Title: Heart of Marley
Author: T.K. Leigh
Release Date: November 3, 2014
Genre: New Adult/Romantic Suspense
To the moon and back…
From the stars to the ocean…
That was Marley and Cameron Bowen’s secret code.
Twins born just five minutes apart, they have the perfect life… Until tragedy strikes just weeks after their eighth birthday and their father is killed by a drunk driver. Having trouble coping with the loss of her soul mate, their mother tries to find comfort in drugs and alcohol… And an abusive man with a penchant for underage girls.
No longer able to stand listening to his sister’s screams and cries every night for nearly three years, Cam takes matters into his own hands and they’re finally able to escape the nightmare.
They’re finally able to start over…
But the nightmare still haunts Marley. The years go on and she is forced to put on a smile, making everyone think that she is the perfect, well-adjusted teenager that she is supposed to be… Until she is faced with a painful reminder of her past during her senior year of high school and she’s no longer able to keep on the mask that she has been compelled to wear.
Recommended for ages eighteen and over due to strong language, sexual situations, and graphic violence.
“Thanks for asking me to come. I mean, tonight… I mean, for asking me to go to the bonfire with you. Not for asking me to come. That doesn’t sound right.” My face flamed red with embarrassment.
He smiled at me and winked. “No but, if you ask me, it sounds good.”
I halted in my tracks, completely frozen in place. I can do this, I said to myself. He was just joking. He doesn’t mean anything by it. It’s just a harmless joke, Marley. Just a joke.
He noticed my reaction and turned to face me on the street. “I’m so sorry, Marley. That was completely inappropriate. I don’t know what possessed me to say that. That’s not the way my mama raised me. I really am a good guy. I normally wouldn’t joke like that. You’ve got to believe that I didn’t mean anything by it. Please.” He slumped his shoulders, the formerly confident Doug replaced by a Doug that was full of remorse. “I understand if you don’t want to come with me.”
My eyes grew wide, more in irony than dread or concern.
“I mean, you don’t have to go to the bonfire with me. God, I really hate that word right now.”
I giggled. “Me, too.” I raised my head and met his pleading eyes. I could tell that he was bracing for me to turn around and walk away from him, but that was the last thing I wanted to do.
“Come. Say it with me. Come…” I said to him. “It feels good.” Throwing my head back to look at the stars in the sky, I shouted to the heavens, “Come!” I raised my arms like an angel and spun around, screaming the word over and over again. I must have looked like a spectacle, but I didn’t care. I didn’t want one word to come between what could blossom into a good thing with Doug.
I slowed my spins, but the sky kept moving even when I stopped. I attempted to regain my balance, but soon found myself tripping over my own feet.
Two arms were around me instantly, preventing me from falling to the ground. “Whoa. Careful, Marley Jane.”
I closed my eyes and basked at the sound of his voice calling me Marley Jane. Cam called me that all the time, but there was something so warm, affectionate, and thrilling about my first and middle name rolling off Doug’s tongue. Focusing my gaze on his, I was met with his brilliant green eyes.
“Hey,” I breathed.
“You still haven’t said it.”
He scrunched his eyebrows at me. “Said what?”
A grin crossed my face. “Come.”
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