The Club Inferno Series 3-Book Bundle: Heat, Longing, Fever

The Club Inferno Series 3-Book Bundle: Heat, Longing, Fever

by Jamie K. Schmidt

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780812987805
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/14/2015
Series: Club Inferno
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 674
Sales rank: 63,744
File size: 4 MB

About the Author

USA Today bestselling author Jamie K. Schmidt has published more than thirty short stories in small-press journals and e-zines. She’s an active member of the Romance Writers of America. When not writing, she relaxes with a mug of hot tea and knits or makes beaded jewelry.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

After two months of running, Mallory Bryant gave up. She was sick of vending machine food and waking up in terror every night wondering if the LSD-laced Ecstasy tab David shoved down her throat had done permanent damage.

She was sick of crying during Dr. Phil. Sick of staring out the window, afraid that David was going to find her. And Mallory was terrified that when he did, this time he would not stop until she was as strung out as he was. But most of all, her mother had slapped down the ultimatum: Go to your sister or come back home to Nevada. The fact that her mother would even consider Colleen a viable source of responsibility showed how worried she really was.

“David is concerned. You should talk to him. Make up your silly fight. Don’t make me come up there and hunt you down,” she said, not knowing that David was the reason why she ran away. The bruises faded after a few weeks—at least the ones on the outside.

She was sick of being his victim.

There was no way in hell she was getting on a plane to Nevada. Not only did David know where her parents lived, they probably would invite him down for a reunion. Every time Mallory tried to tell her mother about that awful night, she couldn’t find the words. She’d been lying to everyone for so long, saying how wonderful her life was, that Mallory couldn’t backtrack.

“David is a drug addict.”

Mallory practiced saying it aloud in the hotel room but flinched at the accusation behind those words.

“David is addicted to drugs.”

That sounded more sanitized. Less raw. She could hide the emotion behind that.

“He beat me.”

Mallory’s voice shook.

“He hit me.” She tried to sound casual, but the fear tremored on the surface.

“David has anger management issues. We’ve had problems. We’re taking a break from each other.”

Those all sounded better. They sounded like she was in control. If she was in control, she could go to Colleen. It wasn’t as if she had much choice. Mallory was broke. Her credit cards were maxed. Her job probably wrote her off a month ago. She didn’t dare call to check. She was afraid of what story David had told to explain her absence.

As she repacked her meager belongings into the battered duffel bag, Mallory wished she had taken the time to pack when she left home. But when she woke up after the hallucinations and the nightmares, she’d panicked. David had been passed out and she wanted out of there before he regained consciousness.

“Let me introduce you to my friend, Molly,” he’d said, pouncing on her as she came in from working a double shift.

Exhausted, she wasted precious escape time just looking at him in confusion. Did they have company? Who was Molly and what was she doing in their apartment at six in the morning? Then he kissed her. And for a moment, her heart lightened. They had been fighting for so long about everything: his hours working on court cases; her hours in the emergency room; his drug use; her nagging; his slapping her when she said she wasn’t happy and wanted to leave; his begging her to stay with the promise to get himself together. When he held her tight against him, she almost forgave him. It had been so nice to be hugged after a long shift.

Then his tongue pushed the fizzy tab into her mouth and fought to keep it there.

Molly.

Stupid Mallory—you’re a doctor, for chrissakes.

David had shoved an Ecstasy tab into her mouth. She fought him, but he was stronger. He slammed her into the wall when she tried to kick at him. Mallory cut her lip on his teeth trying to get away. It hadn’t taken long for the pill to dissolve.

“You asshole!” she raged and tried to get to the bathroom to throw it up. Mallory fought him tooth and nail. He tossed her around the room, tackling her to keep her with him.

“You need the energy. You’re dead tired. We never go out and do anything. Kids do this all the time. Let’s go to a rave! I feel ten years younger. I feel like I could fly.”

But it wasn’t just MDMA in the tab. She could have told him that when you’re dealing with an illegal substance, the quality control isn’t there. The tabs he bought had been cut with some hallucinogen. David started dancing around their living room, slapping at the bugs he thought were crawling all over him.

Mallory knew what was happening. She tried to hold on to the logical part of her brain that whispered, “This isn’t real.” But in the end, she hid under the bed to get away from the demon that was chasing her with a butcher knife and slashing the bedsheets and curtains to ribbons of blood.

So yeah, the next morning, making sure she had seven pairs of clean underwear wasn’t high on her list. She wanted out before David woke up. For the next few weeks, Mallory went from motel to motel, at first only staying overnight before running to the next one. Then she stayed a week at a time, trying to figure out just what the heck she was going to do. She cried a lot, screamed into the pillow, and threw tantrums that would put a toddler to shame. She watched daytime television to the point where she learned more about DNA paternity tests than she had in eight years of college and med school. Two months was a long time to feel sorry for yourself. Mallory was ready to try and get her life back, even if that meant running to Colleen.

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The Club Inferno Series 3-Book Bundle: Heat, Longing, Fever 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good set to see different perspectives from all angles. These three together give a great sense of what it can be.
Anonymous 9 months ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago