17-year-old Becca spent her whole life protecting her brother from, well, everything. The abandonment of their father, the so called ‘experts’ who insist that voices in his head are unnatural and must be dealt with, and the constant threat of being taken away to some hospital and studied like an animal. When two representatives appear claiming to have the answers to Ryland’s perceived problem, Becca doesn’t buy it for one second. That is until they seem to know things about Ryland and about Becca and Ryland’s family, that forces Becca to concede that there may be more to these people than meets the eye. Though still highly skeptical, Becca agrees to do what’s best for Ryland.
What they find at St. Brigid’s is a world beyond their imagination. Little by little they piece together the information of their family’s heritage, their estranged Father, and the legend of the Holder race that decrees Ryland is the one they’ve been waiting for. However, they are all–especially Becca–in for a surprise that will change what they thought they knew about themselves and their kind.
She meets Alex, a Holder who is fiercely loyal to their race, and for some reason, Becca and Ryland. There’s an attraction between Becca and Alex that can’t be denied, but her true nature seems destined to keep them apart. However, certain destinies may not be as clear cut as everyone has always believed them to be.
Becca is lost, but found at the same time. Can she bring herself to leave Ryland now that he’s settled and can clearly see his future? Will she be able to put the the feelings she has for Alex aside and head back to the US? And can Becca and Ryland ever forgive their father for what he’s done?
I didn’t mean to gawk, or blush, or get a goofy grin on my face, but as he stood there just inside the archway of the alcove I’m pretty sure I did all three. Though in my defence, I couldn’t help it – he looked amazing. I’d never thought of Alex as “hot,” or “gorgeous,” or any of the other terms that a lot of girls my age used to describe a good looking guy. That isn’t to say that Alex wasn’t any of those things, or that I didn’t find him attractive, as I did. Very much so, in fact. His dark blonde hair was always styled, he dressed very well, and his eyes – which had always been my favourite feature – were the most amazingly clear shade of storm cloud blue you could imagine. The thing was that the specifics of his appearance weren’t usually what came to mind when I thought about him. He was Alex. It had never mattered what he looked like.
And while it still didn’t matter, I was not about to pretend like I didn’t notice. He was wearing a black tux like Jocelyn, but instead of the white shirt and black tie, Alex’s tie and shirt were black, and he also had a charcoal gray vest on under his jacket. His cuffs were French, his shoes shone as though they were new, and across his chest lay the same green sash Jocelyn was wearing.
Not going to lie, there was definitely a flush rising up my neck….
Though red as I was, oddly enough, Alex’s didn’t blush at all. I’d have thought with me ogling him the way I was, that his ears would be ablaze, but then again, he seemed far too preoccupied to notice the way I was looking at him. Preoccupied… looking at me. His eyes clung to me like condensation on a glass, with an expression that seemed to hover between anger and fear – though deep down I knew it was neither. Still, I couldn’t help but feel self-conscious.
Why didn’t he say anything? Was he upset? Did he not like the dress? Was something wrong?
I took a breath to speak, but before I could find my voice he was coming straight toward me. He didn’t look around, didn’t check the hall, or so much as shift his eyes away from mine as he crossed the small alcove in three strides, took my face in his hands, and kissed me.
And dear God… what a kiss…
His mouth moved against mine with more passion than I’d ever felt from him before. His right hand slid up into my hair and gently but firmly held my mouth to his, while his left dropped to my waist and pulled me tightly against him. His fervour poured over me like boiling water over ice, melting me down to my core. I had no idea what had come over him, but whatever it was, it was hot, it was intense, and if he wasn’t careful, it was going to bring me to my knees.
But what hit me the hardest wasn’t his sudden hunger or intensity, but the hint of something deeper, driving like an undercurrent beneath his passion. It was something I’d never seen from him before, but unmistakable all the same.
Alex had never been a dominant or outspoken person in general, but conscious or not, something in him was definitely sending a message: “She is mine.” It may have only been implied, but it was definitely there, and the very idea sent a tingling shiver across my skin as I gripped the lapels of his jacket with a throaty sigh. The message was raw, it was primal, and above all else, it was true: I was his. And he was mine. The fact that we had to hide it around these people didn’t make it any less valid. We belonged to one another.
A few short seconds later he pulled back with a husky breath, resting his forehead against mine for a moment before releasing me and stepping back slowly, his eyes glowing. He hadn’t said a word – he hadn’t needed to. I smiled, hoping he saw the “I love you” in my eyes. His answering smile told me he did.
Julianna was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and spent the majority of her educational career convinced she would be a musician. However, after receiving her music degree from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, she realized that she’d been born in the wrong era for her dreams of singing jazz to adoring fans clad in zoot-suits and flapper dresses to come true, and began to wonder if her true calling might be elsewhere.
While Julianna had always excelled in writing throughout school, she’d never considered it a career possibility until about three years ago, when she’d gotten her first story idea and decided to go for it. She grabbed her laptop, started typing away, and has never looked back.Author Links: