Author: Courtney Cole
Series: Beautifully Broken #3
Release Date: November 4, 2014
Genre: Erotic Romance, New Adult
More Info: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon US
Purchase: Barnes & Noble
In the bestselling tradition of J.A. Redmerski and Jessica Sorensen come the next novel in Courtney Cole's New York Times bestselling Beautifully Broken Series...
Sometimes before we fall . . . we fly.
One dark moment was all it took to turn twenty-four-year-old Dominic Kinkaide's world black. On the night of his high school graduation, a single incident changed him forever, and he became a hardened man-famous in the eyes of the world, but tortured inside. Now all he cares about is losing himself in the roles that he plays.
At twenty-three years old, Jacey Vincent doesn't realize how much her father's indifference has affected her. She is proof that sometimes it isn't one specific moment that wrecks a person, but an absence of moments. She tries to find acceptance in the arms of men to fill the void-a plan that has worked just fine for her, until she meets Dominic.
When jaded Dominic and strong-willed Jacey are thrown together, the combination of his secrets and her issues turns their attraction into the perfect storm. It could change their lives for good-if it doesn't tear them both apart . . .
Jacey is standing still in the middle of the room, dressed in her uniform, letting a party guest lick salt off of her forearm for a tequila shot. She’s heavily made up tonight- thick mascara, red lipstick. She smiles up at him with those red lips and a fake smile and as she does, she catches sight of me.
She freezes in shock, although what the fuck? I’m the one living here temporarily. I belong here, she doesn’t.
Suddenly, a guy comes rushing up to me, someone I don’t know. A very drunk someone.
“Dude, can you sign my shirt for my girlfriend? If I take home your autograph, I’ll get laid for a month.”
He grabs at my arm and I shake him off in annoyance.
“Dude. If you were lucky enough to get invited here, then you should know not to approach anyone for autographs.”
I’m not usually so rude to fans. But my mood gets the better of me. The guy stares at me, stunned, and I continue on my way. As I do, I feel Jacey’s gaze.
She pulls her arm away from the guy, sets down her tray of shots, and makes a beeline for me.
I turn my back on her, intent on continuing up the stairs without acknowledging her, but she won’t have it. She grabs my arm, forcing me to look at her.
“ Are you all right?” she demands. “That was pretty harsh.”
I glance down at her, into her brown eyes and find her to be sincerely concerned. I must look seriously rattled if she noticed that something is wrong. She barely knows me. Her fingers are warm on my arm and for a minute, I waver.
She’s warm and soft and concerned. I know what that might turn into.
A wild night that will make me feel better.
Women are all the same, they want to fix what is broken and they’re willing to do anything to accomplish that. I never talk about my past or anything at all about me, but women can still sense that I’m fucked up. What they don’t understand… is that I’m unfixable.
I stare down at her again, shaking my head.
“I’m fine. Don’t worry about it.”
But she looks at me again, really looks at me, her brown eyes probing mine. “I don’t think you are. What happened?”
“Why does it matter to you?” I ask, before I can stop myself.
Because something about her makes me think that it does somehow matter to her and not just because I’m Dominic Kinkaide. Everything I’ve seen of Jacey is wild and untamed… she works for Saffron, pushes cops around, gets dressed in parking lots and lets men lick salt off her body for tequila shots.
Yet at the same time, she seems warm and real. I haven’t forgotten how she shoved her way in between Cris and I and shielded my body with her own. She’s a puzzle.
Jacey looks confused by my question.
“It matters because you’re not some stranger off the street. You look seriously upset. Of course I’m going to ask you if you’re alright. Who wouldn’t?”
Most of the people I know in Hollywood, I think.
But I don’t say it. Instead, I turn my back and start up the stairs again. I don’t fucking answer to her or anyone else.
“Do you need anything?” Jacey’s voice is hesitant behind me. “An ice pack or anything? That bruise on your cheek looks like it still hurts.”
I pause, not looking at her. Instead I remember her bare leg, stretching toward the sky while her tiny uniform shorts slide over it. The mere memory of the way she’d undressed right out in the open sets my pulse to racing.
Yeah, there’s a bunch of things I need, but only one thing that will take my mind off the reason that I need them.
“Yeah, I need something.”
There is a moment of silence between us, then another.
Finally she asks, “And that is?”
