Genre: New Adult Romance/Fantasy
Publisher: Eden Ashley
Date of Publication: July 1, 2016
Number of pages: 300
Word Count: 60,000
Cover Artist: Laura Gordon
Daveigh Little is preparing for college, planning to leave behind the tiny hick town she’s spent her entire life in once and for all. But plagued by a trouble at home and school, Daveigh makes a series of bad choices that land her in hot water with a local kingpin. Suddenly, people around her are dying and Daveigh finds herself on the run.
And then there’s Ethan. Fresh out of the academy, Ethan Remington represents the authority Daveigh has come to despise, but she is inexplicably drawn to the handsome rookie of few words. From the first moment she laid eyes on him, Daveigh knew Ethan was different. She just didn’t realize how different. Reasons of his own have led Ethan into the tangle strands of danger with the town of Harpey…but those reasons aren’t nearly as mysterious as Ethan’s origins or the irresistible passion between them.
The rusted chains squeaked in rhythm with the swing’s low arc. Somewhere in the distance, a raven cawed. Leaves fluttered about in a crisp breeze, adding soft whispers to the existing melody. Davey sat and let momentum propel her higher, trying to quell the thunder inside her mind as she thought of how things used to be.
Palmer hadn’t taken her home. Davey would never allow that. Instead, he dropped her off at the old, abandoned home of a dead woman who everyone in town used to love. A trail in the backyard twisted through the woods for about a mile and then ended in Resting Pines, a trailer park containing over a dozen single-wide mobile homes all in desperate need of repair. Every day, just as dark started to fall, Davey abandoned her thoughts and the swing set to take the path to trailer number six.
She hadn’t heard anyone walk up, so when the male voice called out the low greeting, Davey was startled. She turned around, saw the navy blue uniform, and almost bolted. Her eyes narrowed in recognition, but she didn’t relax. “No one’s breaking the law around here,” she said. “You can go away.”
The cop kept walking toward her. His mirrored aviators hung from his shirt pocket, so this time, Davey could see his eyes. They were a deep grey and reminded her of a sky considering a heavy rain. He was fairly tall. It was easy to see that his uniform hid a well-muscled body, one that probably looked damn hot naked. Had Remington not represented the type of authority Davey loathed, she might have considered him good-looking.
Losing interest, she turned in the swing. The cop was unwelcome, so Davey intended to ignore him. If he didn’t take the hint and go, she would. It was getting close to dark anyway.
Again, his voice broke through her thoughts. “What is a creeper?”
Davey started to spin around until she realized Remington was already in front of her. “Dude, what’s your problem?”
“As of right now, all systems are functioning normally.”
“You sound like a freaking robot.”
Laughing easily, Remington crouched down. It put him below eye-level, since she was still sitting in the swing. “Sorry.” He ran a hand through a high-fade of thick, dark brown hair. “I’m straight out of officer training. Before that it was military school. I may seem a bit stiff at times.”
Davey nodded slowly. “You’re a rookie.”
“Great.” She pasted an unfriendly smile onto her face. “That’s exactly what this town needs.”
“I sense you are being sarcastic.”
“Wow. You’re probably going to make detective soon.”
For a moment, his brow creased in confusion. Then Remington looked away. Davey regretted making fun of him. He really didn’t seem like a bad guy. “Look,” she said, “it’s nothing personal. Today has just been kind of tough. That’s all.”
“Today has been rough for me as well. The department likes to have fun with the new kids.”
Glancing at the sky, Davey stood up. It was time to go. Officer Remington got to his feet as well. His grey eyes held her in place. “I didn’t mean to disturb you.”
She studied him for a long time. “A creeper is someone who does weird stuff like watch people sleep or bring up crazy stuff normal people wouldn’t talk about.”
He grinned. “Or stares at someone for extended periods of time?”
Maybe Remington wasn’t so clueless. Davey resisted the smile tugging at her mouth. “Yeah,” she replied shortly and started walking toward the trail.
“What’s your name?” he called.
Davey turned but kept walking backward. “If I meet you again, I’ll tell you.”
She had no idea she would see Officer Remington again before the night ended.
Excerpt: The Party
Cooper’s fingers dug into her arm with bruising force, leaving Davey no choice but to defend herself. Punching out with the heel of her free hand, she struck him in the nose. Rearing back in pain, he immediately let go and she struggled to keep her footing. Recovering, Cooper snarled and lunged to retaliate. Davey scrambled but wasn’t fast enough to escape his reach. And then suddenly she didn’t have to. A dark figure stepped into Cooper’s path, and seconds later, Cooper was on the ground bleeding and wearing a dazed look. He wouldn’t be getting up anytime soon.
Deeply shaken, Davey opened her mouth to thank her rescuer, but he had already gone. Swallowed up by the dancing mass of sweaty teenagers.
Davey wanted to be home at once. All she could think of was cuddling with Hogan while reading him a bedtime story before tucking him in. She ran outside, yanking a hoodie over her head to protect against the chill. Gulping in the misty fresh air, she calmed down enough to slow to a stroll and began what would be a long walk home. But there he was. It hadn’t been her imagination. Remington stood on the shadowy road, blocking Davey’s path.
She stopped several yards from his position. A safe distance away, she hoped. “What do you want?”
His reply was so low she could barely make it out. “I needed to be sure.”
Davey’s heart was thudding out of her chest. Had he seen her dealing? “About what?”
“That you were okay.”
“Oh.” She hadn’t expected that. “If you were so worried, why didn’t you stick around?”
“The directive tonight was recon only.” Remington took a step closer. “I think I may have compromised it by causing a scene.”
Weirdo alarm bells ringing at full volume, Davey took two steps back. “I’m sorry saving my ass messed up your mission. Thanks anyway.” Going in the other direction would get her away from him but also make the trek home thirty minutes longer. It really didn’t seem like a bad trade off.
“What did that guy want from you?”
“It’s none of your business.” Davey quickly started walking.
Remington followed. “You could have been hurt.”
“Again, none of your business.” She doubled her stride, but he kept pace effortlessly. Forging ahead for about fifty feet, Davey stopped. “What the hell are you doing?”
“I’m escorting you home.”
Flabbergasted, her mouth opened and shut. “Why?” she finally asked.
Remington watched her for a quiet moment. His features were oddly attractive in the glow of the streetlights. “I swore to serve and protect. It’s my job to keep you safe.”
Unconvinced, she gestured toward the house where the party raged on. “So a cop is going to show up and escort every one of those kids home too?”
She folded her arms. “Then why are you following me?”
Remington shifted. “I don’t know.”
It wasn’t really an answer, but the way he spoke, as well as the manner of his movements, made the words seem true. Plus, Remington hadn’t appeared comfortable admitting them.
“What’s your name?”
“Well, I don’t like cops. Give me something else to call you.”
Davey rolled her eyes. “Like your first name.”
“Oh.” Remington smiled. The expression transformed his features, and she thought he should do it more often. “Ethan.”
“Okay, Ethan. Walk me home.”
Realist, cynic, and hopeless romantic all rolled into one, Eden lives in a small, sunny town in SC where thunderstorms inspire her best ideas. When not daydreaming about her next novel, Eden can be found curled up with a musty old paperback and a cup of coffee...or mired deeply in her next plot to take over the world. She enjoys reading or watching anything with supernatural elements, so writing paranormal and fantasy romance is a natural fit.
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