Cover by: Marisa Shor of Cover Me, Darling
Release Date: February 29, 2016
Pre-order from Amazon for only 99 Pennies: http://amzn.to/1Poe8ud
For as long as he could remember, Sebastian had been cursed.
It began with the tragic death of his parents when he inherited the modern art gallery. It continued every day when he looked in the mirror and saw a monster where a man should be. He’d tried everything without success. Then he happened upon her, his cure, the one who could give him a second chance at life, love and happiness. After years of repairing what her father destroyed during his drunken rampages, opening a shop for repurposed and redesigned furniture seemed a natural progression for Marisa. When Sebastian hired her, she finally had a chance to get paid to do what she’d done for years for free. It seemed like a win, until he proposed. The moment they met, Sebastian was drawn to her. Of course, losing everything in thirty days if he didn’t marry was a huge incentive. So he asked and she refused. An experienced negotiator, he never gave up when he had his heart set on something. For Marisa, marriage wasn’t on the table and love wasn’t negotiable. Still, always quick to see the best in others, she looked at him and saw a project, her ultimate redesign. Maybe even Sebastian deserved a second chance.
The mansion had an abandoned feel to it. If it weren’t for the furniture, I’d have doubted anyone lived there. Our shoes echoed on the marble floors given the high ceilings. While I fought an urge to explore the place, I waited for Sebastian’s lead.
“We need to hurry. I want to have the pieces picked before the movers arrive in approximately fifteen minutes. Then we’ll see how much time we have before my uncle returns.” He pointed toward the huge winding staircase. “Is he coming back today?” Suddenly I shivered. “Probably. He never leaves this place unattended for too long.” Sebastian laughed.
“My guess is he feared I’d actually take some of what’s mine.” At the top of the stairs, we took a right and walked down a musty smelling corridor. “Where are we going?” I glanced around at the walls covered in paintings. The place felt like a museum. “My rooms were down here. And the room…” He stopped in the middle of the hall, turned and held my upper arms. “I lost my temper a lot after my parents died. My uncle would goad me and I’d fall for it every time. Please. I need you to understand.”
His brow furrowed. I’d never seen him look so vulnerable. Slowly, I nodded. Of course he worried I’d think he was like my father. “Don’t worry. I get it.” With my reassurance, he released me and we walked solemnly toward a door at the very end of the hall. Opening it, he turned on the light and stared a moment before stepping aside to give me access. “You’ll find what you need in here.”
He head dropped until his chin nearly touched his chest. As soon as I moved into the room, I paused. Everywhere I looked there was broken furniture, including countless broken mirrors. Why would he keep them? There was a desk, a vanity table and stool, several bedroom suites stacked about. There was an old table, a couple of benches, and many doors that seemed to have been ripped from their hinges. I only had two questions. “Did you do all of this?”
Tears formed in my eyes while glanced about. “Yes,” he whispered. “I was sober, of course. Not sure if it makes it better or worse.” “Better.” I nodded and sniffled. Funny how I could understand his hurt and his pain so easily, but my father…I had yet to forgive. Ready to move on, I asked my next question. “What can I take?” Sebastian’s hand swooped to encompass all the contents of the room. “Whatever you want. You earned it. You deserve it.” His shoulders relaxed some. “I think you’re the only person who can fix it.” “Fix the furniture?”
I made a face. “Please. Anyone can fix this.” In two steps, he was in front of me, tilting my chin until our eyes locked. “No. Fix me.” Before I could respond his lips were on mine, not simply kissing, but possessing me. When I opened my mouth to his tongue, I could almost taste his fear, and feel his pain. Then, at the end, there was something else, some spark. Hope.
Sebastian pulled me impossibly close until he very nearly lifted me off my feet. I would’ve let him too. The emotions his kiss had awakened distracted me from everything else, until his phone began to chime insistently. Slowly, he drew back. Then with his forehead pressed against mine, he peeked at his phone, still in his hand. “The movers.” Standing upright, he answered their call and spoke to them while I marveled over the kiss.
“They’ll be here in just a minute. So what would you like?” My eyes never left his face as I responded. “Everything.” I spoke with certainty and willed him to understand. It wasn’t just the furniture I desired.
In Emma Nichols “Second Chances”, the reader will find so many clichés that at first you will think this is not really original or new – but after a few chapters you will notice that the author did a small miracle with all those clichés and managed to create a really sweet and deep story.
I really liked her writing even if there were a few flaws in there that catch my eye … like a business card that is never given away but suddenly is in the hands of the other person – or a person waving with her hands during talking while waiting to get an x-ray because of a possible broken arm.
And maybe the biggest flaw of all that the reader never really gets a more detailed explanation on what it is that makes Sebastian think he is a monster (other than the fact that his uncle is to blame)
But honestly? Even if that might sound bad on any other book with a more flat storyline but in this book there is so much depth that it survives those flaws easily. There is so much from Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella in this book that it almost hurts (in a good way) …
Such a shame I did not read the first book so far
Please enjoy this fairytale in modern design