HALFWAY HIDDEN By Carrie Elks
When fear mixes with desire, who can you trust?
Rachel Stone is stuck, contemplating that very question. Spending her time as a bartender in an isolated West Virginia town, she hides behind dark hair and an assumed name. She exists from day to day, trying not to let her past overwhelm her.
When a tall stranger walks into the bar at closing time, her attempts at hiding turn to dust. Muscled and intense, he is attractive enough for Rachel to ignore her instincts and listen to her baser desires. As a storm brews in the skies of West Virginia, confusion builds in Rachel’s mind. What begins as flirtation explodes into a darker, more primal passion, leading her to question everything she thought she knew.
While snow blankets the outside world, they are forced to remain inside, confronting their demons and the sizzling attraction between them. Submitting to their urges is easy; learning who to trust is anything but.
This 30,000 word novella contains references to past abuse and rough, consensual sex.
*ARC Provided By the Author
Halfway Hidden is a book that imbues every single element that I look for in a good book – Mystery, suspense, enigmatic characters and pure all-consuming passion that heats right off the page. This is a novella that contains the perfect amount of detail to ensure you connect with these characters and the complications they face. And it will leave on edge for the entire duration.
Rachel Stone is a twenty-eight year old woman trying to lead a simplistic life. She is a young woman who not only bares the emotional scars of a horrific and devastating past that she is desperate to escape, but the gut-wrenching physical ones that serve as a constant reminder of the suffocating circumstances that pervaded her life. While Rachel’s vulnerabilities are evident, she is a woman who truly exudes such strength and fighting spirit and it makes her such an endearing and admirable heroine.
Murphy is the very definition of male perfection. At thirty-five he is tall, enigmatic, brooding, sexy, compassionate and utterly gorgeous. Carrie Elks has truly created a purely decadent alpha male. When the mysterious Murphy walks into a quiet bar and spots Rachel from afar, he is enamoured with her. And as this gorgeously handsome stranger keeps appearing night after night, their attraction between them grows, as does the curiosity they each share about who the other truly is.
While the plot does centre the story’s climax on a West Virginia snow storm that brews in the quiet skies, it is the perfect metaphor and backdrop for the events and that will unfold between these two characters.
I love the intensity within this story, the mystery and the incredible electric chemistry that flows between Murphy and Rachel. The predicament is brilliant and the plot is structured to unfold in a slow, seductive and tumultuous series of twists. The slow build up of mystery is consuming and the heartbreaking circumstances that bring these two together, from pasts that entwine them to the present, is brilliant.
This was such an incredibly sexy, intelligent and fantastically written novella and I cannot recommend highly enough. My only wish was that I did not want it to end. I cannot wait to see what Carrie Elks has in store next for these two characters and the sure to be tumultuous journey they will be taken on.
5 Shiny STARS
Buy The Book
CARRIE ELKS – Author of the stunning debut HALWAY HIDDEN
Thank you so much Carrie for talking with me today. I absolutely loved the intense and suspenseful HALFWAY HIDDEN – particularly the very sexy and brooding Murphy.
Tell me what inspired you to write Rachel and Murphy’s incredibly intense story?
I’ve always been a fan of dark erotica–stories like Captive in the Dark and Consequences–and originally I set out to write something in that genre. But as I started to put the story down on the page, Murphy rebelled against my plans for him, and turned out to be one of the good guys. Because I love him so much, I went with it. And who would go against Murphy, anyway? I’m not that crazy.
What can readers expect with the next instalment of Halfway Hidden – Volume 2, EXPOSED?
Exposed is a continuation of Halfway Hidden. We get to see Rachel and Murphy outside of West Virginia, as she flees from her past, again. We also learn some more about Murphy (which is great, because Halfway Hidden is all from Rachel’s point of view, so we only know what she knows about him.)
I love the new characters that I’m introducing (my favourite is a mute boy who befriends Rachel), and the fact that we get closer to seeing her husband get his comeuppance. Of course there is romance and fireworks in there too. It wouldn’t be any fun without those.
Where is the strangest place that a particular scene for a novel has come to you?
I take a lot of baths. Probably enough said about that! I also find trains really useful for reflection. I travel a lot, and usually they have no wifi connection, so it can be just me and a notepad. This week I wrote 4000 words of a new story by longhand. Having to write by hand made me really think about the words, and when I typed it up I was really happy with what I wrote.
Are you working on any other projects? Can you tell us about them?
My next novel will be called Unexpected. The first draft is written, and I’m currently editing it. It’s a lot ‘cleaner’ than Halfway Hidden, though hopefully there will still be some twists that draw you in. It is a New Adult story, and features a teenage girl, a twenty-something guy and an older man.
I’ve just had the cover made, and I’m totally in love with it. Unfortunately it won’t be revealed until early next year, and I hope that the book will be published in February, if I can get everything ready by then.
What is one interesting fact about you that readers don’t already know about you?
I can close off my nose so I don’t have to smell things. This comes in useful when there is a bad stench around, and also when I swim underwater. I don’t know how I do it, but my son can do it too, so I guess it may be genetic.
Your most embarrassing moment?
I walked into a bar at Liverpool Street Station (in London) and tripped over the doorstep, flying across the room. In spite of my mortification, I was surprised to learn that guys really do like a clutzy girl. I lost count of the number of men who offered to help, and then wanted to buy me a drink. I wouldn’t recommend it though, I was covered in bruises the next day.
Your current Book Boyfriend?
I just read The Lonely and Lost Boy by Tara Brown, and the ‘hero’ in it is completely different. Eli is a hot ball of mess, but I fell for him anyway. Most of the time I was torn between wanting to hit him and hug him, but that’s usually what I am looking for in a book boyfriend!
A boiling kettle. I’m English and I live for a cup of tea.
One word you love?
Family. Mine is my happy place. I’m so lucky to have those I love around me and supporting me. I’m very thankful for them.
One word you hate?
I don’t hate any words – honestly! When I was a child it was probably ‘bedtime’, but nowadays I feel like I need them all.
Chocolate. I adore the stuff. White, brown, black, I don’t care. I need it in my life!
Thank you so much Carrie for taking the time to talk with me, I will be waiting anxiously for the release of Exposed and more Murphy! Xoxo
Carrie Elks lives near London, England and loves to write sexy stories with a dash of intrigue. At the age of twenty-one she left college with a political science degree, a healthy overdraft and a soon-to-be husband. She loves to travel and meet new people, and has lived in the USA and Switzerland as well as the UK.
Nowadays, she spends her days sorting out people’s problems at work and her evenings glued to a computer keyboard. An avid social networker, she tries to limit her Facebook and twitter time to stolen moments between writing chapters.
Her favorite authors include L.H. Cosway, Samantha Young, Cara McKenna and C.J. Roberts.
When she isn’t reading or writing, she can usually be found baking, drinking wine or working out how to combine the two.