Friday, September 20, 2013

COVER REVEAL+ GIVEAWAY: UNDONE BY R.E. HUNTER


Title:    Undone (Undone #1)
Author:    R.E. Hunter
Genre:    Contemporary Romance
Expected Release Date:    November 21. 
Cover Designer:    Regina with Mae I Design

Blurb:

Five years ago, Embry Jacobs ran...

She ran from a past that still hasn’t let her go, but her dream of becoming a lawyer is stronger than her fear of confronting that past. Embry’s sole focus is to get through law school—with the help of her best friend, Morgan—and make something of the broken girl she became. Not thinking about falling in love, being in a relationship or even entertaining the idea of romance, Embry is moving forward one day at a time.

Luke Brody is charming and sexy, and has a past of his own. He wants nothing more than to put his demons to rest and move on with his life. But, when Embry enters the picture, is he destined to repeat those same mistakes?

Blindsided by their instant attraction, neither Luke nor Embry are prepared for the feelings they’re developing. But will it all be for nothing?

Will they let their pasts destroy them, or will they risk everything to fight for their relationship when it all comes undone?





Undone Teaser:
“I’m Luke, by the way,” he said, holding out his hand. “Luke Brody.”
“Bree. Um, Embry Jacobs,” she said, placing her hand in his.
He bent his head, his soft lips brushing lightly across her knuckles as he kept his eyes trained firmly on hers. “Nice to meet you, Embry.”
She flushed from head to toe. The bartender ended their moment, setting down Embry’s drink. “Thanks,” she said.
“No problem.” The bartender smiled and walked away.
“So…” Embry said, turning her attention back to Luke. It came out as a strangled whisper. She cleared her throat and tried again. “So, do you go to Whitman?”
“Ah, no.” Luke rubbed the back of his neck, looking uncomfortable. “I’m an attorney.”
“Oh.”
“But I’m working with one of the professors on a research project, so I’m in and out of the law school a bit.”
“That’s good.” Embry noticed he spoke in a slow, southern drawl. He didn’t come across as someone who grew up on Long Island. His accent definitely gave him away. “You’re not from around here, are you?”
He chuckled. “Is it that obvious?”
“Well, yeah,” Embry answered. He looked down. Oh my gosh, is he blushing?
Not wanting to embarrass him, Embry quickly added, “It’s a good thing though, trust me. And I like your accent.”
He smiled, his cobalt eyes lighting up. “I’m from Georgia, actually.”
Embry loved his voice and the way his eyes crinkled when he smiled, highlighting a single dimple on the left side of his face. She wanted him to keep talking.
“What brought you to New York?”
“Change of pace. An opportunity came up and I took it. What about you?”
“Oh, well I’m from here originally. I spent the last five years in Florida, though. I went to UF and then I moved to Jacksonville and worked for a few years. My best friend, Morgan, convinced me to come back home so we could go to law school together.”
He smiled and touched her hand. “Well, I’m glad she did.”
Embry didn’t know what to say so she just smiled and took him in. She couldn’t believe she was sitting here talking to this gorgeous man who, only a few hours ago, was just some hottie in a hallway.
“Like what you see, Bree?” his voice was husky, his eyes hooded.
Hypnotized by his gaze, she didn’t even think twice as she pulled her bottom lip between her teeth and nodded.
Luke flicked his eyes down to her mouth, licked his lips and slowly leaned toward her. Embry’s breath hitched at his movement and she held still, waiting to see what he would do. He lifted his hand, cupping her cheek. “You’re beautiful,” he whispered.





About the author:
R.E. Hunter is a native New Yorker and lives on Long Island with her husband and their monster kitty. She works as an attorney by day and writes whenever she can. As an avid reader and writer, she's excited to be on this crazy journey publishing her debut novel, Undone, this November. When she’s not writing, you can usually find her somewhere near a beach. She loves traveling, road trips, concerts, photography and good wine. 

Author Links: 


BEFORE YOU GO! CHECK OUT THE PROLOGUE & CHAPTER 1!!!

