by Suzanne Lilly
Aspen Dwyer, recently emancipated from foster care, is searching for a place to hide from a past with secrets too dark to share. Honey Creek, Ohio, presents itself as the best place to start a new life and stay undercover. There she meets Colton Moraine, a man with strong family ties and an even stronger sense of loyalty. His boisterous, loving family welcomes Aspen with warmth she hasn’t felt in years. She’s surprised at how quickly and deeply she falls for Colton. When a dangerous criminal comes to Honey Creek, intent on his revenge against her, Aspen must choose between two options. Should she stay and risk her life and the rejection of the people she’s grown to love? Or should she run again, and leave behind any chance of a happy future?
“Tell me how the new job is working out for you.” I knew this was more than just small talk. Margot was evaluating me.“It’s fine.” I nodded. Surprisingly, I actually enjoyed working at the lodge. “Linda is a super boss. Even though I hurt my ankle the first day, she still took me in. She’s having her nephew help me learn to drive. She has a wonderful family. Of course, you know all that already.” I stopped babbling to take another sip of my latte before going on. “I really want to do well for her. I think she cares more about me than my last four sets of foster parents did, and she’s only my employer.”“Linda’s always had a heart the size of Texas,” Margot agreed. “She’ll stand behind you and support you in whatever you want to do.” She made a note on a form and shoved it back into a manila folder. “Now, off the record.” She clicked her pen shut and slid it into her purse. “How are you really? Do you feel safe?”I considered her questions for a moment before answering. “I don’t think I remember what safe is supposed to feel like anymore. It’s comfortable with Linda and working at the lodge.”Did safe mean I could sleep at night, resting easy, trusting no one would come to get me in the darkness? Did it mean not having to look over my shoulder everywhere I went? Did it mean not worrying if the person who gave life to me was waiting for the day he could kill me?“I guess I feel as safe as can be expected.”Margot waited, her expectant eyes boring into mine.“You said Rick will never think of looking for me in a tiny town like Honey Creek.” Rick didn’t deserve the title of dad, father, or anything else indicating a relationship between him and me. As far as I was concerned, he was just the sperm donor.“He won’t look there. He’ll be concentrating on the bigger towns. Columbus, Cincinnati, places where jobs are more plentiful.”I shook my head. “Do you think I should try to move out of state?”“Don’t leave Ohio.” Margot reached across the café table and grabbed my fingers. “I won’t be able to help you if you move far away. Besides, haven’t you heard of hiding in plain sight?”
Suzanne Lilly writes lighthearted young adult stories with a splash of suspense, a flash of the unexplained, a dash of romance, and always a happy ending. Her short stories have appeared in numerous places online and in print, and she has placed and received honorable mentions in writing contests. Her debut novel was Shades of the Future in 2011 followed by Untellable in 2012. She lives in Northern California where she reads, writes, cooks, swims, and teaches elementary students.
You may find Suzanne Lilly online at these sites:
Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/Suzanne-Lilly/e/B006HY79IY
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/SuzanneLillyAuthor
Goodreads author page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5258804.Suzanne_Lilly