Author: A. Meredith Walters
Series: Twisted Love #2
Publisher: Gallery Books
Release Date: June 2, 2015
Genre: New Adult
More Info: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon US
Purchase: Barnes & Noble
The sequel to Lead Me Not, this dangerously sexy second installment in the Twisted Love series continues Aubrey and Maxx’s love story, from New York Times bestselling author A. Meredith Walters—who “writes the most beautifully flawed characters that still have you swooning” (Sawyer Bennett, USA TODAY bestselling author of the Off series).
Aubrey Duncan has loved…and lost. Should she follow a heart that’s betrayed her or a head that tells her to let go?
Maxx Demelo’s addiction almost destroyed him. It ruined his life and, most importantly, his relationship with the only girl he ever loved.
He has vowed to become the man Aubrey Duncan deserves. Even if he has to tear himself apart to do it. So he enters rehab, trying to fix the parts of him that are shattered as he longs to be healthy and whole.
Aubrey lost everything because she chose to listen to her heart. Now she has sworn to put herself first, to heal in the only way that she can…far away from Maxx and his demons.
But just as Aubrey is starting over, Maxx is released from rehab and thrust back into her world, determined to prove how much they still need each other. And the chaos that had defined them threatens to unleash once again…
But a heart, no matter how broken, is impossible to ignore.
My phone stopped buzzing and I waited to see if whoever was trying to reach me would leave me a message. I paused by the back entrance to the bar, staring down at my phone, feeling strangely apprehensive. Then it lit up again as the number blazed across the screen. I walked out the back door and into the cool night air, feeling some of the alcohol haze clear.
“Hello?” I said, sounding a little out of breath. There was an endless moment in which no one said anything and I wondered whether I was right and it was a wrong number.
And then the person spoke and I wished like hell I had never picked up the damn phone in the first place. Followed by the inevitable self-loathing for thinking that at all.
“Hey, Aubrey,” Maxx said quietly though I could hear him as clearly as though he were standing next to me.
I didn’t say anything.
I couldn’t say anything.
I wanted to ask him where he was. To demand answers to the questions that had been plaguing me. I wanted to yell at him, demand to know why he was ruining the first night in forever where I was actually feeling normal. A thousand, uncontrollable emotions flashed their way through my mind, flittering in and out before I could figure out what it was I was actually feeling. Though I recognized homicidal rage and bone deep desire mixed up with the rest.
“Are you there?” Maxx asked, sounding small and unsure. I leaned against the wall, needing it to hold me up before I fell.
“I’m here,” I answered. The weight of those words was not lost on me. Nor how much of a lie they really were.
“Oh, well, that’s cool. I thought you might have hung up. Not that I’d blame you,” Maxx said, clearly nervous. We fell into silence like we had so many times before. But there was nothing comfortable about this quiet. The heaviness of unspoken words pulled us both down. What did he want me to say to that? Did he want me to disagree with him? Because that wasn’t going to happen.
I had every right to hang up on him. Just as he had every right to be angry with me. We both had a right to be a twisted, complicated mess of angry, bitter, and hurt feelings. But instead I felt this sad sort of numbness as though all of my emotions had been bled out of me.
I looked around the dingy alleyway behind the bar and thought of how much it looked like the place where Jayme had been found. What a strange time to think about that. But of course I thought about her as I heard Maxx’s voice for the first time in weeks. They had become intricately twined together in my mind. The loss of each merging together until it was hard to differentiate one from the other.
But suddenly I realized that somehow the memory of Jayme’s death had lessened in severity. The unbearable pain had subsided to a throbbing ache.
When had that happened?
“What do you want, Maxx?” was all I could manage to say. I sank to the ground, my head falling back and connecting with the concrete behind me. The sharp bite of gravel underneath my legs clearing the last of the alcohol from my head.
“I just needed to hear your voice. I wanted to know how you were doing. I hoped you’d want to know how I was. I’m in rehab, you know. I decided to check myself in. Just like you wanted me to.” The relief that I felt at his words was violent and almost painful. Maxx was in rehab. Just like I’d wanted for him.
I wanted to cry. I wanted to shout out in jubilation. And I wanted to run far away from the momentary elation his admission brought me. Because while I was glad to find out the reason for his prolonged absence, I was also scared that this inopportune phone call would completely ruin everything.
Lead Me Not (Twisted Love, #1)
Amazon US | B&N | iTunes
In this dangerously sexy novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Find You in the Dark, a straight-laced college student meets a handsome but enigmatic stranger who lures her into an underground club scene, where she finds it difficult to resist temptation
Aubrey Duncan understands loss. She knows what rock bottom looks like, and she is determined to crawl back up to the top after the sudden death of her younger sister. She blames herself for her part in the tragedy, convinced that she could have done something, anything, to help her.
In her effort to gain redemption, Aubrey starts fresh at Longwood University and facilitates an addiction support group, hoping she can support someone else in the way she failed her sister. But what she doesn’t count on is an all-consuming fascination with group member Maxx Demelo, a gorgeous, blond, blue-eyed enigma who hides dark secrets behind a carefully constructed mask. He only reveals what he wants others to see. But Aubrey glimpses another Maxx hidden below the surface—a Maxx who is drowning in his own personal hell.
As Aubrey and Maxx develop an attraction too intense to ignore, he pulls her into the dark underbelly of the city club scene, where she is torn by her desire to save him and an inexplicable urge to join him in his downward spiral. Worst of all, she is beginning to love everything she should run away from—a man who threatens to ignite in her a fire that could burn her alive…
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