In her effort to gain redemption, Aubrey starts fresh at Longwood University and facilitates an addiction support group, hoping she can support someone else in the way she failed her sister. But what she doesn’t count on is an all-consuming fascination with group member Maxx Demelo, a gorgeous, blond, blue-eyed enigma who hides dark secrets behind a carefully constructed mask. He only reveals what he wants others to see. But Aubrey glimpses another Maxx hidden below the surface—a Maxx who is drowning in his own personal hell.
As Aubrey and Maxx develop an attraction too intense to ignore, he pulls her into the dark underbelly of the city club scene, where she is torn by her desire to save him and an inexplicable urge to join him in his downward spiral. Worst of all, she is beginning to love everything she should run away from—a man who threatens to ignite in her a fire that could burn her alive…
directness and I knew he wasn’t fooled by my attempts at sarcasm and
nonchalance. My uncomfortable attraction to him, that had begun only a
few days before, practically oozed from my pours. It was mortifying
down. For both of our sakes. It wasn’t appropriate. And he was
making me feel…disconcerted.
group is going to be really helpful. I’m sure you’ll get a lot out of
it,” I said lamely, hoping he got the point. It seemed extremely
important to remind us both of who I was and what my role was in his
life. I needed to reinforce where I belonged. I was a counselor in
training. Someone to guide him on a difficult journey.
was hard to decipher. “I hope you’re right,” he said, running a dirty
hand across his face, leaving a smudge along the bridge of his nose.
fist in order to resist the urge to wipe it away. And I knew there was
more than my OCD at work here.
me. Was I reading a subtext that wasn’t there? Or was he
purposefully communicating something that I had yet to figure out?
and I was surprised by the vulnerability that danced across his face.
you’re right,” he said softly and I didn’t know whether the comment was for him
or for me.
him, looking at him closely. He seemed lost in thought and I wondered
what had him so consumed.
curious about him. He made it impossible not to be. He was obviously a
complicated man with a complicated past. I was simultaneously intrigued
and annoyed that I was intrigued.
shouldn’t cross. So why after meeting this man once was that boundary so
hard for me to remember?
mouth, then closed it again. Then he looked at me and I watched as his
face smoothed over and any sign of openness was lost.
A. Meredith spent ten years as a counselor for at risk teens and children. First working at a Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault program and then later a program for children with severe emotional and mental health issues. Her former clients and their stories continue to influence every aspect of her writing.
When not writing (or being tortured with all manner of beauty products at the hand of her very imaginative and extremely girly daughter), she is eating chocolate, watching reality television that could rot your brain and reading a smutty novel or two.
A. Meredith is represented by Michelle Johnson with the Inklings Literary Agency.