Publication date: October 22nd 2016
Genres: New Adult, Romance
LIAM O’SHEA, bestseller author of the SciFi saga, Eiloe.
All I knew was pain – a childhood filled with cruelty and villains who used and abused.
I first heard her sweet, angelical voice in the dark of night, when I lay bathed in my own impending death. Seventeen years later, it’s not the nightmare she pulled me out of that haunts me, but the glimpse of Happily Ever After she revealed just before disappearing.
They said she was a figment of my boundless imagination. A wish. A dream. Until I had no choice but to believe them, cherishing my imaginary savior the only way I knew how – in fiction and lore.
But fantasy has a way of transforming reality. When I finally tire of being a citizen of the world, I take an impromptu sabbatical as a professor at a small college on the coast of Maine. And there I see her, the girl with the sea-green eyes and angelic voice.
My world turns upside down. Turns out my girl is for real, and the pull between us is anything but imaginary.
Happily Ever After has a story … and this one is mine.
I finally reach the middle of the quad what feels like an eternity later.
I catch my breath, hands on my knees, looking around. Where is she?
“Man, those eyes. I’ve never seen the likes,” I hear one of the Frisbee players say. “They’re freakishly beautiful.”
“Hey, Mr. O. What’s with the running?” Tim or Josh, can’t remember which is which, asks.
“Want us to play interference with The Mimis for you again?” the brown-haired one snickers and I choke. The name’s gone viral on campus, but then again, I’m not their first kill that’s for sure. Still wheezing, I say, “Not this time.” Thank the f@#k. “Where’s the girl?” I ask baffled, turning on the spot.
“Which one, sir? There’s about a dozen looking your way,” the red-haired one in the Tim-or-Josh duo asks.
“The injured one, where’s the injured one?” I ask, my gaze frantically scanning the lawn now. Christ. Should have jumped through the damned window; she can’t just disappear, can she?
“Oh, you mean Rose? Nah, she’s not injured.” The brown-haired one shrugs it off. “Just a little shaken for a minute there, that’s all.”
“Rose?” I repeat, dumbfounded. Her name is Rose?
“Yeah, Rose. But I can’t say it the same as she did, she pronounced it differently. She’s our newest foreign transfer, and with her looks? I’m betting she’s Swedish,” the red-haired one says over-enthusiastically, high-fiving the other one, and my hackles instantly rise. “She can’t speak a word of English, but I’ll teach her everything she needs to know,” he says lewdly, pumping his fists with a knowing smirk at his friends on the other side of the quad, earning a few catcalls and loud whistles.
Lips thinning, I cross my arms, raking him with freezing contempt. “Is that the way you treat vulnerable girls on campus?” I ask, making them both flinch at the steel in my voice.
“It’s, huh … no … I … was just fooling around,” he stutters, his entire face turning a bright red, closely matching the color of his hair. “I meant no disrespect, sir,” he finally mumbles, brushing the back of his neck.
“Keep it that way,” I say through clenched teeth, silently adding, or you’ll have me to answer to. My jaw ticks. Jesus Christ, they’re just boys being boys, man. They’re bragging over nothing just for the sake of it. I need to calm the hell down. What’s with me?
“Yo! Josh, Tim, you comin’, or what? Ain’t got all night,” one of the boys yells from several yards away. He waves a Frisbee at them for emphasis.
“In a minute, Erikson, chill!” the brown-haired one yells over his shoulder as said Erikson saunters over. “Hey, we better get back. See ya on Monday, Mr. O.”
“Yeah, Mr. O. See you around the butt crack of dawn,” Erikson hoots.
“You’re such an ass.” Tim-or-Josh slaps Erikson upside the head.
“Have a nice one, sir,” the other one says bashfully.
The boys run off and I just stand there, for who knows how long, dying a little inside. Rose. And here I thought she could be…
Man, a student. I have officially reached a whole new level of messed up. I need out of here. I can’t breathe.
I turn on my heel and stumble across … the two Mimis.
“Liam!” they squeal in unison.
Christ. Give me a bloody break.
As per usual, they appear out of nowhere ambushing me, cooing, oohing and aahing, clearly having made up after almost coming to blows over me that first morning. Now, they cling like two poisonous vines as I sleepwalk my way to the parking lot.
Numb, I don’t even have the energy to shake them loose.
F@#k my life.
A paralegal by day and incurable romantic by night, Sylvie is a cross-genre, and she takes Happily Ever After very seriously. The End just isn’t in her vocabulary.
Sylvie lives her own Happily Ever After in the beautiful mountains of Les Laurentides in Northern Quebec, alongside her whole set of characters.
In between treks in their backyard wilderness, you can find them hanging out at http://www.sylvieparizeau.com
Tour host: Xpresso Book Tours