Blurb: Laura Marie Altom’s heart-stirring new romance will have you believing in the power of love—and passion—to heal even the most wounded souls.
Never again. Fleeing her hometown to escape an abusive marriage, Ella Patton swears she has surrendered to a man for the last time. But while living under a new name, she meets a kind, handsome stranger who seems different—and will be moving on soon, making Ella reckless enough to break her rules. With a kiss, the stranger opens the door to desires Ella believed she would never know. Then he makes an unexpected proposal.
Withering at a dead-end job. Hiding from a dead marriage. Suffocating in a dead town.
Maybe that’s why when I studied the scruffy-haired guy who’d just ordered a hot dog from me at the Wal-Mart snack bar, I’d sensed a connection. Because, honestly? As he sat in a far booth messing with his iPhone, waiting for his meal, he looked dead, too. Skin pale—like he’d spent the past year in a cave. Stubble too long to be on purpose. Jawline not quite square enough, nose not quite straight enough. Even his clothes weren’t quite right. His red plaid shirt hung too loose on his rangy frame. His ass could’ve earned bonus points, but even his jeans missed the mark.
But then who am I to talk?
Sporting my blue Wally World vest, two-day-old ponytail and a hairnet, I was hardly a great catch. Besides, I’d already been caught and have been paying for it every day since.
Despite the guy’s faults, something about him kept luring my gaze from the roller grill to his broad shoulders. It had been forever since I’d been attracted to a guy on any level. To say that my husband had done a number on me would be the understatement of the century. He’d taken my wide-eyed belief in Happily Ever Afters that had been instilled by a lifetime of Disney and shredded me heart and soul. Now, there was nothing left.
Except for the fear, I really do feel dead inside.
Only, what doesn’t make sense is that this guy—this guy sporting scruffy dirty-blond hair—has stirred some long-buried emotion inside me. Kind of like how outside, the brutal October wind skittered brown leaves clattering across the parking lot. For an all-too-brief moment, that wind lifted them to graceful flight, making them believe in a forever summer, only to ultimately, cruelly, slam them into the corners of the cart corral, where they’d lie forgotten and trampled until one day dissolving to dust.
I’ve been to the circus and seen the strings. When——I was with a guy again, it would be on my terms. For damn sure, no emotion would be involved. I’d never again give a guy the chance—the privilege—of even visiting my innermost world.
Available for purchase at: Amazon
Author Bio: Laura Marie Altom is the author of more than forty books in three different genres. Now that her kids are in college, Laura spends her days writing and chasing after a menagerie of pets: a mini long-haired dachshund named Cocoa, a Yorkie named Daisy, a mutt named Sweet Pea, and Domino—a black-and-white stealth cat she rarely sees. She’s happily married to her college sweetheart (go Hogs!), and when night falls, Laura steals a few romantic moments for herself with her own hunky cover stud.
Be sure to follow Laura at: Website
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