Re-Release Blitz + Excerpt + Giveaway: Bound and Broken Series by Rebecca Shea

Today we have the cover reveal and re-release of Rebecca Shea’s Bound and Broken Series! Check it out and be sure to grab this sexy series today!

Series: Bound and Broken Series

Author: Rebecca Shea

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Grab Your Copy of the Series:

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Title: Broken By Lies

Genre: Contemporary Romance

 

About BROKEN BY LIES:

I had no idea how much I would love Alex the day he walked into my life.

He changed everything.

The way I breathed.

The way I thought.

The way I loved.

He brought me back to life. He gave me strength and a safe place to land. And then he broke me.

 

Finding Emilia was a chance to do something good for once in my life.

I wanted to change.

She believed I was her savior.

I ached to be.

She found her way into my heart and claimed it as her safe place. I should be telling her the truth about me…instead I break her with lies.

Get Your Copy Today:

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Title: Bound By Lies

Genre: Contemporary Romance

 

About BOUND BY LIES:

Torn between two men; one was what I needed, the other was what I wanted. One man was safe and the other was dangerous. But both men would lay down their lives to save me. ATF agent Sam Cortez is fighting to bring down the Estrada family empire, which was built on murder and corruption. Alex Estrada did what was needed to keep me safe…and paid with his life. Starting over as I try to rebuild my life, it’s clear that the past is never what it seems. What no one knew was that we were all bound by lies.

 

Get Your Copy Today:

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Title: Betrayed by Lies

Genre: Contemporary Romance

 

About BETRAYED BY LIES:

From the USA Today bestselling author of the Unbreakable series, comes a sexy, heart-wrenching novel…Betrayed by Lies.

As an ATF agent, bringing down the Estrada cartel has been my sole mission. I’m a skilled agent, determined and fearless, but a relentless pursuit and a willingness to risk everything almost killed me. A year later, when an opportunity in Los Angeles presents itself, I jump at the chance to start over and rebuild the career and life I almost lost.

Kate Stevens was not part of my new plan. I never expected she would be the one to save me from my past. She was exactly what I needed—smart, beautiful and independent. I finally have a future I look forward to. Only nothing in my life ever goes according to plan. Losing Kate is not an option, but fate seems poised to ruin me, and there isn’t a damn thing I can do about it.

 

Get Your Copy Today:

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Exclusive Excerpt:

Chancing a quick glance over my shoulder, I hear the squeaky hinges of a door opening just as I run square into the person exiting. I startle and try to step back as I begin apologizing profusely, but firm hands grip my shoulders, not allowing me to move.

“I’m so sorry,” I gasp. The keycard falls from my hand and lands at the feet of the man I nearly ran over. Looking down, my eyes take in his expensive black shoes, the keycard resting on the ground just in front of him.

His hands release my shoulders, and I lunge for the keycard, but he’s too quick, reaching down and picking it up before I can get to it. His tan fingers wrap around the cheap plastic as he stands up. In shock for a moment, I finally pull myself up and meet his amber eyes.

“Are you okay?” He narrows his honey-colored eyes on me, and I take in his gray dress pants, black shirt, no tie. His hair is short, but slightly wispy on top—a little messy, not perfectly in place. His skin is golden brown, as if he’s been on a tropical vacation. His tan skin makes those amber eyes pop against his dark eyelashes. His square jaw is sprinkled with just enough hair to show he hasn’t shaved today, but it’s his dimples that take my breath away. He’s so well put together I’d guess he was in his thirties. He may be the most beautiful man I’ve ever laid eyes on, but he screams money, power—danger.

“Are you okay?” he asks again, tilting his head at me as I drink him in.

“Oh, um…yes, sorry…just nervous.” I look away from him and down to my fidgeting hands.

He glances behind me at the men on the sidewalk and then back to me as if piecing things together. “Are they harassing you?” He gestures with his head.

“No.” I shake my head. “I’m just tired. It’s been a really long day. I’m sorry I bumped into you,” I say timidly. I extend my hand, palm up in an unspoken gesture for him to return my keycard. My hand shakes as he looks between the card in his hand and me. His thumb flicks at the little yellow sticky note before he turns around and walks toward the door marked one hundred forty-three. He inserts the keycard and pushes the door open, holding it for me.

