Review: Brave (A Wicked Saga #3) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Title: Brave
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: A Wicked Saga #3
Rating: 4 stars
Genres: Paranormal Romance/ fantasy
Links:

Blurb:
Ivy Morgan hasn’t been feeling like herself lately. Not like anyone can blame her. After all, being held captive by a psychotic fae prince hell-bent on permanently opening the gates to the Otherworld is bound to leave some mental scars.

It’s more than that, though. Something dark and insidious is spreading throughout Ivy, more powerful than she could ever imagine… and it’s coming between her and the man she’s fallen deeply in love with, elite Order member Ren Owens.

Ren would do anything to keep Ivy safe. Anything. But when he makes a life altering choice for her, the fallout of his act has far reaching consequences that threaten to tear their lives apart. If Ivy is going to have any hope of surviving this, she must put aside the hurt and betrayal she feels, and work with not only those she loves, but with an enemy she would rather kill than ever trust. War is coming, and it soon becomes clear that what Ivy and Ren thought they knew about the Order, themselves, and even their enemies, has been nothing but a cluster of dangerous, deadly lies. Ivy knows she must be more than just brave to save those she loves–and, ultimately, to save herself.

Because behind ever evil fae Prince, there’s a Queen…

My Review:
Brave is the third and final (I think) installment in Jennifer’s Wicked Saga and it was a very fitting ending. I loved the first book in the series, but was a tad disappointed in Torn so I was a little apprehensive starting Brave, but I needn’t have worried. Jennifer isn’t one of my all-time fave authors for nothing.

Ivy isn’t in a great place when we catch up to her, not surprising after the ordeal she suffered at Prince Drake’s hand in the last book. Ren is amazingly patient with her, even if I wanted him to push her a little more to open up. When she finally let him in, it was great to see them gel again as a couple and they presented a united front from that point on, and I loved it! They are so perfect together and the romance was gorgeous and spot on.

Tink is fantabulous again, and his interactions with Prince Fabian were so funny! Don’t even get me started on the trunk full of trolls; I laughed so hard at that scene.

Brave had plenty of the action which I felt was missing from Torn and it was a seamless blend of action-adventure, romance, mystery, and fae politics.

Is it just me or was it left quite open-ended? Don’t get me wrong, we have closure for Ivy and Ren and a potential happy future, but the story of the evil Queen, the crystal, and the portals between realms isn’t resolved indefinitely. I wonder if Jennifer plans to write a spin-off at some point?

Anyway, while this series isn’t at the top of my list of favorite JLA series, it’s still an entertaining read, with great characters, witty banter, swoony romance, and decent world building.

Overall, Brave is a solid conclusion to the Wicked Saga. Fans of this series, and this author, won’t be disapponted.

I received an ARC from the author (thank you so much, Jennifer) and I am voluntarily reviewing same.

Excerpt: Dare to Live (Maxwell #5) by S.B. Alexander


Today I am sharing an excerpt with you from Dare to Live (Maxwell #5) by S.B. Alexander! There also is some information about the book and some teaser images!

Title: Dare to Live
Author: S.B. Alexander
Series: Maxwell #5
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Maybe opposites do attract.

Kody Maxwell’s life has been rooted in grief and death. He tasted love briefly until the girl he loved died suddenly. Determined not to experience that kind of pain again, Kody prefers being alone and writing music. His life goal is to sign with a big-name producer who will take his music to the next level. But lately, he’s been struggling with writer’s block until he encounters a beautiful nurse with the voice of an angel. She brings out feelings he hasn’t experienced in a long time, and that scares the crap out of him. Still, he knows he can’t let her get away. She may have just what he needs to get his juices flowing.

Motorcycle-riding Jessie Ryan loves the thrill of danger and the exhilarating desire for speed. She plays by her own set of rules. But when she discovers she carries the breast cancer gene on the same day she meets the most gorgeous man she’s ever laid eyes on, she isn’t prepared to face what the future may hold.
As Jessie and Kody begin to form a bond, they learn things about each other and themselves they didn’t see coming. Will they dare to live when fear threatens to stop them?

