What will it take to prove she’s not afraid to take the risk?
“I’m afraid my granddaughter has forgotten her manners,” Nana said, sticking out her hand. “You must be Beau.”
I clenched my jaw. Her casual mention of his name, as if his identity was the most obvious thing in the world, had to have made it clear I’d been talking about him. That was the last thing I wanted him to know. Still, it was too late to change it. “Sorry, Beau, this is my nana, uh, Kelly Reede.”
“Nice to meet you, Mrs Reede. I can see where Phoebe got her enchanting eyes.”
“It’s Ms actually. It has been ever since I left my husband for his constant cheating.”
I wanted the ground to tear apart and swallow me whole. For half a second, I debated trying to fake a sudden and unexpected emergency just to get out of the room. She’d stuck with Granddad for a long time after the first time he’d cheated, but with Dad’s help had eventually found the strength to leave. After that, her confidence had only blossomed and she’d grown more and more like Dad all the time. Now, she often said the thoughts that crossed her mind without thinking through all of the consequences.
Beau’s eyes narrowed. “Well, I guess it’s not just the eyes that run in the family,” he muttered under his breath. He shook off the mood an instant later. “It was lovely to meet you, Ms Reede. It’s always nice getting any insight into our Phoebe. She’s a bit of an enigma.”
It was Nana’s turn to frown as her gaze spun to me. “That’s odd, because we’ve always found her to be a straight shooter, just like her Dad.”
“Maybe it’s just us guys she likes to play ’round with.”
My hands found my hips. “Maybe she’s in the fucking room and you should both stop talking about her like she’s not.”
“Phoebe!” Nana exclaimed.
Beau’s gaze was fixed on me, his lips curled up into a snarl. He dropped the expression a second later when he turned back to Nana. “Don’t worry about it, Ms Reede. I’m used to her gutter mouth. She’s turned it on me often enough. Haven’t ya, darlin’?”
I wanted to turn it on him again. My fingers clenched and unclenched at my side. “If there’s nothing else you wanted, I think we’ll be going now.”
“Actually, I was hopin’ to have a word or two with ya alone.” Beau’s gaze turned from me back to my nana. “If ya don’t mind. It won’t take a minute.”
I could feel Nana’s gaze passing between Beau and me. “Not at all,” she said after a moment. “I’ll go sign myself out and wait in the car.”
It would have been so much easier if she’d said no. If she’d demanded my undivided attention while she was in the country. Instead, a minute later I was face-to-face with Beau.Alone.
Living in the shadow of a legend has its drawbacks.Every aspect of Phoebe Reede’s life has been defined by her father. Caught halfway between being a teen and an adult, she yearns to break free from the weight of expectations surrounding the Reede name.
Her desire for freedom sends her overseas on her first solo journey. There, she finds herself having an unexpected adventure with an unlikely person.
How can she learn who she wants to be and what is nothing more than a phase?
Michelle Irwin has been many things in her life: a hobbit taking a precious item to a fiery mountain; a young child stepping through the back of a wardrobe into another land; the last human stranded not-quite-alone in space three million years in the future; a young girl willing to fight for the love of a vampire; and a time-travelling madman in a box. She achieved all of these feats and many more through her voracious reading habit. Eventually, so much reading had to have an effect and the cast of characters inside her mind took over and spilled out onto the page.
Michelle lives in sunny Queensland in the land down under with her surprisingly patient husband and ever-intriguing daughter, carving out precious moments of writing and reading time around her accounts-based day job. A lover of love and overcoming the odds, she primarily writes paranormal and fantasy romance.