My heart stammers in my chest as I approach cautiously. I notice the expensive watch on his wrist, which peeks out from his dress shirt, and the light, luxurious smell of what can only be designer cologne. The scent paralyzes me—so intoxicating that I want to press my face to his neck and breathe him in.

Everything inside me—my good sense, my gut—screams at me not to walk toward that door, but I go against my better judgment. In three quick strides, I’m standing at the open door to my motel room as his amber eyes follow me. Brushing against him, I slide by and reach for the lights on the wall just inside the door. Only a small bedside lamp illuminates the room. I notice the musty smell as I glance around at the old furniture.

“Close this door and lock it,” he says, pulling the keycard from the door. He steps just over the threshold and into the room, reaching out to me with the keycard. “Don’t open this door for anybody. Understand?”

I swallow hard and nod. His fingers are warm against my palm as he places the keycard in my hand. My fingers instinctively close and trap his hand in mine. Rooted in place, he scans the room as if searching for something or someone. With no other words of warning or even a goodbye, he pulls his hand free and steps back through the door, closing it behind him with a loud bang.

 

 

About Rebecca Shea:

Rebecca Shea is the USA Today Bestselling author of the Unbreakable series, including: Unbreakable, Undone, and Unforgiven, and the Bound and Broken series, including: Broken by Lies, Bound by Lies & Betrayed by Lies. As well as standalone novels, Dare Me and Fault Lines. She lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her family. From the time Rebecca could read she has had a passion for books. Rebecca spends her days working and her nights writing, bringing stories to life. Born and raised in Minnesota, Rebecca moved to Arizona in 1999 to escape the bitter winters. When not working or writing, she can be found on the sidelines of her sons football games, or watching her daughter at ballet class. Rebecca is fueled by insane amounts of coffee, margaritas, Laffy Taffy (except the banana ones), and happily ever afters. Sign-up for Rebecca Shea’s newsletter here: http://tinyurl.com/h8mfya2

 

Connect With Rebecca:

Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Goodreads | Website

Enter Rebecca’s Giveaway!

 

 

New Cover + Excerpt + Sale: Dare Me by Rebecca Shea

COVER REVEAL + RE-RELEASE + SALE

DARE ME

The sexy, stand-alone romance from USA Today Bestseller Rebecca Shea

Cover by Regina Wamba

On sale for $2.99 for a short time!

SYNOPSIS
Five coworkers.
Four drinks.
Three glances.
Two fleeting smiles.
One dare.
A dare that will change my life.
That’s all it takes to send me plummeting into the arms of the mysterious Holt Hamilton. Behind his crystal blue eyes is a secret, one that screams danger but calls to me anyway.
My name is Saige Phillips.
I never walk away from a dare.

