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4.4 30
by Kelley York

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Hushed by Kelley York
A new adult novel from Entangled's Embrace imprint...
He's loved her. Killed for her. Yet he may not be able to save her.
Eighteen-year-old Archer couldn't protect his best friend, Vivian, from what happened when they were kids. Since then, he's never stopped trying to shelter her from everything else. It doesn't


Hushed by Kelley York
A new adult novel from Entangled's Embrace imprint...
He's loved her. Killed for her. Yet he may not be able to save her.
Eighteen-year-old Archer couldn't protect his best friend, Vivian, from what happened when they were kids. Since then, he's never stopped trying to shelter her from everything else. It doesn't matter that Vivian only uses him when skipping from one toxic relationship to another. Archer is always there, reeled in and tossed out, waiting to be noticed.
Then Evan Bishop breezes into town with a warm smile and calming touch, and Archer can't deny his attraction to him. Evan is the only person who keeps him around without a single string attached. And the harder Archer falls for Evan, the more he sees Vivian for the manipulative hot-mess she really is.
But Viv has her hooks in deep, and once she finds out Archer's dark secret, she threatens to expose the truth if she doesn't get what she wants. And what she wants is for him to end his relationship with Evan...permanently.

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Entangled Publishing, LLC
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Entangled Embrace
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By Kelley York, Liz Pelletier

Entangled Publishing, LLC

Copyright © 2013 Kelley York
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-62266-433-7


Sunday, August 31

"I feel that suicide notes lose their zing when they drag on too long." Archer emphasized the statement with a tap of his foot. "Don't you think so? Whatever happened to 'good-bye, cruel world'?"

By that point, Brody Hilton had filled four pages from top to bottom in shaky scrawl. He lingered on the last page, hand trembling. Next to him stood an open bottle of vodka and an armada of pill bottles lined up in a neat little row.

Not for the first time in the last hour, Brody swiveled around in his chair to stare up at Archer, pleading. His bloodshot eyes ruined the effect. "Archer ... Don't make me do this, man. You don't understand. I don't —"

"You don't want to die." Archer stepped around him, hiked a hip onto the edge of the table, and waved his gun. Brody's eyes followed the weapon. "That goes without saying. But honestly? I don't care. You've spent the last twenty-five years screwing over everyone who has ever cared about you. Karma is a cruel mistress."

"I'll change." A drop of sweat slid down his brow, over the line of his blocky jaw, and onto the paper. Archer wrinkled his nose.

"Tell that to your sister. 'Sorry your life sucks because of me, Vivian, but I promise I'll be a good boy now.'" Yelling would've made him feel better. No words were enough to beat into Brody's head the impact of his decisions. "Now, sign your letter."

Brody sobbed like no grown man should, but he did as he was told. It didn't matter that Brody outweighed him by a good forty pounds. While Archer was no pushover, Brody was built like a bull and could have plowed him over if he tried.

Brody was simply too high to realize it.

When he finished, Archer skimmed the letter, which could be summed up: I'm sorry, it's all my fault, everything was true. Yes, yes it was. Too bad it took the threat of impending death for Brody to realize it.

"Good enough. Now, let's see what we have here." He tossed the papers onto the table. Brody watched him blearily from behind the great wall of medication separating them. Archer plucked one of the bottles up with a gloved hand.

"We've got your standard-issue Klonopin, Valium, Norco, Stilnox ... You could open your own pharmacy with all this." Meds that weren't even prescribed to Brody. Stuff he'd stolen from friends, from family. What he didn't take for himself, he sold. Archer's jaw tensed. He slammed the bottle onto the table before Brody, pills rattling. "A word of advice: the more you take, the faster it will be over."

Beneath the weight of his stare, Brody, slow and mechanical, began removing lids.

The problem with pills? They took forever. Whoever said overdosing was a quick or painless way to go had never watched somebody try it. It was getting late, and Archer had classes in the morning, but he waited.

Brody chased most of the medicine cabinet down with liquor before staggering to his room, muttering the entire way, "Archie, Archie, please ..."

God, he hated that name.

Whether he wanted to or not, Archer forced himself to watch Brody crawl into bed. Watched him slip in and out of consciousness. Watched him toss and turn. What did Brody in before the actual effects of the drugs in his system was the way he vomited and proceeded to choke on it, and Archer forced himself to watch that, too.

He was taking a life. The least he could do was suffer through witnessing it.

Soon Brody was gone, and Archer tried not to feel nauseous.

The apartment was silent. Not the sort of silence when one was home alone, but the smothering silence that followed death. An all-encompassing, heavy feeling. Human instincts, maybe. The little warning bells in the back of his head quietly whispering run away because death meant danger.

But Archer didn't leave. Not until he checked for — and didn't find — a pulse. He could take his time sneaking out of the apartment building. It would be days or weeks before the neighbors complained about the smell and kicked in the door. No one would even mourn his passing. Maybe some would say they saw it coming. Just another suicide. How tragic.

Brody made three down ... and three to go.


Sunday, September 7th

Vivian called in the dead of night to say, "Archer, Brody's dead."

Yeah, he knew. He also knew she would call him the second she found out.

She hiccupped and whimpered. It took a few tries before she managed, "Can you come over?"

Stupid question. Of course he would.

Thirty minutes later he arrived at Vivian's place with two coffees in hand, half asleep. Viv answered the door with her hair a mess, eyes red and puffy. Some girls could look gorgeous when they cried. Vivian was one of them.

Archer slipped inside and set the coffee on a small end table in the living room. "Where's Mickey?"

Vivian bit at her lip, sinking onto the leather couch. Her silence was enough. Mickey, such a loving and concerned boyfriend, was nowhere to be found. That was why she called Archer. He wasn't the prick who always let her down.

