Random Acts by Alison Stone
Second chances can have a terrible sense of timing.
As a child, watching her mother always pick the wrong man left Danielle Carson wary of opening her heart to anyone—except Patrick Kingsley. But circumstances came between them and left Danielle with a broken heart. Now she buries the pain of what might have been by channeling all her energy into her career. When a family crisis brings her back to her hometown, she is forced to face the past—and the disturbing fact that her sister’s car accident was staged to mask a brutal beating.
A police officer and widower, Patrick guards his heart as fiercely as he guards his beloved daughter. Seeing Danielle again unexpectedly reignites their old flame, but no way will he introduce a woman into his daughter’s life. Certainly not one whose values on faith and family are so different from his own.
Despite their best intentions, they are drawn together—until Danielle learns Patrick had a hand in putting her sister in harm’s way. Her fragile trust is crushed, but Patrick is the only man who can help her stop the villain before everything they both love is destroyed. Faith, family…and their second chance at forever.
The moon poked out between drifting clouds. The girl’s pale skin took on an ethereal glow. Her peaceful expression contradicted the abnormal angle of her broken nose and the bruises blooming underneath her dark lashes. A cold puff of apprehension dotted his damp flesh with goose bumps. Could he do it? Could he finish the job?
You are a man. A stern voice barked in his brain. You do what is necessary.
The gravel bit into his knee through the fabric of his pants as he got into position to lift her body, one arm under her armpits, the other under her knees. With a groan, he rose to his feet and cradled her body close to his. Too close. The clean scent of her damp hair tickled his nostrils. He didn’t want to make this personal. A certain distance made his task easier to carry out.
Eager to be done with her, he kicked the back door shut with his boot. The rusty hinges and sound of metal meeting metal made him curse.
He was off his game tonight. It had been a long time. He bobbled her body, freeing his hand to grab the handle of the driver’s door. It opened with a groan. He loosened his jaw and let out a quiet breath. A dog barked in the not-too-far distance. An incessant bark, as if the animal sensed the girl’s plight.
His stomach tightened. His actions took on a renewed urgency. Swallowing hard, he maneuvered the girl’s body behind the wheel—no small feat, despite her small frame. Her lifeless body had a will of its own. Her head dipped toward the passenger’s side, physics demanding her body follow suit. His jaw clamped in frustration. He grabbed her shirt sleeve and yanked her back into position. With a flat palm, he pushed the door closed, careful not to make a sound this time. He reached through the open window to adjust her body one last time. Fastening her seatbelt would be counterproductive. He shook his head. Silly girl had only herself to blame. Ducking his head, he reached into the vehicle and stretched across the steering wheel to put the car in neutral.
With his plan coming together, he relaxed his shoulders and strolled to the rear of the vehicle. Some things were meant to be savored. He lifted a dusty boot to the plastic bumper.
The tires gained traction. The vehicle rolled forward. Arms crossed, he watched the vehicle pick up speed as it raced down the steep hill, heading toward the crop of trees at the bend in the road.
Just as he had planned.
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Available for download at your favorite eBook store April 24, 2012.
About the author:
Growing up, Alison Stone never imagined becoming a writer. She enjoyed math and science and ultimately earned a degree in engineering. Go Yellow Jackets!
After the birth of her second child, Alison left Corporate America for full-time motherhood. She credits an advertisement for writing children’s books for sparking her interest in writing. She never did complete a children’s book, but she did have success writing articles for local publications.
Finally, Alison got up the nerve to try her hand at full-length fiction. After completing a handful of manuscripts, she sold her first book to Samhain Publishing in 2011, followed a few weeks later by a second sale.
Now, Alison has the best of both worlds. From her home office in Western New York, she writes fast-paced romantic suspense while her four children are in school. It never fails to amaze her how soon the afternoon bus arrives.
Twitter: www.twitter.com/Alison_Stone (@Alison_Stone)