by Vincent Morrone
(TRIGGER WARNING: This content deals with an account of sexual assault and may be triggering to some people.)
When Cassie Shaw looks at Noah Hunt, she sees a knight in shining armor, but she’s convinced he sees her as nothing but damaged goods.
Noah saved her from a brutal assault, talked her through a panic attack, and held her when she broke down crying.
Noah is a mystery. He avoids talking about his past, his phone rings with calls from four women he won’t talk about, and he receives texts from over a dozen more. To add to the intrigue, when Cassie tries to kiss him, he gets a look of sheer panic in his eyes.
Cassie finally finds a chink in Noah’s armor, and realizes that he’s even more damaged than she is.
He saved her.
Now it’s her turn to save him.
My Cover Review:
I’ve seen this picture used before on a cover, so it’s too original, but I do like the soothing colours on the cover. I also like the fact it actualy used different tints of the same colour instead of black and white, which is more common.
Overal I like this cover, the girl looks content, safe and protected. It’s a really sweet cover in my opinion.
The cover also makes it obvious this is a New Adult Contemporary Romance book, while I like original covers, i also like knowing from the cover which genre it is. While this cover isn’t all that original I do like how it’s sweet instead of two people almost kissing that you usually see in this genre.
To conclude: a nice cover. I like the cover and how it’s a sweet scene, the girl looks really content and it’s just a tad different from the lamost kiss scenes on most covers in this genre, while stil making it obvious which genre this book is. I like the colours used on this cover and I think they nicely complement the rest of the cover.
“What were you talking about with my dad?” Cassie asked as Noah opened the passenger door.
Noah waited until she got in, then shut the door and went around to the other side of the car. “I wanted to thank him for what he did,” He said as it got in. “And I guess he wanted to get to know me a little better.”
“Don’t we all?” Cassie said. “Noah Hunt, the great mystery.”
Noah pulled out of the driveway carefully, and headed toward the address Cassie had given him earlier.
“Some mysteries are better left unsolved,” Noah said. “Have you considered that you might not like everything you find?”
“Sure,” Cassie said. “That’s part of the fun.”
Cassie said it with humor, but it was clear that Noah was taking her seriously.
“Are you worried that if I were to find out about something in your past that I wouldn’t want to be around you anymore?”
Noah didn’t answer.
“I can’t imagine that happening,” she assured him. “Noah, we all have things in our past. Things we wish we weren’t there. But they are. If it’s a part of you, I want to know about it.”
Noah listened as he pulled into a parking spot about half a block away from the party.
“Would you talk to me?” she pleaded.
Noah killed the engine, but made no move to get out of the car. He gripped the steering wheel and tried to gather the courage to let it all spill out. But he couldn’t. The idea of seeing Cassie’s eyes fill with hate and disgust at the sight of him was just too much.
“I want to,” Noah said. “I just…”
He trailed off, unsure of what to say.
Cassie took his hand. He looked into her eyes.
“Cassie,” he said.
“Thank you for being my friend,” Noah said finally.
Cassie face became angry. Her eyes narrowed and she pouted.
“Sure,” she said as she reached for her door handle. “That’s me. Your best buddy.” She got out in a hurry and started across the street.
Noah chased her.
“I’m sorry,” he said as he caught up with her. “Cassie, you have to understand that’s the best I can do. It’s all I can give.”
“Bullshit,” Cassie said. “It’s all you’re willing to give. Noah, you’ve saved me twice. You’ve let me cry on your shoulder. You’ve listened to me confess my deepest, darkest moments. But you won’t share any of those parts of yourself with me. Do you think I’m too weak or fragile to handle it?”
“No, absolutely not. I think you’re one of the strongest and bravest people I know,” Noah said. “You’re just better off not knowing.”
Cassie rolled her eyes.
“Your call, bud,” she said as she brushed past him. “Now, I’ve had a rough couple of weeks. Two exams, three quizzes, two encounters with Lisa the Bitch, being accosted by Trent and his gang of Neanderthals and then having to worry about your sorry ass getting locked up. I need to unwind. So I’m going into that party, getting drunk and just maybe I’ll find some guy who isn’t afraid to put his hands on me.”
She stormed off into the house with the music blaring. Noah stood there and watched her go in. Maybe this just wasn’t worth it? Walter was right. He was hurting Cassie by hanging on, but not giving her what she wanted.
If only there were some way of explaining to Cassie why he wouldn’t take that next step, wouldn’t risk seeing to horror and disgust on her face.
Maybe if she got drunk enough, he could tell everything. And if it didn’t go over well, he might convince her that it had never happened?
He dismissed the idea as quickly as it appeared. If Noah was honest with himself, he was a little pissed. He never looked at himself as a hero, but he had saved her two times. Couldn’t she cut him a break? Didn’t she have any idea how hard it had been for him to open up to her as much as he had?
Of course she doesn’t, you fucking moron. How could she, you won’t share.
Noah sighed. He had a week until his birthday. The McMillians were counting on him. Maybe after that?
No, you know it won’t end then. There’s always next year. And the year after that.
How could he drag her into his mess of a life? Maybe he should just turn around and leave her here. Her friends were all here. Ben or Coretta or someone would see she got home okay.
But Noah had promised her father he would make sure Cassie was safe. He may have screwed everything else up with her, but he’d get at least that much right.
Noah took a deep breath and went in to find Cassie. He promised himself he’d just hover around the edges of the party and keep an eye on her.
But he knew going in that it was a promise he was going to have a hard time keeping.
About the Author:
Born and raised in Brooklyn NY, Vincent Morrone now resides in Upstate NY with his wife. (Although he can still speak fluent Brooklynese.) His twin daughters remain not only his biggest fans, but usually are the first to read all of his work. Their home is run and operated for the comfort and convenience of their dogs. Vincent has been writing fiction, poetry and song lyrics for as long as he can remember, most of which involve magical misfits, paranormal prodigies and even on occasion superheroes and their sidekicks.