What are you willing to sacrifice
for love? Your family? Your freedom? What about your life?
She’s a wealthy, forty-three-year-old
Upper East Sider with a PhD – He’s a twenty-three-year-old Dominican drug
dealer from Washington Heights.
Kate Champion always did exactly
what was expected of her. She was the perfect wife, the perfect mother – until
the day she met Jaylee Inoa.
Their journey travels a path
riddled with danger, deceit, scandal and loss – where nothing is as it seems.
Yet Kate and Jaylee’s passion for one another remains nearly unstoppable.
Will this daring pair of lovers
from two different worlds triumph over circumstance? Can they deny the past in
their quest to be together? Or is fear the ultimate navigator – a force more
powerful than love?
Rikers Island, East
Elmhurst, New York
My stomach growls from the shit lunch of bologna and
American cheese. I’ll die before I’m
twenty-five in here from all the crap they been feeding me. I need more calories because of my workout
routine, and the commissary just don’t cut it.
Half the time I probably burning muscle, but what the fuck you gonna do
about it? You can’t change this
fucked-up machine. What I wouldn’t give
for some Spanish food—just a goddamn plate of my grandma’s rice and beans.
I flip the pen around and around in my hand, trying
to think of what to say. It brings me
right back to being eight years old, the school-assigned social worker jabbing
at me to “write him whatever you please!”
I pick at a popped blister from going at the weights in the yard. Soon enough it’ll get hard and callous—just
like everybody who been up in here too long.
“He’d love to hear anything about you. Why don’t you
tell him about basket-ball?” As if it
was easy, when you hadn’t talked to him in years. An’ my ma bent over the kitchen table with
cried-on love letters to my dad, praying on lighted candles and over special
oils to Dios Santísimo, that he don’t get sent to Sing Sing.
We couldn’t afford the trip up there, so we saw him
less and less. The sound of his voice
just became a memory to me, and when we did get up there, I pitied the man I
saw. Couldn’t get past the fact that he
fucked up. I felt like he let them put him away. I swore to myself if I ever got there, I’d be
smarter than he was. That I’d get
revenge before I’d let ‘em make me live my life behind bars. Now look at where I am.
At least I got a plan.
Love letters. Kate wrote me one once. There’s a trick to them, right? You gotta try to convince a woman that you’ll
love her forever. It’s not just about
the first time she reads it, she’s gotta see it every time she looks. Try doing it on jail-issued stationery. I had to earn the privilege to use a
pen. How the fuck you tell someone they
everything you got—when all you got is a page?
How do I tell her how much I want her to have my kid? I love knowing that he’s inside her, that
there’s part of me with her. Thing is, I
can’t control the lies she’s being fed; she’ll choose the lawyer over me.
How do you
say all that on paper when all you ever got through was public school? She got everything she needs—or at least
that’s how it’d seem to anybody looking in.
But I know—I know—how much
Kate needs me.
I crumple up the last sheet of the ones they gave me
and toss it onto my bunk. I don’t know
how to put my heart on paper. I can’t
make her understand why I did what I done.
On Friday they
call me out for a visit, though I’m not expecting nobody. Mamá, Janinie,
and everybody coming next week—or that’s what we said on the phone. I’m
never expecting Kate again. I have no idea what she decided to do with
the baby. I don’t know if he still here with us or gone already.
The baby’s the only thing I ever cared about more than her, but I’m not
gonna let myself hate her for it. She shouldn’t a’ had to go through it
by herself – either way. If I’d watched
my back, I wouldn’t a’ ended up here.
I stick my hands
out the drop door in the cell so they can cuff me. The corrections
officer calls me “Dorado,” ‘cause that’s what they called my pops when he was
here. I try not to get involved, but it ain’t easy when your ties run
deep like mine do. My old man spent a minute in Rikers; he up the river
now in Sing Sing. He’s spending his days
at the big house, but he got connections all through the whole system. He
got his reputation too, and I’m expected to keep it.
Probably an ex or
somebody I was messing around with before Kate who come to see me. Girls
got something about visiting guys in jail. They love the drama.
They love the attention they get from everybody else. Girls that
won’t even give you the time of day on the outside start writing you letters
about how much they miss you when you in the box. It’s bullshit. But
I admit—it do make the time go by faster. And right now I got nothing but
I get stuck in the hall for the count—which
means whoever waiting for me is stuck too. The guard I’m with lets me do
wall push-ups after he cuffs me to a door.
I go at it, hard as fuck, until I’m dripping sweat and my muscles are
burning. Working out helps me not to think about her—or the baby.
