Stained with heartache and cursed with vengeance, a stone well lies on the nineteeth-century estate,waiting for the Stockton line to wish again.
When seventeen-year-old Lila Wayde's father loses his high-paying job in Las Vegas, the family relocates to a Pennsylvania estate bequeathed by an estrange aunt. Lila begins a new life there, one not corrupted by wealth and fake friends. She soon meets Ben, the groundskeeper's gritty grandson, and experiences the kind of happiness her life's been missing. But as she settles into the ancient house, she learns information about her ancestors and the old stone well that may make her wish she'd never came.
Ben Shadows has lost enough in life. So when Stockton Estate's owner, Janine, wills the land to her great-niece Lila, Ben fears for the fate of the property. He decides to find out Lila's intentions as the new owner, but his grandfather wants him to protect her from the Stockton Estate's alleged curse. As Ben helps Lila dig through the estate's history, they grow closer than ever intended. Now, along with concerns about the property and the reality of the curse, he struggles with feelings he can't ignore.
Will the secrets of Stockton Estate bring them together or will knowing the truth rip them apart
** Recommended mature YA for mild language and mild sexual content **
4.5 star dirty girl review
The Line That Binds was an overall good read. It has you on
the edge of your seat the throughout the book.
The book starts out in 1864 where we meet a guy who is
sleeping with the help only to be getting married the next day to someone else.
When he tells this girl that he can’t be with her anymore she flips out and
puts a curse on the family.
Then it jumps to present day where we meet Ben and Lj. They
are at a funeral reading where they learn they both will inherit some property
from the deceased when they turn 18. Ben and his pop’s has been living on the
property a long time as help. LJ is family of the deceased lady. LJ never
really knew her because the family wasn’t close.
When unforeseen circumstance cause LJ and her family to move
into the estate things being to change. LJ must first learn to live a different
lifestyle where she is to work around the grounds helping Ben. Ben’s one job
the whole time is to keep LJ from discovering the WELL. However by accident she
discovers the WELL and all things start to change. Along this journey, Ben and
LJ’s friendship starts to turn into more but there is a secret (a girl) that is
holding Ben back from his feelings.
Is there really a curse?What happens when LJ discovers (hears) Ben’s secret about Harper? Can
friends become more? Will the information LJ discovers push Ben away or will it
build an unbreakable bond?
***I gave it 4.5 not 5stars because at first the book pulled you right in and then it got a
little slow for my liking, however the buildup between Ben and LJ is ABSOLUTELY
BREATHTAKING, J.M. Miller does a spectacular job in writing their story and I
can’t wait to read more about them***
Chilly night air breezed through the
bedroom window. Dahlia slid the patched quilt she'd stitched together years ago
from her body, welcoming the cool draft. A wooden lantern hung beside the door,
its flame weak and dim. But the moon's hazy glow compensated for the dull flame
nicely, brightening the otherwise darkened room. The soft light pressed into a
crack in the window's pane, projecting sparkles along the wall like hundreds of
brilliant diamonds. She watched them for a while, wishing she was staring at a
real one upon her finger.
Dahlia turned onto her side and ran her hand along the curve
of Charles' back, spreading her fingers over his relaxed muscles. He groaned in
his sleep, a sound she'd heard many times before. She pressed her lips to the
narrow line between his shoulder blades and smiled against his skin. She wanted
to hear his sleepy sighs again; she longed to hear them forever. With him in
her bed this night, the possibility remained.
Charles stirred, rolling onto his back, stretching his arms
wide. She took advantage and pressed her body to him, draping her arm over his
chest and nuzzling into his side. His arm folded around her, stroking her skin
with his calloused fingers, sending shivers through her body.
"I love you," Dahlia whispered and pressed tiny
kisses down his chest.
Charles' body jerked, waking fully and taking in his
surroundings. He glanced down at Dahlia tucked under his arm. His eyes softened
and the corners of his lips tipped down. "I have to go," he said,
sitting up and moving to the edge of the bed to don his pants.
Dahlia tucked the quilt around her, feeling the night air's
bite for the first time without Charles' warmth beside her. But the air wasn't
the only reason for the chill. She now had his final answer.
He was leaving.
"Please," she begged softly. "If it's about
your father, we can flee. We can go together to the north, or out west."
"And you'd leave your mother alone to care for my
family?" Charles asked, buttoning his pants while he peered out the open
window. The moon's fragile light glinted over the strands of his dark black
hair. She noticed its growth and remembered the last time she'd cut if for him.
"She'll call upon my aunt so she won't be alone for
long. She loves your family," Dahlia replied, wrapping the quilt around
her body as she stood behind him.
Charles' gaze moved around the property. No one was awake
yet to tend the gardens or work the fields. All was quiet─maybe quiet enough
for him to forget. Dahlia watched his eyes look to the well, recalling last
year when he'd returned to her after the war. She'd helped him set the very
stones now shadowed by the night. She ran her hand up his shoulder, thinking
back to that time when his promise was for forever.
