ARC Review: Moonlight Sins by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Moonlight Sins by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: de Vincent #1 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: January 30th 2018
Links: Ebook • PaperbackAudible • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout delivers the unforgettable story of a woman whose new life has just begun—but may end in murder . . .

Julia Hughes has always played it safe until she learned a very painful lesson. Now Julia’s starting over with a job in the Louisiana bayou—and a scorching encounter with a stranger, only to discover he’s Lucian de Vincent . . . her new employer. The de Vincent brothers share a massive fortune and a dark reputation. Julia cares for their troubled sister, but a menacing presence in the mansion—and the ever-present temptation of Lucian—prove dangerously distracting.

Lucian’s grandmother claimed de Vincent men fall in love once—and hard. Apparently, it’s Lucian’s turn. Julia’s compassionate care of his twin makes Lucian want to lay himself bare. But some secrets are better for Julia not to know.

The recent “suicide” of Lucian’s father is the latest in a string of deaths on the estate. Someone is eliminating the de Vincents. And the best way to get to Lucian may be through Julia. . . .

I have yet to be disappointed by JLA – she’s a talented, versatile writer of various romance genres. Moonlight Sins is the first I’ve read of her romantic suspense novels and I have to say that I was incredibly impressed by the way she set up the story! Not only did I love the fantastic chemistry and romance between the main characters, but JLA kept me on my toes and guessing what would happen next. If you love a healthy dose of mystery and suspense with your romances, I highly recommend you give Moonlight Sins a try!

Julia Hughes is starting anew in the Louisiana bayou as a live-in nurse for a wealthy family. At her send-off party, she meets a guy she feels an intense connection with… but when arrives at the location of her new job, it turns out he’s none other than one of her employers and one of the de Vincents. The de Vincents are the American royalty of the South. They’re wealthy beyond measure and can have anything they could possibly want… but looks can be deceiving. Because inside the mansion they reside in lies a broken family with a dark, mysterious past and a curse that causes tragedy with each generation.

Despite being his employee, Julia can’t help but still want Lucian, the youngest of the de Vincent brothers. He is dark, dangerous, charming, and sexy as hell. He’s alpha to his core, which means he’s used to getting what he wants – and what he wants is Julia. He’s wanted her since the second he saw her and he’ll do anything to make her see that the spark between them is worth fighting for.

In between the hot chemistry and slow romance is the mystery and intrigue I’d been expecting in this romantic suspense. They mysterious “suicide” of the de Vincents’ father and the return of a long-lost sibling had me turning the pages to find out what really happened. JLA really amazed me with the way she was able to weave in the suspense seamlessly with the romance. I honestly couldn’t guess what would happen next!

Overall, Moonlight Sins is a fantastic start to what I know will be an incredible series. With a steamy romance, thrilling suspense, and a gripping mystery, this book had it all. I love Julia and Lucian, and am so intrigued by the two other de Vincent brothers. I can’t wait to get my hands on the next book!


lacey


Reading Order: de Vincent series

 

#1 ~ Moonlight Sins: Ebook • PaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#2 ~ Moonlight Seduction: Ebook • PaperbackGoodreads (June 26, 2018)


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Blog Tour + Character Interview & Giveaway: Fire in You by Jennifer L. Armentrout

fire-in-you-tour

Welcome to today’s stop on the blog tour for FIRE IN YOU by Jennifer L. Armentrout!! Check out a character interview below with Jillian!

Character Interview: Jillian Lima

What it was like growing up with your father?

It was never boring growing up with Andrew Lima. Since my father is a famous ju-jitsu and mixed martial arts expert, I grew up in the MMA world and the Academy. That was interesting to say the least.

What do your friendships with the other couples mean to you?

I love that I’ve found such wonderful female friends, but I also love that our significant others are close, too. It works out that we all get along.

How has your past shaped your future?

I eventually realized that I have to live in the present because there is no promise of tomorrow.

What’s your favorite holiday Starbucks order?

Pumpkin Spice Latte

If you and Brock could travel anywhere, where would it be and why?

Traveling anywhere with Brock is an adventure. It really doesn’t matter where we travel because we enjoy all of our time together.

