ONE BREATH AFTER ANOTHER
Cover Credits: London Miller
The After Another Trilogy, book #2
Publication Date: October 5, 2020
Genres: Adult, Romantic Suspense, Crime Thriller, Organized Crime
They say you can’t go back but …
Penny Dunsworth was broken.
Before she became the white ghost, she was already unrecognizable. A troubled teenage girl with monsters that couldn’t be slain, and an irrational crush on the only man she considered a friend. Her one crime was daring to think she might finally be free.
Luca Puzza was only trying to figure things out.
His days are balanced between his duty and worth. He can’t seem to make it all work, but that doesn’t stop him from trying. Somethings are just more important—like the girl with the haunted eyes who seems to trust him. He only ever wanted to help.
The past never stays where it belongs—why would it?
It’s the only thing left to warn about the future.
NOTE: One Breath After Another is book 2 in the After Another trilogy. It follows the same couple – Luca and Penny – from present to past, and back again. The books must be read in order. Be warned, the trilogy discusses a subject that may be triggering.
Present Day …
THERE was something to be said for returning to a place where it all began … at least, in Penny’s world. One might think the start of her life—good or bad—had been at the New Jersey home tucked deep within a gated community where her parents kept a permanent residence until her father found himself locked behind bars for his misdeeds.
All the horrors of the three-level Victorian home were hidden by tall, green edges and a manicured lawn. The luxury vehicles that used to sit in the driveway, and the picture-perfect image her parents presented to the world kept suspicion at bay from anyone who dared to look beyond the pretty surface to find the cracked layers underneath.
And even so, that had been where her life began.
Penny’s life started somewhere else. Or what she considered to be the start of it, anyway. Was life really a life worth living if someone didn’t know what love was, or how to love? Was life at all important when one wasn’t really living it, only existing?
That came later for her.
Learning how to live, that was.
It was also every reason why instead of returning to New Jersey … she found herself back in New York. Or specifically, walking the bumpy, dirt path—one of many—that connected the forested area behind Rosalynn and Nazio Donati’s home and their rear property.
Was it too close for comfort?
Was she being foolish?
It was … more days than she cared to count since she went AWOL from The League. She didn’t doubt for a second that her former handlers already had a small army looking for her. She was a situation they needed to get under control, and they would certainly try to do just that by whatever means necessary.
It also changed nothing.
Penny was done following orders that would not serve her best interests, or the interests of the people who she had done this for in the first place. She wasn’t going to make it easy on The League—or anyone else that dared to get in her way—while she finished her business with Allegra Dunsworth.
She shouldn’t have come back to Naz and Roz when they would undoubtedly be the first place The League came to look for Penny. Very few others knew her past like her handlers did, though, so she was willing to take the risk. It wasn’t like she planned to stay for long.
And yet, despite it all, Penny couldn’t help but come back one more time before everything changed again. Before she changed everything.
She didn’t plan to show herself or even walk up and knock on the backdoor. Her adoptive family would never even know she had been there after she left. They deserved better than a random appearance and another disappearance. She threw their world into upheaval once just by being there and then again when she left without an explanation. There was no good reason to do it to them again. Even she knew that.
No, she just wanted to … see them.
Or their home, rather.
Remind herself why she was here in the first place and what brought her to the point that she was willing to … give it all up.
Her protection from being who she was. The family she desperately missed. A career that had allowed her both healing and retribution for the wrongs done to her. The chance to start over, or to be someone else, even.
To learn what came after …
All of it and more.
Penny was giving it up—or any chance of it by doing what she had done, really.
Still, as she lingered at the edge of the forest, ten feet beyond where the treeline ended on Naz and Roz’s property, she couldn’t help but think it was still worth it. For them, and their life, even if it was one without her.
And for her, too.
For her peace of mind. Something she never had—not while her mother still walked and breathed.
Soon, Allegra wouldn’t.
Penny needed to start over first. Go back to the beginning and remember. To know that for a time, before all of this happened, she was happy. Or … she was starting to learn how to be happy in her own way. Until her mother ruined that, too.
Some things never changed …
Lost in her thoughts and still staring at the only home she had ever known, Penny was too distracted to hear the crack of twigs from her left. That was, until a little voice said, “Hey, Penny.”
CALLING ALL REVIEWERS, BLOGGERS, BOOKSTAGRAMMERS! YOU STILL HAVE TIME TO SIGNUP TO PARTICIPATE IN THE AFTER ANOTHER TRILOGY EVENTS!
One Breath After Another: https://indiesage.com/one-breathbk/
One Second After Another: https://indiesage.com/one-secondbk/
Bethany-Kris is a Canadian author, lover of much, and mother to four young sons, one cat, and two dogs. A small town in Eastern Canada where she was born and raised is where she has always called home. With her boys under her feet, snuggling cat, barking dogs, and a hubby calling over his shoulder, she is nearly always writing something … when she can find the time.
To keep up-to-date with new releases from Bethany-Kris, sign up to her New Release Newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/bf9lzD