Excerpt
“Lucia’s Kitchen?” Saige’s eyes widen in surprise as I pull into the valet drive.
“You’ve been here before?” I ask, curious.
“No. I’ve heard it’s amazing but impossible to get a reservation.” She twists her hands together in her lap.
“It is,” I admit. “But my buddy Mark owns the restaurant. Lucia is his daughter’s name.”
She blinks at me. “You know the owner of Lucia’s?”
I grin. “I do.”
“Figures,” she says under her breath.
The valet opens the car door to help her out, and I jog around to meet her. Pressing my hand to the small of her back, I guide her into the fancy new restaurant in Old Town. It’s just down the road from my house and one of the neighborhood’s trendiest new restaurants.
“I thought we were just doing drinks,” she says, raising her eyebrows at me.
“We can’t very well have drinks without having something to eat. I saw the way you stumbled out of Bar 51 last night.” I smirk and she blushes.
“Mr. Hamilton, your table is ready,” the hostess says, and Saige falls quickly into step behind her.
The table I requested is private yet overlooks the outside dining area below us so it doesn’t stand out as isolated. The restaurant is dark with dim overhead lights and accent candles on the tables providing the only sources of light. The atmosphere is modern and upbeat, yet still mysterious.
“Would you like a drink? Perhaps a lemon drop shot? That’s what I saw you indulging in last night, correct?”
Her lips twist into a smile she’s holding back, and she shakes her head. “Uh, no thank you. I’ll take a vodka martini, extra dirty, please.”
I damn near choke when she says “extra dirty,” but the waiter nods his head and looks to me. “Jameson reserve. Neat.”
“Yes sir, Mr. Hamilton. I’ll be right out with your beverages.”
“Reserve?” She questions.
“Only the best.”
She puckers her lips, and I can tell she wants to say something, but she refrains.
“So I’m curious,” I begin and rest my elbow on the table. I know it goes against all forms of proper etiquette, but I honestly don’t care. “Why are we here, Saige?”
Her eyes widen, but she doesn’t hesitate. Good. “Because this is where you chose to bring us,” she deadpans.
I throw my head back and let out an exuberant laugh. She’s beautiful, smart, and funny. Everything I knew she would be and more. Our drinks arrive in record time, and I give the waiter a look to which he quickly catches on and leaves us alone. Saige picks up her martini glass and presses the rim to her bottom lip. Her tongue brushes just over the rim, easing the cool liquid into her mouth.
Her lips. That tongue. Fuck.
“So back to the question at hand,” I say, picking up my own drink. “Why are we here?” I pull a quick taste of the smooth whiskey into my mouth, letting it settle on my tongue before swallowing.
“It’s embarrassing,” she says innocently, her eyes falling to her lap.
“Tell me,” I demand with a smile. “I’m curious why Saige Phillips asked me out for a drink.”
She winces after taking another sip of her martini and pats her chest as she swallows the bitter liquid. “It was a dare,” she admits with a grimace. “It sounds childish, but we were sitting at the table and Emery decided we should play Truth or Dare, and they dared me—”
“To ask me out,” I finish her sentence. I laugh to myself, although I don’t know if I should be flattered, offended, or horrified. Truth or Dare? I scoff internally.
Saige looks absolutely mortified. She lifts her eyes and finally looks at me, answering quietly. “Yes. It’s an app that Emery has on her phone. It’s a drinking game.” She looks as horrified as I felt a moment ago. I smile as she fumbles around nervously with her explanation.
I can barely contain my laughter, and I see her visibly relax. “You asked me out on a dare?” I shake my head.
She nods and grips her martini glass for dear life.
“So what would’ve happened if you didn’t take the dare?” I ask, taking another sip of the smooth whiskey.
“I would’ve taken a shot.”
I study her expression. She’s telling the truth, but why wouldn’t she just take the shot? Seems the much easier choice rather than asking out the boss. “Didn’t look like you had any problem taking shots before you asked me out for drinks,” I quip.
“I had already had a shot,” she fires back at me. “And how would you know if I was taking shots?” She asks defensively.
I study her for a moment. “I was watching you, Saige. I enjoy watching you.” I admit boldly.
She audibly gasps, her chest rising and falling with each quick breath she takes.
I fix my eyes on hers and continue, “And I saw you watching me.”
Her upper lip twitches as she thinks of a sarcastic comeback. I can see the vein in her neck throbbing with the beat of her pulse before she finally whispers, “We shouldn’t do this.” She pulls a green olive off the toothpick floating in her martini, then she pops it into her mouth. The green olive matches her eyes perfectly.
I watch her shift uncomfortably in her chair for a few seconds before I respond, “Why not?”
“Because you’re my boss.” So naïve, sweet little Saige is.
“I’m actually not,” I tell her.
She frowns. “You own the company I work for; same thing.”
I clarify, “I’m part owner of the company you work for.”
She sighs. “Holt, this is just drinks. That’s all.” But her eyes tell me she wants more.
I lean closer to her. “It’s never just drinks, Saige.”

 

Tracey’s Review

“Okay, but just so you know, I’m not going to fall in love with you, Holt Hamilton. It’s never going to happen. We can end this here and chalk it up to a night of crazy drinking. We can walk away with no expectations for more, and no hard feelings….So if you’re looking for a girlfriend that turns into a fiancée that turns into a wife, we’d best just end this here, because that’s not me. I’m not that girl.”

It starts with a dare. Because, what self-respecting woman says no to a dare? The thing about a dare, though, is the consequences. And those can be far different than what’s expected…

I was intrigued by the idea of DARE ME by Rebecca Shea from the moment that the blurb was released. I love a little bit of mystery with my romance, and this book seemed like it would deliver in spades. And deliver, it does, in every possible way.

Saige Phillips has had more than her share of drama and heartbreak in her life. Losing her father at a young age has left Saige afraid to open her heart again, fearful of the vulnerability of giving everything to another person, only to be crushed. When a night out with her friends results in a dare that she just can’t refuse, Saige isn’t about to get attached. But Holt Hamilton, her boss and the object of the dare, isn’t so cavalier.

