13 December 2022

All Our Secrets by Michelle Gross Blog Tour!


All Our Secrets
Michelle Gross

Publication date: December 12th 2022
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Suspense

“Moments define us. A split-second decision can shape your future, and you don’t realize it until it’s too late.”

Peyton Johnson:

The day I meet my boyfriend’s best friend, King; my king disappears. Everything’s fine when my gaming friend fades away like smoke because Theo consumes me entirely. Theodore Johnson becomes my husband, and our life is beautiful until it isn’t.

Theo’s gone and all that’s left of him is the unborn child in my stomach.

Silas King:
The day I meet my best friend’s girl, my heart recognizes her as my Peyton. I loved her first, but that doesn’t matter. Theo’s the only family I’d ever known and compared to him, I’m ugly and scarred. Peyton’s king disappears because Theo is everything I’m not. He will make her happy. I think that will be enough for me to let go, but it isn’t.
Then he dies, leaving her behind…

Until he comes back and I’m the only one that can see him.

Theodore Johnson:

The day I meet Peyton; my life is complete. I want to give her the world, but life doesn’t always work out that way. Now, I’m fog, slipping through her life without her knowing. Silas is the only one that knows I’m here, but it doesn’t matter. He’s going to steal her away. I can’t let him.

I loved her first, and forever will.

A romantic standalone with a ghostly twist!

Goodreads / Amazon

My shop was in town, so I made it to Save-A-Lot in two minutes and parked my pickup beside her white Tahoe. As I got out, I spotted the tag in the front of her vehicle. Johnson, in bright pink cursive, blared at me, and I gritted my teeth. Not today, Satan. I’d been good the last few days and hadn’t dwelled on the past. Too much.

The devil on my shoulder had taken over too much over the last few years. The devil on my shoulder being my mind and probably, most importantly, my feelings for the widow of my dead best friend.

The past was supposed to fade in time. Things that felt like razor blades cutting through the heart were supposed to become nothing, but that didn’t seem to be the case for me. Every year since I lost Peyton was a new one spent around her. A new memory of watching her fall in love with someone else, another hundredth day seeing her smile and laugh for Theodore. And now I was watching my sun mourn a man I missed too.

Before I walked in, Peyton strode out of the building, pushing a shopping cart. Her brunette hair was draped over her left shoulder in a long braid. No makeup and a yellow sundress. Her waddle was more pronounced as she neared the end of her pregnancy. She gripped her lower back midstride and sighed, closing her eyes slightly, then frowned. She’s exhausted.

Her cart started to veer left, so Peyton placed both hands on it again to steady it. When she raised her head, our gazes locked, and she rolled her eyes so far back in her head, I wondered if they might get stuck. I wasn’t close enough to hear her groan, but I knew the sound by heart. She’d done it around me plenty in the last eight months.

A young man wearing a Save-A-Lot nametag ran out of the store. Smiling, he came up behind Peyton and took the shopping cart from her. I walked faster when she beamed.

“Thank you—” Peyton grasped her belly and huffed at me when I neared. “Sarah can’t keep her mouth shut, can she?”

I kept moving, with every intention of taking control of that shopping cart. “You’re supposed to call when you need something.”

“I’m pregnant, Silas, not bedridden. I’ve gotten along fine all these months, haven’t I?”

“You didn’t waddle or trip as much in the beginning,” I pointed out. Peyton had become accident prone since her pregnancy. I might not have been around her that much, but what the other FCR wives said about her mishaps had us all agreeing she needed help.

Her eyes bulged as she gawked. “Unbelievable,”

Instead of telling the young worker what I planned to do, I stepped over and took the cart from him. His eyes went back and forth between us. “I don’t mind helping you load things up…”

“Apparently, I have help now.” Peyton glared daggers at me as she said it before beaming at the boy. “Thank you, Josh.”

The boy reddened in the face. “Anytime, Mrs. Johnson.”

As Josh ran back in, I asked. “Is he one of your students?”

“Used to be. He graduated last year.”

“You shouldn’t smile at those poor boys so easily.”

“Oh my God.” Her eyes circled around her sockets again.

“How did your brain look today?”

Her nose crinkled. “What?”

“I assume with how much eye-rolling you do, you see your brain at least once a day.”

Peyton pressed her lips together. “You know, Silas, you’re almost funny, but I happen to know you and just can’t vibe with your personality.”

“Vibe?” I asked, then stopped at her Tahoe. “Unlock the door.”

“It’s what the kids are saying,” she replied, unlocking her vehicle.

“Just no.” I shook my head and raised the trunk door.

“See? Lame. Ain’t nobody can vibe with you.”

Immense pleasure bounced around in my chest as I put her groceries in the back. Sometimes, because life was cruel like that, I forgot everything else and simply enjoyed Peyton’s presence. She tried to befriend everyone, even me, and never had a problem speaking her mind and cracking jokes. I lived for her silly words. And that would always be my conundrum. I spent so much time ignoring and trying not to get close that the proximity now was lethal to my system. It took several months for her to even carry on a conversation with me after Theodore passed. All my avoidance hadn’t escaped her notice over the years.

And because I wasn’t supposed to relish any moment with her, I closed the trunk and turned. When I spotted the diamond on her ring finger, a haunting image of the fury in Theodore’s eyes during our last conversation flashed inside my head. My heart crashed to the ground, and I swallowed the bile threatening to come up. Her presence was a blessing and a curse.

I exhaled. “Call one of us when you need help.” Call me. “Don’t be stubborn.”

“If I need help, I will.”

“Do I need to follow you home, or will you ask Rosie to help you unload the groceries?” Theodore’s parents lived right next door to Peyton.

“You know Theodore’s dad will be out there as soon as I pull into the driveway.”

“Fair enough.”

Peyton pursed her lips at me before huffing. “You’re a good friend but stop it already. Theodore wouldn’t have wanted you at my beck and call all the time.” I froze, ice encasing my heart as she continued, “I don’t understand you, Silas. You spent so much time not speaking to me that it pisses me off every time you appear somewhere, acting like you care. You should have tried to befriend me when it mattered. What good does it do now when you don’t even have to put up with me anymore because he’s… gone?”

And with that, she got in her Tahoe and left.

Michelle Gross is from a small town in Eastern Kentucky where possums try to blend in with the cats on the porch and bears are likely to chase your pets—this is very true, it happened with her sister’s dog. Despite the extra needed protection for your pets, she loves the mountains she calls home. She has a man and twin girls who are the light of her life and the reason she’s slightly crazy.
As a kid, she was that cousin, that friend, that sister and daughter, the talker who could spin a tale and make-believe into any little thing so it was no surprise when she found love in reading, and figured all these characters inside her head needed an outlet. They wanted to be heard, so she wrote.
The voices keep growing faster than she gets the time to write.
The stories are never going to end. That’s perfectly okay, though. We never want to stop an adventure.
She writes and loves many different genres so sign up to her mailing list to keep updated on her releases!

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