Monday, August 3, 2015

Caught in Us by Layla Hagen



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Title: Caught in Us
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
This is the third book in the Lost Series, but it is a standalone since it tells the story of a different couple.
Buy links to follow:
Amazon:
B&N:




Previous books:
1.      Lost series:
Lost (FREE prequel novella to Lost in Us): Amazon US ; B&N ; Apple ; Kobo
Lost in Us (James and Serena’s story): Amazon US ; B&N ; Apple ; Kobo
Found in Us (Jessica and Parker’s story): Amazon US ; B&N ; Apple ; Kobo




2.      Standalone full-length romance: USA Today Bestseller Withering Hope

Description (Caught in Us):

Dani Cohen knows Damon is trouble the second he walks in during senior year. He has bad boy written all over him. . .from his arrogant smirk to his perfectly toned abs. He is arrogant, intense, and rebellious. 
Dani has her future all planned out. She’s not the type to fall for a bad boy, no matter how panty-melting his grin is or how shamelessly he flirts, but something about Damon draws her in, awakening a desire she’s never felt. Slowly, she uncovers the secrets Damon hides: underneath his arrogance lies a tortured soul, his flirting smile masks despair. 

Damon arrives in Dani’s life against his will. Carrying the scars of a dark past and facing an uncertain future, he knows he should stay away from her, but can’t. Her innocence consumes him, as does the desire to indulge in the passion igniting deep inside her. 
An all-consuming bond blooms into a reckless love. But when mistakes from the past threaten their already fragile future, can their love survive? 

A steamy and emotional full-length, standalone love story from the USA Today Bestselling author of Withering Hope.

