When he rides out of the fog on his motorcycle, Gracie Alloway almost mistook him for a demon rising from the smoke and steam of hell. Except she's attracted to him from the first moment. Devlin's everything she's not - wild and a little wicked. But opposites attract because good girl, college student Gracie wants more of this bad boy.
Devlin dreamed up a fantasy woman back in
lot like Gracie and she evokes a side he hasn't shown anyone in years. She also dares to enter his personal space
and take liberties no other woman's dared.
Although he struggles with PTSD and other issues, Gracie won’t run and
she refuses to abandon Devlin.
If she can just tame him and help him battle his demons. If he can teach her how to live a little bit more, they might just have a chance at a future together.
When he held out the cup, Gracie noticed the scarring on the underside of his left arm. Dead white skin mottled with angry red patches and rough ridges indicated he’d suffered serious burns. She noticed similar scars on the side of his neck and wondered how much of his body had been affected. Everything she’d learned screamed at her to say nothing, to ignore what she saw, but Gracie followed instinct. After accepting the cup, she put it down on the end table and touched the old burn. Her fingers brushed against the coarse skin and marveled to find it cool. She expected heat, but it would’ve gone long ago. Dev started to jerk away from her, but when she touched him, he stopped. Like a bird poised for flight, he remained still as she stroked the damaged area.
Before she could speak, he pulled his arm back and with a defiant glint in his eyes, he removed his t-shirt. “If you want to see the scars, you can see them all,” Dev said, voice harsh and hoarse.
He revealed a torso dappled with terrible raised welts, both back and belly. These scars were worse than the others. Raised red ropes twined like vines over his flesh, fused and almost melted. The agony Dev endured was beyond anything she could imagine and Gracie’s eyes brimmed with tears. They spilled over, down her cheeks with silent hurt. One glance at his face, set hard and as stoic as a statue intensified her empathy. She laid her right hand on his back, his scarred flesh beneath her touch and with her left she touched the center of his chest.
Beneath her hand his heartbeat thumped, rapid but steady. His eyes locked with hers and in them Gracie glimpsed flickers of his personal hell. Confusion showed up, too, along with regret and maybe shame.
Whatever she did or said now would be pivotal, she sensed. Based on her actions he’d either leave and be gone from her forever, something she didn’t want, or a new beginning would emerge, delicate and fragile. If she took time to think, she’d be lost so Gracie mined deep into her woman’s soul. When words came, she spoke them, her voice soft and yet as constant as the evening stars. “Oh, Dev, it must’ve hurt so much.”
“I don’t want your pity,” he said, a snarl transforming his face into something wolfish, alien. “Don’t feel sorry for me, babe. I don’t need charity and I sure as hell don’t need you to tell me some dumb ass feel good bunch of shit. So quit crying over me. Maybe it makes you feel better, but it makes me mad.”
“It isn’t pity,” Gracie told him. “I admire you. It takes a lot of courage to overcome hurts like this. I hurt for you, but I don’t feel sorry for you. I hate you had to go through such pain, but I’m crying because I care.”
His hard face softened a little. “Why?”
In this raw moment, she could give him nothing but honesty. “I don’t know, but I do.”
Then Gracie leaned forward and bent just enough to touch her lips to one of the ugliest lesions, the worst of the scars. He shuddered as she kissed his chest and when she lifted her tear streaked face, Devlin grasped her arms. He held her in place and kissed her back, full on the mouth, without remorse or mercy. Gracie gasped with surprise. His lips burned hers as if she kissed a devil fresh from the pit, but she liked it. Her body answered his call and her arms moved to circle his neck as she gave him back the kiss.
About the Author:
Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy is a full-time romance author. A native of the old historic city of
St. Joseph, Missouri,
one time home to both Jesse James and the Pony Express, she now lives and
writes in the beautiful Missouri Ozark region.
Her romance novels include Love
Never Fails, Witness Protection Program, Sing We Now of Christmas, A Patient
Heart, In Love’s Own Time, Miss Good Samaritan, In The Shadow of War, Guy’s
Angel, and Heart
of the Ozarks, all from Rebel Ink Press. She also has six other novels and several
novellas available. Her work also appears in more than twenty anthologies and
she has multiple short story/non-fiction credits.
She is a member of RWA, Missouri Writers Guild, EPIC, and the Ozarks Writers League. Her work also appears in multiple anthologies. She earned a BA degree in both English and History from Missouri Southern State University as well as an AA Degree in Journalism from Crowder College. She worked in broadcast media for a decade and also has a background in education. Her weekly column “Hindsight” appears each week in the Neosho Daily News.
She is married to Roy W. Murphy and the couple has three children, Emily, Megan, and Patrick Murphy.
If Lee Ann – or Lee as many of her writing friends know her – isn’t writing, she’s reading or spending time outdoors.
In Neosho, Missouri, the small town she now calls home, she serves on the local library board, is active in the annual Relay For Life fight against cancer, has worked with the local Arts Council, and is active in her parish.
Contact Lee Ann at:
Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Website/Blog - http://leeannsontheimermurphywriterauthor.blogpspot.com
Blog: Rebel Writer: Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy - http://leeannsontheimermurphy.blogspot.com
Twitter - https://www.twitter.com/leeannwriter
Facebook (personal page) - https://www.facebook.com/LeeAnnSontheimerMurphy
Facebook (author page) - https://www.facebook.com/pages/From-Sweet-To-Heat-The-Romance-of-Lee-Ann-Sontheimer-Murphy/287540748010934?ref=hl
Amazon Author Page - http://www.amazon.com/Lee-Ann-Sontheimer-Murphy/e/B004JPBM6I
Coming from Lee Ann Autumn/Winter 2012:
Kosovo Tales: Two Hearts, One Love (10/3)
Three Encounters of A Close Kind (11/3)
Movie Star Magic (Nov 2012)
Devlin's Grace (11/17)