“Holt, this is just drinks. That’s all.” But her eyes tell me she wants more.
I lean closer to her. “It’s never just drinks, Saige.”

Because Holt has had his eye on Saige, and he’s in it for more than a casual hook-up. But Holt is keeping secrets, ones that he can never share with Saige, because finding them out would mean the end of anything between them.

Holt Hamilton is not the average book heartthrob. Besides being sexy, intense, and driven, he’s also a man of integrity, a man that wants to give Saige the love and the peace that has been missing from her life for so long. Yes, he’s got secrets that he cannot reveal to Saige, but everything he does, he does out of a sense of responsibility for her welfare. I really enjoyed seeing him and Saige work out their relationship, watching each of them evolve in ways that they had not anticipated. I love, too, that Rebecca has written Saige as a self-sufficient, if sometimes vulnerable, heroine, recognizing her flaws and owning up to them. That she has dealt with so much at such a young age, and is still fighting to find her sense of self, her peace, is hopeful.

DARE ME is full of spark and steam, coupled with deep emotion and resilience. I was hooked from the moment that I turned the first page, and sped through it like it was my favorite dessert. Rebecca has given us a book that is an easy 4.5 stars, and one that I will savor for a long time to come. Don’t miss out on this one; take the dare, and bump it to the top of your TBR.

GIVEAWAY

Signed Paperbacks of Dare Me & Fault Lines

A Rafflecopter giveaway

CONNECT WITH REBECCA

Rebecca Shea is the USA Today Bestselling author of the Unbreakable series (Unbreakable, Undone, and Unforgiven), the Bound & Broken series (Broken by Lies and Bound by Lies) and two stand alone novels, Dare Me and Fault Lines. She has also co-written two books with her friend, A.L. Jackson, The Hollywood Chronicles: One Wild Night and One Wild Ride
She lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her family. From the time Rebecca could read she has had a passion for books. Rebecca spends her days working full-time and her nights writing, bringing stories to life. Born and raised in Minnesota, Rebecca moved to Arizona in 1999 to escape the bitter winters.
When not working or writing, she can be found on the sidelines of her sons football games, or watching her daughter at ballet class. Rebecca is fueled by insane amounts of coffee, margaritas, Laffy Taffy (except the banana ones), and happily ever afters.

New Release + Release Blitz + Giveaway: One Wild Ride by A.L. Jackson and Rebecca Shea

nowavailable1

The second sexy, stand-alone romance from bestselling authors A.L.
Jackson and Rebecca Shea is here, and we are so excited to share with you! ONE WILD RIDE is LIVE, so make sure that you grab your copy today!

owrcover

BUY LINKS:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2CZRdu1

Paperback: https://amzn.to/2Jc5jsz

Audio is Coming Soon!

Elle Ward, daughter of Hollywood’s hottest director, has sworn off actors for life.
She knows their games and she refuses to play them.
That is until the day she collides with one of LA’s most promising actors.
Kas Cowen isn’t looking for love until it literally runs him down.
One look at Elle and he’s hooked.
He crashes into her life and flips it upside down.
Now he has to convince Elle he’s more than just a pretty face.
Little did they know they were up for one wild ride . . .

kasspun

releasegiveaway

We have a $25 gift card up for grabs so that you can buy a ton of books!

Rafflecopter: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e42d6b41120/

 

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A.L. Jackson and Rebecca Shea are bestselling authors residing in Arizona. After being writing partners for five years, it only made sense that they’d put their minds together to bring their readers something fun, flirty, and sexy.

 

Connect with A.L.

Facebook: http://smarturl.it/ALJacksonPage
Reader Group: http://smarturl.it/AmysAngelsRock
Amazon: http://smarturl.it/ALJacksonAmzn
Bookbub: http://smarturl.it/ALJacksonBookbub
Twitter: @aljacksonauthor
Instagram: @aljacksonauthor
Snapchat: @aljacksonauthor

Connect with Rebecca

 

Cover Reveal + Giveaway: One Wild Ride by AL Jackson and Rebecca Shea

 

The second sexy, stand-alone romance from bestselling authors A.L.
Jackson and Rebecca Shea…

Coming October 22nd

 
 

 
 
 
Hello, my loves!! I am so excited to present to you the GORGEOUS, SEXY-AS-SIN ONE WILD
RIDE cover!!!! Um, seriously, I love this cover and I LOVE THIS STORY! There was something so
outrageously fun about writing these two characters: Kas, the over-the-top, flirty model/aspiring
actor, and Elle, the girl who wants nothing to do with show-biz! Their chemistry was BOOM, and I loved
every second of writing this with Rebecca Shea! You guys are going to FALL SO HARD for this one! Check
out the deets!!! 
 
