USA Today Bestselling Author
I’m having dreams I can’t explain—nightmares of faceless people watching me on what should be the most important day of my life.
Something really bad happened to me. So bad that I can’t quite piece anything together. It’s making me paranoid. I swear I’m being watched all the time.
Ever since the dreams started, nothing in my life makes sense. I don’t trust my instincts. I’m not sure I trust anyone around me. Not even my family. They mean well. But they treat me with kid gloves as if I’m fragile. Maybe I am…
Whatever happened, it’s over and I have to move on. I need to get back to work at my family’s department store. Instead, my parents and my sister insist I convalesce at the beach. And I don’t trust them enough to tell them about my relationship with Bryon, a man I was instantly attracted to who seems to have secrets of his own.
I need closure and a new normal. I’m trying, but it’s hard when everything feels wrong and I don’t even know who I am anymore. Why can’t I get my life back on track? I’m young. I have my entire life ahead of me. It seems like no one wants me to move on. I’m stuck. In limbo. As if I’m outside my body watching.
And whoever is watching me is getting closer every day.
This romantic suspense will take you on a ride that will have your mind questioning EVERYTHING! Prepare to search for the answers with Jessa before tragedy strikes again.
This book is a series of before and after scenes. In the before we see Jessa fall for an undercover detective she meets at an accident scene. She stopped to help an older woman who was trapped in her car. Ashton is the name she heard first but when he makes sure she gets home okay his card says Liam Barnes. The romance and secrecy is difficult for both of them especially when he meets her parents.
Jessa works at her father’s department store, although he doesn’t really want her working. Her sister is in charge of their Miami location so Jessa doesn’t understand the difference.
The before follows the relationship to marriage, to the accident.
The after is Jessa putting pieces together as she has no recollection of her life prior to the accident.
This is a favorite scene.
The only person I regularly saw was my sister. She lived in the building next to mine. And she treated me with the kid gloves I probably needed.
But this man… This man was gorgeous. Or perhaps it was just his smile. It captivated me.
He pointed at the drawing under my palm. “You’re very talented.”
“Thank you.” Half of me didn’t want to encourage him. The other half was drawn to him. The dimple on his cheek endearing. He was harmless. I needed to lighten up. A little human contact wouldn’t kill me.
And if I wanted to start lifting my face to the world again, I couldn’t imagine a better specimen stepping up to the plate.
He squatted beside me, his gaze still on my sketch. He oozed masculinity in a way that didn’t seem quite fitting for a stroll on the beach this early in the morning. He wore khaki dress slacks and a white dress shirt, the sleeves rolled up to his elbows. No one dressed that way on the beach. My gaze roamed down to his feet— bare, his toes digging into the sand.
Appropriate morning attire on the beach included jogging shorts or swim trunks.
He shifted his gaze to the rising sun. “It’s so beautiful out here in the morning.”
I stared at him with an urge to ask him to stay very still so I could sketch him instead of the designs I was gathering from my imagination. He was that beautiful.
The thought was ludicrous since I didn’t draw people. I drew clothes. Maybe if I had a sketch of him instead of ten thousand dresses, I would have something entertaining to enjoy in my apartment.
I told myself my attraction to him was based purely on looks, a gorgeous subject matter. There was nothing wrong with that. He was tall and slender. A businessman. I guessed he probably worked in an office. Not much time for sun or working out.
“Are you a professional designer?” he asked, turning his head in my direction.
I shrugged. I had no intention of telling him who I was. Every time I met someone, their opinion of me changed the moment they heard my last name. It had been like that my entire life. I’d learned over the years to keep personal information to myself initially.
“Bryon.” He gave me his name as he held out a hand.
“Jessa.” I tentatively gave him mine.
His grip was warm, inviting. A spark ran between us, instantly bringing my entire body to full alert. I licked my lips. He smelled fantastic, his personal scent wafting toward me. He plopped onto the sand, so close our knees bumped. It was crazy. I shouldn’t be so attracted to someone just sitting here on the beach. I shouldn’t be falling for his pickup lines. I shouldn’t be feeling anything at all. But I was human.
I couldn’t stop myself. I closed my sketchbook, making a conscious decision to engage this intruder instead of brushing him off. If nothing else, the interaction with another living being felt surprisingly good.
My life needed changes. I’d been reclusive for too long. It seemed appropriate to put myself out there. After all, I was just flirting. After three months with very little human contact, it felt good to have someone approach me, even if it was a stranger on his way to work. It was refreshing. Maybe speaking to someone who knew nothing about me or my life would somehow be freeing. I didn’t need to divulge any personal details to the man. I could simply enjoy his company like a regular human being.
