Series: The Chaos Theory
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Today is the cover reveal for Into the Darkest Night by Cassandra Giovanni. This cover reveal is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours.
I was born a child of the Elite; destined to live a life of privilege in Sun City.
With one decision I gave it all up.
Ana Jacobs knows the Elite and their depravity all too well. She was one of them once. Her father was a member of the Inner Circle and head of the Trinity funding the corruption of Sun City. When he learned she knew the names of those he’d hidden so well, he turned his back on her; had her kidnapped and tortured to protect his secrets.
When she escapes the island and learns of her father’s death at the hands of a knife-wielding vigilante called the Nightwatchman, she returns to Sun City, vowing to use her knowledge to protect the city. As a city cop, she blends into the background, and no one suspects her real motives.
Levi Bennett knows where Ana’s been. He’s also an Elite, but where Ana was sent to the island, he ended up there by accident. While Ana buries herself in her work and stopping the flow of illegal drugs and weapons into the poverty-stricken Blue District, Levi covers his pain by partying and spending his trust fund on buying bars and restaurants.
Thrown together by Levi’s constant pressing of the limits, the two can’t deny the connection they share through their dark pasts.
Their demons are one in the same, but some demons can’t be tamed.
I’ve been on patrol for two hours, and the most exciting thing I’ve done is help an elderly woman find her car.
“507 located at 222 Star Avenue, White District. Complaint regarding noise.” Comes over the radio, and I can’t help but smile as I put my siren on.
“10-4. Officer 2239 responding.”
The smile disappears from my face as I realize where I’m going. I swear to myself as I turn my sirens off and get out, looking up at the glowing sign.
All the Right Moves.
Of course, Levi Bennett’s bar would have a name like that. The music pulses so loud that the building is practically shaking. I grit my teeth before heading inside. I expect some sort of rave, but when I can actually make out the music, I realize it’s country.
It’s still way too loud, and when my eyes lock on Levi’s, I have a feeling he did it on purpose.
“Someone call the cops?” he shouts over the twang of the acoustic guitar as he comes around the bar and smiles at me. “Or did you just miss me?”
I blink in rapid succession at him, but his smile doesn’t fade. He leans back against the bar and then signals to someone behind me to lower the music.
“I told you the music was too loud,” a voice says from behind me, and my body tenses. “I told him.”
The person stops next to me, and then their mouth drops. “Ana?
Robbie Bisson. Levi’s best friend. My ex, and the last person to see me alive before I disappeared.
The awkwardness only spreads when a woman comes up and wraps her arms around Robbie’s back before putting her cheek on his arm.
Lily Smith. Levi’s girlfriend, and also his ex, by the looks of this.
Levi looks between Robbie and me, his brow furrowing a shadow over his eyes. They’ve taken on a dark blue that makes my palms moist, or maybe it’s just this whole situation or the heat of the bodies dancing behind me.
“You know each other?” Levi asks.
I blink hard as I try to determine what to say. I cock my head at Robbie as his mouth continues to hang open. It doesn’t appear like he’s able to answer, so I do.
“One summer vacation and a lot of tequila.”
“Oh,” Levi says. His tongue slips over his teeth beneath his lips as he glances at Lily, and then away into the crowd.
“You disappeared shortly after that,” Robbie says, rubbing his neck. “I’m glad you’re okay.”
I want to say define okay, but instead, I nod.
His eyes race over mine, and Robbie taps on the bar. He holds up his fingers, four, he signals. “Tequila, right here.”
The bartender puts the glasses down, each making a sharp clinking noise as they hit the modern concrete counter. Then he tosses the bottle behind his back, over his head and from one hand to the other before tipping it up and filling each glass. The movement makes my stomach turn, and my eyes fall to the clear liquid in the glasses.
Robbie was the last person I drank with, too.
“To Levi and Ana. We’re happy to have you both back,” Robbie says, holding his glass in the air to toast. The offer for a drink reminds me why I’m here in the first place.