DETAILS: 
TITLE: ONE WILD RIDE
SERIES: A Hollywood Chronicles Stand-Alone Novel 
RELEASE DATE: OCTOBER 22ND, 2018
 
The next sexy Hollywood Chronicles stand-alone novel from bestselling authors, A.L. Jackson
and Rebecca Shea . . .
 
Elle Ward, daughter of Hollywood’s hottest director, has sworn off actors for life.
 
She knows their games and she refuses to play them.
 
That is until the day she collides with one of LA’s most promising actors.
 
Kas Cowen isn’t looking for love until it literally runs him down.
 
One look at Elle and he’s hooked.
 
He crashes into her life and flips it upside down.
 
Now he has to convince Elle he’s more than just a pretty face.
 
Little did they know they were up for one wild ride . . .
 
 

 
 
 

 

We are giving away 5 paperbacks of ONE WILD NIGHT! 

That’s right not one, but 5 winners!

 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
A.L. Jackson and Rebecca Shea are bestselling authors residing in
Arizona. After being writing partners for five years, it only made sense that they’d put their minds
together to bring their readers something fun, flirty, and sexy. 
 

Connect with A.L.

Facebook: http://smarturl.it/ALJacksonPage
Reader Group: http://smarturl.it/AmysAngelsRock
Amazon: http://smarturl.it/ALJacksonAmzn
Bookbub: http://smarturl.it/ALJacksonBookbub
Twitter: @aljacksonauthor
Instagram: @aljacksonauthor
Snapchat: @aljacksonauthor

 

Connect with Rebecca

 

Cover Reveal + Giveaway: One Wild Night by A.L. Jackson & Rebecca Shea

One Wild Night

A flirty, sexy contemporary romance from bestselling authors, A.L. Jackson and Rebecca Shea . . .

Coming April 16th

TITLE: One Wild Night

SERIES: Hollywood Chronicles

RELEASE DATE: April 16, 2018

 Cover: RBA Designs

 

WHAT’S IT ABOUT, YOU ASK…

 

A flirty, sexy contemporary romance from bestselling authors, A.L. Jackson and Rebecca Shea . . .

 

Kaylee Rose Burton, kindergarten teacher, has never been a believer in fantasies.
Living in L.A. her entire life, she knows the glitz and glam of Hollywood is just an illusion.
That is until she stumbles head first into the arms of Hollywood’s most eligible bachelor.
It was just another day for Paxton Myles on the red carpet until the blue-eyed beauty literally stumbles at his feet.
A single glimpse in her innocent eyes and he knows he has to have her.
After one night of unbridled passion, Kaylee slips away to live her quite life, but the paparazzi has other ideas.
When Kaylee’s world comes crashing down, can Paxton convince her that their one wild night could turn into forever?

 

 

Be notified of LIVE RELEASE on Amazon

 

 

 
Don’t miss our amazing giveaway going on to celebrate the ONE WILD NIGHT Cover Reveal!! Grand prize includes a signed FAULT LINES paperback, a signed Show Me the Way paperback, plus a $25.00 Amazon Gift Card!! Heck yes!

 

A.L. Jackson and Rebecca Shea are bestselling authors residing in Arizona. After being writing partners for five years, it only made sense that they’d put their minds together to bring their readers something fun, flirty, and sexy.

Connect with A.L.

Facebook: http://smarturl.it/ALJacksonPage
Reader Group: http://smarturl.it/AmysAngelsRock
Amazon: http://smarturl.it/ALJacksonAmzn
Bookbub: http://smarturl.it/ALJacksonBookbub
Twitter: @aljacksonauthor
Instagram: @aljacksonauthor
Snapchat: @aljacksonauthor

Connect with Rebecca

Release Day Launch + Trailer + Giveaway: Fault Lines by Rebecca Shea

 

From USA Today bestselling author, Rebecca Shea, comes a new, heartbreakingly beautiful standalone romance, FAULT LINES. Don’t miss the stunning and captivating new release, and grab your copy today!

