pillow, not moving until my lungs screamed for oxygen.

Gasping for air, I tried to find a comfortable sleeping position. My questions had disappeared and been replaced with the image of him on my couch, all pleading eyes, and heartbreaking vulnerability.

I turned to the other side and fluffed my pillow, but it was too hot from my breathing into it, so I flipped it over. I rolled over on my back and flung my arm over my eyes. Then I tried to lie on my stomach with my arm tucked under the pillow, but it quickly went numb. It got too hot under the cover, so I threw it off and then it got too cold. I shivered and pulled it back up, but kept a leg outside.

After twisting in my bed for what felt like an eternity, I gave up. I sighed, stood, and padded back into the den. Vee looked up at me when I entered, as awake as I was. Tilting my head in the direction of my bedroom I said, “Bring your blanket.”

He scrambled off the couch and followed me. Tucked under my covers at a safe distance from him, I could finally fall asleep. The last thing I remembered before closing my eyes, was his sooty lashes fanned out on pale cheeks, and the snuffling sounds he made as he slept.

Nell Iris is a romantic at heart who believes everyone deserves a happy ending. She’s a bona fide bookworm (learned to read long before she started school), wouldn’t dream of going anywhere without something to read (not even the ladies’ room), loves music (and singing along but, let’s face it, she’s no Celine Dion), and is a real Star Trek nerd (“Make it so”). She loves words, poetry, wine, and Sudoku, and absolutely adores elephants!

Nell believes passionately in equality for all regardless of race, gender, or sexuality, and wants to make the world a better, less hateful, place.

Nell is a forty-something bisexual Swedish woman, married to the love of her life, and a proud mama of a grown daughter. She left the Scandinavian cold and darkness for warmer and sunnier Malaysia a few years ago, and now spends her days writing, surfing the Internet, enjoying the heat, and eating good food. One day she decided to chase her lifelong dream of being a writer, sat down in front of her laptop, and wrote a story about two men falling in love.

Nell Iris writes gay romance, prefers sweet over angst, and wants to write diverse and different characters.

Email contact@nelliris.com

Web www.nelliris.com

Twitter @nellirisauthor

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Release Blitz: Winter Cowboy (Whisper Ridge Wyoming #1) by RJ Scott

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Length: 70,000 words approx.
Cover Design: Meredith Russell
 Blurb
 

Micah Lennox left Whisper Ridge after promising the man he loved that he would never return. But the only way he knows to keep his pregnant sister and nephew safe is to go home. Spending winter in Wyoming opens too many old wounds, but he’s on the run from justice which can’t be far behind, and this is his last chance at redemption.

After a hostage situation leaves Doctor Daniel Sheridan struggling with PTSD, he returns to Whisper Ridge. Joining his dad in family practice is a balm to soothe his exhausted soul, and somehow, he finds a peace he can live with. That is until he meets Micah in a frozen graveyard, and the years of anger and feelings of betrayal boiling inside him, erupt.

Two broken men fight and scratch for their lives and that of their families, and somehow, in the middle of it all, they find each other.

Is it possible that love can be rekindled and become a forever to believe in?

 Excerpt
 

Chapter 1

2009, Daniel

A figure stood beside Isaac’s grave and I knew immediately who it was.

There was no marker yet for the boy who had died two weeks ago and who would forever be nineteen. Flowers marked his resting place, but snow had long since covered them and softened the raised earth so it wasn’t as obvious against the gravestones around the figure. A car accident had taken Isaac, killed him on impact, and his family grieved for a future that would never be realized.

I’d just left my brother, Chris, in the hospital, broken beyond repair in the same accident. At least we had the possibility of a future with him, even though the road to recovery would be hard. He was still in a medically induced coma, not yet awake to know he’d lost his leg, or that fire had marked his face. But he would wake up. They told us he’d live.

No one had asked me where I was going when I’d left Chris’ room, each of us lost in various stages of shock and grief, and we all dealt with what had happened in our own way. I’d needed to connect with Isaac. Needed the peace to balance the loss and guilt that ate away inside me.

