• The Journal of Curious Letters (The 13th Reality #1) Castle Hill (On Dublin Street #2.5)

    Collins ushers me along down the dock. What do you think Kylie was doing while you were getting all dolled up? I had her go to our house and pack everything in your closet that wasn’t nailed down. Although, his voice gets raspy and he growls into my ear, I plan on keeping you naked for the better part of the next two weeks.

    I experienced the real thing with Hale. And I want to figure out what is next for me.Late one afternoon a few days later, my intercom buzzes, and since I’m not expecting company, I’m curious about who it could be.

    The Secret Hour (Midnighters #1)

    When I open my front door, there’s no one there, but my gaze is drawn downward. A ripe, plump peach sits atop a manila file folder. Glancing down the hall, I see there’s no one there, but I know it has to be Hale.I pick up the fruit and bring it to my nose, then inhale. The scent is fragrant and wonderful. After picking the folder, I shuffle inside my apartment, shutting the door behind me. I set the peach down on the table and remove the stack of documents from the folder, spreading them out before me as my mind works to make sense of what I’m seeing.There’s a handwritten note on top of the first page.

    Circus of the Damned (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #3)

    Cameron Alexander Hale had concealed his name and identity from me, and it appears he’s now an open book. His résumé lists the name of the law firm he works at, along with where he interned and his alma mater. Next are bank statements showing a modest checking account and a sizeable savings account. His immunization records, showing that he’s up-to-date on all vaccines and gets his flu shot every year. Performance reviews from his last three years of work.In awe, I continue leafing through the pages, wondering how much time and effort it took him to pull this all together. I stop when my fingers touch a glossy photograph of a woman. His ex-fiancée, Tara, the note says. I look down into her dark brown eyes, hating that she was the one responsible for damaging this man, making him feel the need to guard himself so completely.

    Taking a deep breath, I set the photograph aside. This isn’t about her. This is about Hale wanting to share a piece of himself with me, however scary that might be for him.

    There’s a tattered paperback copy of A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle, which I’m guessing from the well-worn spine is one of his favorite books. I flip it open and see a few passages have been highlighted with blue marker.I won’t, I say back.

    MADELINE’S DICTIONARYprom•ise (ˈpräməs) n. pl. -es. 1. The lie you want to keep. [2015, Whittier]

    Quidditch Through the Ages

    According to the guidebook, Maui is shaped like a head. Our cab ride will take us across the neck, along the jawline, over the chin, mouth, nose, and up to the wide forehead. I’ve booked us into a hotel in Ka’anapali, which is in the skull just beyond the hairline, geographically speaking.We turn a corner and suddenly the ocean is just there, running alongside the road to the left of us. It can’t be more than thirty feet away.

    The vast endlessness of it is shocking. It falls off the end of the world.I can’t believe I’ve missed all this, I say. I’ve missed the whole wide world.

    He shakes his head. One thing at a time, Maddy. We’re here now.I look back at Olly’s ocean eyes and I’m drowning, surrounded on all sides by water. There’s so much to see that it’s hard to know what to pay attention to. The world is too big and there’s not enough time for me to see it.

    Again he reads my mind. Do you want to stop and look?He asks the driver if it’s OK for us to pull over, and he says it’s no problem at all. He knows a good place coming up, a park and picnic area.