When Cadence Weaverly graduates from high school, she thinks it’s for the best that she and her boyfriend, Richard White, take separate paths: she to Julliard and he back to Harvard. Ten years later, she has an ideal job and a wonderful fiancé, Christian. She is building the life of her dreams—until the day Richard resurfaces out of the blue, abducts her from her San Francisco apartment, and returns her to his mansion where he holds her captive.
Cadence can hardly believe her ears when Richard professes his undying love and reveals his plans to build a life together. Terrified to fight back for fear he will have Christian murdered, Cadence must determine how to reason with a mentally unstable man who is obsessed with making her his forever. But even if she manages to escape, will she ever really be free of the man who hunts her heart?
In this psychological thriller, a young woman must rely on perseverance, courage, and inner strength to survive after she is kidnapped by her deranged ex-boyfriend.
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.57(d)|
About the Author
Laura lives in Calgary, Alberta, with her husband, three children, and miniature American Eskimo dog, Ghost. Her businesses include Canada Career Counselling, Work EvOHlution and the Leadership Success Group. In her free time, she enjoys wine, squash, golf, walks, hot tubbing, the Rocky Mountains and travel.
Read an Excerpt
By Laura Lovett, Sheryl Khanna
iUniverseCopyright © 2016 Laura Lovett
All rights reserved.
"We're home, my love." The husky voice seemed distant, yet vaguely familiar. I heard only faint sounds amidst the dark fog that swirled around in my mind. I didn't know where I was, as my eyes remained clamped shut. My body felt limp and desperately weak. I tried to pull my heavy eyelids apart, but to no avail. I willed my mouth to open, to utter a sound. Nothing. My tongue was heavy in my mouth. Everything was black. I'm going to be sick, I thought.
"My love, the love of my life, my Cadence," uttered a deep male voice in my ear. "I'm going to carry you, my love." I felt warm arms around me, lifting me out into the rain. I shivered fiercely from the bitter cold. Was it night? There was no light through my closed eyelids. I tried again to open my mouth, to ask where I was, but the words would not form. Who was he?
My nausea materialized into violent vomiting. I could feel the man's strong arms holding me up, bracing me. My body heaved and convulsed, and I felt as though I was breaking into pieces. "It's okay, darling, you'll feel better soon," said the deep voice over and over as I heaved for what felt like an eternity. Then everything went black again.
* * *
I woke up slowly, sensing that I was tucked into a soft bed. This time my eyes were able to open a fraction. Shapes swam before my eyes, the images vague and blurry. I could see white all around me: white bed, white walls, white door. I tried to move, but my body refused to cooperate. I knew, somewhere in the back of my mind, that I was heavily drugged.
The white around me gave the sensation of being outside in a snow storm. A memory flashed back to me from childhood, of making snow angels in the deep, pillowy layers of freshly fallen snow. My eyes slowly scanned the blurry room and narrowed in on something that was not white, it was black. A camera mounted in the corner of the room, high up near the ceiling, its lens focusing down on me, on my every movement. A watchful eye staring into a room of white, focusing on a drugged woman who couldn't move. Where on earth was I? Then the door slowly opened.
"Hello, Miss Weaverly," whispered a woman's voice with a slight accent that sounded Spanish. "Welcome home. I saw that you were waking up, so I came to check on you. How are you feeling?" I couldn't make out her features, but could see that she was wearing white and her hair was dark.
"H ... h ... he ..." I tried to make out a word, hello or help, which turned out to be of little consequence as I couldn't speak.
"Don't try to speak. Just get some sleep and you'll feel much better tomorrow." She came beside my bed and I felt a glass touch my lips. The stream of smooth, cool water cascaded down my parched throat. The mere act of drinking water exhausted me, so I fell back asleep. I dreamed about playing my flute on a hilltop and standing on the deck of my childhood home, making beautiful songs through my instrument as the birds sang along with me.
The next dream that floated into my mind was about my family. I dreamed about my mom, dad, sister and brother, all around the dinner table. Outside it was snowing heavily, a blizzard of white. I ran out onto the deck and looked up into the white abyss of the sky. I felt the snow falling on my face, caressing me gently with thick flakes of cool white cotton. This dream continued until I crossed the border between sleep and wakefulness, and opened my eyes to see two green ones starting back at me intensely. My body began to shake with fear.