"He's working late." She sniffed, staring down at her toes as she wiggled them against the carpet.

Right. Like Mickey could hold a job.

Mickey was a jackass. An unattractive one, at that, unless you liked the pothead look. When people saw him and Vivian walking down the street, they stared only because they were wondering what the hell a gorgeous girl like her was doing with a waste of space like Mick.

She could have done better. Much better. Why not him? The one guy who would never ditch her, never hurt her. God knew he'd waited around long enough for her to notice him. He'd been tempted to add Mickey to his list months ago, but there was a line Mick hadn't crossed to push Archer that far. He was an ass, but he hadn't physically hurt her. Yet.

Archer opened his mouth, thought better of saying anything that might result in an argument, and sat beside her instead. Now wasn't the time. "Going to tell me what happened?" Not that she had to. It was hard to forget holding a gun to a guy's head while forcing him to off himself.

Vivian tore at a tissue between her fingers, eyes welling with a fresh onslaught of tears. "I went over to his place this morning. His car was there, but he didn't answer. I got his landlord to unlock the door ... "

His stomach somersaulted into knots. No, no, no, no! That wasn't how it was supposed to go. The cops were supposed to find Brody. Hell, even a neighbor. Not Vivian. Not after everything she'd been through.

He scooted up to her side, slipping his arms around her. She twisted and wound her thin arms around his neck and buried her face against his chest. A familiar position. How many times since grade school had Vivian cried all over him?

Like he always did, he pet her hair and let her cry until the sobs died down to sniffles and whimpers. All the while keeping his eyes locked on the opposite wall at an old family portrait: Vivian, Brody, their parents. Before her dad bailed and her mom, Marissa, got sick. Before Brody started popping pills like candy while letting his buddies feel up his little sister.

The thought made his jaw clench.

"You haven't seen him in months. What made you go over there?"

Viv sniffed. "He snuck a couple hundred bucks out of Mom's account again. She's too sick to deal with him, and I've just ... had it, you know?" Her body shuddered. "He killed himself. Left this long letter about how sorry he was that he lied to everyone, about stealing from Mom ... Everything was in there. I didn't think he cared about any of that."

He hadn't.

"I'm sorry, Viv."

Just like that, she was gone. Gliding away from him like a ghost, she stopped across the room near the bay windows. After a million years of silence ... "Can I tell you a secret?"

"Of course."

She took a deep breath, wiped at her eyes. "The entire way to Brody's place ... I kept wishing he were dead. Hoping he, like, got drunk and drove off a bridge."

Archer wished she would turn around so he could see her face. Her eyes told a lot that her body language didn't. Her guilt, her shame, her happiness.

"It's not your fault, if that's what you're thinking."

"I know it isn't."

She sounded sure of that. Good. Part of the reason he'd put off killing her brother for so long was because he worried how Vivian and her mother would take it. The purpose was to help Viv, not screw her up further. "Then why is it a secret?"

Vivian turned. "Because that's not the bad part. The bad part," she said, and her voice dropped as she leaned against the window and stared at her feet, "is that I don't regret it. I'm glad. He'll never make Mom cry again. He won't use or hurt anyone else. He's dead, and I'm happy. Isn't there something wrong with that? Doesn't that make me the worst person on the planet?"

She was beautiful. Oh, she'd always been beautiful, from the first time he laid eyes on her on the playground. But never more so than that exact moment. With those words. With the moonlight wrapped around her body in gentle blue-white caresses that made her hair shine. She should have exuded self-confidence, but Brody and his friends had ruined that for her. The depth of the scars they left behind had never been more obvious. Her brother was dead, and all she could express was relief. That was what he'd hoped for as he watched Brody die.

Archer was a step closer to freeing her.

He allowed a crooked smile and got up. "No, Vivian. There's nothing wrong with that. Nothing wrong with that at all."


Wednesday, September 10

Archer could've had his pick of other colleges in other cities. But he liked it here, where he felt a little distanced from the outside world. Here, in Candle Bay, California, he knew people. Here, even if he couldn't be comfortable, he could manage.

Besides, who would've taken care of Vivian if he left? She did a poor job of it herself. Which was why Archer was stuck in the cold. Wednesdays were his and Vivian's lunch-date days. If she came out and he wasn't waiting, he'd hear about it later.

The last of the students filed from the classroom, but no Vivian.

So she'd missed class. Again.

When they started college and Vivian told him she wanted to major in some kind of nursing program, Archer made bets with himself on how long she would stick with it. Not because she would get bored but because, undoubtedly, Mickey would screw it up. If not him, then some other guy. Viv was infamous for letting her boyfriends ruin every good thing she had going for her.

Mick didn't like sharing her attention with anything, even school. Archer was willing to bet he even bitched about her going to Brody's memorial service. Not that he bothered going with her for support or anything. He likely wouldn't attend the actual burial, either, once the coroner had finished with Brody's body.

Archer waited a few more minutes, just to be sure Viv wouldn't show, before hiking his backpack up to his shoulder and slinking across campus. As much as he would seethe the entire way home about being ditched — again — he'd be over it before he talked to Viv next. Staying angry at Vivian? Never one of his strong points.

Walking past brick buildings and barren trees, Archer was almost free from the crowds of people moving from one class to the next, coming and going like the tide, when someone dashed by and, in his hurry, slammed his shoulder into Archer with enough force that Archer stumbled, backpack hitting the ground. And someone — not the jerk who hit him and quickly vanished into the crowd — caught his arm to keep him from toppling over.

He hated being grabbed. But he hated falling on his ass in front of a group of people even more. Fair trade.

"Whoa, are you okay?"

