This will be the last excerpt from More Than A Convenient Marriage? I have about a dozen blog tour posts to write over the next few weeks, all behind the scenes stuff about the book. I'll post the links here so you can check them out.
This week I'm scheduled to visit:
By mid-December you can start looking for #SampleSundays for A Debt Paid In Passion, my February Presents/Modern.
Meanwhile, let's recap where we are with More Than A Convenient Marriage?:
- Gideon thinks Adara is cheating
- Adara thinks Gideon is cheating
- Adara thinks about divorce
- Gideon thinks about Adara
- Adara says they don't talk
- Gideon thinks he prefers it that way
Let's see what Adara thinks:
~ * ~
Another slicing glance repeated the obvious. We don’t talk.
His guts turned to water. No, they didn’t and because of that he’d let her down. If there was one thing his wife had never asked of Gideon, but that he’d regarded as his sacred duty, it was his responsibility to protect her. Adara was average height and kept herself toned and in good shape, but she was undeniably female. Her bones were smaller, her muscles not as thick as a man’s. She was preordained by nature to be vulnerable to a male’s greater strength. Given what had happened to his own mother, he’d lay down his life for any woman, especially one who depended on him.
“At any time since I’ve known you,” he forced himself to ask, “Did he—”
“No,” she answered bluntly, but her tone was tired. “I learned, Gideon.”
It wasn’t any sort of comfort.
How had he not seen this? He’d always assumed she was reserved because she was raised by strict parents. She was ambitious and focused on material gain because most immigrant families to America were. He was.
And compliant? Well, it was just her nature.
But no, it was because she had been abused.
He couldn’t help staring at her, reeling in disbelief. Not disbelieving she had been mistreated, but that he hadn’t known. What else did he not know about her, he wondered uneasily.
Adara forced herself to eat as though nothing was wrong, even though Gideon’s x-ray stare made her so nervous she felt like her bones were developing radiation blisters. Why had she told him? And why did it upset her that he knew what she’d taken such pains to hide from the entire world? She had nothing to be ashamed of. Her father’s abuse wasn’t her fault.
Sharing her past made her squirm all the same. It was such a dark secret. So close to the heart. Shameful because she had never taken action against her father, trying instead to do everything in her power to keep what remained of her family in tact. And she’d been so young.
Her eyebrows were trying to pull into a worried frown. She habitually noted the tension and concentrated on relaxing her facial muscles, hiding her turmoil. Taking a subtle breath, she begged the constriction in her throat to ease.
“He went by his father’s name,” she told Gideon, taking up the subject of her brother as the less volatile one and using it to distract his intense focus from her. “I found his blogs at one point, but since he had never tried to contact us I didn’t know if he’d want to hear from me. I couldn’t reach out anyway,” she dismissed with a shrug. “Not while my father was alive.” She had feared, quite genuinely, that he would kill her. “But as soon as Papa died, I started thinking about coming here.”
“But never told me.”
She flinched, always sensitive to censure.
Her reaction earned a short sigh.
~ * ~
The brother that Adara is looking for, Nic, is the hero in No Longer Forbidden?, the second title in December's 2in1. I just sent in my line edits for the third book in this series, An Heir To Bind Them, which is scheduled for June 2014 and I'm working on the proposal for Adara's youngest brother, Demitri. (He's a rake!)
If you want to hear more about my writing and upcoming books, listen to my interview from Oct 17th with Bernadette Walsh at Nice Girls Reading Naughty Books.