"Cadence, my love, we're finally together. This is the happiest day of my life," he said quietly, only inches away from my ear. He was so close that I could smell the warm scent of mint on his breath. "You look so beautiful, Cadence, so peaceful, and now you're finally home."
The recognition came slowly, but once it fully hit, I froze in terror. This must be a dream. I opened my mouth to scream, but only a fearful whisper came out. "R ... R ... Rich ... ard?"
"Yes, my love?"
"Wh ... Wh ... Why?" I tried to ask my question. Why on earth was I here? Was this a dream? This couldn't be real. I had dated Richard in high school for a few months. This didn't make any sense. It had been ten years since I had seen or heard of him!
"Shhh, my love, we'll have plenty of time to talk later. I want you to get some more rest now. You had a long night and were very ill. I'm just going to sit here and watch over you while you sleep. Oh, how I love you, more than anything in the world. I've waited so long for this moment!" He heaved a long, fulfilled sigh as his large, warm hand stroked my hair, my face. He traced the line of my lips. I wanted to bite, to scream, but my body fell back into the comfort of sleep, dreams and denial.CHAPTER 2
"What is your most important future goal?" This was a difficult question to ask a group of seventeen- and eighteen-year-olds. We all sat with pens in hand, staring at the question we were completing for the yearbook committee. I couldn't think of an answer off the top of my head. Graduation was coming and, like most grade twelve girls, my main focus was on prom night. Although I had started planning my career, the distant future was the last thing on my mind as I anticipated prom night and dreamed about what it would be like to go away to college.
"Cadence, isn't this ridiculous?" whispered my best friend, Danielle. "Why does the yearbook committee ask these questions? The answers are going to be beside our pictures forever! What if we don't know what our goals are? Once we start college we can worry about all that. Now's the time to let loose, have fun and enjoy the last time in our lives without major responsibilities." Danielle didn't like talking about her future career, because she didn't have a clue what it might be. For her, it was an anxiety-provoking topic of conversation. Danielle's parents were frustrated by her lack of a career decision, with any conversation on the topic ending in a screaming match and tears. Danielle's main focus was on having fun, and doing well enough academically so that she could attend a decent college and get away from her parents.
"Yep," I said. "But it'll be funny to see these in the future, you know, see what happened to all of our friends and to actually find out if any of us meet our goals or if we end up doing something totally different," I whispered back, with a smile.
We were from a mid-size high school in Mountain View, Montana. Mountain View was a small, quiet city nestled among rolling hills and framed by the nearby mountains. Those of us going out of state to college were excited about leaving Montana, at least for a while, and experiencing a new state. I was thrilled to be going to The Julliard School to pursue my flute playing. New York would be an amazing place to live for a few years and so different from my sleepy hometown. I had played the flute for as long as I could remember, since age seven to be exact. I was truly passionate about my instrument and excelled at it, winning many state music competitions. I practiced for hours every day, but never thought I would achieve this level of success. I won a scholarship to attend The Julliard School, and was bursting with excitement ever since I found out. Getting away from my parents, who were annoying these days, would be wonderful but scary. I loved them, but they always questioned where I was going and who I was with. It would be good to get away and be free.
I started writing. The limit was two sentences given the space constraints of the typical high school yearbook. I wrote that my goal was to: Record at least five Cds, be a well-known soloist and live on an acreage in Montana. I also want to have a happy family, with at least three children. I smiled to myself, envisioning a house in the countryside with large windows overlooking the mountains, and beautiful rolling hills with deer wandering around my property. I imagined my kids playing in a lush green yard and a husband, although not my current boyfriend.
Richard and I had been dating for a couple of months, and would definitely be going our separate ways before he went back to Harvard and I went to Julliard. It was all for the best, I kept telling myself. We got along well and had some good times, but I could not see him as a long-term boyfriend. His intensity and peculiarity, which had originally intrigued me, were now becoming unnerving. He was so serious and focused, and always seemed to be thinking and analyzing. And when he stared at me, it was as if he was trying to read my every thought, which unsettled me. He had no idea that I felt this way, and was intent on us having a long-distance relationship.
