Once with him was never enough.
I am the girl you dislike. The girl you snub at parties. I am the one who flirts with men and knows no boundaries. I am the one you whisper about. The one who has no rules. I am the one who takes and uses without any regret or excuses.
On the outside I am perfect. I have money, looks, and a personality that makes people stand up and take notice, but on the inside I am broken and hurting.
Then I met Cash Marshall.
He wasn’t what I needed, but I wanted him anyway. It was Cash’s carved, muscular body I thought about. It was his cool, confident touch I craved. I swore he would only be a one-night stand, another distraction to take away the pain.
But then our world changed.
Our story is not about love. Love is pretty and sweet and full of niceties. Those no longer exist. Our story is about finding each other again in a world gone crazy. It’s about surviving the impossible when war ravaged our land. It’s about saving each other from the darkness and finding out just how strong we could be.
And maybe, just maybe, along the way, we’ll find love…
Once and for all.
**Contains Spoilers for the first two books in the Promise Me series**
I feel like I have been waiting for this book forever. Cash was always very intriguing to me and I was dying to know his story. I was not disappointed.
Promise Me Once starts somewhere around the same time as Promise Me Darkness; in the days before the EMP devastates the US. From the initial meeting of Cat and Cash we are thrust into the crazy that swirls around Cat and the lifestyle she has chosen to prtect her heart from any more pain. Once the EMP hits there are days in which we found out how difficult things were in the cities and the struggles that helped to shape the people that Cash and Cat would become.
The plot moved fairly quickly and just when I thought I was coming to a lull in the action there would be a twist that would thrust everyone into chaos again. It was everything that I have come to expect and love in a dystopian future (present?) novel. It felt real and plausible and scary and unpredictable all at once. There was never a time when I thought there was no way that something that they were experiencing was too crazy to be real. As I’ve felt with the first two novels this could have easily been a glance at a not so distant future.
I had no idea what all Cash was keeping in that quiet brooding head of his, when I found out I was even more appreciative of everything that he had done for the family in the first two books. Cash is still a bit of a mystery to me in some ways though. I felt like I had a wonderful grasp on who he was but at the same time there was some intangible part of his psyche that I couldn’t quite figure out. I usually don’t appreciate having lingering quesitons about a character but in this case it made me love him all the more.
I’m still unsure if I love or hate Cat. She was one of those characters who was so easy to hate but had so may redeeming characteristics that it was hard to hold on to my hatred. She was mean and bitchy, she was a user and an entitled jerk. She was also smart and protective, broken and ignored. Cat was so complex and dynamic and her growth throughout the book was impressive. She was an interesting and amazing character to experience.
I wish that I had reread Promise Me Darkness nd Promise Me Light before I read Promise Me Once. Not so much because I felt that I was lost in the premise of the book or because there were a lot of details that I had forgot, but because I felt like I didn’t appreciate Cash’s situation as much as I would have if those books had been fresh in my mind.
Promise Me Once was not the conclusion to Cash and Cat’s story. Their story will continue in Promise Me Forever.
I pulled my arms from his shoulder, untangling myself from him. His eyes were gray pools of emotions as he looked at me, maybe seeing me for what I really was.
A girl that had sex on the first date and in a public restroom.
I had never felt shame before but I did just then. I avoided his eyes and pulled away from him. He let me go, easing out of me gently. I suddenly missed him in me. The thought was terrifying. It was something I had never thought of before when I was with a man. So why now and why him?
He kept his gaze on me as he lifted me off the counter and pulled my dress down. I wanted to cry at his tenderness and beg for it to disappear. I couldn’t handle it. I could barely handle the man that had walked in here – controlling, domineering, and seductive as hell.
I averted my eyes as he removed the condom and threw it in the trash then zipped up his jeans. I had never been embarrassed by such an intimate act but something about Cash doing it affected me. For the first time in my pitiful life, I was embarrassed for the girl I was.
Cash picked my panties up from the floor and offered them to me. I reached for them, still refusing to look at him, but the domineering man wasn’t gone yet.
He grasped my wrist, not allowing me to take the panties from him.
I raised my eyes to his. He gritted his teeth and took a step toward me, trapping me between him and the counter again. His body brushed against mine, making the need he had just extinguish minutes ago flare to life again.
He slid his hand around my nape, drawing me toward him one more time.
“Jesus, Cat,” he whispered, lowering his head and touching his lips to mine.
I stood still as he kissed me, wondering what the hell he thought he was doing. We fucked. It was supposed to be over now. A wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am kind of date. But I was afraid we were far from done.
His mouth was gentle. Tender. I felt worshiped when minutes ago I felt claimed. He kissed me like he cared. Like I was his.
Not just his for tonight.
Too soon his lips left mine and he let go of me, taking one step back.
“Come have dinner with me,” he said in a voice that oozed sex but promised he would be nice. “Please.”
Paige Weaver is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. Many hours of her childhood were spent getting lost between the pages of a book, disappearing into other worlds. That turned into a love for writing at a young age. She lives in Texas with her husband and two children.
Find out about future books and connect with her on:
Follow her on Twitter: @AuthorPWeaver