Series: The AfterWorld Saga
Author: Sandy Goldsworthy
To Be Published: December 2nd, 2014
Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing
Page Count: 361
Genre: Paranormal Romance Action Adventure
Content Warning: Adult language, violence, and sexual content
Age Recommendation: 14+
After losing her father, Emma Bennett moves to her aunt’s small town of Westport to finish out her senior year of high school. Emma wants to forget the pain and loss of the past few weeks, finding relief in the company of Ben Parker—a local boy who she has an instant attraction and uncanny connection with. When Ben seems a little too preoccupied with other responsibilities and has no time for her, Emma turns to the town’s hottest flirt—Lucas Crandon—for affection. Unfortunately, she realizes a little too late that, sometimes, bad boys really can be bad for you.
Life as an undercover agent for the Afterworld’s Bureau of Investigation isn’t an easy job. When Ben Parker finds his soul mate, Emma, in a small town, he finds himself forced to choose between doing his job or rekindling a relationship with the love of his existence. After Ben is notified that a notorious immortal is loose somewhere near Westport, he realizes that his love life will just have to wait. There is a criminal to apprehend before he can have his girl.
When lives are at stake and immortals are on the loose, can two soul mates find their happy ever after?
Ben Sees Emma at Lake Bell
Sand crept between my toes, as I stood waiting to rent a Jet Ski.
It was my first official day undercover as Ben Parker. Normally, I was a confident person. Molly called me arrogant at times.
I was never nervous, until now.
Seeing Emma brought back all those insecurities I left behind in adolescence, when I was still alive. I stood at the counter, waiting for the brunette to get approval for my rental. I was under eighteen she told me when I handed her the paperwork and my undercover driver’s license. If only she knew how old I really was. I could have convinced her to release the Jet Ski without the hassle of paperwork, but with Emma standing behind me in line, I was in no rush.
Of course, Brinn, as her name tag clearly read, wanted to stall my application as long as possible. She took her time making the call to my fake aunt, Marty McMann, who worked in the office. Minutes passed as Brinn moved slowly. Her thoughts of me were initially flattering while she hovered, as I completed the form. But after a few overdramatic eye gestures and fake giggles, I had enough and blocked out her thoughts. Besides, they interfered with eavesdropping.
Emma and Matt talked about meaningless stuff while I waited for my rental. How long are you staying? When are you moving? Are you coming back to Highland Park? Topics that made Emma immediately tense up. I felt her pain, as she mentally relived the notification at school and the days that followed. I glanced at her as she tried wiping away her tears before Matt noticed them.
Stupid punk. He didn’t even realize the impact his words had on her.
I turned to face him, locking my eyes with his. I knew what I was doing. He stood paralyzed, his eyes focused and unblinking. I could manipulate him any way I wanted to right now. The power I had as an immortal was far greater than any human could imagine.
I wanted to kill him for hurting her. For being with her. I had the ability.
No one would know.
A simple heart attack or accidental drowning all came to mind, as I held him in my mental grip. I never did anything like that before. My phone buzzed in my pocket, but I ignored it. I never killed anyone for no reason, or without just cause.
But I could.
And part of me wanted to. I wanted to protect Emma and that meant eliminating anything or anyone that hurt her. Getting rid of anyone that stood in my way of protecting her, even if the pain she felt was unintentional.
Ben-ja-min! I heard her screech my name in my head before her hip bumped into mine. “Hey neighbor. Renting a Jet Ski?” Molly said aloud. Her thoughts were less bubbly as she yelled in her British accent, Exactly what the bloody hell are you doing?
My focus was lost, and Matt was released from my stare. I turned to look at Molly.
You can’t possibly think compulsion is the answer, she said firmly.
“I’m just waiting for the paperwork right now, Molly,” I said, pretending we weren’t having a private mental discussion. I wasn’t going to hurt him.
You wanted to. You thought about it.
But I didn’t.
Didn’t your reprimand for that compulsion teach you anything? She was referring to my borrowing of Officer Scott Michaels’ squad car the day Emma learned her father died.
You’re kidding, right? I thought Commander E would have you doing community service by now. After all, you left that garage manager in a compelled state for hours.
Molly, he was fine. I shook my head.
Yes, but your spell didn’t wear off as quickly as you guessed it would, Benjamin. You overdid it. Your emotions are running on steroids right now, and you need to tone it down.
I looked over at Emma and realized Matt was holding her in his arms. Maybe my subtle thoughts helped push him along. Or, maybe he isn’t so bad after all. Molly’s thoughts crept in. At least Emma felt better. I could sense that.
Marty waved at Molly and me, as she entered the rental office and signed the papers Brinn had waiting for her. “Want to go for a spin?” I asked Molly.
“Maybe later,” she said aloud. Join me first?
I shrugged, waiting to hear what she was talking about.
We need to resuscitate a young boy that is about to choke on a pecan in his turtle sundae at the ice cream shop by the marina. Poor clerk. Some young lady new to the job… Didn’t get her CPR certification yet. Perhaps this will light a fire under her ass, as they say.
I raised an eyebrow.
Come with me. It’ll be rewarding. She smiled, her gray eyes convincing.
Brinn’s expression turned to disappointment as she handed over the key to the Jet Ski.
Fine. But you’re buying ice cream.
The author will have you wrapped around her novel will the twists and little pieces she delivers to keep you on your toes wanting to know how it ends. I enjoyed her style of writing because you were able to follow it but of course you had to continue and read to find out what was going on because she left only details at certain point. The characters were likable and each had their own point of view into the story to keep the story entertaining. This was definitely one of those novels that could fit into more than one genre because you had some mystery, suspense, and romance; along with other things depending on how you take the story. If the author chose to I think it could be considered a standalone OR she could suprises us and bring a series into the mixture. Either way I recommend this for your next read.
About the Author
Sandy Goldsworthy was born and raised in a small Wisconsin town. Her passion for writing began when her high school English teacher inspired her to be more descriptive in her work. Today, Sandy is writing the second book of Emma and Ben’s story. When she’s not writing, Sandy enjoys spending time with her husband, Mike, and two children, Brittany and Kyle, or playing with her English Mastiff, Miles.
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