DiscoverAfrican American

Lead Me Into Love

By

Worth reading 😎

Well-crafted, spirited tale of love, acceptance, growth, and trust in the age when those seldom exist in relationships anymore.

Synopsis

Jade and Eli have been dating for a year now as they get into their mid-20’s, both deeply in love with each other. Despite how perfect the relationship seems, Jade has severe trust issues after being cheated on during her last relationship. No matter how sweet and romantic Eli is toward her, she is suspicious of him, sneaking around to check his phone and social media profiles for any proof that he is unfaithful. She never finds anything, but she is so broken from her last relationship that she can’t help but worry. Their trust of each other is in shambles.

Suddenly, Eli’s best friend since they were just boys, Lucas, is wrongfully shot and killed by a police officer. The town is enraged, calling for justice, and Eli is right in the middle of it. This incident tests Jade's inner strength and love for Eli. Will she be led by love or fear?

In a time where love seems to be missing, grabbing on to anything, even a factious tale of love, is a welcomed distraction. J. Brinkley’s ‘Lead Me Into Love’ is one of those welcomed distractions – even if it is just for a few hours, or a day or two (however long it takes you to absorb this well-crafted 30,000 plus word novel by the Tifton, Georgia native).


Brinkley’s penned take on love centers around a couple in their mid-20s: Jade and Eli. They are still ‘newcomers’ in the relationship game, even with a year of ‘togetherness’ under their belts. The story begins with the couple still in bed, and Jade is awake first. She watches the sleeping Eli, and is filled with a mosaic of emotions. Be it the beauty of the sunrise seeping through the windows, or the soft snore of Eli, or just maybe, Jade is just filled with memories of their last year together – the light moments, the long conversations, and of course, the passion they shared. She is happy in that moment.


But then slowly, as each page is turned, the reader discovers, that the moment doesn’t last very long. The author uses that ‘newness’ tangled in with Jade’s past heartbreaks to keep Eli and Jade’s tale realistic, and interesting. He feeds well into our need for drama with Jade’s trust issues, and he even incorporates the uncalled for, tragic death of Eli’s best friend, to add to the twists and turns of the relationship between Eli and Jade.


Eli and Lucas had been best friends since childhood, and in a scene gone very wrong – Lucas is fatally wounded by a police officer. This takes Eli for a wild ride, which tests the relationship of Jade and Eli even further.


Brinkley takes each intricate detail of Jade’s past love relationships, Eli’s attempts to get her past her worry and the fight for justice over Lucas’ death, and welds them together so carefully. The reader become almost sponge-like, absorbing every bit and piece of the story of Jade and Eli. The question is, will Jade overcome her own personal issues? Will Eli recover from Lucas’ loss? Will Jade and Eli survive as a couple? The story left a smile on my face; I wanted a sequel after I finished it.


Readers ages 25 to 55 might enjoy this much more than other readers.

Reviewed by

Becky has had a 'torrid love affair' with books since she was old enough to know what the word 'love' meant. A former newspaper editor, and current social media marketer, her goal is to help you get your book noticed - and add to her bookshelves.

Synopsis

Jade and Eli have been dating for a year now as they get into their mid-20’s, both deeply in love with each other. Despite how perfect the relationship seems, Jade has severe trust issues after being cheated on during her last relationship. No matter how sweet and romantic Eli is toward her, she is suspicious of him, sneaking around to check his phone and social media profiles for any proof that he is unfaithful. She never finds anything, but she is so broken from her last relationship that she can’t help but worry. Their trust of each other is in shambles.

Suddenly, Eli’s best friend since they were just boys, Lucas, is wrongfully shot and killed by a police officer. The town is enraged, calling for justice, and Eli is right in the middle of it. This incident tests Jade's inner strength and love for Eli. Will she be led by love or fear?

CHAPTER 1

CHAPTER 1

The morning sun was finally peeking over the edge of the city’s buildings; its rays crawling through the various windows, pushing past light curtains, to spill into all sorts of places. Jade blinked her eyes sharply, against the bright light, releasing a yawn, as she slowly sat up in bed. She peered to the right, toward the window, as dawn was making its fiery entrance. Her eyes shifted down to the sleeping body next to her; her boyfriend, Eli, nestled under white sheets, as he snored softly. She always felt incredibly loving, in the morning, when no dark thoughts had touched her mind just yet.

