We’re all born with it. Navigating through life as though power, privilege, and money don’t rule the world. I’m guilty of it. I walked around, ignorantly thinking that the PITCREW, the most popular guys in high school, was where you wanted to be or who you wanted to date. They could have any girl they wanted, but they needed a challenge. They needed something to do to make their miserable existence exciting.
That’s where I came in.
How was I to know that the one night I willingly gave away my innocence would set off a chain of events, turning my world upside down?
Now, ten years later, it’s my turn to use sex, money, and lies to take from them all that they took from me . . . and more.
But the road to retribution has its twists and turns and I don’t want to make the innocent mistake of crashing.
“Am I going to get your name tonight, beautiful?”
“Not interested,” I state, trying not to let the seduction in his voice fool me.
“Not interested? I’ve never heard anyone with that name,” he tries to joke, but I don’t laugh.
This is the kind of shit he uses to pick up women?
“What can I getcha?” Damien asks.
I point at my glass, requesting another drink, and motion towards Casen, “On his tab.”
“Budweiser for me.” Casen tells him before returning his full attention back to me. “If I’m going to buy you a drink, then it’s only fair you tell me your name.” His leg brushes against mine, lifting my skirt and exposing more of my thigh. Goosebumps spread across my skin like wild fire and I will them down.
Stay focused, Em.
My fingers come up to play with my necklace, and I relent, “Embyr.” I pick my gaze up and stare directly into his eyes. I drag them down his body, noticing the long-sleeved, black Henley he’s wearing and faded jeans. His shoes are black, as well, and they look like they hold massive feet. I peek at his hands, seeing exactly what Trinity meant. They are huge.
A moment passes before he says, “Don’t you want to know my name?”
I already know your name. Casen Parker. Fire fighter. Lived with your friends, my other high school bullies, Ian and Reece, up until two months ago, when you all ventured off and got your own places. Homecoming King in high school and graduated with honors in fire science.
But, I don’t say all that.
“Okay, then.” I roll my eyes as if the idea is beneath me. “So, what’s your name?”
He stares for a moment before widening his smile. “Casen.”
His cockiness pulls me in and I can’t bring myself to turn away. His heated tone breaks through my barrier and a flood of emotions take over. Even though it’s been ten years, he still looks the same and I feel a spark of not only hatred but attraction. I didn’t expect that and it makes all of the high school memories come screaming back at me. They consume me. My chest tightens while I feel my face burning. I can’t control the tremble of my hands as I pick up my glass trying to keep this panic attack under control.
I haven’t had one of these since high school.
I take deep breaths, gasping for air, hoping I don’t pass out. It’s not working. The memories continue to suffocate me. I feel constricted.
I can’t fucking breathe.
A gentle touch glides over my back and I jump at the contact. “You okay?” Casen asks concern evident in his voice.
Deep breath in. Deep breath out.
I’m finally able to lift my head and slide off of the stool, grasping my purse to my chest. “Yes. I just…” I stumble. “I need a moment.”
I race to the bathroom, knowing full well I am fucking this up. I’ve managed to screw Patrick and Thad over no problem. So what is so different that, just speaking to Casen twice in the past week, has me turned inside out? The bathroom door slams against the tiled wall when I barge in and lock myself inside. My forehead meets the cold metal of the door as I chastise myself.
Get your shit together, Embyr.
You hate him.
He didn’t stop them.
He repulses you.
I repeat this over and over until I believe what I’m saying. It takes a few minutes, but I gather myself and hold my head up high as I stride back to the bar, shoulders straight, like I didn’t just fall apart in front of my prey. When I turn the corner, I see Casen looking down at his phone typing furiously, and I pray I didn’t lose him. I’ll be pissed if I screwed it all up by letting his good looks and charm suck me in at a vulnerable moment.
About Amy Marie
Amy-Marie was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago and now resides in Virginia Beach with her fantastically crazy husband and two kids.
As an avid reader, she never dreamed of writing her own novel until the characters started haunting her at night and in the shower. Wanting to get it down on paper she set off on the journey that is more than she could have ever dreamed.
When not writing she can be found carting her kids around, breaking up their fights, cleaning up messes, teaching Zumba, or reading.
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Have you ever seen those memes/pics/whatever-you-want-to-call-them where a reader is wondering if the author cries when they kill a character or something like that or if they laugh evilly and do a Mr. Burns "Excellent!" impression instead and okay, I totally added the Mr. Burns part, but you get what I'm saying, right? But even if you haven't, let's just pretend like you have and that you know exactly what I'm talking about because I believe that Ms. Amy Marie belongs in the second, evil-laugh, "Excellent!" Mr. Burns column because she absolutely tortured me the last 80 percent of SEVEN and especially once I got into the 90's. I'm numb and angry and ARGH - I want the next book like now and just AAARRRGGGHHH!
I loved this book, but d*mm, I hated the cliffhanger ending. It's been quite a while since I got a cliffy that drove me crazy and even though I saw that there was no epilogue and that it's only the first book in the Karma series, I still held out hope, I think until the very end, that Embyr and our hero would get their HEA. Sadly, my hope died a slow, painful, tortuous death, but I'm really hoping that they will get their HEA in the next book - arrrgh, it just stinks that I have to wait for it though.
I didn't really care for Embyr in the beginning, but she definitely grew on me the more I got to see of her. And I don't really agree with her revenge mission because Charmed really pounded the whole "two wrongs don't make a right" lesson in my head, but I also couldn't entirely blame her for her actions or at least I could understand where she's coming from. That's a little bit unusual for me because I'm harder on the heroines than the heroes and I love the heroes more, but I have not been as hard on Embyr as I normally might be. I still love the hero more, but I truly did come to care about Embyr and although, it might be hard at first or at times, please give her a chance because Embyr is a good person at heart and I'm confident that she will become someone you can be proud of later.
It's not hard to figure out who the hero is going to be, but since he's not mentioned in the synopsis, I'm not going to say his name. But while I won't tell you his name, I will tell you that I absolutely, positively, completely looooooved him! He sweet and passionate, playful and teasing at times, and he's got that whole alpha-possessive-dominant thing going on that totally suckers me in every time. Seriously, the man is hot and wonderful and highly lovable!
SEVEN took me on a roller coaster ride of ups and downs and twists and turns. It's done everything to my heart from making it melt to breaking it and from making it race to making it feel like it and my breath stopped. SEVEN had me on the edge of my seat, desperate to know more and to get to the end, but also to never wanting to get to the end. This book will make you feel - it is just amazing - and even if cliffhangers a big no no for you, I still think you should get and save it for when the next book is out because it is one story that is worth the read.
~ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Stars