Needing Her Release Day

Needing HerNeeding Her is now available!!
This is the story of Pearce Kensington, Garret’s father from The Jade Series. Note that you do not need to read The Jade Series in order to read The Kensingtons.

Needing Her takes place when Pearce is just 25 and first meets Rachel, Garret’s mother. As the series continues, it will skip ahead in time. In addition to seeing Pearce at various stages of his life, you’ll also see Garret as a child, a teenager, and a young man. The series will end sometime during the epilogue of Always Us.

Amazon US http://amzn.to/1IgBQH7

Amazon UK – http://amzn.to/1KHuqwQ

B&N – http://bit.ly/1IhV6Uz

Kobo – http://bit.ly/1GoVkM8

iTunes – http://apple.co/1FCs2D9

Needing Her – Date Night

Needing HerHere’s an excerpt taken from Needing Her, from Rachel’s POV.
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As we’re waiting for the check, I tell him the idea that’s been brewing in my head all night. “So I had this idea, but first I need to know something.”

“Okay. What is it?”

“Will you be asking me out again?”

He grins and reaches over to hold my hand. “I will most definitely be asking you out again.”

I sit there, quietly.

His smile fades. “Did you not want me to ask you out again?”

“I want you to ask me, but I’m waiting for you to do it.”

He smiles as he brings my hand up for a kiss. “Rachel Evans, would you go out with me tomorrow night?”

“I would love to, but I would like to pick the place we go.”

“And what place is that?”

“I would like to go to a movie. At a theater. And split a bucket of popcorn.”

“They sell food in a bucket?” He looks horrified.

I laugh. “Yes. They do.”

He nods. “If that’s what you would like, then that’s what we shall do.”

I swear, I’ve never heard the word ‘shall’ used so much in my entire life. Pearce uses it all the time.

“And before the movies, maybe we could go to the mall?”

“The mall?” The horrified look reappears. “Do you mean a shopping mall?”

“Yes.” I laugh again. “Please tell me you’ve been to a mall before.”

“I’m not sure that I have. I have a personal shopper who buys all my clothes and delivers them to my loft.” He pauses to think. “Actually, now that I think about it, yes. Back in college, I took a girl to the mall. But it was just one time and I haven’t been back since.”

“We don’t have to spend long there, unless you want to eat dinner there. They have a lot of restaurants to choose from.”

“Since you seem to be planning this date, you go ahead and pick. I’ll plan the next date.”

I smile. “So you’re asking me on another date?”

“I am. Are you accepting?”

“Yes. I find you quite charming, Pearce Kensington. Although the fact that you’ve never been to the movies is a bit concerning. But we’ll remedy that tomorrow.”

Scene from Needing Her – Pearce and Rachel

Needing HerScene with Pearce and Rachel, from Pearce’s POV. Needing Her comes out June 5th!

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I set my spoon down. “So what are your plans this week?”

“The usual. Work and school.” She smiles. “And hopefully, my handsome boyfriend will come visit me.” She takes a bite of ice cream.

“And what if he came over every night this week?” I take the spoon from her hand and place it back in her bowl.

“Hmm. That’s a lot of nights. And it’s getting harder and harder to be around you without—”

I kiss her before she can finish. “Which is why we need to spend time together. You’ll never get to know me if we’re always apart. So what do you say? You won’t have to cook. I’ll bring dinner every night.”

She mulls it over. “I like the idea, but I won’t get any studying done if you’re there.”

“And why is that?” I bring her face to mine and kiss her. “I promise not to bother you.” I kiss her cheek, then over to her ear. “I’ll sit quietly on the couch.”

She shivers at the feel of my breath. “If you’re there, I’ll want to join you on the couch.”

I kiss her neck. “Then join me on the couch. You can sit next to me and study.”

She closes her eyes, tilting her head and exposing more of her neck for me to kiss. “I guarantee I won’t be able to study if you do this when you’re at my apartment.”

“Let’s try it and see.” I stand up and lift her off the stool.

