Once, Christabelle Jayne defied death. Learning to live and love again is going to be so much harder.
After being abducted and vanishing without a trace, she was presumed dead. But Christie isn’t the kind of girl that goes down without a fight. When she crawls out of the forest almost two years later, bruised and bleeding, she is confronted by a world that seems to have moved on and left her behind.
Dean Hawking returned to Warfields after a terrible tragedy on the job shook his faith in humanity. The cop’s transfer home wasn’t the cure-all he hoped for until the best thing about it, the girl he loved since high school, Christie Jayne, turns up alive.
Their worlds are thrust together again for the first time in years. Though still reeling from her ordeal, in Dean she finds a fathomless love that reminds her there are still beautiful things in the world. In Christie, he sees his chance at redemption…
Then Dean uncovers some startling information about Christie’s case, revealing that she might be in imminent danger, and their second chance at love will be put to the test when the full story of her escape is revealed. Can there be any coming back from what she’s had to do?
Excerpt 1: Dean
“Hey Christie, I really need your help, King’s getting fat.”
The German Shepherd wagged his tail at the mention of his name, and Christie looked down at him with whatever fondness she could muster, given her energy levels. She brought her eyes back up to me and seemed to be searching for the right way to decline, but then gave up and shrugged.
“OK. Why not? Mom? Dad?” she called out and waited for the response. “I’m going out, I’ll be back in…” she turned back to me.
“Couple hours, tops,” I said.
“A couple hours,” she finished.
Her mother stepped into the hallway. “Really?”
“Yes, really. I’ll be with Dean and back for dinner. Police escort. OK?”
“Well… yes, of course. OK.” Mrs. Jayne took the news with mild shock.
Christie picked out her shoes from a pile near the front door and lifted a light coat off a hook before stepping outside as she shrugged it on. I was a couple of steps ahead of her and offered her my hand when I noticed how wet the steps were.
“Careful, it’s a bit slippery here.”
I couldn’t help but smile when she took the help I offered. How often had I hoped to have her hand in mine, to walk through the kingdom of Warfields with its princess at my side? An embarrassingly large number of times was the answer.
Excerpt 2: Christie
If there was one thing I was sure of, it was that Dean liked what he saw when he looked at me, more than anybody I’d ever been with. It was more than a little empowering, it made me feel so unashamedly sexy I could have torn his clothes off right there and then, but I held back, savoring the sensation of being unwrapped like a present he’d waited his whole life for.
The release of my bra strap was an immense relief. I breathed deeply, feeling the cool air on my skin under the now loose garment. Dean’s hands moved back to my shoulders and pulled the straps down my arms.
He breathed a sigh of appreciation when my bra joined my shirt on the floor, and I moaned in return when his hands found their way to my exposed mounds, kneading and lifting them as my nipples poked into his palms. I grabbed the edge of the counter again to brace myself, pushing my chest out against his grip all the more firmly.
For an instant before he pulled away, I could feel the unmistakable evidence of his own arousal prodding against my belly. I wasn’t sure what he was doing for a second, but he quickly showed me when he reached around under my ass and pulled me up into the air so my legs wrapped around him and that bulge was far more intimately positioned.
“Come with me,” he said as I secured my arms around his neck and he began to carry me towards his bedroom.