Alicia here, with an excerpt reveal for Set the Pace. I really enjoyed Kim Karr’s Connections series, so I’m looking forward to reading this new book. Enjoy!
is an absolute necessity when driving fast on the road, and there is no other
car that applies force to the pavement as directly as the Storm. Whether
turning the wheel, accelerating the gas, or stepping on the brake, I am always
in contact with the road, and therefore I always have control.
I can’t say the same for my life, which right now seems to be spinning out of
through the streets of the old Cass Corridor, I manage to suppress the bad
memories of my childhood from surfacing. Sure, the area’s history is a sad
cocktail of drugs, prostitution, and crippling poverty. And even though this
section of midtown is a shadow of its former self, I can still see the neglect in
the thoughtless demolition. However, as I come to a stop in front of
Charlotte’s building, I can also spot change and hope for the future.
again, her building isn’t the grimy brick front with a dark lobby lit only by
streaks of light through cracked windowpanes that I grew up in. Her stairs
aren’t rotting, her hallway isn’t a putrid shade of green, the carpet isn’t
worn, nor does it smell like piss, and there isn’t the yelling going on that
makes me want to cover my ears.
I glance around. She’s right—her building isn’t that bad. As I take the stairs
and look out the window, I think I might have been a bit harder on her than I
needed to be.
down the hallway, I can’t suppress the smile on my face when I see that her
bike is just outside the door. This means she’s planning on coming with me.
After my confession last night, I wasn’t exactly sure she would.
soon, I’m standing in front of her apartment.
quite ready for this, I give myself the pep talk. This is not a date.
her in any other way than as someone you used to know. You look only at her
face. You definitely don’t watch the way she moves. You don’t need to feel
guilty because you f*cked her co-worker. You don’t even remember much about it
anyway. And for fuck’s sake, you don’t need to be thinking about how good this
girl would feel wrapped around you.
that out of the way, I’m feeling clear-headed and focused. Before that changes,
I hurry up and knock.
she changed her mind and she isn’t going to come with me after all.
impatient, I knock one more time.
minute,” I hear from inside.
sound of her voice makes me feel desperate to see her. That’s not a good thing. I should leave. I really should. I
seriously consider it for about a hot minute. Nothing but bad can come out of
this. But my feet seem cemented in place and when I hear the click-clack of a
lock and it begins to turn, it’s too late.
the door opens and she comes into view. As soon as she does, the wind is
knocked right out of my lungs. She looks a little disheveled but all the more
beautiful because of it. Feeling like I’ve been zapped, I’m overwhelmed by the
energy between us and it holds me in place. Everything about her is like it
used to be—just the sexier, hotter, grown-up version. Her hair is pulled back,
but even so, it still looks wild and untamed. She always said her hair was a
bother and she just wanted it out of the way. Because I used to really like her
hair, it always made me laugh.
like her hair, and the fact that she pulled it back because it might be a bother
makes me want to laugh now. That, along with the toothpaste on her lip, is just
too much. I try to hold back my laughter but fail miserably.
she asks with mild curiosity.
I say with a shake of my head. “It’s just I wasn’t sure you’d come with me
looks at me as if considering her words, and I use this time to study her
further. She’s not wearing any makeup and everything about her face screams how
gorgeous she is. For no reason at all, my chest tightens.
if it took less than 1.4 seconds for that hurricane within me to start batting
then that fucking myriad of conflicting emotions starts to mess with my mind
and yeah, I realize, it means something. Just like that, it’s as if my pep talk
never took place. Still, I can handle this. Find out what she knows. Drop her
off. And say goodbye—forever.
Reader * Writer * Coffeelover * Romantic
Kim Karr is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. She is a daydreamer. So much so that if daydreaming could be a hobby it would be her favorite. It’s how her stories are born and how they take root. An imagination that runs wild is something to be thankful for, and she is very thankful.