Monday, December 27, 2021

Read an Excerpt from Marcel - Redemption Through Fire by Jessica McBrayer



A bad boy hockey player who can’t drink away his painful childhood.
The woman who will never forget his biggest mistake.
The fight to face their demons and win a chance at true love.

Marcel “Frenchie” Hugo, NHL player for the Savannah Heat, has spent the past year regretting a single night—the night that he betrayed the love of his life.

Julie Reynolds watches her friends with happy lives, but she can’t tell them what is tearing her apart. Her happiness was destroyed with a single phone call.

When Marcel makes a bold move to close the distance between them, he ends up in the hospital, his career in shambles. Marcel and Julie both have demons to face down before their story can find a happy ending. Can they overcome past mistakes for a second chance at a happily ever after? 

"Definitely one click, do not pass on reading this! Well worth taking a half-day to hide out in a coffee shop and read." CATAylor


Chapter 1. Julie 


“Julie, baby, Cherie! Open up! I’m so sorry, Cherie.”

“Marcel, go away. You’re going to wake my parents up,” I pleaded from the other side of my apartment door.

God, why did he keep tearing us up? He had to let it go. I’d been lying to myself that I had moved on. It was easier that way until he did something like this. It’d been a year. I swiped at the tears running down my face.

Cherie, I love you. I have since I first saw you with my jersey on at that first game. Do you remember? I will never forget it. Please forgive me. I’m so sorry,” he whispered the last part in his beautiful French accent.

I almost opened the door.

“Julie don’t open that door. I’ve called the police. I don’t know who this crazy man is, but he needs to leave. Now! Damned harlot! How did you lure Satan’s spawn here?” my dad yelled up from below.

“No, Daddy. Just let me deal with it.”

“Fucking cops! Call the cops. Great! Thanks, old man!” Marcel yelled at my dad.

Wonderful, Daddy would never forgive him. The cops were on the way for sure. I heard the sirens in the distance.

“Julie, baby. She was just some nameless face. I was too drunk. I didn’t mean it. I don’t even remember it,” Marcel said, and I could swear I heard crying.

“Marcel, you have to leave. The police will be here. I don’t want you to get in trouble. Think about your career. Please.”

“Fuck hockey! I need you more.”

“Please, don’t do this. I can’t take it,” I sobbed.

I placed my hand on the door, wanting to touch him but knowing I couldn’t. I just couldn’t do anymore late-night phone calls and I sure as hell couldn’t handle him coming here. Oh, good God, he drove here. What if he had hurt someone?

The sirens were now in front of my parents Victorian. I lived on the second floor in a separate apartment. I could see the lights flashing through my windows. At least they turned the sirens off.

I heard footsteps coming up my stairs. Marcel, why? He could lose his contract over this.

“Sir, you’re going to have to come with us. You’re disturbing these people,” I heard an officer directing Marcel. “Ma’am? Are you okay?”

“Yes, Officer. I don’t want to press any charges. I’m sorry you were called,” I said as I opened the door, I looked up into deep dark blue eyes, framed by messy black hair and short stubble — his six-foot-three frame towered above my five-four self. My long hair was a mess from pulling my hands through it, and I’m sure my eyes were framed by red puffy lids.

As soon as Marcel saw me, he lunged to hug me. The policeman misinterpreted his move and restrained him.

“Buddy, just stay the hell away from this woman. Y’all smell like a moonshine still. Y’need to calm down.”

“I was just trying to fucking hug her… wrap her in my arms… tell her how much I love her,” Marcel choked out.

“I can’t take this, Marcel. The phone calls every time you’re drunk, and now this drunken visit to my house. My parents live below. Do you know how upset they are? Please. Just go. It’s over. It has been for a long while.”

“Then, why are you crying?” he asked in his whiskey-smooth voice.

“Because damnit. I love you, too. But I can’t forgive you. You need some help. Get some help, please. I am not more important than hockey. You’ve worked your whole life to be where you are.”

“Julie, Cherie. I would give it all up for you.”

“Come on big guy. The lady wants you to leave. Did you drive here?” the officer asked.


“Is that a problem?” Marcel asked as he swayed dangerously close to the stairs.

The officer grabbed him to keep him safe, and Marcel swung at him. He didn’t hit the cop, but the momentum pushed him over the top stair, and he fell to the bottom. I screamed and ran after him in my pajamas. The officer was right behind me, calling an ambulance on his radio.

Marcel laid still on the grass, not moving. When I reached him, I could see blood running from his head down his temple, and his arm was at a wrong angle, but he was breathing.

“Julie, who is this man?” my father demanded.

“Marcel Hugo,” I whispered.

“The hockey player? Shit,” the officer said. “He has a lot of charges waiting for him when he wakes up.”


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