Title: Broken Wing (Arthur Academy, #1)
Author: Kathleen Mareé
Genre: Contemporary, New Adult
Release Date: 26 April 2021
It’s funny the things you notice as a child.
Like the way people uneasily glance away from me whenever I catch their eye. Or the way a stranger seems to smile happily at other children, but when I say hello, their smile looks more uneasy than warm…
But as I approach the steel gates to the elite Arthur Academy, I can’t help but take a long-awaited breath towards my freedom. Finally, I have the chance to build the life I want. A future. Something that gives me more to live for than the daily beatings my childhood only ever knew. The girl I used to be doesn’t exist here. But even as the confidence grows about a life I now have control over, I can’t help but feel there could be something else waiting for me here. Something I’ve never faced before.
And it isn’t something I could prepare for.
And preparation is what got me out. It got me here.
I can’t afford to lose this opportunity, because if I lose this hand, it’s more than just a loss.
It’s like not being able to breathe. Not being able to fly.
I grip the leather ball in my hand, feeling the weight of the year pressing down on me. If it was just football, I could deal, but with my last name – it’s everything else that suffocates me. The Arthur Elite is what they call us, and we each have our roles to play. But my fathers given me the next two years to do what the hell I want without his interference, before he’ll own me and I’ll become nothing but his pawn.
After that, when college is done, I dread the life I’ll have to lead. The role I’ll be forced to play.
It should be simple. Just stroll through the steel gates and be the crown they all see; but I can’t help but feel there is something lurking beneath the surface. There is something different about this year that I sense inside my dark soul.
And it isn’t something I am prepared for; even when staying ahead is the one thing that ensures my next breath.
Because when I lose a hand, it’s more than just a loss.
It’s like losing a limb. A bird breaking its’ wing.
And without that – I can’t fly toward freedom.
And my freedom right now, is all I have to hold onto.
Broken Wing Excerpt:
I didn’t miss the way Austin changed the subject, or more importantly, how he seemed to imply that I’d care about who Hendrix was with. But like the asshole he is, he knew he would get a reaction out of me. It’s one of those things we hide well in public, but not from each other. We never were good at hiding things from one another.
“And was Tucker keeping his hands to himself?” I bite. I almost want to punch the tiles in front of me for even thinking about his hands on her. I know I’m a worthless piece of shit – I know that. But Tucker? He thinks he isn’t one, when the truth is, he’s the worst of us all.
Austin laughs, “Pax you should see how wound up you are right now. Don’t tell me you like her?”
“Like who? New girl?” Banks squawks, like he’s only just started listening again, a towel wrapped around his shoulders and his junk out for all to see.
“I don’t like anyone,” I huff, shutting off the water and shoving my face in my towel.
“Oh, my fucking lord. You like her!”
“Shut the fuck up Austin. You know we don’t have time for that shit. Two years. I have two fucking years of football left before the life I want is over. This is all I have right now. I don’t fucking like anyone.” I’m half-dressed to find them beside me, with shit-eating grins on their faces.
“So, you wouldn’t mind me having a go then?” Banks asks cockily, his head tilted to the side.
I do my best to school an indifferent look on my face, shrugging, “If you think charity pussy is worth it. Go for it.” I grab my bag and stalk out of the lockers, before I even think about punching something. I needed to get myself in control, and all that shit about liking her was sending me off balance.
I haven’t had a girlfriend since prep school, and even then, I barely tolerated her. Girls are only good for a distraction. That may change one day if I can ever live a life away from the one my father wants me to. A life I know I will hate. But for now at least, it’s not even on my radar. Banks, Austin, River and I – would never get to choose our partners. Like my father says, it’s just a business deal anyway. Her doe-eyes flash in my head once again. Maybe I need to just have her once and get her out of my system. Maybe then, I can stop this torment my mind seems to want to pull over me. But even that thought feels like bullshit to me. I make it outside and start heading to the main building, desperate to shake any thought of her out of me, when I hear the banter and laughter behind me.
“So, just to be sure…” Banks laughs, causing me to stop and face him resigned. “If Tucker was to have a go at her, you wouldn’t have a problem right?”
Fuck no, I’d have a problem.
“It’s not about her. It’s about Tucker and how he’s an asshole.” Banks raises his brow, causing me to add, “Well, more of an asshole than we are.”
“So then, I’d be an acceptable asshole to have a go?”
I sigh dramatically, not knowing where I can go with this. Either way I’m setting myself up to be a target when it comes to her, or even worse, I’d be setting her up to be one more than she is too. But before I can answer, Banks add, “I guess we don’t have to worry about me right now anyway, because Tucker seems to be shadowing her like a lost puppy.”
My eyes narrow as I turn to where Banks has his gaze set, and sure enough, there Tucker stands, a little too close to Hendrix. I’ve managed to avoid this for the last few days, but I don’t even realise how much it pisses me off seeing it – until I’ve stomped all the way over to them.
Well, this should be interesting….
About Kathleen Mare’e:
Kathleen grew up in the south-western suburbs of Sydney, where family holidays by the beach and tormenting her two younger brothers, was how she spent her early years. But at the young age of 11, when she submitted a short story to a talented writing competition through the NSW schools program, not only did she win it, but she quickly found a love for it as well.
Throughout her schooling, writing was a hobby, along with sketching and various sports. But fast forward to her adult years when she moved to Europe to follow her husbands field hockey dream, and her love for writing surged to the surface.
Her debut story, Cut, was penned over two years where her hobby seemed to lead to the completion of Pennys’ world. The rest of the series came the following year.
Kathleen enjoys writing stories full of self-discovery, emotional journeys and of course, love.
Something else she loves is hearing from her readers, so feel free to follow her blog or drop her an email.
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