Title: dissonance. (Böhme, #2)
Author: Sarah Buhl
GENRE: Literary Fiction, Contemporary Romance, New Adult
Release Date: November 11th, 2014
dissonance. (Böhme, #2)
We cling to what we have always known. Lives, histories, beliefs—all make each of us who we are. Our beliefs define us. But what if one clung to something so tightly they failed to see the truth around them? What if letting go of those beliefs meant truly loving and finding what it means to be alive?
Blake Lawson has a hero complex. He also believes he failed at it. His friend lived a life of turmoil and he was unable to shield him from it. Blake is a friend to everyone, but only giving just enough—because he hasn’t met someone worth risking failure for.
Brecken McNett does not believe in happily ever after. She has lived her life depending only on herself, because she is the only person that knows what she needs. She doesn’t put up with screw ups. Brecken has seen too much failure and broken promises to believe in anything other than living fully day by day. Happily ever afters aren't possible.
“Well I for one am sick of hearing only talk and want to see more action,” Brecken said, evading her nervousness as if it were hunting her. Everyone laughed as she squinted her eyes at me in challenge and pointed at my chest.
“Before I do, I want to show you something,” I said. I pushed myself from the wall and stepped closer to her. I invaded her personal space and looked down my nose to her, meeting her eyes as she peeked up at me under her long-ass lashes.
“What are you going to show me, Blake?” she asked with a flirtatious grin. She didn't realize the impact that one grin had on me, but she was going to find out.
“Excuse us, everyone,” I said with a nod to them. Wynn gave me a smile and nod in return. He tapped the side of his temple and pointed at me before he turned to give his full attention to Hannah.
He always gave me that gesture when he wanted to let me know he understood me.
I took Brecken’s hand and led her through the crowd and toward the hidden door off the room that housed the artists' photographic portraits. Wynn had taken each of the photos and they really were exceptional. He was an amazing photographer and I know I’m partial to saying that since he’s my best friend. But the portraits weren’t why I came here.
On the other side of this room was the door leading to the darkroom and the rooftop. I opened the door and flipped on the red light for developing film. I pulled her in behind me and shut the door and backed her into it.
I didn’t speak a word to her, but lifted my hand and barely traced the hair that she wore tucked behind her ear. It was the ear that her tattoo hid behind and I leaned in to let my nose trace across it. I needed to be that near her again. The one time earlier wasn’t enough.
When she leaned against the wall in front of me earlier, I thought I was going to make a scene. She smelled amazing and it was as if she radiated this heat from her that pulled me in. I wanted to touch her.
She put her hands atop my chest to stop me from leaning in and with a throaty laugh she looked up at me. “You wanted to show me a darkroom?” I nodded.
“Is this your way of prolonging the inevitable? You’re going to sing Blake, no way around it.” She pulled her lip in again in the nervous way she had the entire night. The conversations with others, her hesitation at my closeness, her leaning toward me with a shy lowering of her chin as she spoke—signs that she wanted this as much as me but she was nervous. And I couldn’t forget her choosing the same song to sing that I sent to her earlier. Well, that I sent to her via Karl. I’m still claiming it as mine. What he intended as a mockery of me, became the highlight of my month, if not my year.
“What will I get in return for singing?” I whispered into her ear, before placing a light kiss over her elephant tattoo once again.
“You will get the privilege of singing for those fine people,” she smiled and tilted her head back against the door. She pushed onto her tiptoes and wrapped her arms around my neck. My eyes closed briefly by reflex and I had the same anticipation as I did when I was eleven waiting to see those dancing women on the TV. A simple hug was the first step she was taking into me and I felt the longing between us—not only physically but in the air. It was palpable. Just being near her made me feel whole.
My heart was racing. My heart was racing? My heart never raced—especially not from a hug. I never had this eagerness or this anticipation. This uncontained need to put my arms around a woman and just hold her.
Just hold her. That was what I wanted from her. I wanted to kiss her, and I wanted to hold her. I didn’t want to have sex with her… yet. Oh fuck, do I want to cuddle? That’s insane.
Brecken lowered her hands to my biceps, and as she tightened her grip her eyes fluttered closed and that alone made me drop all inhibition and restraint. I grabbed her waist and pulled her from the door and looked at her as if she were going to disappear in front of me. I traced my hand across her face and her eyes opened and our attention was only on each other.
Her lips parted and an airy moan left her as if just my touch was causing every part of her to ache.
That moan—that amazing, sexy fucking moan. I closed my eyes, controlling myself from going any farther than just holding her and touching her.
I traced my hand across her back and stopped right above her ass. I wanted to touch it from the moment I first saw it tonight, wrapped nicely in her dress. The more she walked in front of me, the more she walked away from me, the stronger the need became and now I was so close to finally experiencing first hand just how amazing it was—but I stopped.
I didn’t want to stop. But I needed to stop.
I pulled her to me and I wish I could say the motion was only for her, but I’m a guy and it was amazing just to press myself against her. I let her feel the need she caused in me and a light gasp escaped her. My cheek pressed to the top of her head and I traced my hands along her arms, and then I lifted them above her head, pressing her into the door. I leaned down to trace my nose along her ear, and remained still as our breath mixed between us.
We stood there as our breathing increased, both afraid to move further. I wanted to thank the universe for being fucking awesome and allowing me this one moment of freedom with her. Every inch of her that my body touched was flying. “Damn it,” I said in a whisper.
She let go of me and my need to be near her was reflected in her expression. We stood there, staring at each other in silence. Her brow furrowed, and she tilted her head. I noticed it was the same fearful expression she wore when waiting to join Conall on stage and it made me nervous.
Her breaths increased as her chest rose and fell. I watched her breathing and my eyes drifted to her spiral tattoo once more.
“I like you,” she said with a look of confusion on her face as if she couldn’t understand her own thoughts and emotions.
penance. (Böhme #1)
Demons of past mistakes haunt her. Mistakes of past demons haunt him.
Strangers cross paths every day. Moments are shared with a smile — the opening of a door, a nod of hello, or help with directions. Most don’t listen to that quiet intuition telling them that something different can be found in this stranger. There is connection and understanding in their eyes. There is truth in their smile. There is an entire life waiting to live. What happens if that intuition isn’t ignored and strangers begin to listen?
It happens every day, someone, somewhere, chooses to listen, and love begins.
This is the story of two strangers who made that choice.
Haunted by the passing of her sister and believing she was the catalyst to cause it, Hannah Anderson lives a walking death. Afraid to embrace life and burdened by guilt, she refuses to accept more than just getting through every day. She believes she doesn't deserve happiness.
Consumed by anxieties and self-depreciation from childhood, Wynn Hawthorne shelters himself from the world. Content to live behind his camera and within the quotes that comfort him, he avoids people. He holds himself back from experiences because people always disappoint.
Together they learn that their pasts do not define them and that forgiveness is the hardest thing in the world to accept.
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Sarah Buhl. Sci-fi expert. Self-professed TV and IMDB guru. Gamer. Dreamer. Mother. Wife. Friend. Author of novels.