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Amber Toadvine and Craig James have learned the hard way that one single act can alter a personâ€™s life dramatically. Amberâ€™s life had been torn apart by a monster who was intent on killing her, and the man she loved leaving her at the alter on their wedding day. Now ten years later, Amber and Craig have to learn to start over and trust again, trying to rebuild the bridge that had been burned down years before. While the monster that had ruined Amberâ€™s life before plans to return and finish the job he began years ago.
"Well, Amberâ€™s story is pretty big around these parts. Everyone knows who she is. Thereâ€™s not a soul in town, and the surrounding towns who hasnâ€™t heard her name before. Letâ€™s see it happened about..." She paused to think for a moment, "...ten years ago. I remember it happened right as I moved to town. So for me the gossip was big news, you know, getting to know people and how things worked around here."
She chuckled, "Amber having fallen head-over-heels in love with this guy, agrees to marry him. On their wedding day, he finds her in the arms of another guy, Brian Thomas, and her fiancÃ© freaked out." She stopped and stayed quiet for a moment and shook her head sadly, "I guess I donâ€™t blame him, he thought she betrayed him. He left town before getting an explanation from her and left her to live in hell."
Craig didnâ€™t like the way the woman was making him sound. Even if she had no idea the guy who had left his fiancÃ© was him. "I donâ€™t blame him. She deserved what she got for cheating on... him." Craig caught himself in time, he almost said me.
Slamming her hand on the table, Craig jumped. He hadnâ€™t expected her to show such anger, and didnâ€™t expect the look of disgust on the womanâ€™s face. "Look, Iâ€™ll forgive you that remark. Since you are new in town, and donâ€™t know the story, but let me tell you no one deserves the kind of hell Amber had to endure."
"Because her fiancÃ© walked out on her?" He asked incredulous.
"No, because she was raped."
Craigâ€™s mouth fell open in shock. "Raped?" His voice was nothing more than a squeak. He never heard anyone mention rape before now. Surely, heâ€™d have heard if someone mentioned something as momentous as rape. Would he have listened if they had? Of course, rape was serious and he didnâ€™t think heâ€™d turn his back on such a problem.
"Yeah, rape." She shook her head, "Okay, lets start over. What her fiancÃ© walked in on was that bastard Brian trying to rape her. Poor Amber thought when her fiancÃ©, I think his name was Greg or Craig, anyway she thought she was saved when he walked in the room and punched Brian out. Then to her astonishment, he started calling her all kinds of foul names and ran out, not to be heard from again. Amber tried to find him, tried to explain what happened, but the jerk took his hurt pride and headed for the hills. Unfortunately, Brian didnâ€™t. He came back for her, madder than hell, ready to finish the job. No one knew Brian was a lunatic. Hell, he was good friends with them both."
She paused for a second to think back, then sadly shook her head, "he went after her all right. He broke into her house that same night, the night she should have been on her honeymoon, instead she was being raped. He beat the living shit out of her, almost killed her."
"Oh God." Craig couldnâ€™t register what had just been said to him. He didnâ€™t want to believe what he was hearing.
Erin Moore lives in central Kentucky with her husband and two children. Erinâ€™s other two novels The Game and All I Ever Wanted are now available. Visit Erin at her website.
Book Publisher: Wings e Press
No. of Pages: 214
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