 

About FAULT LINES:

At eleven he was my first crush. At sixteen he became mine. At nineteen he broke my heart and destroyed me. That was ten years ago and the last time I saw Cole Ryan.

They say you never get over your first love…I beg to differ. I left my shattered heart buried in a town I never expected to return to. I erased every thought of him and buried the memories never to be found.

I moved on…now ten years later I have the perfect life, the perfect fiancé, the perfect career. Everything I ever wanted until I’m forced to go back and face my past and the man that destroyed me.

He won’t stop until I know the truth no matter how hard I fight it. In the end, lies will be uncovered, hearts will be broken, and my life as I’ve come to know it destroyed.

 

FAULT LINES is now available! Grab your copy today!

Amazon Kindle | Amazon Paperback | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Google Play

Add to your Goodreads

 

A Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

About Rebecca Shea:

Rebecca Shea is the USA Today Bestselling author of the Unbreakable series (Unbreakable, Undone, and Unforgiven) and the Bound and Broken series (Broken by Lies and Bound by Lies). She lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her family. From the time Rebecca could read she has had a passion for books. Rebecca spends her days working and her nights writing, bringing stories to life. Born and raised in Minnesota, Rebecca moved to Arizona in 1999 to escape the bitter winters. When not working or writing, she can be found on the sidelines of her sons’ football games, or watching her daughter at ballet class. Rebecca is fueled by insane amounts of coffee, margaritas, Laffy Taffy (except the banana ones), and happily ever afters.

 

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Newsletter

 

Excerpt Reveal + Trailer: Fault Lines by Rebecca Shea

 

From USA Today bestselling author, Rebecca Shea, comes a new, heartbreakingly beautiful standalone romance, FAULT LINES. Don’t miss the stunning and captivating excerpt below, and pre-order your copy today!

 

About FAULT LINES:

At eleven he was my first crush. At sixteen he became mine. At nineteen he broke my heart and destroyed me. That was ten years ago and the last time I saw Cole Ryan.

They say you never get over your first love…I beg to differ. I left my shattered heart buried in a town I never expected to return to. I erased every thought of him and buried the memories never to be found.

I moved on…now ten years later I have the perfect life, the perfect fiancé, the perfect career. Everything I ever wanted until I’m forced to go back and face my past and the man that destroyed me.

He won’t stop until I know the truth no matter how hard I fight it. In the end, lies will be uncovered, hearts will be broken, and my life as I’ve come to know it destroyed.

 

FAULT LINES is coming October 30, 2017! Pre-order your copy today!

 

Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Google Play | Amazon Live Release Alert

Add to your Goodreads


EXCERPT:

PROLOGUE

Frankie

Ten Years Ago

My fingers dig into the brown dirt between the patches of dead grass that used to once be a lush front yard. A jagged stone cuts into the soft flesh of my knee as I try to get control of the involuntary lurching of my stomach, which has me crippled on all fours.

Tears fall in streams, and I gasp for air as I hear the sound of heavy footsteps near me.

“Frances—”

“Get away from me!” I scream at the soft voice.

“It’s not—”

“I said get the hell away from me!” My stomach clenches against another wave of nausea as I hear her footprints begin to move away. “Goooooo!” I shout at her again.

I manage to look over my shoulder and see Whitney Carson’s long blonde hair swaying as she walks quickly back across the cul-de-sac to her piss yellow, beat-to-hell Mustang. I barely make out the swell of her belly as she slides into the driver’s seat and slams the door behind her. The roar of the engine tells me she’s leaving.

One last heave and there is nothing left for my stomach to expel, leaving me with only my tears. My throat burns, my breaths coming in small gasps when I feel soft arms around my shoulders.

I hear the creak of the old screen door and my mama’s worn shoes come into sight just before I feel her arms around me. “Baby girl, what’s wrong? We weren’t expecting you home from school until tomorrow…” Her voice is quiet, yet panicked as she kneels next to me, her white uniform dress getting dirty.

I finished my finals early so that I could come home early and surprise Cole and my mom, but the surprise was all mine. “Mama,” I cry between ragged breaths. “I came home early to surprise you and—”

“Stop,” she cuts me off, looking over my shoulder behind me. “Let’s get you inside. If this has anything to do with that girl that’s been coming around, he’s not worth your tears. You’re going to put your chin up and enjoy your summer.” She tugs at my arm in hopes to get me to budge.

