Today is release day for ALL THAT’S LEFT, the first book in the young adult contemporary, The Carlington Twins Duet, by Emma Doherty. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title: ALL THAT’S LEFT
Series: The Carlington Twins Duet #1
Author: Emma Doherty
Release Date: October 24, 2019
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon FR |
Izzy Kavanagh’s life falls apart when her mother dies. She is forced to move to the US and live with her absent father, who thinks money is the answer to every problem, and her twin brother Ethan, who she has barely spoken to in years.
She hates everything about the move. She hates that she’s forced to finish high school even though she’s already completed it in the UK. She hates that her father is controlling her and threatening to take away her inheritance if she doesn’t do as he says, even though he’s barely there and couldn’t care less about her. She hates that everybody already has an opinion on her based on her family name.
But what she hates above all else is having to see her brother every day in his perfect life where everybody worships him, because he chose this life over her and her mum.
And for that, she’ll never forgive him.
A chair is kicked out directly into my path, halting me in place. I turn to see where it’s come from and see Ethan is sat slouched in the chair opposite the one he’s shoved in my direction. Of course he’s in here. I should have thought about that, and I mentally kick myself for not thinking about him when I agreed to come in. My eyes scan around his table. It’s completely full. Every seat is taken, and there are people standing around on the edges, like they’re chatting to those that are sat down, only no one’s chatting right now. They’re all staring at me.
Ethan clears his throat and nods towards the only empty seat, which he’s kicked into my pathway. “I saved you a seat. Sit down and I’ll introduce you around.”
I pause whilst he stares back at me, his face totally expressionless unless you know him well and can detect the tenseness in his jaw. He’s not as comfortable as he’d like everyone to believe. We both know what this is. It’s a chance for me to slot into his life as his sister and take my place amongst his friends, to forget about the last six years. My eyes meet his and, just for a second, I see the hope that’s there before I shake my head.
No, he can’t have it both ways. He can’t drop me as a twelve-year-old and then expect me to walk back into his life like nothing has happened. We can’t pretend the last five years didn’t happen and that he wasn’t there when I needed him. Neither of us say anything for a few seconds then I shove the chair back towards him with more force than is strictly necessary and go to move on.
I pause and look back at him. His eyes are still focused on me, but I’m acutely aware that it’s not just his eyes on me. His whole table is silent as they watch our exchange. “Just sit down, okay?”
“Yeah, come on, pretty girl. Sit with us.” I turn and see a grinning guy with light brown hair sat next to Ethan. It’s the same guy who was in my history class and wanted me to sit near him.
Ethan turns to face him. “Shut up, Logan. Didn’t you hear me this morning?”
The guy pales at the memory and the smile is wiped from his face. “Sorry, I’m just being friendly.”
“Well don’t,” Ethan snaps. He turns back to me. “Come on, sit down.”
“No, thank you.”
I freeze completely, and my eyes find his. “Don’t call me that,” There’s a definite bite to my tone. Biz is what my mum used to call me. Ethan did too, to be fair, but I can’t hear that right now. Not when no one’s called me that since she died.
His eyes flash with annoyance. “Fine,” he bites out. “Take a seat, Isabella.” My eyes narrow, he knows I hate my full name and no one ever calls me it, not even teachers. I go by Izzy, as he knows full well. I shake my head and turn to walk away. “Actually, I heard you’re going by Kavanagh now.” There’s an edge to his voice that I’ve not heard before. “Been hearing all morning about the new girl Izzy Kavanagh.” Anger crosses his face, like it’s a personal insult to him that I’m not using the same surname as him. But why would I? I can’t stand my father, so why would I want his name? “Kavanagh,” he mutters like it leaves a bad taste, which is weird considering it’s his mum’s name too.
“I go by my mum’s name,” I tell him unnecessarily.
“Your mum’s name?” he asks incredulously. “Yours?”
“Yeah, I think they know each other,” someone mutters nearby, and someone else replies, “No shit.” Apart from that, there’s total and utter silence from his friends as they watch our exchange.
Ethan doesn’t even notice them. His focus is solely on me as he shakes his head and his hands clench into fists on the table. “You’re unbelievable, do you know that? You finally decide to turn up after four days and then I hear you’re using Kavanagh. You’re a…” He stops himself from finishing and instead takes a deep breath, in through his nose and out through his mouth, as though he’s trying to calm himself down.
