Breakout by Trish Arcangelo
A global pandemic has killed most of the world’s population. Alone, Monarch Winslow struggles to survive. An empty house, gas station food and the hope of reaching a refugee camp in Austin, Texas keep her alive. Then one night an injured man breaks into her house. A dangerously sexy man.
Monarch is wary but intrigued. Corbin claims he’s a mechanic and she can’t reach the camp without a working car. She needs his help. But he needs hers, too. As the days pass, they work together and a tenuous relationship turns to turbulent desire. But Corbin refuses to discuss his past and his secrets lie between them. Falling for a man she knows nothing about could endanger her life, as well as her heart.
Meantime, a hundred miles away, is safety, perhaps even surviving family. She hopes. But Monarch is no more sure of that than she is of Corbin…
A sob escaped her lips.
“What the hell’s the matter?”
Monarch whirled around at Corbin’s voice from the doorway, not having heard his approach over the loud music. He wasn’t gone!
“I thought you left!” she squeaked. How mortifying. I’ve survived the apocalypse just so I can make a jackass out of myself over a man.
“I went down to where you told me your car was to take a look under the hood. Probably shouldn’t have walked that far yet but I’m bored to tears.” Corbin set down the tool box he was holding, removed his jacket, and limped into the room to take a seat in the chair. “The good news is I think your car problem is just a clogged fuel filter. Easy fix once we get another filter. Even without one I can probably clean it out well enough.”
Monarch just stared at him, too stupefied to speak. Her brain was busy hitting the brakes on the “Corbin- the-asshole just ditched me” train and switching over to
“Corbin-the-sexy-god can fix my car.”
Corbin looked at her quizzically, taking in the tear- streaked face and red nose. “Why are you so upset?”
Monarch wiped her face and then shrugged her shoulders casually. “I told you, I thought you left.”
“Really?” Corbin raised a blond eyebrow and rested his chin in his hand, a position that showcased his muscled arm to perfection. “So you were gonna miss me
that much, huh?”
Monarch scoffed, “Oh please. I thought you totally bailed on me before fixing my car, which is your end of this deal, remember? I thought I was never going to
make it to Austin.”
“You didn’t know if you were ever going to make it to Austin when we met and I don’t recall you bawling your eyes out over it then. In fact, you seemed tough as
“If you’ll recall I was too busy being accosted by an escaped prisoner.” Monarch wished she could take back the retort the minute it came out. He had been playful, but her comment made his face turn to granite. “Sorry, Corbin. Forget it. I’m emotional.”
“No shit.” He got up and went to the kitchen.
Monarch wasn’t ready to give up. “You know, why don’t you just tell me why you went to prison? I think―”
“It doesn’t matter, Monarch!” Corbin shouted. “Don’t you get it? Nothing that we did or were before matters now. It doesn’t matter that you were an accountant, or if I was a Longhorn fan, or if you preferred merlot over cabernet. None of that shit matters now. It’s the post-apocalypse. And as crappy as that is, at least for some of us, it’s a clean slate.”
Monarch listened to Corbin bang around in the kitchen. She stopped the music, walked into the kitchen and stood just behind him, watching his posture go rigid. “It’s obvious life was hard on you before,” she said. “And I get you wanting to forget it. But again I ask you to put yourself in my shoes. I for one don’t want to forget, memories are all I have left. And I also can’t afford to take chances with trust.” As she turned to leave the kitchen she added, “For your information I prefer cabernet.”
A hand reached out and grabbed her arm in a tight grip, stopping her in her tracks. “Maybe I should show you what an asshole I really am, since you already think
“Corbin, stop messing around. Get your hand off me!”
Next thing Monarch knew she was pressed up against the pantry door with Corbin’s forearms flat against it on either side of her head. “My hand isn’t what you should be worried about,” he rasped just before he captured her lips with his.
It was pure heaven. Monarch whimpered low in her throat as he slanted his lips over hers again and again, their lips and tongues melding, hot and wet and needy. Monarch couldn’t even remember her last kiss, but none of them could compare to this one. It was intense, his lips possessing hers. Taking. Demanding. A voice in her head said she should be embarrassed by her shameless reaction. But
all she did was kiss him back with everything she had.
Q: Romance readers have a lot of choices these days. What makes Breakout stand out in the crowd?
A: I think BREAKOUT will appeal to readers because it takes place in the post-apocalypse. The life-or-death setting raises the stakes and the emotions. Monarch’s and Corbin’s reactions to each other are primal, passionate, two people brought together by a horrific fate but drawn together for totally different reasons. Also, Corbin is the ultimate alpha hero, the misunderstood, slightly dangerous bad-boy that I know as a romance reader I can’t get enough of! And Monarch is a very likeable, relatable heroine. It’s easy to put yourself in her shoes. After you meet Corbin you’ll wish you were in her shoes! 😉
Q: We like to include our favorite quote in our reviews of the books we read. What is your favorite quote from Breakout?
A: My favorite quote from Breakout is:
Corbin reached over and gripped one of her hands with his own, startling her. “You don’t need to be nervous. If I was gonna attack you don’t you think I
would have by now?”
Monarch blanched. Of course he would bring up the elephant in the room, mannerless oaf that he was. “Why would I know that? I know absolutely nothing about you or what you are capable of. I know I don’t trust
“Especially strangers who are convicts, huh?” Corbin said softly, and for a moment Monarch thought she detected hurt in his voice. But then his tone shifted, becoming aggressive, raspy. “I might as well be a caveman or an ape, is that it? A male with no scruples or impulse control. One who acts on his basest sexual urges
whenever he feels like it, right?”
About Trish Arcangelo
Trish read her first romance novel as a teenager and was immediately hooked (it was Hearts Aflame by Johanna Lindsey). An avid reader of romance fiction ever since, she nursed a long-time dream to write it as well. One day she realized there was only one thing stopping her from making that dream a reality: HERSELF. She sat down and vowed to actually finish a manuscript. After finishing her first book, Darkness Embraced, she has never looked back. She completed her second book, Breakout, and is currently working on a third.
A native Texan, Trish lives just outside Austin with her incredibly supportive husband and their two incredibly spoiled dogs. Aside from romance fiction, her other loves include wine, warm weather, playing trivia, social media, and supporting dog rescue.
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