Fire in You by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: Wait for You #6 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: November 28th 2016
Add to Goodreads

From the #1 New York Times and International bestselling author comes a richly moving story about heartbreak and guilt, second chances and hope. Full of familiar, fan-favorite characters and no two people more deserving of a happy ending, Fire In You will burn bright beyond the last page…

Jillian Lima’s whole world was destroyed in a span of a few hours. The same night her childhood love, Brock ‘the Beast’ Mitchell, broke her heart, her life was irrevocably altered by the hand of a stranger with a gun. It takes six years to slowly glue together the shattered pieces of her life, but Jillian is finally ready to stop existing in a past full of pain and regret. She takes a job at her father’s martial arts Academy and she’s going out on her first date since a failed relationship that was more yuck than yum. Jillian is determined to start living.

She just never expected Brock to be a part of her life again. But he’s firmly back in her life before she knows it, and not only is he older, he’s impossibly more handsome, more teasing and more everything. And when he sees Jillian, he’s no longer capable of thinking of her as the little girl who was his shadow growing up or the daughter of the man who gave him a second chance at life. He sees the woman who’d always been there for him, the one person who believed in him no matter what.

Brock knows she’s the one he should’ve made his, and what begins as a tentative friendship quickly turns to red-hot chemistry that sparks a flame that burns brighter than lust. Falling for Brock again risks more than her heart, because when the sorrow-filled and guilt-ridden past resurfaces, and a web of lies threatens to rip them apart, the fallout could lay waste to everything they’ve fought to build together, and destroy the dreams of those they care most about.

Buy Links:
Amazon • Barnes & NobleiTunes

Pre-Order a digital or paperback copy of FIRE IN YOU by Jennifer L. Armentrout, writing as J.Lynn, AND fill out THIS FORM, and get an exclusive bonus scene-an Epilogue featuring POVs from all the major couples throughout the Wait For You World!

FIRE IN YOU will be available in paperback and eBook November 28th, 2016!

Just enter your name, age, email address, and the order number from your digial or paperback pre-order receipt at https://a.pgtb.me/M7KhMCto receive your exclusive FIRE IN YOU bonus scene! All entrants will receive the bonus scene on December 5th, 2016 through email using the email given when the entrant filled out THIS FORM.

Reading Order: Wait for You series

Wait For You by Jennifer L. Armentrout Trust in Me by J. Lynn Be With Me by Jennifer L. Armentrout Stay with Me by J. Lynn
Fall With Me by Jennifer L. Armentrout Dream Of You by Jennifer L. Armentrout Forever with You by Jennifer L. Armentrout 

#1 ~ Wait for You: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#1.5 ~ Trust in Me: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#2 ~ Be with Me: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#3 ~ Stay with Me: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#4 ~ Fall with Me: EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#4.5 ~ Dream of You: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#5 ~ Forever with You: EbookPaperback • Audible • Goodreads
#6 ~ Fire in You: EbookPaperback • Goodreads (Nov. 28, 2016)

about the author button

Jennifer L. Armentrout#1 New York Times and #1 International Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing, she spends her time reading, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV. Her young adult romantic suspense novel DON’T LOOK BACK was a 2014 nominated Best in Young Adult Fiction by YALSA.

She also writes Adult and New Adult contemporary and paranormal romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

Website • Facebook • Twitter • Goodreads

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Signed Set of the Wait For You Saga (not including FIRE IN YOU) for 1 winner

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule

November 21
The Book Bratz-Review
This Wacky Mama Reads!-Review & Excerpt
Booklovers For Life-Character Q & A-Jillian

November 22
The Reading Geek-Review
Words With Sarah-Review & Author Interview

November 23
Grown Up Book Reviews (MundieMoms)-Review
Krista’s Dust Jacket-Review & Excerpt
Oh My Growing TBR-Review & Excerpt

November 24
A Bookish Escape-Review
Star-Crossed Book Blog-Review & Author Interview

November 25
Book Bitches Blog-Review & Excerpt
The Irish Banana Reviews-Review & Author Interview

November 26
Stuck In YA Books-Review & Top 5 List
Step Into Fiction-Review & Excerpt

November 27
Less Reality, More Books-Review & Character Q & A-Kristen
My YA NA Book Obsession-Review & Author Interview

