Kelly seems like a happy, All-American housewife. Two beautiful children and a successful husband should make anyone happy, right? But Kelly lives her life in constant fear of her abusive husband. Any father seems better for her children than having none at all.
On a rare vacation to San Diego, Kelly sees there is so much more to life than what she has. She meets Sam and begins to wonder what life would be like without Jack. Does she have the strength to break away from her brutal husband? In one horrific night, the decision is made that will forever change her life.
Sam is instantly attracted to Kelly. He is horrified to see the pain in her eyes. No man should treat a woman like that. Once Kelly finally ends her marriage, Sam makes it his business to give Kelly the love she deserves. Can Kelly learn to trust another man? Can love conquer all?
Reader Advisory: This book contains references to spousal abuse.
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Ellora's Cave Publishing, Incorporated
November 13, 2009
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Excerpt from No Longer His by Carol Lynne
Sam took Kelly to Balboa Park after lunch. He gave her a jacket to wear over her unrestrained breasts because she was so self-conscious. It was refreshing to Sam to see a woman so beautiful and sexy who didn't care to put herself on display. Walking through the art village, Sam tried to buy Kelly a pair of earrings at one of the shops, but she flat-out refused.
"No. I don't need them and you don't know me well enough to buy me things. Let's just enjoy looking, okay?"
Taking her hand, Sam led Kelly to the next building. When they finished their tour of the art village, they walked toward the carousel. "There's something I want to show you. I thought maybe the girls would enjoy coming out here one evening this week after I get off work."
He'd loved the carousel growing up. He and his brother Damon always had a contest to see who could grab the brass ring. Thoughts of his deceased sibling shot pain through his chest. He hadn't dwelt on Damon's death for years, but the pain was still with him. He knew he'd never pass a construction site again without thinking of his brother's fall from the scaffolding he was working on.
Slowing her steps, Kelly looked up at Sam. "Are you okay?"
Sam nodded and took a deep breath. "Yeah. Just thinking about my brother."
Kelly tilted her head to the side. "I've never heard you mention a brother. Are the two of you close? Does he live around here?"
Kelly had shared so much about herself it was easy to open up. "His name was Damon. He got a job on a construction crew right after he graduated from high school." Sam couldn't help the smile that spread across his face as he remembered Damon. "He loved it. He started working on one of the high-rises in town. One day he fell. OSHA came in and investigated his death, but they could never determine how he lost his balance or why the safety harness was still neatly coiled with the rest of his tools."
He looked down at Kelly. "My brother thought he was invincible. I've no doubt he chose not to wear the damn thing."
Kelly wrapped her arms around his stomach and hugged him. He wanted to hold her back, but he knew her back couldn't take the physical pressure. "I'm so sorry," Kelly said.
"Thank you. It was a long time ago. Damon died doing what he loved."
"That reminds me. Why aren't you working today? I know there are things to do because Mark left first thing this morning."
Sam kissed Kelly's forehead before she had a chance to step away from him. "I took the afternoon off. I had a pretty girl I wanted to woo and what better way than a walk through the park?" He leaned down and softly brushed Kelly's lips with his own. He didn't linger and he didn't pull her tightly against him out of sheer willpower.
Kelly opened her eyes and touched her fingertips to her lips. She smiled behind her fingers and turned to continue walking. When Sam caught up and took her hand again, Kelly sighed. "Thank you. That was nice."
"I can be a hell of a lot nicer," he teased as he squeezed her hand.