Title: Clean Break
Author: Abby Vegas
Fans of strong heroines: You will absolutely love this novel that blends chick-lit and romantic suspense into one irresistible New York story.
Meet Lane Haviland – she’s dead broke, barely functioning as an adult, and completely alone in New York City. Her so-called “apartment” is a six-by-nine cell in a Brooklyn basement. And her new boss hasn’t ever met a personal or professional boundary she can’t bulldoze through. Still, Lane’s determined to at least attempt to claw her way back to respectability. But she can’t seem to get her mysterious handyman, Viktor, out of her apartment – or her headspace. Maybe that’s a good thing: Viktor’s easy on the eyes, and that deep-voiced Russian accent is beyond sexy. But as he and Lane grow closer, he can no longer hide his connections with a dangerous criminal underworld – where secrets can be deadly.
Viktor went out on a beer run, so I tidied up my possessions. That took all of thirty seconds. Then I sat down on the futon. My apartment had cooled down; I had not. Why was I suddenly so into this guy?
Well, he’d been kind to me, for one. And: intelligence. Despite the language barrier, I could tell there was a light on upstairs. He was tall. Good-looking. And okay, the tattoos. Tattooed guys were crazy-sexy, as long as they weren’t hipsters or members of the Aryan Brotherhood. In that order.
You’re being foolish. There it was, my better judgment. I was well accustomed to ignoring it, but something about my apartment – its isolation? – was suddenly making me feel like I’d stumbled into a trap. No one could hear me scream down here.
A serial killer would have murdered you already. That notion came courtesy of the same part of my brain that fetishized bridges and balconies and razor-blades. Why did it always come down to my mother versus Sylvia Plath? I wondered if my attraction to Viktor was just another self-destructive impulse. Not that I was feeling suicidal at the moment, but it had been laying there so long. So patiently.
There was a knock at the door and I twitched. Whatever was happening between me and Viktor, it was about to move past flirting. I got up and checked my reflection in the bathroom mirror. A little flushed, a little frazzled, but I looked okay. I looked – I could hardly believe it. I looked happy.
Abby Vegas loves writing (and reading) books that feature feisty, flawed heroines. Her favorite authors include Robin Hobb, Susan Isaacs, Georgette Heyer, Bill Bryson, Dave Barry, and David Sedaris. She grew up in New York City and lives in Connecticut with her family.
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