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  • Most of All # Excerpt



    MOST OF ALL YOU (out 10/17) Exclusive Excerpt

    Excerpt from MOST OF ALL YOU, A Love Story, © Mia Sheridan, releases on all platforms 10/17
    He cleared his throat and put his hands in his pockets, tilting his head slightly so his hair fell across his forehead. His posture, the way he squinted slightly as he looked at me, triggered my memory, and I suddenly realized how I knew him. Lost boy. The words moved through my mind as if someone had scribbled them there. His name was Gabriel Dalton, and he’d gone missing when he was a kid. It was a big-time national news story when he escaped his kidnapper and came home. I was only a preteen at the time, but I’d still heard about it here and there. Of course, right about the time Gabriel had come home, my world was—yet again—falling apart.
    The last time I saw his picture on the news had been a while ago, but I knew for certain who he was now. “You shouldn’t be in a place like this. If someone recognizes you, I imagine they’ll be real eager to take your picture.”
    He froze for a portion of a second before relaxing again. He took a seat in the metal chair across from where I sat and looked at me expectantly, like one of the men waiting for a lap dance. Only…different somehow. I wished I could pinpoint what it was that looked so wrong about him sitting there. Maybe it was that he looked nice. And I couldn’t ever remember thinking that about anyone who walked through the door of this club. He blew a breath out slowly and ran a hand through his hair, moving it off his forehead. “I guess it’s good you recognized me. Might make this a little easier.” He seemed to be talking more to himself and so I didn’t respond. He looked straight at me. “I probably should have thought this out a little more instead of just showing up.” He rubbed his palms on his thighs as if his hands were sweating.
    “Are you going to get to what you want, or am I supposed to guess?”
    He shook his head. “No, no, I’m sorry. I don’t want to waste your time.” He paused again. “The thing is, Crys—” He cleared his throat. “The thing is, because of my history, which it sounds like you know a little bit about, I, uh, find it difficult to tolerate…closeness.” Two pink spots appeared on his cheekbones. Was he blushing? God, I didn’t even know men could blush. As if my opinion of him mattered somehow. Something small and warm moved through me, something I had little idea how to identify.
    “Closeness?” I frowned, uncomfortable with the softness in my tone.
    He pressed his lips together, the color in his cheeks increasing. “I find it difficult to get physically close to people. Or rather, I find it emotionally distressing. Uh…” He laughed softly, an embarrassed sound. “God, this didn’t sound so pitiful in my head.” He looked somewhere behind me. “Or maybe it did. Maybe it’s just worse hearing it out loud.”
    “What is it I can do for you exactly, sugar?” My voice still sounded soft. Helplessly, my heart squeezed, and I felt a shiver of compassion run through me for the way Gabriel was struggling in front of me. The unfamiliar emotion unbalanced me, and I drew myself up straighter. 
    “Gabriel,” he corrected.
    “Okay, what is it I can do for you, Gabe?” He didn’t smile with his mouth, but his eyes squinted slightly as if he was. But then the lines around his eyes smoothed out, and I wondered if that had been a sort of smile, or just my imagination.
    “You can help me practice being touched by a woman."

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    Enter to win here ---------> https://goo.gl/forms/YUnEKH1uklhLdTZS2
    (Winners will be notified via email. Paperback ARC's mailed Tuesday 9/19.)

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