Acts of Creation
(Evergreen Grove Series #2)
by Elisabeth Staab
ebook, 300 pages
Published August 18th 2015 by Elisabeth Staab
He’s living a lie.
Dante Ramos: Champion. Ladies’ man. Party animal. Women want him, and men either want to be him or put his lights out for sleeping with their girlfriends. It’s all an act. Inside, he’s so full of self-loathing he’s on a fast-track to self-destruction.
She’s living in the shadows.
Meeting Michelle at a support group for assault survivors shows Dante a new world of possibilities. Finally, someone in his life might understand him, and she creates in him a fierce need to protect. Trouble is, Dante lives his life in the spotlight, and the only thing Michelle wants is a place to hide.
Excerpt (Michelle’s POV):
An hour later we’re in the middle of some mindless parody. Or at least, I am. When our unlikely on-screen hero slips in his kitchen and lands facedown in a bowl of whipped cream while he’s trying to impress his love interest, I realize I’m the only one laughing.
Because Dante is dead to the world. With his knees drawn to his chest, he’s propped one hand on his thigh, and that hand is cradling his sleep-smashed face.
I pause the movie and nudge him. “Hey.”
He shakes his head and bats me away with his hand. “Hmm-mmm.”
I try again, jiggling his arm and raising my voice. “Dante. Do you uhm…need to be anywhere?”
I still don’t know an awful lot about his personal life. For all I know, he’s got some hottie waiting for him at home. A guy like Dante? How could he not?
His full lips smack together and then turn into a thoughtful frown. “Mmm. Tired.” With that, he slides down until his head hits my pillow.
“Well, I guess it’s a good thing I got a graduate dorm,” I murmur. “You’d be in a world of hurt curled up into one of those tiny twin beds they give to the undergrads.”
With a sigh, I get up and turn out the lights. The blinds are open and the moon is high, leaving a swath of light across the floor of my room. I leave it in case Dante wakes up and needs to see where he’s going.
Quietly, I grab a light, fuzzy blanket from the bottom of the bed and pull it over us both. As I lay next to him, a pair of huge arms comes around me and he tucks me into his side. Some incoherent mumbling and lip-smacking follow. A minute later, he starts to snore with the gentle rumble of the truly comatose.
It should feel stifling. It should feel wildly inappropriate. It should not feel so damn cozy and safe to lie with his arms around me.
Unfortunately, I usually sleep on my side. For a moment I get the urge to turn to the left, spooning my body against his, but that’s far too intimate. I freeze when I realize doing the opposite, turning to face him, would be even more so.
Finally, I take a deep breath and reach over to slide my phone from the corner of my desk. With precious little time to spare, I get online to drop my criminal justice class. Grandma Ruth is right. If I hate the class, I shouldn’t be there. I’ve beaten myself up enough, and I don’t need one more reason to feel like a failure.
Then, I sigh and surrender to the muscled arm holding me against Dante’s side. I lay there in the dark, inhaling his earthy scent and wondering how we’ve created this unlikely friendship. Wondering if it’s safe to feel the way I’m starting to, or if safe even matters.
I think once upon a time my silly teenaged heart thought I loved Craig. Until he hurt me and I realized I never could have. Until now, when I feel myself falling helplessly there with Dante, both terrified of the plunge and unable to stop.
It’s the last thing I think before I let myself fall asleep.
Evergreen Grove Series #1
Elisabeth Staab loves passionate stories and happy endings. Her books have been called “emotionally delicious,” “action-packed,” and “gloriously snarky.” When not writing romance, she enjoys date night with her husband, reading Harry Potter with her kids, and marathoning her favorite books or TV series. Find out more at ElisabethStaab.com, follow along on Facebook and Twitter, and keep up with new releases and giveaways by signing up for her newsletter.
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congrats on the releaseReplyDelete
This is my first time entering a giveaway and meeting you all. And thanks to this blog, I have now met Elisabeth. Good job all around.ReplyDelete
Looks like these two will really help each other! Thanks!ReplyDelete
Strong Book Cover, I like.ReplyDelete
I am a newbie to Elisabeth and I enjoyed reading the excerpt. I can't wait to read 'Acts of Creation' Thank you for the post and the intro to a new author.ReplyDelete
new author for me. i enjoyed reading the excerpt.thanks for the chanceReplyDelete
Love the cover & excerpt thank you.ReplyDelete
Wonderful excerpt and cover.ReplyDelete
Thanks for stopping by and I hope that you all enjoy ACT OF CREATION! Happy Reading ☺ReplyDelete