By- Whitney BarbettiExpected Publication Date- May 29, 2014
When I was seventeen, I disappeared. I walked out the door of my apartment with a backpack and never looked back. I left the life of Cora Mitchell behind, seeking freedom from my real-life nightmare.
But my freedom came with a cost. I lived a fictitious life for the next six years, never letting anyone close enough to see underneath the façade that was Andra Walker.
I was content with my simple little life.
Until I met Julian.
And the moment I started allowing myself to open up, allowing someone to see through the superficial, was the very same moment the Monster from my past would return to find me.
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Andra has been living a rural town for awhile now. The only person that knows her true identity is her "brother" Six. Andra has secrets. Secrets that she wants to keep buried and hopes will never find her.
Then Julian enters her life. A man that is not going to be denied the pleasure of getting to know her. The thing with letting even one person get close, is that Andra's guard starts to slip. Letting her guard down even for a minute is something that Andra has been very careful not to do all these years, but Julian is beginning to change her.
A captivating book that will leave you hoping that Andra will finally have some peace. I cannot wait for the next book. This story is definitely not finished and would love to see what is in store for Andra and Julian.
I am married with two boys. When I’m not changing diapers or cutting food into tiny bites, I escape to Starbucks for hours.
I love music and have a playlist for everything.
I like watching creepy shows when I am home alone but then I instantly regret them once my mind starts breeding irrational fears.
I have about 20 bacon things in my fridge.
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“Are you okay?” he asked, concern etched into his face, creating lines between his eyebrows.
I nodded, swallowing the tension that had stymied my voice. I pushed off the car, standing just a few feet from Julian. I heard my heart pounding in my ears but I stepped closer to him anyway, paying little attention to the anxiety rushing through my veins. Looking him in the eyes, I murmured, “I just need to do this.” Before I could allow the protesting voices in my head change my mind, I reached forward and grabbed the back of his neck. I pulled his face slowly towards mine and took one deep, fortifying breath before I crushed my lips to his.
It took only a second before his arms slid around my waist, pressing my chest to his. He kissed me back with a fervor that rivaled my own. The anxiety in my veins was overpowered by the instantaneous lust that rippled through every part of my body. I thought by kissing him, I’d calm the ache I felt whenever I was around him. Instead, I felt like I was drowning in him, desperate for buoyancy in the sea of my need for him.
I let my hands tangle in the hair behind his ears, dragging my nails across his scalp. Julian’s hands moved to the back of my head as he pushed me back against the car with little force. One hand moved into my hair and he twisted his fingers into my curls, tugging on them just enough to tilt my head back.
His lips left mine to travel along my jawline, slowly, kissing just behind my earlobe, before making their way back to my mouth, brushing his facial hair against my skin along the way. All the breath rushed out of my lungs and I gasped for air as his lips crushed against mine. One of my hands moved down to cup his jawline and I drew indefinite shapes into the hair that grew there with my thumbnail. He nipped at my upper lip and then my lower lip before sucking my piercing into his mouth. My knees grew weak and I gripped the back of his neck with more force than before. Something warm and heavy settled deep in my chest, depriving my lungs of the little remaining breathing room.
Julian pulled away and rested his cheek against mine, each of us trying to catch our breath. We were still tightly pressed together, his heartbeat rapidly echoing off of mine. My chest heaved as I gulped air and tried to calm the storm raging within me. His arms had slid over my shoulders, hands braced on the roof of the convertible. His upper arms rested gently on top of my shoulders in this position, sort of like a loose hug, and I ran my hands down his biceps, holding him in place, steadying myself. His weight on me was comforting, as if I was in need of comfort in some way.
I was completely oblivious to our surroundings, and suddenly thankful this road was not a busy one. I felt Julian’s warm breath tickle my ear as our breathing leveled out.
“Thanks,” I whispered right into his ear. I felt his returning smile against my cheek before he pulled back and looked at me face to face, his hands sliding to my shoulders. “I’ve wanted to do that since yesterday. And I couldn’t wait any longer. I needed to get it over with,” I said, smiling softly.
Julian’s eyes closed briefly before he let out a laugh. Opening his eyes, he said, “Get it over with? Well, I can tell you that this-”he gestured between us “-is far from over. Especially after that kiss.” He shook his head in amused disbelief.
His words should have scared me, but instead the warmth in my chest bloomed, surprising me. I rubbed my hands up and down Julian’s suit sleeves, a gesture that was meant to calm myself more than him. He leaned forward and touched his forehead to mine. We were nose to nose, eyeing each other with a quiet hunger.