Author: Adriana Locke
Release Date: AVAILABLE NOW!!!
SYNOPSIS:My life changed forever the night my husband died.I was left with a shattered heart, a heap of bills, and our daughter, EVERLEIGH. I don’t want to rely on anyone, least of all CREW GENTRY. He’s my first love and the man who almost destroyed me, the man who has let me down every time I’ve needed him.But when tragedy strikes a second time, Crew just might be my only hope.My life changed forever the night my brother died.I was left with a guilty conscience, a pile of mistakes, and little else. I take care of JULIA GENTRY, my brother’s widow and the love of my life, and their daughter. I know she doesn’t want my help, but she gets it anyway. I owe her that.When another disaster hits, I’m given the opportunity to make things right. I’m taking it. I'm willing to sacrifice it all.
I grab a jar of pasta sauce and focus on dinner. I jump at the sound of someone banging on the door. I walk to the curtain and peek outside. I’m not at all surprised at what I see. Or whom.
His hands are stuck in the front pockets of his jeans, his Carhartt hanging open. A white thermal shirt is stretched down the length of his torso. His shoulders are hunched over as he scans the area, taking everything in.
With a heavy sigh, I twist the lock and open the door. “What?” I ask, one hand on my hip.
His face is solemn, his eyes hesitant. I know this day is as hard for him as it is for me, but it should be. He’s the reason we are both miserable. But as much as I want to slam the door in his face, I don’t.
“Can I come in?” He shoves his hands deeper into his pockets.
He looks at me and holds my gaze. I feel my throat burn. I roll my eyes, lest he see my moment of sympathy, and head to the kitchen. I leave the door open behind me. When I hear it close, I don’t look back, not sure if he’s followed me inside or took off. And I don’t really know which I prefer.
I head to the stove and grab the pasta and strain it.
“You all right?”
I shrug but keep my back to him. “Am I supposed to be?”
A chair is pulled back and the coins in his pocket jingle as he sits down. “I just ... I wanted to check on ya today.”
“Well, I’m fine. Making dinner, as you can see.”
“Didn’t you see I called?”
“Why didn’t you answer?”
I set the spoon down and close my eyes for a minute. I’ve avoided this conversation like the plague all day, a situation I don’t want to think about, never mind discuss. A situation I’m in because of him. And here he sits, not taking the hint, showing up at my house even though I’m obviously not taking his calls and forcing me to discuss it. Fuck him. “Because I don’t really have anything to say to ya, Crew. Another year has gone by without Gage. Thank you for that.”
He looks at the floor and suddenly I feel terrible. He closes his eyes, wincing as my words, filled with such poison, hit him full on. Any other day and he would’ve just spouted off something back. He would’ve smirked, said something cocky, and walked out. But today’s not just any other day.
“Nah, Jules. Don’t apologize.”
“I shouldn’t have said that.”
“I said not to apologize.” He’s watching me carefully, his eyes somber. He’s apologized to me so many times and I’ve never accepted it. Now he won’t accept mine. Not sure what to do, I turn back to the stove. I fiddle with the knob, trying to get it back in place while feeling his eyes on me.
“Remember when I talked him into surfing with me on the 4th of July that year?” His voice is soft and if I wasn’t listening for it, I might not have even heard it. “And he swore a shark was circling his board?”
I nod. I remember that day. Gage was standing on his board, shouting at Crew to get out of the water. Crew just sat on his and laughed and then paddled to Gage and they floated in together. Later, we had a bonfire on the beach. We told stories over marshmallows until the sun nearly came back up again.
I feel wetness touch my eyes and I bat my eyelashes to try to keep the tears from falling.
“Damn it, Julia. I’m so sorry. If I could switch places with him, I would.”
I turn to look at him and he’s watching me, the same pain that’s downright killing me inside is also written all over his face. It’s enough to send the tears down my cheeks, hot against my skin.
We look at each other and something sweeps across his face. It’s a look of resolution, I think, like he’s just decided something. All I know is that for the first time since the funeral, he reaches for me.
Adriana Locke lives and breathes books. After years of slightly obsessive relationships with the flawed bad boys created by other authors, Adriana has created her own.
Adriana resides in the Midwest with her family. She spends a large amount of time playing with her kids, drinking coffee, and cooking. She loves to be outside in the sunshine and always has a piece of candy in her pocket.
Her first novel, The Exception, was released in 2014. The followup, The Perception, was released in March 2015. Both books follow the same characters, but can be read as standalone novels.
Sacrifice, a novel unrelated to the others, will go live on July 13, 2015.
Please contact Adriana at www.adrianalocke.com. She loves to hear from readers.