“I’ve been watching you long enough to know something broke you. Something you keep hidden, something that weighs on your soul. You pretend, but your eyes betray you. There’s pain hidden within them, but when you smile, really smile, the pain is gone and you’re you. Not the person you pretend to be. And like I said earlier, I find that very interesting. I want to know what makes you smile, how to make you smile, and how to keep that smile a permanent fixture on that gorgeous face of yours. And more importantly, I want to know why you feel unworthy of that smile, and how to fix that too.”
For years, Cassie Cooper has played the very convincing role of a confident young woman who couldn’t care less about what others think regarding her actions. But in reality, underneath her bold façade, lies a very frightened, broken little girl who’s suffocating under the weight of her secrets. Out of control, she continues whirling down her very treacherous path in search for anything that will numb her pain. But no one will ever know. With her mask securely in place, she keeps that little girl hidden, safe from the scrutiny of prying eyes.
That is, until she meets Grady Bennett.
The martial arts instructor doesn’t just look at Cassie, he sees her.
And with painstaking patience as their relationship grows, Grady works to help Cassie see herself. Her ferocity. Her strength. Her ability to love and to smile. He pushes her to acknowledge and embrace what she really is . . . a survivor.
But when her walls are down and her vulnerabilities exposed, Cassie is forced to face her torturous past, causing her to lose sight and plummet once again into her void of emptiness.
Sometimes it takes hitting rock bottom to find the necessary strength to land safely.
And sometimes, life has to become completely Out of Focus in order to finally see.