Dare to Live can be read as a stand alone. Intended for adult audiences.

Dare to Live by S.B. Alexander – Excerpt:

Kody Maxwell

My phone rang, startling both of us. Mrs. Shear let go of me as I fumbled for my phone in the pocket of my jeans. By the time I plucked it out, the ringing had stopped.
“I should call my dad back.” My dad hardly called when he was working unless he needed something. Maybe he wanted me to bring him lunch. I could go for something to eat. “It was great to see you.” I hiked my guitar over my shoulder.
Mrs. Shear gave me a quick kiss on the cheek. “Take care of yourself.”
Nodding, I hoofed it back to my truck, tapping my dad’s name on my phone. “What’s up?”
“I need you to get to the hospital.” His voice was sharp, but shaky. “I had to take your mother to the emergency room, and someone needs to sit with Raven.”
My hunger pangs turned to nausea as my heart stopped. “Is Mom okay? What happened?” The cemetery narrowed to a pinpoint.
“I’ll explain when you get here.” The phone went dead.
My dad was always the calm one in the family unless the situation involved my mom. I didn’t blame him. My brothers and I were the same when it came to our mom. She’d been so fragile after Karen had died, and rightfully so. She’d been the one to find her daughter dead on the garage floor.
My guitar bounced on my back as I sprinted the rest of the way to my truck. My mind scrambled, while my insides felt as if someone had taken a knife and carved a hole in my gut.
In a flash, I was driving through the streets of Ashford. Thankfully, the neighborhoods were quiet as I tried not to speed through stop signs. Within ten minutes, I was plowing through the emergency room doors like a bulldozer on steroids, trying to regulate my breathing, which was erratic—and not from running.
The minute I was inside, the scent of cleaning fluid knocked me back a step as I searched the room full of waiting patients. A little boy cried on his mother’s lap. Two people waited in line at the information counter. Doctors sped by with nurses at their sides.

About the Author:
S.B. Alexander is a bestselling romance author. Her books are filled with stories that tug at your heart, and are filled with romance, drama, action and suspense. As much as she loves to write, she also loves to read. Some of her favorite authors growing up were Stephen King and Edgar Allen Poe. She stills enjoy reading Stephen King. In fact, she loves most genres, although in the past three years she has gravitated toward the romance genre, which is when she started her journey to write her first book. Her motto: write what you love to read.

Aside from writing, she’s a huge sports fan, in particular, baseball. Since she hails from New England, she is a diehard Red Sox fan. She’s also a navy veteran and former math teacher, loves white powdered donuts, and handbags. Her husband calls her the bag lady. When she’s not writing, she enjoys playing golf and hanging out with friends and family.

Links:

Review Tour: Dirty Filthy Fix (Fixed #5.5) by Laurelin Paige


Today is my stop during the tour for Dirty Filthy Fix by Laurelin Paige. Read on for my review for this book, an excerpt and some teaser images.

Title: Dirty Filthy Fix
Author: Laurelin Paige
Series: Fixed #5.5
Rating: 4 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
I like sex. Kinky sex. The kinkier the better.

Every day, it’s all I think about as I serve coffee and hand out business agendas to men who have no idea I’m not the prim proper girl they think I am.

With a day job as the secretary to one of New York’s most powerful men, Hudson Pierce, I have to keep my double life quiet. As long as I do, it’s not a problem.

Enter: Nathan Sinclair. Tall, dark and handsome doesn’t come close to describing how hot he is. And that’s with his clothes on. But after a dirty, filthy rendezvous, I accept that if we ever see each other again, he’ll walk right by my desk on his way to see my boss without recognizing me.

Only, that’s not what happens. Not the first time I see him after the party. Or the next time. Or the time after that. And as much as I try to stop it, my two worlds are crashing into each other, putting my job and my reputation at risk.

And all I can think about is Nathan Sinclair.

All I can think about is getting just one more dirty, filthy fix.

