EXCERPT and GIVEAWAY
(Unchecked Book 2)
(Unchecked Book 2)
by Sybil Bartel
Impossible Choice, the second book in the Unchecked series by Sybil Bartel, has just been released. Also available: Impossible Promise (read my blog post).
After her parents were murdered, Layna Blair spent three years on the run - until Marine Sergeant Blaze Johnson stepped in and saved her. With him, Layna knew safety for the first time … but two weeks after shipping out for another tour in Afghanistan, Blaze comes home early.
His intense gaze fixed on mine, he held out his hand but he didn’t say anything.
I slipped my fingers into his and the heat that shot up my arm and spread through me settled in like a low, constant pulse of awareness that made everything inside me tingle. I looked up and was startled to see him frowning. “What’s wrong?”
The crease in his brow went deeper and the seriousness in his eyes twisted like hesitation. “Not one thing.”
His words not matching his expression, he looked distracted, bordering on nervous. But that was impossible. Blaze Johnson didn’t get nervous, ever. “Blaze?”
He brought my hand to his lips and gently kissed me. “My Layna,” he whispered.
My heart melted. “I love you.”
The soft smile that barely touched the corners of his mouth was his only response. A few months ago, the gesture and lack of words would have eaten at me. Tonight? I understood the intimacy. I knew I was seeing a smile that no one else in the world ever saw. I knew the twist of those lips and quiet reverence was a promise of what would come later when we were behind closed doors. I knew his silence meant he was comfortable enough to let his body language speak for him. I knew this because he’d taught me how to pay attention.
Blaze led us to the elevator and we silently waited. When we stepped into the small space, the atmosphere swelled with his presence and the butterflies came swarming back, swirling with a heady tension I’d become addicted to. The memory of his body earlier today over me, in me, it made desire coil hot and urgent in my blood.
Breathless, I cleared my throat. “Where are we going for dinner?”
His thumb slowly dragged across the back of my hand like he knew my every desire-laced thought but when his eyes traveled from my face to my dress. His features became hauntingly stern. “Not far,” the gentle cadence of his voice at odds with his expression.
“Is everything alright?”
The elevator doors slid open but instead of walking out, Blaze turned and cupped my face. His eyebrows drew tight. “I want tonight to be perfect for you. If it’s not what you want, you tell me. Understand?” His expression, his voice, they were so fierce, he looked angry.
The butterflies in my stomach became sharp angles and something close to panic seeped in. “What do you mean?”
“This is your choice, Layna. Remember that.”
Praise for the Book
"I thoroughly enjoyed this book! way more than the first. [...] The truth is this book was hit after hit after hit for these two, and it kept me on my toes, and I really liked it. I think that this a well written glimpse into a few months of their lives, and relationships that make them who they are. I loved having Talon back, I think he is just the sweetest, and we finally learnt his story as well and there was so much to take in with that story, it was unbelievable, but Talon needs a girl, and I hope he gets one soon. Meeting some more of Blaze's friends was also a fun treat, they are all so Marine but so different. I hope that we will get to know what happens with these two in a few months, cause I don't think I'm ready to shelve them just yet." ~ Shanna on Goodreads
From the Author
I grew up in Northern California with my head in a book and my feet in the sand. I dreamt of becoming a painter but the heady scent of libraries with their shelves full of books drew me into the world of storytelling. I love the New Adult genre, but any story about a love so desperately wrong and impossibly beautiful makes me swoon.
I now live in Southern Florida and while I don’t get to read as much as I like, I still bury my toes in the sand. If I’m not writing or fighting to contain the banana plantation in my backyard, you can find me spending time with my handsomely tattooed husband, my brilliantly practical son and a mischievous miniature boxer …
Here are ten things you probably really want to know about me.
I grew up a faculty brat. I can swear like a sailor. I love men in uniform. I hate being told what to do. I can do your taxes (but don’t ask). The Bird Market in Hong Kong freaks me out. My favorite word is desperate … or dirty, or both - I can’t decide. I have a thing for muscle cars. But never reply on me for driving directions, ever. And I have a new book boyfriend every week - don’t tell my husband.
Enter the blitz-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card.