Following is an announcement about a release in a different format and an excerpt from the book. This is not my favorite of this author's works BUT it is my understanding that the release of the sequel is contingent on this one doing well. Sigh. I am sure you know that I like this author given how much I talk about her works. My Goodreads review is at this link.
Available in trade paperback and digitally. Releasing in mass market
Six years after trading in his combat gear for
hospital scrubs, Luke Rafferty still hasn't found what he's been searching for:
a normal life. At his job, Luke is faced with things just as heartbreaking as
those on the battlefield, none more so than the abused children brought in by a
pretty red-headed social worker.
For Devon Manning, being a social worker is a
rewarding job, but also a constant reminder of her own troubled youth. Devon
takes everything one day at a time—unable to form a relationship with anyone
except the children she rescues.
A DESIRE TO HEAL… When Luke meets Devon, he thinks he might have found
what he's been looking for, but in order to get the life he wants, Luke has to
break through Devon's emotional barriers and make her realize that his healing
touch might be just the complication her life needs…
Luke just shrugged. "Hey, you ought to hear some of the foreign-body stories I
could tell you. And being in a college town? It's even worse."
Her brow creased. Leery, she repeated, "Foreign bodies?"
He grinned. "You probably don't want to know. People can do very, very bizarre
things—and they don't even have the excuse of being a kid."
Now that, Devon understood. She'd had to go to many a home to speak with parents
when their kids got hurt doing the normal kid thing. Kids did get hurt, and
sometimes, kids hurt themselves in a purely innocent manner, but so often it
made neighbors or teachers concerned. As unpleasant as it was, and as much as
parents hated it, Devon would rather make those visits than visit the hospital
because nobody reported the abuse.
That sobering thought had the smile on her face dying. A hand touched her
lightly on the shoulder, a quick, innocuous touch. She looked at Luke to find
him studying her. "Where did you go?"
Devon shrugged. "Just thinking. Kids—it's amazing what they can do. One minute
they have you laughing, then you're ready to pull your hair out and scream, and
then you just want to cry."
"I think you could use a few more of the laughing minutes."
He lifted his hand, and Devon watched, mesmerized, as he caught a flyaway curl.
Her hair was a thick, nearly unmanageable mass of curls. Usually she had it
gelled and pulled back into some kind of submission, but at the end of the day
the first thing she did was let it out of the twists, clips, and knots she used
during the day. Loose, it hung halfway down her back. When it was wet, she could
sit on it.
"I don't suppose you'd take your hair down, would you?" Luke asked, a little out
of the blue.
She blinked, tipped back her head to see his face a little better. "Take it
"Yeah." He continued to rub the curl back and forth between his fi ngers as he
lifted his gaze to hers. His eyes were heavy- lidded, giving him a sleepy, sexy
look that had her wanting to lean in and kiss him...