Grayson Baxter, first born of Julian and Joan, has always been the prodigal of the Baxter clan. He has also been heavily into drugs since he was a teenager. As his brother Cass enters a new phase in his life and is headed towards taking over the family business, Grayson’s drug use worsens. When he attempts to break away from the family that hates him, something goes terribly wrong. After tragedy strikes and with the help of a unique rehab facility, Grayson gets his life back. He discovers and pursues his desire to become a therapist and fall in love with Bindi Gail. Just as they start a life together, one fateful decision tears them apart. Through life’s twists and turns he finds his way from lost to found and learns to love again, Grayson’s journey to survive and realize his path as a Baxter makes his redemption more satisfying.
It was the day of Cass’ return and even though the house seemed quiet, there was a little bit of a spark in the air. Julian was planning to have a party the next day, inviting some of the most elite of Gables society to show off his son. As Grayson walked downstairs to the pool, he met his father coming out of the home office.
“Grayson,” Julian began, “Cass will be in late tonight. We’re planning to have breakfast tomorrow at the Biltmore. Can you possibly make it a priority to show up on time?”
Grayson grinned. “What’s the matter, Father? Afraid I’ll be fashionably late and upset the golden boy?”
Julian looked at his son steadily, unsmiling. He had no idea what he needed to do to get to Grayson, but one day he vowed he would before it was too late. Grayson looked at his father and then looked away. He hated being stared at, especially by the inscrutable Julian Baxter who saw everything and said little.
Grayson sighed and shook his head. “Fine.” He could never get the better of the old man and there was no use in wasting time. Giving him one last look, Julian walked away. Grayson ambled to the patio and made a mental note to call Jerry. He needed a little extra boost to last him through his brother’s return.
Grayson jumped in one of the cars and headed over to Jerry’s place. He desperately needed a hit of something to take the edge off, and the only place he’d get some peace to enjoy it was outside of the manor.
“And then he looked at me and I just stood there,” Grayson said as he took a hit of the weed.
“At least he gives a shit,” Jerry replied. “Mine was too busy beating the shit out my mother and me to even say ‘boo.’ He blamed my mother for his sorry state. She worked her fingers to the bone and when she got pregnant, he beat her so bad she lost the baby. Then blamed her for it.”
“Damn, man.” Grayson was stunned. Grayson had known Jerry for over ten years and he rarely talked about his family life. It was only when they were in college that he learned Jerry’s father was dead and his mother was in jail, but he never knew why.
“The day my mother offed my father was the happiest day of my life.” Jerry stared unblinking at nothing and Grayson could see the grip his memories held him in. “She’d just had enough of the beating, the screaming, the yelling…and she decided it as time.” Grayson sat and listened. His life was a fairytale in comparison, and for a moment he felt like a brat. “But my mom was smart.” Jerry leaned over and looked at Grayson with a smile on his face. “She’d gotten a special insurance policy on my father and made me the beneficiary. She set it up special so that when my father died, I’d be taken care of and the money wouldn’t be spent willy-nilly by my uncle.” Jerry nodded, tapping his forefinger on his temple. “She set up some trust or whatever that paid for school and books and college. She set aside some money to pay my uncle to take care of me, but she did what she thought she needed to do.”
Grayson listened and wondered if Joan would have ever done anything like that for him or any of his siblings. He didn’t even have to answer because he already knew and it made him sick.
Palessa started reading her first romance novel, at the age of 11. Then she got introduced to V.C. Andrews, Barbara Taylor Bradford, Anne Rice and many more notable contemporary authors as well as some of the classics, A Tale of Two Cities, Their Eyes Were Watching God, The Great Gatsby and others. It was during her teenage years that she dabbled in writing. First, it was in her diaries, then she started creating characters, stories about romance, the supernatural and much more. Being an I.B. student as well as entering college, left little time for writing and so she put it and the ideas aside to pursue a career. It would take almost 20 years, a radical move from the city she grew up in, Miami, FL back to her Caribbean birthplace, and a chance Facebook meeting with Sable Hunter to start the juices flowing again. After some fits and starts, the Baxter Family Saga was born. Unchained Hearts is Palessa’s first published fiction book with Beau Coup Publishing. She considers herself just a storyteller that sees no reason to shy away from the juicier romantic elements. She currently lives in the mountains of Jamaica with her crazy, cracker-munching-mutt Ivy and a farm, primarily managed by agribusiness partner, also known as Dad. Facebook Blog Goodreads Twitter Amazon