“What are you doing?”

I carry her to the couch and set her down, then hand her one of my business books from the side table. “Go ahead. Pretend it’s one of your textbooks.”

She laughs. “Okay.” She opens the book and starts reading.

I sit next to her, sweeping her hair aside and gently kissing her neck. Her body relaxes into the couch and her eyes fall shut.

“Yeah, this isn’t going to work,” she says, as the book drops to the floor.

I pick her legs up, setting them on the couch as she lies back. I lie over her and kiss her, this time on her lips. “I’m still coming over.”

She pulls me closer and whispers, “I didn’t invite you.”

“I’m coming over anyway.”

Needing Her – Chapter One

Needing HerHere’s the first chapter of Needing Her. This is actually a prologue so is shorter than a typical chapter. This scene is a flashback of something that happened to Pearce when he was 16 years old.

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The limo drives through a part of New Haven I’ve never been to before. Police sirens are going off in the distance and I see nothing but old brick buildings with windows that are either shattered or boarded up with cardboard. Graffiti covers almost every surface; benches, billboards, traffic signs. We pass a woman pushing a shopping cart filled with cardboard boxes and ratty blankets. Her hair is wiry and matted and it looks like she hasn’t showered in weeks.

“What are we doing here?” I ask my father.

He has a slight smile on his face. “You’ll see.”

I don’t like it when he smiles. When other people smile, it’s good. It means they’re happy. But when my father smiles, it’s either because he’s in public and has to comply with the rules of proper social interaction, or it means something bad’s going to happen. Since I’m the only person in the back of the limo, there’s no need for him to smile. Which means he’s up to something.

My stomach knots and my muscles tense. I don’t know what he’s planning to do, but he took me here for a reason. And I know it’s not good.

I look at him sitting across from me. “Tell me what we’re doing here.”

He points out the side window. “You see those people? The two men and the woman?”

He’s pointing to some homeless people, dressed in ragged clothes, their skin sweaty from the sweltering August heat and humidity. The woman is sifting through a trash can, and the two men are talking closely, likely doing some kind of drug deal.

“What about them?” I ask.

His gaze remains out the window as we pass by more homeless people. “They’re dregs of society. The remnants that bring us all down. Taking up space and resources. Straining our economy by their dependence on our government.” His gaze returns to me. “And yet they serve a purpose. They allow people like us to look good in the eyes of the masses. We donate money to the shelters. Fund job programs. Host charity events. And in return, we’re put on a pedestal for our good deeds.”

I’m getting more nervous as he talks. Something’s about to happen. Something bad.

“Tell me what we’re doing. Please, Father. Just tell me.”

We’re sitting at a stoplight and he watches as a homeless man carrying a duffle bag crosses the street. “They serve another purpose. One that I’m about to show you.”

“I want to get out of here,” I say. “Let’s go home.”

“We will.” His eyes are still on the man crossing the street. “But first we must accomplish our mission.”

“Which is what?” My heart’s pumping fast, my hand gripping the seat.

My father looks at me. “Relax, son. It gets easier each time.”

“What gets easier? Please, just tell me what we’re doing here.”

My father reaches up and lightly taps on the glass that separates us from the driver. The limo slows down as we pass a homeless shelter. It’s evening and people are lined up out front, likely waiting to get a meal. Our driver makes a right-hand turn down an alley. And then he stops, but leaves the limo running.

“It’s time, Pearce.” My father gives me a full smile now, but his eyes are dark, almost black. I watch him reach into a compartment in the side of the limo. He pulls out a handgun with a silencer attached.

My heart pumps harder, fear prickling the back of my neck. “Father, what are you doing?”

He doesn’t answer. He presses the button to lower the window. I look out and see a man with his back to us, urinating on the side of the building. His gray hair is spiked up all different directions and he has on torn jeans spattered with mud, and a dingy white t-shirt covered in stains.

I flick my eyes back to my father and see the gun pointed at the man. And then, as if in slow motion, I watch my father’s hand depress the trigger and then release.

