Hope and Country by Emmanuelle Snow
Carter Hills Band
Romance / New Adult
USA Today and International bestselling author Emmanuelle Snow brings a love story that will tug your heartstrings and keep you on the edge of your seat.
In my world, darkness has a name.
I’ve seen darkness. And looked straight into his eyes.
I’ve lived through darkness. Since I was a little girl.
Violence is my reality. My normal.
His father hit him. Now he hits me. For no reason other than a way to cope with stress. At least that’s the excuse he uses after he teaches me one of his, what he calls it, life lessons.
Now that he has left me for dead, I need to run away. To put as much distance between us as possible. Because this time, even with his powerful connections, he won’t find me. I’ll make sure of it.
My safe haven has a face. And even a name. But he has no idea I’m coming. That I need his help. And the safety he can provide for me. We met before. Once. Then I vanished into the night without saying goodbye.
A year has gone by since. Will he remember me? Will be a safe place to heal my wounds? Or did I dream the connection we shared that one night on the rooftop bar amongst his wealthy friends?
I’ll wait for him. Because I have nowhere else to go, alone, afraid, and scarred, praying this time, darkness won’t have a foothold on me.
Can I finally let the seeds of hope he planted into my heart that night grow, or should I keep running for my life?
I faltered out of the cab toward the front porch but dropped my keys before climbing the three steps. In the dark night, my navy-blue craftsman house with stoned columns and white trims looked almost haunted. I scratched the side of my head. Why were the lights out? I had a timer installed when I moved in six years ago. The lights on the front porch turned on at sunset and turned off in the morning. Every single day. No exception.
Not tonight, though.
Was there a blackout?
I spun on my heels and scanned the street. Every other house had lights on.
I scratched the side of my head once more.
This was a mystery I’d solve another day. Now all I craved was a hot shower and a comfy bed to forget my week.
I blinked, but my eyes refused to adjust to the darkness. Damn it. I bent down to scramble for my keys. With my hand clamping the banister in a death grip, I barely made it up the stairs and promptly tripped over something, falling to my knees.
Had I received a package and they’d just set it down right in the middle of my way?
In the dark, I saw nothing.
Damn these lights.
It took my brain a long minute to process the scene and remember the phone in my jacket. With heavy fingers, I turned the flashlight mode on.
My breath caught in my lungs. My heart jackhammered in my chest. I didn’t scream because no sound came out of my paralyzed vocal cords. What the—? Was it a—?
It was a fucking body.
I brought the light beam closer to what looked like a corpse. Was this person dead? My stomach leaped in my throat. Acid filled my mouth. Don’t throw up, man. Think. Inhale. Exhale. Why would there be a dead body on my front porch? This made no sense. I held my breath, scared the scent of death would penetrate my nose and haunt me forever. I hovered the light over the still body. By the width of the hips and the slim legs, it was either a tall child or a woman.
Frozen, on all fours, I pondered my options.
As my fingers hit the nine, the one, and the one a second time, a voice, soft and low, broke the silence. I startled and fell back on my ass.
“Riley— Are you Riley?” A woman. The voice belonged to a woman. My shoulders slouched forward. Okay, no dead person on my conscience.
I delved into my memories. I knew the voice. I had heard it before. But where? In my state of drunkenness, with alcohol drowning my brain cells, I had a hard time putting a face to the familiar voice.
I cleared my throat. “That’s me. Do we know each other? Should I call the police? Are you hurt? Do you need help?”
The woman moved to the side and pushed herself up to sit beside me. A growl of pain escaped her mouth as she wrapped her shaky arms around herself.
Thousands of questions popped into my head.
I moved closer to catch a sight of her face, trying to avoid blinding her with the light beam.
Gray-blue eyes met mine.
My heart died a thousand death in my chest before jolting back to life and beating in a frenzied rhythm.
USA Today and International Bestselling Author Emmanuelle Snow is a contemporary author of mature YA and New Adult love stories, who gives life to strong characters who’ll fight with all they have to reach their life goals and find their own happiness. She loves her characters to be relatable and realistic.
Emmanuelle is in love with love. Especially complicated, deep, and passionate feelings that make a relationship extraordinary and complex all at the same time.
In her spare time, when she’s not writing or reading, she likes to go on road trips—with her four kids and her own soulmate—watch movies, paint, or do some DIY, always with a cup of green tea in her hand and listening to country music.
She splits her time between beautiful Canada and the small US towns she adores.
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Thank you so much ❤️Mary
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