“I don’t want you to keep all this anger inside, Willow. It isn’t healthy, it’s… poison. You’ll never feel better that way.”
Offering a watery smile, she said, “I feel better right now. Maybe we should keep meeting and I can beat you up every night.”
Cracking a smile, he replied, “I think therapy might be healthier—for both of us.”
She nodded, trying to wipe at the tears on her face with the shoulder of her dress, since she still had her arms wrapped around him.
Without thought, he reached down and brushed her tears away with the pad of his thumb.
The way she looked up at him when he did, all beautiful and vulnerable, her lips slightly parted, her face tilted up, basked in the moonlight… he realized he had made a mistake. The stirring in his groin and his slow realization that she was pressed up against his body, with only a thin layer of fabric between them verified it.
Her tongue peeked out, wetting her bottom lip, and he barely stifled a groan. He needed to let go. Loosen his grip, step back… hope like hell that his growing arousal wasn’t plainly visible.
For a split second, the wicked possibility of not letting her go crossed his mind as his gaze swept over her plump lips, her soft skin, the look in her eyes, the awareness of her breasts pressed up against his chest….
Before he had something else to regret, Ethan released her and took a step back.
So many different emotions overflowed while reading these novels. Horror for the loss of innocence in such a brutal fashion. Compassion for a scared, traumatized young woman trying to feel an impossible normal again. Shame for the man who had choices, even if none of them were ideal. Confusion when I then became torn on whether or not I was starting to like this man. Unsure why it seemed okay that the man became the security, the safe place, for the scared young woman.
Throughout both of these stories, I warred with myself, liking and disliking this man who makes so many poor choices. The killer is….he really is a good guy and really does have good intentions. I fought with myself over whether or not I approved of the choices the scared, traumatized young woman was making. But that is what makes this a phenomenal read. The author’s writing style captivates, makes sure you’re unable to put it down, even if you are silently screaming at the characters!
Can love survive all the obstacles threatening to suffocate it? Is it even possible to achieve a happy ending when it starts in the worst way possible?
About The Author:
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Sam Mariano has been writing stories for as long as she can remember. She lives in Ohio and has a sweet and wonderful daughter.
Because of You was her first finished story (she started writing it when she was 18) and due to a full-time work and college schedule, it took her years to finish. She has also been telling people for years that there would never be a sequel (sorry, guys!)…which turned out to be a lie.
Sam Mariano is currently working on the sequels to Irreparable Damage and Because of You.
Feel free to find her on Facebook, Goodreads, or her blog—she loves hearing from readers!