By Jay Crownover
Release Date October 18, 2016
Don’t be fooled.
Don’t make excuses for me.
I am not a good man.
I’ve seen things no one should, done things no one should talk about. Honor and conscience have no place in my life. But I’ve fought and I’ve survived. I’ve had to.
The first time I saw her dancing on that seedy stage in that second rate club, I felt my heart pulse for the first time. Keelyn Foster was too young, too vibrant for this place, and I knew in an instant that I would make her mine. But first I had to climb my way to the top. I had to have something more to offer her.
I’m here now, money is no object and I have no equal. Except for her. She's disappeared. But don’t worry, I will find her and claim her. She will be mine.
Like I said, don’t be fooled. I am not the devil in disguise... I’m the one standing front and center.
I was in the Point for less than a day when I got word that the man that ran the streets wanted to see me. I like to lay low. I liked to blend in, but here it didn’t see like that was an option. Instead of desert sand, the battleground here was asphalt and concrete, and as soon as my presence was known, it was as if this place recognized the fight lying dormant inside of me. This city called to it. I don’t know why I instantly felt like I fit, but I did. So I went to see the man in charge, fully expecting to offer him the last of my cash in order to gain a foothold in the desolate kingdom. I was a survivor. I could do without money for a little bit. No man was more resourceful than I was.
I walked into a disgustingly gaudy strip club, offended by its crass ugliness. I was expecting to meet the ruler of the land, state my intentions, and let him know I would bow to no man here or anywhere else ever again. I was expecting a shakedown and maybe some strong-arming since I was obviously foreign and undocumented. I was technically legal since my mother had been an American citizen before she fell in love with an extremist, but I hadn’t really existed on paper since she handed me over to killers and radicals when I was just a kid. Mossad didn’t want me to be anything other than their trained attack dog, so they hadn’t offered up any proof of identity for me during my time at the end of their string. What I wasn’t expecting was that my cause, my reason, my purpose for living, and my something to believe in would be dancing nearly naked on a horrifically ugly stage, looking like she was going to cry at any second. She was so much more than freedom.
She was Honor.
She was beautiful, young, innocent, and so obviously resigned to her fate. It pulled at a heart I was stunned to find I still had buried somewhere deep underneath the brutal history that filled up the inside of me. It was the first time I felt it beat, and the pulse of its yearning scared and electrified me in equal measure.
I started to move toward her like all those invisible gods I spent my life killing for were leading me directly to her when suddenly a man twice her age and triple her size leaped from his seat next to the stage and hurled himself up onto the platform directly at the girl. In the blink of an eye he was on top of her, rough hands all over her naked flesh. I heard her scream. I saw her long limbs flail and thrash under him. A red haze filled my vision and I forgot all about staying quiet and laying low. I forgot all about being a ghost, and realized that I could channel the fight that had been forged into my very soul, the fight that was slumbering restlessly inside me at that moment, into protecting something so innocent. She woke the fight up and she kept it alive.
Enter the Giveaway HERE
Jay Crownover is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men, The Point, and the Saints of Denver series. Like her characters, she is a big fan of tattoos. She loves music and wishes she could be a rock star, but since she has no aptitude for singing or instrument playing, she'll settle for writing stories with interesting characters that make the reader feel something. She lives in Colorado with her three dogs.