Rescuer-boy was taller than Archer by a few inches, so he had to look up to see his face, his dark eyes, and mousy brown hair. Every inch trim and lean where Archer was slim and willowy. The guy took one look at Archer's tight-lipped expression and let him go, pocketing his hands.

Archer scooped his bag off the ground. "I'm fine. People never watch where they're going."

The guy quirked a smile. There was something about the soft shape of his mouth Archer liked, something that made him stare a moment longer than necessary. "You say that like you're used to being bowled over."

"I guess." He shrugged. Not much different from high school. Anyone who said people became kinder and more tolerant when you stepped into college was full of it. People didn't mature; they found sneakier, more manipulative ways to be assholes. "Anyway, thanks. See you around."

"Hey, uh — What's your name?"

What? No. That should have been it. Archer didn't do small talk, especially with strangers. But he was raised with manners so he stopped, turned, looked at him. Patience. Another thing he wasn't great at.

"Archer. I'm guessing you're new." Not because everyone knew him, but because it was a small campus occupied mostly by people he remembered from high school, and this guy's face wasn't familiar. He was also dressed in a T-shirt and khaki shorts, obviously not prepared for the cold weather.

"I'm Evan." He offered a hand. After staring at it for a second, Archer reluctantly took it. Evan's fingers were warm, making up for Archer's freezing ones. "I came in a bit late, yeah. Everything was pretty full up so my class selection sucked."

"I'll bet." If Evan were better at reading people, maybe he would've picked up on the don't-talk-to-me vibe Vivian insisted he gave off. But no. He kept talking.

"In fact, I'm trying to find the administration office." Evan's grin turned sheepish. "I have some scheduling stuff to figure out. Think you could show me where it's at?"

Archer could've pointed him in the right direction, but it was on the opposite side of campus and in a nondescript little building that took him forty-five minutes to find his first trip there. Again with the manners. Archer exhaled and gestured for Evan to follow.

Evan kept at his side. Funny, with Evan as a shadow, people actually got out of Archer's way. Probably because this guy was bigger. Or maybe it was the way Evan held his head up when he walked, shoulders squared, while Archer tended to shrink in on himself, willing himself invisible. Untouchable.

Archer stole a glance at him. "How are you not freezing?"

"Oh. Used to the cold, I guess. Grew up with it."

"So have I, and I'm freezing."

Evan came to a halt, catching Archer's elbow in a large, warm hand. "Are you? Here —"

Before Archer could protest, they'd made a detour to one of the two coffee stands on campus. That time of day, there was never a line.

"Order something," Evan said. "My treat."

I can pay for my own drinks, thanks. Except his wallet was in the car. Not much help. "No, I don't —"

"Come on. As a thanks for showing me around."

The girl behind the counter stared at him expectantly, and he really didn't want to argue and draw more attention. He let Evan order him a coffee, and Evan got a hot chocolate for himself. Admittedly, the warm cup did feel good when he wrapped his fingers around it, and he muttered a quiet "Thanks" when they were on their way again.

"Like I said, it's a thank you." Evan sounded pleased with himself. How annoying.

They rounded the back of the campus, and the admin building came into view. Evan lingered by the door, offering him a smile as warm as his coffee.

"Thanks again. I get all turned around in new places."

A woman in office-casual and a tight braid moved past them. "Good to see you again, Mr. Bishop. I have those papers for you," she said to Evan and slipped inside.

Archer stared at him. Evan stared back.

"Never been here before, huh?" Archer asked.

Evan's face reddened all the way to the tips of his ears. "I saw her at — you know ... orientation. She must remember me."


He didn't know whether to be annoyed that he'd been lied to, confused as to why, or amused by the look on Evan's face. But whatever. Archer had delivered him to his destination, and his drink would only keep him warm for so long.

Evan stared down into his cup. "So I guess I'll see you around."

Smiling thinly, Archer shook his head and turned to leave without a word. But there was something about the humiliated look in Evan's eyes that made him toss a wave over his shoulder and, as he rounded the corner, "It was nice meeting you, Evan."


Sunday, September 21

Richter Samuels would die more peacefully than Brody. Just carbon monoxide poisoning — too bad, so sad. Whenever someone found the source of the leak, they might wonder at it — except Richter's house was one big hazard. Wires exposed, mail and newspapers piled high on the counters, mouse crap on the floor ... and a convenient little gas stove. Archer was in and out as quickly as he could be; the smell alone made him dizzy.

Afterward, he hid in the yard behind the mobile home, wearing a turtleneck with the collar pulled up over his nose and mouth, the hood of his jacket fitted around his head. Keeping his face hidden, he crept to the window now and again to peek inside.

It took several hours, but his patience paid off and eventually Richter lay on his kitchen floor, unconscious. Another useless existence removed from society.


Excerpted from Hushed by Kelley York, Liz Pelletier. Copyright © 2013 Kelley York. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Once upon a time, Kelley York was born in central California. And it's there she still resides with her lovely wife, step-daughter, and an abundance of cats, while fantasizing about moving to England or Ireland. She has a fascination with bells and animals, is a lover of video games, Doctor Who, manga and anime, and likes to pretend she's a decent photographer. Her life goal is to find a real unicorn. Or at least write about them.

Kelley is a sucker for dark fiction. She loves writing twisted characters, tragic happenings, and bittersweet endings that leave you wondering and crying. Character development takes center stage in her books because the bounds of a person's character and the workings of their mind are limitless.

