Outgrowing Oklahoma, Danielle is an attractive young woman hoping for a fresh beginning in Southern California.
Luke is a young writer headed home from a motorcycle trip across the Southwestern states. A chance encounter in a New Mexico café sets the star-crossed couple upon a journey of misadventure and an insatiable desire neither can resist.
Can triumph be borne out of tragedy? Where there’s life, there’s always hope.
How would she manage if he didn’t recover? Her hands trembled at the thought.
Danielle’s last forty-eight hours had been spent in Luke’s room or on a corner of the couch in a waiting area down the hallway. She couldn’t do anything but keep a vigil, hoping somehow he would awaken, and with time, everything could be as it had been between them.
He’d never said much about his family, only that they were a thousand miles away. He’d become closer to her than anyone, and she to him.
She drank sodas and flipped through magazines while she waited for news of a change in his condition, but she couldn’t really concentrate on articles. What the last two days had given her was a lot of time to think and reflect.
The motorcycle accident had devastated her. Could love, finally found, be so easily swept away? She was not a person to pray for things, but there were no atheists in foxholes either. The time had come.
Some days the whole world was the color of Luke’s cobalt blue eyes. No matter how much they got of each other, there was room for more. She’d learned not to hide passion or to be embarrassed by whatever lustful consideration might cross her mind.
Wanton, shameless, insatiable. Danielle was all of those things. They were terms that accompanied unbridled desire, lust…and yes, love.
Any act or emotion might start the jungle drums beating through her veins and result in the buffeting waves of pleasure when Luke took her to bed. The woman she had become was due to one special man and his gentle touch.
Most of Danielle’s tuna fish sandwich and bag of chips remained on her tray when she slid it into the plastic flap that read TRASH in the hospital cafeteria. She walked to the nearby elevator and pushed the up button. She looked unkempt but didn’t really care. All that mattered was if Luke were to suddenly wake up.
There was nothing highbrow about Danielle Swain and Luke McCall’s first encounter a few months earlier.
She was at a crossroad in her life the day she sat in a booth of a roadside café, the kind of joint with greasy plastic-laminated menus and reasonable handwritten prices. Other than the fact that her serving of bacon looked as if it might still be fighting for its life, the food was satisfying, the coffee was strong, and Danielle liked the earthy waitress with the yellow stained uniform and the order pad on her hip.
Danielle had paid her bill and was getting up to leave when the little bell over the door jingled. A ruggedly handsome guy strutted in changing her mind about immediately leaving. She wasn’t sure why she was so fascinated, other than because she’d been on the road a couple of days and hadn’t had discourse with any male for much longer.
The young man sat in a booth facing her. His magnetism was palpable. Should they have reason to talk, she could have predicted where things would lead. This guy was no local. They were apparently both on the road for their own reasons—dates with destiny.
Danielle began to fantasize. Sex could be rewarding at times, but she tried not to sleep with anyone she hadn’t fallen for, meaning she hadn’t slept with a living creature except her cat for a very long time. She watched the way the stranger’s hands moved and knew she would seem a fool if he noticed.