Author: Kristen Orlando
Series: The Black Angel Chronicles #1
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: January 10th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Fighter, Faker, Student, Spy.
Seventeen-year-old Reagan Elizabeth Hillis is used to changing identities overnight, lying to every friend she’s ever had, and pushing away anyone who gets too close. Trained in mortal combat and weaponry her entire life, Reagan is expected to follow in her parents’ footsteps and join the ranks of the most powerful top-secret agency in the world, the Black Angels. Falling in love with the boy next door was never part of the plan.
Now Reagan has to decide: Will she use her incredible talents and lead the dangerous life she was born into, or throw it all away to follow her heart and embrace the normal life she’s always wanted? And does she even have a choice at all?
Find out if you are ready to join the Black Angels in the captivating and emotional page-turner, You Don’t Know My Name, from debut novelist Kristen Orlando!
I pull on my training gloves and stare at the quote that’s been painted, thick and black, on the wall of every martial arts room we’ve ever had:
“To whom much is given, much is expected.”
It’s become the Black Angels’ unofficial mantra. We are given so much. The best of the best training. Beautiful homes. Envious paychecks. But more than that, genetically inherited abilities and the power to do so much good. For the last decade, the quote empowered me. It was something I told myself proudly. But lately, it’s felt more like a loose, guilt-inducing knot around my wrists.
I turn to face the dummy, but Mom is standing in the center of the mats, her green eyes wide and fixed on my face. She opens her mouth to speak, the words rolling around her head but not off her tongue. She presses her lips together. Her face changes, her eyes narrow, and her body hardens. She tries again.
“Take-downs from a choke hold,” Mom says as she moves toward me. She puts her fingers tight around my neck and pushes me hard against the wall, the quote centered above our heads. “Let’s go.”
I look into her eyes for a beat. But she tightens her grip on me. I guess there’s nothing more to say. I push down hard on her arms to my right then slam her head to the left. I lift my knees to hit her in the groin and stomach over and over again until her hold on me slips and I can push her away.
“Good. Again,” Mom commands, wrapping her strong hands around my throat from the side. I’ve done this so many times, the synapses in my brain don’t even fire. My body knows what to do. With one hand, I pull at the fingers around my neck while with my other I simulate slamming into her groin then elbowing her in the chin to get away. Three seconds and I’m out.
“Good. Again.” Mom runs at me from the side, pulling me into a choke hold. I don’t resist. I let her body and gravity pull us closer together. I punch one hand against her groin and reach around with the other to pull her head back, slamming her onto the mat. The echo of her back crashing against the plastic pad bounces off the cinder-block walls and polished concrete floors. Mom struggles to pull in the last wisps of air that I forced from her body.
“I’m so sorry,” I say and extend my hand down to her as she catches her breath.
“Don’t’ be sorry. That was perfect.” Mom’s rosebud lips break into a smile. She reaches up and takes my hand. “Again.”