Where do you run when everything has been stripped away?
Starting over hasn’t gone well for Mercedes Elliott. After making the biggest mistake of her life, moving halfway across the world felt right at the time. But six months later, she’s isolated, dependent on a dangerous relationship with her boyfriend, Jason Marsh, and no closer to rebuilding her once promising legal career. Running low on hope, Mercedes secretly reaches out to the one man she never thought she’d see again.
Former British Intelligence officer Alec McKinley always regretted letting Mercedes slip through his fingers. So when she invites him for coffee, he jumps at the chance to see her. Warm, funny, and still stunningly beautiful, Mercedes draws Alec in as much as ever. But despite her cheerful smile, he can’t ignore the pain hiding in her eyes.
After Jason’s obsession with Mercedes comes to a violent head, she finds herself unable to escape his suffocating grasp. That is, until Alec makes an unexpected offer that could be Mercedes’s saving grace.
But accepting that offer comes at a cost. Being near Alec ignites a flame she thought had burned out long ago. And when they realize Jason is not the man they thought he was, she and Alec uncover a stunning truth about the past that will change everything between them.
“I’m sorry,” she choked.
Alec’s head snapped up. “Why are you sorry?”
“Because I got you involved in this. That wasn’t my intention when I called you.”
“Stop. You didn’t do anything wrong.” His eyes were alight with emotion, but she didn’t flinch from him. Instead, she found herself unable to look away. “Christ, you’ve nothing to apologize for. You understand you’re the victim here, right?”
She nodded. Another tear escaped, creating a path down her cheek.
Alec’s eyes softened, and he wiped it away with a lingering stroke of his thumb. Mercedes touched his hand, turning her cheek into his palm. The warmth of his hand soothed and seared her all at once.
Closing her eyes, she breathed him in. Please don’t let me go.
“You have to leave him.” Alec’s voice was brimming with torment.
Mercedes’s eyes snapped open, and she pulled away. Panic welled in her chest. “I can’t.”
“Yes, you can.”
“He’ll find me. It’s embarrassing how fast he is at tracking me down. He knows everything I do. I mean, he plants listening devices in my hospital room, for God’s sake.”
“I can help you.” Alec’s fingers tightened on hers. “We can get you out of here. Give you a safe place to recover. When you’re ready, we’ll get you home. Declan and I already have people ready to go.”
Her heart sank. “Dec knows too?”
“Aye, he does. You’re pretty much family, you know? A McKinley twice removed, if you will.” His mouth quirked in a smile, and she couldn’t help smiling, which made her wince.
“Why would you do this?”
His amiable smile faded, and his jaw tightened. A sadness crossed behind his eyes as he looked at their intertwined hands. His thumb swept back and forth against her wrist, sending thrills of electricity through her with each stroke.
Alec swallowed. “I can’t leave you here. At least not without giving you a choice.”
American writer AV Asher (Avie) was one of those kids always who got in trouble for reading in class. She has been creating stories since childhood, but only recently began writing them down. The Truth Keeps Silent is Avie's debut novel. The second book in the duet, The Lies That Shatter, is expected to be released in the Autumn of 2021. Avie lives in Northern Nevada with her husband and three children.