Title: Reign of Crowns
Series: Dupree Heights #1
Author: Dani Hart
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian
Release Date: April 6, 2017
One hundred years ago cyber technology evolved rapidly. Human interaction diminished as the need to leave home became obsolete. Doors closed and cities shut down, causing a tsunami of destruction. Humans were replaced with computers, the homeless rate increased exponentially, and families starved in the abandoned streets. The weak and poor died, the middle working class fell to the lower class, and the wealthy rose above everyone. The world was imploding from the inside out with no reprieve in sight.
My story begins on the fiftieth anniversary of a city raised from the ashes of a revolution and a name forged in the decay of innocent lives. With my heart pulled in two different directions, I am forced to make a choice to either walk in my mother’s footsteps to a scripted future and a perfect life, leaving my first love behind, or complete my father’s unfinished journey of redeeming the Dupree name.
When Sterling shifted his body to mine, I didn’t flinch or scoot away from him. And when his hand reached for my face, I didn’t refuse it. I needed to know what there was between us. I wanted to know, and when his hand cupped my cheek, I leaned into it, soaking in his soft hands and noting the difference between Gray’s calloused overworked fingertips. And when Sterling’s eyes fixed on mine, pleading for permission, I didn’t say a word. As he inched closer, I closed my eyes and let his lips brush lightly over mine, catching my breath, but I didn’t dare move. An enchantment had fallen over us. I could see it beneath the darkness of my lids, and when his lips brushed lightly over mine again, I could feel it take hold of me. My lips parted slightly as I struggled to breathe through it, giving him the permission he was waiting patiently for to push his lips against mine. Slowly, he kissed my lips, taking care for my guilty heart and my broken promises. My first chance at love had turned into a battle, and if I didn’t choose a side soon, the ground would be soaked with blood and the sky filled with tears.
He kept his hand on my face when he pulled away, watching me as if I would either break or run away. He shook his head, and his deepened dimple appeared when a smile crept onto his face.
“What?” I asked in response.
“You. I can’t figure out if this is real. If you are real. I’m afraid if I blink that you might disappear like an angel taken by the wind. You have freed my heart.”
My words were lost, taken by the same breeze that stole his angel. His hand slid off my cheek. “I’m not a fool to think there haven’t been others that have filled your heart with joy, but I’m asking that you consider me to be one of them.”
His hair had fallen over his lashes, and when he peered up from his lap, my heart cracked open enough to let him sneak in. “I will consider it,” I said softly, holding back tears. What had I just done?
The drive home with Gray by my side was the worst kind of torture to befallen a guilty soul. And worse, he knew something had changed. His shoulders slouched in a way I had never seen before, and the light in his eyes had dulled. The power I had over him had given me a glance into a window I never wanted to enter, and I now understood how that kind of drunken power over people could destroy not only a single person but a whole city.
I wanted to reach out and touch him. I wanted to tell him how sorry I was, but I couldn’t with the driver watching me suspiciously through the rearview mirror. It was as though everyone knew of my treachery, and judgment had been placed.
and so many other things.
I love my life and am so grateful for all of the support and have the courage to live a dream.