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About the author:
Lexi Whitlow is a small-town girl with big dreams. She spent her early years growing up between Virginia and North Carolina, playing in the dark rich dirt of Eastern North Carolina at her granddaddy's farm. She's a Southern as can be, and she spends her days chasing her five-year-old and her puggle (that's a pug-beagle hybrid, folks) and writing her ass off.
She holds a master's degree in English literature, and her mom is so proud she's "using her degree."
Lexi harbors a not-so-secret love for bad boys. She loves fighters, tough-as-nails cowboys, bikers, and criminals. Her husband is a scientist… but he has the heart of a bad boy for sure. She spends what little free time she has crocheting, painting, and going on long walks with her family.
Here is a short sample from the book:
I trip over a flaw in one of the floorboards and land squarely on my face. My foot aches, and the other leg feels unwieldy, unused. I roll over onto my back and then curl over onto my side. Tears come to my eyes because I’m helpless—a child, like he said.
He’s not the killer I initially thought he was, with his back room full of woodworking tools. He’s what he says he is. A recluse—one with secrets. But I’m beginning to think none of the secrets he has are all that interesting. He’s just mean. And bitter. And lonely.
I don’t vocalize my pain or ask for help. Instead, I pull myself to sitting and try to stand, using the platform of the bed to pull myself up. When I look up, Joe is standing next to me, and he offers a hand.
I take it, looking up at him, registering a look on his face I saw days ago but haven’t seen since.
“I’m sorry,” he says. His arm wraps around my back when he pulls me to standing, resting there for many seconds too long. The warmth of him envelops me, and he lifts me in his arms like I’m nothing. Weightless.
When he sits me down on the bed, he brushes the wild tangle of my curls behind one ear.
Leaning down, he kisses me, gently, with strong lips. I taste the snow, the sky, the open starkness of the mountain he calls his home. His hand goes to my neck, his thumb pressing into the hollow spot at the base of my collarbone.
In that moment, I understand him. And want him more than ever.