New Release! Check out this excerpt for DAMAGED HEARTS by Monica Murphy!

After all we’ve been through, things are finally good between us. So good, I think I’m falling for Rhett, and I hope he’s falling for me. Once my enemy, he could now be my forever. But I’m still keeping a big secret from him. One that threatens to destroy us…

Jensen has stopped running away from me. She’s realized that we’re actually meant for each other. I need her, and I think she needs me too. Yet there are still secrets between us—will she hate me when she finds out the truth?

All the lies, all the secrets come to an explosive finale in the last book in the Damaged Hearts series!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Excerpt

CHAPTER ONE

Jensen

I’m crying. I don’t know how to tell Rhett what I just saw—who I just saw. Greg, the man who tried to assault me at the club. Walking right into the Montgomery house like he belongs there, like he freaking owns the place.

Rhett’s trying to hold me. Comfort me. But it’s incredibly awkward sitting in his car with the center console in between us. “Diane isn’t worth your tears, babe,” he murmurs. “Trust me.”

He’s so sweet. Too sweet. I don’t deserve him. And every time he calls me babe in that dreamy voice of his, I want to melt. I’ve given up all pretense of trying to resist him. It’s pointless.

Despite my original plan, I like him too damn much. Something I didn’t think was even possible.

“I know, I know. This isn’t about Diane.” I hiccup, but I am beyond caring how I look or what I sound like. I just need to get this out. “I don’t know how to tell you this. It’s just so—freaking weird, and you’re probably not going to believe me.”

“I will believe you, no matter what,” Rhett says fiercely. “Do you understand?” He slips his fingers beneath my chin, tilting my face up so our gazes meet. “You can tell me anything, I swear.”

I rub the tears away with my fingers, then close my eyes. I don’t want to look at him, see all that earnest sincerity shining in his gaze. It’s too much, what I’m going to say. “It is the craziest thing ever.”

“Just spit it out, Jens. What’s going on?”

His growly voice spurs me on, and I do exactly what he demands—I spit it out.

“A man just walked into your father’s house, right when I was walking out. He looked right at me and winked, and I know he recognized me. He had to.” I open my eyes, a shudder moving through me. “I know him, Rhett.”

A shadow passes over his face, and I wonder if he knows who I’m talking about. Did he see him? Did he speak to him? God, does he know him too?

“Who is he to you?” he asks.

“You’re never going to believe me.” I keep repeating myself, but I can’t help it. I’m having a hard time coping with this.

“I already said I would. Tell me, Jensen.” The words come out sharp. I’m testing his patience. I can’t blame him for snapping at me.

“He’s the one—the one who attacked me that night at City Lights.” I blink up at him, trying to keep the fear out of my voice, but it’s no use. I’m terrified, and shaking. “He’s Greg, Rhett. The man who tried to rape me just walked into your father’s house.”

Rhett’s arms fall away from me, his mouth open in shock. He’s quiet, as if he needs to absorb what I just said, and I wait anxiously for him to say something. Anything.

Within seconds, he’s speaking, but it’s felt like minutes. Hours. “What did you just say?”

“The man who entered your father’s house a few minutes ago. He’s the same one who paid for extra services from me at the club. Remember how I told you that story?” I’m about to explain further, but he cuts me off.

“Of course I remember,” he practically growls. “Are you—sure that’s the same man?”

“I’m positive. I will never forget his face,” I say solemnly. Or his voice or his hands, or the way he looked at me, or the things he said…

I take a deep breath, shivering as I watch Rhett. How he winces and slowly shakes his head. “Do you know who I’m talking about?” I ask.

He says nothing. Just rubs his jaw, his fingers brushing against the stubble and making a rasping noise in the otherwise quiet confines of the car.

“Rhett.” When I say his name, his tortured gaze meets mine. “Please. Do you know who he is?”

His lips go thin and he offers a curt shake of his head before averting his gaze from mine. “No. I didn’t see him.”

He’s lying.

The thought runs through my mind, unbidden. No. I can’t believe Rhett would lie to me.

But you lie to him. All the time. Every day, every minute you spend with him, it’s fake. You’re living a lie.

Now I’m the one averting my gaze, staring out the passenger side window. The Montgomery mansion looms ahead of us, every window lit, magnificently impressive in the darkness.

Intimidating. Just like the entire family is.

Well, with the exception of Addie. I adore her. I shouldn’t. She’s the enemy too, but how can I blame a sweet seventeen-year-old for my mother’s sins?

“Hey.” I turn to look at Rhett when he finally speaks again. “I’m going inside, see if I can find him.”

“No,” I say vehemently. “I don’t want you to confront him. He’s not worth it.”

I don’t understand the panic rising within me. What do I care if Rhett does this? He’s a big boy. He can take care of himself.

But what if Greg is—dangerous? What if he tries to hurt Rhett? Or me?

“I’m going in.” He reaches for the door handle, then turns to study me. “Lock the door when I leave. The car key is right there.” He points at the center console. “If something happens, leave. Just…you know how to drive my car. Get out of here.”

I’m shocked silent, blown away by his offer. He’s rushing to my defense. He’s going to find and confront Greg. And he’s giving me an out too.

Don’t forget you thought he was lying to you only moments ago.

I push the ugly thought out of my head.

“Be careful,” I whisper, reaching out to touch his forearm. “Don’t do anything stupid.”

The look he gives me is grim, his dark eyes unreadable. We stare at each other in silence, the only sound our breathing, and then we’re reaching for each other, our mouths meeting, hands grasping, tongues twisting. We kiss like this for seconds. Minutes. Until finally he breaks the kiss, and without a word, exits the vehicle, slamming the door so hard I jump in my seat when the car rattles.

A shuddery breath escapes me as I hit the button and lock the car doors. I watch Rhett’s tall frame as he makes his way toward the house, pushes open the door, and walks inside.

Now all I can do is wait.

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