First Light by
Series: Project Five Fifteen #1
Published: May 28th 2012
Genre: YA Romance/Thriller
Amazon | Amazon UK
What do you do when you've always dreamed of a hero; your knight in shining armour, only to find when he arrives he isn't a hero at all?
... He's a killer.
Ronnie Rose is trying to cope with the loss of her father; now it looks like she might lose everything else that's dear to her too. Huge debts threaten to destroy her family, her childhood home and her future.
Only one person cuts through her pain. Kalen Smith has just moved to town. He's trouble and everyone knows it. He and his mysterious friends keep to themselves and the town likes it that way.
But when Kalen mourns at her dad's funeral, Ronnie wants to know why and her investigation plunges her into a dangerous world of murky government secrets, with deadly consequences. Ronnie knows she should walk away from Kalen before it's too late. Problem is, she's falling for him...
Can we choose who we fall in love with?
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The door to the pub flew open, shaking on its hinges as it rattled to a close. We all glanced around. Four men I didn’t recognise had entered, their stance and expressions screaming trouble. The one who led them had coal-black hair and small shifty eyes like pools of tar. He scanned the crowd and waded in our direction towards the bar. I could tell from people’s reactions that the men had a reputation. Everyone watched them without actually making eye contact. Subtle movements and small adjustments to people’s stance and posture as the men walked past showed that no one wanted to get in their way.
As the group reached us, Shifty-eyes took a purposeful stride sideways, barging Adam from behind to get him to move. Adam lurched forward, his drink spilled from the glass, sloshing over Toni.
‘Watch it, mate!’ Adam exclaimed. They were all older than us, maybe in their early thirties, but something told me I couldn’t count on them acting like adults. The guy smirked at Adam and then faced the bar, bumping him again in the process.
Adam turned back to us, slightly chagrined, but obviously having the sense to ignore them. Cheryl had other ideas. Irate that Toni had been doused in beer, and too drunk to think better of it, she tapped the guy on the shoulder and started yelling abuse at him.
‘Hey, who the hell do you think you are? At least apologise to my mate, you got beer all over her, you idiot!’
The man sneered, looking over at Adam. ‘Do me a favour, mate, get your bird out of my face.’
I glanced over in the direction of Kal. He was watching us intently. Laith whispered something in his ear.
‘She’s not my bird,’ Adam said hesitantly, ‘but there’s no need to be rude.’
‘Sorry, what was that?’Shifty was not much taller than Adam, but he was stockier, with a thick neck and muscles that almost popped through his shirt. He leaned in, cupping a hand over his ear, taunting Adam into saying it again.
‘We’re not looking for any trouble,’ Adam said.
I stared between them, watching the looks on the faces of each of the men. We may not have been looking for trouble, but they definitely were.
‘Now, now fellas,’ said the barman, ‘no fighting.’
‘Get lost, Frank,’ said Shifty. ‘I think we have a big shot here.’ He pushed Adam’s chest with both hands so Adam stumbled backwards. I shot another glance at Kalen, he looked about to head over, but Laith grabbed his arm, holding him back.
Adam had his palms upwards, trying to diffuse the situation. Cheryl was still shouting in a shrill way that hurt my ears. Because of her, things were escalating out of control. Adam was going to get hit.
Unable to stand any more, I moved so I was in between them and looked up at Shifty. ‘Please, can we just leave it? We haven’t done anything to you guys,’ I told him, with my best pleading voice. With one large hand he grabbed hold of my shoulder, about to shove me to one side. Another hand locked around his wrist before he had the chance.
‘You heard the lady,’ Kal’s voice was deadly. In one hand he held Shifty’s arm and in the other, a pool cue. Around us, people fell silent. For a second I thought Shifty might back down, but he didn’t.
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