My Review:
I am a big fan of Laurelin’s work and she never fails to deliver. Dirty Filthy Fix is where two of her worlds collide – we have Nate from her Dirty series and Trish from her Fixed series. I really enjoyed this short story. It has everything we’ve come to expect from Laurelin – fab writing, hot sexy scenes, and characters we can root for. I usually only enjoy series novellas if they are adding backstory or filing in some pertinent information to relation to subplots. I tend to dislike novellas that tell a couples story as character development is usually lacking, but this one worked, and I’d recommend it as a standalone or as a great addition to either of the aforementioned series’.

Thanks to the publisher and Inkslinger PR for providing an ARC of this book which I am voluntarily reviewing.

Excerpt:

I set down my champagne flute, untouched, and waited, my arms folded across my chest.
But what he said next surprised me. “What kind of life do you envision for yourself? What’s your dream future?” Instead of immediately hounding me about my utter disrespect for the sanctity of marriage, he wanted to listen.
This…was new.
I wasn’t prepared, which sort of pissed me off. Not only because it occurred to me that I could have misjudged Nathan Sinclair, but also because I didn’t exactly have a checklist of plans for myself. I just had things I liked doing that I wanted to continue doing, uninterrupted.
“What is it I want from my life?” I repeated back to him, buying time to think about it.
And then when I did think about it I realized I didn’t need the time. I knew exactly what I wanted. “My own stuff, my own space, steady kinky sex in different locations. Happy? I’m leaving.” I spun on my five-inch heels and walked toward the exit. Irritated.
I didn’t know why I was so worked up, maybe because the whole topic was a sore spot. Maybe because even though he hadn’t given the speech yet, I knew it was coming eventually. I didn’t fit into the traditional world with my viewpoints about happily-ever-afters. I already knew that.
Or, maybe I was worked up because people rarely believed it about me when I told them. They always thought that I was lying to them or lying to myself, but I really didn’t want what society believed I should want in the way they thought I should want it, and I didn’t want to have to argue about it with Nate, because I did truly like him. And I didn’t want to have this conflict. But liking him didn’t mean I wanted to give up who I was just to make him happy.
Instead of talking it to death and arguing my side, it was easier just to go. Get it over with. I could cut the ties now before I liked him even more. Before the string didn’t just tug me back from the clouds, but let all the air out of me, too.
I rushed out into the lobby, assuming he’d let me go, but he followed. And really, that’s what I probably should have expected. He’d already proven he was the kind of guy that chased. Shoe or not, Nate Charming liked his fairytale kink.
And I’d just performed the most cliché move of all for a sexed-up Cinderella—I’d run from the freaking ball.

About the Author:
USA Today and New York Times Bestselling Author Laurelin Paige is a sucker for a good romance and gets giddy anytime there’s kissing, much to the embarrassment of her three daughters. Her husband doesn’t seem to complain, however. When she isn’t reading or writing sexy stories, she’s probably singing, watching Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead, or dreaming of Michael Fassbender. She is represented by Rebecca Friedman.

Links:

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Cover Reveal The Lost Savior and The Secret Heir!

I am so excited to share the awesome covers for The Lost Savior and The Secret Heir with you today. These are book 1 and 2 in my upcoming reverse harem paranormal romance series titled Alinthia. You can sign-up here to be notified when The Lost Savior goes on pre-order! You will also receive an email when it’s released in January.

The Lost SaviorThe Lost Savior (Alinthia #1)
By Siobhan Davis
Genre: Paranormal romance/ Reverse harem
Age category: upper Young Adult / New Adult
Release Date: 31st January 2018

Blurb:
They came from another world to protect her. Now it’s her destiny to save them …

Tori King is a normal senior in high school. Head over heels in love with her childhood sweetheart, she is busy making plans for college when a chance encounter with an alien bounty hunter turns her world upside down. Now, she’s experiencing terrifying changes and developing supernatural abilities that leave her questioning her entire existence.

Then the arrival of four hot new guys at school has everyone talking—especially when they become fixated on Tori, following her wherever she goes. She can’t shake them off, and as they grow closer, she finds herself drawn to all four of them in ways she cannot explain.

