"...a sweet tale of second chances, love, and faith in that love."
- Cat, Cat's Reviews
What's Left of Me
From bestselling author Kimberly Lewis comes the heart-gripping story of a sweet second chance at a hidden love...
Four years ago, my world fell apart. There was no "goodbye." No explanation. So I moved on—unwilling to let the heartache consume me—and learned to cherish the memories for what they were and not what they could've been. I thought my heart had mended, and that I was happy.
But I was wrong...
READ AN EXCERPT
Cole’s hand catches mine as he holds it against his face, closing his eyes and breathing deep. “It was so real,” he murmurs. “I could hear, smell, and feel everything.” He opens his eyes, and he looks so lost that a lump rises in my throat.
When he releases my hand and moves to sit up, I scoot over and decide to give him some space. “Let me get you some water,” I say and stand up from the sofa.
His hand flies to my wrist, causing me to stop and turn to him. “Don’t leave me.”
“I won’t,” I say softly, and I take my seat back next to him—only then does he let go of my wrist. I’m not quite sure what to do, or what he needs me to do, so I just sit there with him in silence.
He leans forward, resting his elbows on his knees and puts his face in his hands. “I couldn’t save him.” His voice is muffled, but I’m able to make out the words. “He asked me to cover him, and I …” Cole’s voice breaks and he takes in a shaky breath. “I didn’t see the shooters behind us.”
My chest is heavy with pain as I realize Cole is telling me about what happened in Afghanistan. About Adam. All of these years I’ve wanted to know, but now I’m not so sure I can handle it. I need to hear this, though—need to let him talk about it and release the grief that he’s kept bottled up for so long. My hand rests gently on the back of his shoulder, and I move my palm back and forth in a soothing motion.
“It’s all my fault,” Cole says and scrubs his face with his hands before sitting up slightly. “Adam’s gone and it’s all my fault.” He turns to me, and his eyes are so glassy. “I’m so sorry, Jenna.”
My own eyes are warm and watery, and that lump in my throat is about to break through my exterior. Still, a tear slips from my eye and down my cheek as I pull Cole into my arms and hold him tight. “It is not your fault,” I reassure him and feel his arms wrap around my waist. “You did everything you were supposed to do. It was an ambush, Cole. You almost died yourself.”
“It should’ve been me,” I hear him say with his face buried into my shoulder. “Adam was good, and I’m …”
“Stop that,” I tell him and pull away to look at him. His eyes are so pained and haunted, it nearly kills me. “You’re good.” I emphasize my statement, hoping to get through to him. “You’re a good man, a good son, a good brother, and a damn good Marine.” He notices my curse, heck I’m a little surprised too, but I’m in the moment and need to make sure I have his attention. “Adam knew what he was getting into when he signed up. You all did. He died doing what he loved, so don’t let his death be in vain.”
“I miss him, Jenna,” Cole says. “It kills me every day that I lived and he didn’t.”
“I miss him, too.” Lifting my hand, I stroke my fingertips along the side of his face. “But we have to keep going, Cole. If we keep dwelling on the past, on the things we can’t change, we’ll be miserable, bitter people.” I rest my hand against his jaw as I hold his gaze. “I know it’s hard, but we need to move on.” My thumb strokes his cheek. “Stop just existing and live.”
Cole’s hands tighten around my waist seconds before his mouth is on mine in a blaze of heat and passion.
A slow moan escapes from me when Cole’s tongue thrusts into my mouth, and I wrap my arms around his neck to deepen the kiss. He kisses me like I’ve never been kissed before—like his life depends on it. He devours me with every lick, every stroke, every flick, and the overwhelming sensation quickly sends a rush of aching heat to my breasts and between my legs. “What are we doing?” I murmur against his lips.
Grasping my hips with his large hands, Cole kisses me harder and pulls me so I’m straddling his lap. “Living.”
BONUS TEASER ...
"What's Left of Me is one of those stories that immediately touched my heart. It's an easy read and the writing is pretty simple, which makes it pure and it enabled me to strongly feel the multitude of emotions Kimberly Lewis poured into her story. I read it with tears in my eyes. There's a great contrast, at night Cole is the vulnerable one and Jenna is strong for him and during the day it's the other way around. What's Left of Me has a surprising number of layers for a novella. I really loved this amazing moving story." - Suze, With Love for Books Blog Click here for the full review
"What's Left of Me is a sweet romance, about hidden love ... but with a hard edge. I applaud the author for taking on the tough subjects of PTSD, survivors guilt and Alcoholism, I also loved the way that she managed to wind them into the story, in a soft way." Cara, Cara's Book Boudoir Click here for the full review
"This tells the tale of two old friends that discover they have the sparks and chemistry that just might mean true love! Jenna and Cole have known each other forever ... Cole is carrying around some really heavy baggage. My heart hurt for him and for the heaviness he feels in his heart. Jenna, despite having gone through some hard times as well, seems to be doing well and looking forward to moving on and living life ... Overall, it's a sweet tale of second chances, love, and faith in that love." - Cat, Cat's Reviews Click here for the full review