There's No Place Like Home

The One Series

Book 3
Jasinda Wilder
3
Free sample

 I see us in a million montages—you and me, Ava, in a million vignettes. Visions of us. 

You are beneath me. You stare up at me. You gaze, lovingly, into my eyes, and you do not look away as you come apart. I see this moment, over and over and over again…


You whisper something, as the shudders wrack you, yet the words you whisper are lost to me. I want those words—they mean everything. 

What is it you whisper in the moment of our most intimate completion? 


My name, surely.


What is it you whisper, Ava?


Please, tell me. Whisper those sounds to me again, even just once, I beg you. 


Come to me, and come for me, and come with me: I will hear those sweet, dulcet syllables blooming from your lips and I will know myself, and I will know I am home.



*   *   *


Memory is a harsh mistress: she embellishes the beautiful and serene, yet she also sharpens the edges of pain.


All I have left of my husband, Christian, is memory. Everything else is gone. Our son, Henry, conceived and cherished and born and grown in the fertile soil of our love…he is dead. He molders six feet under the black loam of a Florida cemetery. The home we created for ourselves, in Ft. Lauderdale, is a pile of rubble, demolished by a hurricane. That home, and everything in it, is utterly gone. Even the rubble, by now, is likely cleared away.


And all I know is, right now…I’m scared of letting myself grieve for Henry. 


I’m scared I’ll never find Christian. And if I never find Christian, what will I do? 


Who will I be? 

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Lucian Badd saved my life. He jumped into the freezing water of the Ketchikan harbor after I fell in. He took me to his room, stripped my wet clothes off, and wrapped me in a warm blanket. 


That should have been it. I should have hit the road as soon as I could, because I’m a vagabond, a drifter. A homeless orphan with no family and no future except what I create for myself. Which is why getting tangled up with a guy—no matter how tall, dark, quiet, and sexy he may be—is a really terrible idea.


Yet…I kissed him anyway. And that one kiss? It set my world on fire, turned everything upside down. 


I know I shouldn’t get involved with him. I tell myself I won’t. Yet, I still get pulled in by him and his seven brothers and their wives and girlfriends—by the concept of family, something I haven’t had in a very, very long time. Something I never thought I’d have again. 


Every moment I spend with Lucian turns my present into perfect, and puts my future at risk. 



*   *   * 


As the second youngest Badd brother, I’ve lived my entire life in the long, broad shadows cast by my older brothers—the burly, bad boy bartender, the Navy SEAL, the trick pilot, the athlete, and the rock star twins. Even my younger brother, Xavier, finds a way to outshine everyone in the room with his unassuming charisma and dizzying intellect. More and more lately, I’ve been asking myself where I fit in.


And then Joss Mackenzie fell into the Inside Passage in the middle of a freak snowstorm, and in so doing, fell into my life. I saved her from the icy water, but can I can I save myself from falling for a girl I know is only going to end up doing the one thing she does best—leave? 


It’s evident from the first kiss what the answer is—there’s no saving myself, not from the magnetic appeal of her wild, untamable spirit, or the exotic allure of her caramel skin and long dreadlocks and golden-brown eyes and perfect body. I’m helpless against this attraction.


But as I seek to find myself and my place among my larger-than-life brothers, will I lose my heart to the exotic beauty with walls a mile high and a tragic past? 

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Additional Information

Publisher
Jasinda Wilder
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Published on
Jan 18, 2018
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Pages
200
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ISBN
9781941098967
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Romance / Contemporary
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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It started with a window that was jammed shut. Pretty simple, right? All I wanted was to open the windows while I tidied the house. I’d been after my no-good husband to do it for months, but he never did. And then he shacked up with his secretary, leaving me with a pile of bills, husband-free for the first time in ten years, and with a house that was falling apart. 


The ad popped up on the side of my social media feed—a local contracting agency willing to do pretty much anything. Since I don’t really know a screwdriver from a ratchet, I gave them a call. 


And let me tell you, the ad was NOT lying. Jesse O’Neill can do it ALL…and looks amazing doing it. 


He fixed my window, so I called him back to fix the sagging, splintery front steps. Which led to him fixing my kitchen sink. And then he recarpeted my stairs. And then fixed the squeak in my bed. 


He was supposed to fix my house, not my rusty, sputtering libido. And certainly not my broken heart.

shouldn’t be in love, but baby I am

I know it’s crazy, but I don’t give a damn

shouldn’t want you near me

but you’re inside me, can you hear me

I’m praying you need me, baby say you do

I’m laying in bed, dreaming of you

cuz I remember you moving, gliding

can’t get over you, baby I’m trying

why can’t I have you, why’s it have to be so complicated

the love I feel hasn’t faded


I wrote those lyrics for Jonny after he walked away. 


It was never meant to be between us; I knew it, he knew it, we talked about it. 


The trouble is, love never listens to logic. And for two people who have never really had a home or known love, logic is all that keeps us going: be smart, survive, do what has to be done. And, in my case, take care of my son. Forget my dreams, forget love…nothing matters but making it day by day. 


But then I met Jonny, and everything changed.


*   *   *


I’m a vagabond. I’ve lived my whole life out on the ocean, surviving by my wits and my knowledge of the sea. I’ve never needed anyone, never stayed in one place long enough to let something like that happen. 


Christian, the only person I’ve ever really cared about, goes missing and gives me a box of letters and makes me promise to take it to his wife, Ava. Problem is, when I get to her, Ava is missing too, and their condo is ruined by the same hurricane that claimed Christian. And then I meet Delta, Ava’s sister, Christian’s sister-in-law, and she changes everything. 


It wasn’t supposed to be anything. Nothing was supposed to happen. We helped dig out survivors of the hurricane together, and that was it. Only…that wasn’t it. Something happened. And now I can’t get her out of my head, or out of my heart. 


Even when I walk away, I can’t escape her. Especially when I hear her voice on the radio, singing a song meant for me:


You walked into my life, with your dark skin and brown eyes

I tried to resist you, tried not to kiss you

you speak soft and you move slow

you’ve got strong hands and few words

but I hear it anyway, everything you don’t say

I tried to resist you, tried not to kiss you

but god, your lips, the way you moved your hips

the way you said my name

and said you felt the same

the way you took my hand

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