Hi Danielle and welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, In Pieces!
Please share your favorite scene from In Pieces :
In Pieces was an intense story to write. I suppose all my stories are, but this one will always hold a special place in my heart. I love to write heroines who seem weak, only to have them prove to both readers and themselves that they are fierce and unbreakable, and Beth Caplan is nothing if not that.
Managing a once-devastating mental illness, Beth finds herself on her own for the first time, at college with none other than David March—her older brother’s best friend, on whom she’s crushed for years. David has always had a soft spot for Beth, and when her over-protective brother asks him to keep an eye on her, he’s caught between his loyalty to him and his attraction to the girl he’s watched grow up into a gorgeous woman.
The push and pull of their relationship is what makes In Pieces such an angsty read, and in this particular scene, we see the culmination of what happens when two people who were meant to be together attempt a friendship while living in close quarters. Add in a little alcohol, jealousy, and a whole lot of lust, and Beth and David’s hearts and bodies give into their attractions before their brains can even catch up. Of course, there’s still much to navigate and obstacles to overcome if they’re going to survive, let alone be together. Can they make it work? You’ll have to read to find out!
If you’ve read my books you know I love backstory. There’s nothing like a good flashback to show what makes a character tick, and as we get glimpses into their past, it becomes more and more clear that Beth and David have always been meant to be. What do you think? Do you think that two people can be made for one another? Are they destined to keep making their ways back to each other, or is love more a matter of timing and circumstance?
I hope you enjoy Beth and David’s story. Happy reading, Harlequin Junkies!
I’m startled awake from a familiar dream, featuring David and me doing things no quasi-siblings should ever do. My body is still on edge from my own fantasy, and it takes me a minute to realize David’s clean scent mixed with about a barrel and a half of whiskey isn’t actually my imagination.
We’re in bed, but we’re not sleeping on opposite sides. And then last night comes crashing back, and my heart rate takes off at warp speed.
David may have fallen asleep on his back, but he’s rolled onto his side to face me, and I seem to have burrowed into his chest like it’s my own personal pillow. His arm is wrapped tight around my waist, ensuring our bodies are as close as possible, and I’ve hooked my leg around his in my sleep. And the worst part is, I don’t have in in me to untangle myself from him.
His lips are so close to my forehead that his breath heats my skin, and it isn’t until I finally look up that I even notice he’s not asleep, either.
Somehow, in the dark, in the cocoon of his body, everything feels different. Less real. More real.
He can’t be fully sober yet—I don’t think I even am—but there’s something present in his gaze that wasn’t there a couple of hours ago.
“What happened?” he rasps, his voice gravelly from sleep.
What happened? Does he not remember wrapping me in his arms? Or worse—kissing me?
I pull back an inch and start to straighten my leg, but his hand shoots down to my thigh to stop me.
“Don’t,” he says, low and hoarse, and I stop breathing as he slowly guides my thigh further and higher, until we are even closer than before. He doesn’t stop until I can feel his impossible hardness against the most sensitive part of me—the part that’s positively aching for him—and my hands fly to his shoulders to brace myself.
David’s eyes search mine for a reaction, but I’m completely helpless. His touch is my kryptonite and I surrender to it willingly.
“You kissed me,” I blurt in a whisper. I know we’re both already awake, but there’s something surreal and intimate about this strange hour between night and day, like it’s casting some kind of spell, and all I know is I don’t want to break it.
“You asked what happened. Last night. You—”
“I know that, Bea.”
I swallow anxiously, excitedly, and my hips rock gently against him all on their own.
“Fuck,” David grates out, his fingers tensing on my thigh, digging into my skin as if to still me, or encourage me. The deep furrow of his brow makes me think even he doesn’t know for sure. He seems to be grappling with some profound ambivalence, and it keeps me still and silent until his eyes fall to my lips.
One of David’s hands threads into the mess of blonde tangles at my nape, the other releasing my thigh to brush his knuckles along my cheek. He runs the pad of his thumb over my bottom lip. “You think I could forget kissing this mouth?”
I don’t reply. I did think that. I do think it, and I can’t help the flutter of shame that even after all that hard-worked therapy, my self-esteem with guys is still utterly pitiful.
But David doesn’t need a reply. He’s known me too long—too well. He shakes his head and lets out a short, soft ironic laugh. “You do, don’t you?”
I force a half-hearted shrug, admitting nothing, but his eyes are too close—too piercing—and they miss nothing, too.
David frowns, considering something. “You know, Bea…for all the confusing-ass shit you cause in my fucked-up head, none of it has made me blind—you realize that, right?”
I blink at him. What the hell is any of that supposed to mean?
Another head -shake. “You’re…” He swallows down some unknown thought, and then blows out an exasperated sigh. “You’re fucking slamming, Bea.”
It’s such an out of character thing to say that I don’t immediately register his meaning, which, with even more exasperation, he seems to realize.
“Hot as fuck, Beth.” He rolls his eyes. “You’re goddamned hot as fuck.”
I breathe out a small giggle at his choice of words. But my humor is cut short by the reality of them. David has never called me hot.
I murmur a cursory thanks.
But David isn’t satisfied. His mouth slips into a roguish smirk, familiar, but laced with something he’s never directed at me before—lust. “You are, Bea. You’ve been driving me crazy all fucking night.” He gently rolls his hips as if to punctuate his statement, and I gasp as he presses against my center in a way that has me raising my thigh even higher.
David’s lips inch closer to mine. “Do you believe me, beautiful girl?” he breathes, with another taunting roll of his hips, and this time, I whimper.
David’s eyes slam closed like it’s too much for him. “This is so fucked up,” he mutters to himself. But when his eyes reopen, all that’s left in them is pure, primal hunger.
No one has ever looked at me like that.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
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Giveaway: Print copy of IN PIECES (Something More) by Danielle Pearl
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Three years ago she was left in pieces . . .
Most college freshmen love the newfound freedom of living on campus, but none of them craves it like Beth Caplan. One ill-fated night when she was fifteen left her locked in a posh prison of private tutors. It’s for the best, everyone said, and maybe it was. But after years of hard work and healing, the one person who never thought of her as broken could be the one to break her all over again. And Beth can’t seem to stay away now any more than she could all those years ago.
As soon as David March learned his best friend’s little sister was enrolling at his school, he promised to look after her, and promised himself he’d keep a safe distance. But the sweet little girl he’d grown up with has transformed into a gorgeous young woman, and she’s attracting attention from people she shouldn’t-like the ex who nearly destroyed her and a strange new student with a disturbing habit of showing up wherever Beth goes. But for David, the most troubling discovery is realizing that he doesn’t just want Beth to be safe. He wants her to be his.
Meet the Author:
Danielle Pearl is the bestselling author of the Something More series. She lives in New Jersey with her three delicious children and ever-supportive husband, who—luckily—doesn’t mind sharing her with an array of fictional men. She did a brief stint at Boston University and worked in marketing before publishing her debut novel, Normal. She writes mature Young Adult and New Adult contemporary romance. Danielle enjoys coffee, wine, and cupcakes, and not in moderation.
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