An unexpected friendship offers her broken heart a second chance at true love.
One year after her husband is killed in action, Julie Ellis is back in her hometown and focused on raising her young son. Then Reagan Harrison bursts into her life—a cocky, charming linebacker who leaves her off balance.
As a successful, professional athlete, Reagan believes he has it all. But after meeting Julie, he finds every excuse in the book to spend time with her. Despite his best efforts not to fall too hard, Reagan envisions a future with Julie, along with the little boy he’s come to love as his own.
While Reagan’s protective love begins to mend Julie’s spirit, she can’t suppress her continued deep devotion to her late husband’s memory. And when a letter arrives from beyond the grave, Reagan resolves to provide her with the answers she desperately needs to heal. Now Julie must choose either to keep her heart closed off or remove the lock and fight for a future with Reagan. Can a second chance at true love be just as sweet?
“Thanks for understanding me.” Julie softly kissed his cheek. The rough stubble tickled her lips. “Even when I don’t understand myself.” She went to sit in her chair to finish her cup of coffee.
At that moment, she noticed the kitchen. What an unbelievable mess! Who’d actually cooked breakfast…a class of rowdy five-year-olds? She gave Reagan a sideways glance, to see him moving the last piece of waffle around his plate, collecting any remaining egg and syrup. “Did you use every bowl I own?”
He was the messiest cook she’d ever seen. A huge pile of dirty dishes sat on the counter, covered in dried waffle batter and egg. Bits of syrup-laden crumbs dotted the kitchen floor, like a sticky breadcrumb trail.
His smile held no hint of guilt, and he shrugged. “Nobody’s perfect.”
No, not perfect—but he was pretty darn close.
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Tempeste has survived much choosing to live on Paris’ streets–scavenging for food, learning survival skills from a deserter whom she paid to attack her in her sleep, and living a life her mother would approve of, one devoid of luxury. But denying oneself of food and proper bedding can stir a madness in the brain. So, when Tempeste witnesses the quick and painless death of the guillotine–the death her mother should have received–she vows to find her mother’s accuser and vivisect his spleen.
Quite by accident, Gabriel, the young executioner responsible for Tempeste’s mother’s botched hanging, falls for Tempeste. So, instead of strolling arm-in-arm with a respectable mademoiselle through the gardens of the Palais de l’Égalité, Gabriel finds himself traipsing after an axe-carrying siren through the catacombs and facing off a hostile sans culottes army.
With little choice but to fight, Gabriel determines to win the hearts of the sans culottes, while Tempeste proves she’s quite adept at swinging the blade. When the pair finally make their way to Tempeste’s sworn enemy, though, a secret is revealed which promises to sever far more than they ever hoped to gain
Settle a score. Fulfill a debt. Make a difference.
These are the words that motivate Tempeste after her mother’s atrocious death. For years, Tempeste has trained and focused on her sole purpose in life: avenge those responsible. When the object of her wrath becomes the object of her affection, though, she must curb her bloodlust or withdraw her heart. Either way, Tempeste must come face-to-face with a killer and make the fateful choice—love or death.
Mary Gray is a master at writing authentically broken characters, people who are so haunted by their pasts that their present decisions are infected. OUR SWEET GUILLOTINE sheds light on the life of an executioner, humanizing him and unmasking the burden of guilt he has in a forced profession. It dives into the idea of multi-faceted truth and the human perception. People have secrets, and those secrets long outlive the ones who create them. As a reader, I found myself contemplating how we so often create our own curses but are the only ones with the power to undo their hold on us. We can all relate to the struggle of personal strength and crippling misconceptions.
Readers of dark, gritty, gothic tales with a romantic spin will enjoy this twisted story. This book will appeal to people of all ages who enjoy exploring the dark side of humanity through the comfortable safety of a book, but who also crave redemption and forgiveness.
Fans of The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd will likely swoon at the psychological, thrilling nature of revenge. In addition, readers who love the His Fair Assassin series, particularly Dark Triumph, will appreciate the way love can creep into any setting or situation, no matter how dark.
Do you know what hearing loss sounds like? I do.
All my life I've tried to be like you. I've failed.
So I keep it hidden.
But on the day my world crashed down around me, Reed was there.
He showed me just how loud and vibrant silence can be, even when I struggled to understand.
He's unlike anyone I've ever known. His soulful eyes and strong hands pulled me in before I knew what was happening.
And as I saw those hands sign, felt them sparking on me, I knew: imperfect could be perfect.
Reed makes me feel things I've never felt. It's exciting...and terrifying.
Because he sees me like no one else has, and I'm afraid of what he'll find if he looks too closely.
The only thing that scares me more than being with him? Letting him go.
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About the Author
Laura Brown lives in Massachusetts with her quirky abnormal family. Her husband’s put up with her since high school, her young son keeps her on her toes, and her three cats think they deserve more scratches. Hearing loss is a big part of who she is, from her own Hard of Hearing ears, to the characters she creates.
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EDGE: A Young Adult/New Adult Paranormal Collection
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Pretty Little Wherewolf
“Whatever, Di. Help if you must, but don’t baby me.”
Other Side of Forever
“Allie, why do you hate me so much?” he asked softly as he stared into the sky.
We stood there and looked around, an awkward silence playing between us. Then he stepped closer and took my hand in his, sending a bolt of staggering electricity zipping through my chest. “Her hand fits perfectly in mine.” He whispered this, as if confirming it with someone. His gaze locked on it, analyzing, then with a shake of his head, he spoke louder. “Sophia, I’m sorry. I …I lied to you.”
I looked at him—bewilderment crinkling my face—and tried to understand. “Lied?” My voice broke. “I don’t get it.”
“I wasn’t sick that day. Well, in a way I was, I guess. The truth is, I was gut-sick. That guy …he was sitting by you the whole day …and …and he never left your side. I’d check throughout the day, but he was still there. I couldn’t help it. I was insanely jealous.” He looked down, his tone deepening as he flexed his fingers that were still laced through mine.
“What?” His words astounded me. I swiped my brow with my free hand. “You were jealous …of me?”
He released my hand and paced back and forth, the nervousness seeping through as he wrung his hands. “I know it’s stupid, but I couldn’t help myself. I love the way you laugh and …I like you, Sophia …a lot, and it hurt me to see you with someone else.”
He lifted his hair off his forehead, pushing it up. His eyes locked on mine again, captivating me. I couldn’t look away. My self-consciousness took over—heckling me. The way I looked right now—with my hair a matted mess from the mist, and no makeup on—must look ridiculous. I drew away, making myself smaller.
I laughed my nervous laugh and kicked the sand with my shoe. “Who, him? You mean …Brian?” My words wobbled, but I giggled, unable to believe that Brian talking to me could make anyone jealous.
Vanessa K. Eccles
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Author of FABLED (2015) / Founder of The Faithful Creative Magazine / Executive Editor of Belle Reve Literary Journal
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