Release Blitz: One Breath After Another by Bethany-Kris


by Bethany-KrisCover Credits: London MillerThe After Another Trilogy, book #2Publication Date: October 5, 2020Genres: Adult, Romantic Suspense, Crime Thriller, Organized Crime

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They say you can’t go back but …

Penny Dunsworth was broken.

Before she became the white ghost, she was already unrecognizable. A troubled teenage girl with monsters that couldn’t be slain, and an irrational crush on the only man she considered a friend. Her one crime was daring to think she might finally be free.

Luca Puzza was only trying to figure things out.

His days are balanced between his duty and worth. He can’t seem to make it all work, but that doesn’t stop him from trying. Somethings are just more important—like the girl with the haunted eyes who seems to trust him. He only ever wanted to help.

The past never stays where it belongs—why would it?

It’s the only thing left to warn about the future.


NOTE: One Breath After Another is book 2 in the After Another trilogy. It follows the same couple – Luca and Penny – from present to past, and back again. The books must be read in order. Be warned, the trilogy discusses a subject that may be triggering.

Penny did her best to avoid staring at the home in front of Luca’s parked vehicle because the weight of her actions had finally settled on her shoulders. The man in the driver’s seat said nothing as she fidgeted with the gold chain that hung from the rearview mirror. Luca didn’t even hint that it was time for her to get out of the car and head inside to see Naz and Roz.

No, he just waited her out.

“I probably made a bigger problem with the caseworker today,” Penny muttered. “And the school, right?”

Luca tilted his head her way. “Likely.”

Penny rolled her eyes. “Naz and Roz will tell me it’s fine. They’ll handle it like they always do.”

“But that doesn’t help, does it?”

Her gaze snapped to his.

He only clarified with, “The guilt, Penny. It doesn’t help with the guilt.”

Air slipped past her lips in a harsh woosh when she admitted, “No, it doesn’t help.”

“That should tell you something.”

Should it?

“What, then?”

Luca smiled. “That you know they love you … and you love them.”

Penny released the chain hanging from the mirror and rested back in the seat. “It’s more than just Naz and Roz. You, too. You care about me, too.”

“Of course, I do. You have my number, you know how to use it, and you’re more than welcome to do so, Penny.”


He cared.


As he should.

Penny wished she could say the same but instead when her stare met his again, the truth slipped out before she could stop herself. “I’m not sure I should, actually.”

“What, call me? You did today. It didn’t end so bad.”

Except …

“What happens when I keep calling and you keep showing up?” Penny asked, shrugging and putting her attention on anything but the handsome man in the seat next to hers. “I’m already confused about … you. The more you’re around, the worse it’s gonna get. And it’s not your fault, you don’t even act like you notice me or how I am when you’re around. I’ve just never—”

“Liked someone before,” he murmured.


Was it that obvious?

Even he knew?

Penny sighed, saying nothing more except, “I don’t know how to deal with any of it, I guess.”


She didn’t answer.

Didn’t even look at him.

Wasn’t it bad enough that she went as far as admitting her crush when he hadn’t even given her the suggestion he felt the same way? She thought so.

Penny. Hey, look at me for a second.”

She did.

It was hard.

Luca grinned when her stare finally met his, like he was fucking proud of her or something. “There you are, huh? Don’t be scared to show people who you are, Penny.”

“Easier said than done.”

“I know. And … as for the rest, just know I’m safe. For you, I’m a safe place. Sounds kind of stupid, I know, but it’s true. Have a crush on me. Like me. Even if it’s silly. It’s still safe, Penny, because you should also know I’m never going to cross a line.”

She nodded.

He was the good guy. Every chick flick had one although those men rarely looked like Luca. The girl’s best friend who was always waiting in the wings to save the day. The unintentional hero who rarely got the girl but didn’t seem to need to, either.

Good guys weren’t real, though.

Except, she had one.


Luca winked, adding, “Ever, okay?”


Everyone lied.

Or that’s what life taught her.

But right then, she believed Luca.

“It’s not that I don’t trust you,” she admitted, grabbing her book bag from the floor of the car. “It’s that sometimes I think about what would happen if you did cross a line. I think about it more than I should.”

Luca glanced her way, the hard lines of his face softening as his mouth opened to respond. Before he could say anything, Penny leaned over the seat and pressed a quick kiss to his cheek, saying, “Thank you for helping me today.”

And then she was gone.

She didn’t look back, either.

It was just easier.



One Second After Another:

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Bethany-Kris is a Canadian author, lover of much, and mother to four young sons, one cat, and two dogs. A small town in Eastern Canada where she was born and raised is where she has always called home. With her boys under her feet, snuggling cat, barking dogs, and a hubby calling over his shoulder, she is nearly always writing something … when she can find the time.

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