Excerpt from book:
TOP THREE AWFUL MOMENTS OF MY LIFE:
Meeting my biological father at ten Breaking my arm in three spots at nine Falling into a hole and being trapped there overnight with a dead body at eight Other than that, I love my life. While some of my friends are all, "Woe is me, no one understands my traumatized soul," I'm pretty happy. I like happy. I like simple. I like predictable and I hate surprises.
With that said, I'm not particularly thrilled when my father tries to hand me a piece of paper that causes my mother to choke up and excuse herself from the kitchen.
Dad and I continue to stare at one another as we listen to Mom race up the stairs then close the door to their bedroom. Life is out of whack and it's easy to tell. Dirty dishes are piled in the sink. A stack of unopened mail is tossed across the island. A pile of balled tissues creates a mountain on the wooden oval table. The yellow kitchen that seemed cheery this morning is darkened with emotional storm clouds.
The awkward silence between me and Dad has officially stretched into painful. I shift under the strain and my foot nudges my backpack on the floor.
"You should go after her," I say to break the stillness and to ignore the fact I haven't accepted what Dad is offering. Plus, Dad always knows how to pull Mom out of her drama pit. It's one of the million things I love about him.
"I will." His lips lift a little, a strong indication he's planning to mess with me. "How do you want to handle this? Straightforward, gradual introduction, or head in the sand?"
I brighten. "Head in the sand works well for me."
"Good try, but pick another option."
"How does it feel to be a senior?"
Despite the impending knowledge that my life is about to suck, I smile. I'd walked into the kitchen after my last day of school expecting to gush to Mom about how Trisha and I were invited to Blake Harris's party tonight.
What I didn't expect? Dad home, Mom in tears and a note that possibly brings tidings from hell. "It feels awesome. It'll feel even better if you put that piece of paper in the garbage disposal."
"Please read it," Dad presses. "It was hard for your mom to make the decision to let you see this and we should respect her wishes."
My stomach aches as if I'd been elbowed. This debilitating reaction from my mother means one thing: contact from her childhood home in Kentucky.
Kentucky is a painful subject for her and there's nothing I wouldn't do to ease her suffering because, until Dad came into the picture and adopted me when I was five, Mom raised me on her own. That deserves some major respect.
Out of the corner of my eye I take in the collage of framed photos on the wall. The middle picture is my favorite. It's an eight by ten of the day Mom and Dad married. Mom's in a white wedding gown. Slender. Graceful. Her sleek blond hair falling around her shoulders as she beams down at me. Dad crouches beside me. His sun-kissed hair strikingly gold compared to his black tux.
He tucks a rose into my dark brown hair. I'm five and focused on him like he's Superman. That's because he is. My own personal superhero. He adopted me mere days before he married my mom.
Dad clears his throat and I snatch the paper from his hands with just the right amount of ticked off. I'll wander down this dark tunnel of insanity for a few minutes
for him and my mom.
It's an e-mail and it's short and to the point and it's from my biological father.
Jeff, Please tell Emily. Eli Underneath the message are an obituary and a photo of a woman I've never met. Her name isAn unforgettable new series from acclaimed author Katie McGarry about taking risks, opening your heart and ending up in a place you never imagined possible
Seventeen-year-old Emily likes her life the way it is: doting parents, good friends, good school in a safe neighborhood. Sure, she's curious about her biological fatherthe one who chose life in a motorcycle club, the Reign of Terror, over being a parentbut that doesn't mean she wants to be a part of his world. But when a reluctant visit turns into an extended summer vacation among relatives she never knew she had, one thing becomes clear: nothing is what it seems. Not the club, not her secret-keeping father and not Oz, a guy with suck-me-in blue eyes who can help her understand them both.
Oz wants one thing: to join the Reign of Terror. They're the good guys. They protect people. They're
family. And while Emilythe gorgeous and sheltered daughter of the club's most respected memberis in town, he's gonna prove it to her. So when her father asks him to keep her safe from a rival club with a score to settle, Oz knows it's his shot at his dream. What he doesn't count on is that Emily just might turn that dream upside down.
No one wants them to be together. But sometimes the right person is the one you least expect, and the road you fear the most is the one that leads you home.