Monday, April 27, 2015

Fracture by Amanda K. Byrne
Publication date: April 21st 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Every nightmare has an end.

There’s no way Nora can ignore the beating. Same heavy boots. Same curses, same pained groans. But that was two years ago, and this a different man, a different part of war-ravaged Sarajevo. This is her second chance. She has to try.

And then she’s stuck with him, nursing him, putting up with him. Declan’s an ass. He’s rude and tactless. He’s arrogant. Dismissive.

Charming. Intense. Caring when she needs it most – and least expects it. He tears away the numbing fog that’s been her constant companion and offers her a way out and a way home.

And it damn near destroys her.

Nora’s survived two years in a war zone. Can Declan show her how to live?

The explosion happens right next to my ears. I’m airborne. There are shadows in front of my eyes, smoke in my nose, a ringing in my ears. A heavy weight presses me to the floor, warm, solid, and immobile. No amount of wriggling and shoving gives me room to move.
“Stop it.” Declan, his breath whispering against my skin. He’s what’s on top of me. We’re on the floor on the opposite side of the bed. Pain glazes his eyes as his arms curve around my head.
Thud. Thud. Thud. My heart’s been replaced by a subwoofer. Fingers curling into the soft wool of his sweater, I breathe in the scent of dish soap. It strikes me as hysterical, that we’ve been showering with dish soap, and the giggles bubble up and over. Tears leak out and become sobs, soaking his sweater.
The absolute certainty we’re going to die isn’t the balm I’d expected it to be.
The floor shakes under me, and Declan shifts, trying to keep me covered. Keep me safe. No one’s held me safe in a while. It’s always been me cowering in the corner farthest from the street, curled into a ball, arms aching with the effort to stop the trembles.
Each rapid patter of gunfire jolts me, hands curled around the wool so my fingers go numb. Fear skitters like bugs under my skin. My face burrows further and further into the crook of his neck. His arms eventually come around to cradle me, one hand at the back of my head, the other arm under my shoulders, and I want to sink into him, let him absorb me, let him hide me from the mayhem outside.
Another explosion, the floor shaking with the impact and it sounds like the door to the bedroom has come off its hinges and fallen on the floor.
The ensuing silence is entirely absent of sound. I’ve always wondered about deafening silence. Never thought I’d get to experience it. When Declan speaks, it’s like being underwater, the words indistinguishable. His hold loosens, slow and careful, the hand at the back of my head falling away.
Then the weight of him is gone.
The rush of air has me scrambling for him again, clinging to his side, whimpering, the whole works. Don’t. Don’t let go. Not yet.
There’s a new hesitation as I try to fuse myself to him, try to bring back the sliver of security I felt with his weight pinning me to the floor. This one was so much worse, this fight, longer and dirtier than the others I’ve been through. The others would send me scurrying for cover but finding there was no structural damage. This time, I’m certain the living room of the flat’s in shambles.
I’d spent a lot of the last two years contemplating my own death. It seemed a fitting thing to do, given I couldn’t re-enter the United States. I couldn’t imagine staying in this hellhole, not after everything I’d gone through. But with my expired visa and my name on a watch list, I’ve effectively been immobilized. I don’t exactly go out looking to get myself killed. I’m just not afraid of dying.
Seems today, at least, I’ve had a change of heart.
“We can’t stay here.”

I nod, clutching at Declan’s sweater like a child. “Don’t let go yet.”


When she’s not plotting ways to sneak her latest shoe purchase past her partner, Amanda writes sexy, snarky romance and urban fantasy. She likes her heroines smart and unafraid to make mistakes, and her heroes strong enough to take them on.

If she’s not writing, she’s reading, drinking hot chocolate, and trying not to destroy her house with her newest DIY project. She lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, and no, it really doesn’t rain that much.

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