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Second Chances

Author(s): Nika Dixon

Jackson Hale is through with rescuing Casey Marshall. Her crazy stunts and complete disregard for her own safety goes against everything he believes in. But when she witnesses a murder, he’s duty bound to help. As he scrambles to keep her alive, he discovers the true woman beneath the crazy antics, and is left to question everything. If he can’t trust his eyes, how can he trust his heart?

Casey has spent her entire life trying to get Jackson’s attention. She discovers all it takes a dead body and a black hole in her memory. Together, on the run from hired killers, Casey realizes that the only way to keep Jackson safe is to push him away. Even if it costs her a chance at forever…and her very life.

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Excerpt

Casey struggled out of a strange dream. Pictures of rain and bricks. Darkness and flashing lights. She grasped for the pieces, but they slipped away and disappeared.

She rolled over, pulling the warm blankets around her shoulders, drifting in the strange state of half-awake. Rain ticked in with an offbeat rhythm on the window, distracting her from the task of returning to sleep. She opened her eyes, the fuzzy edges falling away as she stared at the dark green comforter.

Her bedding was blue.

She blinked, confused.

That wasn’t her nightstand. And why was it on the wrong side of the bed? And didn’t her clock have red digits, not neon green ones?

The realization this wasn’t her house, her room, her bed, shocked her body upright. With a gasp she launched herself into a seated position, confusion and panic of where she was slamming her heart into high gear. Sharp pain split her forehead. Everything tilted with carnival speed, and she pitched forward, desperate to get off the ride. Her body tangled in the bedding, trapping her limbs. She would have dropped face first onto the floor if her forward motion wasn’t halted by a pair of very solid hands.

“Easy,” a male voice growled.

Recognition shot down Casey’s spine with a shiver, and she squeezed her eyes shut. Only one man had the power to break her body into goose bumps with something as simple as the sound of his voice.

She raised her head and looked up into the hazel eyes of the last person she’d ever expected to see again.

Jackson Hale.

Her arms fought free of the encumbering blanket as she struggled to put space between them, but his fingers continued to burn the flesh of her upper arms. He eased her back down onto the pillows and lowered himself onto the edge of the bed.

She knew she stared, but she couldn’t stop. If Jackson was here…then the here was Jackson’s.

“Painkillers,” he supplied, releasing her arms to hand her a couple of small white pills followed by a glass of water.

She threw her concentration at getting the tablets onto her dry tongue, but had to use both hands to steady the glass while she gulped the water. After wiping her mouth with the back of her hand, she held out the empty glass.

He took it from her shaking fingers and set it on the nightstand without taking his gaze off her.

Trapped like the proverbial deer, Casey couldn’t look away. Six months of faked ignorance and pretend normalcy fell away in a glance, leaving her feeling just as alone and lost as she was that night all those months ago.

His entire body was tense, a coiled spring ready to snap if the pressure wasn’t soon released.

She wished he would talk, yell, shout. Anything but the silent stare he gave her right now. Casey read his face, the anger, the unasked questions reflected deep in his eyes. He may be able to still his mind and body, but those stormy hazel eyes betrayed everything.

He was still angry.

And he still blamed her.

She’d made a mistake in coming.

He wouldn’t help.

Desperation welled up into her throat, and she dropped her gaze.

And realized she wasn’t wearing her clothes.


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ISBN (Print):
ISBN (Electronic): 978-1-60435-346-4
Genre: Romance
Date Published: 05/21/2009
Publisher: Red Rose Publishing

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