[BookStrand Interracial Romantic Suspense, HEA]
The last thing Whitney Wilkinson wants is to fall in love. She’s escaped an abusive marriage and settled into a new life with a job she loves. When seven-year-old Jeffry tells her he wants a new mommy, she doesn’t realize how this comment will change her future.
Dante Logan struggles to make a home for him and his son after the death of his wife. Dante is surprised to learn Whitney, his former love, is his son’s teacher. Just seeing each other again brings back emotions Whitney’s fought to forget, but the flame of love is still there.
A stranger seems to be lurking wherever Whitney goes. Late one night, she’s kidnapped and taken into the remote desert. A long-buried secret is revealed that shocks Whitney to her very core. Now she must make a decision that will change her life forever—if she survives.
A BookStrand Mainstream Romance
Holding her close, Dante whispered soft words, but nothing could make the tears quit. So many memories had resurfaced that she couldn’t stop. She cried because she missed her little girl. She cried because of the wasted years with Russ and the ugliness that had ensued. She cried because Dante held her, and she didn’t feel she was worthy of his caring. She sniffed and tried to quit, but when she looked up into Dante’s soft, caring eyes, the tears came again. This time she cried because Jeff was all right, and it was such a relief knowing he would be fine. She cried because she was falling in love with Dante.
“Hey,” he whispered and pushed her hair away from her face. He pulled his handkerchief from his pocket and softly wiped away the moisture on her cheeks. He kissed her hair and whispered, “Shhh,” and then he kissed her forehead.
She hiccupped, and they laughed together. All the while, Dante continued to hold her. Whitney didn’t fight his hold. Instead, she let his gentle warmth and strength comfort her. There was so much more to tell him, but she couldn’t go on. She’d bared her soul about her marriage. She couldn’t talk anymore.
Dante kissed the top of her head, and Whitney closed her eyes to his caring.
“I had no idea, Whitney. I’m so sorry.”
“You shouldn’t be sorry. It was a decision I made with my life, and things turned out ugly.” For a moment, she just stared at the flickering fireplace. It seemed to mesmerize her. She turned to face Dante and whispered, “After we buried Brianna, nothing seemed to matter. I left Russ. I ran as far away as I could get. He was furious, but it didn’t matter. I gave him everything. The only thing I asked for was a divorce and a name change. But he got his revenge because after all the beatings, he made sure I could never have another child.”
“It doesn’t matter.”
“But it does matter. I want my little girl, and I can never have her.”
“But you got away from Russ.”
“Yes, I got away. I’m alive. I have a good life now.” She paused and sniffed, then looked up at Dante and asked, “That’s all that counts, isn’t it?”
“Yes,” he said softly and kissed her lips. His lips were warm and full, and Whitney closed her eyes, relishing the warmth and gentleness of him. She tasted of his sweetness, letting her tongue caress his lips. When the kiss ended, she sighed and put her head on his chest. She listened to his heartbeat and realized they were breathing in sync.
“Stay with me,” Dante whispered as he planted small kisses down her throat. “I don’t want to be alone tonight.”
“But what about Jeffry? It isn’t right.”
She heard Dante’s sigh, but she kept her body molded to his. He kissed her again, this time with heat and passion, and his hands worked their way along her hips and up to cup her breasts. She tingled everywhere he touched her, and she arched her neck back to let his hands and mouth caress her.
“Dante, we shouldn’t,” she mumbled but didn’t pull away from his touch.
“I need you, Whitney. I know you feel the same. Please, let me love you.”
Whitney followed when he took her hand and led her to his bedroom. She watched his eyes move from her face and down her body, and she shivered at the molten heat that overcame her. She watched him lock the bedroom door, and her breathing caught in ragged breaths when his eyes met hers as he walked toward her. She gasped at his touch and breathed deeply as his hand traveled along the side of her face. His touch was gentle. Everything about him was good and kind, and she forced herself to remember he wouldn’t hurt her. But when he reached to unbutton her shirt, she flinched.
“Are you all right?” Dante stopped and moved his hand away. He cocked his head, and she saw the question in his eyes.
Whitney grasped her shirt and held it together. “This is the first time since Russ.”
“I won’t hurt you.” He rubbed his thumb across her lips.
She looked into eyes full of love and realized she wanted this. She wanted Dante to lay beside her and love her. She released her hold on her shirt and sat down on the bed. When she looked up, Dante’s eyes were full of fire and desire, and she lay back on the bed.