I turn back around slowly, looking her up and down until my eyes freeze upon hers and stay there. Hers are dark and sincere, waiting for me to say something. She has no idea what kind of person I am. She has no idea that I’m just a shell, completely empty inside.
If she did, she would run far, far away.
I stare into her eyes as I move closer and she doesn’t look away.
I step back down until we’re on the same step and her back is against the wall. I press against her, close enough that my rigid dick digs into her hip.
With my mouth mere centimeters from her ear, I say, “You. Spread-eagled and tied up on my bed. That would do for a start.”
24-year old Pax Tate is an asshole.
He’s a tattooed, rock-hard bad-boy with a bad attitude to match.
But he’s got his reasons.
His mother died when Pax was seven, leaving a hole in his heart filled with guilt although he doesn’t understand why. What he does know is that he and his dad are left alone and with more issues than they can count.
As Pax grew up, he tried to be the kid his father always wanted; the perfect golden boy, but it didn’t work. His dad couldn’t overcome his grief long enough to notice and Pax couldn’t keep up the impossible perfect façade.
So he slipped far, far from it.
Now, he uses drugs and women to cope with the ugliness, the black void that he doesn’t want to deal with. If he pretends that the emptiness isn’t there, then it isn’t, right?
And it’s never more apparent than when he meets Mila.
Sweet, beautiful Mila Hill is the fresh air to his hardened frown, the beauty to his ugly heart. He doesn’t know how to not hurt her, but he quickly realizes that he’s got to figure it out because he needs her to breathe.
When memories of his mother’s death resurface from where he’s repressed them for so long, Mila is there to catch him when the guilt starts making sense. Mila is the one…the one who can save him from his broken troubled heart; from his issues, from the emptiness.
But only if he can stop being an asshole long enough to allow it.
He knows that. And he’s working on it.
But is that enough to make her stay?
26-year old Gabriel Vincent is a badass hero. Or he used to be, anyway. As an ex-Army Ranger, Gabe never thought he needed anyone. But after one horrible night in Afghanistan scars him in a way that he can’t get past, he needs someone who can help him heal…even if he doesn’t realize it.
25-year old Madison Hill doesn’t need anybody…or so she thinks. She grew up watching her parents’ messed-up abusive relationship and she knows there’s no way in hell that she’s ever letting that happen to her.
They don’t know it in the beginning, but Gabriel and Madison will soon develop a weakness: Each other.
But Gabriel’s got a secret, a hidden monster that he’s afraid Maddy could never overcome… And Maddy’s got issues that she’s afraid Gabe will never understand. They quickly realize that they need each other to be whole, but at the same time they know that they’ve got demons to fight.
And the problem with demons is that they never die quietly.
Dominic Kinkaide does bad, bad things.
As a 24-year old actor with the world on a string, not many women tell Dominic no. In a life where no doesn’t exist, he stretches the boundaries between what is right, what is wrong and what is downright depraved. Dark and damaged, Dom wants no commitments.
He wants no attachments.
He only wants to disappear into the taboo, into a place where he feels something.
But when the aching need to disappear into the darkness is the only thing he has left, Dominic flounders. In a world that is hollow and sexual, without a guiding light or a reason to breathe, Dominic is lost and broken. He knows he’ll never be fixed. So he makes a decision.
If he’s going to hell, he might as well make it worth it.
UNTIL WE BURN is a novella (book 2.5 in the Beautifully Broken series) intended to introduce Dominic Kinkaide, to enhance the reading experience of BEFORE WE FALL (Book 3). Please note that because Dom’s lifestyle is wild, this novella contains graphic content and adult material.
Ex-Army Ranger, Brand Killien, has always been good.
A good friend, a good soldier, a good everything. .
The problem is, good hasn’t gotten him anything but a crushed heart.
So after licking his wounds, he decides to move on. And moving on doesn’t include being good anymore.
Bad sounds so much better.
Jaded and detached, Brand is determined to never open himself up to anyone again. It’s not worth the pain. Instead, he becomes closed, hardened, aloof.
But then he’s called back home for a family emergency… a family that he is estranged from. A family that he put out of his mind a long time ago for very good reasons…reasons that involve secrets and pain. Reasons he tried hard to forget.
But home is where the heart is, and it just might be where Brand finds his again.
Why? Because home is where Nora Greene is. A fiery, red-headed spitfire, Nora is a thing from his past. A beautiful, feisty thing. When Brand left, she was away at boarding school.
But she’s back now.
And she wants Brand, scars and all.