Jade smiled down at him, wanting to reach out and run her hand over the short, dark curls on his head. They had been togetherfor a little more than a year, now, as they ventured into their mid-twenties. The last year had been incredible; full of fun dates deep moments and passion. It had bordered on perfect, starting from the moment they had met at her job.

Jade worked at an office, in the city, as a desk assistant, answering phone calls and booking appointments all day. She also signed for any packages, which was where Eli came in. He was the building’s delivery man and she nearly swooned over him the moment she saw him. He was so tall and so handsome, with his dark eyes and flawless looking skin. He had a boyish smile that was adorable, pairing well with the tight curls adorning his head. Even the grey delivery outfit –a short-sleeved, button-downshirt and pants – looked great on his fit and young body. They had flirted up a storm, right there at the desk, ignoring the world around them, as it went on without them. They didn’t care All they were focused on was each other. She was on the cusp of heartbreak, at that time; having just gotten out of a toxic relationship that ended with her ex, Jordan, cheating on her and leavingher broken. When she first saw Eli, she felt like she was being healed, on the spot, as warmth caressed her heart and soul.

They ended up quietly exchanging numbers, with the promise to talk again soon. Eli left after throwing a charming wink at her, over his shoulder, and Jade was hooked. They talked for a month, before finally making things official, at a beautiful park in town, where they stood on the edge of a lake, with the stars above them. From then on, things had been wonderful They remained strong, but things weren’t exactly perfect There were remnants of the darkness of her past, that threatened their relationship, from time to time. Her insecurities drawing themselves in and out of her life always happened as quickly as breaths. She wanted them to go away, but they were somehow attached to her, refusing to let go.

Eli’s phone suddenly buzzing pulled her from her thoughts. Her eyes immediately shot to it, as it rested on the surface of the nightstand She found herself leaning over Eli’s snoozing body, trying to read the screen, to see what had made his phone go off.

She knew what she was doing was wrong, and invasive, but she

just couldn’t help it. It had been engrained in her nature to check

and see what was going on. She had done it, lightly, and almost

playfully, in her last relationship and it had unveiled a whole dark

world of trouble and pain for her.

Jordan had been sending flirty texts, and explicit photos,

back and forth, to some girl that she didn’t know. She even knew that some of the messages had been sent while they were

cuddling on the couch or taking walks together. He was able to

look in her eyes and tell her that he loved her, one second, then

tell another girl that he wanted to rip her clothes off, the next

second. Even the thought of that made her terribly nauseous and

she just couldn’t believe that he had betrayed her like that. Her

trust was shattered and it just hadn’t been fixed yet.

“Good morning,” a slurred voice sounded beneath her.

Jade immediately threw herself back, in her spot, in the bed,

acting like she hadn’t been a second away from grabbing his

phone and seeing what notifications were on it. She could feel

the insecurity eating away at her, slowly disintegrating the good

mood that she had woken up in. The light of dawn never lasted,

too long, before her own darkness ate away at it. It made her feel

down, a lot, because she wanted to be happy, but she just

couldn’t shake the feeling that something had to be wrong with

their relationship. If her ex, who she had loved, once, could

betray her, who said that Eli couldn’t do the same exact thing to

her? Was his love genuine?

“Hey, what’s wrong, baby?” Eli mumbled, as his big, dark eyes

finally opened fully, gazing up at her, confusion tainting his

expression.

Jade shook her head, and forced a smile onto her face, as she

looked away from him. He knew her very well, so, hiding things

from him was hard. However, it just wasn’t a conversation that

she felt like having, right now. She knew that she was insecure,

and had trust issues, but there wasn’t a direct fix for that.

“Nothing. How did you sleep?” Jade asked, as she leaned back

against the wooden headboard, with her hand reaching up into

her shoulder-length hair, to brush her fingers through the wavy

strands. She wanted to hide from his wondering eyes, but she

didn’t want to push herself away from him. He had been the best

thing that had ever happened to her. He made her so happy, by

pushing her to be better, in all aspects of her life and she had

gotten better being with him. There were just some parts of her that still needed work and he understood that. He had promised

to be patient with her, knowing how badly she had been hurt

before.

“Good. I always sleep good with you,” Eli murmured

happily, a glowing smile crossing his lips, as he wrapped his

arms around her, tugging her down to lay her head against his

bare chest. He kissed the top of her head, holding her close

to him.