PROLOGUE


     This can’t be happening. That thought ran on a constant loop through her head as she sat in the cold, uninviting classroom; the smell of antiseptic invading her nostrils. She sat on a hard, plastic chair, foot tapping furiously, and gripped her hands in her lap. The waiting was killing her. She studied the three people at the front of the room, heads bent together, whispering amongst themselves.
     An older man with graying hair, combed over in a pathetic attempt to mask the thin spots on his balding head, sat in the middle and seemed to be leading the discussion. On his left, a younger woman with a severe blonde bob, adding harshness to her already angular face, shuffled through a stack of papers and nodded along with the conversation. On his right, another man, middle-aged and average in every way, from his medium build to his brown hair and brown bespectacled eyes, looked as if he were listening intently. He occasionally gave his input while sneaking small, quick glances at her, sympathy etched into his features. 
    She stared at her hands to avoid his gaze, but she could still feel it. She strained forward, trying to hear what they were saying. No luck. They were taking their sweet time, and all she wanted was to get it over with. Like a Band-Aid, it would hurt either way. Might as well make it quick. She’d been down that road once before. She’d had to pick up the pieces of her broken life and move on to start a new one. She couldn’t do it again, not after all of her hard work to get to this point. She couldn’t accept it, wouldn’t. 
    How had this happened? They’d been careful. Hadn’t they been careful? She swallowed the lump in her throat and tried in vain to think of something else. 
    The older gentleman cleared his throat, pulling her from her thoughts. “Miss Jacobs?” 
    She looked up at the three members of the university’s disciplinary committee, taking them all in one at a time. She straightened her back and lifted her chin, hoping the outward display of confidence would give her some semblance of the same feeling on the inside. That was all shot to hell as soon as she opened her mouth. “Y-yes, sir,” she answered, her voice trembling. 
    “Do you know why you’re here?” the average man asked, his eyes kind. 
    “No, sir,” she said, shaking her head. But she was pretty sure she had an idea. 
    “Let me tell you,” the older man interjected, opening the folder in front of him. He explained the purpose of the hearing and the university’s policies regarding disciplinary sanctions. She sat back, rubbing her palms on her pants and trying to calm down. As she listened to the words coming out of his mouth, she was hit with a rush of emotions so strong, it almost bowled her over in her chair.  
    Good. Bad. Happy. Sad. Betrayal. Rage. Shock. Relief. Relief? She fought to keep focused on the seriousness of the situation before her as a litany of memories assaulted her consciousness.