When they finally reveal their true identity, and why they’re here for her, she discovers everything she thought she knew about herself is a lie.

Because there is nothing normal about Tori King.

And she’s about to discover exactly how underrated normal is.

This mind-bending paranormal alien reverse harem series is only suitable for readers aged seventeen and older due to language and mature content.

You can find The Lost Savior on Goodreads

Sign up here to be notified when this book goes on pre-order! You will also receive an email when it’s released in March.

Check out the cover for The Secret heir (Alinthia #2)!
The Secret Heir
Add The Secret heir to your to-read list on Goodreads

Do you like reverse harem books? Do these sound like books you would enjoy?

Review: Trickery (Curse of the Gods #1) by Jaymin Eve and Jane Washington

Title: Trickery
Author: Jaymin Eve and Jane Washington
Series: Curse of the Gods #1
Rating: 4.5 stars
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Willa Knight: Dweller. Slave. Non-magical being.

In Minatsol, being a dweller means that you are literally no better than dirt. In fact, dirt might actually be more useful than Willa. Her life will be one of servitude to the sols, the magic-blessed beings who could one day be chosen to become gods.

At least her outer village is far removed from the cities of the sols, and she won’t ever be forced to present herself to them… Until one small mistake changes everything, and Willa is awarded a position to serve at Blesswood, the top sol academy in the world—a position that she definitely did not earn.

Under the sudden, watchful eye of the gods, she will be tasked to serve the Abcurse brothers, five sols built of arrogance, perfection and power. They are almost gods themselves, and under their service she is either going to end up sentenced to death, or else they are going to ruin her so badly that she will wish for it.

Either way, she is in trouble.

This is a full novel, 90,000 words. Book 1 of 5 in the Curse of the Gods Series

My Review:
OMG, this was so funny, and I couldn’t stop laughing while reading. My husband was getting really mad at me because I kept waking him up shaking with laughter. In the end, I had to get out of bed and go downstairs to continue reading because it was virtually impossible to read this book without laughing my ass off. Willa’s one liners and her inner monologue are so witty, so entertaining. I’ll admit it took me a while to get into this book, but once I got past the 25% mark all the things that initially irritated me about Willa were the things that endeared me to her. And those Abcurse brothers are hot! The banter and the sexual tension are sublime and I’m totally invested now. Onto book two now.

Review: The Right Kind of Reckless (Reckless Hearts #2) by Heather Van Fleet

Title: The Right Kind of Reckless
Author: Heather Van Fleet
Series: Reckless Hearts #2
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
I’m in love with a woman I can’t have, and there’s absolutely nothing I can do to stop myself from falling.

The problem? Her brother’s my best friend.

I shouldn’t want her this much. Not when it goes against the bro code. Not when I’ve never been able to commit to a woman for longer than a night.

But one look into her eyes and I’m a mess for her. She’s my everything. And I have to walk away with nothing.

My Review:
Jam packed with humor, heartfelt emotions, and some seriously smoking hot chemistry, I adored every page of this captivating story and read it in less than twenty-four hours.

I adored Reckless Hearts, the first book in this series, and I was already intrigued over Lia and swooning over Max before I even started this one.

Lia is a fantastic leading lady. She has a great, quirky, feisty personality that I love AND she has a heart of gold and a layer of softness underneath the prickly surface.

Maxwell, oh, my. He was a cad in the last book and he did some things at the start of this book I was not impressed with, but it didn’t take much to win my heart. I loved how he changed for her, as if he was just waiting to call her his own before becoming the true version of himself.

Of course, Lia’s brother, Collin, is a real alpha-male and no one’s going to mess with his sister, especially not a player like Max, so you know fireworks are going to detonate once he discovers their secret affair.

This book is about finding yourself, and working hard for your goals, and how powerful and redemptive love can be.

If you enjoy strong, alpha-male protective types, intriguing heroines, and scintillating chemistry that explodes off the page, then you will love this book and this series. Highly Recommended.

