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Betrayed Hearts by Susan Anne Mason




Blurb
Lily Draper comes to Rainbow Falls in search of her biological sister, the only blood relative she has left. Emotionally scarred by her preacher father, Lily avoids religion at all cost. Her new landlord, an aspiring minister, soon has her questioning her views. Can she learn to trust Nick's heart or will her sordid past destroy their love?
Nick Logan hopes to take over for the retiring minister who has groomed Nick for the job. But Reverend Ted seems to feel the position requires Nick to marry an upstanding woman, namely Ted’s niece. When Nick finds himself falling in love with Lily Draper, the woman least likely to become a minister's wife, his problems escalate. And when Reverend Ted gives him an ultimatum, Nick faces an impossible choice.
Can he accept God’s will and still find a place for Lily in his life?

Extract
“Hey. You’re bleeding.” Nick took hold of her arm where a trail of blood dripped from a gash in the fleshy part of her thumb. He turned her hand over to inspect the wound. “You’ve got a piece of glass in there.”
She stared at the jagged shard in disbelief, amazed she hadn’t felt any pain.
Nick scooped her up and deposited her on the counter beside the sink. “I have a first aid kit in my toolbox,” he said. “Don’t move.” He returned seconds later with a white plastic box and flipped open the lid.
The pain had set in now, roaring to life like a fire-breathing dragon. She sucked in deep breaths to cope with the searing heat shooting up her wrist.
Nick turned on the cold water and reached for her hand, his expression apologetic. “Sorry. This is going to hurt.” 
She squeezed her eyes shut at the initial burst of pain. When she opened them a second later, the stinging receded as she focused on the face so close to hers. The intoxicating scent of his spicy cologne surrounded her. Nick turned off the tap and examined the injury, tiny ridges of concentration creasing his forehead. When he raised his head, their noses almost touched. The air backed up in Lily’s lungs.
For a moment, he simply gazed into her eyes. “I’m going to take the glass out now. Let me know when you’re ready.”
“Got a bullet to bite?”
He chuckled. “That’s one thing I don’t have in my toolbox.”
Then with one quick jerk, he pulled the shard out of her thumb. Lily bit her lip to smother a cry of pain. Blood spurted down her wrist, and though she tried to be brave, her body rebelled with tremors that raced through her torso.
Nick’s hand clamped down hard over the gash to stem the flow. Lily fought the longing to lay her head on his shoulder and let the warmth of his body ease the chill that made her teeth chatter. Was it the shock of her wound or Nick’s gentle touch that caused her trembling?
When the bleeding slowed, Nick patted the area dry with a towel, applied salve with careful skill and wrapped a gauze bandage around her hand. The warmth of his steady fingers sent soothing tingles up her arm. It had been a very long time since anyone had treated her with such kindness. No one, except her beloved mother, had ever made her feel so cared for. The bittersweet memory caused hot tears to burn behind her lids. She blinked hard to keep them at bay.
At last, he looked up. “Do you have any aspirin? Because this is going to throb like the dickens later on.”
Her throat, thickened with emotion, made speech impossible. She could only nod.
He peered at her, apparently noticing the dampness of her eyes. “Is the pain that bad?”
She shook her head, hating this display of vulnerability. Despite her efforts, a lone tear escaped and trickled down her cheek. Nick reached over to brush it away, his thumb a whisper over her skin. The absolute tenderness of the gesture undid her. She couldn’t pull her gaze from his.
“Thank you,” she whispered.
“You don’t have to thank me.”
“Yes, I do.”
“Lily, I—”
On impulse, she jerked forward and cut off his words with a kiss. His lips were incredibly soft and warm, tasting of coffee and peppermint. She stilled, shocked by her own recklessness, but Nick folded strong arms around her and pulled her closer to deepen the kiss. She fisted her hands in the soft cotton of his shirt as waves of pleasure flooded her system. Nick’s gentle fingers moved to caress her cheek, as though she were something infinitely precious.
Which of course she was not.
Lily stiffened as reality crashed in, returning her to sanity. Hadn’t she promised herself not to get involved with another man? She flattened her hand against Nick’s chest, aware of his heart beating hard against her palm, and pushed him back.
“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have done that.” Her gaze fused to the blue buttons of his shirt, unable to look at him for fear of the disgust she might see there.
“Why not?” His voice was husky. “I’ve wanted to do that for a while now.”


