Title: Broken (This Trilogy #1)
Author: J.B. McGee
Publisher: Indie Author, 143 Pages (September 28th, 2012)
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Note: This is an "New Adult/Adult" Title
Synopsis: Gabby's life has been anything but easy. She is surrounded by friends who seem to have everything she doesn't: money, social standing, and happily married parents. While dealing with the loss of her mother, she experiences her first heartbreak. She commits herself to her studies and runs away from any emotions that aren't safe. Bradley Banks, a confident CEO and commercial architect, who has long time commitment issues forces Gabby to feel again, but will he be her next heartbreak?
Adult-content rating: This book contains content considered unsuitable for young readers 17 and under, and which may be offensive to some readers of all ages.
EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT FROM: Mending, the sequel to Broken -
Bradley had arranged for a limousine to take them to their destination and back. He thought it would be nice to not have to worry about driving. The girls would be able to talk. They would all be able to drink. He hadn’t been able to see Ryan much since he was in residency, so he knew they would enjoy catching up on sports.
He kissed her hand. “It’s a limo, climb in.”
Sam giggled and looked up into Ryan’s brown eyes. “Did you know about this?”
He smirked and conceded, “I did.”
Sam put her hands on her hips and sighed. He bit his bottom lip grinning and she busted out laughing.
Gabby and Sam climbed into the back of the limo and Bradley made sure everyone had a drink. He had arranged for their favorite champagne.
“Where are you taking us?” Gabby asked.
“Yeah, Mr. Moneypants. Where are you taking us?” Sam chimed in.
Bradley smirked as he looked at Ryan. “Should we tell them?”
Ryan bobbed his head from left to right. “Hmmm. Nah.”
The girls both nudged their guys simultaneously. “Not fair.”
Gabby had gotten excited as they approached Hopeland Gardens in Aiken, but slouched when they passed the entrance. She had hoped that was where he was taking her ever since they had taken the Aiken exit. She wondered where he might be taking her if not there. What else was there to do in Aiken that would be so special, she thought?
When the limo pulled into the parking lot of the old shopping center next to the Applebee’s, she remembered that you have to take a shuttle to Hopeland Gardens at Christmas to see the lights. She and Sam made eye contact and beamed at the realization he had made arrangements for them to come together to see the Christmas lights.
Bradley placed his hand on Gabby’s leg. “Hey, I thought it was time to make some Christmas traditions. I know how special this was to you and Sam last year.”
A tear streamed down Gabby’s face and she was unable to speak. She just shook her head and cupped his face in her hands. He leaned over and kissed her, whispering, “I love you, Gabby Girl.”
He had told her he loved her at Thanksgiving. The past couple of months had been the best in her life. She couldn’t believe they were actually true. “I love you, too.”
Sam and Ryan watched on and Sam just rolled her eyes. Ryan’s hand was resting on his lap barely touching Sam’s leg. She moved her hand closer, and then slowly threaded his fingers through hers. Neither looked at each other, but both were blushing.
Bradley pulled away, “C’mon. Let’s get in line.”
“Oh you mean you didn’t pay someone off to get us to the front of the line?” Sam winked.
Bradley gave her a condescending playful look. “No, I didn’t think all these sweet people with children would appreciate that.”
“Awe, Bradley. You’re so sweet,” Sam teased.
The wait for the shuttle had not been too long. The ride was only a couple of minutes. Gabby felt like she was in high school riding on a bus with her boyfriend, holding hands, laughing with her sister and Ryan. She smiled at the couples with children and prayed that one day, these traditions would evolve into their family traditions.
“The lights are beautiful, aren’t they?” Gabby asked Bradley.
He leaned down and kissed her. “They are, but not as beautiful as how you look with the lights bouncing off of you.”
Gabby couldn’t do anything other than grin like a fool. She shook her head and finally found words. “You’re so smooth, such a charmer.”
Bradley shrugged his shoulders while raising his eyebrows replied, “Hey, what can I say?”
Gabby nudged him. “Let’s get some hot chocolate.”
Ryan motioned for the opposite direction. “We’re going to go to the dollhouse thing over there. We’ll catch up with you two later.”
Bradley smiled a wry smile. “Sure, man.”
Everything was going as planned. He and Ryan had already talked and planned for him and Sam to give them some space. He just needed to wait for the right time. His palms were sweaty even though the temperatures were just above freezing. He was thankful for his gloves so that she couldn’t tell just how nervous he was.
It didn’t matter what she said, even though he wanted her to say yes. He just needed to finally ask her, get it off his chest. Her staying with him had only made him want it even more. It was the next logical step in the relationship.
“Bradley?” Gabby nudged him.
He shook his head trying to snap out of his nervous thoughts. “Yeah, sorry.”
She handed him his hot chocolate. “Do you want to go into that Racing Hall of Fame or do you want to just walk around?”
Bradley smiled. “Let’s just walk around.” Bradley held his hot chocolate with one hand and put his other around her back, bringing her close to him to keep her warm. She walked with both hands on her cup, blowing and sipping her drink. When they got to a bench overlooking one of the big ponds that went in front of the stage, Bradley motioned for her to sit down.
“This is so pretty. I love this place at Christmas.” Gabby squeezed her shoulders in trying to stay warm.
Bradley put his empty cup down on the bench. He turned towards her and shook his head, “You really don’t even have a clue how gorgeous you are, do you?”
She shook her head smiling. “No, I don’t see it. But, you say it an awful lot.”
“Gabby…” He ran the back of his fingers down her face.
“Please don’t freak and run away when I ask you what I’m about to ask you.”
Gabby’s brows furrowed with concern. She looked around. “Where exactly would I run? We took a shuttle and a limo. I’m kinda stuck, at your mercy at the moment.”
“I just mean from us, from this.” He wanted her to know it didn’t really matter what she said. He knew she would immediately think that what they were wasn’t enough if he didn’t clarify. “Gabby, I need you to know that no matter what you say, I love you and I want you any way I can have you. I still mean that.” He leaned in and kissed her.
“You’re really making me nervous. Just ask whatever you need to ask already.”
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