The Last Chapter Excerpt by Michelle Alstead

Emma Barton is drowning. A single mother of a son with a genius-level IQ and Autism, she’s given up on love to focus on the child who needs her. Her writing aspirations—the only dream she hasn’t abandoned—withers as her latest novel bombs, and she’s dropped by her publisher.

Ethan Wise, an A-list actor, wants an Oscar, but he’d settle for being something other than a romantic comedy lead or a beefcake superhero. Discovering Emma’s novel happened by chance, but it could also be his opportunity to finally become a serious actor.

When Ethan seeks Emma out to buy the movie rights to her novel, they fall so passionately in love their lives are turned upside down.

Emma wants to be with Ethan, but there’s her son to consider and the secrets she’s kept to protect him. She’ll do anything to keep her little boy’s world safe and happy.

She’d even give up the love of her life.

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Emma was fresh air, clearing out the stale stench in a brain that had long been shut off to all things creative and new. Ethan got up and rooted through his bags until he found his laptop. Taking a cleansing breath, he began to write.

Being in her presence woke something long dormant in his soul. The way her long hair brushed against her cheek, or how her eyes lit up as they found common ground—it was all sheer perfection.

Emma stole a glance in his direction, tugging on her hair as she was prone to do when she was nervous. Her smile was tentative; she was wary of his intentions. He understood how she felt. She was a wilted flower, abused by the glaring sun, when she deserved to be protected and shielded from the dangerous elements. Ethan ached to touch her. But given the chance to hold her, he was positive that he would latch on with such force and certainty that never again would he let her go.

Emma was an angel walking among undeserving humans. If she were his, he’d never let another bad thing happen to her again.


The words on the screen weren’t perfect prose. He could do better on a second pass, but it was a start. Emma was the spark that lit a flame in Ethan that he thought had died years ago. Should he call her and tell her that, for the first time in years, he actually wanted to write?

Picking up his phone, Ethan’s thumb hovered above the screen. His pulse raced as if he’d been doing sprints on a treadmill after drinking ten Red Bulls.

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