But I’m interested now. “I’m what?” I step towards him. This isn’t like him. Usually he’s happy-go-lucky. Usually he doesn’t show his real feelings; he’s an expert at covering them. “Finish your sentence, Ethan,” I say sharply.
He throws his hands up. “You know what? I should just be grateful you showed, right? That you showed up and are gracing me with your presence. That you’re not drunk for the first time in days. That I actually know where you are for once.”
My eyes bore into his. Why is he acting like he’s concerned? Why is he acting like he’s bothered about my behaviour? He can’t suddenly start acting like this after years of silence between us.
My silence just pisses him off further. “Or maybe I should just be thankful that we’re actually having a conversation, right? Because God knows you don’t talk to me anymore,” he mutters snaps.
Finally. Finally he’s not being the perfect all-American teenager who’s bothered by nothing.
“I don’t even know…” His voice trails off as he shakes his head, like he wasn’t actually aware of what he was saying.
“Speak up, Ethan,” I tell him, putting my lunch onto the table in front of me and crossing my arms. “Use your words. Formulate a proper sentence.” I say just because I want to see how far I can push him to get a reaction. “Even you can manage to do that.”
“You fucking bitch,” he snaps before he can think, and I start to laugh as there are shocked gasps around us. I’m amused because my perfect brother is finally losing his control and showing me some of his true feelings for a change.
“Whoa, whoa,” Finn starts, looking at him in surprise before glancing back at me. “We all just need to chill out.”
Neither Ethan nor I acknowledge him.
“Yeah,” Logan starts. “I think maybe you should go sit somewhere else, pretty girl.”
Ethan turns to glare at him. “Stop calling her that. I already told you guys to leave her alone. If I find out any of you guys have gone near her, I swear to God you’ll regret it.”
Finn looks startled at the anger in Ethan’s tone as I start to laugh and say, “It’s a bit late to start worrying about my honour, Ethan. That went a long time ago.”
He winces as he realises what I’m saying. At the look on my face, his wince turns into a glare. “Just shup up.” He turns to look back at his friends. “I mean it. She’s off limits.”
“We got it, E,” Finn assures him just as the blonde at Ethan’s side—the girl Pippa shied away from earlier, the one who’s been looking steadily more and more pissed off throughout our conversation—finally explodes. “WHAT THE HELL, ETHAN? Why are you telling people she’s off limits?”
He barely glances at her. “I’ll tell you later, Evie,” he says distractedly, dismissing her.
Evie. That’s the name of the girl I know I don’t like without even saying a word to her.
Ethan is reaching down and grabbing his bag, and he’s rounded the table before I tear my eyes away from Evie, having matched the look she’s giving me with one of my own. “Come on,” he starts, grabbing my arm. “I want to talk to you.”
I snatch my arm back from his grip. “Don’t touch me,” I snap. I already have one family member trying controlling me and telling me what to do. I don’t need another. “I’m not going anywhere with you.”
That seems to be the last straw for Ethan. “You are a fucking nightmare. Do you know that? I’ve been worried about you all week and you just turn up like nothing’s wrong. You are so selfish and…” He stops abruptly, clamping his mouth shut as he realises just how much we’re being scrutinised, but I want to hear more.
“Go on,” I tell him, my voice low. “Tell me what you think.”
He takes a deep breath. “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have said that. Let’s just get out of here.”
I take a step closer to him. “Tell me what you think of me, Ethan,” I challenge quietly. I pause whilst he just glares back at me, his whole body radiating tension. When he doesn’t respond, I continue. “Do you want to know what I think of you?” There’s no need to raise my voice. There’s total silence around us, and it’s not just his table watching us anymore, but I don’t care. I’ve been itching to tell Ethan what I think of him for months, if not years, and if this is the place where I do it, so be it. I take another step closer to him. “I think that you are a pathetic excuse for a so—”
“WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?” Evie suddenly erupts from her place at the table. She stands and comes to face me, flanking Ethan on his left. “YOU DO NOT SPEAK TO US LIKE THAT.”
“I don’t remember speaking to you. Did I?”
Her jaw falls open. Clearly she’s not used to people speaking back to her. She crosses her arms over her chest and takes a step closer to me. “You need to be careful.”
I raise an eyebrow. “Is that so?”