Charles' shoulders fell with a sigh as he shifted his view
to the new mansion his father had built as a wedding gift. He turned back to
the bed and grabbed his shirt. "You know I can't do this, Lia. I'm to wed
Sarah tomorrow. It's expected of me." Charles pulled his shirt on and
stepped into his boots.
"Stop," Dahlia said as Charles moved to the door.
She tightened the quilt around her body, aching to go back an hour before when
her body was covered only by him. Careful not to make a noise that would wake
her mother down the hall, she moved closer and tugged his shirt."You love me. Not her."
Charles slid out of her grasp and removed the lantern from
its peg then traveled down the stairs.
Dahlia followed, the quilt dragging at her feet as she
stepped onto the dirt floor of the cellar. "You can't do this, Charles. I
love you. I want to be with you."
"We can't be together, Lia." His eyes darted back
to her, narrowed with pain and fear. He slid a long lock of her wavy brown hair
off her shoulder and mumbled, "I shouldn't have come tonight. I was
mistaken and I'm sorry." He pushed the wooden door open, holding the
lantern toward the tunnel that led to the main house─Stockton House. "We
can never do this again. I love her. Not you," he said. His green eyes
went cold then, like they'd never told the truth before, like they'd never see
the truth again.
Dahlia freed one hand from the quilt and slapped it hard
against his cheek. The sting echoed up her arm, returning all the pain to her
heart. "You're lying. I know you love me!" she cried and stepped
closer to him.
She turned his body with one hand and pulled his face to
hers with the other, dropping the quilt to her feet. Charles remained still as
Dahlia pressed her lips to his wounded cheek. Her gentle kisses traveled along
his face until they met his lips, where the kiss grew urgent with want, with
He responded, gripping her waist with his empty hand and
pressing her between himself and the earthen wall. His hand clung to her bare
skin as his mouth claimed hers with enough desire to haunt her for a lifetime.
Tears flowed from Dahlia's dark eyes as his kiss began to
fade. Charles looked down at her and backed away. "Wait!" Dahlia
demanded, thrusting her body against his and looping her arms around his neck.
"No, Dahlia," Charles replied sternly, shoving her
"I will not let you leave me," she said and moved
close to him again, running her hands up his chest, her eyes pleading with his.
He scowled and whipped the back of his hand across her soft
face. "You will know your place from here on, Dahlia."
She crumpled to her knees in front of him, cradling her
cheek. "My place is no longer here," she said, her voice a mere
"Whether you stay or go, I will be married. And this
will never happen again," Charles said gruffly, turning toward the door.
"I will never forget you," she said as she wept.
It was not a pledge to him, but a harsh reality. She knew the memory would be
the curse that lived with her forever.
The light of the room
faded as the lantern's halo disappeared down the passageway. Darkness consumed
the room, accompanied by the sound of quiet sobs and the smell of wood and
soil. And when her tears ran dry, no longer burning misery into her skin,
Dahlia rose up. She vowed her curse wouldn't be alone. She knew she would never
forget, but she would make sure his family never remembered.
"Oh, Genie," Pop
sighed through his white mustache and let his bald head fall for a moment. He
wiped a hand beneath his eyes before he moved to the desk. Upton slid paperwork
in front of him to sign and handed him a stack to keep. When he returned to his
chair, we both stared at each other. Pop's heavy eyes were glassed with
conflict. I saw the relief hanging in them, knowing the house that had become
our home would remain ours. But there was more there. His eyes dropped to the
paper outlining the small portion of property now declared his. It was not all
of Stockton Estate. "The curse," he said with a sigh.
Pop and Janine believed the
property's stone well was responsible for her Alzheimer's. "It's
cursed," he'd said years ago, shortly after I'd moved in. As a kid, it was
easy enough to believe. I'd gone to the well several times with my own wishes,
my own desperate cries. Wished my mother and father loved me enough to stop
their addictions. Wished for Harper's life the night she overdosed. But even
though I was willing to take my chances with the curse, Pop told me later that
the only person the well wanted was Janine and that somehow her blood was
forever linked to it. "The Stockton curse runs deep and transcends
time," he'd said. The rumor was thatit
gave Janine the power to grant other people's wishes. In return, the curse
supposedly claimed her memories. That's why Pop was worried now. Janine may be
gone, but her blood was back. Family blood.
J.M. Miller first discovered her love of writing in high school
where she penned poetry for extra credit in English class and even braved the
anxiety of an open-mic night at a local coffee shop. Life soon followed, with a
couple of careers, marriage, and a baby. The urge to write again came not long
after her daughter's birth, this time calling for more than a few lines in a
messy composition notebook.
She is a military spouse, and a veteran herself, who finds
inspiration in the people she's met and the places she's lived and traveled.