Welcome to another book blitz organized by Xpresso Book Tours for a dark MMFM romantic suspense – Creeping Beautiful by J.A. Huss. This blitz includes some details about the book and author, several excerpts, teasers and a giveaway. If you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter via link at the bottom of this post. So, here is the book of the day 😊
Title: Creeping Beautiful
Author: J.A. Huss
Publication date: February 19th 2020
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense
I wasn’t the one who broke her but I played my part.
She came to us when she was ten. I raised her. I loved her.
I taught her how to survive in a world of evil men.
But it wasn’t enough.
I wasn’t the one who saved her but I did my best.
She needed me as much as I needed her.
Bought and paid for on the auction block.
But not for the reasons you think.
She was my weapon.
I wasn’t the one who lied to her but I hid her truth.
She was broken before I got there.
Wild and angry. Defiant and bratty.
But she trusted me most.
She loved me best.
So I set her free.
Indie Anna Accorsi is a woman lost in her past.
A pretty little nightmare.
A gorgeous piece of misery.
A mess of lovely darkness.
She is creeping beautiful.
And now we want her back.
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“Did you have a best friend when you were a kid, Adam?”
He didn’t look at me right away, just kept watching the football game. We had barbecued that afternoon. Hot dogs. I was still full from eating three.
But eventually his eyes found mine. “What do you mean? Like… McKay?”
“No. Did you have a girl like me when you were growing up here at Old Home? Or were you all alone?”
It came out sadder than I meant it to. Because I didn’t want to imagine Adam all alone. It made my heart hurt.
“I didn’t have a girl like you. Not until you came along. You’re one of a kind, Indie.”
I chuckled. Because I knew he was saying it to make me chuckle. But there was a stab of pain in my chest when he said that.
“I’m sorry, you know. For hitting you that day. I didn’t mean to hurt you.”
His eyes went sad then. And I wanted to take it back. But I didn’t take it back. I couldn’t take it back. I had been wanting to tell him that since he woke up on Nate’s living room floor covered in blood.
Finally, he sighed. “It’s just who you are, Indie.”
His reply hurt me more than it soothed me. Because… was that girl who hit him in the head with a candlestick who I was?
I gave him a brain injury. He almost died. And sure, by this time I had killed my share of people on different jobs. I had hurt more than that too. But I never wanted to hurt Adam. If McKay had not insisted on taking him to the emergency room, he would’ve died, or at the very least gone unconscious and never woken up again. His brain was swelling up and cutting off his oxygen flow. And even though he recovered, and by this time he was mostly back to normal physically, he had to have therapy for months afterward. And learn to say a few words all over again because his mouth didn’t quite work right.
I did that to him. And I was very, very sorry.
But the truth was… I didn’t actually remember doing it. I didn’t know how that candlestick got in my hand. I didn’t know how it struck Adam on the side of the head. I didn’t remember any of it. And that scared me. Really bad. And I wanted to tell this to Adam but I didn’t want him to worry about me or think I was losing it. Because I had heard Donovan talking to McKay and Adam over the years. He was always worried that one day I would ‘lose it’ and that’s why he’d been coming to talk to me since I was a little girl. So I didn’t lose it. So I could hold everything together in a tight, tight ball and never go insane.
But I didn’t know how to say that. I should’ve started with this train of thought instead of ‘I’m sorry’. Because now it felt like the conversation was over.
So I got up from my swing, walked over to Adam, and sat in his lap. And I hugged him. And then I was just… more sad than afraid. Because I had hugged McKay millions of times by this point in my life. And Donovan, a couple dozen, at least.
But I had never, ever, not once, hugged Adam. Or thanked him for saving me from that snake. Or giving me this home. Or making sure I was taken care of by McKay. For saving my life in the early days of those jobs. Or anything else that he’d done for me since I first became his more than seven years ago.
It took him almost a full minute to relax and put his arms around me, and hug me back. But when he did, something changed between us.
We both felt it.
And then his head turned and he kissed me on the cheek and pulled my face into his neck and whispered so softly, I could barely hear his words, “I love you, Indie. No matter what you do, I’m on your side, kid. Always and forever.”
I stayed in his lap. Enjoying this new closeness between us. But then he slapped my leg and said, “Get up. I gotta go inside. Got some work to do before I go to sleep.”
And I got up, and sat back down on my swing, and watched him walk away.
By the time that job was over I realized something.
I loved her.
I guess that’s what happens when you get used to something and then someone tries to take it away from you.
Because our trip home from Pensacola was two days later than planned and Indie Anna didn’t smile a single second of that ride.
She didn’t cry, either. But I could tell she wanted to.
And I did exactly what McKay told me to do if things went sideways. I did not yell. Not once. I just said, “It’s fine, Indie. It’s gonna be fine,” in the most soothing voice I could manage as I watched the Company doctor restrain her to the bed and fix her up.
And the game we played on the drive home was a new one called Let’s Pretend That Didn’t Happen.
Knowing what I do now, I probably wouldn’t have played that game with her.
I probably would’ve done a lot of things differently if I had known how good she’d get at pretending shit didn’t happen.
But hindsight can kiss my ass. You can’t change the past.
Indie Anna Accorsi is a beautiful little mess. She is a lovely little bundle of blonde hair and blue-eyed darkness. And even though I should have all kinds of regrets about how she came to be mine and how we came to be hers, I would absolutely do it all again.
Knowing her now, I wouldn’t change a thing.
