Title: Almost Innocent
Author: Carina Adams
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: June 9, 2016
Cover Design: Perfect Pear Creative
Callaghan. A name synonymous with power and fear. A family of untouchable criminals.
As a teenager, Gabriella Forte had no intention of getting to know the town’s most dangerous brothers. Once Dustin set his sights on her, she was trapped. There was only one way out of her personal hell.
Declan was determined to break away from his family’s shadow. Until he fell in love with the one woman he couldn’t have. She changed everything.
Life isn’t always kind. Love can hurt. Sometimes you need to sacrifice yourself to protect the people you care about.
It’s been twelve years since Declan did the unthinkable and went to prison. He promised to stay away from Gabby and his nephew. That’s one vow he can’t keep.
Things aren’t always what they seem. Facts are only as credible as the person stating them. The truth doesn’t always set you free.
The one thing I’d heard repeatedly over the last ten years was that taking someone’s life ate at you. They claimed if you didn’t talk about what you’d done, face the reality, that eventually you’d lose your mind. Recognition, admitting to everyone, including yourself, what you’d done was the first step to surviving.
Bullshit. Guilt was the only thing that ate at you, the only thing that would make you lose your mind. I had guilt, just like everyone else, but mine wasn’t over what I’d done. It was over what I hadn’t.
I’d met three types of men while in prison.
The first were truly sorry for what they’d done. Some couldn’t sleep through the night, their victims’ faces appearing in their nightmares, and they’d wake the entire block with their screams. Others needed medication to fall asleep so they could stop reliving the horror. Some abused themselves, trying to find penance. They were the men who couldn’t get the blood off their hands no matter how hard they scrubbed. They all swore they’d never kill again.
They were better men than me.
Then there were the “others”—the ones without souls, the ones the majority of inmates, and half the guards, feared. They were the butchers who killed not for revenge or in a fit of passion, but because they enjoyed it. The psychopaths who lacked a conscience and had no problem telling you, in great detail, about their crimes as though they were the greatest achievements the world had ever known. Those were the people no one tried to save, because really, what the fuck was the point?
I was better than them. I had no qualms about telling them that, and I did it often.
Last, there were the men like me. Career criminals, they called us. Some of us were small time—doing a bid simply because they were too stupid not to get caught. Others though were the real deal, from hit men who couldn’t begin to remember how many lives they’d claimed to the men who had hired others to do their dirty work. Then there was me, the man everyone knew had killed before, but until I copped to it, there was no evidence. We weren’t proud of our crimes, but we weren’t ashamed of them either. It was simply our life.
I’d told the counselors what they wanted to hear. That I was sorry I’d pulled the trigger that night, that I wished I could take it back, that if I could do things differently, I would. It wasn’t all lies. If I could take that night back, do things differently, I would. I would definitely change things. I was only sorry the prick had lived as long as he did.
You were supposed to leave prison rehabilitated. I’d met with hundreds of people over the last decade who tried to hammer in the fact when one person harms another, when one human steals another human’s life, he should feel remorse. There should be guilt.
Yet there I was, guilt free.
Carina Adams has been writing and creating characters for as long as she can remember, allowing her to fall in love with the next man of her dreams with every new story.
Thankfully, fate stepped in and granted her the ultimate wish – a life full of men. Carina lives in a picturesque New England town with her husband, the man who ruined the thought of all others, and two amazing sons who always keep her on her toes.
Carina received her MBA in May, but would much rather play with her imaginary friends (the voices in her head) than work her 8 to 5. When she isn’t trying to juggle being a working mom with karate and drama practices, surprising her children with her sci-fi movie knowledge, or writing, you can find her with her nose pressed against her kindle, on the back of her husband’s motorcycle, or living life vicariously as her Derby Girl persona, Writers Block.
Carina is currently writing Unfinished Business, the next installment of the Bastards MC novels.
Carina loves to hear feedback from her readers. You can email her at: email@example.com