Annabelle Dare is in a good place. She landed a sweet job, teaching at the quaint Fox River Elementary School. She has everything she needs: teaching music and sharing an apartment with her best friend. A simple life, she’s convinced, is all she needs.
Asher Grace knows who he is and what he has to offer. Nothing. A poor boy from the wrong side of town, steel worker, with too much weight on his shoulders as he is trying to hold his family together. Best choice is avoiding too-sweet-for-her-own-good Annabelle at all costs.
Annabelle falls in love with the way she comes to life with Asher. He awakens a hunger for life and love in her that she didn’t know she possessed.
Asher must learn his worth beyond his upbringing and his past. Annabelle must learn to stoke the fire of life as it burns within her and learn how close she can get before the flames lick her.
Today I am happy to share an extract. I hope it’s making you curious. Enjoy!
I’ve picked this scene for you because it encapsulates the hurt Annabelle endures after getting burned by Asher. This is not a spoiler, don’t worry! More like a testament to how rocky their road will be as they come together. (The other extracts I’ve shared on the blog tour have been happy, and I needed to have one drama-filled-Asher-sucks one too). Kendra, Annabelle’s best friend, has taken it upon herself to help Annabelle forget all about Asher …
Brace yourself, Annabelle, Hurricane Kendra is coming. I knew she had an ulterior motive, and I was along for the ride.
“We’re going to Prissy Polly’s.” She said the words at top volume, sure to attract attention.
“You girls need a ride?” Dominic overheard and responded as if on cue, one red brow lifted and his lips curved into his easy smile. He was really too cute. “I’m heading that way myself.”
“Yes. Thank you, Dom.” Kendra aimed her big smile his way, and was being so obvious I wanted to pinch her.
“Sure thing. Let me see if Cotton and Maggie want a ride, or if they’re driving separate.”
Dom walked into the dark outside the brighter light of the gazebo and struck up conversation with his brother. Kendra continued to use her crazy smile on me.
“What are you up to, Doll Face?” My curiosity won out over being annoyed with her.
“Nothing.” She blinked too much. “But you need to go out tonight. And you need to forget about … your troubles.”
“Uh huh. Is that what we’re calling him?”
“Yes.” Kendra dropped the smile, turning serious. “I don’t like the way he led you on. Asher Grace is trouble. At least for you.”
“I am not hooking up with Dominic MacKenna if that’s what you’re thinking.”
“Why not? He’s super cute, and the nicest.”
“He’s a flirt, and not the least bit interested in me.”
“Shut up. He’d be lucky to have you.”
I laughed, and shook my head at my sweet best friend and her misplaced meddling.
“Thank you. But I…” I sighed, my eyes landing on Dominic as he laughed at something Cotton or Maggie had said. “I don’t want anyone else. Not right now.”
“Okay. Fine. But Dom will give us a good distraction.” Kendra wrapped an arm around my shoulders and steered me toward her friends.
Kendra had known these people forever. Dominic and Maggie graduated with her. Cotton was a little older, like Asher and Nate. They all had ties that connected them. But I let Kendra pull me into the mix, and decided to have a good time.
At some point, after time had lost all meaning, and most of our table had left for the night, I was dancing with Dominic. Kendra had pulled him onto the dance floor and pushed us together. He kept a respectable distance between us, and
pretended I made sense when I said anything. He either found me pretty and fun, or he was being polite. Either way he helped me with the Forget Asher part of the plan.
Kendra leaned in too close and yelled in my ear. When I looked up at her with confusion, struggling to put her words into meaning in my state, she laughed. Her mouth wide open and her head thrown back, she was the most beautiful girl in the world. I wrapped my arms around her in a fierce hug.
“I called Nate,” she repeated, and the words began to make sense. “He’s coming to pick us up.”
I nodded and fell back into Dominic’s arms. He supported me while we continued to dance. It was like he knew I needed this. That forgetting and pretending were a necessary thing, and he was happy to help. He didn’t even seem drunk.
What I had not considered was Asher accompanying Nate. They went everywhere together. Why had it not crossed my mind? In my head, it would just be Nate, and we’d go outside to the porch to meet him. My head could not be trusted.
I was dancing with Dominic and was basically numb from the hundred drinks I’d downed over the course of the night. The room swam around me, or I was swimming in the room.
Asher was a vision when he stormed across the room. Tough. Handsome. I saw him, but it didn’t register that his face morphing from concern to anger had anything to do with me.
I’ve also shared this scene with you because it has ties to my debut novel, The Guilt of a Sparrow, which is all about Maggie and Cotton. Plus Dominic. I know all the Dom fans
were happy to see him pop up again in Fierce Grace. (Worry not, he gets his own book, The Worth of a Penny, out in 2019).
I hope you’ve enjoyed this sneak peek into Fierce Grace, and it leaves you wanting more!!
Fierce Grace is available through Amazon, in digital and paperback: mybook.to/fiercegrace
My debut novel, The Guilt of a Sparrow is also available (with ties to Fierce Grace): mybook.to/guiltsparrow
I hope you enjoyed reading a small piece of my book, and that you want to get to know Annabelle and Asher even more now!!
With mirth & moxie,
Jess B. Moore
Thank you, Jess B. Moore and RachelsRandomResources
About the author
Jess B Moore is a writer of love stories. When she’s not writing, she’s busy mothering her talented and stubborn children, reading obscene numbers of books, and knitting scarves she’ll likely never finish.
Jess lives in small town North Carolina with her bluegrass obsessed family. She takes too many pictures of her cats, thinking the Internet loves them as much as she does. She is a firm believer of swapping stories over coffee or wine, and that there should always be dark chocolate involved.
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