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Micah’s POV–Empty House

Things at home had been strained for a while; ever since the morning Micah had made an off-handed comment in the heat of the moment. Welcome to parenthood. The words still haunted him. Yes, kids having bad timing and interrupting a stolen, heated moment was a fact of life for a parent. But to say that to the woman who made it abundantly clear that she wasn’t prepared to have any sort of parenting role would go down in history as the biggest bucket of ice ever dumped on the fire of passion.

The house was silent when he walked inside. Julia’s black Pontiac sat in the driveway like always. He opened the door to her office, expecting to see her deep in thought behind her laptop. She’d been trying to figure out how to build a social media management company locally and it was consuming much of her time. The office was dark, her laptop gone.

He ran upstairs to see if she might be working in the bedroom. Since the attack, she had some remaining stiffness and had been known to spend time laying in bed so she could work while the heating pad soothed her shoulder. The bed was made and there was no sign of her.

Realizing Caleb should have been home by now as well, he opened the door to the guest room they’d converted into a private space for the twelve year old while they stayed with Julia. His room was dark as well.

What in the hell is going on here? Where are they?

Micah reached for his cell phone only to realize it was still in his work truck. Deep in his gut, he knew something was very, very wrong. Knowing Karen’s accomplice was still out there somewhere, he fought the panic building inside. Get a grip. They probably went for a run.

He reached in through the open truck window to grab his phone off the dashboard and pressed the speed-dial for Julia. Come on baby, answer the phone. It went straight to voice mail.

“Jules, I just got home and you’re not here. Guess I’ll see you when you get back.” If she’d gone to Madison with Annie, there were a few dead zones. Until he had a reason to panic, he kept reminding himself of that fact. He kept trying, every time the call went to voice mail without ringing.

As the minutes ticked by, Micah resisted the urge to pull Officer Andrews’s card out of his wallet. He didn’t want to call prematurely but he also knew that if Karen’s friend had done something to Julia and Caleb, every minute counted. He felt relatively certain the unknown man wouldn’t harm Caleb, but Julia was expendable. Minutes before the deadline Micah had given them to return home before he called the cops, he saw Annie’s car pull around the corner. The momentary relief he felt was filled with a heightened sense of panic when he didn’t see Julia in her car but Caleb was with their friend.

“Where’s Julia?” Caleb asked as he slammed the car door closed. In the short time she’d been in their lives, his son had grown close enough to Julia that she was the person he went to when anything was bothering him. They spent time together every afternoon and many times in the evening, Micah would find the pair on the couch playing first person shooter video games.

Micah tried to remain calm as he looked over the roof of the car at Annie. “She’s not with you guys?” It was a stupid question seeing as it was more than obvious she wasn’t, but Micah didn’t know what else to say. His heart started racing as a vision of Julia being attacked again filled his mind. “Didn’t she pick you up today?”

Caleb rolled his eyes. Under different circumstances, Micah would have given the boy a lecture about respect but finding Julia was more important than a minor outburst. “Obviously not, Dad. Where is she? Annie said Julia asked her to pick me up today.”

Questions filled the space in his mind that had moments earlier been filled with fear and worst case scenarios. If Julia asked Annie to pick up Caleb, she had to be okay, right?

“Caleb, go in the house.”

Annie looked nervous as she started walking across the front lawn. Maybe something was wrong after all. “What’s going on?” Micah asked, trying to will his voice to remain steady.

She leaned against the porch railing. “When was the last time you talked to Julia?” She pinched the bridge of her nose, the gaze fluttering around trying to avoid stopping anywhere near Micah.

He thought for a minute. “She got up early this morning, said she had some business that she wanted to take care of before a client’s office opened. I went back to sleep and she wasn’t here when I went to work.” He tipped back the bottle of beer, emptying it in one bitter swallow. Having been friends with her since grade school, Micah could tell Annie was holding back. “Do you know where she is?”

“Micah, you really need to talk to her.” She sighed heavily. “I can’t be stuck in the middle of this.”

