Dane Corbett had left Eva Falls in pursuit of dreams. When he is drawn back to the very place from which he ran, he discovers the mayor’s daughter lying in a ditch. She is not the same vibrant woman he left behind, and he wants answers.
The demons of Rachel Ryan’s past cloud her present, yet her carefully built walls of isolation weaken as she is drawn to Dane. She fights the desperate whispers telling her to flee, wanting instead to surrender her fears.
Reaching beyond shame and sorrow, they discover a love that even a deadly vendetta cannot destroy.
Rachel slammed her front door with a force that shook the windows. Trust wasn’t easy for her, yet here she swayed in Judas type waters. How could Greta keep this from her? It wasn’t some minor detail.
Ethan Corbett had destroyed her.
He took her innocence, her trust, and her sanity. As far as she knew, Dane was unaware of his brother’s vicious action. Her parents had taken great pains to bury the whole incident.
She took four steps toward her shower before her front door opened, slamming behind her. Rachel whirled around to find Dane in her house. Her face heated up, and anger coursed through her. “Get out, Dane!” Yelling was a mistake. She grimaced under the pressure of her headache as streaks of pain powered through her temples, churning her stomach.
He took two steps toward her, but she retreated.
“Stop, Rachel,” he said softly. “You’re in pain, so let me help you. Maybe you need a doctor. I’ll take you.”
“Please talk to me.”
Rachel snorted, her hands coming up to hold her head as if that was going to ward off the pain or the evil darkness. “I want to be left alone. This isn’t a good time.” The pain was excruciating. She felt so sick that she thought she might pass out.
“What’s going on, Rachel? Am I that much of a shock to you?” Dane asked, his voice biting. “I know we didn’t keep in touch, but I never expected this kind of reaction from you.”
Remorse ate at her. “Look, can’t you just—” She nearly fell to the floor as fiery pain burst through her head, but Dane grabbed her.
She gasped as he pulled her close. Anxiety overwhelmed her. The inner claws extended over her nerves, shaking out her fear as though wet laundry in need of drying. She was in his arms, and she was inexplicably scared. She knew she shouldn’t be afraid of him, so she closed her eyes against his concerned face, and she shut down, counting backward from one hundred.
“Damn it. You’re shaking, Rachel.” He led her over to the sofa and gently pulled her down onto his lap.
She surrendered to his kindness but still couldn’t open her eyes.
“Tell me what’s wrong, baby.” His hand caressed her back.
She focused on the glide of his hand, and the hated claws began to recede, leaving her strangely cocooned in an invisible net of safety. The shaking gave way to warmth. She couldn’t feel the inner stabbing pain. Dane had calmed the beast, but Rachel was afraid to open her eyes and disrupt the balance.
She sighed. “Can’t you just accept that eleven years is a long time and that people change? I’m not the same person you once knew.” His body wrapped her in a pocket of heaven, and his scent enveloped her with a unique familiarity. She couldn’t believe she was on his lap, enjoying his touch.
“I can accept anything.”
She tried to get up, but his arms tightened around her. “Dane, let me go.”
“Not yet. You’re still trembling.”
Jessa Ely is the pseudonym for Beth Mikell.
5 out of 5 ” This is a story of true love, tragic heartache, and the power to change the perception of others. When you love someone with all your heart, you will do anything to make things right, and Dane shows us the true meaning of conquering your demons, and showing others your true self. He’s an absolute heartbreaker, and there’s definitely some book boyfriend love going on. We should all be so lucky to have someone truly fight for us, no matter what anyone else thinks.” –Amazon Reviewer