November 28
RentasticReads-Review
Stuck in Books-Dual Reviews
Mrs. Leif’s Two Fangs About It-Review
MEReadAlot-Review

November 29
Milky Way of Books-Review
Love Between the Sheets-Review & Character Q & A-Brock
Book Boyfriend Reviews-Review

November 30
The Cover Contessa-Review & Top 5 List
Deity Island-Review & Excerpt
All Romance Reviews-Review & Excerpt

December 1
Cocktails and Books-Review
Readers Live 1000 Lives-Review & Character Q & A-Avery & Cam
K-Books-Review

December 2
Tome Tender-Review & Excerpt
The Book Hookup-Review & Excerpt

December 3
Nose Stuck in a Book-Review & Excerpt
Kimberlyfaye Reads-Review & Top 5 List


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Excerpt Reveal: Fire in You by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Fire in You by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: Wait for You #6 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: November 28th 2016
Add to Goodreads

From the #1 New York Times and International bestselling author comes a richly moving story about heartbreak and guilt, second chances and hope. Full of familiar, fan-favorite characters and no two people more deserving of a happy ending, Fire In You will burn bright beyond the last page…

Jillian Lima’s whole world was destroyed in a span of a few hours. The same night her childhood love, Brock ‘the Beast’ Mitchell, broke her heart, her life was irrevocably altered by the hand of a stranger with a gun. It takes six years to slowly glue together the shattered pieces of her life, but Jillian is finally ready to stop existing in a past full of pain and regret. She takes a job at her father’s martial arts Academy and she’s going out on her first date since a failed relationship that was more yuck than yum. Jillian is determined to start living.

She just never expected Brock to be a part of her life again. But he’s firmly back in her life before she knows it, and not only is he older, he’s impossibly more handsome, more teasing and more everything. And when he sees Jillian, he’s no longer capable of thinking of her as the little girl who was his shadow growing up or the daughter of the man who gave him a second chance at life. He sees the woman who’d always been there for him, the one person who believed in him no matter what.

Brock knows she’s the one he should’ve made his, and what begins as a tentative friendship quickly turns to red-hot chemistry that sparks a flame that burns brighter than lust. Falling for Brock again risks more than her heart, because when the sorrow-filled and guilt-ridden past resurfaces, and a web of lies threatens to rip them apart, the fallout could lay waste to everything they’ve fought to build together, and destroy the dreams of those they care most about.

Buy Links:
Amazon • Barnes & NobleiTunes

Pre-Order a digital or paperback copy of FIRE IN YOU by Jennifer L. Armentrout, writing as J.Lynn, AND fill out THIS FORM, and get an exclusive bonus scene-an Epilogue featuring POVs from all the major couples throughout the Wait For You World!

FIRE IN YOU will be available in paperback and eBook November 28th, 2016!

Just enter your name, age, email address, and the order number from your digial or paperback pre-order receipt at https://a.pgtb.me/M7KhMCto receive your exclusive FIRE IN YOU bonus scene! All entrants will receive the bonus scene on December 5th, 2016 through email using the email given when the entrant filled out THIS FORM.

Now here’s an excerpt from Fire in You! ❤

excerpt button

Brock’s gaze flickered over my face and the line of his jaw softened. “It’s been a really long time since you and I have sat and talked to one another. I know you have every reason to hate me. I don’t blame you.”

“I don’t hate you.” That twisting motion in my chest picked up. What I had said was true. Maybe at one point I did. Okay. I’m sure I had, but I’d never been one to hate anyone. It just wasn’t in me. Well, I hated plenty of fictional characters, but some people would claim they didn’t count. I drew in a shallow breath and repeated, “I don’t hate you.”

Brock was still as he stared at me, a flicker of surprise and relief mingling across his chiseled features. “I’m…I’m glad to hear that.”

I pushed all that mess aside and focused. “Why are you even the GM? You’ve probably made enough money to live a very, very long time without having to worry about a paycheck.”

“I have. When I retired from professional fighting two years ago, I could’ve lived quite comfortably for the rest of my life.”

I wanted to ask why he’d retired so young. At his age, he still had a couple of more years left, but I resisted the urge. “So why take this job?”