He glared at her. Her words might say she didn’t want to be involved but it was obviously too late for that. She knew exactly where Julia was and she wasn’t telling him. “Please, just tell me where she is. Did she say when she’s going to be home?”

Annie walked across the porch to sit next to Micah on the rickety swing. She wrapped an arm around his shoulder trying to get him to calm down. “Look, you two need to talk this shit out. You need to call her. Okay? Please, don’t ask me for answers that only she can give.”

Without another word, Annie walked to her car and left. Micah reached for his phone to try calling Julia again. How was he supposed to call her if her phone was turned off? What had he done this time to piss her off so bad that she just up and left? Voice mail again. “Baby, you need to call me. I don’t know what’s going on and Annie won’t tell me. She said to call you. Where are you? Did I do something? Please, talk to me.”

He told Caleb to make a frozen pizza when he got hungry and went to the bedroom. How could everything have gone so wrong? What had gone wrong? He’d been foolish to think Julia would ever be able to forgive him for screwing up and lying to her. It didn’t matter that they were little more than kids when it happened, she was obviously still upset with him and today was the day his fantasy world shattered around him. Julia was gone…



rating: 4.5–crushin’ on Micah–stars

I got a new book boyfriend! I ❤ Micah and you will too! Bent the first novel by HB Heinzer is a wonderful story that takes place in a small town in Wisconsin called Brooklyn. It’s a place where everyone know everyone and they all know each other’s business but they also all look out for each other.

Julia grew up in Brooklyn and had her whole life planned out–go to college (only a few hours away from Brooklyn) and marry her high school sweetheart. Well, life doesn’t always work out the way we plan and Julia was dealt a hard blow by her boyfriend Micah which leaves her crushed and alone.

Micah stayed in Brooklyn and now owns his own construction company. He never got over Julia and regrets the day he broke her heart but he was young and struggling with a drunken mistake which gave him a wonderful and fantastic boy–Caleb.

Fast forward 10 years and Julia finds herself divorced and going home to Brooklyn to re-evaluate her life. Her first night back she agrees to meet her childhood BFF Annie at the local bar. Micah also decides to spend a rare night out with his friends and what do you think happens? Yep they see each other. Julia is none too happy and she discovers things that only bring about more questions, more hurt, all those feelings she tried so hard to forget and then throw in the mix that there is still a very apparent attraction to each other. That is what I call trouble.

Favorite quotes and excerpts from the book:

“At one point, he leaned his body over hers and she forgot all about the stick in her hands, distracted by the feeling of him brushing up against her.”

“So, he’s not so hot with a stick and balls, huh?”

“Don’t try to deny it. You don’t get flustered over women. You’ve never once asked my opinion about a woman until tonight. That means something. That means she is something special.”

“Calling a truce simply meant she wouldn’t pull the ladder out from under him or throw a hammer at his head.”

“Jules, just give him a chance. He’s not a bad guy, just stupid sometimes.”

“Why can’t the heart forget the love and remember the hurt?”

“Try,” she breathed into his ear. “Otherwise we can stay outside. Just don’t leave me yet.”

“No, I think you guys have proved your point. That bitch is nuts,” she exclaimed”

“No way, Dad. You’ve screwed up so much with her, I think you might need backup.”

(by HB Heinzer)

Julia is renting a house from Annie’s parents for a really good price because the house needs a lot of fixing up. So the morning after she runs into Micah guess who is tearing up her back porch the next morning? They are able to call a truce and they slowly begin to talk and work things out. They begin to fall back into their old familiar ways. They are happy and getting to know each other. Stop! Wait! I haven’t even mentioned the CRAZY BITCH!!!! Yep, Micah’s ex is a CRAZY ASS BITCH! I need not say more because when you read this book you will find out exactly why Karen is psycho. Will her psycho-ness be enough to break up Julia and Micah’s reunion? How will Caleb handle everything–Julia, psycho mom’s return, and his own mixed up teenage feelings?

Bent is addicting and you find it hard to put it down. You too will fall in love with Micah and rooting for Julia and his relationship to rein over the evil crazy one. I loved it and I can’t wait for the sequel Breaking The Rules (late May release). Go out and get this book!!!

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