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Hushed 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 30 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I lived this book. The characters are all well-developed and the story compelling. A great thriller with a killer ending.
Once_and_future_librarian More than 1 year ago
First of all, thank you to Netgalley and to Entangled Publishing for the chance to read this book for review! Ok, wow. Just, wow. I JUST finished reading this, and I am speechless! I was absolutely captivated by this book. Archer is a college student who really doesn't have any friends, except for Vivian, who has been in his life since they were children. At the age of 12, with Archer held down and forced to watch, Vivian is raped by a group of her brother's friends, while her brother watches and laughs. This has left her emotionally broken. Archer has made a vow to himself to always be there for Vivian, to protect her. Vivian uses him. But Archer is still there for her, and willing to do whatever it takes to make her happy. Even murder. Archer's mission is to make everyone involved in the rape pays for what they did. It starts by accident, when he pushes one guy down the stairs and kills him. Then the idea is born to make a list of everyone involved in the event that left his best friend traumatized and kill them, one by one. Archer is not the kind to get close to anyone. But then he meets Evan, and for the first time, he experiences a healthy relationship. Evan is there for Archer in the way that Archer was there for Vivian. Even when he finds out what Archer has done. Archer's love for Evan makes him realize that what he has done is wrong, and he know longer wants to continue with his "mission." However, Vivian starts to lose it...she has just lost her mother, been beaten up yet again by her abusive boyfriend, and is now losing Archer to Evan. She decides she needs to pick up where Archer has left off...and then some. She now realizes what a good thing she had with Archer, and now she wants him all to herself. This book opens with Archer's murder of Brody, Vivian's brother. So, I started off hating Archer. How the heck can you empathize with a murderer? How can the writer expect this from their reader? Well, I don't know how, but York pulled it off. This, in my opinion, is a sign of a very talented author. She made me really think about whether murder can be justified. While I cannot say that I think Archer did the right thing (at ALL, let's make that clear), I really think he felt like he was doing the right thing. Also, I was not expecting a homosexual romance in the book. I'll be honest, it caught me off guard. But, Evan was the only healthy relationship Archer had in his life. Their relationship was so sweet. I just really was rooting for things to work out for them. Overall, this was an amazing read. So very different from anything I've read. Yes, it was a little dark and disturbing, and it deals with a LOT of "difficult" material - rape, domestic violence, murder, homosexuality (not that I consider this difficult material, but some readers may). But, don't let that stop you. It was written so amazingly, that it didn't seem all that disturbing or scary. I look forward to reading more from Kelley York. Now, go forth and read :) Posted by Kary at 3:09 PM
AvaJae More than 1 year ago
I really really enjoyed this. 4.5/5 stars. First and foremost! HUSHED by Kelley York is a New Adult Thriller/MM Romance! I’ve seen a lot of people call it YA, but Archer and Evan are in college (as are all the major characters) and it’s published by Entangled’s Embrace line (which is a New Adult line). So just clearing that up. (Also, full disclosure: I'm an Assistant Editor for Entangled, but they did not ask me to review this book. I'm reviewing it because I enjoyed it and that's it). Related to the NA note: for those of you nervous about reading NA because of the potentially graphic content, this book is pretty tame. There’s one (literally) steamy scene, but there isn’t graphic content, and more than anything there’s just a lot of adorable cuddles and kisses. (Though, trigger warning, there’s some sexual assault mentioned throughout the book). Okay! So as for the actual book, this was such an interesting read. First of all, I can only think of one other book I’ve read from the primary POV of a serial killer (or, I suppose, vigilante, depending on how you look at it) and it made for a totally fascinating read. Mix in the super unhealthy relationship between Archer and Vicki and the ridiculously adorable Evan (who I just want to huggle forever) and I was totally hooked. The plot is interesting, the pacing works well and the relationships are complicated. I was totally emotionally invested and I really really enjoyed it. Minor gripes: I may have missed it, but I don't think Archer specifically identifies as bisexual, which isn't a deal-breaker, but as he's pretty obviously bisexual, I would have liked to see him identify and help fight against bi erasure. (Though, if I missed it, which is totally possible, then never mind.) Also, toward the end, I started getting kind of aggravated with Vivian and Archer's relationship, but I didn't think it was necessarily unrealistic...just frustrating. So. All in all, I loved reading HUSHED and I was so extremely happy to not only see some diversity on the NA shelf, but to see some diversity in a NA book that isn't strictly Contemporary Romance (*double high five!*). If you’re looking for some diversity to add your NA shelf, I absolutely recommend HUSHED.
kirstyviz More than 1 year ago
I'm writing this review after finishing Hushed in the early hours of the morning, eager to record my thoughts and feelings on paper, but also left emotionally drained from Kelley York's astounding narrative. This is a story ripped wide open for the reader to see its true and often bloody heart. Kelley York asks her reader to be empathizers, sympathizers, romantics and judges; the question posed is whether it should be the guilty who deserve our condemnation or not.   Despite Archer's transgressions Kelley York ensures he is the characters the reader cares deeply for; Vivian's manipulation of him is obvious to us and I had an overwhelming (but useless!) urge to scream "Wake Up!" at Archer. Thankfully Kelley York provides a voice of reason and support in the shape of Evan. Evan and Archer's relationship begins as nothing more than a friendship, but the way in which Kelley York develops the romance is both subtle and appropriate to the story. Evan is Archer's strength; the honesty and beauty of Kelley York's prose, particularly towards the end of the novel brought me to tears. Within Hushed the author has been able to combine perfect elements of a thriller and new-adult contemporary fiction with her anti-hero, unanticipated twists in plot and homosexual love to write an incredible, tenacious and enduring book.  A must read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Considering all the rave reviews I expected a mix of intense romance and nail biting suspense. ...or at least a book full of angst and overwhelming emotion. It fell flat for me. Evan didn't come across as the person that could pull Archer from Viv. Archer never gave off the gay vibe and I was pretty confused on why he chose Evan to be the one to open his eyes about all the jacked up thi he was doing. And Evan - seriously there's something wrong with him if he's helping someone cover up illegal activities and still fall in love with that person. I didn't fully understand the dates at the beginning of the chapters. Viv was a train wreck....
