Author: J.M. Miller
Publisher by: Independent
Published on: March 24, 2014
*This is the follow up to The Line That Binds*
While searching for answers involving Stockton Estate's stone well, Ben Shadows and LJ Wayde discover one truth: the curse is real.
Unfortunately, that truth has LJ facing the same fate that's been tied to her bloodline for generations. The curse has given her the ability to help others conquer their greatest weaknesses, but it comes with a torturous price. As the rush of helping people starts to outweigh the pain of the consequences, LJ moves toward acceptance. She considers it a gift and a possibility to make up for the way she treated people in her past.
Ben pushes on to find an end to the curse despite LJ's reluctance. With reasons linked to her Aunt Janine's memory loss, Ben fears the real consequences are far worse than LJ's current symptoms. His love for her drives his need to protect her, even if it means hiding the next piece of the well's mystery.
When LJ finds what Ben has kept secret, she may never forgive him.
Will he lose her heart before he can save her mind?
**Recommended mature YA for mild language and mild sexual content.**
This is the continuation of The Line that Binds. I loved this series and was both sad and happy to see it come to an end. If you read this book, you have to read the Line that Binds first as it starts the story. This book reminded me of the Beautiful Creatures series. Ben is swoon-worthy in his quest to save LJ. LJ gets closer to Izzy which I liked because LJ needs a good girlfriend.
This book picks up about a month after the ending of the Line that Binds. LJ and Ben are both still looking for the stones to figure out the curse of the well and how to help LJ stop having her headaches. As the story goes on, I wanted to climb into the book and slap the crap out of LJ a couple of times. LJ’s character shows that she has a big heart, however she is killing herself. Ben feels helpless because she keeps helping people with their wishes and he can not find the second or third stone. There were a couple of instances where I cried for both characters for having to go through the struggles that they are facing. I was shocked at the end of the book with the appearance of LJ’s mom and her role that is played in the book. I was also glad that there was healing between the two characters as well.
This is a series that I will definitely read multiple times. It was not a hard read and I was able to read it in a couple of days. The writing kept me interested in the story and everything moved at a nice pace. By the time that I got to the end, I did not feel like I hit a brick wall because suddenly we were at the end. I look forward to reading more my J.M Miller in the future.
Oh almost forgot, the ending scene between LJ and Emily made my day. I laugh out loud and got a weird look from my hubby because I was laughing at the book! He just does not get it sometimes!
Tonight was the last night.
Dahlia pulled on her jacket and stepped into the darkness. The air nipped at her face and fingers, but she pushed on, knowing this would be the last night she knelt before the well.
The moon hovered low on the horizon, giving just enough light to guide her across the still property. Winter was close. Color had fallen from the trees and the sun was setting earlier every day. Travel would be harder now, harsher, making the possibility of finding a new home more difficult. Nevertheless, it wasn’t enough to dissuade Dahlia from leaving. The only thing that worried her now was how the Stocktons would treat her servant mother after she had gone. Mr. Stockton had passed last month, which meant Charles, with some guidance from his mother, was now in charge of the estate.
Dahlia stopped in front of the well and gazed up to the mansion like she had every night for weeks. Noticing a dim light in the farthest of the upstairs windows, she crouched low to hide. It was Charles’ office, not his and Sarah’s bedroom. Unfortunately, Dahlia knew which bedroom was theirs most of all─it could’ve been hers. In the weeks following the wedding, she’d been called upon to help clean their house. Their room. Every time she had to change the blankets on their bed, it made her physically ill. Thoughts of their lovemaking charged her mind. They ripped at her heart every day and haunted her every night. But they also fueled her anger, and kept her coming back to the well.
Seeing no movement within the lit room, she decided to continue. She stayed low and twisted sideways to keep an eye on the window. Digging into her pocket, she removed a thin iron pick. Its rounded tip had been worn close to its base. Her palm gripped the cool metal and its grooves settled into the cuts already etched in her skin. She located the final area of stone then started to scratch.
Hours later, after the last letter was done and her hands were raw and bloody once more, Dahlia read the words aloud and rubbed her hands over the stones. She thought of him as she spoke. Thought of him lying in her bed. His lips caressing hers. His promise for forever.
This was her promise to him and she was certain it would last longer than his had.
It would surpass their lifetimes.
Letting the pick fall to the ground, Dahlia turned toward the house again. A silhouette stood at the window, darkened by the dim light at its back.
It was him.
She stared at his figure, knowing he was looking at her too. For one weakened moment, she longed to see his green eyes, taste the breath of his kiss, and feel the comfort of his arms again. Warm tears rolled over her icy cheeks, waking her from the spell.
He’d made his choice.
It wasn’t her.
So she walked away from the well, leaving the darkened figure behind and never looking back.
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