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Lyrical Embrace by Amber Daulton

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  • Deerbourne Inn

    Out-of-work violinist Erica Timberly decides enough is enough. She leaves her abusive boyfriend and flees the big city, but then her car breaks down in the middle of the night. Though wary of men, she accepts help from Dylan Haynes, a stranger driving by on the road, and soon recognizes him as the sexy former drummer of her favorite indie rock band. Maybe, just maybe, her run of bad luck is finally turning around.
    Music teacher Dylan Haynes knows Erica is in trouble, and her black eye is only the first clue. The stubborn yet vulnerable woman needs a friend, but he's determined to give her everything she deserves.
    Will Erica listen to the music in her heart and trust Dylan, or will her past always threaten her future?

    Rating: Hot
    Page Count: 154
    Word Count: 39798
    978-1-5092-2475-3 Digital

    Excerpt

    “Damn it. Why now?” Erica Timberly slammed her palms on the steering wheel as the car engine cranked and died. She turned the key in the ignition again and pumped the gas pedal. Her heart soared as the engine sputtered encouragingly, but then the glowing lights on the dashboard blacked out.

    Rain pelted her beat-up blue sedan. A flash of lightning lit up the night. Thunder boomed and seemed to shake the earth.

    “Well, this is it. I have what I wanted. I’m finally on my own.” Though true, she hadn’t expected her car to break down in the middle of nowhere during a rainstorm. The check-engine light had flashed on a few hours earlier, but she continued driving, desperate to get as far from the city as possible. Erica stuffed her keys into her floppy oversized purse, grabbed a metal flashlight from the glove box, and popped the car hood. Wind and rain stung her skin as she hurried from the car. Mud splashed on her sneakers. She shone the light over the cooling engine, but everything looked fine to her untrained eyes. Cold shivers raced up her spine, both from fear and the rain.

    Tall, imposing trees swayed in the wind, lining either side of the lone country road. Humidity thickened the air. Clouds billowed overhead, blotting out the moon and stars. Lightning flashed and thunder boomed again. Two specks of lights glowed from the distance, growing larger and brighter in the darkness.

    Headlights? Crap. Rain slicked Erica from head to toe, but she managed to tighten her grip on the heavy flashlight. Though only twenty-three years old, she’d lived too long in New York City to trust a stranger blindly, and she’d learned a hard lesson about trusting men from her last boyfriend. Erica held her breath as the vehicle slowed down and drove past her, and then she grumbled a few choice words as the car pulled over onto the shoulder.

    Someone stepped out of the driver’s seat and stomped toward her. The taillights lit up the tall, broad-shouldered figure like a demon coming out of the storm. A beam of white light then shot toward her as the stranger held up a flashlight.

    She lifted her hand to ward off the glare, and the stranger immediately lowered the light to the open hood of her car.

    “Trouble, huh?” The man looked at the engine, his voice deep and a little rough as though he was irritated to be out in the rain. “What’s the problem?”

    Erica licked her lips. They stood close enough to touch, so she stepped away from him.

    He turned toward her and lifted his arms in a gesture of peace. “Whoa. Hold on. I’m not here to hurt you. It looks as though you could use some help. I’m no mechanic, but your car is stuck in several inches of mud. You’re not getting out of here tonight. If you’re having engine trouble, too, then you’re in one hell of a pickle.” He lowered the hood and snapped it shut. “No need to get water in there. That will only damage the engine more. Do you need a ride, or is someone coming to pick you up?”

    Erica would have loved a ride, but she shook her head. “No, no. I’m fine. I’ll just camp out in the car until morning. When it’s daylight, I’m sure I’ll be able to get the car working. The mud will have dried, in any case.”

    “Oh sure, because daylight is a cure-all for broken-down vehicles.”

    She frowned at his smart-ass retort. “All right then. How about this? I don’t accept rides from strange men in backwoods towns at night. For all I know, you could be a sadistic murderer looking for your next victim. Well, I’m through being a victim, so you can take your offer of help and shove it up your ass.”

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Lyrical Embrace

Lyrical Embrace

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