Just-Julie10 More than 1 year ago
Oh my, oh my. Where do I start? I would like to point out the content of this book, whilst not graphic has adult content. I would also like to thank Netgalley and Entangled Publishing for allowing me to read the ARC. So, we have Archer and Vivian. Archer has loved Vivian for ever, and has sat back and patiently waited for her to notice he’s there. One night something terrible happens to them both and Archer cannot save her from it, or the demons she has following it. Archer is consumed with guilt, so much he thinks the only way to put it right and save Vivian is to kill those responsible. This is where the book starts, it had me right from the get go and I simply couldn’t put it down. Archer and Vivian are seriously broken, him with wanting to fix her, and Vivian plummeting from one bad relationship to another. In comes Evan, I LOVED Evan. He is is light, sunshine and wants nothing more from Archer but his friendship, his time and attention, and Archer begins to see there is more to life than bitter, repressed anger, and he slowly sees that Vivian is nothing more than a self absorbed, manipulative attention seeker. When Marrisa, Vivian’s mother and the mother Archer considered her to be to him dies the story flips on it’s head. Vivian, finally broken by one too many beatings from Mickey her violent boyfriend flips. She doesn’t like that Archer and Evan are falling in love with each other and so she turns everything upside down and goes on a rampage I seriously did not see. What I loved about this book was the way Kelley wrote the depth of the characters, she didn’t shy away from the darker side of human nature and just how low a person will stoop when Love and jealousy get in the way. I have to say from the synopsis on Netgalley I thought Evan was going to be a girl, I was a little shocked (not in a bad way) she turned out to be a boy. It didn’t distract from the story but enhanced it. Vivian was a character I wanted to hate badly, yet I couldn’t. She was simply flawed and broken from events she had no control over. I liked that Kelley glided the story into one that showed we are a product of our choices. Bad things happen to good people, it is what we do after they happen that defines us. When I finished I felt I had been on an emotional wrecking ball….yes I was also naked!! It was intense, beautiful and horrific all at the same time. This is a wonderful story that should be read. I highly recommend it.
These-Pretty-Words More than 1 year ago
Deliciously dark and creepy. I have to admit this book scared me. It’s not the type of subject matter I’ve spent my reading time with in the past few years. Yet the summary and that fabulous new cover drew me in, and I felt the need to curl up under a blankie and read something that would push my boundaries a bit. I think I picked the perfect book for that. Hushed is the story of Archer – college student, slightly obsessive, opinionated, murderer. I started off not liking him. He was too brash, too dark…plus the book opens with a rough scene of him forcing a man to commit suicide. Not the best first impression. But over the course of the story, I learned more about him, and my feelings toward him shifted. I don’t think I’ve ever pitied a character more than I did Archer. Which is not something I would normally feel toward a serial killer. He wasn’t necessarily a bad person, more a boy trying to do the right thing but making the worst possible decisions. His backstory broke my heart and made me want to rescue him from the situation he found himself swept up in. His best friend, Vivian, was such a horrible person for him to be around – the human equivalent of an anchor weighing Archer down with guilt and stress. She took and took and took from him until there wasn’t much left to give. But then along came Evan. “I think I need to do less of needing people, honestly.” As he turned to unlock the door, Evan grabbed his arm and pulled him back around. Barely a breath separated their mouths. “Want me, then,” Evan murmured against his lips. “If you don’t need me, at least want me.” Evan was the light shining through the darkness of Hell poor Archer wallowed in. He’s charming and sweet, honest and open. And he liked Archer for him, not for what the poor boy can do for him. Their relationship was beautiful, slow-blooming and intense. Evan saw the good in Archer and fought tooth and nail to save him from himself. Unassuming and just plain loving, Evan made me swoon though much of the suspense and drama of Hushed. I gave Hushed five heartfelt stars. Buy it, read it, love it, pretend you have your own Evan to snuggle up to and hope you never piss off a guy like Archer. Or probably worse, a girl like Vivian.
lisazj1 More than 1 year ago
4.5 stars. This was an extremely dark, intense story. The characters are disturbingly well drawn. Archer is kind of an anti-social loner, who doesn't like anyone, except for his best friend Vivian. They've been best friends since they were little kids. A very bad thing happened to Vivian when they were younger. Archer was there, and he couldn't stop it or save her from it. So Archer is trying to atone for that. He thinks that if he can erase those that did this, he can erase it from ever happening and maybe he can get back the Viv of before. Archer is a killer, true. But this doesn't stop you from feeling for him, from wanting things to work out for him. Vivian has a thing for the wrong kind of guy. When she's in a relationship, she kicks Archer to the curb. As soon as things go bad, she comes running back to him to pick up the pieces. This has been their routine since Vivian started dating. Archer isn't stupid. He knows she's using him and he knows how messed up it is that he lets her. But he is absolutely powerless to deny her anything she wants or needs. His guilt over his failure to protect her from before has him convinced that if he can just be there for her, maybe she'll finally, finally see that the right one has been right there all along. Then Archer meets Evan. For the first time ever, there's someone who is concerned with what Archer feels and wants. As Archer grows closer to Evan, all of this slowly comes out. While Evan is a little shaken, his main worry is for Archer and what's happening to him. Evan is the bit of light in the dark landscape of Archer's life, and that's actually how Archer thinks of him, as being 'bright'. Vivian finds that she isn't Archer's main focus anymore, and he's even becoming unavailable to her. When she starts trying to be what Archer has always wanted her to be and he holds her at arms-length, she becomes even more unhinged. Viv then discovers proof of what he has been doing on her behalf and things fall apart in the worst way. This book opens with a WHAM, grabs you and holds you tight in its fist. It never lets go either. It was totally unexpected for me, even after I read a few reviews. It's a tautly emotional, extremely well written psychological thriller. Loved it, I am definitely a new fan of Kelley York!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Honestly my favorite book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
