Home > Escape (Getaway #3)

Escape (Getaway #3)
Author: Jay Crownover

I want to drop a quick heads-up about the start of Escape.

I wrote it in third person, but the rest of the book is in first, told in alternating POVs, as are most of my books. I know a lot of readers have strong feelings about third person vs. first person, I’m asking that you don’t let the first few pages throw you off.

The reason I chose to write the beginning the way I did is because when I was putting the words on the page, I was getting distinctly uncomfortable watching it all unfold. It felt like I was a fly on the wall watching this train wreck going down in front of me and wanting desperately to scream “STOP IT!” I felt like a spectator to tragedy instead of being lost inside the moment inside one of the characters, and I guess it made sense to make all of you reading as uneasy as I was while everything unfolded. I wanted you stuck, skin crawling, eyes wide, words on the tip of your tongue wanting to spill forth right along with me.

These two have such a complicated history and so much unrequited love and lust that I seriously doubt the prologue will be the only parts of this book that were tricky to write and even more complex to read! Isn’t that the best?!

It’s going to be a long road home for the final Wild Warner—buckle up and enjoy the ride.

Additional side note: When I initially wrote Brynn, and made her part Native American, I didn’t think that all the way through. Specifically, with regard to having to write about her experiences growing up on a reservation and needing to make that as authentic as possible. Remember this series was inspired a lot by old westerns and the TV show Longmire, which uses a reservation as one of the main settings. It is shockingly difficult to find someone to talk to about growing up on a reservation, even harder to find a woman who happens to be within my limited reach to pick their brain. So, there are parts of Brynn’s backstory where I admittedly took creative license. Fact and fiction often go to war when you are trying to tell the best story possible. I based those parts of her story on the documentary Hidden America: Children of the Plains, and various YouTube videos where Native Americans speak at length about their experiences both on and off the reservation. Again, there is a shocking under-representation of women in this situation that one can use as reference tools. So, while I tried my best to give a true-to-life experience for Brynn’s story, I’m sure I got some things wrong. Don’t hold it against me . . . or do, but know I did my best.

 

Love & Ink

xoxo

Jay

 

 

Yes or No

“Will you marry me?”

A hush swept through the engagement party that now had an ill-fated proposal smack-dab in the center of it. The silence wasn’t one of breathless anticipation and silent delight. No, the silence that seemed to echo and bounce off the walls of the rustically decorated home was one that was laced liberally with something closer to horror and noiseless despair.

The words should’ve had the women bright-eyed and giddy and the men shifting with anxious expectation. Instead, they fell like a lead weight, and instead of every eye in the place landing on the woman who was staring at the handsome cowboy who was on bent knee before her, they drifted helplessly to another man in the room. The one who was leaning against the farthest wall away from the couple. The one who was watching the romantic scene in front of him with narrowed blue eyes and a jaw so tight it was a miracle his teeth didn’t shatter from the pressure of them grinding together. He was still, so still. It was as if the question hung in the air waiting for the dark-haired man to react—as if the question didn’t exist until he acknowledged the words were there in the room, hovering between him and the woman staring in horror at the ring offered to her by a man that wasn’t him.

All eyes were on Lane Warner, not the proposal.

“I know we haven’t been together for very long, and this might seem sudden, but I know you’re the one, Brynn. I love you, and I want to build a life with you. So, what do you say, will you marry me?” The blond cowboy named Jack asked the question with hope and love shining out of his bright eyes.

Jack was ernest and clearly nervous. He clearly loved the woman who was standing in front of him, her hands shaking as she covered her mouth and blinked back the tears in her dark eyes. Jack was a good man, and he was right, this was sudden and unexpected—but not really. He had been around that he wanted to move toward something more serious, something more permanent over the last few weeks. Danger and mayhem tended to make people react without thinking. All the other people standing in that room could have told the handsome cowboy that she wasn’t ready for that kind of commitment, that there was a good chance she might not ever be ready, but he didn’t ask. Jack went out and bought a ring, sure the beautiful woman who had effortlessly stolen his heart was as in love with him as he was with her.

He hadn’t been paying attention. If he had, he would have noticed the dark-haired man who seemed to be sucking all the air out of the room well before now. He would have been aware of the way the woman he loved let her gaze drift to wherever the blue-eyed cowboy was in the room and how it lingered. If he looked closely, he would have seen the way her eyes followed that dark-haired cowboy with undisguised longing and soul-deep regret. The hopeful cowboy would have spotted the way that she quieted and stilled when they were alone, leaving only part of herself in his hands. But they say love is blind for a reason, and the man holding the ring and pleading to the woman with his eyes didn’t see any of that until the room vibrated with tension so thick it was hard to breathe through. Only then did he see what was right in front of him all along. He loved her, but she loved someone else.

“Umm . . . Jack—” Her hands shook even harder, and her typically sweet and melodic voice sounded rough and husky, laced with tears, and something that he would soon learn was remorse.

Before she could finish the sentence and before she could drop the single word that would change the life of the blond cowboy who worked on the ranch next door irrevocably, the dark-haired man pushed off the back wall, straightened and left the room. It was like every bit of confidence, and wishful thinking had vanished with him. It was almost as if he took every ounce of love and hope with him when he left. All that remained was a shaking woman, a desperate man on his knees, and a gathering of friends and family who didn’t know if they should look away or rush to prevent the inevitable train wreck that was taking place right before their eyes.

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