Hidden Deep (Book 1 of the Hidden Trilogy)
by Amy Patrick
Release Date: 03/23/15
Oxford South Press
Summary from Goodreads:
Give in to the Glamour…
Sixteen-year-old Ryann Carroll has just run into the guy who saved her life ten years ago. You might think she'd be happy to see him again. Not exactly. She's a bit underdressed (as in skinny-dipping) and he's not supposed to exist.
After her father's affair, all Ryann wants is to escape the family implosion fallout and find a little peace. She also wouldn't mind a first date that didn't suck, but she's determined not to end up like her mom: vulnerable, betrayed, destroyed. Ryann's recently moved back to her childhood home in rural Mississippi, the same place where ten years earlier she became lost in the woods overnight and nearly died.
She's still irresistibly drawn to those woods. There she encounters the boy who kept her from freezing to death that long ago winter night and was nowhere to be seen when rescuers arrived. He's still mysterious, but now all grown-up and gorgeous, too. And the more she's with him, the greater the threat he poses to Ryann's strict policy-- never want someone more than he wants you. Seventeen-year-old Lad knows the law of his people all too well: Don't get careless and Don't get caught. It's allowed his race to live undetected in this world for thousands of years, mentioned only in flawed and fading folklore…
Lad's never been able to forget about Ryann since that night ten years ago. When he sees her again, his fascination re-ignites and becomes a growing desire that tempts him to break all the rules. He's not even supposed to talk to a human, much less fall in love with one. And the timing is atrocious. The Assemblage is coming, the rift between the Light and Dark is widening, and mysterious celebrity fan pods are becoming more and more widespread and influential. Lad may have to trade his own chance at happiness to keep the humans, especially Ryann, blissfully unaware and safe.
I shucked my sweaty clothes, leaving my bra and panties on. There might have been six hundred acres of my grandma’s posted forest land between me and the nearest person, but I wasn’t that brave.
I stepped into the cool water. It felt unbelievably good, and I slipped under, blowing out all the stuffy humid air in my body. After a minute my lungs burned. I resurfaced, stood up in the waist-deep pool, and waited for the water to stop running down my face. Then I opened my eyes.
There in front of me, kneeling on the mossy bank and staring right at me, was a guy. A big blond guy, about my age.
I know him. No—wait—I don’t know.
It didn’t really matter because he shouldn’t have been there. No one should’ve been there, but he was. I’m basically naked and alone in the woods with a stranger. Not good.
My chest was on fire. I wasn’t breathing, and then I was breathing too much, too quickly. My mind spun and scrambled for anything like a rational thought. If I’d been watching myself in one of those stupid screamer movies, I’d have been shouting at the screen, “Move! Run! Do something.” But it was like that time when I was home alone and thought I heard an intruder. I just froze.
The guy looked almost as shocked as I felt, seeming unable to tear his wide-eyed stare away. Like me, he was frozen in place.
Then his face relaxed. And he smiled.
Sure. Alligators can smile, too. At least the sight ripped me out of my temporary paralysis. I finally moved, lunging toward the bank, intending to climb out and run, or at least get my clothes.
Oh. My clothes. I plunged myself back into the water up to my chin. I had no idea what to do. I was basically at this guy’s mercy—miles from anyone who could hear me scream, ridiculously outsized and overpowered. He still hadn’t said anything. No “I’m sorry,” or “Hello there,” or “Why no, I’m not a rapey stalker.”
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