(The Game #3)
Publication date: March 27th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Her past is wrought with demons.
His past is full of heartbreak.
Yet he’s the one person that can remind her what it means to live.
Abbi Jenkins never thought she would leave the walls of the mental institution that’s housed her for the last year. Now she has, but that doesn’t mean she’s forgotten everything Pearce put her through.
She knows there’s only one way to deal with the depression that claws at her mind each day, and ballet becomes more than a hobby, a dream. Ballet – and Julliard – becomes a reason to live. Something to hold on for.
Blake Smith left London for one reason and one reason only. Running from the heartbreak of his past was never something he wanted to do, but with constant reminders everywhere he turned, it became his only option. When he arrives in New York City, he vows he’ll keep the promise he made to his sister and get into Juilliard.
But he doesn’t expect to be paired with Abbi in class, the girl whose eyes show a world of pain he’s seen before. Pain he knows too well. As each hour they spend together pulls them closer, Blake can’t fight his need to save her from herself.
Lines blur as their pasts are wrenched into the open, and they have to ask themselves whether they’re too broken to ever to be fixed, or if they’re the healing the other needs.
“Let me go,” she begs. “Please, Blake.”
I shake my head. “No. Not until you talk to me.”
She tries harder to throw me off her. “There’s nothing to talk about!”
“That’s bullshit, and you know it.”
“It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter anymore. None of them matter a single damn bit!”
“It matters to me.”
She stops moving. Her eyes crash into mine as she snaps her head up, and her lips purse. “Well it shouldn’t. It doesn’t matter to me anymore.”
“Then why are you hiding them?”
“Because I hate them!” She finally knocks my hands off and turns, walking a few paces before stopping. “I hate them and everything they are. Everything they mean. Everything they remind me of. I hate them.”
Her voice is thick with tears both falling and unshed and her shoulders rise and fall with each heavy breath she takes. Standing in the middle of this huge studio, she looks tiny. And with her shoulders falling forward, her head hanging and her arms tucked around her, she looks completely and utterly broken.
She looks exactly how my heart feels.
Silence lingers between us. No words are spoken, and I’m waiting for her to say something. Anything. Even if she just tells me to piss off, that’ll do, even if it’s not what I want.
“They remind me of how things were,” she whispers, her voice barely there yet seems to echo off the walls. “They’re everything my life was. Everything I don’t want it to be again. They’re hideous. They’re the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen, and I can’t believe I ever thought what caused them was beautiful. They taint my skin in the worst way, and I’m ashamed of them. If I knew I’d be stuck with them for the rest of my life I would never have done it or I would have cut even deeper.” Her voice trails off at the end.
My stomach rolls. “Don’t say that. Ever.”
I press my chest against her shuddering back, pull her into me, and rest my cheek against the side of her head. My hands take her arm and I ease the material of her leotard up to her elbows. She breathes in sharply and squeezes her eyes shut when I touch my thumb to her wrist.
The scars stretch up the inside of her arm, crossing each other and disappearing under her sleeve. I can barely believe what I’m looking at – each one of them is perfectly healed, some of them barely visible to my eyes. I know we see different things when we look at her arms.
“How many?” I whisper, my voice thick. “How many are there?”
“I don’t know. Hundreds, maybe. Everywhere. They’re everywhere.”
By day, New York Times and USA Today bestselling New Adult author Emma Hart dons a cape and calls herself Super Mum to a terrible two year old and growing bump, due September 2013. By night, she drops the cape, pours a glass of juice and writes books.
She likes to write about magic, kisses and whatever else she can fit into the story. Sarcastic, witty characters are a must. As are hot guys. Emma is currently working too many books to even count - including Playing for Keeps, the companion book to the New York Times and USA Today bestselling novel, The Love Game. She likes to be busy - unless busy involves doing the dishes, but that seems to when all the ideas come to life.
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