The burn is good. It shuts up the furia. There ain’t shit I can do anyway, so why make myself
crazy playing it all over again in my head?
The count takes forever and I’m betting
whoever’s out there waiting is regretting this. First and last visit.
Nobody want to see me
When we finally walk into the visiting
room, my eyes catch her before anything else, even though the place is packed.
I’m a homing pigeon. I can’t see nothing else.
She’s Kate, but she ain’t Kate.
Same black hair, same pale face. Same scared blue eyes. Her
body is slamming too, less hip, more tit, and she a little taller. Maybe
it’s the heels. She looks good.
But I know who she is.
It’s the sister. Arriving like the
grim reaper. She come repping for the other side. I gotta smile
that this mina got herself into
Rikers. I can tell she’s shitting herself, even worse than Kate. She
ain’t never been in no place like this before, that’s for sure. All dolled up to come see a criminal like me.
There’s some part of me that wants to run
to her just ‘cause they family. And then another part that wants to
refuse the goddamned visit. I know Kate feel like she ain’t good enough
for her own family. Makes me fucking hate ‘em. Kate is
good—that’s her main problem. It’s
something she won’t let herself see.
Now she’s starting to work her hands
like she in full-blown panic mode. I guess I take pity on her. She
looks too much like my girl. Shit, it’s messing with my head—and my dick.
I pull out a chair and sit down, drilling
my eyes into the back of her head. She spinning around, looking across
the whole room. She don’t know who the fuck I am. She turns and
stares, her eyes taking everything in. I can practically hear her heart
pounding from over here. She like a baby bird—ready to flip out and fly
into the fucking window. She looks at me and I gesture to the chair
across the table. Relief hits her whole face and her shoulders relax.
She smiles quick and then it disappears and she look scared again.
She marches over to the table and sits down fast.
Why she gonna ask me after she already
sit down? I’m tempted to say no, but I just stare at her instead. I can see how much they look alike, but I can
also see how they different. She got doubt all over her face. She
wanna fly the fuck out of here. That makes two of us.
“Emily,” I say not giving anything away.
I’m gonna make her work hard for it.
“Oh, Kate told you about me?”
“She didn’t tell me much. ‘Nough to
know you exist. Otherwise I’d think I was seeing ghosts.”
“Have you talked to her?”
“Pfft. Naw, not since she came in here to
tell me she was pregnant. Not that it’s your business. They send
you to come tell me she got rid of it?”
“I came on my own, Jaylee.”
She stops and looks down.
“Kate’s missing; I was hoping you could
tell me where to find her.”
After reading the first book, Heights of Desire, I dove right in to this one. The first book ended on such a wtf moment, I had to see what happened next.
The prologue sets the stage for the entire book. Jaylee is in prison and Kate is lost without him. Robert wants to salvage their marriage and he and Kate try but she just can’t stay away from Jaylee.
In the first book, it was instalust, but it was so necessary to the story. It gave a sense of urgency to Kate and Jaylee’s relationship and showed just how fast their connection happened. In Fear of Heights, Kate is just a hot mess. There were times, I will be honest, I wanted to slap the hell out of her. She is so blinded by desire that she doesn’t think, she just acts. More times than not, she puts herself in danger. But what do you expect when she’s blinded by a sexy Dominican.
Robert, the poor jilted husband, isn’t as innocent as he likes to think he is either. He sure likes to play the victim and does it very well. He is manipulative, sneaky and at times, I think more dangerous than Jaylee ever could be. His motives aren’t exactly pure as he is trying to dig himself out of his own hole.
The entire story is one twisted tale of desire, lust,revenge and one woman’s journey to find exactly who she is. Is she the girlfriend of a Dominican gangbanger or the preppy Manhattan housewife with the perfect husband and perfect brownstone and perfect children? I often wondered if Kate didn’t do what she did to try to escape her own stereotype. She puts everything on the line for Jaylee, and I do mean everything. Is she that blinded or is their love real? Is Jaylee just using Kate in his own twisted little game or is he so enamored of the perfect desperate housewife that he will do anything to be with her? And how does Robert fit in? What about the husband? Does he love Kate or does he want to simply possess her?
A May/December relationship like you have never read before, this book is amazing. It’s a solid 4.5 star read for me. Just prepare yourself for the ending. It fit perfectly and you will know just how Kate feels, just trust me on this one.
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~ About the Author ~
I’m a reader, a writer, and a lover of all things romantic. I’m also a coffee, hot sauce, ink, telenovela and Bikram Yoga enthusiast. I live in New York City with my husband and two children, and I spend a lot of time on the playground.