Book: Autumn’s Rise
Series: Haywater Novel #1
Author: R.G. Corr
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Hosted By: Francessca’s Romance Reviews
On the discovery of a family secret and the heart-wrenching events that follow, Autumn Chamberlain has lost what little faith she had in those closest to her. Knowing she can never truly live her life if she remains with her family, and with an abundance of guilt laying heavily in her heart, she escapes the lonely world she felt forced to live in and heads to the seaside town of Haywater. The aim, to look for a new beginning, a fresh start. But she has one clear notion – to never love again.
Talented surfer, Zed Maddison, has always worked hard at protecting those closest to him, until the day he fails. Fighting his own demons, Zed flees his close family; unable to face them and the remorse he feels before finally arriving in Haywater.
When their worlds collide, Zed has an unfathomable need to protect Autumn and becomes relentless in his fight, forcing Autumn’s defences to the limit.
Can her secrets remain dead and buried?
Or will a revelation destroy everything?
“Dreams are not just something you aspire to in an alternative life; they can become a reality. There is one person controlling your dream, Autumn. It’s time to awaken your beautiful soul, and take one step after another, until one day, you’ll find you’ve travelled a journey you had no idea you were capable of. Even the small steps matter.”
I had to remember Mary’s words. I was doing the right thing. I was sure. Definitely. I allowed my eyes to travel around the insanely huge living area of Greyston Manor. A place I should consider as my home but a building I could only look at with empty eyes.
“Hello, Angel. I came to see if the rumours were true.” A biting chill instantly came over me at the recognition of a voice and that name, which I hadn’t heard in two years. I twisted my suddenly tense body and felt the raw hatred flow through my veins at the man standing before me. My hands immediately wrapped around each other, creating a tiny shield that the likes of Brent McCann could destroy with just one look. His gaze moved to my one solitary suitcase near the door, before settling his attention back on me. “You’re doing it? You’re actually leaving?” he said, amusement ringing in his tone.
Face him, goddamn it. I didn’t want him to know I was afraid of him, of the power and control he managed to rule me with. “Yes, I am.” I jolted up my chin, facing him fully.
He took a step towards me. Instinctively, I took one back. A smirk crossed his smug, preened face. “Are you going to tell me where exactly it is you’re going?”
Fighting against the power he’d always held over me, I answered as firmly as I could. “No, I’m not.” I prayed my tough exterior was more convincing than the pathetic waver I’d heard in my voice. The sound of my heartbeat was thrashing in my ears. I extended my palms to try and relieve the dampness my fear was creating.
Brent preferred, not only to be in charge but to control pitiful women like me. I knew my brief responses would cause him annoyance, but I had no choice. I was leaving Brent, my parents and this life behind.
I watched as his jaw hardened before he moved quickly. He grabbed my arm; his fingers wound tightly around me until he could sense my pain. I closed my eyes briefly, accepting my weakness. “After all I’ve done, you selfish bitch,” he spat at me. His grip turned harder. I willed myself not to cry any more wasted tears. “Don’t look at me with those pathetic, tear stained eyes. I was your only out. You should be thanking me.”
“Thanking you?” I winced at the screeching noise that flew from my mouth. How dare he? I hated him with every cell of my body. How could he believe I owed him anything other than the dirt under my shoe? “Leave me be,” I pleaded, loathing the beaten sound to my voice.
“Oh, I will, Autumn.” He released his grip, the pain was immediately replaced with a stinging throb that I refused to acknowledge. I watched him, in all of his expensive finery, wander across the room towards the door. Revulsion radiated from inside me. He paused before he turned around slowly and addressed me, “Greyston is in your roots, your blood. You will never be anybody without me, or your parents’ money and their stature. You will fail in this life, Autumn, as you already have.” His dark, callous eyes swept the breadth of my body, “Look at yourself and those damn awful clothes. People will pity you when that isn’t what you deserve. You deserve retribution. You can’t hide. People will see you for what you really are. A cold-hearted failure.”
I jolted at the truth behind Brent’s words. Reaching out, I clutched the dresser at my side tightly, in a bid to still my now trembling body. I despised him and all he represented, but I hated him more for truly seeing me. Underneath my clothes, lay the scars and truths that rendered me as the ugliest of them all. Leaving Greyston and the haunting memories was my only option. It wouldn’t ever take away my guilt or erase my shame. That would remain in my heart until the day my final breath left me, but leaving, was the only way I could continue on this earth.
