You want to know my secrets? What lies beneath the pretty? The scars I can’t let anyone see? The scars tied to my secrets?
On the outside I appear normal. Some might even say perfect.
They say that I’m a pretty girl. They say I should be happy. They say that I have nothing to be angry about. That I’m popular. A cheerleader. That I’m perfect.
Perfect. Perfect. Perfect.
But all they see is what’s on the outside.
On the inside I’m raw, open, bleeding. Scars that can’t seem to heal the wounds.
Carrying dark secrets about who I really am.
How afraid I am to tell the truth.
And it’s slowly killing me.
Tattoos. Piercing. Scars. The guy who can’t speak.
Gothic freak. Mute. Punk. I’ve heard it all.
They say that I’m probably dangerous. They say people should stay away from me.
They say. They say. They say.
But who are they anyway?
To decide what I am.
They don’t know what’s hidden beneath the scars. Beneath the piercings and tattoos.
The secrets I keep hidden beneath the silence.
Maybe if they knew, they wouldn’t fear me so much.
Then again, maybe they’d fear me more.
I am a huge fan of the Coincidence Series from Jessica Sorensen and was thrilled when she announced a spin off series. Ryler appears briefly in Luke and Violet’s books. He is a mysterious character, and I could not wait to discover his complete story. While I highly recommend Coincidence, you do not have to read them in order to enjoy this new one. There is enough of a recap and you do not miss any vital background information about Ryler and his background.
I was hooked on this book from the first sentence. We are introduced to Emery and right away thrown into her complex facade. She is beautiful on the outside and appears to have the perfect life, however she is enduring her own personal hell. I wanted desperately to know her secrets. There are several revealed throughout the book and others that are yet to be revealed. My heart hurt for her; she is tortured and hurt by those who are supposed to love and care for her best.
Madness is my life, the only aspect of living I’ve ever known.
Like Emery, Ryler suffers from a dark and painful past. Perhaps that is why they are so drawn to each other. Both are hiding so many secrets from themselves and one another. They share an immediate connection, and I wanted desperately for them to reach out and confide in one another. True to her style, Jessica Sorenson drops several bombshells for both parties. One twist I saw coming and the other I had no idea. I loved being surprised, and certainly was after the final chapter.
“Open your eyes. The world is only what we believe it is.”
Any fan of Jessica has to come to expect huge, gut wrenching cliffhangers; it is her specialty. This book is no exception. I was defintely left with my mouth gaping and heart breaking. My only complaint with this book was that it stops too soon. The storyline was just getting really complex, and then it ends. I would have preferred it to be combined with the second book, in one complete story. However, I can’t wait to see what happens next Ember and Ryler! ~ Rebecca
“How long have you lived here?” I recline against the railing of the stairway and wrap my arms around myself as the cool air nips at my skin.
He rubs his jawline with one hand while the other spells away, “A couple of months. It’s been an interesting change to go from Sin City to here.”
“Sin City?” Strands of my hair fall into my face as I angle my head to the side in confusion. “What’s that?”
“It’s a nickname for Vegas.”
“Why is it called that?”
A pucker forms at his brows as he brings his finger to his mouth and traces it back and forth across his bottom lip and over his lip ring. I’m absolutely mesmerized by the movement, drawn in by it to the point where I actually contemplate kissing him. I’ve never just planted one on a guy before; Evan was in total control of the relationship.
Ryler moves his hand away from his lip and bites on his lip ring. “Because it’s a city with sins tempting people at every corner—gambling, booze, sex.”
About a year ago, I lost my virginity to Evan, but standing here, watching Ryler sign sex while sucking on his lip ring, makes me feel like a virgin again.
“Oh,” is all I manage to get out of my mouth.
I only breathe normally again when he releases the metal from his teeth and drops his cigarette to the ground.
“So, about the party.” He gestures at the door. “Do you want to come in for a while? They’re playing cards and there are drinks and snacks and stuff. Plus, your papers are in there.” His lips quirk to a half grin and my stomach somersaults.
Do I want to come in?
Boy, do I want.
Even through the fear, I want to go through that door.
More than I’ve ever wanted to do anything in my entire life.
In the back of my mind, I hear the voices of my mother, father, and Evan whispering that what I’m about to do is wrong. I’m not being who I’m supposed to be. I’m being all wrong, imperfect. I’m surrounding myself with unbeautiful people, according to their standards.
I smile the biggest smile that’s ever graced my lips, even though I’m terrified out of my mind. “A party sounds fun. I’ve never actually been to one.”
“You seriously are sheltered, Emery.” He reaches for the doorknob but pauses. “I can help you change that.” He winks at me.
The disapproving voices in my head continue to chant as I follow him inside and into the unknown. But the music swallows them up as soon as I step over the threshold. Everything in my mind quiets the moment I step into the room. Everything is still for the first time in my life without taking the medication.
The New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Jessica Sorensen, lives in the snowy mountains of Wyoming. When she’s not writing, she spends her time reading and hanging out with her family.
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