Excerpt: WOMEN OF WILLOWBROOK series by Kelsey Jensen

It all began with a choice…

Anna Pierce had, by all accounts, a blessed life. She grew up in a home full of laughter, love, and support. Where the biggest problem she faced (other than how to deal with her family’s crazy antics) was deciding her plans for college. Little did she know the ugly path her choice would drag her down.

A choice that left her free-falling…

Fast forward five years. Her life still held that same laughter, love, and support, but it was no longer full. A shadow hung overhead, waiting. Always threatening.

Until he caught her…

Jake Taylor stormed into her life and turned her world upside down. He made her feel things she’d hidden away from; made her face life again. But, most importantly, he helped her find the light.

And gave her happily ever after…

It all started with a wish…

Evangeline Grant, or Evan as you’d know her (if you liked living), grew up surrounded by love. And because of all that love, she had one wish in life. It was loaded, but it was simple.

A wish that left her heartbroken and hopeless…

Unfortunately, years down the road, that wish was obliterated. A secret she kept hidden away, suffering alone with only her parents to comfort her in her dark times. But she wasn’t the only one keeping a secret.

Until he gave her hope…

Then Mr. Tall, Dark, and F***ing Godly himself had to show up and flip the script. For the first time in years, Evan found herself with hope; all thanks to Emmanuel Silva. As they each face their demons, a decision has to be made. A decision that will change the course of not only their lives but a precious little girl’s as well.

And helped her wish of happily ever after come true…

About the Series

Pierce My Heart & Grant Her Wish
by Kelsey Jensen

Series
Women of Willowbrook

Genre
Adult
Contemporary Romance

Publisher
Independent

Available Now On

…click the book cover to purchase…

**Each book in this series is a STANDALONE with a new couple. NO cliffhanger**

Excerpt:

Pierce My Heart

Prologue

Regret

6 months earlier

No.

God, no.

Not again.

I laid there staring at the ceiling, watching my fan go round and round while the scenes from my dreams faded.

I couldn’t believe I was dreaming of him again. It’d been three years since we’d split.

He’d been on my mind a lot at the beginning. Musings of what had happened, how I couldn’t see the signs then, how I ignored them when I could, how I took all the shit. The only good thoughts I had after, other than that we were done, were of what I should’ve done if I’d been smart.

Still, those were just as depressing.

Xavier Michaels was a dick, plain and simple.

One that could probably take the gold if it were ever an Olympic sport. And one I definitely shouldn’t’ve been thinking of, let alone dreaming of.

If I hadn’t put that flashback thing on my profile last month then all the stupid posts from our relationship that I unfortunately—and unknowingly— missed during my cleanup phase wouldn’t have kept showing up, and I wouldn’t have been reminded daily of my stupidity.

I’ll admit, I’d been that ex-girlfriend.

The one who creeps their ex’s page, trying to see what they’re up to, how quick they moved on, who they’d fooled this time; basically torturing myself. I loathed the guy, but a part of me still loved him—unhealthy as it was.

Thankfully, once I’d seen how quick he jumped into another relationship and how gooey they were, it helped see things in perspective and kill that love.

I was eighteen when I’d met him; young, naïve, and it was the first time I’d been on my own. I’d just moved to the dorms hours away from home and I’d felt free.

There were no parents dictating where, when, and who I could go with.

No brothers harassing people.

No one who knew the shy girl from high school.

I could do what I wanted, act how I wanted, feel how I wanted.

And I did, in spades.

He was older, twenty-six, and he had it all, or so I thought.

He wasn’t exceedingly tall, but tall enough that I could wear heels with my 5’6 frame and he’d still have a couple inches on me. Thick black hair and dark shining eyes that were surrounded by long, full, make-a-girl-jealous lashes. Dimples sat on both sides of a smile that rivaled the beauty of his eyes, and his tan skin held an olive tint from his Italian and Spanish descent that only heightened the contrast. He wasn’t slim and toned, but he wasn’t fat—stocky, built like a third baseman. His legs were thick, arms muscular with deep veins that would pop out when he’d show that strength.

He was smart; he knew what he was talking about and wasn’t afraid to show it, or show that you were wrong.

And charming.

So goddamn charming you couldn’t figure out which way was up when you were with him.

If I would’ve know then, I would’ve never given him the time of day.