“You don’t have a clue what you’ve just done.” Her dark blue eyes bore into me, and a smile takes over her lips. “You just made a big mistake,” she warns me. “You just committed social suicide, babe. I don’t care about your dumb accent or your designer handbag. You’re officially done here.”
“I’m gonna make sure of it. I’m gonna be your worst nightmare.”
Ethan’s head snaps to her in surprise, and he scowls in disgust. “Evie, stop. Don’t be such a bitch.”
She looks utterly flabbergasted that he’s defended me.
“I don’t need your help, Ethan,” I tell him.
He turns to me. “It would be really good if you could just shut your mouth right now, Biz.”
“What did you say?” Evie demands, pushing past Ethan to get closer to me. It’s obvious she’s getting more and more agitated that there’s something going on that she doesn’t understand.
“I said ‘Shut up.’ Want me to spell it for you?”
Her face turns red with fury and she leans towards me. “I don’t know who you think you are with that stupid accent—”
“British,” I interrupt her. “It’s a British accent. You might have heard of it? Collection of countries in Europe? The UK?”
She splutters for a minute. “Whatever. I don’t care where you came from—in this school you don’t speak to us like that, and you definitely don’t speak to Ethan Carlington like that. Do you even know who he is?”
I glance over at Ethan, who looks like he wishes he’d never bothered stopping me. “Yes, I’m aware of who Ethan Carlington is.”
“Well then you should know he’s not even on your level, babe. His dad owns this town, and if your family wants to settle in, it’s best not to piss off his son.”
Ethan’s jaw falls open at her words, and I wonder just how good she usually is at hiding her bitchy behaviour. I’ve no doubt this is her true character, but I wonder how often she actually shows it to Ethan and his friends, because the Ethan I knew would never tolerate this. He would never want to be around someone who behaves like this.
I tilt my head as I survey him. “Wow. Sounds like you’ve got a really great dad. Lucky you.”
He rolls his eyes at me in irritation, and it only infuriates her further.
“You’re done here,” she continues, glaring hard. “I wouldn’t even bother coming back if I were you.”
“Oh yeah?” I ask, taking a step towards her so we’re almost touching. She’s gorgeous, no doubt about that, and she definitely knows it, but she’s one of those girls who needs to make everyone else feel bad just to make herself feel better. “Why? What are you going to do?”
She smirks at me, and I can see it in her eyes. She thinks she’s going to shut me down the way she’s probably shut down countless girls before just because she doesn’t like something about them, or just because she’s bored. Either way, I can promise she’s not going to do it to me. “You just wait. You’ll regret ever stepping foot in this school. I’m gonna enjoy this.”
I grin and glance over at Ethan, who is staring at Evie in disbelief, like he doesn’t even recognise her. “Did you hear that, Ethan? Your little friend here is threatening me.”
“Could you stop trying to wind everyone up for just a second?” he snaps at me before turning to Evie. “And don’t talk to her like that. What is wrong with you?”
Evie’s face turns red at the reprimand. “I was just…I was sticking up for you.”
“Awww. It’s sweet that you want to fight your friend’s battles, but he’s a big boy.”
She turns back on me. “He’s my boyfriend,” she bites out, like it’s something I should just know. “And you can make sure you stay away from him.”
Of course she’s his girlfriend. Of course.
I start to laugh and look at Ethan, who looks positively mortified. “Seriously?” I ask. “This is your girlfriend?” I let my eyes sweep around the cafeteria, taking in the faces looking back at me. “Must be slim pickings around here if she’s the best you can do.”
It’s the final straw for Evie, and a growl leaves her mouth as she lunges at me, but Ethan catches her around the waist before she gets to me. He pulls her back, and she turns to look at him, hurt and confusion crossing her face. “Why are you defending her?” she asks him. “Why are you taking her side when she’s speaking to you like that?” She turns to look back at me. “Who are you?”
I stare back at her and let out a humourless laugh. “Who am I?” I step closer to her, my eyes boring into hers. I glance at Ethan, who is glaring back at me, before turning back to this girlfriend. “I’m his twin.” I pause as I watch her eyes widen in disbelief. “Who the hell are you?!”
About the Author
Emma Doherty was born in Yorkshire, England. She attended university in Newcastle before moving to London. She loves to travel, write, spend time with friends and family and hear from her readers.
a Rafflecopter giveaway