Memories alone can ruin you. Fear has a paralyzing effect, and love isn’t always enough to keep you safe.
Ace was the gateway to a freedom I hadn’t known since I was fifteen. He offered his protection from the demons that haunted me; both living and dead.
Although I knew I wasn’t enough to keep him, this didn’t deter my hope that one day he’d love me for who I was, not the broken girl he tried so desperately to save.
In the end, the ghosts of my past found me. Their malevolence knew no bounds, and I was forced to succumb to their will of darkness. Each threat named against those I loved made any escape impossible; choosing my life for theirs became my desolate absolution.
Inevitably, it was my own weakness and self-doubt that became my undoing.
Emotional ties are sometimes severed. Friendships don’t always endure their hardships, and love offered isn’t always returned.
I was in love once. For me, leaving her back in Ohio was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. For her, moving on with her life that included her son and the man she loved was no less than she deserved — unconditional happiness.
My reasons to bring Cherry home to California were obvious. I needed help with my family, and she needed help staying clean and convincing her parents she was ready to give her son the life he deserved.
It was a perfect plan. However, the best laid plans often get lost amidst their best intentions.
Cherry fell in love with me, and in return my love for her acted as the catalyst to her destruction.
Authors Note: This novel contains material that is not suitable for individuals under the age of 18. Content includes: drug use, explicit language, violence, rape, and other scenarios with content that readers may find offensive. Please use caution when deciding on this book, as every reader has the right to understand the product before purchase.
Ace’s Redemption is the first standalone novel in the Devil’s Despair series. Although the main character of Ace was introduced during the Lights of Peril trilogy, you do not need to read that series in order to follow this one.
I love to read! I will read anything, literally. It may be a magazine, book, advertisement or even a cereal box. Specific authors that I follow have moved me to start writing. Before long that inspiration had produced a final product that I wasn’t even sure what I was going to do with. Obviously I hit publish and here I am.
Blessed with a great family that includes my husband, four kids, two dogs, and one hedgehog, I’ve lived in the Midwest all of my life. We currently live in a small town outside of Omaha, NE. My day job affords the ability to work from home and I’ve worked for the same lending company for nearly 19 years.
When I’m not reading, I try to be outside as much as possible even if it is just sitting on my deck with my reading device. I enjoy fishing, swimming, hockey games, and watching football with the family.
Hearing him refer to me as Cherry, not Raegan, renews and strengthens my resolve. I want him to forget my given name. Anger will help him through this, and I’m letting him have it. Better he hate me alive than love me dead. “Okay, I’m a liar. Believe what you want to believe, but it doesn’t change anything.”
“What the fuck happened to your face?”
“It was an accident.”
Turning around, looking out the large window of the apartment, I barely hear his whisper. “An accident, she says.” A brief second passes before he continues, this time not only on a whisper, but a broken and shallow voice reaches out to me and I feel it touch me when it does. “Why are you doing this, Raegan?”
Your Peril family will remain untouched and none the wiser.
Having his back to me doesn’t make this easier; not any less painful in the slightest. “Because I love my son, and Vinnie will give me a life with him.”
Still looking out the window to the city below, he crosses his arms in front of him and from where I’m standing, I watch as he brings his hands to his face. I’m certain he’s wiping the evidence of my betrayal away, being in the form of his heartbreaking tears.
“I told you I loved you, Rae. I would’ve given you my own life if you would’ve asked for it.” Pausing, he regroups but continues without waiting for a response. “I won’t beg you to stay, but I can’t protect you if you’re willingly walking into the devil’s dungeon.” Pulling his chest up, his back straight and head forward, he lets out a heavily-burdened breath. “I always did what I could for you. I would’ve kept doing it forever if you’d have let me.”
An uncontrollable sob tears from my chest. I can live with walking away knowing he loves me, but with my uncertainties and lies, I’m breaking the strongest man I’ve ever known. When enough time has passed and once he pulls himself back together, he’ll realize what I’ve done to him and he’ll have no choice but to resent me. “God, I’m so sorry, Ace. Please, I’m begging you. Don’t hate me.”
“Then don’t go.”
“I have to.”
“Then I hate you.”