You’ve been my shadow, following me through childhood—filling my days and nights with terror and uncertainty. You cleverly disguised yourself as some form of pain or suffering as I grew into a young woman. We were unwavering companions … until I severed our ties.
I traded homelessness on the streets of New Orleans for a luxurious bed covered by the finest linens.
I traded dumpster diving for dinner in the finest restaurants.
I traded myself to a stranger—Bastien Pascal.
I have a good life within my platonic and mutually beneficial companionship with Bash.
He’s my friend. My mentor. My roommate.
Until everything changes.
I’m not supposed to get goosebumps when his hand brushes my skin.
I’m not supposed to be eager for his soothing touch following one of my nightmares.
I’m not supposed to think about what might happen if I reached out to him in the darkness.
Falling in love with him? Preposterous . . . unavoidable.
Agony, why are you back with a vengeance to rob me of this life I’ve come to love so dearly?
I’m finally happy. Don’t ruin this for me.
In this epic love story, Dear Agony forges a connection between an unlikely pair—a beautiful rose entwined in barbed wire and a shipwreck sinking into the darkest depths of the ocean. This agonizing romantic novel poses some gut-wrenching questions: What does a woman do when the man she loves is planning his own demise? And how far will she go to give him something to live for?
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Dear Agony brings together two people who have very different pasts and futures that are completely contradictory. Rose grew up in horrific conditions and experienced the worst types of things a person could know. Bastien had an idyllic childhood and everything a child could need or want. As adults, Rose is saved from the fate she’d long assumed was hers and her future became something she could never fathom while Bastien’s adulthood was littered with devastating losses and the future he’d always assumed he’d have, became something he knew he’d never be able experience.
Dear Agony pulled me in from the first page, I was desperate to know what Rose’s story was, what had happened to leave her performing on the streets in hopes of affording her next meal. Vale and the secrecy surrounding her only added to the intrigue of Rose’s story. There were so many layers of questions and secrets, I was dying to know everything. One we started learning more about what had brought Rose and Bastien to the point where they entered their contractual relationship my heart was broken for both of them. It was easy to see why they’d sought an agreement where the boundaries and rules were spelled out in precise language.
The plot of Dear Agony moved quickly, there were no moments where the story lagged or that I felt were boring. I literally never wanted to put it down because I was so riveted to what was next for Rose and Bastien. Sometimes, however, I did feel the pace of the book was detrimental, I would have loved to have seen more exploration of Rose becoming a more confident version of herself, more of her healing from her past. There were a lot of situations and events that could have used more than the quick telling they had, I would have loved more of this story. Particularly the end of the book, I felt like it wrapped up so quickly not all the things I wanted answers to got the answers they needed.
Dear Agony was a beautiful story, told with beautiful words and it will resonate with readers across the spectrum of romance readers. It was sweet and sad and it touched on primal fears we all have, even if we refuse to admit them. One of the things I most appreciated about Dear Agony was how the love between Rose and Bastien was a slow and steady build, not something that burned fast and bright, it was built on a firm base of mutual trust and respect. I also loved that this story wasn’t built around the next sexual encounter, Georgia Cates did a wonderful job of building their relationship on the things that make a true love story actually last for the long haul and it was exactly what I would ask for when telling a love story.
I desperately hope that we are able to visit this world again. I would love to see more of the Duets and Vale’s story seems so interesting, I have a deep desire to know what it is. Another glance into the lives of Bastien and Rose wouldn’t hurt my feelings either.
Bringing Rose on at PPI has proven to be one of my best decisions ever. Not only is she the best assistant I could have hired, I get to have her near me all of the time. Win-win.
But not everyone is happy about Rose’s employment at the firm. Wendy is less than thrilled, but I’m proud of the way Rose handles herself. Kill her with kindness. That’s Rose’s MO where Wendy is concerned, yet she has this clever way of putting the woman in her place.
Rose is sitting on my office sofa. She’s in deep concentration reading the paperwork for PPI’s newest property so she doesn’t notice me looking over to steal glances at her.
That red dress fits her like a glove, showing just the right amount of leg. And those mile-high leopard-print heels . . . hot, hot, hot. I love having her at the office with me, but damn, she makes it hard to concentrate, especially when she’s working in my office instead of hers.
She looks up from the paperwork and opens her mouth to speak but stops when she catches me ogling her. She smiles and her brow wrinkles. “What?”
I shake my head. “I didn’t say anything.”
“I know. Why are you looking at me like that?”
I’m curious to hear how she perceives the way I watch her. “What kind of way am I looking at you?”
Her smile deepens and she glances away. “Never mind.”
“I want to know. How am I looking at you?”
She glances over at me and then down again. “Like you want something.”
The woman couldn’t be more right. I do want something. Her. “What do you think I want?”
She tilts her head to the side and grins as she nibbles her bottom lip. That lip I want to suck into my mouth and then bite and kiss at the same time because I can’t decide which I’d rather do.
“Tell me. What do you think I want?” I’m curious to see how far I can take this conversation. How much I can get her to admit about the way she interprets my gaze. She might be inexperienced, but surely she can see I want her.
Rose is so different from any other woman I’ve ever wanted. She’s delicate. Fragile. Innocent. She doesn’t know how to play the seduction game, yet she has seduced my heart, body, and soul.
I need her.
I want her.
I love her.
Georgia resides in rural Mississippi with her wonderful husband, Jeff, and their two beautiful daughters. She spent fourteen years as a labor and delivery nurse before she decided to pursue her dream of becoming an author and hasn’t looked back yet.
When she’s not writing, she’s thinking about writing. When she’s being domestic, she’s listening to her iPod and visualizing scenes for her current work in progress. Every story coming from her always has a song to inspire it.
Representation: All questions regarding subsidiary rights for any of my books, inquiries regarding foreign translation and film rights should be directed to Jane Dystel of Dystel & Goderich.
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