Because if all those terrible things hadn’t happened, she would belong to him right now. She would be living in that little brick house with Nathan St. James.
She would be whole, and normal, and maybe even happier.
And my heart would be shattered into tiny shards. Millions of bitty pieces.
I’m a selfish piece of shit.
But I want what I want.
That’s the only way I can explain it.
Maybe she didn’t become mine the day of the auction, but the day that asshole triggered her without my permission, she did.
I tried to track her that first year. I felt obligated. I mean, I did turn her into this… bloodthirsty sociopath, right? The least I could do was keep an eye on her and make sure she didn’t lose her mind and start offing people. But she literally disappeared. No trace. By this time Adam, Donovan, and I had been running ex-Company teams for several years. We had connections. Not anything as intricate as what we had before the Company fell, but it was enough to get intel and keep teams alive.
Even with all that, Indie was gone. I found some security cam footage of her truck right after she left. Had a decent, if spotty, track record of her as she made her way east towards Mobile. But after that… nothing. That was under two hours.
That’s all it took for her to wipe herself off the map.
It was a weird time for me. I was so fucking confused. I kept playing what happened back in my head over and over again. Donovan left right after Indie, claiming he couldn’t be a part of this. So it was just me that night.
Just me. All alone in this house.
I’ve been alone here before. Every time Adam and Indie went on a job I stayed behind.
But this wasn’t that kind of alone.
This was… loneliness.
Adam wasn’t picking up his phone. I called him constantly through that night, but he never picked up once. Finally, I had left so many messages his voicemail was full and I gave up. I went up to my bedroom and fell asleep, confident Adam would call me with some kind of update.
He sent a text.
A fuckin’ text that said, “It’s over.”
Just thinking about that fills me with hot anger right now.
How do you send a text like that?
I called him back that same day. He didn’t answer. I texted. He didn’t answer. So I busied myself tracking Indie on the various security cams.
I figured, OK. Everybody needs a moment. We just need to get our heads on straight and figure this out. And then they’d all be back.
No one came back.
Well, I guess that’s not true. Obviously, someone covered the furniture in white sheets and shut the house up.
But everyone moved on so I moved on too. Went to my machine shop. Turned the upstairs into a livable apartment. Started making some art pieces. Mostly outdoor sculptures. Opened up a fucking Etsy shop.
Which makes me chuckle a little, that’s how stupid it sounds. I was a thirty-two-year-old retired child-assassin trainer selling metal art on Etsy.
But I like my fucking Etsy shop. It calms me. Gives me purpose. And I sell a shit ton of art on there.
Once Indie left there was nothing. I had nothing. She was my everything. I probably could’ve been happy if Adam had come home. Probably could’ve stayed in the business if he was there.
But he disappeared too.
He’d moved on. The things that happened that day could not be fixed.
We were all… broken.
I don’t think I can do this anymore. I know I’ve said it before, but this time I mean it. I can’t go through this again.
This is the eighth time.
Eight times Indie has gone off script.
Eight times we had to backtrack her every move and figure out what she did.
Eight times we told ourselves it was a one-off.
Eight motherfucking times we played her favorite game. The one called Let’s-Pretend-That-Didn’t-Happen.
Eight. Goddamned. Times. I’ve written a session note just like this.
And that, right there? That’s the definition of insanity.
I try and remember why I took this job. Why, exactly, I talked Adam into buying this girl. And I swear to God. I know I did this. I remember those words that came out of my mouth back on that island. I have the motherfucking session tapes, and notes, and private thoughts from Indie’s first year and I have read them so many times I could recite them from memory.
But for the life of me, I cannot come to terms with what the fuck I was thinking.
Carter is dead.
Dead. Dead. Dead. Like everyone else. He is dead.
He’s not out there running little girls like Indie.
He’s not out playing Company.
That was my father’s final job before Adam and I helped Nick, and Sasha, and James kill two hundred people in Santa Barbara.
But I was young, I guess. So fuckin’ sure of myself. My brain, and my money, and my Untouchable status.
I can’t do this anymore.
JA Huss is the New York Times Bestselling author of 321 and has been on the USA Today Bestseller’s list 21 times in the past five years. She writes characters with heart, plots with twists, and perfect endings.
Her new sexy sci-fi romance and paranormal romance pen name is KC Cross and she writes novels and teleplays collaboratively with actor and screenwriter, Johnathan McClain.
Her books have sold millions of copies all over the world, the audio version of her semi-autobiographical book, Eighteen, was nominated for a Voice Arts Award and an Audie Award in 2016 and 2017 respectively. Her audiobook, Mr. Perfect, was nominated for a Voice Arts Award in 2017. Her audiobook, Taking Turns, was nominated for an Audie Award in 2018. Five of her book were optioned for a TV series by MGM television in 2018. And her book, Total Exposure, was nominated for a RITA Award in 2019.
She lives on a ranch in Central Colorado with her family.
GIVEAWAY (INTERNATIONAL) – Signed copy of Creeping Beautiful (ends March 16th) > HERE
Check out the book trailer > HERE
This sounds like a very dark, suspenseful, wild and bit crazy romance between three men and a woman, so are you ready to give-in to that fictional darkness? I think it sounds like a TABO romance or romance with big age difference, and it could be dealing with mental-health issues and darkness, there is probably killing and some triggering themes. That’s my impression so far. What are your thoughts on these excerpts, teasers and synopsis?
Lady of Bookland