“Officer 2239, 10-26 at 222 Star Avenue.” I say into my transmitter, and then looking at the time; “Officer 2239 10-10.”
The response only takes a second. “10-4, Officer 2239.”
“Off duty, now?” Levi says, holding out a shot for me.
I narrow my eyes at him before taking it, and we kick back the burning liquid at the same time. I want to cough, but I don’t. I swallow hard instead.
“So, you and Lily?” I ask, pointing between the two of them as the familiar burn settles into my throat. Alcohol isn’t something I’ve missed, and I watch Levi from the corner of my eyes as he shakes his head when the bartender offers more. It’s in direct violation of everything in his files. My fingers tingle, and I pull them into fists at my sides as I look back to Robbie. He nods, and his nose twitches as he signals for the bartender to fill him up. Lily tucks a loose strand behind her ear and shakes her head to the bartender. She shifts from foot to foot as she stares down at her tan and teal cowboy boots.
“Want to dance?” Robbie asks Lily, and her eyes widen with relief.
“Yeah, that sounds great.”
They disappear into the crowd on the dance floor, and I sit on the stool beside Levi, letting my head roll to my shoulder, so I’m looking at him. “Just happened to get too loud tonight?”
He smirks, watching the crowd sway to the music. “Check the business’ file like you did mine, and you’ll see it happens regularly. Our neighbors just aren’t that fun.”
“Mhmm,” I reply as I lean back.
“So, you and Robbie—how did I not know you?” Levi finally asks, changing the subject.
I raise my eyebrows at him, and his hands are in fists, the smile on his lips gone.
“It was after you went missing— but I was around before that – we’re both Elite, well, were. You were just a tad bit engrossed with Lily from what I remember,” I reply.
His eyes drift to the ceiling. “Ah, yeah—that.”
“It must’ve been awkward coming back to…” I don’t know how to put softly your best friend dating your girlfriend. I don’t understand why my throat thickens as I watch his reaction. I shouldn’t care if it bothers him.
Maybe it’s because I get how lonely coming back is. My toes curl in my shoes at the thought. Loneliness is my only friend.
Levi leans forward, pressing his muscular forearms into his knees. “Just a little bit.” His shoulders lift, and his eyes come up to mine, causing an eruption of tingles up my spine. “But they’re good for each other. I’m not who I used to be, so it’s not like it would’ve worked anyway.”
Butterflies erupt out of dormant chrysalis I never thought would be awakened as his eyes flick over my face. The calculated smugness is gone, and the man before me is part the innocent boy I had a crush on all throughout high school and part damaged man that I feel, stupidly–no doubt–that only I could ever understand.
I turn in the stool, so I’m facing the bar. “Do you have anything that doesn’t taste like Windex?”
Levi laughs as he goes behind the divider. He reaches up to the top shelf lined with expensive looking bottles, and his shirt lifts, showing one of the dimples in his back and a pale scar that travels diagonally from it. My eyes follow the line to a tattoo of a kanji—Japanese character—for a skill I’ve yet to master.
Seishinteki kyōyō: spiritual refinement.
Judging by its placement on his back, he has almost as many skill marks as I do. Not only did Levi survive the same hell I did, but he’s received the same training.
Levi Bennett is a Shinobi—a ninja.
Just like me.
About the Author:
Cassandra doesn’t remember a time when she wasn’t writing. In fact, the first time she was published was when she was seven years old and won a contest to be published in an American Girl Doll novel. Since then Cassandra has written more novels than she can count and put just as many in the circular bin. Her personal goal with her writing is to show the reader the character’s stories through their dialogue and actions instead of just telling the reader what is happening. She writes romance books in various genres, including adult romance, new adult romance and teen romance. She also has several kids books. In addition to being a published author, Cassandra is a successful full-time financial marketer. When she’s not making the characters in her head come to life, she either has her bow and arrows or longboard skateboard in hand. She’s happily married to the man of her dreams and they live in the rolling hills of New England with their daughter Hope and their dogs, Bubski and Kanga.
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