Book Review & Excerpt of Exposed by Lily Cahill
June Powell’s mother has one wish: that June marry into one of Independence Falls’ finest families so she can take the place in society her mother could never achieve. June has different dreams. Dreams she’s never shared for fear of upsetting her family.
She longs to escape her small town to explore the great wide world she only knows from books. When she discovers she can walk through walls, her first instinct is to hide her power. What would people say if they knew?
But then odd thoughts start appearing in her head … thoughts not her own … thoughts that could ruin more than her reputation. For June to survive, she’ll need to stop caring what others think of her once and for all.
Ivan Sokolov has always been an outsider. His family emigrated from Russia in hopes of a better life, only to find themselves shunned. As the Cold War gains steam, Ivan knows most people think of him as a Communist, or worse. It wouldn’t bother him if it weren’t for June Powell. As much as he hates admitting a woman can affect him so much, he longs for her to see him instead of his heritage. As his yearning grows, so does his power. But June needs more than a lover … she needs protection.
June and Ivan aren’t the only ones in Independence Falls who have mysterious new abilities. If they’re not careful, the whole town will know the truth. And not everyone intends to use their powers for good.
“Is it so hard to do something nice for a friend?”
Ivan laughed harshly. “We’re not friends.”
June stomped up onto the arched bridge spanning the river and spun around. Anger etched her features, made her eyes sharp. “Stop, Ivan. Just stop. You are part of this, this whole thing!”
June threw her arms wide then snapped one arm forward and poked Ivan in the chest. He was startled at how much it hurt. “You are part of us, whether you want to be or not.”
“I’m not any part of your little group. I’m just the Commie everyone suspects attacked the town,” he let his Russian accent drip thick from his words. “I’ll just head home to my comrades and drink vodka and plan more attacks.”
June rolled her eyes. “Stop feeling so sorry for yourself. Frank said something dumb back there, but if you really think I believe you’d hurt us ….”
“This was such a mistake,” Ivan hissed, almost to himself. “Don’t pretend you know anything about me.”
He stalked past June, would have kept walking, but her fingers wrapped around his arm and pulled him back.
“So tell me,” June demanded. “I know you’re not as stony as you pretend to be.”
“I pretend nothing.” He glanced down at June’s fingers where they wrapped around his arm. He could feel the heat of her through his thin shirt, and he hated the way that touch sent pulsing tendrils of electricity through him.
Anger made her eyes flash. It made pinpoints of heat color her cheeks and her lips open in ragged breaths. He felt himself harden just at the sight of her and had to turn away.
June’s arm went limp, and she dropped her hand from where it still clung to him. Ivan looked out over the river, his hands tight on the metal railing. The air above the river snapped with cold, even as the first fingers of morning sun reached through the mountain passes.
“I’ve seen your power, Ivan,” June said quietly. “I don’t believe you could create such beauty if it wasn’t already there inside of you.”
She was standing next to him, staring out over the water. The birds grew louder in the silence as they stood side by side and watched the water rush below.
“Why do we do this?” June said, quieter now. “I ran after you to say thank you for standing up for me back there, to try to be nice. But we always end up fighting. I hate that. I’m not a mean person, Ivan. I don’t ….”
“I would never think you’re mean,” Ivan said, talking over her. “I’d say you’re too nice, actually.” His voice rumbled out of his chest and he had to grip the railing to stop himself from catching up her hands between his own.
He slid his gaze down to her and found June looking up at him with a smile.
“So can I say it now? Thank you, Ivan. I was exhausted and in pain, and if you hadn’t stopped them from making me use my power again … just, thank you.”
They fell into silence, only the roar of the river breaking the hush. Ivan tried to make himself walk away—shouted at his body to just leave—but he didn’t. He couldn’t.
Lisa is a special needs teacher and a hugger. She always makes time for everyone and lightens up everybody’s lives with her presence. When she is not chasing her students around the yard, she finds time to write about what she truly loves, and you guessed it, its people and relationships.