Trusting Love Again
by Starla Kaye
Genre: Contemporary romance
Heat Rating: 3
All she wants is to start over, live a peaceful life…
After an abusive marriage and an ugly divorce, Toni needs to rebuild her self-confidence and start a new life in her hometown. Going home again and confronting people she’d hurt when she’d left is never easy. She’d hung onto the idea of buying a long-abandoned old house and remodeling it to help her recover. But a man from her past has recently purchased it for his business. That’s her emotional breaking point and she does something reckless. Now she must pay the legal consequences of her foolish actions…by working for him.
All he wants is to focus on his work…
Chad’s job as a lawyer working to protect the rights of the abused elderly consumes his time and energy. It cost him his marriage and an aborted child he hadn’t known about. Now he works harder, guards his bruised heart. Yet the return of someone he’d held secret feelings for comes back to town. She upsets his world, starting with minor destruction of his business property and causing him minor injury. He shouldn’t become involved in helping this troubled woman, yet he can’t keep from doing so.
Two heart-damaged people have trouble trusting love again.
He glanced at the young woman standing close by, worrying her lower lip. “Maybe you should call—”
“What? Call my father? Because I’m acting a little wild?” Toni snorted and cut him off. “I have every right to act upset. Yet another man has messed with me, lied to me.”
His angular face tightened in annoyance. “I still have no idea what you’re talking about.” He stepped closer and reached for her.
“No!” She jumped back, breaking off the other stiletto heel, and barely managed to keep from falling. Her entire body tensed.
A memory flashed into her mind. Stanley had grabbed her arms during their last argument right after they’d eaten a special meal she’d prepared for him. His grip had been agonizingly tight. When she’d hissed in pain, he’d shoved her away. She’d landed hard on the floor, knocking her head against the dining room table. After a half-second of possibly regret, he’d turned and hurried out of the house. No apology.
“Antoinette,” Chad said again, sounding cautious.
She pushed the recollection away and looked at Chad. His expression appeared concerned. Again, he inched forward and tried to reach for her.
“Don’t touch me!” she gasped, batting his hand away, dropping the heel and purse. She hated that she was reacting this way but felt helpless to control it.
“What’s your problem?” Appearing confused, he moved toward her once more.
Panicked, defensive, and determined to stop him, she snagged the iPad from his grasp, flung it away. It crashed into the nearby towering, leafless elm tree. The sound of cracking glass made her flinch. What had she done?
Footsteps behind her on the sidewalk pounded in her direction. The young woman on the porch gasped and Chad’s father walked behind him.
“Have you been drinking?” Chad’s tone dripped with disgust as he seemed to sniff for hints of alcohol.
Her cheeks flamed. “No, I haven’t been!” she bit out. It was humiliating to realize that her brother must have told Chad about her drinking problem, something he must have read in the gossip columns.
His vivid blue eyes didn’t look as though he believed her. His jaw taut, he latched onto her left forearm before she could move. He gripped her tightly.
No! Panicked, she drew on the self-defense lessons she’d learned after the separation. With a palm strike, she gave a hard jab to his shoulder.
“What the hell?” he snapped, jerking but not releasing her. His arm was stretched out between them.
Heart racing, she hit his elbow with another palm strike. This time he lost his grasp on her arm and glowered at her in frustration and pain. She sensed he would reach for her again, but she couldn’t let it happen.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Starla has been writing and publishing in different romance sub-genres and lengths for twenty years. Her first published book, Tug of Love, was a “sweet” romance published with iUniverse. Currently she mainly writes edgier romances with an erotic or slightly naughty focus.
She enjoys writing about strong-willed, independent women who butt heads with equally determined, self-confident, and slightly domineering men. Her belief in relation to her heroes is to find them their perfect match, but make him really work for the happily-for-now or happily-ever-after with the woman who wins his heart. Of course, she likes her heroines to be challenged as well. Love isn’t easy.
To date she has published 20 novels, 39 novellas, 8 anthologies, 18 short stories, and 3 audio books. Starla writes for Decadent Publishing, Black Velvet Seductions, and Blushing Books.
Social Media Links
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Starla-Kaye/e/B002ZH8K3U
Goodreads Page: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5494986-starla-kaye
Authors Den Page: http://www.authorsden.com/visit/author.asp?authorid=151725
Printable Book List(s) http://starlakaye.com/my-books/my-complete-book-list/
Starla agreed to share some romantic tips with us today 🙂
Sensual Pleasures for Seduction
- Touch: Anywhere, but especially while giving a massage
- Smell: Aromatherapy with massage oils or sensual baths
- Taste: Sharing foods by eating a seductive meal together, or by feeding each other
- Sight: Use warm colors and soft lighting in the bedroom
- Sound: Background music, low, sensual