December 17, 2014

Cover Reveal --> The Line Between by Tamsyn Bester

There’s a fine line between love and hate, so fine that you don’t know you’ve lost balance until it’s too late.
I’m not sure exactly when I lost my balance, all I know is that he was to blame.
Dane Winters.
The boy who’d spent most of his life hating me for reasons I never understood.

** ** ** ** ** **

It was no secret that I hated her, but only I knew why.
She was off-limits.
And then our separate worlds collided with one tragedy.
It wasn’t her fault, I knew that, but I wanted her to hurt the way I did, and I needed someone to blame. She was an easy target.
Kennedy Monroe.
The girl I’d picked on all our lives.
And the woman I barely tolerated.
Until the line between love and hate was no longer visible…

*New Adult Contemporary Romance*
*Due to mature content this book is not suitable for readers younger than 18*

There’s a fine line between love and hate, so fine that you don’t know you’ve lost balance until it’s too late.
I’m not sure exactly when I lost my balance, all I know is that he was to blame.
Dane Winters.
The boy I’d spent almost all of my life hating.
And now? I find myself on the other side of that very fine line…

Dane – 16 years old
I stood to the side, watching it all unfold in the wings. Jason’s voice grew louder, and attracted the attention of the students passing the hall. Kennedy looked around, her eyes growing frantic, her cheeks reddening in embarrassment. I played Varsity football with Jason, he was the all-star quarterback, and while I thought the guy was a complete tool, what I disliked most about him was his interest in Kennedy Monroe. He was a Senior; she was a sophomore like me, and he could have his pick of any girl in the school – why did it have to be her?
“Jason, please, can we go somewhere private and talk about why you’re freaking out?” Kennedy’s voice was soft, and filled with desperation.
“Is it true?” Jason asked. He towered over Kennedy’s small frame, and if I hadn’t orchestrated this whole thing I would’ve told him to back the fuck off and leave her alone. But I couldn’t. Because she was the enemy.
For as long as I could remember, my father had warned me about the Monroe family. He told me to stay away from them, that their family had hated ours since our forefathers had founded this town. For a while, I listened, I stayed away, and I allowed my fathers apparent hatred for the Monroe family to become my own. It wasn’t until after we returned from this past summer that it all changed.
Kennedy had changed. In just three short months, she went from a gangly, dorky teenager to a gorgeous, stunning girl who intruded my very thought, both in sleep and consciousness. She’d started school a year earlier, making her younger than the rest of us, and what I thought she lacked in social graces she definitely made up for in smarts. She embodied everything I wanted, but couldn’t have. And that’s what had led me here.
“Is what true? I don’t know what’s gotten in to you, but we can’t do this in front of the entire school.”
Kennedy’s voice brought me back to the present, and I straightened, leaning against my locker on the opposite side of the hallway.
“Open your locker, Kennedy.”
I stiffened when Jason’s tone grew harder, but reminded myself that I had to watch rather than get involved and stop it.
Kennedy fiddled with the combination on her locker, and as soon as it popped open, the photos fell out. They consisted of pictures of Jason, close ups of his face, of him at practice, and I even managed to get a few of him at home in his room. It was all very stalker-ish.
I’d outdone myself, and couldn’t help the wicked grin on my face.
“What the hell?” Jason bellowed, picking up a few of the pictures scattered on the floor. “I can’t believe it, he was right.”
My grin fell slightly, and I hoped to God he didn’t mention my name.
“These aren’t mine,” Kennedy said quickly. “I swear, Jason, they aren’t.” She reached out to grab his arm, but he pulled away.
 “I didn’t take these!” Kennedy held a few pictures in her hands, and looked up at Jason as if he’d believe her. I knew he wouldn’t. I’d made sure of it.
“Then why are they on your locker?”
“I-I don’t know,” Kennedy replied.
With a shake of his head, Jason looked between Kennedy and her locker on last time. “Dane was right,” – fuck – “You’re a freak.”
Students laughed, and Kennedy slammed her locker shut before running towards the girls’ bathrooms, tears glistening on her face.
It was a dick move, but that feeling of morbid satisfaction uncurled itself in my stomach. It was just too easy.
“You actually did it.”
I looked to the side, and saw my best friend Reid standing next to me.
“Of course I did.”
Reid sighed. “You are such an asshole.”
I pushed away from my locker, and slipped the strap of my bag over my shoulder before heading towards my next class.
“I know.”
Kennedy – 14 years old 
