When I completed and submitted my thirtieth book, I decided to celebrate by offering a taste from each one. Enjoy!
Vows Of Revenge was one of those books that hung around in my brain a long time before I was able to write it. Those are both a blessing and a curse. They torture you, and then when you go to write them, you discover that certain scenes don't work on the page as well as they do in your mind. Such is the eternal struggle of a writer, I think.
But when all was said and done, this became one of my favourite books. I love Melodie and Roman is wonderfully aloof, yet deep. I hope you enjoy it.
~ * ~
She still hated him, he’d seen immediately, judging by her lack of a smile.
Then he’d seen her date touch her arm and something had snapped awake in him, an emotion that was blade sharp and ferocious. He suspected it was jealousy, because for a moment he’d been blind. All the hairs had lifted on his body and his blood had pumped in anticipation as he had prepared to shove through the crowd to get to her.
Sense had prevailed, albeit very weakly. He hadn’t been able to dump his date fast enough and get back to Melodie once she’d opened the borders and spoken to him. Now her scent filled his nostrils and his muscles twitched to clamp his arms around her. He was primed to throw her over his shoulder and steal her from the room while fighting off rivals.
He was damned close to doing so. The bitter look she gave him was filled with acid and ate away at what control he had.
“Do you think I wouldn’t control this if I could? That I don’t hate you for affecting me like this?” He threw the words at her.
Her head flung back as if he’d slapped her.
“No, it doesn’t feel very good, does it?” he gritted out, skin threatening to split under the pressure of containing himself. “It’s not me doing this to you, Melodie. It’s us. I’m this close to having you against this damned wall with the entire room watching. It’s that powerful.”
“Even though you hate me.” She turned her face to the side, eyes glistening.
“What do you want me to say? That I love you?” The word caught like a barbed hook on the way out, snagging in his chest and the back of his throat. It wasn’t a word he even understood beyond its bastardized use. I love this car. I love crème brulée.
“I wouldn’t believe you if you did, but I want the man I sleep with to say it,” she said with a break of anguish in her voice. “I want to feel it. It’s the only thing that’s kept me going all those years, believing I’d make better choices with men than my mother did. I’m so lonely I want to cry, but I can’t bring myself to believe any of you anymore.” Her lips trembled. “You broke me, Roman. That’s why I hate you.”
He sucked in a breath that felt like razor blades.
“I hate being this person. I hate being skeptical and negative,” she went on, skimming trembling fingertips beneath her eyes. “I hate using words like hate.” She sent a quick, desperate glance toward the exit. “I need to go to the ladies’ room.”
Because she was falling apart.
He thought he might. Hell.
Catching her arm, he used his height and confidence to muscle through the crowd to where a bellman was checking names at the door. “You have something for me. Roman Killian.”
“Of course. Right here, sir.” The bellman handed over a small folder with a number on the inside cover. It contained Roman’s room key and the credit card he’d handed to a member of staff on his way back into the ballroom after dropping off Greta with a handshake.
He hadn’t intended to book a room here until he’d seen Melodie.
Melodie gave a muted sniff and turned toward a sign pointing out the facilities, but he drew her across the atrium toward the elevators.
“I can’t leave,” she said, accepting Roman’s handkerchief as he hustled her along. Then she paused to lean into her smudged reflection in an etched panel. “Actually, I should go to my room to fix my makeup.”
The elevator doors opened and he pressed her into the car.
“Six,” she said.
He ignored that and pressed the P.
“Roman—” She started to poke the six.
He stopped her. “We’re going to talk, Melodie. Clear the air once and for all.”
“There’s no point,” she insisted, voice husky and fatalistic. “You’re right. We do goad each other and bring out the worst. That means we should stay as far away from each other as possible.”
Her words spiked into him, making him fearful to draw breath, knowing it would burn. “Do you really think that?”
A rush of emotion welled in her eyes and made her clamp her lips together. She dropped her gaze.
“I didn’t listen to you that first day. We might not have damaged each other so badly if I had. This time we get it all on the table. Neither of us can move forward until we do.”
“I damaged you?” she asked with disbelief. “How?”
“You made me question whether I’m a worthy human being.”
~ * ~
Want more? Here's a #SampleSunday from when the book released.
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