It’s a pleasure to welcome you all to the first stop on the blog tour for Entrapped by Claire Ayres! My thanks to Jenny of Neverland Blog Tours for the invitation to join and for providing the excerpt I’ll be sharing with you today. A very special thank you as well for all your patience, dedication and in short, being such a wonderful tour organiser, it was great to sign up for tours with you. Now let’s kick off this last book tour!
Cellist Luka has moved to Bristol to start a new job and recover from the betrayal of finding his best friend and his girlfriend in bed together. He doesn’t plan on the emotional thunderstorm that meeting his next-door neighbour Jess causes. Jess had everything, a man she loved, friends she adored and then the world crashed around her. Depression came from nowhere and slowly started ripping her life away. Now she lives a lonely, sad life but the music which she keeps hearing next door is waking her up and she doesn’t know why. Join Luka and Jess as they discover life after heartache, how to forgive and how to live and love again.
*Entrapped is an 18+ Contemporary Romance with several graphic sex scenes*
Claire lives in Bristol, UK and has taken her inspiration from the people and the places she has seen over the years. She always has a book close at hand and devours Fantasy and Romance like some devour chocolate! Claire loves a happily ever after followed by lots of bloody sword-fighting and dangerous dragons! But when writing her debut novel Entrapped drew on her childhood ambition to be a musician and one of the instruments she played and still loves as a centre-point. Claire is also a passionate mental health advocate who lives with bipolar disorder and has done regular radio interviews and even some TV. She is also a huge heavy metal fan and can regularly be found banging her head at a concert or festival.
“I went to the doctor.” He squeezes her hand, kisses the corner of my mouth. Jess continues: “She says it’s depression, why I’ve been so off my game, not myself.”
His fingers tense across Jess’ lap and arm where they were previously casually placed, they get so tight she whines and pulls away, feeling the ache of a bruise that has yet to come out. His jaw is clenched, his eyes are tightened to slits. It’s OK though, Jess thinks, she knew this would be a difficult conversation for him, they will work through it together though. She rushes on, needing to reassure him, show him they will be fine.
“I have tablets, they will take a little while to work but then I will be back to myself, it will all be OK.”
Jess squeezes out a smile and runs her hand across his cheek, trying to show him the proof of her words. After a long pause he finally speaks: “What do you mean a little while to work?”
“The doctor said 4-6 weeks,” she responds, stroking his hair.
“Are you having a laugh?” He’s laughing, this is not a funny laugh though, there is absolutely nothing funny about Ade right now from the look on his face to his body language or the way he is touching her. “Jessica, you know what I went through growing up, that I can’t put myself through that again.” He sighs. “I thought this was a passing phase.”
Jess looks at him, holding the tears back in her eyes, determined not to cry. What is he getting at?
“Ade, I’m not your Mum, I’m going to be OK, things will go back to normal,” she pleads.
Ade grew up in an unhappy and abusive home, at the centre of that his Mum had depression. She was also an alcoholic, as a result he doesn’t separate everything very well which is understandable.
“Things won’t be normal, will they? I’ll have another month of all this bullshit? Do you know what it’s been like living with you detached from me for months now?” Jess shrinks back, shaking her head, afraid to speak. “It’s awful and it’s miserable. And sex, well I can swing from the chandelier for that, can’t I?”
Jess gapes, she doesn’t know what to say, he’s getting angrier with every word he says. He violently shoves her back onto the couch and away from him, no longer wanting her on his lap and she knows she is collecting more than bruises today. Bouncing on the leather seat as she lands, she automatically grabs for the cushion she has come to use as a protective blanket and clutches it desperately. Something is seriously wrong here and she can’t hold back the big, ugly, tears because she doesn’t know what else to do.
“I’ve loved you since day one, Jess, and you couldn’t stay well for me? That’s all I wanted from you – for you to love me back and to stay well and happy. Why was that too hard?”
Jess stares in stunned silence and tries to respond, as he storms around pacing the floor in front of her.
“Ade? Please. Stop. Why do you think I did this on purpose, Ade? Do you think I want to feel like this? I miss you so much and I hate that I’m hurting you, it’s killing me. I would do anything to not be hurting you.” She wishes he could see that. She wishes he could see how much she loves him, how hard this is. He stops pacing, stands right in front of her, his hands clenched into fists, tears in his eyes.
“I can’t be around someone with such negative energy. We’re over, Jessica.”
An unnatural wail comes is pulled from Jess as she doubles over, struggling to breathe, her heart shattering as his words sink in. He goes to the bedroom and she listens to him opening and closing the cupboards as he packs his belongings. She doesn’t know what to do except sit there and watch as what little remains of her heart walks out the door with the man she loves.
Hands up who also dislikes Ade :-). You’ll have to read the novel to see Jess find the happiness and love she deserves !