My heart beat faster as I watched his slow smile spread across his face. He made me feel alive again. I grabbed onto that feeling and ran with it. “Is this how you always dress for the beach?” I teased. His pants rode up his legs enough to reveal pale feet that matched his pale forearms. He clearly didn’t spend much time in the sun. Either that or he had an unusually light complexion that burned easily.
He chuckled, a deep sound that vibrated through him and reached into me when our knees bumped again. “No. I was on my way to work. Decided to stop and take in the view first.” His gaze met mine and held it.
What view was he talking about? I had my suspicions. But then again, he couldn’t have known I was sitting in that spot when he made the decision to stop at the beach.
“Where do you work?”
“On the mainland.”
Ah. Of course. Few people worked on Miami Beach itself. But he hadn’t really answered my question.
“Who do you design for?” He pointed at my sketchbook.
I shrugged again, biting my lower lip while I tried to come up with a feasible answer without giving myself away. “I’m mostly doing freelance right now.”
He hesitated, his brow furrowed for a moment before he nodded. His short-cropped wavy blond hair was perfectly styled and lay as if he’d just stepped off a photoshoot. And his smile took my breath away. His eyes were a rare, deep green. Mesmerizing. I couldn’t look away from them.
Did he not buy my lie? Jeez, I wasn’t that bad, was I? “Do you live on the island?” I supposed the term “freelance” coming from a woman lounging on the beach on a weekday morning could equal “unemployed.”
“Yes.” He pointed at the apartment complex behind us, the one I lived in. “I have an apartment here.”
That made more sense. It wasn’t that he’d driven up to the beach and stopped on his way to work. He hadn’t left for work yet.
“Maybe this is too forward, but I was just about to grab a coffee in the strip. Would you care to join me?”
I smiled at him, pondering the offer. What would it hurt? It was just coffee. I tried to shake off the feeling of regret I carried like a heavy weight. I was in no mood to tell this stranger anything about myself. I would keep the previous year of my life tucked close to my chest. I had no desire to discuss it. Or face it. Hell, I had no desire to discuss much of anything about my past. Forward was the only direction I needed to be moving.
Whoever this Bryon guy was, he simply smiled at me, waiting for my answer.
Finally, I nodded my consent. “Sure.”
Normally this would be way outside my comfort zone, but I felt bold, and what could go wrong? It wasn’t as though he could abduct me from the beach in broad daylight, or the coffee shop under the apartment building. Not to mention the fact that I had absolutely nothing to do since my parents seemed determined to coddle me. Hell, even my sister was continually telling me to take it easy and relax in her overly cheery voice.
All three of them were humoring me. They walked on eggshells around me as if I were fragile. It felt good to speak to someone who didn’t know anything about me and therefore had no reason to look at me with deep sorrow pouring out of his eyes.
I stood, brushing the sand off my butt and stuffing my pad into my shoulder bag. I glanced at my clothes. I looked like any regular person— white T-shirt, jean shorts, and flip-flops. I was tan, very tan. Three months on the beach with little else to do did that to a person. I adjusted my sunglasses on the top of my head to hold my hair back. My curls were out of control in the humid Miami air. But I was enjoying the carefree look. It suited me and my resolve to take a step back, examine my life, and relax.
Bryon, the stranger ill-equipped for a stroll on the beach, was the perfect next step on my bucket list of things to accomplish.
Throwing caution to the wind, I tucked my hand under his elbow when he offered it and let him lead me to caffeine.
Becca Jameson. Severed Dreams (Kindle Locations 134-193). Becca Jameson Publishing.
We see Jessa starting a relationship with Bryon. She doesn’t recognize him but he definitely knows her.
This is an edge of your seat read as you discover all the intricate twists this tale holds.
There’s plenty of suspense to go with the romance and sizzle as the past intertwines with the present.
5 Contented Purrs for Becca!
Becca Jameson is a USA Today bestselling author of over 100 books. She is most well-known for her Wolf Masters Series, her Fight Club series, and her Club Zodiac series. She currently lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband and Goldendoodle. Two grown kids pop in every once in a while too! She is loving this journey and has dabbled in a variety of genres, including paranormal, sports romance, military, and BDSM.
A total night owl, Becca writes late at night, sequestering herself in her office with a glass of red wine and a bar of dark chocolate, her fingers flying across the keyboard as her characters weave their own stories.
During the day–which never starts before ten in the morning!–she can be found jogging, running errands, or reading in her favorite hammock chair!
…where Alphas dominate…