We thrilled to help celebrate the paperback release of A TERRIBLE LOVE (Gallery Books; on-sale September 24th, 2013), the sexy and suspenseful New Adult novel from New York Times bestselling author Marata Eros, about an aspiring ballerina struggling to keep her painful past hidden—only to discover she’s not the only one with secrets. Read below for an excerpt, and enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win a print copy of A TERRIBLE LOVE!
We also read and loved A BRUTAL TENDERNESS, the dark and sensual companion e-novel to A TERRIBLE LOVE, which tells the sizzling passion and pulse-pounding suspense through FBI agent Cas Steele’s eyes as he hunts down a psychopath…and falls for the killer’s prey.
A TERRIBLE LOVE:
Jess Mackey is living a meticulously fabricated lie of necessity. She’s left the secret tragedy of her past behind along with who she was and is forging ahead with a clean slate. But Jess soon discovers that passion can’t be left behind—neither her own, nor that of the one man who sees who she really is…and whose unexpected presence may breach the peaceful life Jess has painstakingly created for herself.
Devin Castile didn’t expect to meet a young woman who may be the missing puzzle piece to his existence…and who is also the victim of a heinous crime. Devin convinces himself that he can remain emotionally distant even while indulging his physical desire for her. But when Jess’s lies begin to crumble in the face of their undeniable attraction and the truth is revealed, one of them might pay with their life.
A BRUTAL TENDERNESS:
There are two sides to every story. In this dark and sexy companion novel to the New York Times bestseller A Terrible Love, experience the sizzling passion and pulse-pounding suspense through FBI agent Cas Steele’s eyes as he hunts down a psychopath…and falls for the killer’s prey.
Cas has been charged with an unsavory task: manipulate the hauntingly beautiful Jewell MacLeod—a woman he has every reason to hate—and slowly gain her trust in order to use her as bait to lure in a killer. But as the killer draws closer, Cas realizes that he can’t deny the scorching chemistry that ignites between him and Jewell, even if giving into his physical desire for her means jeopardizing his mission…and opening himself up to the possibility of a real and terrible love…
EXCERPT from A TERRIBLE LOVE
The Seattle Pacific Ballet Company has arrived. This is the audition Carlie tried to bully me into attending a few days ago. Heat suffuses my body in a sickening nauseous wave. I turn to leave and Mitch puts a staying hand gently on my arm. He jerks his jaw toward where a mock stage has been set up. “It’s this way, dancing girl.” He smiles, his teeth very white in his face.
“I can’t do it . . . I’m not signed up,” I say, folding my arms again, the paper with my audition number crinkling underneath the gesture.
His smile widens into a grin as he dips his head to look at a clipboard that just magically appears. Mitch runs a long, tapered finger down the assembled names until he reaches midway. He taps it once and I jump slightly. He lifts his chin, a light dusting of dark stubble sprinkled on the slight cleft that bisects it. “There you are,” he says softly. “Mackey, Jess.”
He sweeps his hand in front of me; I give a death glare to Carlie and my traitor friend winks at me. I can’t not audition without looking like an ass.
My feet are dragging like lead fills my shoes.
Carlie jogs to my side and hands me my ballet slippers. I seethe at her; she smiles sweetly and whispers, “Break a leg.”
I gaze at the stage like it’s the fabled pirate’s plank. My stomach clenches as I move to take my place in line and watch the girl onstage. She’s perfect . . . breathtaking.
The music ends softly and she moves off the stage. The judges whisper and I know immediately who they’ll choose.
It won’t be me.
I think of Faith and what she would have wanted. I think of how I love her still. Of how this dream of Faith’s that I reach my full potential, that I escape the madness of a household ruled by indifferent tyranny and jealousy born of privilege and entitlement come to an end . . . and a new beginning.
Thad can’t reach me here, and this is my way to honor Faith and, in so doing, myself.
Then an extraordinary thing happens. When it is my turn I float up the steps and onto the temporary stage as they put on
Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven.
It’s from before.
The notes breathe through the auditorium, making the fine hairs of my neck stand at attention. The music robs me of thought, forcing my body to execute moves I forgot I knew. My arms sweep, and I pirouette, spinning and snapping my head to find my corner. The soreness from earlier melts away as my body heats with familiarity. As I whip my leg up, my foot is parallel to my head for a fraction of time and then I land softly, only to immediately rise to the balls of my feet as I approach the judges with their riveted stares. The length of the song and its sad ending beg my limbs to undulate in a perfectly timed flutter of classic swan arms. I draw nearer still while keeping my elbows level as my arms float in a wavelike pattern and the balls of my feet propel me forward just as the final piano notes fall.
Then once more their sorrowful notes swell and fill the auditorium in melancholy triumph.
I stop, dipping into a graceful plié, and assume first position. My hands are cupped slightly and I tilt my head, looking off to the right of my position. The utter lack of noise causes me to look at the judges as I relax my shoulders and my hands drop gracefully to my sides.
They have stood and every eye is on me. Including the gray gaze of a certain hunk named Mitch.
When the applause breaks out I don’t know whether to cry or run.
In the end, I stay.
My eyes scan the crowd and notice the one person who does not clap.
A man leans against the back of the cavernous gym auditorium, his black eyes seeming to attack me, and I take an involuntary step backward from the burning intensity of his gaze.
Carlie interrupts the moment, throwing herself at me.
“I knew you could,” she whispers, strangling me in an epic hug that cuts off my airway.
I gently push her away and look for that disconcerting male presence. Hostile.
But he is gone.
Just like he was never there.
Marata Eros (a pseudonym for Tamara Rose Blodgett) is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of dark, romantic new adult novels, including A Terrible Love and its companion novel A Brutal Tenderness. A passionate writer who loves interacting with her readers, Marata lives in South Dakota with her husband.
Print copies are being sent directly from the publisher, so U.S. and Canada only please!