 CHAPTER ONE
Six months earlier. 
    “Look to your left … now look to your right. One of you won’t be here at the end of the year.” 
    Embry Jacobs fought to keep her composure as the Dean made a sad attempt to scare her out of her decision to embark on the three-year journey at Whitman Law School. The old theater seats made her itch, and her long blond hair stuck to the back of her neck. She was getting antsy. She leaned in to whisper to her best friend Morgan Maxwell. “Seriously? I thought they stopped giving this speech years ago. Did the Dean take this straight from The Paper Chase?” 
    Morgan chuckled and elbowed Embry in the ribs. “Shhh, this is very important stuff, Bree.” 
    Embry had read the books and watched the movies. She knew all about the scare tactics used on first-year law students. As cliché as his speech was, she also knew the reality of what the Dean was saying. A good number of the students in that auditorium wouldn’t make it through the first semester, let alone all three years. 
    Failing out was not an option for her. She had one chance, and she had to make it count. She’d worked so hard to get there. All she’d ever wanted was to be a lawyer, and the only thing standing in her way was three years of school. Already in debt from her undergraduate degree, she was relying on a scholarship to get her through. If her grades didn’t stay high enough to maintain the scholarship, she’d be forced to take out more loans. At least she was going into a profession where she’d be able to make enough to pay them off. 
    She was startled out of her thoughts by a hard poke to her arm. 
    “Bree, you coming?” 
    She looked up to see Morgan waiting for her. Morgan had been her best friend for as long as she could remember. She’d been through everything with Embry, and even though they’d lived far apart for the past five years, their friendship had never suffered. When Embry left home after high school without any warning or explanation, Morgan was the only person who knew the real reason. Even when it put a strain on her relationship with her own parents, Morgan stuck by Embry’s side, always supportive and never questioning. When they started applying to law schools at the same time, Morgan convinced her to finally come home so they could experience it together. Embry never believed they’d be so lucky to get accepted to Whitman together, so when she got her admission letter, she started planning her move immediately. 
    Morgan’s voice broke through her thoughts again. “Earth to Embry! Did you hear a word I just said?” 
    “What? No, sorry,” she answered. 
    “Where were you just now?” Morgan said, tilting her head and shooting Embry a curious glance. 
    “I was just thinking about being back home,” she said, shrugging. 
    Morgan bounced up and down. “Oh my God, I know! Can you believe we’re really doing this? Morgan and Bree back together again! And in law school!” She grabbed Embry’s arm, pulling her up out of the seat. “Come on, I wanna catch the next campus tour.”  
    Embry gave Morgan a big smile, trying to match her enthusiasm. “Okay, okay, let’s go.” 
    The two girls exited the auditorium into the bright summer sun. Embry rummaged around in her purse for her sunglasses, and her fingers brushed the hard edge of an envelope. She dragged Morgan to a stop. “Hey, I totally forgot I have to run to student services.” She pulled the envelope from her purse. “Something to do with my tuition. You okay to do the tour yourself?” 
    Morgan huffed sarcastically then gave Embry a bright smile. “I’ll be fine. You know I make friends wherever I go!” 
    Embry chuckled. “Okay, I’ll catch you later.”  
    She made her way toward the law school and walked through the rear door. She hadn’t been that way yet and found herself disoriented as she navigated the long, empty hallways. Orientation began the week before regular classes, and the incoming first years, or One Ls, had the run of the school. The past few days had been full of meet and greets, computer software seminars, and campus tours. Her first class was in about an hour, and she was nervous as hell. She turned a corner and stopped to take in her surroundings. She realized she had been walking in a circle about the same time something crashed into her, spinning her around. Before she could get her bearings, she felt a large, warm hand on her arm. 
    “Sorry about that.” 
    She looked up at the owner of the deep, raspy voice and into the bluest eyes she’d ever seen. He had the most beautiful face, but if asked, she wouldn’t be able to describe it. She was lost in his eyes and the warmth emanating from his touch. “I – um…” Struck speechless, she simply nodded and tucked a stray strand of hair behind her ear. 
    “Are you okay?” he asked, his brow furrowed.  
    “Yeah. Yes, I’m fine,” she forced out, nodding again. Stop nodding, Embry! 
    “You sure?” he asked, raising an eyebrow.  
    “I’m good, thanks.” 
    He quirked his head to the side, studying her. His face twisted into something just short of … pain? He looked perplexed, confused, frustrated. Why? Embry watched him shake his head slightly, as if trying to clear the emotions playing across his face. He slowly dragged his thumb across her skin before he removed his hand from her arm, leaving a trail of goose bumps in its wake. 
    “Sorry again,” he said with a sheepish grin, and just like that he was gone. He turned and walked away like they hadn’t just collided and had the most intense moment. Their entire exchange couldn’t have lasted more than a minute, but Embry felt it in every fiber of her being. 
    Shaken by her run-in with the mysterious stranger, she retraced her steps down the long hallway until she found the atrium. The large, open room was filled with sunlight streaming in from the sky lit ceiling. Tables and chairs, filled with new students laughing and talking, were scattered around the big space. The walls were covered with pictures of Supreme Court justices and esteemed faculty members, and at the end was the student services office. She made her way into the office, and even as she sat and listened to her advisor dole out the bad news about her tuition, all she could think about were those striking blue eyes.