jenababy13 More than 1 year ago
I loved this twisted book more than I think I should have. Hushed is thrilling, disturbing, and insanely amazing. We start off with Archer, who lives by himself and tries to be normal. But, he's anything but normal. Then there is Vivian, Archer's best friend, and the person he's always loved. Archer would do anything to protect her, anything for her... even kill. Then, one day Archer meets Evan. Evan is down to earth, fun, and cares about Archer a lot. As Archer starts to fall for Evan, he starts to realize how wrong he's been about Vivian and how dangerous everything has become. But, is it too late to pull himself out? Following Archer, was one hell of a ride. He's this good-looking, smart boy, who is completely blinded by what's in front of him. But, how can you blame him when it's all he's ever known? He does what he had to for the person he loved. It just took someone else to show him how dangerously far he'd actually gone and how wrong it actually is. I mean, watching him and Viv together... was like watching someone take poison and letting it slowly seep into your body until you eventually give out. It was a completely toxic relation. On the other hand, I completely adore Evan. The way he swims in the cold, his cute ideas, his gentleness, the way he sees the good even in a terrible situation, his slight sexiness. Everyone NEEDS an Evan. He's the all-around perfect boyfriend. I was surprised, yet completely happy with the ending of Hushed. For Kelley to take a topic of love and being blinded and twist it as far as she did, it's almost frightening. And that's exactly why I loved this book as much as I did. It's 100% intense the whole way through and it's beautiful. This book sunk its teeth in me from the very beginning. It's twisted, completely spine-tingling, and at the same time inspiring. I cannot rave enough about this one. It's completely unique and if you're considering picking it up... do it! You will not be disappointed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ravenswood_Reviews More than 1 year ago
Book Title: "Hushed" Author: Kelley York Published By: Entangled Publishing Age Recommended: 17 + Reviewed By: Kitty Bullard Raven Rating: 5 Review: EXPLOSIVE! From beginning to end is likely the only way to describe this book. When Archer decides to always protect his best friend Vivian while harboring a crush on her, how far is he willing to go? What happens when another is introduced into this toxic relationship and begins to change the other's mind? What happens when love becomes real and infatuation is realized? What happens when there's murder involved? Archer and Vivian have been best friends since grade school, he's always been there for her through everything, all the ups and downs of bad relationships and even when she needed him most... when her life depended on it. He's done things... bad things, things he can't take back, all for her. When Evan comes into the picture, Archer finds himself questioning his toxic relationship with Vivian and begins to realize that things are not what they seem. This story is amazingly written and superb in the dramatic sense! Kelley York is definitely a writer to watch out for she so vividly portrays the emotions of young college students and knows how to dig in deep and wrench every breath from you. I was on edge the entire time reading this book never knowing what path I was destined to travel down next. It was as if I became the innocent bystander the one watching in the shadows as it all unfolded and I was TERRIFIED! You have to read this book, it has all elements of everything you'd want in a good drama and thriller with a little romance thrown in for good measure. I love the fact that Kelley didn't carry the romance overboard and allowed her base story to shine through without this book becoming just another love story. BRILLIANT! I will be watching for more to come from this phenomenal author!
ReadingLark More than 1 year ago
Review by Andrea @ Reading Lark Hushed is the story of Archer and Vivian's dysfunctional friendship; the lives of these two produce poisonous effects and everything they seem to touch withers. Archer is seen as a monster to many - including his own mother - for his violent and antisocial tendencies. Vivian's experiences with abuse as a child have left her damaged and needy. Neither one can imagine their life without the other wallowing in pain beside them. However, Archer wants nothing more than to soothe Vivian's aches and make up for past wrongs. How does he accomplish this task? He makes a hit list of all the people who have hurt Vivian and one by one he starts to kill them off. Didn't I tell you that this friendship was dysfunctional? The summary of this one had me a little nervous before I started the book. I have loved everything I have read from Entangled Publishing in the past so I was willing to give this one a shot on that alone. This book was something entirely unexpected. I honestly wasn't planning to find a way to understand Archer or Vivian - let alone be sympathetic to their flights of crazy - but somewhere along the way I did find myself feeling sorry for them both. It was unnerving for me to feel sympathy towards a serial killer, however, as Archer's story unfolds, you start to hope that things will get better for him and in the end he will be okay. It's so odd to see the traditional villain type role be something other than evil. Part of what makes this book so amazing is the flaws of the characters and how they seek to overcome and/or drown in those negative aspects of their lives. My heart broke for Archer as I watched him struggle with his guilt over his actions. On the other hand, feeling sorry for Vivian didn't come as easily. I feel like this book will appeal to YA and adult readers for many reasons. The plot is suspenseful and intriguing. Each time I would think the story line was winding down, a new twist would arise and spin me off in a direction I never saw coming. The grittiness and realism of this book will also appeal to many. Finally, I think the struggles Archer goes through concerning relationships will also speak to various audiences. Archer's heart is divided between Vivian, the girl he's longed for since childhood, and Ethan, a new guy he met on his college campus. The relationship between Archer and Ethan was well written and many teens could benefit from watching as the guys come out of the closet with family and friends. Overall, this book was a shocking surprise. This isn't my typical genre, but I ended up loving it. Hushed is extremely dark and tragic. I spent most of the novel feeling creeped out and shivers danced up and down my spine. This one reads as if you have a front row seat as the story is playing out. Kelley York has done an amazing job of creating a story that is the dark chocolate of books - sweet with just an edge of bitterness and massively addicting. I highly recommend this book if you are looking for something dark, edgy, and suspenseful.
