Title: Refrain
Series: Rockstar #16
Author: Anne Mercier
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 22, 2019


As a child, I trusted no one.
Then I found my best friends.
They gave me a family and saved me from a life of abuse that still has me messed up.
Then one of those best friends captured my heart.
Lincoln, tough yet tender, a walking contradiction.
He loves me too—flaws and all.
He’s the most patient man on the earth and understands my PTSD.
What he doesn’t understand is why our being intimate makes me feel “dirty”.
He’s not one of the men who abused me and he’d never hurt me.
I know this. I believe it.
Still, the “dirty” creeps in even though I know what we do together is anything but.
He’s here now and he’s going to stay.
It’s time for me to talk to someone professionally.
I need to shed my unhealthy past in order to have a healthy future with the man I love.
If I don’t, I just might lose the best thing that’s ever happened to me—and there’s not enough therapy in the world to get me through that.




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Unedited Refrain Excerpt
©2019 Anne Mercier
I’m hopeful for a
world with more
love, acceptance, and
compassion for others.
Lily Aldridge
Linc?” Kadi prompts.
“You remember the day I wanted to ask you a question, but you had to go training with Jabber Jaws?”
I laugh out loud. Best nickname ever. Jabs is gonna never live this one down.
“I remember.”
“Can I ask them now?”
“Sure. Do you want to go in another room?”
Kadi tilts her head, considering. “No. I think here is okay.”
She takes a seat across from me at the breakfast table. The table is no more than a very long picnic table with long moveable benches.
“Ask away, Tiny Dancer.” She smiles
at that. The kid’s barely seven and she dances like a pro.
“The other day, I saw you and Uncle Ethan kissing.” She quickly turns to her dad, Jace, and says, “I swear I wasn’t spying.”
Jace nods an okay and, holy fuck, just what has that girl seen? More than a few of us shift uncomfortably.
“Mommy Summer says you’re only supposed kiss like that if you love someone a whole lot.”
Oh hell.
“Do you
love Uncle Ethan a whole lot?”
Well, fuck
me sideways. Except for Ethan choking on a bite of waffle, not a sound can be
heard. We haven’t even had much of a discussion. I pat him on the back, so he
doesn’t choke. We just got used to saying, “I love you”. It’s not awkward or
weird. Why would it be? We’ve been in love with each other for years, though we
didn’t say it much until I moved here. I don’t know why.
Maybe just
in case we’d never be together.
I run a
hand over my face and chuckle. “Nothing like putting your Uncle Linc on the
spot, huh?”
She just
stares at me. Waiting for an answer.
“Of course
I love Ethan a whole lot.”
“Like, love
like you love Jesse or love-love like Daddy loves Summer?”
I give Jace
a glance and he’s over there grinning like the tool he is. I point at him. He’s
just been put on notice.
love-love,” I tell her, looking at Ethan and giving him a wink. He’s next to me
nervous as fuck, not knowing whether to laugh or cry. I hope the wink set him
at ease. He hates being in the spotlight.
“So… how
does that work? Can two boys get married?” she asks.
“Lord have
mercy on my soul, this kid,” I mumble as I drop my forehead to the table and
roll it back and forth.
She pushes
my head up with her tiny hands, pulling my skin and hair back. Jace laughs out
loud and Summer coughs to cover hers. The rest of the family, well, they’re
trying not to be loud, but I can hear them laughing.
I sit up
and look down the table at them. “At least Summer had the decency to try to
hide her laugh. Fuckers.”
Kadi looks
at me with dollar signs in her eyes, and I point at her.
“No way,
kid. That’s a freebie. You’re asking me some pretty hard questions here. I get
some freebies,” I tell her.
She shrugs.
“But you didn’t answer.”
“Yes, two
men can get married. They just adjusted the law a few years ago,” I tell her.
She climbs up onto the table top and sits cross-legged in front of me. Just
staring. I don’t want to know what’s coming next. This kid kinda scares me.
“If you
love Ethan a whole lot and he loves you a whole lot, why aren’t you married?”
Kadi asks with a smile.
Ethan spits
his juice out and it hits Jace in the face. Serves the fucker right for letting
his girl keep on like she is.
“Aren’t you
just full of questions today,” Lucy asks with a snicker.
Kadi nods,
but it wasn’t even a question. She’s the one who has all the questions.
“Kadi, we just haven’t talked about getting married yet.”
“Well, why
not if you’re in love? Weddings are romantic. I could be your Best Girl—you
know, instead of a best man.”
I can’t
help but laugh. She’s relentless. “When the time comes, Tiny Dancer, you’ll be
my Best Girl. I promise.”
still choking on the juice he swallowed wrong at the word “married” so I pat
him on the back.
Who can
blame him? I’ve been keeping things to myself, keeping him at a distance, and
he really has no clue how I feel about things, about the future. For that
matter, neither do I. Looks like we’ll have to have a talk later.
Kadi looks
at me with a twinkle in her eye.
“What about
“Fuck this.
I’m outta here,” I mutter, getting up and leaving the kitchen. I hear everyone
laughing behind me. I turn and meet Ethan’s gaze. He’s smirking in that sexy
way he does, and I smile back.
“That’s a
freebie, Kadi,” he tells her, and I send him a wink before I head to the gym.
fucking hell. Everyone’s worried about Kiki aka the She-Devil. Not me. Hell no.
I’m more worried about Kadi the Inquisitor. That kid. She’s going to be the
death of me. I know it.
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Author Bio


Mercier is the International Bestselling author of the Rockstar, Truths,
Forbidden Fantasies, The Way series, and the Kiss duet.
She writes adult
contemporary romance, new adult contemporary romance, and mature young adult
romance. She was born and raised in Wisconsin and still lives there
When Anne’s
not writing she enjoys reading amazing books, listening to music, keeping up on
all things Avenged Sevenfold and Milo Ventimiglia, chatting with readers and
friends, and binging Netflix series.
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