“An enthralling second-chance love story that will excite contemporary romance readers.”
A Second Chances Romance, #1
by Jennifer Silverwood
Contemporary Romance/Women’s Fiction
Kindle Edition, 200 pages
October 28, 2017
Globetrotter, Danica Pavlova spends her days scouring old folktales and her nights trying to forget her life is anything but a fairy tale. Ten years ago, she ran away from her best friend the night after causing his crippling accident, convinced Adam King was better off not loving her.
But when her brother is diagnosed with leukemia, she resolves to come home to care for the family she abandoned and face the love she never forgot. Will she find forgiveness for the mistakes of her past, or can there be a second chance for a woman who walks in moonlight?
Perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes’ Me Before You and John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, She Walks in Moonlight explores both redemption and romance in the face of tragedy.
*Warning-Contains Adult Situations & Some Language*
I wished I could say I stood my ground and walked up to Adam with a saucy grin on my face. That was how I imagined it playing out in my head, at least. But the truth was I was a coward. I ran. That was the gypsy in my blood.
“What the hell, Caleb!” Adam shouted. I heard the early stages of a scuffle behind us. I didn’t turn around to watch.
“Sorry, man, didn’t know you would be here tonight!” Caleb protested.
A girl screamed.
“Caleb!” Andi screeched.
“Chill out, guys!” Jameson growled.
I dared a glance over my shoulder to see Adam, my best friend, throw a heavy punch in his face. Jameson fell to the ground, and Adam looked up.
I turned the moment our gazes clashed for the second time and stumbled through the backyard, into the shadows beside the house. My vision blurred, and I rubbed the tears out as fast as I could. I hated this, hated this stupid small town and the stupid guys. I hated Adam for being so different, but not as much as I hated myself.
I dropped my keys next to my car and cursed. I crouched down to feel the grass and gasped when another hand brushed mine. It was nearly twice as big as mine, with long, calloused fingers and numerous scars I didn’t remember. I stood and nearly collided with Adam King. He pushed the keys into my hand, but I barely noticed. I might as well have been dead.
I hadn’t even heard him come after me. His chest heaved from the fight, and his once beautiful eyes were filled with something wild and burning. His voice was deeper—the voice of a man, not the boy who’d loved me.
“You don’t belong here,” he began, and I could tell he was holding back more, a lot more.
He might as well have cut me with the words. I wanted to agree with him, lie down, and admit I had screwed up. But that was when I remembered the shell of a man my brother was now, when I saw the faces of my niece and nephew. So instead of giving in, I saw red.
“I’m pretty sure I was invited here,” I said as I gripped the bottle in one hand and my keys in the other. The pinch of pain woke me up.
His voice rose. “It was a mistake. Caleb was trying to stir up shit.”
“You mean it was a mistake to invite the biggest slut in school. No one lets me forget that, do they?” I spat back. The muscles in his forearms bulged, and I noticed the grease staining his skin.
He spoke past clenched teeth. “You know what this is really about!”
“Do I?” I challenged, but I was finding it harder to stand my ground. He was standing a lot closer than I realized. While the old Adam King was an open book of facial expressions, this Adam might as well have been made of stone. Again, I hated him for doing that to himself.
“You had no right showing up here. These are my friends! You left all that behind a long time ago!” He leaned forward, fury breaking past the mask on his face.
“You have no right telling me where I’m allowed to go or who I’m allowed to see!”
“I never told you what to do!”
“Pretty sure that’s exactly what this is! What are you gonna do? Forbid all our old friends from speaking to me? Well, congratulations, that won’t be a problem. ’Cause the last place I wanna be is around a bunch of assholes still hung up on high school!” It was a low blow, I knew, but I wasn’t in control of my tongue anymore.
“What the hell, Danica! Cut the bullshit!” he shouted.
“Quit acting like a controlling boyfriend!” I pushed his chest with my bottle hand, but he didn’t budge. Instead, he grabbed the vodka out of my hands.
“You aren’t leaving like this!”
“Oh, so now I’m not allowed to leave?” I grabbed the neck of the bottle and tried to tug it free. “That’s my liquor, asshole!”
He raised his arm up higher and held me off with his free hand. When did he get so freaking strong?
“You’ve had enough of this shit!” He threw the bottle aside, ignoring my scream, and grabbed the keys out of my other hand.
“What do you think you’re doing?”
Caleb and Andi came running up to us then. Caleb’s face looked as if it had been rammed by a concrete block.
Andi picked up the tossed vodka while Caleb put his hand on my shoulder. “Please, guys, you’re going to wake the kids up.”
