Burning Violet, AP Watson

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Not all scars are visible. But even the invisible ones can cut deep enough to permanently mar your soul.

I would know.

My soul has been broken for over half of my life. The ones who should’ve loved me pushed me away. And others who pretended to care for me just caused more damage.

To my family, I was a constant reminder that ripped us apart. To most, I was nothing more than a pretty face. I begun to doubt redemption and respect would ever be possible… until I met him.

He was everything I needed and everything I couldn’t allow myself to want.

But if I couldn’t outrun my past, maybe he could burn it all away.

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You Deserve Better, AP Watson

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As a woman with a past full of heartache, I’d heard the words “you deserve better” more times than I cared to admit.

And while I thought Jacks was my definition of better, his betrayal certainly was not. The idea we’re all destined to find some great love was a reality I wanted to give up on. I had known true happiness, and it was in the arms of Jackson Carmichael.

I was supposed to say I didn’t miss him, but that would have been the biggest lie I’ve ever told.

He’d been my best friend, the one who had understood me, the one who had known my deepest secrets and admired me in spite of them. That kind of love was hard to erase.

I’d tried to move on with someone else, but the memory of what Jacks and I shared always lingered in the back of my mind. When he had asked to reestablish our friendship, I knew better than to agree. But after tragedy struck, the need for friendship and truth destroyed the walls I’d built around my heart. As the time came for me to choose between the man I always wanted and the safety my heart so desperately craved, I was forced to answer the question I’d been avoiding for months:

Are second chances worth the risk?

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I Know Better, AP Watson

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When love gave me more pain than fond memories, I did whatever it took to escape the cycle.

Even if it meant selling my car so I could move from the land of cotton to the Windy City. But when I couldn’t quite figure out the best way to start over, my two best friends devised a plan to force me back into the dating world. The only problem was that men and I mixed just about as well as cheeseburgers and clogged arteries. I was burned too many times, and the scars I carried would last a lifetime.

A blind date and one-night stand with a devilishly handsome bachelor was supposed to revive my confidence after past traumas, but our encounter quickly transformed into something completely different. Instead of making me another notch on his belt, he offered another arrangement — friendship. Because I believed he was way out of my league, I agreed. It should’ve been an easy task, but it seemed like the only thing I was good at was being wrong.

The intense connection we shared was unlike anything I’d ever known. It was just my luck that the only man who had ever treated me with kindness and respect had zero interest in sleeping with me. As my feelings for him deepened past the confines of our friendship, I wanted to believe things between us could change and all my old wounds could heal, but most of the time…

I Know Better.

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