Author: CM Hutton
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Starting over was never easy for anyone.
I’d heard the stories over and over.
But after the hell my ex-husband had put me through over the last year, over the last twenty years…well, I was ready to move on, repair what was left of my shattered heart and find someone to share my life with—someone who would put me first.
I deserved it. I’d done my time being in her shadow, being a cheap understudy, always second. For. All. Those. Years.
Our move to San Diego provided a fresh start, a new place away from all the hurt and memories. Life as a single mom to three teenagers had its' challenges, but we were adjusting and my kids were doing well.
It was time to focus on my happiness, for once. I had a huge capacity to love and I wanted to share my love with a man that respected it, accepted it and gave it in return.
It was just a matter of time before he found me and showed me what true, honest love was all about.
Every now and then, during his session, I’d notice an odd glance or two from him, but ignored it. I didn’t want his negative shit adding to my own. This was my job. I was his physical therapist, not his friend or counselor, and this job was what would keep me going while I learned to wrap my head around my new life.
Derek didn’t say much. He grunted a few times when I pushed him harder, but other than that, nothing.
It wasn’t until we were just about done and I was giving him our customary mini relaxation massage, that I took the opportunity to really take a good look at him. Derek removed his shirt as he laid face down on the massage table in my therapy room and an involuntary gasp escaped from me.
Wasn’t expecting that.
Most patients didn’t remove their clothing as these massages were only meant to relieve the tension built up in the body as a result of the stress from working an injury. He’d apparently heard me because a small, stupid grin turned up on one corner of his mouth. I ignored him.
He was tall and lean, not too bulky, and his skin was tan and smooth…defined. I noticed a few tattoos on his ribs. I’d never been much on body ink, but it was sexy on Derek and I couldn’t stop staring at it as I slowly rubbed the tension from his neck and shoulders.
Yeah, you could say I was attracted to him.
Claire seemed nice. Actually she seemed like she probably wouldn’t take any crap from me. And I didn’t think she knew who I was…always a good thing.
She was good at her job. I had a feeling I’d be back on the truck soon. My life as a firefighter was about all I had to keep my mind occupied. Football used to do that for me.
Nothing but tainted memories now.
I shook my head, brushed off my thoughts and focused more on my new therapist. I’d asked her a few questions, which she answered willingly. I was curious about Claire, but my pissy mood made my questions come out way too harsh and nasty.
I just hoped I could stop staring at her. She was shorter than me. Maybe 5’5” with beautiful blonde hair and amazing brown eyes. Not who I would typically pay attention to, but what the hell did I know? The only girl I’d ever loved was Claire’s complete opposite with dark brown hair, blue eyes and really tall. She’d also ripped my heart out and practically ate the damn thing right in front of me.
Maybe Claire was just what I needed.
CM Hutton is a wife, a mom of three, a friend, an aunt, a sister, a daughter, and a teacher. She lives near Austin, Texas with her family and loves to read and travel.
Her first novel, Paradise Taken, is a highly emotional book based on true events. Its sequel, Saving Us, was released in February 2014.