Both of Me
(Cross My Heart #1)
by Amber Kelly
Date Released: February 28, 2019
About Both of Me
Gabby Mastreoni has been in love with Christoff Scutari since she was four years old. Their fathers are in the same business, and nearly twenty years later, their families remain close. With four older brothers, Gabby leads a protected and sheltered life—until she and Christoff cross a line, and she discovers that love can hurt people.
Brie Masters left everything and everyone behind to begin again. Starting over in California, she’s found her new home. She soon learns though that she can run away from her past, but it will always be there. No matter how many miles she puts between herself and her former life, she is still running, reinventing herself—so much so that she’s not even sure who she is anymore.
And she has to ask herself, “Am I Brie, or am I still Gabby?”
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An Excerpt from Both of Me
“Awfully fancy burger joint you brought me to.”
He looks around and then brings his eyes back to me. “I like it here. It’s comfortable and quiet and pretty private for a burger joint.”
It is lovely. The pool area is subtly lit in an array of soft colors. Everyone is lounging in their cabanas or seated at low-lit wicker tables. Very nice indeed.
“So, Jacob Mason, tell me all about yourself.”
I decide to start the personal interrogation so as to keep it from being pointed at me.
He leans in super close. “What do you want to know?” I can feel his breath on my cheek as the words leave his mouth. That’s too close for my comfort.
“Everything. Start at the beginning.”
Our dinner arrives quickly, and he spends the next hour filling me in on all things Jake Mason as we enjoy our food. He is twenty-four years old, and he works full-time for his dad’s production company. He has lived in or around Los Angeles all his life. His dad is a television producer, and his mom was a stay-at-home mom. He has two siblings, both girls. Aspiring actresses slash waitresses. He shares a house near LA with two roommates. One is a college buddy, and the other is a guy who answered a Roommate Wanted ad. He is a stoner, but he pays his rent on time, so they don’t really care.
“I am also very much single in case you were wondering.”
“Ouch. You sure know how to hurt a guy’s ego.”
“Oh, I have no doubt your ego is just fine, Mr. Mason.”
“I like the way you call me Mr. Mason.”
I look up at him, and he has a sexy gleam in his eyes. He thinks I am a challenge, and he is very much up for the chase. This is exactly what I didn’t want to happen. Although I will admit, Julie was right about one thing. It sure is nice to bask in his attention.
“Stop looking at me that way.”
“What way is that exactly?”
“Like I am a puzzle you want to solve.”
“You are a puzzle I want to solve.”
“Nothing to solve here, Jake. I am just a girl working her ass off to pay her way through school. No mystery. I am the least interesting person on the planet.”
“Funny thing, you keep telling me that, and yet I don’t buy it. Why is that?”
“I don’t know.” I shrug. “Maybe you’re just pigheaded.”
“Perhaps, or maybe I can see right through your charade.”
God, I hope not. A sliver of fear runs through me. If he could, he would not like what he saw. I might look all clean and put together on the outside, but my insides are a mangled mess. I am not the girl he wants to get involved with. Trouble will eventually come looking for me. I cannot outrun it forever.
“There is nothing to see through.”
“Evasion will get you nowhere, Brie. I am on the line now. Hook. Line. Sinker.”
“Then, don’t blame me when I toss you back out to sea. I warned you. I am not playing a game of hard to get. I am just not interested. It’s not you. I am not interested in any relationships outside of friendship right now.”
“Then, we will be friends.”
I look him dead in the eye. “Are you capable of that?”
He stares right back at me. “Baby, I can be the best damn friend you have ever had.”
That’s what I am afraid of.
About Amber Kelly
Amber Kelly is a romance author that calls North Carolina home. She has been an avid reader from a young age and you could always find her with her nose in a book completely enthralled in an adventure. With the support of her husband and family, in 2018, she decided to finally give a voice to the stories in her head and her debut novel, Both of Me was born.
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