I am voluntarily reviewing an ARC of this book as supplied by the publisher via Netgalley.

Review: Wicked Beginnings (Wicked Bay #1) by L.A. Cotton

Wicked BeginningsTitle: Wicked Beginnings
Author: L.A. Cotton
Series: Wicked Bay #1
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
The first book in a brand new YA/NA crossover series from l. a. cotton

When seventeen-year-old Eloise Stone finds herself half way across the world, moving into her Uncle’s pool house, she expects things to be … awkward. She doesn’t expect to come face-to-face with the boy from last summer. The boy that made her feel things she’d never felt before. But a year is a long time, and Lo isn’t the same girl she was then. Besides, they’re family now.

It’s weird.

Maverick Prince acts as if he doesn’t remember her, treating Lo like nothing more than an annoying younger sister, and not in a ‘he cares’ way, just in a ‘he’s an arsehole’ way. One thing‘s for sure, he isn’t just dangerous for her sanity—he’s hazardous for her heart.

Lo thought moving to Wicked Bay was the worst of her problems, but as life begins to unravel around her, she’s going to find out it’s only the beginning…

My Review:
Wicked Beginnings is the first book I’ve read by L.A. Cotton, but it most definitely won’t be the last. This book was an addictive read from the very first page and I devoured it in record time. It contains everything I love in a novel – a plucky heroine we can root for, hot, rich bad boys in abundance, swoon-worthy, angsty romance, witty dialogue, and high-school drama in spades.

Maverick, oh Maverick (furiously fanning face in a feeble attempt to cool down) how my heart beats wildly for you! He is the quintessential misunderstood bad boy constantly denying his feelings, and we’re left wondering why. The push-and pull nature of Lo and Maverick’s relationship was delicious, and the sexual chemistry sizzled across the pages of my Kindle.

The side characters were great too, and I especially liked Kyle and the youngest sister. Character development was great, the pacing was consistent and it flowed smoothly, and the writing was superb. While we are still left with many questions at the end, I don’t consider it a cliffhanger ending. That said, I’m dying for the next installment because I’m in bad need of another Maverick Prince fix.

Highly recommended if you are a fan of angsty, dramatic YA/NA crossover romance.

Release Day The Kyler Collection


I am happy to announce that today is the release day for The Kyler Collection! The Kyler Collection combines the first three books in the Kennedy Boys series in one collectors box set. And the best part? It’s only 99c for a very limited time! I know a lot of my readers borrow the books in this series from Kindle Unlimited, so I wanted to give you an opportunity to buy some of the books so you have access to them permanently. You can purchase your copy exclusively from Amazon!

Keeping KylerThe Kyler Collection(The Kennedy Boys #1-3)
by Siobhan Davis

This box set includes the first three books in the highly-addictive Kennedy Boys series from USA Today bestselling author, Siobhán Davis, and is over 1,000 pages of heart-stopping drama, intriguing twists and turns, and angsty romance. Complete trilogy that ends with an HEA and no cliffhanger.

Two fractured hearts and a forbidden love they can’t deny.

You shouldn’t want what you can’t have…

Faye Donovan has lost everything. After her parent’s tragic death, she’s whisked away from her home in Ireland when an unknown uncle surfaces as her new guardian.

Dropped smack-dab into the All-American dream, Faye should feel grateful. Except living with her wealthy uncle, his fashion-empire-owning wife, and their seven screwed-up sons is quickly turning into a nightmare—especially when certain inappropriate feelings arise.

Kyler Kennedy makes her head hurt and her heart race, but he’s her cousin.

He’s off limits.

And he’s not exactly welcoming—Kyler is ignorant, moody, and downright cruel at times—but Faye sees behind the mask he wears, recognizing a kindred spirit.

Kyler has sworn off girls, yet Faye gets under his skin. The more he pushes her away, the more he’s drawn to her, but acting on those feelings risks a crap-ton of prejudice, and any whiff of scandal could damage the precious Kennedy brand.

Concealing their feelings seems like the only choice.

But when everyone has something to hide, a secret is a very dangerous thing.
But when you play with fire, you risk getting burned.