*** 
    Embry walked through the crowded atrium, head spinning. Her advisor had just informed her that her scholarship didn’t cover everything; she was short on tuition. She had enough money in savings to cover her rent for the year, but the news meant she had to dip into that to pay the balance of her tuition. Her parents were good, hard-working people. They did what they could for their daughter, but they wouldn’t be able to help her.  She had to find a job to cover the rest of her expenses. 
    Embry had nothing against working, but the school frowned upon it. She had no idea how she’d manage working and a full class schedule, but she’d do what she had to. If she worked during the day, she’d be forced to switch to evening classes and it would take her an extra year to graduate, so bartending was her best option. She’d bartended her way through college but thought she was finished with that when she got to law school. Guess not. She took her pity party to one of the empty tables and sat down to review her orientation packet. 
    A large iced coffee was placed in front of her as Morgan sat down beside her. “Looked like you could use this. I saw you pouting from across the atrium.” 
    “Light and sweet?” she asked, eyeing the coffee. 
    “Of course! I know what you like. Now tell me what’s wrong.” Embry recounted the meeting with her advisor, skating over the details. Morgan, of course, picked up on it right away. “So, what’s the problem? You have money saved to cover the tuition, right?” 
    “I have money saved...” Embry trailed off.  
    “But not enough,” Morgan said, putting the pieces together. “So how can I help?” 
    The Maxwells were well off, but Embry didn’t want their charity. She was already living in an apartment that they owned and charged her half the rent of the other apartments in the area. She wouldn’t accept any more help. She’d made it that far on her own; she’d figure it out. “I appreciate it, Morgan, but I’ve got it covered. I’ll make it work.” 
    “Stubborn,” Morgan scolded. 
    “Idealist,” she shot back with a grin. 
    Morgan laughed and playfully shoved at Embry’s arm. “Come on, we have our first classes in ten minutes.” 
    Embry followed Morgan from the atrium and down a long corridor to their classrooms. They weren’t in the same sections, but for orientation week, everyone had their first class at the same time. 
    “Good luuuck,” Morgan called as she pranced off toward her class. 
    “You too, M!”
*** 
    Embry walked into the classroom and stood in the back, getting her bearings. Rows of stadium seating lay before her, and she watched students mill around below. She wandered down the stairs and chose a seat toward the middle of the classroom. As she pulled out her computer and began setting up, someone slid into the seat next to her. 
    “This seat taken?” 
    Embry looked up into a handsome face and a pair of big, brown eyes. They had nothing on the sexy guy from the hallway, but he wasn’t lacking in the looks department. What has gotten into you, Embry?  It had been a while but not that long. She hadn’t been in a relationship in five years, not since him, but that hadn’t stopped her from having fun. Law school was different, though. She didn’t want any distractions: no guys, no sex, no drama. At the rate hot guys were popping up, though, she’d be failing out by the end of the week.   
    “Nope, all yours,” she answered, busying herself with her computer. 
    “Cool, thanks. I’m Jeremy,” he said as he gave her a half wave. 
    “Embry.” 
    “So what’s your story, Blondie?” he asked, reaching out to twirl a piece of her golden hair. 
    That snapped her out of it. “What?” She tugged her hair out of his grasp. 
    “You know, your story. Where are you from, what did you go to school for ... the usual.” 
    She pointed to herself. “Embry. Not Blondie.”  
    He raised his hands in surrender. “Okay, sorry. I like nicknames. You’re a little uptight, aren’t you?”  
    “What’s that supposed to mean?” she asked, starting to lose her cool. 
    “I could help you loosen up a bit, you know.” He winked. Winked! The guy was hot—she had to admit that—but was he serious? 
    “Are you serious?” 
    “Only if you say yes.”  
    She had no words. She rolled her eyes and went back to her computer. 
    He didn’t leave her alone for long. “I got your mind off your first day jitters though, didn’t I?” All she could do was stare at him. Who is this guy? “I did, didn’t I?” He nudged at her arm. 
    She finally let her guard down and laughed. “Yes, yes, you did, okay? Happy?” 
    “Not until you go out with me.” 
    “Not happening.” 
    “Really?” 
    “Really,” she deadpanned. 
    “You sure?” he asked, wiggling his eyebrows.  
    “Positive.” 
    “Friends?” he said. She narrowed her eyes and glared at him, not entirely trusting his motives. He tilted his head, widened his eyes, and pouted, giving her what she was sure was his best puppy-dog face. “Come on, we got the sex out of the way. Now we can keep it strictly platonic.” 
    Her eyes nearly popped out of her head. “Sex? What sex? There is going to be no sex!” She said that louder than she meant to. She should have been aggravated, but for some reason, he was making her laugh. And he was right; her first-day jitters were history. 
    “It’s out of the way. I hit on you, you friend-zoned me, so we’re all good. It’s platonic now.” 