“I will give you your crazed desire for freedom, for now. I will call you when I’m ready, and you will come running back to me, Autumn, I promise. You have no friends left and your parents… well…” his eyebrows raised in amusement as he chuckled, “…they never really cared about you, did they? That’s got to hurt, knowing you’re not good enough even for your parents. You had to settle for Mary, a housekeeper of all things.” Whoa, one step too far. I curled up my hand and flew at him, the need to defend Mary overruling any self-control I had. But he dodged my fist and burst into laughter as I stumbled for balance. “I made you feel alive for the first time in your lonely, sheltered life, and that sickens you.”
I couldn’t respond. His words were true. There had been a point, in the beginning, when I’d been happy, but slowly over time, he ate away at the smallest parts of self-belief I possessed until I accepted his words as my own.
My shoulders sagged with relief as I spied Mary entering the room, her eyes immediately finding mine. As she registered my upset, her jaw clenched before she shifted her attention to Brent. “Mr. McCann, I wasn’t aware you were visiting, it’s been a while,” she said in a clipped tone. If it was at all possible, she held more contempt for him than I did.
“Why, Mary, you’re making me feel old. What happened to calling me, Brent?” Mary hadn’t referred to him by his first name in a number of years. There had been plenty of curse words aimed at him in private, but certainly not the name, Brent.
Turning her head away from him in annoyance, Mary directed her words to me. “Autumn, it’s time for you to go. The car is ready.” My parents’ driver was to take me to the station, where I would board a train to my new life.
“And where might that be to, Mary? Autumn seems to be holding that piece of information back.”
“I am as uncertain as you, Mr. McCann.” Mary knew exactly where I was heading. She’d helped me. My entire life I had only ever been a puppet on a very rigid, unforgiving set of strings, controlled by my parents. I had adhered to each and every one of my parents’ wishes; achieved the grades they required and lived through the heavy-hearted loneliness of the past three years, the worst three years of my life. Mary had seen me through it all and been by my side, on my brief breaks from Hartshead boarding school.
So I was fleeing, beneath a cloud of my parents’ disapproval, but with a sky filled with encouragement from Mary.
Mary looked back at me, a slight hint of a smile pushed at the corners of her mouth, forcing the last ounce of hope to the front of my heart.
“Goodbye, Brent,” I stated calmly.
He curled his lip in amusement before he strolled confidently out of Greyston Manor.
Mary had somehow made it to my side and had taken my hands in her own without me realising it. “Small steps, Autumn. Remember?” Her eyes glistened with the sorrow she felt. “You got to him. Underneath that arrogant face of his, there was fury.” I didn’t want to get to him. I wanted to forget him.
“My parents, they’re not going to be back today, are they?” I asked with a hint of sadness in my tone. Deep down, I knew they wouldn’t be, their daughter leaving home wasn’t a priority. I should be used to it, but I wasn’t. Mary shook her head informing me I wouldn’t be seeing them.
“You’ve accepted your life for what it was for too long a time. Take back what should have been yours all along. Never settle. Fight for what you desire, what you deserve.” Mary’s focus switched to my suitcase. “How about you take a step, Autumn? Life, it’s waiting.” With a final embrace, I moved and collected my suitcase. With my heart pounding, I walked out of the door.
What others are saying
This was a beautifully written book, the attention to detail was perfect it really made me feel like I was living the story rather than just reading it. I became totally invested in Autumn’s well being so much so that I didn’t want the story to end. ~ Literary Lust
I loved Autumns Rise, and reading it I would never have guessed that this is a debut. The writing is superb and I was totally sucked into the story. I just wanted to give both Autumn and Zed a huge hug. It’s a heartbreaking story but also a story of hope. ~ Blogging for the love of authors and their books
Deep secrets, hope, heartbreak, survival and twists, laced with humour in between; A BEAUTFUL DEBUT BOOK. The attention to detail and her characters just pulled me right in from the very beginning. ~ Blissfully Bookerized
R. G. Corr is a mum of 3 who loves to read almost as much as she does to write. When she’s not working or writing, you’ll find her nose deep in her kindle swooning over her latest book boyfriend.
Having had an overactive imagination for many years, a discussion with a friend at a soft play area, amidst the noise and mayhem of toddlers, finally convinced her to put pen to paper and write her first novel.
Autumn’s Rise, book one in the Haywater series, will be released in February. Book two will follow later in the year.