Chasing River: A Novel

Paperback | July 7, 2015

byK.A. Tucker

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A suspense-driven New Adult romance novel from the USA TODAY bestselling author of Ten Tiny Breaths and Burying Water.

Armed with two years’ worth of savings and the need to experience life outside the bubble of her Oregon small town, twenty-five-year old Amber Welles is prepared for anything. Except dying in Dublin. Had it not been for the bravery of a stranger, she might have. But he takes off before she has the chance to offer her gratitude.

Twenty-four-year-old River Delaney is rattled. No one was supposed to get hurt. But then that American tourist showed up. He couldn’t let her die, but he also can’t be identified at the scene—so, he fled. Back to his everyday life of running his family’s pub. Only, everyday life is getting more and more complicated, thanks to his brother, Aengus, and his criminal associations. When the American girl tracks River down, he quickly realizes how much he likes her, how wrong she is for him. And how dangerous it is to have her around. Pushing her away would be the smart move.

Maybe it’s because he saved her life, or maybe it’s because he’s completely different from everything she’s left behind, but Amber finds herself chasing after River Delaney. Amber isn’t the kind of girl to chase after anyone.

And River isn’t the kind of guy she’d want to catch.

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From the Publisher

A suspense-driven New Adult romance novel from the USA TODAY bestselling author of Ten Tiny Breaths and Burying Water. Armed with two years’ worth of savings and the need to experience life outside the bubble of her Oregon small town, twenty-five-year old Amber Welles is prepared for anything. Except dying in Dublin. Had it not been fo...

Format:PaperbackDimensions:336 pages, 8.25 × 5.31 × 0.9 inPublished:July 7, 2015Publisher:Atria BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1476774234

ISBN - 13:9781476774237

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Chasing River ONE RIVER I weave around men and women alike with barely a pardon, struggling not to lose Aengus, nor to let on that I’m tailing him. The slick guy has done his part to make that tricky, his flinty gaze darting side-to-side as he briskly navigates the morning swell of pedestrians. Dressed in tan trousers and a plain white collared shirt, the beige tweed driver’s cap tipped low to help hide his face, he could pass for an office clerk or a salesman. Maybe a manager at one of the upscale Grafton Street stores. Someone responsible. Someone respectable. Someone that he’s not. It’s not even so much him that is making me suspicious. It’s that black leather satchel. The one he holds close to his body as if to protect it from being stolen or knocked by a passerby rushing to catch a bus or a streetlight. It’s the sweat seeping through the back of his shirt, when the air this early June morning is crisp. It’s the way he’s checked his watch three times in the span of twenty meters. My gut churns with explanations, all of them bad. Nothing good has come from Aengus since Portlaoise Prison spat him out four months ago. Six years inside Dublin’s maximum security walls have only fortified his connections, poisoned his convictions. Blackened his soul. They took in an ideological twenty-two-year-old Irish Republican and spat out an inspired criminal. And here I am, thirty steps back, tracking him through the gates of St. Stephen’s Green just moments after security opened passage for the day, as if it were all perfectly timed. Because, after all, he is still my brother. I glance at my own watch. It’s seven thirty a.m. While they tend to open the Green earlier during summer months, this seems too early. And Aengus’s single nod toward the guard seems unusually familiar. I haven’t been inside Dublin’s prime inner-city park in years. It hasn’t changed much. It’s still a vast expanse of winding paths and gardens—an escape nestled within a bustling city. Right now it’s serene, still waking after a night alone, free of visitors, the air misted, the pale yellow sun not yet high enough to warm the grounds. This quiet won’t last long, though. Aengus glances over his shoulder and I dart behind the nearest bush. If he senses a shadow, he doesn’t let on, veering right at a fork ahead and disappearing around the bend. I follow cautiously, until he turns off the path and begins trudging through the open field. In a few hours, this place will be crawling with office workers and other Dubliners, lounging in the sun or reading beneath a canopy of leaves. Anything to escape their dreary day jobs and enjoy the fresh air. Aengus checks his watch yet again as he marches briskly and purposefully toward an oak that’s cordoned off by a stream of blue-and-white tape, as if there’s a threat of the tree collapsing. Only, I notice that the perimeter reaches far past its widest branches, taking over half of the green space. Making me think that the tape has nothing to do with a hazardous tree at all. “What the hell are you about, Aengus . . .” I mutter, touching my jaw where his knuckles landed last night, after he threw open his bedroom door and caught me eavesdropping on his phone call. I heard only bits and pieces of it—I couldn’t form even a murky guess as to the gist—but it was enough to make him throw a punch first and ask questions later. When I shoved him into the wall—because violence is how we seem to communicate best—and reminded him that he just got out of prison, the only explanation he volunteered was that a warning needs to be delivered, no one will get hurt, and I need to keep my fucking mouth shut. Another time check. Aengus crouches down and unzips the satchel. I’m too engrossed in what he’s doing now to be on guard, so when his head suddenly snaps up, I can’t move fast enough. Hard eyes lock on me in an instant, freezing me where I stand. It’s a showdown. I shake my head, willing him to hear my thoughts. Walk away, big brother. Don’t do whatever it is you’re about to do. His hand stalls inside the bag. For just a moment, I believe that he’s heard me. That he’s finally listening. That my presence here has derailed him from shortening that length of rope he seems so eager to slip around his own neck. Foolish of me, really. Aengus has never been malleable to reason. I inhale sharply, the air hissing through my gritted teeth. I watch him lay the long cylindrical tube down in the grass with careful movements and dread washes over me. Jesus, Aengus. You’ve gone too far this time. Hopping to his feet, he snatches up the satchel and charges toward me, his cell phone in his palm, his head revolving as he scans the emptiness around us. I square my shoulders and brace myself for a collision with his temper, as swift and nasty as a black adder’s bite. “Are you insane?” I bark when he’s within easy earshot. The glint in his eyes—the color of an overripe avocado, beginning to rot—would suggest exactly that. “You said no one would get hurt.” “Do you see anyone around to get hurt?” he snarls, continuing past me, punching keys into his phone. “You’ve got exactly sixty seconds to get the fuck out of here, River.” He takes off at a light jog, not waiting to see if I’ll follow. Because I always have. Oh, fuck me. A current of adrenaline shoots through my core. I glance down at my watch. One minute. Less, now. Fifty-five seconds, give or take. The muscles in my thighs twitch, ready to tear after Aengus because there’s nothing else for me to do. But a lot can happen in just sixty seconds. My conscience keeps me grounded, my wild eyes scouring the paths around me for signs of life. A jogger bobs along in the distance, so far away that I can’t be sure whether it’s male or female. Otherwise, I see no one. I glance at my watch again, my heartbeat doing double time with each second that passes. Only forty-five remain before I look damn guilty to whoever finds me here. Unless I rat out Aengus—which will never happen—I’m as good as locked up for this. I need to run. Except . . . that perimeter set isn’t wide enough. If someone should come around the bend, cut across the field . . . But what can I do, really? Thirty seconds. Beads of sweat trickle down my back. I need to get the hell out of here. Now. I turn, intent on going back the way I came. But movement catches my eye and my stomach drops as I watch the very thing I just feared unravel before my eyes. A girl runs through the field, her attention alternating between her wrist and the unfolded map within her grip, her brow pulled tight with worry. She’s clearly a tourist. She’s clearly late for something. And she’s heading directly into the blast radius of the pipe bomb that’s about to explode. I’m out of time. I don’t have a choice. I run. As fast as my legs can carry me, I run.

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