ELECT by Rachel Van Dyken (; Forever Trade Paperback, $12.00)
Would you die for the one you love?
Nixon Abandonato made his choice. And now he has to pay the price. Tracey is the love of his life, but being with him has made her a target of his family's enemies. The only way to keep Trace alive is convince the world she means nothing to him.
Trace Rooks has fallen irrevocably in love with the son of her family's sworn rival, and she knows in her bones nothing can tear them apart. Until Nix suddenly pushes her away and into the arms of his best friend... But Trace isn't ready to give up on a future with Nix--and if he won't fight for them, she will.
In the end, a sacrifice must be made. A life for a life. For what better way to cover a multitude of sins than with the blood of a sinner . . .
“Trace, we can’t be seen together right now.”
She jerked her hands away from mine and glared. “Oh no you don’t, Nixon Anthony Abandonato!”
Wasn’t expecting that. I laughed without really thinking, and then she slapped me across the face. It stung like hell. “What was that for?”
“You aren’t leaving me!”
“Did I say I was?” Although my cheek was throbbing I couldn’t help but keep laughing at her response. And this was why I would never walk away. Who would walk away from such a little pistol?
“Oh.” Trace tugged her lower lip between her teeth and sheepishly looked up at my cheek. “You should probably put some ice on that.” I winced as she touched my cheek.
Covering her hand with mine, I winked. “Yeah, well, I’ve had worse. Promise.”
Her eyes welled with tears, but to her credit she kept them all in. If anything I fell in love with her a little bit more. Her strength was so damn sexy, I couldn’t even put into words what she did to me.
I kissed her softly and sighed against her still chocolate-tasting mouth. “Sweetheart, Chase was . . . well, today he was gifted with a stroke of brilliance. The head of the Nicolosi family talked with us this evening, and he had Phoenix with him.”
I quickly explained to her what had happened, leaving out all the violence, guns, and threats. So basically I censored everything and then dropped the bomb. “You and Chase need to pretend to be together. People will be watching you, they’ll be following you.”
Tracey swallowed and licked her lips. “And you’ll what? Pretend you hate me again?”
“Hell no!” I snapped, grabbing her ass and lifting her until her body was firmly pressed against mine midair. “I’ll just be the friend. Basically, Chase and I are switching parts. He gets to play the boyfriend, I get to play the jackass.”
That earned an eye roll and a laugh from her. I dropped her to the ground and kissed her nose. “If they find out how much you mean to me, they’ll use that against our family and against your grandfather.”
She was silent for a moment. Her hands traced circles around the tattoo peeking out from underneath my white t‑shirt. The writing was in Sicilian, but it said, “Every Saint has a past, every sinner has a future.” I had always wondered which I was. The saint or the sinner?
It was Trace’s favorite tattoo, even though I had several down my left arm and a few on my stomach and back. Her favorite had always been that one, on the left side of my chest. She said it gave her comfort. I guess she was using it for comfort right now.
“Okay,” she whispered, “I’ll do it.”
I was waiting to feel relieved, but all I felt was tense. My muscles literally tightened underneath her touch the minute the word “okay” had fallen from her perfectly pouted lips.
“I’m going to apologize in advance, though.” Tracey sniffed as a tear ran down her cheek.
“Why are you apologizing?”
Her eyes met mine. “Because I’m going to break your heart.”
About the author:
Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary romances. When she's not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor. She keeps her home in Idaho with her Husband and their snoring Boxer, Sir Winston Churchill. She loves to hear from readers! You can follow her writing journey at www.rachelvandyken.com
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