The sound of laughter echoed behind me, and finally died down when the bathroom door closed. I slipped into a stall, and closed the toilet seat before sitting down and taking a breath. My heart was racing, and my face was hot. Humiliation warmed my skin, and spurred the tears that had started falling down my cheeks. I shouldn’t have been surprised, but Dane had been quiet for the past weeks and I’d assumed his need to embarrass me on a daily basis had finally been satisfied. Apparently he’d been busy planning his latest prank.
I wiped my eyes, and took my cellphone from my bag. We weren’t allowed to keep our phones in our bags, but I always kept it on silent, and on hand in case of emergencies. If anything happened at school, they’d have to call my father, and I had to avoid that at all costs. There was only person I could call when I needed help, only one person I knew who would drop everything to be there for me.
I pulled up Charlie’s number, and waited for him to answer. He was coming home from college for the weekend, and I hoped he was close. I still had four hours of school, but I needed to leave now. I didn’t want to have to stay and deal with any more crap. I’d had my fill for the day.
My brother’s voice came through the phone, and I relaxed, if only a little. “Hello? Kenny?”
“C-charlie…” My lip started trembling.
“Kennedy, what’s wrong?”
“Are you close?” I asked. “Can you come get me, please?”
“I’m ten minutes out, baby girl, you hang tight.”
My shoulders sagged in relief. “Okay, I’m at school. I’ll meet you in the parking lot next to the sports field.”
“I’ll be there.”
I ended the call, and after righting myself in the mirror, I checked the hallway to make sure everyone, including the teachers, were in class. When it was clear, I snuck out, and quietly made my way towards the back exit of the school. No one would see me, and I could cut class for the rest of the day without anyone knowing until the teachers took roll call. By then I’d be gone.
I never cut class, ever, but today I felt like I needed to. I needed to see Charlie, and waiting four more hours wasn’t going to happen. I hadn’t seen him in almost a month, and it had been unbearable without him.
As soon as his blue Ford F250 stopped in the lot, he was out the door, and had his arms around me before I could say anything.
I hugged him close, and breathed in his familiar scent of leather, and pine. The girls always ate him up, but nothing compared to having him as my big brother. He was all I really had, and had been protecting me for most of my life.
“I’m here,” he breathed into my hair.
I pulled away, and wiped the fresh tears that had slipped down my eyes. “I’ve missed you.”
He gave me his boy-ish grin, his eyes bright and so alive. His hair, which was a darker shade of blonde, had grown, and hung on his forehead. He was such a man now, but I still saw the little boy who always bandaged up my ‘booboo’s, and the teenager who stayed with me the first time I got my period because there was no one else who could do it.
“C’mon,” he tugged my hand, and helped me into his truck. “We can grab some ice-cream, hit our favorite spot, and you can tell me what has you looking like a hot mess.”
I giggled, and felt the weight of the last month drift away as Charlie drove us away from school and into town. He picked us up some ice-cream, and took me to the only spot he knew I loved more than any other place. The lake.
It was a ten-minute drive outside the town limits, and at this time of year it was beautiful. Warm, and sunny, and safe.
I laid out a blanket from Charlie’s truck on the deck, and took a seat, dipping my toes in the water. Charlie sat down next to me, his big arm around my shoulders, and pressed me against his side.
“Okay, kid. Tell me what Dane Winters did this time.”
I looked up at him in surprise.
“Jewel called me,” he explained.
Jewel was Dane’s twin sister, and while our families couldn’t stand each other, Jewel and I had managed to become close. We could never hang out like normal best friends did, but we made it work anyway.
Charlie said her name with reverence, and while I wanted to know what that was about, I didn’t want to pry. He would tell me if he’d wanted me to know, and I left it at that. I had more pressing issues that needed to be cleared up, and the only way I could do that was to lay it all out.
“Spill it,” Charlie said.
And so I did. I told him everything.
That day at the lake was one of my favorite days, and I hadn’t known until much later in my teen life that it would be one of the last memories I’d have with my brother.

Tamsyn is a 22 year old blogger turned author from who has an insatiable hunger for New Adult Contemporary Romance novels, coffee and chocolate. When she's not getting caught up in yet another steamy romance with a new book boyfriend, she can be found spending endless hours working away on her laptop. Tamsyn is a Brat when it comes to books and believes that every story, no matter how challenging, should have a Happy Ever After. 

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