Isaac dead on impact, Chris’ future destroyed, and in front of me, hunched over Isaac’s last resting place, was the man responsible for it all.

The man who left my bed in the dead of night to become a murderer.

Micah.

He was huddled into his coat, the January ice bitter by the buried, hands forced into his pockets, and his hood pulled around his face. Micah must have heard me, because he glanced my way, startled, grief written on his face. And then his expression changed.

He stepped toward me, his expression full of something like hope.

“Daniel?” he said. “Is Chris okay? No one will let me see him.”

He stopped walking when I didn’t reach out for him and looked at me uncertainly.

“His leg is gone, down from his knee,” I explained dispassionately, and then touched my face, “and his burns are bad, the left side of his face from his temple to his chin.”

“Shit. Shit.” Micah bent at the waist, as if he couldn’t breathe, and he was crying.

“How is it you don’t have a mark on you?” I asked, still eerily calm, and utterly focused.

He took his hand from his pocket, and pulled up his sleeve, exposing bandages. “I was burned,” he began. He dropped his hand when I didn’t comment, forced it back into his pocket, wincing as he did so.

I imagined the burn hurt a little, maybe even a lot, but he was there, as whole and real as when he’d left my bed on that terrible day.

In my mind I saw Chris in the hospital, the covers raised over the cage which protected his surgical site, then dipping lower where his ankle should have been. I saw a clear image of Isaac the day before he died, knocking for Chris and grinning at me as if he had the greatest secret to tell his best friend.

And here was Micah, telling me he had slight burns on his arm? The same man who’d told me in one breath that he loved me and then had stolen my car, driving it into a bridge and killing one boy, leaving another maimed and in a coma.

My fist flew, clenched aggression targeting Micah’s face, his cheekbone, and I heard a satisfying crunch. He staggered back a step, but he didn’t go down, and he didn’t take his hands from his pockets. I was too fast. I hit him again, blood flecking his face, dissipating into the icy air. He moved again, the force of my blows shoving him back.

Still, his hands remained in his pockets, and he was unnervingly quiet, taking my hits as if they were nothing at all. Another punch connected with his lip and split the skin, and this time he grunted in pain.

He staggered backward toward the next grave and bent back over the stone marker with the force of that final blow. I stepped closer. I hit him again, connecting with his jaw, but the hit wasn’t hard. There was nothing to it; he didn’t move away.

“You took my car,” I yelled, right in his face.

“You said I could borrow it,” he pleaded.

I raised my hand to hit him again, but he winced, and closed his eyes, and I wanted him to look at me. “Open your damn eyes!”

He did, and he wouldn’t avert his gaze, naked grief in his expression.

“Daniel, please listen.”

“You’ve destroyed Chris’ life.”

“I know.”

“You need to leave Whisper Ridge, and never come back. I don’t want to see your face, I don’t want Chris to ever see you again. You understand?”

“I understand,” his tone low and broken.

“You will never come back here.” I shook him. He was smaller than me, thinner, lighter, and I shook him so hard his head snapped back. “Promise me!”

“I pr—promise,” he said through tears.

I was disgusted by him, hated him, wanted to kill him right there on Isaac’s grave.

“I hope they lock you up and throw away the fucking key!” I was still shouting, and he didn’t move, just stared at me with those pale eyes, red and wet from crying. He wouldn’t stop crying. “Don’t fucking stare at me!”

I shoved him one last time, and then before I could work out what the hell I was still doing there shouting at him, I pivoted and turned my back on him, and on Isaac’s grave, and the entire carnage.

RJ

RJ’s goal is to write stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, that hint of a happily ever after.

RJ Scott is the bestselling author of more than one hundred romance books. She writes emotional stories of complicated characters, cowboys, millionaire, princes, and the men who get mixed up in their lives. RJ is known for writing books that always end with a happy ever after. She lives just outside London and spends every waking minute she isn’t with family either reading or writing.

The last time she had a week’s break from writing she didn’t like it one little bit, and she has yet to meet a bottle of wine she couldn’t defeat.

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