“No!” I hear myself yell. But it’s too late. The gun already went off. The sound it made was just a blunt pop instead of the loud, echoing cry that it would’ve been without the silencer attached. I shift my eyes to the man standing by the building, but his body is now crumpled on the ground, the back of his shirt displaying a circle of blood that’s growing outward from the hole made by the bullet that went through his back and straight to his heart.

My view is disrupted when the tinted glass from the window rises. I feel the limo pulling away. I slowly turn to look at my father. The gun is put away and he’s pouring himself a glass of scotch.

He looks at me, a smile still on his face. “And that, my son, is what it means to be a Kensington.”

———————

Want to read another excerpt? Here’s a scene with Pearce and Rachel.

Scene from Needing Her – Museum Tour

Needing HerTeaser Time!! Excerpt from Needing Her. This is from Rachel’s POV. Rachel is in graduate school and also works at a history museum giving tours. This scene shows her giving a tour to Pearce during their first week of dating. (And for Jade Series fans, this scene explains why Garret’s so good at hugging.)

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I pop up from my chair and go around the desk. “Welcome to the museum.”

He smiles. “Thank you. You weren’t kidding. It’s very small.”

“It’s good to see you again.” I hug him but he just stands there, rigid, his arms at his side. Oh, God, this is awkward. Why did I hug him? Shelby’s right. I need to get control of the hugging thing.

I release him and step back, my cheeks heating up. “Sorry. I kind of have a hugging problem.”

He’s still smiling. “It’s not a problem. It’s fine. I just wasn’t expecting it. I’m not used to people hugging me.”

“You’re not?”

“No. I honestly can’t remember the last time someone hugged me. Childhood, maybe?”

“Are you serious?” He doesn’t answer so I say, “Well, that’s just wrong. Of course, this is coming from someone who hugs everyone. Even the mailman. Even people I don’t know. Anyway, I’m sorry if I made you uncomfortable.”

“You didn’t make me uncomfortable.” He motions me toward him. “Come here. Let’s do it right this time.”

I step forward and hug him again. This time, he hugs me back. For someone who doesn’t hug much, he’s pretty good.

When he lets go, I say, “Next time, maybe do it a little tighter.”

He laughs. “Did you just critique my hug?”

“No, I’m just making a suggestion. It’s strictly personal preference. I tend to like a tight hug.”

“The few hugs I’ve had have been very distant hugs, limited to the upper body only. So to me, that was a tight hug.”

“Okay, well, ready to start the tour?” I walk over to the first display.

“Get back over here.”

I look at him confused. “Why?”

“Because I don’t like not being good at things. I need to do the hug again.”

I’m trying not to laugh because this is really funny. He’s taking this so seriously. But it’s fine with me. I’ll take another hug. I like being in his arms.

I hug him again and this time he hugs me tighter. It’s almost perfect, but then he lets go.

“How was that?” he asks.

“It was good.” I take his hand and lead him over to the display case. “But next time, don’t let go so soon. Let me, or whatever girl you’re hugging, let go first, and then you can let go.”

“I wasn’t aware there were so many rules to hugging.” He leans down and talks in my ear. “And just so we’re clear, the only woman I’ll be hugging is you.”

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Excerpted from Needing Her, releasing June 5, 2015

Needing Her

Needing HerPearce Kensington. Age 25. Billionaire. Graduate of the Ivy League. Future CEO. Member of a powerful secret society.

His life is complicated. Dark. Lonely. Dangerous. So when he meets Rachel, a kind, sweet, beautiful grad student, he tells himself to stay away. He’s no good for her. And yet, she’s good for him. A ray of light in his very dark world.

She’s everything he’s ever wanted but didn’t think he could have. But being with her will bring her into his world. A world she doesn’t belong in. A world he wants to escape. A world he’ll have to hide from her in order to keep her safe.

He should let her go. But he can’t. He loves her. He needs her. And he’ll risk everything to be with her.