A New Adult Standalone Romance Novel
Publisher: Limitless Publishing
Release Date: April 12, 2016
— SYNOPSIS —
It was time to fight back.
Time to live.
Too much of my life had already been taken from me by a man that should have protected me. At the hands of pure evil I have lived in fear. When most young women were learning to love, I was fighting to live.
I had broken free of the hate.
Finally getting the chance to feel what real love was, but with all good things, bad times seem to follow. At least for me it does. My name is Payton Walters and I refused to allow them anymore of my freedom.
I will not fall…
Not this time.
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— EXCERPT —
“You have,” Dr. Perkins agreed with a smile. “The steps you’ve taken to heal have been remarkable. You went through a tremendous amount of pain and anguish for years and came out on top.”
“It has been two very long years, but you helped me face everything. You helped me understand it was not my fault.” It wasn’t easy after the night I was attacked. I went through a long stage of depression and then anger. My nights were filled with nightmares and fear of being alone.
“How are things at Karen’s?” Dr. Perkins’ question brought a smile to my face.
“Great,” I said without hesitation. “Karen has been such an amazing part of the last two years. Without her, Casey, and even Carter and Dylan, I’m not sure I would have come this far. They’ve been there for me every step of the way.”
My mind drifted back to the morning of the attack…
I slowly opened my eyes, looking around an unfamiliar room. I was in a home I did not recognize. The sun was bright and it shone through the large living room. I was wrapped securely in a big, warm blanket as a small fire crackled in the fireplace just across the room.
I could hear people talking in another room to my right, just before an officer came through the door. He stopped a few feet away and kept his distance as he offered me a gentle smile. “It’s good to see you awake,” he said.
He approached slowly and knelt down next to me. Without warning, a sense of fear ran through me. I knew he wouldn’t hurt me, but the memories from earlier that morning came rushing back. I began shaking uncontrollably, and he quickly inched back, allowing more room between us. “I won’t hurt you. No one is going to hurt you,” he assured me in a gentle tone. “Can you tell me your name? Is there someone I can call? Can you tell me what happened?”
All I could manage to say were two words— “Karen Andrews.” She was, at this point, the only adult I wanted and trusted.
I sat up, wrapping the blanket tighter around me as I stared at the two people watching from the doorway where the cop had entered. I assumed they were the same two people I had seen coming out of the barn only hours ago.
The cop stepped away and dialed his phone, leaving space for the older woman to approach. “Honey, can I get you anything, maybe some water?” she asked in a soothing voice.
“Yes, please,” I whispered as I pulled the blanket in toward my chest. “Thank you.” My eyes filled with unshed tears, but I began to blink rapidly to hold them back. She turned and quickly headed toward the kitchen.
I turned toward the fire, staring at the flames. I could still feel the man’s hands on my body and smell his stale breath in my face as he kissed my neck. My stomach began to turn as I remembered the things he said to me, the plans he had for me.
I looked back as the woman returned, carrying a small glass of ice water. She carefully placed it in my hands, smiling kindly before exiting the room once again.
I felt lost and broken. I spent so much time hiding, and now everyone would know. People would look at me differently, treat me differently. The idea of it all made me feel nauseated.
“Payton! Oh my god, what happened?” Karen's voice came out of nowhere. I hadn’t realized I was lost in my own thoughts. My mind must have wandered off in the time it took for the police to locate her.
My hands began to tremble as she stepped into the living room and rushed in my direction. And then I saw him—Dylan had come too.
Karen took a seat at my side and wrapped her arm around my shoulders protectively, but I couldn’t stop looking at Dylan. He walked toward me and knelt in front of me as he reached out and took one of my hands in his. “It was John, wasn’t it,” he whispered, “who left the bruises?”
I could only nod my head in response before Dylan wrapped his arms around me and held me close. It was then that I let go and stopped fighting the tears I spent years hiding. I sobbed heavily against Dylan’s chest as I gripped his shirt tight in my hand. The last thing I wanted was for him to let go.
“Payton?” Dr. Perkins said my name to gain my attention.
I looked up and shrugged. “Sorry. I was just remembering that day. Thinking about when Karen showed up.”
“And Dylan?” she added with a smile.
“Yeah, and Dylan,” I confirmed. Once again I looked down at my hands, still nervously picking away at the napkin I held. “How are things going with Dylan?” she asked, and my stomach tensed.
AMIE'S 5 STAR REVIEW
Another great super fast paced read from this author !! This is said to be a standalone so sadly I do not think we will get any follow ups with these characters but the ending does tie together nicely. The synopsis grabs you and then the prologue and first few chapters really give you a sense of the hell Payton had lived in and now in the present we are seeing her struggle to move on and find herself and love. It is a great story yet a hard one to read. Payton's father was a horrible man and although the glimpse of her mother is not promising there may be a chance for her to redeem herself before the end of the story. Dylan has always been in Payton's life , she is besties with his sister and always had his family to escape to when things got rough. Sadly Dylan and his family didn't know until it was almost too late - just how bad her life was. Now years later they are all still a family and finally things may just fall into the right places.
Payton and Dylan's journey is not an easy one but it is a great read and their connection and chemistry is off the charts. They know how to heat up the sheets and care for each other in such a way you wonder why it took so long !! There are a couple twists that lead us to some drama and heartache but again in the end things come together nicely and for the most part I think everyone will get what they want - readers and characters !!
C.A. Harms is like any other addicted reader. She enjoys happy endings and HEA love stories. She hasn't always been a lover of Romance and had once been addicted to a good Mystery. Just recently she has taken on a new liking and now is a full blown Romance novel addict.
She lives in Illinois and enjoys spending time with her husband and two children. You will always find her with her kindle or paperback in hand as it is her favorite pass time.