Main Links:

Book Blitz: Forsaken Prince by Andrea Pearson

Forsaken Prince banner
This is my stop during the book blitz for Forsaken Prince by Andrea Pearson. This book blitz is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The book blitz runs from 8 till 10 November. See the tour schedule here

Forsaken PrinceForsaken Prince (Kilenya Chronicles #1)
By Andrea Pearson
Genre: Fantasy
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: 1 November, 2017

Blurb:
Jacob refuses the role of Forsaken Prince. Until his father and little sister are kidnapped…

When an attractive girl tells Jacob he’s the Forsaken Prince and that an entirely different planet needs his help, he calls her crazy and sends her on her way. But then he discovers dead demons in his house, his mother beaten, and his father and sister kidnapped, and he’s forced to begin a dangerous journey.

Now Jacob must team up with Aloren to find a magical key and stage a rescue with a tight deadline, all while making decisions that affect not only himself but hundreds of thousands of his subjects in this new world. Can he figure out his new magical powers fast enough and will he and Aloren reach Jacob’s father and sister before time runs out?

Forsaken Prince, Kilenya Chronicles Book One is an edge-of-your-seat story of fantasy, adventure, and exciting twists and turns. Grab your copy now to begin the magical journey!

You can find Forsaken Prince on Goodreads

You can buy Forsaken Prince here on Amazon

All books in the Kilenya Chronicles series:
Forsaken Prince (Kilenya Chronicles #1)Ember Gods (Kilenya Chronicles #2)August Fortress (Kilenya Chronicles #3)Rise of Keitus (Kilenya Chronicles #4)Eyes of the Sun (Kilenya Chronicles #5)Golden Symbol (Kilenya Chronicles #6)

Andrea PearsonAbout the Author:
Andrea Pearson is an avid reader and outdoor enthusiast who plays several instruments, not including the banjo, and loves putting together musical arrangements. Her favorite sports are basketball and football, though several knee surgeries and incurably awful coordination prevent her from playing them.

Andrea graduated from Brigham Young University with a bachelor of science degree in Communications Disorders. She is the author of many full-length novels (the Kilenya Series and Mosaic Chronicles) and several novellas. Writing is the chocolate of her life – it is, in fact, the only thing she ever craves. Being with her family and close friends is where she’s happiest, and she loves thunderstorms, the ocean, hiking, public speaking, painting, and traveling.

You can find and contact Andrea here:
Website
Blog
Facebook page
Facebook profile
Twitter
Goodreads
Amazon
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Giveaway
There is a tour wide giveaway for the book blitz of Forsaken Prince. One winner will win a $50 Amazon Gift card. US Only.

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
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Cover Reveal Inseparable

I am super excited to share the cover for Inseparable with you today! This is my first completely standalone title and I’ve been really excited about this book all year. When I finally sat down to put pen to paper, the words were just bursting from my brain because the story had been practically writing itself in my head for months, lol. This story is my darkest, grittiest read to date, and I literally CANNOT WAIT to share it with you. I’m busy putting the finishing touches to it at the moment before it goes to my editor next month. Continue reading for more details, and an exclusive, advance SNEAK PEEK.

Want to be notified when Inseparable goes on pre-order and when it releases? Fill out this form.

InseparableInseparable
By Siobhan Davis
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age category: New Adult
Release Date: 9 January, 2018

Blurb:
A gritty, angsty, friends-to-lovers standalone romance from USA Today bestselling author Siobhan Davis.

A childhood promise. An unbreakable bond. One tragic event that shatters everything.

It all started with the boys next door…

Devin and Ayden were my best friends. We were practically joined at the hip since age two. When we were kids, we thought we were invincible, inseparable, that nothing or no one could come between us.

But we were naive.

Everything turned to crap our senior year of high school.

Devin was turning into a clone of his deadbeat lowlife father—fighting, getting wasted, and screwing his way through every girl in town. I’d been hiding a secret crush on him for years. Afraid to tell him how I felt in case I ruined everything. So, I kept quiet and slowly watched him self-destruct with a constant ache in my heart.

