Unforgiven by Sarah Ballance

I want to welcome Sarah Ballance to Harlie’s Book Blog today.  I’m not sure if any of yall have read Sarah, if you have not, you are truly missing out.  Her blog alone, is worth the visit.  Without further ado, I give you the blurb and an excerpt from Unforgiven.

Riley Beckett’s past just came back to haunt her . . . and this time, he’s got a gun.
When Gage Lawton finds his brother shot dead on his back porch, every shred of evidence points to one person: Gage’s former lover, Riley. He and she didn’t part ways on good terms, and he’s not planning to rekindle anything now–not when he’s got a revolver pointed at her head and a finger on the trigger.

A year after Riley swore she and Gage were over, he returns in a hail of gunfire. One look into those achingly familiar blue eyes and she knows how wrong she was to let him go, but now far more than their heated past stands in the way. A twist of fate puts them in the crosshairs of a killer, leaving Riley with two slim options:  trust her greatest betrayer or face a murderer on her own.


Something was wrong. Was the dark playing tricks on her? Riley Beckett froze, arm outstretched, hand poised to toss her keys on the table just inside her front door. But she didn’t let go. Instead of dropping them in their usual spot, instinct whispered for her to feather pieces of the makeshift weapon between her knuckles. Heart pounding, she pressed the keys in a silent, white-knuckle grip and prayed her concerns were her imagination, that the paranoia of coming home alone to a dark house was getting the better of her.
One, two steps in. Wood planks echoed underfoot. She fought to breathe in air that grew thinner with every tense second.
Three steps.
Then it hit her. The scent. His scent. And with it a flush of memories. The burn of hot grass on her bare skin. Rough hands, a tender touch. Love so sweet she ached for it, her dreams raging, and her body drenched with need.
Their first time.
Her last.
“Gage?” Her voice broke on the single syllable. Riley’s grip on the keys tightened, her blood raging hot and cold all at once.
A creak sounded from the corner chair. Her eyes refused to adjust in the darkness, but not even the faint light kept the blond streaks in his russet hair from giving him away. Like rays of sunshine, she used to tease, and her words never failed to draw a scowl across his rugged face.
God help her, her name on his lips sounded as it always had. Coarse. Dangerous. Forbidden. Even before . . . The memory surged, hot and vivid, leaving a metallic taste in her mouth. White heat assaulted her from every corner of the room.
The keys fell to the floor with a clink.
“An eye for an eye, is it?” His voice sounded unpracticed, as if he hadn’t spoken in a long while.
She couldn’t see his face, but she knew his expression. Flat and humorless. Broken. She remembered the day he stopped smiling. Every part of her wanted to flee, but she stood frozen to the spot.
“What do you mean?” Riley wondered if the words, whispered and weak, had the strength to make it across the room. Hadn’t she always known she’d shatter the next time she saw him? Hadn’t she dreamed of it anyway?
“You have to ask?” Gage laughed, cold and hollow. “Billy’s dead. Hell of a thing to come home to, Riley. My brother blown to bits on my back porch.”
“Oh, God.” Riley swayed, bile rising in her throat. The room filled with a distant buzzing. She took one unsteady step to the side and stumbled.
When she found his gaze, it was over the business end of a revolver.
He leveled the gun in her direction. Everything else in her world trembled, but his aim held rock steady. Unyielding.
His eyes burned blue and bright. “What I want to know, sweetheart, is why you did it.”
He worked his finger over the trigger, and a veil of blackness threatened her last discerning thought.

Noble Romance-
Amazon –  

Sarah and her husband of over fourteen years live on the mid-Atlantic coast with their six young children, all of whom are perfectly adorable when they’re asleep.  She often jokes that she writes to be around people who will listen to her, but her characters aren’t much better than her kids.  Fortunately, her husband is quite supportive, having generously offered to help her research “the good parts.”  She’s never had to ask twice.

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19 thoughts on “Unforgiven by Sarah Ballance

  1. LMAO Casea!

    @Joselyn – Thank you so much. :c) You really should write more! It works, it really does! Okay, most of the time. Well, they usually drive me nuts. Or, OMG, CRAZY. They drive me CRAZY. THERE, I SAID IT! (I plan to blog about this very topic tomorrow, LOL.) Thanks for commenting. That was fab – I love it when someone really gets me! *grin*

  2. I love your bio! Some days I think I am invisible in my house because no one listens or hears, not the kids, not the dogs, not the DH. Maybe I should write more. 🙂

  3. Ok – Where is the chili? Thanks, Marika. Sarah always fun with you. Slumber party of grown women – that might make the hubby a little nervous, which means we should do it. LOL

    COngrats to Matt. I sure Holly will be sad just like when Mike Modano and Tony Romo got married. LOL

  4. Oh, the poor wife! LOL. She must be something to have snagged him. (Casea, you might have to break that one to your sister easy!)

    @Txgrll, thank you so very much. I'm glad you liked it. Or … *love* … even better. MUAH!

  5. LMAO! He'll PAY for all of that heart breaking when that little girl grows up. (Or, if there's a wife or girlfriend involved, when she gets tired of the ladies man act, LOL.)

    Congrats to the new aunt! I loooove new babies. *sigh*

  6. This has been fun and hilarious at the same time. My brother has a 6 month old baby girl that has him so wrapped up, its funny. He's still the ladies man and breaking hearts everywhere. Its sick, really. He got away with my stuff. LOL! And he was younger!!!

  7. Okay, H/M, do tell … where is the younger brother today? Is he still breaking hearts? And, um, getting stalked by '76 Monte Carlos? That is FABULOUS. I can't figure out why no one is inviting ME to this slumber party, but that's okay. Jeff and I are going to grab a few bags of M&Ms and munch on them while we're waiting for his wife's chili to meld. (But, um, you guys can come too!)

    LOL! Thanks you – all of you. What a great comment thread! Epic, even. Whoulda thunk?

  8. OMG! I knew it. Everyone knew my brother but never me! That's too funny. You stalked my brother! That is definitely for the books, my friend. Crazy, crazy stuff. We have definitely got to get together.

  9. Marika – I have a funny story for you. When my sister was a freshman at White, Matt was a Senior. I had just gotten my DL. One afternoon Holly and I were driving down Myra when we saw Matt walking. Holly had a fit and made me turn around at the next block and pass by him again. Saying “Ohmygod that that's Matt M.” LOL I remembered that after we talked a couple of weeks ago. I stalked your brother in my silver 1976 Monte Carlo. Isn't that hilarious?

  10. Just to echo what the hostess said, Sarah is a HOOT. In all the best ways.
    Don't know how she does it either.
    I think of it as Sarah's World out of Ballance.

  11. OMG, Casea, you are KIDDING! That is CRAZY! And why the heck can't anyone live near ME? LMAO! That is AWESOME. That factoid just made my day–as did your lovely compliment. Thank you SO much! *still shaking head* LOL.

  12. Sarah! You know I love your humor. But the suspense is great in your excerpt! BTW-Did you know that Marika and I grew up blocks from each other, two years apart at the same schools and I didn't meet her until I visited your blog a couple of weeks ago – dare I say it – small world, huh? LOL

  13. Aw, thank you both! I'm honored to be here, and Brinda, it's so good to see you. Now that I have a WIP I should have already finished and a few extra gray hairs from the process, I think it's time to share one of those blog posts you mentioned. (That, or SCREAM, LOL.)

    Thanks so much for having me! The post looks great, and the intro makes me all warm and fuzzy inside. :c)

  14. Love, love, love this excerpt! Yes, I agree that Sarah's blog is worth a visit…or ten. I especially love her entertaining tales of juggling family life with writing!

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