High school student Eleanor Ames has disavowed her upbringing as a grifter and con artist, but she’s had quite the year since she decided to “start fresh.”
In Julie Cross‘s Chasing Truth, Eleanor’s only friend dies under suspicious circumstances. While everyone assumes it’s a tragic suicide, Ellie expects much more and goes on the hunt, colliding with Miles, a very attractive classmate with secrets and skills all his own, and together they discovered the horrific truth.
Now Ellie and Miles are back in Hiding Lies, which follows Eleanor as her past comes back to haunt her. Ellie is on a dangerous new mission and she needs to keep it a secret from everyone, including Miles.
In an exclusive excerpt from the novel, we meet Ellie once again in full-blown spy mode and she seems to be a really precarious situation… until we realize who she’s actually talking to!
It’s been nearly a year since I decided to give up my conning ways for the honest life. But here I am again, hiding up in a tree, studying an asset. I lift the binoculars to my eyes so I can get a better view of the hot guy walking toward me. Despite the chilly, December night (why in the world did the Founding Fathers consider Virginia “the South”? It’s freakin’ cold here!), he’s not wearing a coat. Probably because one of his arms is in a sling. He approaches the building slowly, carefully, his gaze never holding one place but scanning the area.
I shift my binoculars toward a car in the distance. The headlights are off, so I can see a man and a woman inside. They’re sitting in the dark, looking perfectly comfortable. Nothing exciting. I go back to spying on the dark-haired hottie, but I’m distracted. My butt is painfully going numb. The tree branch I’m sitting on is covered in snow. I shift, trying to find a dry spot. The hot guy stops, holds perfectly still, and then tilts his head upward. His beautiful, blue eyes seem to land on me. This is confirmed a second later when a dimple appears on each cheek. I used to never trust anyone with dimples. Recently, I’ve become more flexible with this rule. But even so, my heart plummets to my stomach at the sight of them.
My feet have been dangling. I start to lift them up, attempting to conceal myself. But I’m not fast enough. Warm fingers wrap around my ankle.
“Got you,” the guy says. “How long have you been up there spying on me?”
“Spying? On you?” I shake my head. “Don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m waiting for someone. He’ll be here any second.”
The hot guy takes the binoculars and looks them over, analyzing the zoom-in and recording switches hidden on the underside. “Fancy. Not exactly for recreational use.”
That’s because they’re Aidan’s. My sister’s boyfriend. Up until two weeks ago, when he was forced to resign, Aidan was a Secret Service agent. He used all kinds of spy gear in his former job—like these high-tech night-vision binoculars.
I hop down from the tree, assessing the intruder, searching for body language that says friend or enemy, even though I already know the answer. No harm in having a little extra practice. Role-play is definitely a skill of mine, but it’s also a muscle that must be worked regularly. “Just so you know, I am trained in self-defense. Wouldn’t try anything if I were you.”
“Yeah?” He lifts an eyebrow. “That’s good because this place is sketchy as hell.”
We both glance around the deserted warehouse building beside us, the vandalized lumberyard nearby, and the questionable items strewn across the walkway leading to the giant warehouse door—condom wrappers, broken beer bottles, cigarette butts.
“You’re right, it’s sketchy,” I say. “I better take off before something bad happens.”
“Wait…” Hot Guy reaches for me, his fingers curling around my waist. He tugs me until my back rests against the tree and we’re hidden from anyone on the street. “Tell me about this other guy you’re waiting on.”
I stare up at him, taking in the cocky smirk, perfectly messy dark hair, and blue eyes that hold dozens of secrets. “What other guy?”
He grins, showing off two perfect dimples to go with the rest of his perfects. “Good answer.”
Then, before I can refocus on the role I’ve been playing, he leans down and kisses me. It’s only been a week but feels like a month. Maybe longer. His cheeks are cold, but his lips are warm and tender. I bring him closer and closer until his slinged arm is lodged between us.
“Miles,” I mumble against his lips.
“Miles,” I repeat, too caught up in this kiss to celebrate the slip he just made. “That’s his name. The guy I’m waiting on.”
“Miles. Sounds like an asshole. Forget him.” He pulls away just enough to see my face. His good hand rests against my cheek. He looks like he’s about to dive into kissing me again but hesitates. “It’s really cold out here.”
“And sketchy,” I add. “Why would you pick a place like this? You can’t coast forever on the whole mysterious-hot-guy persona. So if that’s your plan, I’d rather meet at the Y or Planet Fitness like a normal person.”
He rolls his eyes. “Yes, that’s my goal in life. Devote all my time to training to be a spy so I can impress girls.”
Hiding Lies hits bookshelves next week on April 17, 2018. You can preorder now via…
ABOUT THE BOOK
At Holden Prep, dirty little secrets always have a way of coming to the surface.
Eleanor Ames has never been what she seems. Average high school student on the outside, but reformed con artist trying to break free of her past on the inside. When Eleanor receives startling news about someone from her previous criminal life, plans for a new operation coinciding with her school’s upcoming field trip quickly consume her.
But operations rarely go according to plan. And this is one her irresistible teen FBI agent boyfriend, Miles, would never approve of.
Now, more than just Ellie’s reputation is at stake. If she fails, it could be her life.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Julie Cross is a NYT and USA Today bestselling author of New Adult and Young Adult fiction, including the Tempest series, a young adult science fiction trilogy which includes Tempest, Vortex, and Timestorm (St. Martin’s Press). She’s also the author of Letters to Nowhere series, Whatever Life Throws at You, Third Degree, Halfway Perfect, Chasing Truth, Off the Ice and many more to come! Julie Cross was a longtime resident of central Illinois but has recently moved her entire family across the country to continue her academic studies at Stanford University.