A frown started to appear. “Do you really need to ask me that?” Before I could respond, he lifted a hand, thrusting his fingers through his hair as he said, “Your father saved my life. That’s not an exaggeration. You know that. If it hadn’t been for him, I would’ve died on those streets. The Academy became my life and it is a part of me. This company is important to me, and even if I’m not fighting, representing the Academy, I still need to be a part of it.”

Lowering my gaze, I squirmed in my chair. Of course I knew that. No matter what had happened, that would’ve never changed for him.

“I love scouting, looking for fresh talent,” he continued. “As the GM, I can still do that. I can give back to your father for everything he did for me. I need to do that. Especially considering how badly I let him down.”

“How in the world did you let my father down?” I asked, genuinely curious. “You’ve won championships for him. Brought so much attention to the—”

“That’s not what I’m talking about.” Tone serious, he held my gaze. “You never told him why you were at Mona’s that night.”

I stilled.

“If you had, he would’ve—”

My eyes snapped to his. “Brock.”

“And I would’ve deserved everything I had coming to me,” he continued, leaning forward. “And the only reason why I never told him you were there because of me was because you made me promise not to.”

Closing my eyes, I pressed my lips together. I had made him promise not to say a word. I’d begged him, because I knew what would happen if he’d been honest. Brock would’ve lost everything.

The knot was back, expanding in my throat. I couldn’t sit here and think and talk about these kinds of things if I was going to be able to make this job work. Curling my hands together, I opened my eyes. “What happened back then has nothing to do with now. It can’t.”

Brock leaned back and straightened.

“And I don’t want to talk about it,” I continued, struggling to keep my voice steady. “We don’t need to talk about any of that for us to work together.”

He was silent for a moment, his body deviously relaxed, but he was like a coiled cobra, and could strike at any moment. “I don’t agree with that, but I’ll let it go.”

Some of the tension seeped out of my shoulders even though I had a feeling there was an unspoken “for now” at the end of what he said. “That’s all, then? I would like to get my office set up and get to work.”

Brock nodded and pushed off the desk. Walking around it, he scanned the paperwork on his desk. “I do believe we have a meeting today with the sales team. Two o’clock.”

“Sounds good.” I rose on oddly shaky legs and turned to the door. Everything felt surreal.

“Jillian.”

Stopping, I faced him. “Yes?”

His shoulders rose with a deep breath as his gaze drifted over my face once more, and I wondered what he thought about how I looked now. “I really want this to work for us, Jillian,” he said, and I felt the very sharp twisting motion in my chest give one powerful stab. “It’s a second chance for us.”

Reading Order: Wait for You series

Wait For You by Jennifer L. Armentrout Trust in Me by J. Lynn Be With Me by Jennifer L. Armentrout Stay with Me by J. Lynn
Fall With Me by Jennifer L. Armentrout Dream Of You by Jennifer L. Armentrout Forever with You by Jennifer L. Armentrout 

#1 ~ Wait for You: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#1.5 ~ Trust in Me: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#2 ~ Be with Me: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#3 ~ Stay with Me: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#4 ~ Fall with Me: EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#4.5 ~ Dream of You: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#5 ~ Forever with You: EbookPaperback • Audible • Goodreads
#6 ~ Fire in You: EbookPaperback • Goodreads (Nov. 28, 2016)

about the author button

Jennifer L. Armentrout#1 New York Times and #1 International Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing, she spends her time reading, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV. Her young adult romantic suspense novel DON’T LOOK BACK was a 2014 nominated Best in Young Adult Fiction by YALSA.

She also writes Adult and New Adult contemporary and paranormal romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

Website • Facebook • Twitter • Goodreads


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Cover Reveals: Opposition & Shadows by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Check out the brand new covers for Opposition and Shadows, part of the Lux series by Jennifer L. Armentrout!

Opposition by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: Lux #5 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: November 1st 2016
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Don’t miss Opposition, the fifth and final book in Jennifer L. Armentrout’s bestselling Lux series, now available as a standalone in print for the first time!

