“I messed up so much in the past. At least I knew it, and owned it. Now it was time for me to fix it …”
Connor Brennan knew from the moment he first met Riley Sullivan that he wanted her and that he would have her. It wasn’t the first moment he laid eyes on her that he knew. It was the first time she spoke and put him in his place. He didn’t believe in one woman, love always, or together forever until the moment he met her and she changed everything. He thought that she was the one. He thought he was falling for her and that they were happy. But then the unexpected happened and she left him. He tried to move on from her. He tried to forget her. He went back to his wicked ways and old habits. He fooled himself into believing she was almost out of his system, and his life. Then she came back and all bets were off. He knew he wanted her again right from the moment she walked through the door. He knew he would stop at nothing to have her back in his life, and in his bed. He knew it was only a matter of time before she was his for good. But he was wrong. Because she was different. Her warm summer blue eyes were now as cold as steel. Her attitude that once screamed confident, carefree, and loving, was now shutdown, evasive, and distant. Where there was once laughter, fun, love, and the future, now there’s nothing but hurt, pain, misunderstandings, and destruction. He wanted to fix them more than anything, but all she brought back with her was lies, another man, and chaos.
Riley Sullivan believed in the one, true love, and happily-ever-after, she just didn’t think she’d ever find it. She definitely didn’t think she’d find it in the cocky, overbearing, hotheaded, obnoxious, annoyingly handsome, driven, and intelligent thorn in her brother’s side. But she did. She thought Connor Brennan was the one. She thought she met her match. She thought she had found her equal. She thought that they had the promise of a future together. She thought they might be forever. Without a doubt she knew that she was falling hard and falling fast. Then the unexpected happened, and they both said and did things that she couldn’t get past and that sent her running. But that wasn’t the end of it. Because she is still paying for what she did. In the worst possible ways.
What sent her running is nothing compared to what brings her back…
And when she comes back through the door and into Connor’s life again, she’s not alone, and she’s not prepared.
Riley’s not the same girl she was when she left. Everyone can see it. Everyone wants to know what’s wrong with her … but she can’t tell. The only person she wants to lean on is the very last person she wants to know her secrets. The person she wants more than anything is the person she pushes away the most. The one she realizes she loves more than anything is also the one she hurts over and over again.
What happens when she pushes him too far and hurts him too much?
Connor knows that he wants Riley more than anything. But she’s leaning on someone else. She trusts someone else. She wants someone else. What’s he supposed to do when she only tells him lies? When she hides and evades? When she runs to another? When she changes even more?
Cut his losses? Shatter his own heart? Lose his soul? Or jump into the chaos and accept everything that’s changed … even if by doing so he shatters and loses himself and her once and for all?
Will she finally trust him enough to tell him everything, even though by doing so she may lose him forever? Will she continue to protect him from the threats, the violence, the pain and destruction? Or will she bring him into the chaos and danger with her? And if she does – will he fight with her, for her, for them? Will they realize in enough time that together they just might escape the chaos and survive?
Or will everything be realized too late, and everything they love and value the most – including their lives – be destroyed?
An excerpt from
She screamed at me. She screamed for me.
I heard her struggling behind me, trying to get loose from the arms that were banded around her, but I knew he was too strong. He would never let her go. She wouldn’t be able to break free from him. And though I hated the sounds that she was making because of me, I resolved myself to be okay with them.
I didn’t want her to be a part of this. But she was. She was a part of what was happening.
I didn’t want her broken any more than she had been already, I didn’t want her in any more pain, but this needed to be done.
I didn’t want her to be afraid again, I didn’t want her to be afraid of me, but I couldn’t stop. I wouldn’t.
She needed to stay away from this because I was not stopping until it was finished. Until it was done. Until either he, or I, was done.
Her voice was getting hoarse, cracking, because she had been screaming my name over and over again.
She was breaking my heart.
Every time she screamed my name, every time she thrashed around and I heard her struggling, every time she choked on a sob trying to catch her breath it felt like her hands were inside of my chest tearing off little pieces of my heart that she had single-handedly put back together over the past few months.
She was ripping me to shreds after she had sewn me together.
The way she screamed –
Didn’t she understand I was doing this for her?
All of it –
It was for her.
And it was for me.
She pleaded, she begged, she –
But there was nothing I could do. Nothing.
I couldn’t stop what was happening. I couldn’t.I wouldn’t.
Punch after punch. Blood flying everywhere. Shouts to stop. Shouts telling me that it was over.
It wasn’t over. Not until I said so.
Punch after punch. Cries. Pleas. Whimpers.
After a while I heard Allie whisper my name through the chaos and the madness, but barely. Her soft plea in that moment did more damage to my heart then her screams ever could. It was all she could manage to do anymore.
She was done. And now so was I.
“You’re killing him. Please stop. Please,” she breathed out one last time.
But the destruction wasn’t stopping because of her final words. It had already ended. I was done.
When I had heard her yelling before, begging him to stop, it killed me that I couldn’t do anything to help her.
Someone was hurting her. She needed me. It was my job to protect her.
I wouldn’t let anything more happen to her.
I promised her –
Not again. Never again. I loved her. She was mine.
Here's what a
Fan had to say
This was a very enjoyable read. I really got attached to the characters. Loved the book!