Excerpt 1
As usual, I get too engrossed in my reading and am almost late for class. Sitting next to Hazel, I take out my books when Damon appears in front of our desk.
"You dropped your phone in the hallway," he says politely.
"No, I didn't." I look in bewilderement as he drops my smartphone in my hand. Damon smiles mischievously, walking over to his desk as Ms. Evans enters the class. Wouldn't I have noticed if my phone had fallen on the corridor during our altercation? Not really...I was too preoccupied with him to notice anything else. My skin heats up at the memory of his closeness. I swivel to ask Hazel something and find her staring at me with curious eyes.
"Do you have anything to share about your morning?"
"I read a book," I mumble.
Ms. Evan starts talking about the Bronte novel we had to read when I receive a text. 
You should take better care of your things.
The sender appears only by number, not name, but I know who it is. Sure enough, one glance in Damon's direction confirms my suspicion. He's not looking at me or his phone, but lifts the corner of his lips. It dawns on me that I might not have dropped my phone at all. He must have taken it from my pocket.
And you shouldn't steal other people's things, I reply.
Hey, you were eavesdropping, so don't go all saint on me. You were the first offender.
I smile, overcome by a strange giddiness. I can't believe he stole my phone, or that he got my number, or that he's texting me right now. I'm grinning like an idiot. It's the first time a guy has written to me and not asked for my notes or something similar. Given our less than friendly interactions yesterday and this morning, this is a surprise. Sometimes it takes a healthy fight and a familiar pain to gain a friend. 
"After the battle of stares yesterday follows the battle of messages?" Hazel murmurs, smiling. "Bad boy is showing quite an interest in you."
"No, he's not." Something light settles in my stomach.
"I heard that a junior tried very hard yesterday to make him ask for her number and failed. He must be very interested in yours if he got it on his own."
"This doesn't mean anything." The lightness grows, the giddy feeling bubbling up inside me. 
"Maybe not." She leans in conspiratorially. "Maybe it does."
When Ms. Evan announces she'll question us about Wuthering Heights, I have the feeling Damon might take this opportunity to display the same unpleasantness as yesterday.
Be nice if Ms. Evans asks you something, I type quickly. Please.
 He doesn't type back, and as Ms. Evan begins to ask questions, I brace myself. She deliberately avoids asking him anything though. Then she asks Beckett what his opinion is about the motives behind Heathcliff's behavior. He stares at her with a blank face, clueless.
It's Damon who answers. "Heathcliff felt out of place. He didn't belong to their class, and everyone else never let him forget it."
Ms. Evans' eyes widen, but all she says is "Do you think that justifies him?"
"No. That's no justification for being a dick to everyone," Damon says nonchalantly.  
Ms. Evans flinches. "That language doesn't belong in the classroom, Damon." Her tone is firm. I'm proud of her. "I'll let you out of the questioning round because you're new, and I gave this assignment a week ago."
Damon's lip twitches, and I can tell he's about so say something obscene back. I sit up straighter, staring at him intently. He catches my eye and winks at me. I instantly flush, dropping my gaze to my hands. 
"I had to read the book in my junior year," Damon replies. Ms. Evans nods, and then continues questioning Anna. I think about something the principal mentioned today... Damon scored mostly A’s at his old school. My assessment was spot on yesterday. Under the mask of carelessness hides a perfectionist. Someone who is clearly smart. As Ms. Evans instructs us to look up a certain passage in the book, I shift in my chair, holding my copy in my hands and pretending to flip through its pages. In reality, I am sneaking glances at Damon. Who was he before he came here and whom did he lose?
Thank you for not being rude, I text him under the desk. I receive an answer almost immediately.
Ouch. That sound like something you'd tell a dog. I'm not a poodle; don't try to train me.
I write back quickly. You're definitely not a poodle. More like a pitbull. I hear those are hard to train. Whatever they do, it's because they want to.
There is a pause in which I wait breathlessly, and then my smartphone vibrates. They also tend to attack their owners.
 My fingers almost snap as I hurry to reply. I don't believe that. They just have a bad reputation. Don't believe everything you hear. It's all appearances.
Another short vibration. Ms. Evans looks at me, so I just chance a quick glance at my phone. So what should I make of your Linkin Park t-shirt?
Frowning, I text back as best as I can while pretending to pay attention to Ms. Evans. What's the harm in liking Kinky Fuck?
Damon's next message confuses me. Is that an invitation? I read what I wrote before, and shame washes over me.
Abandoning all pretense of paying attention to the teacher, I write It was autocorrect. I meant Linkin Park. OMG, I'm so sorry.
He doesn't write anything back, and when I look at him, he appears on the verge of bursting out laughing.
Excerpt 2
"You're not all that bad for a rich girl," he says.
This snaps me out of my daydreaming. Or, well, lip-dreaming. "You say it like I should take it as a compliment."
"It is a compliment. You're a breath of fresh air." He shifts on his side, facing me.
"So are you. You're different from everyone I know."
"Is it because I'm devastatingly good-looking?" he says mischievously.
I roll my eyes at him. "It's because you are extremely modest. We should go back. You know, hanging around with me is going to ruin your reputation."
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"You didn’t notice the way people looked at us last Friday? Or today in the cafeteria?"
"So what?" His eyes widen, and he grins. "You're ashamed people might see you with me?"
I gasp slightly. "That's not true."
"You're afraid they'll think we were secretly making out," he teases.
"They will not think that." Heat surges in my cheeks.
"Hazel seems to think exactly that."
I can't be blushing. I can't be blushing. Damon eyes one of my cheeks and then the other. His grin widens. Of course, I'm blushing.
"You'd like to make out with me? You just have to say it. I assure you I'm a perfectly good kisser." He leans into me, his eyes scanning me playfully. Does he know what he's doing to me with his dark green eyes and his annoyingly beautiful lips? He, who must have touched tens of other lips with his, and toyed with as many hearts? My heart beats so fast I legitimately fear I might faint. He's just joking, Dani.
"Not every female around wants to kiss you." How I muster the wits to say the next words, I'll never know. "You're not as good-looking as you think."
"But you admit I'm good-looking?"
"I didn't say that."
"You didn't deny it," he says. 
"Please go work your charm on someone else who is more experienced with these games. I'm not."
He pulls back. "What do you mean?"
"We have to go." I take my plate and jump to my feet. He catches up with me on the stairs, grabbing my arm.
"You've never been kissed?" he asks.
I debate lying for a second, but I've never been any good at it. "No, I haven't. Go ahead. Laugh."
He's not laughing. "Why?" he seems genuinely confused, and I almost laugh. He reminds me so much of James right now, who is always completely bewildered by the fact that no guy is into me.
"I don't think I'm anyone's type here at school," I explain.
"Figures. I knew most here are idiots; I didn't realize just how much."
The implication in his words fills me with warmth and relief: that there is something wrong with them. Not with me.
"So no one was lucky enough to taste your lips," he says, and then does something that petrifies me. He runs his thumb over my upper lip, then my lower one. My thighs involuntarily press themselves together as heat billows between them. A whiff of breath rushes through my lips.  
"We should go to class," I murmur.
"Sure." A smile plays on his lips all the way to the class. We attract stares, just as I predicted. This time, he does notice them. Leaning into me, Damon says, "You were right. They are looking at us, but I was right too."
"What do you mean?"
"They are convinced we spent the entire break making out. And if you continue to blush so deliciously, I'll wish we had."



















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