Cover Reveal ~ The Righteous & the Wicked by April Emerson
Small moments can seem insignificant until they change the course of a life forever. The sound of a bulldozer. A chance meeting at a gas station. A gust of wind through a chime. Benign events become something more when viewed through the lens of fate.
Emma Santori is a prisoner of tragic memories. Locked in a spiral of depression, she leads a desolate and empty life, trapped in her decrepit home. Rooted in routine, she’s numb and vacant. As a lonely Catholic school teacher, her only joy comes from her young students. One Saturday morning, her isolation is infiltrated by a mysterious architect building a home beside hers.
That man is Eric Wilder and he’s keeping a secret—a secret that’s destroying his life. Filled with guilt and self-loathing, he’s forced to move often. He chooses the small northeastern town of Pine Lake as his latest refuge, and hopes to make a successful attempt at starting his life over. As always, he’s unable to make that happen.
That all changes when he meets Emma.
She finds herself drawn to Eric when she accidentally bumps into him, but Eric’s unfazed by their first meeting. When a gust of wind brings these two people together once again, Emma discovers Eric’s secret. She’s forced to battle between her Catholic faith and her desire for this stranger.
Their attraction is intense and they soon discover they’re each lonely and longing for what the other has to offer. As their friendship blossoms, Emma realizes her passion and lust for Eric are the remedy to her depression. Eric discovers his feelings for Emma are the only antidote to his secret burden.
They begin an erotic journey, which leads these beautifully broken people to discover that love can be both righteous and wicked.
Although she holds herself to a rigid moral code, a part of her wants to indulge. Emma sits as the thumping music rattles her body and the vibration sinks into her skin. She picks up her martini as Abby and Danni shout at each other and laugh. The topics of conversation are just as expected and Emma has nothing to say. She sips the liquid. It’s chilled, yet it feels as if it singes her insides. Her eyes wander around the club. They stop when she sees a man dressed in black resting his elbow on the bar.
His back is to her but she’s drawn to him. She can only see his profile as she watches him watching the crowd. He does a shot and then another. A feeling of recognition slides through her as he begins to move, his eyes focused on something or someone. He maneuvers through the crowd, approaching the dance floor like a shark surveying its prey. A raven-haired girl in a gold top is dancing with her friend. The man moves toward the girl and his face is clear now. Emma has seen him before. She remembers the face, and the eyes—Stormy Eyes. It’s the man she saw at the gas station. She sips, she watches him, and she burns.