UNTAMED (Hearts #3) by M. O’Keefe
Release Date: August 10th
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“Am I a prisoner again? Do I need to remind you how that didn’t work out for you last time?”
By accident, in the doorway between the kitchen and living room, his eyes met mine and I caught my breath. Everything that happened in that cottage was there between us. The chair and the dark bedroom, the secrets up on the hill in the church. The cats. The bath and the whiskey. Then he blinked and just like that the memories were gone.
“We go to Caroline’s together,” he said. “You’re not to leave here alone.”
“Ronan. I won’t be a prisoner.”
“I’m trying to keep you safe.”
“You married me. Remember? We already made this terrible sacrifice. The least we can do is take advantage of the protection it provides us.”
“Our marriage isn’t going to keep you safe. Don’t you get it?” he asked. “Eden was right, we’re leaving leverage every place we go. You are now a tool someone can use to get to me. There are people out there who, when finding out I’m married, will delight in the idea that they can hurt you so they can hurt me.”
I opened my mouth to argue but then closed it again. His words rang of truth. The silence around us breathed and there were a thousand questions I could ask, but there was only one that mattered.
“Would it hurt you if I was hurt?”
“You daft fucking girl, don’t you hear what I’m saying?”
“Well, you’re yelling, so it—”
“You don’t know my life, Poppy. You think you do and that’s my fault. I never should have taken you to that cottage. I never should have…” He stopped. The words he didn’t say were ringing in the silence.
Let you close. Well, you did, I thought. And now we’re here. “You’re an innocent.”
“Not so much anymore.”
“Poppy, I’m not joking about this.”
“I’m not joking either,” I cried. We were both standing, exhaustion and terror making me yell. “It only hurts you, Ronan, if you care about me and you’ve made it—”
He grabbed me. “If you were hurt, it wouldn’t hurt me.” He leaned forward, his face in mine like he could say these words right into my mouth if he could. Into my brain. “It would kill me.”
Marriage has always meant violence. I don’t trust it, but it’s the only thing keeping me afloat in these dark undercurrents. I married for safety but I got the most dangerous thing in the world—Ronan Byrne for a husband.
Now we’re returning to Bishop’s Landing to face our demons. Mine. His. We have real enemies to conquer, but it’s the fear in my heart that beats the loudest. I can’t stop being in love with him. Except the killer with the heart of stone doesn’t love me.
I don’t know whose family I belong in anymore. Or whether I should stay with Ronan when this is over. But I may not live long enough to make the choice.
About the Author:
M. O’Keefe can remember the exact moment her love of romance began–in seventh grade, when Mrs. Nelson handed her a worn paperback copy of The Thorn Birds. Writing as Molly O’Keefe, she has won two RITA Awards and three RT Reviewers’ Choice awards. She lives in Toronto, Canada, with her husband and two children.