Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Excerpt and Giveaway All of Me (All of Me #1) by Gina Sorelle

Published: December 8th, 2013


One year after undergoing a unilateral mastectomy, twenty-eight year old ER nurse Stella Ciaramitaro is working on healing all wounds, visible and invisible. And it’s going pretty well. Sure, she has four pain-in-the-butt sisters, an occasionally suicidal dad, and some serious trust issues. And, yes, all dreams of soul mates, mind-blowing sex, and everlasting love have gone the way of her left breast. But overall, she’s hanging in there. Doing just fine, actually.

Or at least she was until HE showed up. 

Nathan Drazek is a hot mess and he knows it. The laundry list of things contributing to his dysfunction includes, but is not limited to: a childhood full of mental and physical abuse, four tours in Afghanistan, and ten years policing one of the toughest beats in East Cleveland. Adding insult to injury, he’s ridiculously straight-laced, beyond aloof, and nearly incapable of interpersonal relationships. But that’s okay, because Nathan isn’t interested in anything more than just getting by. 

Or at least he wasn’t until SHE showed up. 

From the moment Nathan nearly arrests Stella on, sparks fly, limits are tested, and boundaries are shattered. A tenuous, tender friendship quickly evolves into something powerful and passionate they cannot wish away or control. But as they grow closer, new issues arise and old hurts resurface, threatening to destroy their fragile new beginning. 

With everything at stake, Nathan and Stella must ultimately decide which runs deeper: their scars or their love.

Abigail Books Addiction

Nathan squirmed in the chair before settling on the forearms-braced-on-the-knees pose. “What exactly do you need to figure out?”

Stella twirled the drawstring on her sweat pants around and around her ring finger. “Well, your scars, for one thing. The whole foster home thing for another.” She hesitated. “And I know about you living in the old neighborhood. I swear, I didn’t know when we met. I was way too young when that all happened, but, when I mentioned your name, my oldest sister Gigi and my dad remembered.”

Nathan wanted to smash something.

“That was a long time ago, Stella,” he said tightly. “And something I prefer not to think about or discuss. Period.”

“All of it? Or just the C’s part?”

“All of it.”

Stella made a frustrated sound. “Well, that’s not going to work for me, Nathan. I’m sorry, but I need to understand you. And, to do that, I need to know everything about who you are and where you came from.”

“Why? What does that accomplish? I’ve never hashed it out with any other woman and they didn’t seem too broken up about it,” Nathan said. “The past is the past and that’s where it belongs. I am not looking to relive it or explain it or try to fucking analyze it. Not gonna happen.”

“I’m not ‘other women.’” Stella jammed a finger into her chest. “I’m this woman and this woman needs to know! I’m sorry if it’s difficult or annoying or whatever, but you need to talk to me, Nathan!”

Nathan jumped out of his chair and loomed over a now wide-eyed Stella.

“Why? So you can pity me? So you can ‘oooh’ and ‘ahhh’ and cry for the pathetic little fuck-up? No, thanks!”

But instead of cowering beneath him, Stella did her own jumping up.

She stood on the balls of her feet, trying to get as close to in his face as she could. “Who said anything about pity? I have no intentions of pitying you, Nathan. I just want to know you. All of you. And that includes the good, bad, and the ugly. I’ve shared with you, Nathan. Hard stuff. Painful stuff. Stuff that only my sisters know. Stuff that I never planned on sharing with anyone ever again.” Her eyes welled. “I showed you. Everything. The worst part of me. The best part of me, too. I was scared and I wasn’t sure how you were going to react, but I did it because I love you and I want to share everything with you. Because, if you want to be with me, you deserve to have all of me. No lies. Nothing held back.”

Nathan stepped back, stunned. It took him a minute, but he finally found his voice. “You don’t have a ‘worst.’ You have a battle scar and a triumphant story and nothing but good things. Things you should be proud of. You got dumped by a loser who never deserved you to begin with and that sucks, but that is nothing – nothing – compared to my worst. It doesn’t even come close.”

“You think I don’t know that, Nathan? You think I can’t see the pain in your eyes? That I can’t feel your muscles tense up every time I touch you?” Stella gestured toward her bedroom. “That nightmare, Nathan…”

Suddenly, Nathan’s legs didn’t feel strong enough to support him and he sank back into the chair. A shaking hand reached out for the water bottle because his mouth was really dry all-of-a-sudden.

“I’d have to be blind not to notice how you struggle to eat or how you don’t drink alcohol. Or how super sensitive you are to abuse of any kind. I see all of it, Nathan, and it kills me that I don’t know what’s causing you so much pain. Or how to help you.”

“I don’t want your fucking help!” Nathan stood up so fast he knocked her chair backwards. “I don’t want it or need it!”

“I don’t care if you want it or not! You’ve got it! And you will tell me everything, Nathan! I swear to God, I am more stubborn that you are and I will never let it go!”

About the author:
I like nice guys...I always have and I always will. I married one and now I write about them. :)

When I'm not torturing my stoic, stalwart heroes with strong, witty heroines, I enjoy reading, drinking way too much coffee, trying to be the best wife and mom I can be, and procrastinating (especially when it comes to cleaning the house). I am also a part-time student, a lover of history, and hopelessly addicted to Lifetime movies. Do not judge me. :) I also like smiley faces. A lot. :)

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