My Review:
This is one of those books that grabs you and pulls you in from the get go. From it's action packed start to it's heart stopping end, it's a page turner like no other. The characters are real people with issues that get in the way of their faith, but ultimately it's that same faith that sees them through.
Definitely one to curl up on the beach or by a roaring fire with.

I received a copy from the author in return for a review.

Links to buy my book:

http://tinyurl.com/kqk6wdt  - For Softcover




Character Interview:

1. Tell us your name and a little bit about yourself?

I’m Lily Draper. My adoptive mother died when I was 10, leaving me with my bitter father who never really wanted me anyway. I left home at 18 and have been scraping my way through life ever since. But recently I found out that I have a biological sister and I’m heading to Rainbow Falls to find her.

2. Tell us about where you live and why you choose to live there?

I grew up in a small town called Fielding, North Dakota. When I left my father’s house at age 18, I moved to Bismarck—to the anonymous city where no one knew me, and I’ve been there for several years. But now, for some reason, Rainbow Falls feels like home.

3. What is a quirk of your personality that most people wouldn't know?

I wear a locket that my mother gave me with a picture of my biological mother inside. Whenever I’m stressed or afraid I touch it to give me courage.

4. Name two things would you hate people to know about you?

My shady past with men. And that I’d do anything for someone to really love me for me, not just for my looks.


5. Tell us about your special bloke. What makes him special?

Nick Logan is my landlord and a handyman, and is studying to be a pastor. He is kind, honest and trustworthy, traits I have never found in any of the men in my life. I have to wonder if he’s too good to be true. Certainly too good for the likes of me.


6. The first time you saw him, what did you think? Did you like him immediately, or did he have to grow on you?

Of course, I was attracted to him right away — he’s very handsome. But when I learned he wanted to be a pastor, I knew I had to forget about him. After life with my hypocritical preacher father, the last person I want to be involved with is a religious fanatic. The kind that says one thing and does another.

7. What would he hate people to know about her?

Nick would hate for people to know that he’s too nice for his own good. And a bit of a pushover for his young cousin, Chloe.

8. What is your favourite thing to eat and drink?

Pizza and diet Coke! I know, it doesn’t make sense. J

9. If you had to fight, what would be your weapon of choice and why?

Sword! I’m a bit of a female warrior inside!

10. Pepsi or coke — Coke!

11. tea or coffee — Coffee, but I won’t turn down a good cup of tea.

12. elephant or tiger — Tiger, fierce but cute.

13. roast dinner or burger and chips (fries for our US readers)

 
I’m a burger and fries type of girl!

14. classical music or pop — Definitely pop music. Classical reminds me too much of my father, Tobias.

15. sunrise or sunset — Sunrise! It’s the hope of a new day, new beginnings.

16. walk or run — Walk. Running reminds me of running away. I’m done with that.

17. chocolate or crisps (chips for our US readers) Definitely chocolate! Chocolate makes everything better!


Bio
Susan has recently been blessed with contracts from White Rose Publishing, Love Inspired and Bethany House. Betrayed Hearts is Susan’s debut contemporary romance, which releases on August 8, 2014. Book 2 - Wayward Hearts releases in December 2014.
Susan lives in a suburb near Toronto, Ontario, Canada, where she works part-time as a church secretary. She is a wife and the mother of two amazing kids, and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and Romance Writers of America (RWA). In addition to writing, she likes to scrapbook and to research her family history on-line. You can connect with her on Facebook or on her website http://www.susanannemason.com.


Comments

Thanks so much for having me on your blog, Clare! And for leaving a review on the Pelican site! You are such a great support to your fellow authors!

Cheers,
Sue
Terri said…
Sue - I love the character interview! Your debut sounds wonderful, I'm anxious to read it. Congratulations on your release and upcoming releases.
LoRee Peery said…
Sue, congratulations. I look forward to reading your story. Rainbow Falls is a beautiful name for a town.
Thanks, Terri and LoRee! I hope you like it!

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