Read_A_Book More than 1 year ago
Opening with a murder, this novel grips the reader from the very first page as Archer exacts his revenge against one of the perpetrators of Vivian¿s nightmare from so long ago. This is an amazing tale of love and betrayal. A twisted tale between right and wrong. A deliciously dark tale focusing on the psyche of Archer as he battles against himself in hopes of redeeming Vivian. I found Archer¿s character to be extremely interesting. His need for love is so strong that he¿s completely blinded by Vivian¿s true nature, believing that he can restore her to her old self through vengeance against those who hurt her. And, although he is a killer, Archer is not necessarily a bad person. His heart is in the right place, as twisted as that sounds, but he has been without love for so long that he¿s lost himself along the way. With the entrance of Evan, things begin to change for Archer, and the battle that rages inside him was extremely real and well written. Authors who are able to make me feel alongside of the characters are one¿s I cherish, and York is, without a doubt, a fantastic writer. While Archer struggles with his psyche, Vivian is completely off and she¿s that character we love to hate. I had so many vile thoughts about her as I read, I¿m almost ashamed to admit it. York definitely has characterization down to a tee as I felt like I was there alongside all of the action and my blood boiled on multiple occasions. It truly takes a phenomenal author to do that. Four stars.
chapterxchapter More than 1 year ago
I wasn't really sure what to expect from this book. I heard all the hype, and I thought to myself...is this going to live up to my expectations after everything I saw from fellow bloggers? It did, and more! This book was surprisingly addicting, and truely lived up to it's hype. After reading just the first few paragraphs, I was already hooked. To read Archer's thoughts as he talks Brody through the steps on killing himself. Is this guy good? Is this a dream? What's going on? I had to keep reading. Kelley York weaves such an intriguing story. I went through so many different emotions, as I progessed through the book. There were parts where I was literally too scared to turn the page, to see what was going to happen next. There were also other parts where I just couldn't read fast enough. York has put so much depth and personality into Archer, Evan, Vivian as well as other characters in Hushed. I couldn't help but fall in love with the relationship that is Archer and Evan. It was so interesting to watch their relationship grow and unfold right before my eyes. To read the parts that made my heart thump just alittle bit faster, to feel the corners of my mouth turn up into a smile as they came to know each other. I was surprised at how emotionally involved I was while reading Hushed. Angry at Archer's mother, annoyed with Vivian's antics, awww'd by Evan's patience and understanding, sadness and sympathy for Archer, for his life and the things he has to live through. York does such a fantastic job building this story, and by providing even just the littlest details that made everything seem more real. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to step away from stories of monsters and beasts, and into a world of heartache, self-discovery, love and a dash of murder and vengence.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
iheartyabooks More than 1 year ago
Hushed is an intense thriller. Kelley York has penned a work of fiction that made me question my own conscience and beliefs of right and wrong. York definitely took me into the mind of an eighteen year old guy that was no doubt damaged. At the age of twelve, Archer couldn't protect the girl he loved from a horribly abusive situation, and he blames himself. He¿s held onto the pain and guilt for seven years because of it. Kelley York also shows how everyone has free will to choose. You can let abuse destroy your life, or you can heal and move past it. York has written an awesome thriller that will send chills down your spine. Archer and Vivian have been best friends since they were in grade school, but Archer wants more than friendship. Archer wants Vivian to be in love with him the way he loves her. But what happens to Vivian when they¿re twelve has Archer believing he needs make things right, so Vivian can be free to be the person she used to be. When Archer meets Evan, he sees life differently¿becomes more of the person he really wants to be, and not the monster he lost himself to. Vivian doesn't like Evan coming between her relationship with Archer, and for the first time in seven years, Archer finally sees who he is, and who he is to Vivian. Hushed is twisted, chilling and a heart-melting thriller and I'm still torn up about Archer, but Hushed is awesome and the ending will have you in tears. I highly recommend Hushed as a must read. Just be ready for the shiver going down your spine when you read it.
Nikkayme More than 1 year ago
Hushed is this insane, in the mind of a killer, thriller that both YA readers and adult readers will devour. It has the perfect combination of, suspense, what!? moments, and a sizzling romance that burns right off the pages. Archer, the main character and maybe not so great guy, has this innate darkness about him that is just a little terrifying. He comes off as a sociopath, but then we see the side of him that cares. That really, truly, cares; about Vivian, about his mother and Vivian¿s mother, and about the new guy Evan. It¿s this contrast in his character that makes Archer so intriguing. He becomes this enigma that is tantalizing to riddle out. As creepy as Archer can be, there¿s also something about him that is loveable ¿ that will make readers root for him and for his happiness, despite the terrible things he¿s done. It¿s very easy to see him as the bad guy, but even easier to see him as a victim. I credit Kelley York¿s astounding writing and character development because as bad as Archer may be, York makes sure we know there is much worse out there. And that much worse just might be Vivian. She is someone to loathe and I found myself angry at Archer for caring so much; but I got it. His love for her stems from a deep, childhood friendship that he cannot fathom breaking. Mirroring Vivian¿s wild and unpredictable personality, is Evan; who is good and kind and solid. I was as captivated by him as Archer is. Archer¿s interactions with Vivian and Evan are so opposing that it makes for this fire and ice feeling throughout the novel. York is a master at creating these complicated and convoluted relationships that are unhealthy on some levels and destructive on others. Hushed is as much a suspense thriller as it is a love story and that is a testament to the talent that Kelley York possesses. For every disturbing scene or thought, there is one that is steamy and rife with sexual tension. The plot unfolds in unimaginable ways, while maintaining this realistically messed up driving force. I loved every minute of it.
