Shattered Sea (The Tattered & Torn #4) Read Online Catherine Cowles

Categories Genre: Romance Tags Authors: Series: The Tattered & Torn Series by Catherine Cowles
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Total pages in book: 101
Estimated words: 97917 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 490(@200wpm)___ 392(@250wpm)___ 326(@300wpm)
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I’ve known every kind of pain. Of the heart. Of the body. Of the soul. All I want now is the freedom that comes from making my art.

The last thing I expected was Hollywood royalty to waltz into my gallery in a small town in the middle of nowhere and see me.
A man like Boden Cavanaugh shouldn’t understand me. Shouldn’t be able to soothe my most ragged edges. Even worse, he makes me want the one thing I can’t have. Him.
All it takes is one spark, and friendship catches flame. But as our attraction burns bright, there are forces desperate to send us back into the darkness. And they’ve already killed before…

FULL BOOK START HERE:

Prologue

Laiken

PAST

“Next dare. Backflip into a dive.” Mitch puffed up his chest with each word like he was an overgrown gorilla.

I rolled my eyes and snuggled back against Jase’s chest, letting the crackling bonfire warm my bare legs. I did my best to tune out Mitch and the rest of our friends and tipped my face up to the sky. It was crystal-clear, letting the stars shine like sparklers in the inky black—as if the heavens were putting on their own little show in honor of our graduation.

“You could at least pull a double,” Isaac muttered, cutting into my peace. “Don’t be a chicken shit.”

Mitch’s eyes narrowed. “I’d like to see you try.”

I sighed. This endless quest to one-up each other was getting old. And I could only imagine it worsening when we left for college in a few months. The mixture of freedom and access to booze taking hold.

Jase pulled me tighter against him and nuzzled the side of my neck. “You warm enough?”

“I’m perfect.”

Isaac gave Mitch a shove, and he let out a string of curses as he tripped over a rock.

“Or I would be,” I said, raising my voice, “if these two idiots would quit messing with my bliss zone.”

Lisbeth laughed, holding her hands out to the fire. The flames made her strawberry-blond hair look more of a true red under its glow. “Good luck with that.”

Isaac’s focus swung to me, a devilish grin in place. “Come on, Laik. Let loose for once. You got salutatorian and your fancy gymnastics scholarship. You can breathe.”

I stiffened. Structure had been my friend since finding my love of tumbling at age four. Or maybe it really took hold when my dad bailed at six. I relished the reliability of it. The knowledge that it kept things safe and predictable. Only I was tired of feeling like the dud of the group.

I pushed out of Jase’s hold and stretched. “I think we can do better than a double, don’t you think, guys? How about a two and a half?”

Mitch whistled. “Shit, girl. Now we’re talking.”

I slapped his hand in a high-five and started for the rope swing.

Jase stood, jogging to catch up with me. He grabbed hold of my elbow. “Laik, it’s dark. There could be debris in the water you don’t see.”

I turned to face Jase, taking in the lines of concern creasing his face. I stretched up on my tiptoes, brushing my lips against his. The touch brought with it a flush of warmth and comfort. Sometimes, I thought I knew Jase’s body better than my own. From childhood best friends to middle-school crush to first everything.

“Someone has to put these idiots in their place,” I whispered in his ear.

Jase’s fingers tangled in my hair. “It doesn’t need to be you.”

“I’ve done flips off that rope swing a million times. Are you forgetting who the state champ on the uneven bars was?”

He shouldn’t. Jase came to every meet, usually dragging the rest of our friends, too. He made ridiculous posters and sometimes t-shirts. My favorite one had read: Number One Fan & Water Boy.

A smile stretched across his face, but the edges were strained. “I’m not doubting your bendy, twisty prowess. It’s the hard objects you could land on that make me nervous.”

I scanned the water and saw more than enough to make the jump safely. “Full moon, babe. I got this. Channeling my inner gymnastics nerd.”

He chuckled, wrapping his arms around me and pulling me close. “Those leotards have always been my favorite.”

“Perv.”

Jase nipped at my bottom lip. “You like me pervy.”

Isaac made a gagging noise. “I think I’m gonna vomit.”

I twisted out of Jase’s hold and strode towards the rope swing. “When I do this, you have to stop giving me shit for the rest of the night.”

“Aw, come on, that’s no fun.” He ran a hand through his blond hair, the strands long on top and shaved on the sides. A look he thought was the epitome of cool.

“You being silent sounds like plenty of fun to me,” I called back.

I heard a grunt and curse that I was pretty sure meant someone had gotten punched in the gut.


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