Adam took my hand in his and pulled me out of Caleb’s grasp. “I’m taking her home,” he grunted.
“Hell no, I am not going anywhere with you,” I hissed and dragged my feet.
Adam pulled me to the passenger seat and set me inside as if I weighed nothing. His willing touch sent a series of violent sparks, a chain reaction that made me lean into him, only slightly. I froze when I heard the click of my seat belt.
“Bastard,” I spat at him. His arms flexed as he shut my door, scowl frozen in place. I crossed my arms over my chest. I could have tried harder to escape, but I didn’t know this new Adam. He was a lot more physical than I remembered and a lot less patient, apparently. I was too pissed, in more than one way, to do anything other than sulk.
Caleb tried to grab Adam before he could climb inside my little SUV. “Man, I swear I didn’t know. When you said you were working tonight, I just assumed…”
“Not now.” Adam shoved Caleb’s hand off and slid into the front seat. He glared at Caleb while adjusting the seat to fit his much larger frame. “We’ll talk about this later, Brewer.” He slammed the door shut before Caleb could touch it and revved my engine to life.
He didn’t speak again until we had pulled out of the Brewers’ winding drive onto the back roads. I was still too angry to speak and too dumb to do anything adult about it.
“You shouldn’t have come tonight.”
I snorted. “Obviously.”
He glanced at me out of the corner of his eye. “I didn’t mean to lose it earlier.”
“I tend to have that effect on men,” I murmured and rested my elbow on the door, my chin in my hand. “You didn’t have to pitch the vodka. It was a twenty-dollar bottle.”
“You drank at least thirteen of that.” And then, after another long moment, he said, “You were running away from me again.”
I dragged my knees up to my chest and stared out the window. “You were yelling.”
“Guess I have that effect on women,” Adam said after an even longer pause. I turned to find him staring straight out the windshield with the same scowl creasing his brow.
“Was that supposed to be a joke?” I blurted.
“What, I can’t have a normal conversation with you?”
I didn’t reply because I didn’t know the answer to that. I didn’t know this Adam. I was too afraid to try.
You’ll only hurt him again.
Adam sighed as though releasing a weight off his chest. “Seeing you there tonight took me off guard. I wasn’t ready. But it is what it is, and I need to go ahead and get this off my chest. I don’t want you to talk, just listen.” He glanced at me again and took another tense breath.
“Okay.” I shifted in my seat and tried not to study his profile, the two days’ worth of stubble on his square jaw, or the scar running across his forehead and down the side of his face into his hairline.
“I’ve got a life here that took me a long time to come back to. The way I said it earlier was wrong, but I meant it. I don’t want you coming around the Brewers’ place anymore.”
I dug my fingers into my knees and bit my tongue at that comment.
“For me, the Brewers’ is one of the few places I can go where I feel like myself. I’m not telling you what to do. I’m asking you for a favor, if you ever cared about me. I know you’re in town for Peter and the kids, and that’s fine. But I think it’s best if we don’t see each other.”
I waited, and when he had nothing else to add, I looked up to find his eyes on me again. This time, they weren’t hard and withdrawn, but weary. What had given him the worry lines at the corners of his eyes and forehead?
It doesn’t matter. You heard the man. You’re poison.
Adam had every right to be angry with me, but some part of me couldn’t let it go.
“It’s been ten years, you know,” I said and held his gaze. “Can’t we at least be civil?”
His eyes narrowed slightly, and his mask fell in place again. “Guess what happened was nothing to you, just another high school fling. Except it didn’t just happen with some guy, Danica. It happened with me.”
My head was spinning slightly, but I recognized the lights on Peter’s house and knew we were already home.
Adam leaned between the seats and reached over to pop open my door. “I’ll get the car to Peter tomorrow.”
I stumbled out of my car and opened my mouth to say all the things burning in my throat. I wanted to cut him, hurt him like his words hurt me. He pulled the door shut behind me before I could speak. I teared up again. I wanted to hate him, but he was right, and I was just the bitch who’d broken his heart.
Jennifer Silverwood was raised deep in the heart of Texas and has been spinning yarns a mile high since childhood. In her spare time, she reads and writes and tries to sustain her wanderlust, whether it’s the Carpathian Mountains in Transylvania, the highlands of Ecuador, or a road trip to the next town. Always on the lookout for her next adventure, in print or reality, she dreams of one day proving to the masses that everything really is better in Texas.
She is the author of two series—Heaven’s Edge and Wylder Tales—and the stand-alone titles Stay and Silver Hollow.