by J.C. Valentine
Publication Date: November 29, 2016
Genres: Adult, New Adult, Mystery, Thriller, YA, Suspense
Amazon (99c or #FREE with #KINDLEUNLIMITED): http://amzn.to/2eSJkHQ
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Synopsis: How do you live with yourself when you don’t even know who you are?On a chill October night, a girl goes missing setting the small town of Oakridge on edge. James has spent the last five years running from a past that still haunts him to this day. Now he finds himself thrust back into a life he thought he left behind. Finding out his new home may be haunted and reconnecting with an old friend while being thrust into a murder mystery, James finds himself trying to figure out which end is up while questioning his own sanity.
**AUTHOR’S NOTE** Buried Secrets is a New Adult, mystery thriller with very little romance but heavy on the suspense.
It was a long time coming. On the surface, the town was a peaceful little getaway full of loving, caring citizens willing to give you the shirt off their backs if you were in need—the perfect place to raise a family. But in reality, the town was cutthroat and would befriend you as fast as they would turn on you. When Mercy disappeared, it was the final straw. The town became dangerous, everyone out to get everyone. Neighbors suspecting neighbors. His dad said it wasn’t safe around there anymore, and decided it was best if they ventured out for nicer climates, maybe wait until things died down a bit. And that’s what they did.
But then they came back.
James hated it in Oakridge because it all boiled down to one thing: You couldn’t trust a single one of them. Maybe not even Jennifer Morton.
Reminded of why he hated small towns, James shoved away from the table. To his surprise, Jen jumped up to stand with him. He met her eyes and he could see the determination in them, and most importantly, her support. No matter what anyone said, James knew she would be there to back him up.
“Go to hell, Troy. Nobody cares what you think.” With that, James stormed out of the lunchroom, Jen quick on his heels, and out the door. At least he had one person willing to stand up for him. He shouldn’t have sold her short, he thought to himself as he took a seat at the empty picnic table. There were three of them set up outside, but since the weather was getting colder, people were staying indoors. They were the only two out there.
“It’s cold,” James said as Jennifer sat down beside him. “You don’t have to freeze on the account of me. Go back inside where it’s warm.”
She made a face. “And sit in there with those people? No thanks. I prefer the company out here much better.”
He smiled sadly. “Those are your friends, Jen. If you’re worried that I’ll be mad, don’t be.”
She scooted closer and picked up his hand, playing with his fingers. “You’re wrong, James. If my friends can’t accept someone in my life that I care about, then they aren’t really my friends. And I care about you.” She looked up at him and smiled softly. “This is where I’d rather be.”
James didn’t know how to respond, so he leaned forward and kissed her. It was a soft kiss that sped up his heart and stole his breath. He brought his hands up and cradled her face in his palms, stroking her jaw. When they broke away, they were both a little short of breath. He rested his forehead against hers and closed his eyes. If he could just stay this way forever, preserve it somehow…
“You were right about one thing, though. It is cold out here.” Jen laughed and shivered.
He laughed, rubbing his hands over her arms to warm her. “You’re right. Let’s get back inside.”