So excited that it is release week for Shredded! Thanks to everyone who has bought Shredded, read Shredded, tweeted or Facebooked about Shredded ... I really appreciate and love you guys so much! Thank you, thank you, thank you!
To celebrate, I'm putting up a new and exclusive excerpt of Shredded. Hope you like it :)
In this intense and exhilarating New Adult series debut, a hotshot snowboarder and a rebel with a cause try to let go of the past—and find a future with each other.
Twenty-one-year-old professional snowboarder Z Michaels is the bad boy of Park City, Utah. He’s always had his pick of any girl in town—and on the competition circuit. But underneath his cool exterior is a young man in turmoil, trying to take the edge off tragedy by overindulging in sex and shredding the slopes. In fact, Z’s rash behavior is a thinly veiled attempt to blunt his emotional suffering with physical pain.
Ophelia Richardson isn’t like any girl Z has ever met. Though she’s from New Orleans, she’s no Southern belle—and she’s not shy about being miserable in frozen, godforsaken Park City. But after nearly dying in the same drag-racing accident that killed her boyfriend, she needs a place to heal, both physically and emotionally. The last thing Ophelia wants right now is a boyfriend—especially one as rich and reckless as Z. But Ophelia soon discovers that he isn’t what he seems. If anything, Z may be even more damaged than she is.
Feeling alone in the world, Z and Ophelia find a connection unlike any they’ve ever known. But their tormented pasts pull them in every direction, forcing their relationship into a downhill slide before it even begins—unless they can find the strength in each other to trust, grow, and love again.
Advance praise for Shredded
“Z from Tracy Wolff’s Shredded is so hot he will melt your heart!”—New York Times bestselling author Monica Murphy
“Shredded features two gorgeously damaged characters and an amazingly written story that kept me on the edge of my seat! Love it!”—Toni Aleo, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Assassins series
“I’m not doing it.”
“Come on, Ophelia. Just try.”
“I don’t need to try.” I cross my arms over my chest and look anywhere but at Z. “It’s not going to happen.”
“Yes, it is.”
I make a frustrated sound deep in my throat. “Just because we had sex a few times doesn’t mean you have the right to tell me what to do.”
“No,” he agrees. “But the fact that I beat the hell out of an asshole who was trying to rape you in the woods yesterday does. It’s not safe for you to keep doing that walk between the lodge and your room. Especially not at night.”
“I didn’t ask for your help.”
“That’s part of the problem, isn’t it?” He leans back against the car, shoves his hands in his pockets even as he crosses his long legs in front of him. “You don’t know how to ask for help.”
“I ask when I need it.”
“You need it now.” He pulls his right hand from his pocket, and clutched in his fingers is the key to his Range Rover. He presses it into my hand. “Get in the driver’s seat, Ophelia.”
“It looks like we’re going to be here a while, then.”
“No, going to be here a while. I’m walking to the bus. I want to go shopping.” I talk big, but I don’t move. It’s like I’m frozen in place, the key he gave me burning my palm as surely as if he’d handed me a live flame.
“I told you I’d take you shopping. But I want to give you a driving lesson first.”
“I know how to drive. In fact, I’m probably a better driver than you are.” Remi spent months, , making sure I could handle a car in any eventuality. It was his big condition before he ever let me behind the wheel to drag-race.
“Of course you know how to drive. But you’re from New Orleans. When’s the last time you drove on ice or snow?” When I don’t answer, he continues. “Yeah. That’s what I thought. But you can’t hide from it forever. You live in one of the biggest snow towns in the freakin’ country. You need to know how to deal with the weather.”
“I dealing with it.”
“No, you’re running away from it. But that stops now.”
Our eyes lock and I glare at him, pissed that he sees through my smokescreen and even more pissed that he’s forcing the issue. Who knew that Z, who spends most of his life coasting from one party to the next, could dig his heels in so adamantly? But he has, and I have a feeling we’ll be here all day if I don’t give in to him.
I’m almost willing to do it, to just stand here and wait for hell to freeze over or Z to give up. But at the same time, there’s a part of me that knows he’s right. That I can’t spend my whole life avoiding driving. The snow and ice have given me an excuse so far, but at some point . . . at some point I’m just going to have to do it.
That point might as well be now, especially since Z is currently doing his impression of the immovable-object-meets-unstoppable-force paradox. Either way, I’m smart enough to know I’m screwed.
“Fine,” I tell him, stomping around the car to the driver’s side. “I’ll do it.” But if he starts to crow about getting me do to what he wants or if he acts arrogant in any other way, I am so out of here.
However, Z is surprisingly low-key when he slides into the passenger side, almost as if he knows how ready to bolt I am. And maybe he does. He figured out about the driving thing when no one else has yet, not even my mom or friends back home. Which means he’s looking a lot closer than I thought he was, seeing so much more of me than I thought I was revealing.
“Driving on snow is not that much different from driving in rain,” he tells me after we’ve both put our seatbelts on. “In rain you worry about hydroplaning. In snow you worry about the same thing, especially since there actually is that layer of water between the car and the road. So, to compensate for it, you have to learn to use the car’s own forward momentum instead of pressing on the gas all the time.”
“What do you mean?” I ask, confused already.
“Put the car in second instead of drive,” he tells me. He parked the Range Rover near the front curb earlier so that I wouldn’t have to worry about backing out of a spot yet. “And just let it creep forward. Don’t touch the gas or the brake; just let the car move forward on its own.”
I do as he says and we start moving at about one mile an hour. After a minute, I glance at him from the corner of my eye. “We aren’t going to get very far at this speed.”
He rolls his eyes at me. “Bored already?”
“No. Just . . .” Impatient. Impatient to get started, impatient to finish. Impatient to get my life back. Or at least this small corner of it.
“I get it,” he tells me, dropping a hand on my knee, and I think maybe he does. God knows he seems to understand everything else. Strange, when a few days ago I would have said he didn’t understand anything.