Date Published: November 2012
Rachel Hayward hoped to have a quiet thirtieth birthday alone. Instead, fate had different plans.
Caught in traffic and late for work, she can do nothing except wait for the freeway gridlock to ease. A three-car pileup has caused the snarl. Just as cars begin to move at a faster clip, Rachel takes her eyes off the road to gawk at the accident and rear-ends the car in front of her.
Sick over having ruined her day, she lowers her head onto the steering wheel and waits for the driver to begin a tirade over her stupidity. Instead, a kind man taps on her window showing genuine concern about her welfare. The brief colliding encounter suddenly starts a relationship between two strangers that takes off under odd circumstances.
When the couple becomes intimate, their relationship turns into a conflicting set of desires and needs. Rachel is bound by a shameful, dark childhood. After she falls in love with the handsome Ian Richards, she is faced with the decision to leave him or finally confront her demons to obtain the one thing in life she's always needed--healing from the sexual abuse she endured as a little girl.
Ian slowly turns me around so that I’m facing him. We’re nose to nose. Our bodies are touching front to front. This is not good, or maybe it is good. He doesn’t say a thing, except to look at me with a smoldering gaze. A second later, he lazily moves his eyes toward my lips.
I’m frozen. I look at him with half anticipation and half panic. He’s going to kiss me; I know it. His intentions are clearly expressed in his blue eyes, which have turned a shade darker. I’m losing it. Hurriedly, I remind him of his words to fend off the advance.
“Uh, I thought you wanted to be just friends?”
A look of admiration sweeps across his face. He gently brings his hand up to my forehead and brushes a few strands of hair out of my eyes. Ian is silent, but it’s obvious he is thinking this through. It’s driving me crazy being close to his body.
“You want more?” I whisper, trying to get him to say something.
He answers with a question. It’s annoying. “I asked you first,” I reply, not cracking a smile or giving away my heart pounding in my chest. I can’t look at him any longer. I close my eyes, and silently ask God, who I’ve ignored for years, to help me.
Then I feel the warmth of his breath approach. He circles my lips with his and gives me a long, tender kiss. Sweet Jesus. He tastes so delicious! I hope the breath mint I popped in my mouth a half hour ago is still working. Eventually, he pulls away, and I open my eyes.
“Does that answer your question?”
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J. D. Burrows is a pen named used for contemporary romance written by Vicki Hopkins. She has authored four other historical fiction/romance novels. Her recent historical (Dark Persuasion) won the 2012 USA Best Book Awards Finalist for Fiction Romance.
The author lives in the rainy Pacific Northwest with a pesky cat who refuses to let her sleep in. She enjoys traveling to England, researching her English ancestry, finding long-lost relatives from the Holland lineage, and creating stories that touch the hearts of women.
For information about her historical romance, visit http://vickihopkins.com