Jade took a moment to revel in the warmth of his skin

against hers, her fingertips tracing the flat plane of his stomach,

all the way up to his broad chest. She enjoyed moments, like

these, when she tried to forget the rest of the world. They had

gotten an apartment together, a few months ago, and it was like

their own safe haven, away from the world. She could hide from

the craziness of the world, there with him, but she just couldn’t

hide from the demons lurking inside of her mind, which was

terribly ironic to her.

“What do you want to do, today?” Jade asked him, wondering

what his plans were for the day. It was Saturday, so they would

either go out, for the day, or he would spend time with his

friends, Lucas and Aidan. Deep down, she would rather hang out

with him because she wasn’t all that fond of Aidan, who

catcalled every female that passed by him and made it a point to

show Eli and Lucas every girl he managed to seduce into bed.

She didn’t like the thought of Aidan talking about other girls to

Eli. It could coax Eli to cheat on her, with someone who was

younger and prettier than her, which had become one of her

worst nightmares.

“How about I take you out for lunch, today?” Eli suggested,

tilting his head to gaze down at her, with a bright smile.

Jade felt her heart ache, at the look, knowing that he really

did love her. He did everything in his power to make her happy,

whether that was cuddling her, when she was down, or taking

her out on fun dates, to help her decompress, when she wasn’t at

work. He was the sweetest person that she had ever met and she was beyond grateful for everything that he did for her. She just

wished that she fully trusted him.

“Sounds good,” Jade told him, with a small smile, feeling

relieved that he had chosen to stay with her, for the day, instead

of going out with his friends. She knew how selfish that sounded,

because she didn’t mind him and Lucas hanging out. Lucas had

no interest in gawking over other females, like Aidan. It was just

Aidan that she didn’t like Eli being around. He was a bad influ-

ence, always trying to get Eli to go out and drink and go to clubs.

Those types of settings weren’t even places of interest to Eli. She

knew that he would rather take a morning walk, in the park, or

curl up and watch a movie, with her.

“Great. I’m going to take a shower and get ready,” Eli told

her, as he slowly leaned up, his arms wrapping around her to coax

her to sit up with him. He gently brushed a strand of her dark

hair behind her ear, his lips finding her forehead in a sweet

touch, before he got out of bed and headed to their small

bathroom.

Once the door shut, Jade’s eyes immediately went to his

phone, which he had left sitting on the nightstand, without even

checking it. It made her feel even more guilty, because of how

open he was with his phone. He never tried to hide his messages

from her. He even asked her to text people back, for him,

without any hesitation. He acted like he had nothing to hide, but it also could’ve been a sly tactic to discourage Jade from even bothering to look.

Jade buried her face in her hands, wishing those intrusive thoughts would go away. She felt like she was being an awful girlfriend, with her lack of trust and her obsessive desire to snoop around She also knew that, if she looked, it could hurt her. It would be easy to just ignore it, like a lot of other girls did, but she just couldn’t do that, after what happened with her last relationship. There were always secrets and she would always get hurt

“Babe, could you bring me a washcloth?” Eli’s voice sounded from the bathroom, interrupting her chaotic cycle of thoughts, once again.

Jade figured that she could look, another time, if she really felt like she needed to. She got out of bed and made her way to the bathroom to grab a washcloth, as a nagging feeling persisted, in the back of her head. She needed to know his secrets, the things that could hurt her. She didn’t chase pain; she just knew that it waited around the corner for her.

As she walked into the closet, her eyes trailed down to see a crumbled-upshirt on the ground, one that she remembered him wearing a few days ago. Curious, she bent down and picked it up, wondering why he had tossed it into the corner of the closet, when he usually threw his clothes in the hamper. She brought the fabric up to her nose, subtly smelling it, to see if she could pick up any traces of perfume. When she didn’t smell anything,

she shook her head at herself. She was going crazy, but disloyalty had made her that way. She could only hope that Eli could stay loyal and fix her.



About the author

About The Author: J. Brinkley was born in Tifton, Georgia. He writes in the genre of urban fiction and urban romance. Learn more about author J. Brinkley at: www.authorjbrinkley.com or on Amazon: http://amazon.com/author/jbrinkley view profile

Published on August 08, 2020

Published by B. Love Publications

30000 words

Contains explicit content ⚠️

Genre: African American

Reviewed by

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