When Two Hearts Collideby Sonya Loveday and Candace Knoebel A Game of Hearts Novel Publication Date: March 23, 2017 Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
When Two Hearts Collide Excerpts
Game of Hearts Novel 3
What would break me out of the monotony I found myself in? Some days, it felt like there was no difference between home life and pub life. Like a tether between the two, I walked. Only the faces changed sometimes. The selection of people I could align myself with, whether it was friends, or just some pretty face to help me scratch an itch. The latter, being of my own choosing, never once sparked a need for more.
It was a lonely life I led, but it was the only way I’d ever known. The scary part was that I knew I wasn’t getting any younger. The mirror was proof of that. Before I knew it, I’d turn out just like my uncle Dan. Bitter and resentful toward all his youthful misadventures. All the wasted time that floated in the in between of his life and he’d never once stopped to question his choices. His decisions. Yet, on the flip side of that, he loved me. Loved me enough to give me the one thing that mattered most to him. The pub. And I’d give it right back if it meant he lived. But he didn’t, and no matter how much I wanted to, I couldn’t go back in time and make it right. Make him proud. Show him that his belief in me mattered and I’d spent every day since he left me proving I was a better person. A changed man.
Would he be disappointed in my one and only flaw?
Sex was an escape for me. It allowed me to purge myself of the need to step back into the dark world I’d left behind and vowed never to go back to.
The shattering reality of it, though? I couldn’t help but question it all. Couldn’t help but wonder what could be different if I stepped out of what was comfortable and shook off the dregs of the cloying feeling of melancholy that clung to me night and day.
How could I find out what was wrong with me, when I had no idea where to start?
Years later, I could still recall his voice. Smooth and rich like whiskey, burning against my skin as he ran his finger down the length of my neck. I’d been under his control, hypnotized by the swirling look of fire in his eyes that promised pleasure beyond my wildest imagination, and my imagination was vast.
I stupidly said yes, even when I knew I shouldn’t. Even though I’d been warned he wasn’t tamable.
But I wasn’t looking to tame.
Memories of that night flooded my head in heated flashes. Legs and arms tangled together. Lips never breaking contact. Fistfuls of hair and strings of erotic words I shamefully recanted in my fantasies ever since.
Every so often, she’d look over at me, almost as if checking to see if I was still there, and the smile she wore would waver slightly. A look I couldn’t quite put my finger on… sadness maybe… would fill her eyes, and I realized, at that moment, I made her nervous. Uncomfortable even, because we both knew there was something between us, and all I had to do was put a little more charm on her, and she’d cave.
I felt like a complete ass.
She was a comet, brightly lit, that would streak across my life’s sky only a handful of times. I wasn’t meant to hold a comet. I was only meant to admire her. To watch her longingly from a distance and dream about the next time I’d be gobsmacked.
Because that was what comets did. They wowed you. Dazzled you. Left you.
I didn’t get left. I left. It was easier that way. Less sloppy. No feelings involved. It was simple pleasure and nothing more.
Nothing would be simple with Charlotte. Nothing.
I needed to keep reminding myself of that before I went and broke all of my own rules.
I swear he had to be able to hear my heart pounding inside my chest as I held my breath. Every one of his words cleared my doubt like a cool breeze blowing through a field of smoke. He was a gentleman deep down, and he did have good intentions for me. And that made him even more dangerous, because I knew my heart, and I knew it wasn’t going to win a game of tug-o-war with my brain.
He was a magnet. I couldn’t look away from his openly tender gaze. All I could think was that everyone made at least one life-changing decision in their life—whether it was a choice to turn left instead of right and ending up down the wrong street at the wrong time, or a choice to hold the elevator door for someone and they ended up becoming the person of their dreams.