It's one of those love hate things. I love most of it, don't like one of the pieces, and I'm waiting to see if they'll change it.
It's not horrid, it just doesn't feel like the character in the story, a younger version of him, yes, but not the Brodie you spend most of the story with in Rebel Souls. Regardless, it's a pretty cover and I can't wait to show everyone.
So, since I can't share the cover, I'll share an excerpt.
“Brodie?” she whispered. It couldn’t be. He’d died. Had the drug conjured her memories and brought them to life? Her heart pounded against her ribs, threatening to break bone.
It had to be the air, couldn’t be real. Ava shook her head, trying to knock the illusion away. He didn’t disappear like a mirage on hot sand, but remained fixed, staring at her with the same intensity he studied everything and everyone. Her breath caught and she swallowed hard, trying to control the multitude of emotions that crashed onto her.
The message she’d received from the Underground, instructed her to come here, to meet Tagas, one of the Nexian Rebel leaders. She certainly hadn’t expected the man who sat at the table, his legs stretched out in front of him and a drink in his hand. “My gods,” she muttered.
Ava blew out a breath, unable to speak further. She hadn’t seen him for ten years, thought he’d been killed. Even so, she’d recognize him anywhere, the power he held in his eyes, the stubborn line of his mouth, and the way he reclined, yet appeared ready to spring at any second. Apprehension settled into her guts.
He’d grown broader in the shoulders, all muscle, without an inch of fat on his frame, a more mature version of the man she’d known, and definitely not dead. She raised her hand to her chest to steady her heart. Brodie gave her a slight nod, as if to say, I’ve come back.
Yeah, she got that. She tugged the fabric off her mouth, wanting more air, and knowing she didn’t need the filter anymore. If Brodie was here, the drugs weren’t. For several moments, she absorbed his image, taking time for reality catch up to her whirling mind.
My gods, he’s alive. Even more handsome than his twenty-one year old self, Brodie commanded the room. None dared to look his way—other than her. His dreadlocks were gone, replaced with a clean military-styled cut. It gave his face sharper angles, exposing his hard bone structure. He stared at her, raised a brow and his gaze shifted to her right, his attention landing on Seth. Cold, hard, and like a snake about to strike.
By now, word had gotten back to him about her standoff outside the wormhole with the Regulators, as well as the fight on the street. Brodie was the ultimate predator and always had eyes and ears everywhere. Her heart skipped and fear gripped her insides. “Back toward the door.” She’d seen that look before, moments before Brodie killed someone.
“Why?” Seth pulled his collar down and switched his laser from stun.
“Don’t do that in here. He’ll take it as a challenge,” Ava said the words as Brodie tossed his shot back and slammed the glass down on the hovering table next to him. Too late. He’d caught it. “You need to leave.”
“Not until I find out what you’re doing in New Xiera.”
“This is not the time to argue. Get out of here, or I won’t be responsible for what happens.”
“I’m a big boy, Captain Frost. I can take care of myself, and I’m only leaving when you do.” He grabbed her arm, and Ava yanked away. Brodie rose to his feet, murder on his face. He moved across the bar, the crowd parted before him, giving him twice the space he needed. Within seconds, he was face to face with Seth.
“Duchess,” Brodie said, not breaking the stare-down. “You’ve brought a friend.”
“Brodie, you’re alive.”
Both men glared at each other. Energy seethed around them. Several patrons collected themselves and exited as quickly as possible, somehow sensing the trouble coming on.
“It’s not what you think,” she said.
“What is it I think, Duchess?” He turned his face to her, his expression unreadable.
“Seth is on leave. He escorted me here for my safety.”
“Is this true?” Brodie turned back to Seth. “I somehow doubt the Duchess needs your protection. She’s managed all these years without it.”
“I escorted her here to get her arm bandaged. She said someone at this place could take care of it.” Seth stared back, holding Brodie’s challenge, refusing to look away or back down. “Are you that someone?”
Ava swallowed hard. “Brodie….”
Brodie raised his hand to silence her and broke the showdown, dropping his gaze to Ava’s arm. He didn’t need to posture to prove he was bad. If Brodie wanted to kill Seth—he simply would. He reached out and grabbed her hand gently, raising her wound to the light. “You call this keeping her safe? She’s sliced to the bone.”
“I know,” Brodie said, confirming Ava’s suspicions that he’d had advance knowledge of the encounter with the children and her traveling companion. Knowing Brodie, he already had scouts on the street, digging for information on the Regulator. He’d know everything about Seth, including the color of his undergarments, before the star rose in the sky. Question was, would he play nice?