“An unmissable series!” –Samantha Young, New York Times bestselling author of On Dublin Street

“This is the stuff swoons are made of.” —Wendy Higgins, New York Times bestselling author of Sweet Evil

Katy knows the world changed the night the Luxen came. She can’t believe Daemon stood by as his kind threatened to obliterate every last human and hybrid on Earth. But the lines between good and bad have blurred.

Daemon will do anything to save those he loves, even if it means betrayal. But when it quickly becomes impossible to tell friend from foe, and the world is crumbling around them, they may lose everything to ensure the survival of their friends…and mankind.

Buy Links:
Amazon • Barnes & Noble • Amazon UK • Amazon CA

Shadows by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: Lux #0.5 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: November 1st 2016
Add to Goodreads

Don’t miss Shadows, Dawson Black’s story in Jennifer L. Armentrout’s bestselling Lux series, now available as a standalone in print for the first time!

“An unmissable series!” –Samantha Young, New York Times bestselling author of On Dublin Street

“This is the stuff swoons are made of.” —Wendy Higgins, New York Times bestselling author of Sweet Evil

The last thing Dawson Black expected was Bethany Williams. As a Luxen, an alien life-form on Earth, human girls are…well, fun. But since the Luxen have to keep their true identities a secret, falling for one would be insane. Dangerous. Tempting. Undeniable.

Bethany can’t deny the immediate connection between her and Dawson. And even though boys aren’t a complication she wants, she can’t stay away from him. Still, whenever they lock eyes, she’s drawn in. Captivated. Lured. Loved.

Dawson is keeping a secret that will change her existence…and put her life in jeopardy. But even he can’t stop risking everything for one human girl. Or from a fate that is as unavoidable as love itself.

Buy Links:
Amazon • Barnes & Noble • Amazon UK • Amazon CA

Reading Order: Lux series

  
   

#0.5 ~ Shadows: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#1 ~ Obsidian: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#1.5 ~ Oblivion: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ Onyx: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#3 ~ Opal: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#4 ~ Origin: EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#5 ~ Opposition: Ebook • HardcoverPaperback • Audible • Goodreads

about the author button

Jennifer L. Armentrout#1 New York Times and #1 International Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing, she spends her time reading, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV. Her young adult romantic suspense novel DON’T LOOK BACK was a 2014 nominated Best in Young Adult Fiction by YALSA.

She also writes Adult and New Adult contemporary and paranormal romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

Website • Facebook • Twitter • Goodreads


FOLLOW BOOKLOVERS FOR LIFE ON:
FACEBOOKTWITTER • INSTAGRAMGOODREADSPINTERESTBLOGLOVIN’

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

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Release Week Blitz + Excerpt & Giveaway: The Problem with Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout

From #1 New York Times Bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout comes THE PROBLEM WITH FOREVER – a young adult title about friendship, survival, and finding your voice. This incredible book is available today! Read more about this stunning new novel below and be sure to order your copy today to receive an amazing FREE fan pack while supplies last!

The Problem with Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: Standalone
Publication Date: May 17th 2016
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From #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout comes a riveting new story about friendship, survival, and finding your voice.

For some people, silence is a weapon. For Mallory “Mouse” Dodge, it’s a shield. Growing up, she learned that the best way to survive was to say nothing. And even though it’s been four years since her nightmare ended, she’s beginning to worry that the fear that holds her back will last a lifetime.

Now, after years of homeschooling with loving adoptive parents, Mallory must face a new milestone—spending her senior year at public high school. But of all the terrifying and exhilarating scenarios she’s imagined, there’s one she never dreamed of—that she’d run into Rider Stark, the friend and protector she hasn’t seen since childhood, on her very first day.

It doesn’t take long for Mallory to realize that the connection she shared with Rider never really faded. Yet the deeper their bond grows, the more it becomes apparent that she’s not the only one grappling with lingering scars from the past. And as she watches Rider’s life spiral out of control, Mallory must make a choice between staying silent and speaking out—for the people she loves, the life she wants, and the truths that need to be heard.

Buy Links:
Amazon EbookAmazon Hardcover • Audible • B&NiTunes • Kobo • IndieBound

Register your preorder of THE PROBLEM WITH FOREVER by May 20th to receive a FREE fan pack! Includes inspirational wall art, a colorful poster, and flag-as-you-read stickers. You will also get immediate access to an extended excerpt from the book.

