Krit has been aching for a woman since Jess left. Blythe moves in downstairs. He watches her through her open doorway. She looks so innocent.
She is innocent. She was living with her pastor and his wife since she was 10 when they took her out of foster care. The wife hated her and mentally and physically abused her. The pastor usually ignored her. When the wife died, the pastor moved her to Sea Breeze, Florida from South Carolina. He got her an apartment, job and enrolled her in community college.
Blythe and Krit become friends. She sees the real person he is. He sees the real person she is but she doesn't realize that she is good and wonderful. They are exactly what each other needs and wants. They each need love desperately.
I love books by Glines because her characters are so wonderful. They have flaws but you root for them. You want them to become complete.
From the author:
Innocence isn’t meant for the addictive…
Addiction is part of Krit Corbin’s nature—and women have always been his favorite obsession. But that’s the life of a lead singer in a band. He can have any woman he wants—anywhere, anytime. Well, except for one.
Blythe Denton is used to being alone. The minister’s family who raised her never accepted her as their own, and the cruel minister’s wife made sure Blythe understood just how unworthy she was of love. So when she finally gets the chance to live by herself, Blythe takes it and moves into an apartment building with a loud upstairs neighbor who keeps throwing parties all night long.
I was as ugly inside as I was outside. It was the only explanation for the fact I hadn’t been able to cry one single tear. I hadn’t even squeezed out one fake tear at Mrs. Williams’s funeral. I knew the church people thought I was evil. I could see it when they looked at me. But they had all gotten to witness it firsthand when they’d watched me not show one small streak of emotion when I’d stood beside Pastor Williams as they’d lowered his wife into the ground. She had been diagnosed with a brain tumor only five months ago. It had been stage five, and there had been nothing they could have done.
The congregation had stopped by to check on her daily, and the parsonage had been flooded with casseroles, pies, and flowers. I had been told to stay out of sight. I’d only upset her. Pastor Williams had been kind when he’d instructed me to keep to my room when I’d come home from school, but it’d still stung. I’d waited until I was sure they were asleep most nights to sneak downstairs and fix me something to eat for dinner. The endless supply of food had made it easy.
When she had finally taken her last breath, the hospice nurse had come and knocked on my door to inform me. I had been asked to call Pastor Williams at the church and have him come home. I hadn’t felt anything. Not one emotion from the news. I’d realized then that she had been right all those years. I was evil. Only someone truly evil could be so indifferent to death. Mrs. Williams had been only fifty-four. But then, that was much older than my mother had been when she’d died—she had been only twenty.
That was all behind me now. That life was over and in.
I stood outside the apartment building that overlooked the Alabama gulf coast and let it sink in that this was now my home. I was far away from the life I’d lived in South Carolina. I would have a new life here. One where I could sit and write my stories and attend the community college.
Pastor Williams had wanted to get rid of me. I was thankful for that because I needed a way tofrom that place. He had called a friend of his and had gotten me into a community college ten hours away from the town full of people who hated me. He had bought me an apartment on the beach and even managed to get me a job working as a church secretary. He had a friend who pastored a church in Sea , Alabama. It was one of the reasons he had sent me here. He had had someone help set me up while he remained in South Carolina.
I had heard Pastor Williams on the phone explaining to the man who wouldboss that I wasn’t good with people and I was sheltered. Which wasn’t exactly true. I had gone to an all-girl Christian academy, and everyone there had pretended that I hadn’t existed. It wasn’t my fault their mommas had told them about the evil inside me. I had never had a chance to actually be around people who wanted anything to do with me.
Before I took my boxes out of the truck, I wanted to check out the apartment. Pastor Williams had given me a truck, too. Grabbing my purse and the keys he had placed in an envelope, along with one thousand dollars in cash, I jumped down out of the old truck and headed for the stairs. None of the apartments were on the street level. They were all on stilts above the ground. I figured this was for times when the water got high . . . or during hurricanes. I wasn’t going to think about hurricanes. Not now.
I slipped the key into the lock and turned before pushing the door open. It swung wide, and I took in the pretty pale yellow walls and white wicker furniture. It was all very coastal. I loved it.
Smiling, I walked inside and spun around in a circle with my arms opened wide. I tilted my head back and closed my eyes and let myself bask in the solitude. No one knew me here. I wasn’t the evil girl who the pastor was stuck taking care of. I was just me. Blythe Blakely. And I was a writer. A recluse eccentric writer who didn’t care what she looked like. It didn’t matter. She was free.
Loud male voices laughing and throwing insults in the hallway interrupted my quiet moment of joy. I dropped my arms to turn and lock gazes with . . . with . . . a guy. Blue. Like the sky on a clear sunny day. That was all I could focus on. I had never seen eyes so blue. They were so startling, they were almost breathtaking. His friends’ voices were fading away, but he was still standing there. Then I noticed it. . . . Was he wearing black eyeliner? I dropped my eyes to take in the rest of him.
The pierced eyebrow and colorful tattooed skin I saw covering his arms had me jerking my gaze back up to his face. Seemingly windblown platinum-blond hair finished the wild look.“You done, love? Or is it my turn?” The teasing lilt to his low husky voice reminded me of warm chocolate. It made me feel almost giddy.
Not sure what he was talking about, I looked back at his amused eyes. “I, uh . . .” I what? I didn’t know what to say. “I don’t know what you mean,” I finally told him honestly. Should I apologize for staring at him? Had I been?
“Are you done checking me out? Because I’d hate to interrupt you.”
Oh. My face heated, and I knew my cheeks were bright red. What was I thinking, leaving my door open for the world to see me? I wasn’t used to this. Keeping my distance from men in general made me extremely inept at talking to one. However, this one didn’t stare at me with that leer that made me nervous. I was used to the look men gave me because they thought I would do bad things with them. The ugly they saw didn’t seem to deter them from wanting to see if I was as evil as they had heard.
“It’s just some tattoos and a couple piercings, love. I promise I’m harmless,” he said this time with a smile on his face.
I managed to nod. I should say something. I just wasn’t sure what to say. He was waiting on me to speak. “I like them,” I blurted out nervously. That sounded stupid. He raised an eyebrow, and a smirk touched his lips. “The tattoos—they’re nice. Colorful. Uh . . . I . . .” I sounded like an idiot. There was no saving myself from this disaster. Closing my eyes so I didn’t have to see those blue eyes watching me, I took a deep breath. “I’m not good at talking to people—guys, people, anyone really.” Had I really just told him that?
If he would just turn and leave, then we could forget this moment forever. I forced my eyes open and caught him studying me with that grin still on his lips. He was going to think I was nuts. Maybe he was visiting someone here and didn’t live in this complex. I really didn’t want to face him again. Ever.
He pressed the pad of his thumb to his bottom lip and bit the tip of it before chuckling and shaking his head. “Not sure I’ve met anyone quite like you,” he said before letting his hand fall back down to his side.Read more here.
ebook, 288 pages
Published April 1st 2014 by Simon Pulse