I would’ve cut contact after the first time he talked me around.

Would’ve left the first time I saw his temper.

I should’ve gotten help the first time I felt the contact of his hand around my throat, shoving me to the bed and keeping me there while his fingers tightened, but I didn’t.

I’d cried and started to shake while I stared at him with a face full of fear and hurt.

I still remembered his unhinged reply.

Pulling my paisley quilt tight to me, almost like I was trying to protect myself, I closed my eyes and thought back.

I’d recently reconnected with an old friend (one I’d gone out with all of three times) who mentioned he’d love to get together and catch up over a bite sometime.

Xavier had walked up while I was reading the message and flipped out.

When I’d tried to explain things to him, he backed me up towards the bed and told me to get out of his face.

I didn’t listen.

I stubbornly, and stupidly, stayed and tried to talk it out. And that was when he came at me.

So fast I never saw it coming, or had the time to move before he grabbed me by my throat.

My hands shot up to his wrist to try to pull his hand away, leaving me vulnerable when he forced me down to the bed, tightened his fingers, and cussed me out; calling me every name in the book and then some.

When he seemed to realize what happened, he’d wrenched himself away from me and started to pace.

My own hand wrapped lightly around my throat while I leaned back on the bed, watching Xavier pace like a caged animal around the room.

I couldn’t move.

Didn’t want to move.

I didn’t want to draw more attention to myself, so I stayed still.

Even while the silent tears streamed down my face, I never took my eyes off him. But, that didn’t mean I didn’t still jump when he came towards me and started to talk.

“Anna, baby, I’m sorry. Seeing those messages, they fucked with me. You should’ve left till I calmed down. If you would’ve fuckin’ left like I said, I wouldn’t have done that,” he apologized in what I thought was a pained voice.

But was really full of annoyance…at me.

That was his whacked reasoning.

That because I didn’t leave, it was acceptable for him to lose his shit on me.

His hand rose to wipe a tear away and I flinched.

Either he caught it and ignored it, or missed it, because he continued on like nothing happened.

“I love you, Anna. You know that. I wouldn’t have acted that way if I didn’t. Do you forgive me? Say you do, Chunks, say that you love me,” he begged, looking at me like he used to.

Before we fought all the time.

Before he started acting…off.

Before I started making myself sick over what was happening to us.

I looked up at him, moved my hand off my throat and up to his cheek, stroking softly.

I made a choice.

One I would regret.

Peering into his eyes, trying to hold on to what I saw, I whispered, “I’m sorry. I love you, too.”

My eyes blinked open and I blew out a breath.

Peeling my fingers away from the death grip I had on my quilt, I rubbed my hands over my face, holding them over my eyes like I could hide from the memory.

I couldn’t believe it was still so vivid.

Realizing I was starting to fall back into an old pattern, I flipped my covers off me and swung my legs over the side of the bed. Swiping my phone from the nightstand to my right, I hit the button to check the time.

7:47 a.m.

I still had a little over twenty minutes before my alarm was set to blast out “Cherry Bomb” by The Runaways.

I didn’t even bother entertaining the thought of getting those extra minutes in.

Sleep was a dear friend, but not right then. Shutting my eyes would just bring back more memories, and that wasn’t something I was looking to make happen.

So, I pushed myself off the bed and went in search of a Diet Pepsi and bagel to start my day.

About Kelsey Jensen

kelsey-jensen-author-picKelsey is a romance hoarder, a Bob Seger groupie, and a die-hard fan of all things leather, fringe, silver, classy, and full of sparkles.

She was never a writer in the normal sense, but she was always a creator of stories. From Barbie’s to The Sims, Kelsey made sure they lived…interesting lives. Summer of ’15, Marcus Mumford’s voice crooning in her ear, a character started to speak to Kelsey and refused to let go. This character put her on a path of following a dream she never even knew she’d had until it came true.

When she’s not lost in the world of Willowbrook and all its inhabitants, exploring a new planet, or finding new places to lose herself in characters, she can be found deep in the world of other authors, trying out her baking skills on her family and friends, learning–then tweaking–new recipes from the Food Network, immersing herself in good music, enjoying the California sunshine with her two fur babies, relaxing and cackling like a loon with the people close to her, or disappearing as she binge-watches seasons in a day on Netflix.

Kelsey’s Links

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