EXCERPT & NEW RELEASE: Broken Beautiful Hearts by Kami Garcia
Her heart has to break before it can open.
When star soccer player Peyton Rios receives an offer from her first-choice college, senior year starts off exactly as planned. But when Peyton uncovers her boyfriend’s dark secret, she confronts him—and finds herself falling down a flight of stairs. Peyton’s knee—and maybe her dream of going pro—is shattered. Everyone is talking: Was she pushed, or did she fall? Peyton knows the truth, even if no one believes her.
He has to let someone in before it’s too late.
With her future on the line, Peyton goes to stay with her uncle in a small Tennessee town to focus on her recovery. Dating is the last thing on her mind—until she meets sweet, sexy Owen Law.
But Peyton doesn’t trust her heart, especially when she senses that Owen is hiding something. When their secrets are finally exposed, Peyton has to decide if love is worth fighting for.
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April narrows her eyes. “I’d be careful if I were you.” “Or what? You’ll throw lip gloss at me?” I almost laugh. I’m done here.
Grace stifles a smile as I pass her on my way out, and I stop. This girl deserves a break. “By the way, your friend, and I use that term loosely”— I gesture at April—“didn’t dump Christian. He dumped her. She was whining about it before you walked in.”
“You bi—” April shouts at me as the door closes.
That was fun.
Sticking up for Grace cheered me up a little.
The stadium has emptied out for the most part, and the sight of the green field makes me feel like running. As a striker, it was my job to move the ball down the soccer field and score goals. The team relied on my speed.
I can’t remember a time when I didn’t play soccer. Dad spent hours dribbling alongside me—him with a standard soccer ball and me with a toddler-sized version. He stood in front of a flimsy net we’d made out of PVC pipes, and played goalkeeper for hours so I could practice my corner shots. I lose myself in the memories.
I look up in time to see a guy’s broad chest before I walk right into him. My knee gives out, but he catches my arm.
“Nice save,” he says, as if I’m the one who kept him from falling instead of the other way around.
I jerk away from him. The combination of hearing Reed’s voice a few minutes ago and feeling a guy grab me from out of nowhere . . . it’s too much.
“You okay?” Brown eyes that look even darker against his pale skin.
It’s Owen, the mystery guy from the parking lot. “I’m fine.”
Why won’t my pulse slow down?
“Yeah. I have to go.” I take off in the opposite direction, embarrassed.
I bumped into a guy and almost jumped out of my skin? This isn’t me. I’m the person who never flinches during horror movies.
The leg brace makes me feel helpless. What if a stranger had grabbed me instead of Owen? Knowing I couldn’t run or fight someone off terrifies me.
Or if someone tries to hurt me again.
Mom and Hawk are exactly where I left them. The Twins have returned from the locker room, freshly showered, and they swapped their football uniforms for jeans and T-shirts. The four of them are huddled together talking. They’re probably discussing my fragile state. They think I’m too traumatized to hang out at a stupid party. But I’m not the damaged person everyone thinks.
I refuse to be that girl.
I walk up behind the Twins and squeeze between them. “So when are we going to that party you were telling me about?”
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Meet The Author: Kami Garcia
Kami Garcia is the #1 New York Times, USA Today & international bestselling coauthor of the Beautiful Creatures and Dangerous Creatures novels. BEAUTIFUL CREATURES has been published in 50 countries and translated in 39 languages, and the film Beautiful Creatures released in theaters in 2013, from Warner Brothers. Kami’s solo series, The Legion, includes the instant New York Times bestseller UNBREAKABLE, and the sequel UNMARKED, both of which were nominated for Bram Stoker Awards. Her other works include THE X-FILES ORIGINS: AGENT OF CHAOS and the YA contemporary novels THE LOVELY RECKLESS and the forthcoming BROKEN BEAUTIFUL HEARTS (February 2018).
Kami was a teacher for seventeen years before co-authoring her first novel on a dare from seven of her students. If she isn’t busy watching Supernatural, Kami can teach you how to escape from a pair of handcuffs or bake a Coca-Cola cake. She lives in Maryland with her family, and their dogs Spike and Oz (named after characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer).