Title: On the Surface
Author: Nikki Ash
Genre: Second Chance Romance
Release Date: June 22, 2019 Cover Design: Juliana Cabrera with Jersey Girl Designs Cover Photo: Sara Eirew with Eirew Photography
People see what they want to see. They only view what’s on the surface, and they’re easy to fool. I let them see on the outside that I’m a successful businesswoman. My clothes are designer, my makeup flawless, and I live in a high-rise condo in Lennox Hills. They see perfection, not what lies beneath the surface.
The real me, the one I keep hidden is a broken-hearted woman who uses the makeup to hide her tears. The expensive clothing covers a heart once shattered by love. The walls of my expensive home shelter a lonely woman who hides the fact that deep down she wants to be loved. A woman who is too scared to risk her fragile heart.
For ten years, I’ve managed to hide behind the image of perfection. Only letting people see what’s on the surface.
Until I ran into Jase.
Now, every raw emotion, every shattered piece of my heart that I buried long ago is exposed outside the protective walls of my high-rise condo. No matter how hard I try, I can’t keep the walls from crumbling. He sees me beyond the image that I’ve created. He says he can handle what’s below the surface, but can I?
“Stop. I’m not fucking kidding, Celeste. You don’t cry. Ever.” “Give me back my clutch,” I demand. “After you tell me why you’re upset enough to shed tears.” Not able to have this conversation sober, I down a shot that’s sitting on the table. It burns like a bitch, but I more than welcome the discomfort. After I repeat this two more times, Nick pulls the tray out of my reach. “You’ve had enough to drink,” he chides. “Now tell me what’s wrong.” I’ve never told anyone about him. No one. I left to New York without looking back and kept what I thought we shared all to myself. But suddenly, as I look at Nick and Olivia looking at me, I feel like the weight is too much. I need to tell someone, and if I’m going to trust anyone to know my truth, it’s them. “I fell in love,” I breathe out, falling into the chair across from them. Their eyes go wide, and Olivia moves from next to Nick over to me. “With Chad?” Olivia asks, confused. “No, we actually broke up tonight,” I admit. “When I was eighteen. I fell in love…and then he broke my heart. And I…I just don’t understand why I wasn’t enough.”