There were shadows I was running from.
Ones that haunted and taunted.
Ones that made it so I had no choice but to disappear.

I’d spent years hiding from the world.
My little island haven, the only assurance of safety.

It all changed the moment he showed up at my door.
The hint of pain in his eyes told me that something haunted him, too.
And I couldn’t help but be drawn closer.

But finding the person I needed most came with risks I never expected.
And when our ghosts find us again, neither of us may make it out this time.

Series:

Wrecked Series

Book 4

Can be read as a standalone

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Author Catherine Cowles Talks RECKLESS REFUGE & Shares Sneak Peek
By Catherine Cowles

Author Catherine Cowles Talks RECKLESS REFUGE & Shares Sneak Peek

The first flicker of an idea for RECKLESS REFUGE came when I read an article titled “When Your Child Is a Psychopath.” Does that make you excited for this book? If you’re a true crime lover like me, the answer is likely yes. Give me all the murdery goodness, and even better if you can throw in a romance-fueled HEA. There’s just something about delving into the darkness of humanity balanced with experiencing the heights of a swoony love story that does it for me.

In RECKLESS REFUGE, I wanted to explore the shades of gray when it comes to being a “bad guy.” Were they always bad? Was there a moment that changed things for them? What happens if it is simply the wiring of the brain? And how difficult and complicated would it be if a family member you loved was a psychopath?

These questions blend together with some of my favorite tropes—woman on the run, age gap, and small-town—to create RECKLESS REFUGE. And I have an exclusive teaser just for you…

Brody stared off into space as he half-heartedly poked at his dinner. He’d been like this ever since Parker had taken off. I hated everything about it. This sedated version of a man who was usually so vibrant and full of life.

I’d done what I could to bring him out of it. To be a comfort. I hadn’t shied away from his holding me, the brush of his hands, even though they were as dangerous to me as walking through a minefield without a map. Dangerous for my heart currently heading towards a cliff with a lethal drop-off. But when I knew Brody needed me, someone to tether him to the present, I couldn’t resist.

“What do you think? Yahtzee or a movie?” I asked.

“Huh?” Brody said as if just realizing I was there.

“Yahtzee or a movie when we finish dinner?”

He scrubbed a hand over his jaw. “I’m not really in the mood for either.”

I set down my fork and scooted around the breakfast nook’s banquette so I was right next to him. I laced my fingers with Brody’s under the table. His palms were rough, his fingers callused. But the coarse skin only made him seem more real. “I’m worried about you. I want to help, but I don’t know if what I’m doing is making things worse—”

“Stay.” Brody’s gaze locked with mine. “Stay with me tonight.” My muscles locked. “Just to sleep. I need to feel you next to me. To know you’re safe. That I’m not alone in this. That I’m not going to drown in pain and death.”

“I’ll stay.”

He leaned forward, his movements slow, and pressed a kiss to the corner of my mouth. It was the barest brush of touch, but it stoked a fire somewhere deep. And as he pulled away, my body made a move to follow, wanting more, wanting…everything. I blinked, trying to clear that pull. When I took in Brody again, he was grinning. I glared at him. “It’s not nice to be so cocky.”

He gave me another quick kiss, this time to my forehead. “I like knowing I affect you.”

“Maybe it’s just that it’s been a long time for me. Maybe anyone’s lips near mine would have the same effect.”

That grin slipped right off Brody’s face, replaced by a scowl. “Not cool.”

I chuckled and pressed a quick kiss to his jaw before scooting around and out of the nook. “Fine. Your lips are the eighth wonder of the world, and I’m powerless against them.”

“That’s better,” he said, pushing to his feet to help me clear the table.

It was a little too accurate for my peace of mind. Brody’s mouth made me reckless. The only thing I wanted to do was give myself over to it. To know what it would feel like places other than my lips. And that made me more than a little dumb.

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