I shake my head back and forth violently. “No. I can’t stay here,” I manage through my tears. I can’t stay and watch this happen. I can’t stay and watch them.

“What do you mean? Where would you go?” Her voice grows with concern.

“I don’t know, but I can’t stay here.” The hot summer air hangs heavy around us, and sweat beads along my forehead at my hairline. The thought of Cole touching Whitney Carson causes my stomach to flip again, and I dry heave as I pinch my eyes closed.

Mom rubs her hand over my arm as I try to gain my composure and move from all fours to sitting on the dirt. “Well, come inside until we figure this out.” Her voice is soft and sad. “I’ve always told you he was—”

“Please, stop—” I cut her off now, not wanting to talk about Cole with her.

I hear her deep sigh. “Come on. I’ll run you a hot bath. We need to get you cleaned up.”

The tears still fall in waves as my heart breaks with each step I take toward our house and away from Cole Ryan. As I think about it, the last few months begin to make sense. I sensed Cole pulling away from me. He’d become distant, not returning my calls or answering text messages. Mama called me and had told me about the rumors she’d heard, but we chose to chalk them up to small town gossip. Crescent Ridge is just that, a small town where no one has anything else to do but talk about other people and spread rumors.

Suddenly, realization hits me that the one person I trusted more than anyone in the world betrayed me. He’s been my best friend since I was eleven, my first crush, my first love, my first everything. No other person will ever etch himself so boldly into my history as Cole Ryan did. No other person held the cards to destroy me like Cole Ryan did. And did he ever.

I bite my tongue, tasting the slightest hint of blood as Mama walks me up the raggedy old front porch of our house. “Keep walking, baby girl.” She guides me through the front door. “Keep your chin held high,” she says quietly, the screen door slamming hard behind us.

She looks at me with sympathetic eyes and her voice cracks as she speaks. “Now you can fall apart, Frances. Don’t ever let him see you crumble; don’t give him that control. He is not worth your tears.”

And crumble is what I do as I sink to the faded wood floors of our living room, Mama rocking me in her lap, her fingers stroking my hair and wiping my tears. I cry and scream for the love I believed in, for the boy who owned my heart, and the loss of the one person I long for—the one person I had planned to spend my last breath with.

Mama holds me for hours as my tears come and go. At the first hints of the morning sunlight, I peel myself from Mama’s lap, my head pounding from the hours of crying. I pull my cell phone from my back pocket and press the name of the only other friend I have.

“Ash.” My voice breaks and I barely make out what she’s saying, but one thing is certain. I’m getting the hell out of Crescent Ridge and never looking back. “I’m coming,” I tell her.

Between my tears and gasping breaths, I disconnect my call and see Mama swipe at the tears on her aging cheeks. She sat here all night comforting me as I lay helpless in her lap. In the end, she’s the one person who believes in me and has loved me unconditionally, and here I am about to leave her behind. Leave everything I know and love behind, without a second thought. For good.

I know that when I drive away from here today, I’ll never be back—I can’t come back. I’m leaving my broken heart behind, along with the only man I’ve ever loved.

I toss my bag and one small box of belongings from my childhood bedroom in the trunk of my car and slide into the driver’s seat of my old Honda. Without a second thought, I put the car in drive and glance just once out my rearview mirror as I pull away. The last thing I see is Cole Ryan, hunched over the paint-chipped railing of his front porch as I drive away from Crescent Ridge, leaving him, my past, and my mama behind.

 

About Rebecca Shea:

Rebecca Shea is the USA Today Bestselling author of the Unbreakable series (Unbreakable, Undone, and Unforgiven) and the Bound and Broken series (Broken by Lies and Bound by Lies). She lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her family. From the time Rebecca could read she has had a passion for books. Rebecca spends her days working and her nights writing, bringing stories to life. Born and raised in Minnesota, Rebecca moved to Arizona in 1999 to escape the bitter winters. When not working or writing, she can be found on the sidelines of her sons’ football games, or watching her daughter at ballet class. Rebecca is fueled by insane amounts of coffee, margaritas, Laffy Taffy (except the banana ones), and happily ever afters.

 

 

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