The Strength to Forgive

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Traveling to New York City with his best friend’s girl is all kinds of awkward for Garett McAlistair, but Sophia insists she can set him up with her father’s firm to help him pay his way through law school.

Soon Garett is tossed into a world where he doesn’t belong. A world of dinner parties, corporate seduction, and after work drinks at a popular Burlesque night club. A world of chance encounters with a masked beauty haunted by a heartbreaking past. Garett soon finds himself on a mission to find his mystery girl before he has to return to Mills Lake.

Dancing with the Porcelain Dolls Burlesque show is the only way nineteen year old Lily “LaFleur” can afford to stay in New York and keep herself distracted. She’s never told anyone why she ran away from home at seventeen, or the ghost that still follows her everywhere she goes… Until Garett.

Release date TBA

Unedited sample

Garett wraps his hands around the railing and leans back to look at towering neon lights. I can tell he’s not a big city guy. Not that he looks naive or wide-eyed, or anything. He looks disbelieving. As if he isn’t used to excess.

“So what kind of guy are you, anyway?” I ask, thinking about our earlier conversation. The one before everything went down, when I still had the mask to shield me.

“What kind of guy do you want me to be?” he jokes, but he won’t look at me.

I let out a short laugh and lean on the rail next to him. “I asked you first.”

He spins and hops up on the rail, his thigh touching my hand. Leaning forward, he puts his elbows on his knees and I study his profile. He looks like wants people to think he doesn’t care. His scruff, his half smile, his sarcasm, and his shaggy hair all scream ‘laid-back, easy-going cool-guy’, but not his eyes. There’s something missing in his eyes. So much so that I don’t buy the act.

“You going to answer me, or what?” I nudge his leg, and he finally looks at me with those eyes I can’t figure out.

“I have no idea what kind of guy I am, Lily. As of right now, all I know is that I’m the kind of guy who follows a beautiful girl down a dark alley after witnessing her kick the shit out of some guy bigger than me…” His mouth twitches.

“So, you’re an idiot?” I tease which gets an actual laugh. “When you put it that way, it’s pretty messed up, isn’t it? This night? Us?”

He slides off the rail, his feet hitting the cement with a thud.

“Sweetheart, believe me,” he says swinging around to trap me with his body, a hand on either side of my hips, gripping the railing. “This is NOT the most f*cked up thing that has happened to me this summer…You don’t scare me.”


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