Buried-in-Books More than 1 year ago
Archer, in the beginning of the story is a cold calculating guy who's one thought is revenge and trying to win Vivian's love. He seems like he'll do anything for her, yes including murder. But Archer's been protecting and defending Vivian for years and she's never treated him as more than a best friend. Maybe run to him for a night, but he's always known it wouldn't mean anything so he's never settled for that. He's a man that's alone in a crowd. But then, a very persistent Evan eases his way into Archer's life and a slow friendship begins. To me, it's the sweetest love story I've ever read. No insta love here. Both are shy and their friendship is slow to start. Archer has never had a friend he could really tell everything to and there's a lot to tell. The slow build up of the relationship mirrors the buildup of the tension between Vivian and Archer. Vivian is a class A user. She uses Archer whenever she needs to get out of a messy situation that she's put herself in. She seems to date guys that are always abusive and obsessive. And Archer is always rescuing her from these guys, until he doesn't. And let's just say she doesn't like to share Archer. This is a tense thriller with a great romance thrown in to make it even better. You already know that Archer has killed for Vivian, so I'm not giving anything away, but you know it can't be wrapped up in a happily ever after ending. But the ending is satisfying and realistic. I think Kelley York's writing style is easy to read and her character development is perfect in this book. I felt impatient and then totally disgusted and terrified by Vivian throughout the novel. As she devolved into the lowest life, Archer grew into a man of conscience and self confident. And Evan, well he was perfect from the beginning really, he made me smile every time I read about him. Everything I'd want in a contemporary YA novel was there. The romance is between two guys, but it's so beautifully written I totally forgot that. And I really didn't care. Romance done right is romance. But if you have a problem with homosexuality, then don't read it. But you'll miss out on a great new voice in YA contemporary lit and a great thriller!
kristinja73 More than 1 year ago
So, if you have read the synopsis, you are probably asking why anyone would want to read a book where the protagonist is obviously a killer? A serial killer at that. The answer is simple...Archer, though far from perfect, has his redeeming qualities. He loves Vivian unconditionally, does anything for her, and takes care of her when nobody else can. Problem - Vivian is as toxic as they come. Only running to Archer when there is no one else for her to run to. When he starts pulling away, she decides that she cannot let him go that easy. Oddly, Archer's dysfunction was easy to get past. He wanted to change but didn't know how. His neurosis was obvious. The signs of OCD and Borderline Personality Disorder combined with a little Post Traumatic Stress Disorder never makes for an easy life. However, when he met Evan, his life started turning in a new direction. He was peaceful, happy, and had the love that Vivian could never give him. He began to see her for the energy sucking parasite she was. (Nope, don't like Vivian even a little bit.) He trusted Evan in ways he had never trusted anyone. Archer and Vivian both had difficult childhoods. Each dealt with it in their own way. Archer had the capacity to make his life better, to change.Vivian...not so much. Everything Archer did, he did for Vivian. Everything Vivian did, she did for Vivian. Only Evan ever cared about what Archer wanted or needed. I enjoyed the relationship between Archer and Evan. Evan brought light into a very dark story. He was proof that just because bad things happened, you could remain good. Evan was stability in Archer's life where no other stability existed. He defined love, friendship, and trust. I laughed at Archer when he was near Evan because he would just say whatever he was thinking while simultaneously thinking "why did I say that?" I adored his inability to hide from Evan...even when you knew he really wanted to. Everyone is going to have their own take on Hushed. Much like the characters in the book, you can choose to see the light behind it, or you can be taken in by the darkness. I walked away feeling that justice was served, that bad things happen to everyone but they don't define anyone. You define who you are with the choices you make. It's never too late to change. If you are see-sawing about reading Hushed, keep an open mind and do it. I think you will be surprised. This is another of Entangled Publishing phenomenal books. Kelley York wrote an excellent thriller with the perfect amount of suspense. Always enough to keep the pages turning. Be sure to look for my interview with Kelley York on December 21st as part of the Hushed Virtual Book Tour. As always, I would like to thank Entangled Publishing for including me in one of their promotions. *I was provided an e-book from Entangled Publishing in return for my honest review and participation in the Hushed Virtual Book Tour. Hushed does contain a male/male relationship and a graphic murder scene.
Regina_Linton More than 1 year ago
I got the opportunity to read this book through a friend on Goodreads and thought that it was a fantastic, edge of your seat, thriller. I just adore Archer. First of all what a fantastic name for a character and you think of an Archer. He is strong, powerful and devious. I have a soft spot for my mentally broken heroes. Archer is the most loyal best friend that you could ever imagine and the fact that he covets his childhood friend that he also secretly is in love with is more amazing. Vivian endured a horrible incident in her childhood that broke her. She was never the same again and Archer couldn¿t live with that. He also didn¿t think those who committed such an atrocious act against her should live either and compiled a list of those less worthy. Oblivious, Vivian just went about her life with carefree abandon make all the wrong choices in men. All Archer did was love her and she disregarded his affections and only sought this friendship. So when Archer runs into Evan one day on campus, why wouldn¿t Vivian be happy for Archer? This ticking time bomb spirals into some really bizarre territory that keeps you wanting to know more. Vivian is so shattered that it is impossible to piece her together. Archer is tired of trying to make her happy and seeks some solitude of his own in a budding relationship with Evan. Evan is the only one that Archer feels cares about him and wants to help him make the right choices. Vivian has a few surprises of her own to show you just how broken she truly is and Archer is right in her path. Pick it up and read it. Really keeps you interested and flows beautifully through twisted minds looking for what they think is best for one another. Recommended for readers who like a little twist in your characters.