Richard was three years older than me. He was the only child of an extremely wealthy family, having moved to Mountain View from Boston five years ago. He described his parents, Alexander and Constance White, as different and reclusive. They only had acquaintances and were extremely private people, which explained why Richard had no close friends. When I asked Richard about his home life as a kid, he would shake his head and say, "Don't go there, Cadence." Being naturally curious, I tried to ask him in different ways about what his parents were like, and about his friends, but he always cut me off and changed the subject. I felt like I didn't know much about Richard at all. In contrast, I was very open about my childhood and answered all his questions about my life. He was keenly interested in everything about me, but it felt awkward as it was so one-sided.
When Richard was sixteen, his father died suddenly from a brain aneurism. His mother, reeling from the loss, returned to her hometown of Mountain View to grieve, bringing her reluctant son with her. Heartbreakingly, just after Richard graduated from high school, his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and prescribed a course of chemotherapy. He postponed going to college to look after her. The following year his mother seemed to be on the mend, so he made the decision to enter the Harvard School of Business, following in his father's footsteps. But misfortune struck again, and midway through the year he found out that the cancer had spread to his mother's brain, and that her prognosis was grim. He finished out the semester and rushed back to be with her.
Although he wouldn't talk about his relationship with his mother, it was clear that Richard was fiercely loyal and compelled to be with her when she needed him the most. During these months she became progressively worse and began losing her memory. She opted to have live-in home care, and although Richard considered returning to Harvard, he dismissed the idea and chose to stay home and support his mother.
What had drawn me to this quiet, intense guy was the compassion he demonstrated. I found his kindness and dedication to his mother sweet, and was intrigued by the idea of getting to know him. Richard was passionate and unique. Maybe it was his drive, or his intense focus on everything he did. It was difficult to pinpoint, but the energy was strong when he was around.
Richard was a very good-looking guy. He was six foot two, and had been quite athletic growing up. He never played team sports, preferring solitary pursuits like long-distance running and swimming. He was competitive and won many races. Since the age of sixteen he was dedicated to waking up at 5:00 a.m. so he could work out for two hours before school, a habit which he stuck to even now. He had also attained a black belt in karate, which he had practiced religiously in the evenings when he was in high school. Richard had impeccable posture and emanated a very high level of energy, which added to the intensity of his personality. He was very careful about what he ate, being unusually regimented about his health for a guy his age. He never ate junk food, saying that he needed to feed his brain and body in a way that would allow him to attain all of his goals. I found this very anal and extreme.
In addition to his very fit body, Richard had thick, blond hair and gorgeous deep green eyes, and was not without his share of admiring glances from other women when we went on dates. Richard was also incredibly smart, an "A" student, excelling in his first year at the Harvard School of Business. I remembered reading his high school yearbook goal from three years earlier, which was to: achieve billionaire status by the time i'm thirty-five.
In addition to being handsome, Richard was definitely the most driven person I knew, and at twenty-one already had his life mapped out. On one of our earlier dates he explained how he wanted a family. "Cadence, they will be raised in an incredible house, even bigger than where I grew up. I want to give them all their heart's desires. And whoever I marry will be the happiest woman alive," he said, as he stared intensely into my eyes. "My love and passion will never taper off in my marriage, like what seems to happen in most. I will be with my wife forever," he stated. The tone of his voice made me uneasy, so I changed the subject to something lighter. My mindset was definitely not that far ahead into the future, and he acted like he was much older than he really was.
In fact, these types of awkward conversations continued to happen, almost to the point where Richard was becoming obsessive about planning his future. I recalled my older sister, Sandra, telling me about a new man in her life who had begun texting her every few minutes, up to a hundred times a day. "He's outta here," she confided in me, hazel eyes flashing, just before breaking it off with him via text. "I'm so not into obsessive behavior." I was beginning to feel Richard was obsessive in his own ways too.
Did I think Richard would be as successful as he dreamed of? Yes. But I couldn't see myself as part of his perfectly executed world. It was not that he didn't treat me well, he treated me wonderfully. He was the utmost gentleman with impeccable manners, to the point of seeming old-fashioned. But while these things unsettled me, I liked that he was very romantic, doing the types of things you'd only read about in books: surprise dates, romantic sunset picnics, fresh flowers and chocolates, the list went on.
