Until I Break

By: M. Leighton


To my God:

How could I ever forget you?

A Note to Readers:

To those who will ask if this is autobiographical, the answer is no. The story idea came to me as a result of so many people asking me questions about whether or not I get material for my books from my real life. I know you’re curious about the life of a romance novelist. For the most part, it’s not all that glamorous. Many of us spend our days in pajamas (aka, work clothes), dreaming of beautiful, flawed people. But I didn’t want to bore you with reality. I wanted to spin you a delicious, yet completely fictitious tale.

I hope you enjoy reading this story as much as I enjoyed writing it. And if you’d like to read more about how it came about and what to expect, you can do so on my blog post here: http://mleightonbooks.blogspot.com/2013/05/the-story-behind-until-i-break.html


If music enhances your reading experience, you can enjoy the playlist for Alec and Samantha on Spotify here:

Until I Break

Until I Break

In love, sometimes what you fear most is exactly what you need.

Laura Drake is an author. She writes bestselling paranormal romances that continue to top the charts. She is sharp. She is confident. She is in control.

And she doesn’t exist.

Samantha Jansen is the woman behind the wig, the woman most of the world doesn’t know exists. She is shy. She is insecure. She is nothing like her main character or her alter ego. She is scarred—deeply scarred—by a past she can’t let go of and a present she can’t make peace with.

Samantha’s dreams are consumed by one man, the broken hero from her books. Mason Strait is both her wildest fantasy and her most terrifying nightmare.

When Samantha meets Alec Brand, a corporate consultant, it is as though Mason has come to life. Alec is handsome to a fault, as elegant as he is arrogant, and more intense than any man has a right to be.

Samantha is soon sucked into a world that mirrors the fiction she writes. Just like her main character, Daire Kirby, Samantha finds herself unable to resist the forbidden lure of Alec. And just like Daire, she also finds that she is faced with taking a chance on a man who could either set her free or destroy her.

The scale tilts toward destruction when Samantha finds out that Alec is as much a work of fiction as Mason. And he has scars of his own, scars that could ruin them both.

**This book may be read as a stand-alone, as the story of Alec and Samantha comes to a conclusion in this book**


I sit at the desk in my hotel room, staring at the blinking cursor on the screen. In my head, I’m Daire Kirby, my main character, enthralled as she stares into the pale green eyes of Mason Strait, the man of my dreams. Literally.

Writing about him always consumes me. Although he’s nothing more than a product of my imagination, he’s both my wildest fantasy and my most terrifying nightmare.

“It’s my greatest passion,” he says in his husky voice, “the education of girls like you. Watching desire darken your eyes, tasting sweat as it beads on your skin, feeling your body squeeze mine like a tight fist.”

I feel lost in his eyes, hypnotized by his words. I know I should run. But I can’t. As crazy and stupid as it sounds, I have to see this through. This relationship, this endeavor, this…man will either make me or completely destroy me. The only thing I know for sure is that I have to take the chance.

The alarm sounds on my phone. I sigh. I’d much rather continue exploring Mason, but it’s time to log on for my therapy session.

“Let’s see what vague, intrusive questions you have for me today, Dr. Ruth,” I say to my keyboard as I log onto the encrypted network that my psychiatrist uses.

My sister, Chris, badgered me into doing this. She had already set up everything when she so graciously notified me of my first appointment.

Dr. Buraquinho, or Dr. B as I call her (when I don’t refer to her as Dr. Ruth, that is) practices psychotherapy in an unusual, very unorthodox manner—online. Normally, she meets her clients first and then they continue their sessions online for a period of time, meeting in person intermittently. But, with me, Dr. B agreed to start out online, partly in deference to our geographical separation (me in South Carolina and her in Washington) and partly in deference to my identity. She knows that she is treating my public persona, Laura Drake, and that I want to keep it that way for a while.

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