JUST FILL OUT THE FORM HERE

Now here’s an excerpt from The Problem with Forever! ❤

excerpt button

Prologue

Dusty, empty shoe boxes, stacked taller and wider than her slim body, wobbled as she pressed her back against them, tucking her bony knees into her chest.

Breathe. Just Breathe. Breathe.

Wedged in the back of the dingy closet, she didn’t dare make a sound as she sucked her lower lip between her teeth. Focusing on forcing every grimy breath into her lungs, she felt tears well in her eyes.

Oh gosh, she’d made such a big mistake, and Miss Becky was right. She was a bad girl.

She’d reached for the dirty and stained cookie jar earlier, the one shaped like a teddy bear that hid cookies that tasted funny. She wasn’t supposed to get cookies or any food by herself, but she’d just been so hungry that her tummy hurt, and Miss Becky was sick again, napping on the couch. She hadn’t meant to knock the ashtray off the counter, shattering it into tiny pieces. Some were shaped like icicles that clung to the roof during the winter. Others were no bigger than chips.

All she’d wanted was a cookie.

Her slender shoulders jerked at the sound of the all cracking on the other side of the closet. She bit down harder on her lip. A metallic taste burst into her mouth. Tomorrow there would be a hold the size of Mr. Henry’s big hand in the plaster, and Miss Becky would cry and she’d get sick again.

The soft creak of the closet door was like a crack of thunder to her ears.

Oh no, no, no…

He wasn’t supposed to find her in here. This was her safe place whenever Mr. Henry was angry or when he—

She tensed, eyes peeling wide as a body taller and broader than hers slipped inside and then knelt in front of her. In the dark, she couldn’t make out much of his features, but she knew in her belly and her chest who it was.

“I’m sorry,” she gasped.

“I know.” A hand settled on her shoulder, the weight reassuring. He was the only person she felt okay with when he touched her. “I need you to stay in here, ‘kay?”

Miss Becky had said once that he was only six months older than her six years, but he always seemed so much bigger, older than her, because in her eyes, he took up her entire world.

She nodded.

“Don’t come out,” he said, and then he pressed into her hands the redheaded doll she’d dropped in the kitchen after she broke the ashtray and rushed into the closet. Too frightened to retrieve her, she’d left Velvet where she had fallen, and she’d been so upset because the doll had been a gift from him many, many months before. She had no idea how he’d gotten Velvet, but one day he’d simply shown up with her, and she was hers, only hers.

“You stay in here. No matter what.”

Holding the doll close, clenched between her knees and chest, she nodded again.

He shifted, stiffening as an angry shout rattled the walls around them. It was her name that dripped ice down her spine; her name that was shouted so furiously.

A small whimper parted her lips and she whispered, “I just wanted a cookie.”

“It’s okay. Remember? I promised I’d keep you safe forever. Just don’t make a sound.” He squeezed her shoulder. “Just stay quiet, and when I…when I get back, I’ll read to you, ‘kay? All about the stupid rabbit.”

All she could do was nod again, because there had been times when she hadn’t stayed quiet and she’d never forgotten those consequences. But if she stayed quiet, she knew what was coming. He wouldn’t be able to read to her tonight. Tomorrow he would miss school and he wouldn’t be okay even though he would tell her he was.

He lingered for a moment and then he eased out of the closet. The bedroom door shut with a smack, and she lifted the doll, pressing her tearstained face into it. A button on Velvet’s chest poked at her cheek.

Don’t make a sound.

Mr. Henry started to yell.

Don’t make a sound.

Footsteps punched down the hall.

Don’t make a sound.

Flesh smacked. Something hit the floor, and Miss Becky must have been feeling better, because she was suddenly shouting, but in the closet the only sound that mattered was the fleshy whack that came over and over. She opened her mouth, screaming silently into the doll.

Don’t make a sound.

about the author button

Jennifer L. Armentrout#1 New York Times and #1 International Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing, she spends her time reading, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV. Her young adult romantic suspense novel DON’T LOOK BACK was a 2014 nominated Best in Young Adult Fiction by YALSA.

She also writes Adult and New Adult contemporary and paranormal romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

Website • Twitter • Facebook • Goodreads

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