    “Okaaay,” she said reluctantly. 
    “That is, until you realize how ridiculously attractive I am and regret your decision. I can’t promise I’ll wait for you, though.” 
    She rolled her eyes. “You’re unbelievable.”  
    “Believe it, baby.” 
    “Embry,” she stated, pointing toward her chest again. 
    “Embry Baby.” 
    “Just Embry.” 
    “We’ll work on it, Blondie.” He winked again. 
    He was infuriating and funny at the same time. She eyed him again and then shot him a genuine smile. 
    “Friends,” she said. And that was that.  
    “So, you hear anything about this Professor Curtis?” he asked. 
    “Nothing good.” 
    He nodded as he tapped his pen on the desk. “You know, after that Oscar-worthy performance by the Dean, I’m starting to think this is all just a big set-up to make us go running for the hills.” 
    “Yeah, I thought he was laying it on a bit thick,” she said, searching through her bag for her notebook. 
    “I’m pretty sure it’s all a big act. It can’t be that bad,” Jeremy said confidently. 
    “Let’s hope….” Embry’s sentence trailed off as the room went silent. 
    The students were suddenly engrossed in watching Professor Curtis walk into the room. After the rumors she’d heard, Embry was expecting someone a bit more intimidating. Professor Curtis was a petite woman, about mid-forties, with librarian glasses, shoulder-length brown hair, and a stylish skirt suit. She glided up to the podium, put down a stack of papers, and headed to the whiteboard. 
    “I’m Professor Curtis.” The dry erase marker squeaked across the board. “I’ll be your contracts professor this semester. These are my office hours and contact information. My door is always open, so feel free to stop in. We’re just going to go over the syllabus and class objectives today. I’ll tell you a bit about myself, and I’ll send you on your way; so you can all let out that breath you’ve been holding.”
The entire class breathed an audible sigh of relief as they realized Professor Curtis wouldn’t be torturing them on their first day. 
    At the end of class, Embry packed up her things and felt Jeremy’s eyes on her. 
    “So, really, where are you from? What did you study?” he asked. 
    She was taken aback by how normal he was behaving. “Oh. Um, well, I’m from here. Originally, anyways. I did my undergrad at the University of Florida. Studied poly sci and psych. What about you?” 
    He smiled, gathering his things. “I’m from Rochester. My Dad owns a law firm back home and I’ll be going into the family business, so law school was the next logical step. I went to Syracuse.” 
    Before Embry could ask Jeremy about his father’s firm, Professor Curtis interrupted the class with a late announcement. “Oh, before I forget. I’m looking for a research assistant for the year. If any of you are looking for some extra money and good experience, come up and see me.” 
    Embry’s ears perked up. The research assistant position would be the perfect solution to her problem. She could make the money she needed and still focus on law. All she had to do was impress the professor. “I’m going to head up there and check that out.”  
    Jeremy raised an eyebrow. “Apply at your own risk. I hear she can be pretty tough.” 
    “Thanks for the warning.” She waved goodbye to Jeremy and made her way to the front of the room.
*** 
    Embry walked out of the classroom in a far better mood than she had entered it. Professor Curtis seemed much nicer than everyone described her, and Embry had a good feeling about her chances of getting the position. She was actually excited for the semester to officially start next week. She dug in her bag for her cell phone to text Morgan. When she glanced up, she froze. 
    Walking toward her was the sexy stranger. He was farther away, and she had time to take in his beauty. Tight, gray V-neck shirt and faded jeans. Dark, perfectly mussed hair, those bright blue eyes, perfect nose, and strong, chiseled jaw. Gorgeous. He was carrying a box, and it must have been heavy because his muscles were straining against his T-shirt, and Embry couldn’t look away. When she finally dragged her eyes from his biceps, she found his baby blues searching hers. He held her gaze as he walked toward her, causing her cheeks to flush under the intensity of his stare. As he drew closer, she noticed his lips twisting into an amused smirk. 
    “We have to stop meeting like this,” he joked, stopping in front of her. 
    She was momentarily stunned by his easy demeanor, but recovered quickly. “If I didn’t know better, I’d think you were following me.” 
    And then he smiled. Not a polite smile shared with a stranger, but a real smile. A gorgeous smile. An all-out, eyes-crinkling, dimples-popping, panty-dropping smile. “Maybe I am,” he said, with a slight lift of his eyebrows. 
    Something stirred inside of Embry. Her knees loosened, heat crept up her neck, and a swarm of butterflies took up residence in her stomach. Before she had time to acknowledge her reaction, he turned and walked away, again. Sauntered, really. As she stood studying his backside, she realized she was in big trouble.

2 comments:

  1. Best beach I have ever been to? PALAWAN, PHILIPPINES. The place is sooooooo good.

    ReplyDelete

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