Author Shari J Ryan reunites the colorful cast of friends and family in Book 2 of the Schasm Series with a powerful tribute to the power of the mind and heart in this romantic, suspenseful, and engaging novel.
After nineteen years of suffering with a psychological condition, ethereal Chloe had finally come close to finding her ultimate escape—or, so she thinks on the vibrant streets of Paris.
Finally in a relationship with Alex, a man she fell in love with in Schasm, Chloe thinks life is finally coming together. As she battles her own demons, she attempts to repair the damaged man she’s grown to love. But as his clouded past abruptly crashes into their lives and falls heavily upon their budding romance, Chloe must fight to maintain her relationship.
Although even when the problems begin to subside, she comes to realize certain things cannot be escaped. Franco, her disillusioned, serial-killing uncle has taken up residency in Chloe and Alex’s life. In search for an item that belongs to Chloe, Franco will deceive, connive and conquer until he finds what he is after—that is, unless, Chloe finds a way to beat him at his own game.
Just as Chloe believes she might have sealed the doors of darkness once and for all, new questions, new findings and new inceptions arise. Whether or not Chloe wants to continue forward with the path her life seems to be leading, she quickly learns that any choice she makes will ultimately land her in a place she never knew she was destined to be.
My heart quakes against my sternum. My stomach feels like stone, and my throat is clenching in on itself. I walk to the other bar covered window, completely horrified. I curl my fingers around the damp, ice-cold bars, and I pull myself up, pressing my face against the metal to look out.
The hallway is just as dark and abandoned as this room. The walls are painted a sea green. They’re cracked and peeling, and old rusty handcuffs hang from chains that line the wall. I peer down the other end of the hall, somewhat curious and somewhat petrified as to what I might see. The words “help me” are smeared along the wall in what looks to be blood.
Against my desire, I take in every detail of this deserted passageway, hoping to gain insight on where we might be. But I’m lost and dumfounded. An abandoned institution is the best I can come up with.
Sounds of footsteps arise from the depths of the barren walls, and the dissonance increases with each footstep, warning me that someone is coming. The hallway only has two directions and I don’t see anyone in either.
I’m going crazy.
I could only hope.
The footsteps stop, as does the beating of my heart. I close my eyes and pull in a deep lungful. But I inhale someone else’s warm, stale breath. My eyes snap open, and two large bulging brown eyes stare back at me. My chest caves in. My lungs struggle to move, and I fall backwards.
Chloe Valcourt drifts between two worlds: the dark reality of her domineering mother and feeble father and the vivid fantasy of her imagination. With her condition comes the harsh observation of doctors who intend to cure her of it. But a chance encounter with a handsome and vaguely familiar young man in her dream world hints at the possibility of hidden truths—and a life she can’t remember. As her drifts become a greater escape from the cruelty of the real world, Chloe finds herself lost between what is real and what is imagined, questioning her very existence. Can she remain in the lush new imagined landscape to find happiness in a realm of her own invention? Is she doomed to return to the harsh reality of the outside world forever? Or will she become trapped somewhere between the two…unable to return to either?