Where Devin was all brooding darkness, Ayden was the shining light. Our star quarterback with the bright future whom everyone loved. But something wasn’t right. He was so guarded, and he wouldn’t let me in.

When Devin publicly shamed me, Ayden took my side, and our awesome-threesome bond was severed. The split was devastating. The heartbreak inevitable.

Gradually, Ayden and I grew closer. We graduated and moved on with our lives, but the pain never lessened, and Devin was never far from our thoughts.

Until it all came to a head in college, and one eventful night changed everything.

Now, I’ve lost the two people who matter more to me than life itself. Nothing will ever be the same again.

Inseparable Excerpt:

Prologue

Present Day – Angelina

Life is just a flow of interconnecting moments in time. A combination of well-thought-out actions and spontaneous reactions. A sequence of events and people moving in and out of your personal stratosphere.
At least, that’s how I’ve always viewed it.
Like a squiggly line veering up and down with no apparent pattern. Plotting the highs; pinpointing the lows. Showcasing the happy times. Highlighting the mistakes and the resulting consequences. Calling into focus all the myriad of things I should’ve done differently if I had known.
When I was a kid, I was obsessed with the notion of time—making a beeline for the fortune tellers every year when the carnival descended on the wide, open grassy field just outside town. I saved my pocket money all year round so I could have my fortune told. The idea that you could see into the future, to know what was around the corner, held an enormous fascination for me.
I wanted to make something of my life.
To dedicate myself to a profession that helped others.
To know happiness awaited me.
To receive confirmation that the two most important people in my life would always be in it. Because even the thought I could lose Ayden or Devin always sent horrific tremors of fear rushing through me.
For as long as I can remember, it had always been the three of us. Best friends to the end. The awesome-threesome. Forever infinity. It was a friendship more akin to family. A meeting of minds and hearts and promises. A connection so deep that we swore nothing or no one would ever come between us. We committed ourselves in a secret bond when we were twelve, and the commitment was imprinted on my heart in the same way it was inked on my skin.
I could never have predicted what was to come.
That I’d be the one to destroy everything.
No fortune teller ever told me that.
For years, I’ve thought of nothing but the what-ifs, and obsessed over so many questions.
What if a fortune teller had told me what would come to pass?
Would things have been different?
What would I change?
Would I have had the strength to stay away from my two best friends? To forge a completely different path in life? To deny something that was intrinsically a part of myself? Could I slice my heart apart knowing it was the right thing to do?
For years these questions have plagued me.
But I’m too afraid to confront the truth even though it’s front and center. Even though I carry it with me like a thundercloud, hovering and threatening but never opening up, never letting the storm loose.
Some truths are far too painful to acknowledge out loud.
As if to speak the words would confirm what I already know about myself.
That I’m weak, selfish, and not at all the person I thought I was.
Perhaps that’s why we don’t have that cognitive ability—to see the future, to know what lies ahead. I’ve thought of it often. If it’s evolution. If at some time in the future humans will be able to sense the path of their destiny. To alter their fate. To assume full control over every aspect of their life with conscious decision.
For now, all I’ve got is that squiggly line and a huge helping of regret.
What good comes from continually looking back? From locking myself in the haunted mansion of my past? Meandering with the ghosts of guilt and shame? For a girl who spent her happy youth so focused on the future, it’s a very sorry state of affairs. But I’m stuck in this washing machine that is my so-called life. The faster it churns, the more I lose myself. So, I try to stop time. To stand still. To numb myself to my reality. To blank out feeling and emotion. To close myself off. To never allow another human to imprint on my heart or to see into the black, murky depths of my soul.
The honest truth is, if I’d had a crystal ball—if I’d known what was going to happen—I still wouldn’t have changed a thing.
Because I would’ve missed those high points. Those happy memories that are the only thing keeping me alive right now.
If that’s what you can call my current existence.
And that makes me the most selfish, conceited liar on the planet.
***
Copyright © Siobhan Davis 2017

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