We met in the strangest of circumstances. I was practicing for my Julliard audition, feeling the stress and pressure I'd placed on myself to get accepted. I practiced my heart out every spare minute I had. Some days, when the spring weather warranted, I'd walk into the hills near my family's acreage and practice outside. One day I walked particularly far, about twenty minutes into the surrounding hills. I had my pieces memorized and began to play. I closed my eyes, felt the breeze lifting my long, auburn hair, and lost myself in the world of tones, intervals and phrases.
When I opened my eyes, several minutes later, I saw a man sitting in the distance on the slope of a nearby hill. I was startled. Our eyes met and he stared intently at me for what felt like forever. I stopped playing and stood there awkwardly, wondering who he was. "That was beautiful!" he shouted. I was embarrassed about being watched in an area where there was seldom another soul, but at the same time I was flattered and intrigued.
"Thanks," I shouted back, and immediately began to disassemble my flute. As I carefully pulled out the head joint, I noticed him stand up and ease into a walk, which turned into a quicker stride as he saw that I was packing up. Within a minute he reached me. I'd hastily cleaned and put away my flute by that time.
"That was exceptional! I'm Richard, Richard White," he smiled as he reached for my hand. His handshake was firm and confident, and I couldn't help but notice how soft, yet large and strong, his hand was. He stood at least eight inches taller than me.
"My name's Cadence," I said awkwardly. Although I had a couple of boyfriends in high school, I still succumbed to shyness around guys I didn't know.
"That name suits you. You have a finality about you, like a cadence at the end of a song. I used to play piano and remember the sheer force of a cadence denoting the final bar. The end."
I stared back, a little confused at this odd, first-time comparison of me to finality. "What do you mean?" I asked, noticing how perfect his teeth were; they were gleaming white, framed by full lips. He was hot and possessed all of the characteristics that made the "top ten list" used by high school girls everywhere when assessing a guy for dating potential. I fleetingly wondered what it would be like to kiss him.
Excerpted from Losing Cadence by Laura Lovett, Sheryl Khanna. Copyright © 2016 Laura Lovett. Excerpted by permission of iUniverse.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This book was a fun read. Reading the last half of the book goes by so fast because there are so many interesting things happening. I’ve started reading the sequel (Finding Sophie) and it’s also a very fast and enjoyable read.
3.5 stars While the pacing in this one was a bit slow for my tastes, the author does a write a compelling story. The flashbacks to Richard and Cadence's past are done quite well and add some extra insight into the romance that started it all. The biggest drawback for me was that too many things were so over the top as to be unbelievable. Richard is certifiable to say the least and the lengths he has gone to in carrying out his plan are absolutely spine-tingling. My problem lay with the number of people involved in his plan. I find it hard to believe anyone could find that many people who are gullible enough for his plan to work as long as it did. That said, the story did pull me in and I was invested enough that I wanted to see how it all played out. There's an interesting balance between Cadence's terror and when she learns to play on Richard's obsession. I was also intrigued by Cadence's feelings during her ordeal. The back and forth between fear and contempt for Richard to feeling pity for him, almost but not quite to the point of Stockholm Syndrome, showed good depth of the character. The pace picks up considerably for the conclusion and it does tie up a few things, but there are some unanswered questions and I'm interested enough in these characters to see how that one goes.
Talk about a good read! This book is action-packed! I wanted to sit and read it without interruption. I was impressed with the twists and turns of the plot. The author really knows how to grab your attention and hold on. I even found the twists of romanticism woven into the story intriguing, and now I am hoping there is a second book to follow.
Losing Cadence is suspenseful, romantic, and the type of book I just didn't want to put down. In fact, I finished reading it very quickly. I found myself continuing on with the story days after finishing it... Maybe it needs to have a sequel. This is certainly a book that will take you on an adventure while reading it!
Gripping psychological thriller from Laura Lovett! I loved this book and read it in one sitting. Laura has a deep understanding of the psychology behind these types of characters and fleshes them out as the complex humans they are...I'm greatly looking forward to the sequel.