Title: Redeemed (Love Seekers #2)
Author: Maria Vickers
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Cover Designer: T.E. Black Designs
Release date: 3/17/2017
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✨ Blurb ✨
Chad Alexander is a playboy that leads a life full of comfort, ease, and fun. With enough women at his beck and call to keep him from getting bored, he doesn’t understand why there is one woman constantly on his mind. She infuriates him, gets under his skin, and makes him desire her more than any other woman he has ever known. He loathes Rayne for the way she treats people she thinks are beneath her. In fact, he wants to teach her a lesson that will leave a lasting impression on her. But when it’s all said and done, why can’t he leave behind the one woman he can’t stand?
Rayne Sampson is a beautiful woman who has men throwing themselves at her feet with one bat of her eye lashes. She is a woman that men write sonnets about, but she isn’t happy. Disgusted by her brother’s new wife, Rayne refuses to accept Emma in her life. Rayne knows that Chad has it out for her, however, she’s decided she’ll be the one teaching the lesson this time. Can she ignore the way her body yearns for his touch long enough to prove her point?
Fighting each other, the passion between them ignites, leaving them both burning. Will they survive “the lesson” Chad sets out to teach her? Or will they both be incinerated before they reach the end of the line?
Sometimes facing defeat is the only way to find yourself redeemed.
🌟 EXCERPT 🌟Chapter 1
I watched her.
I watched her because I could do nothing else. From the time the happy couple announced their engagement, to tonight’s wedding, I watched her. I had to make sure that everything turned out perfectly. That no one, and I mean no one, ruined Emma’s special day. Emma deserved that much and so much more.
And so I watched and waited for something to happen. I waited for her feelings to change, for her to accept the changes happening in her life—in everyone’s lives—and for her to realize nothing would change Bryan’s feelings.
Rayne needed to come to grips and realize Emma and Bryan belonged together. All of the hate and anger Rayne directed at Emma for stealing her big brother, changed nothing. They loved each other, and tonight they solidified it with vows.
More than anyone else I knew, Emma deserved this. She had fought through so much hurt and strife after developing myasthenia gravis—a neuromuscular condition that made her weak—and she finally found her prince. She finally had her happy ending.
And I watched her too, because I couldn’t turn my eyes away from her. Emma was unique. Bryan had thrust her into my life, only to steal her away from me. I lost her, and while it hurt and I wanted to grab her and carry her away from him, even I couldn’t do that to her. If I needed any proof of how deeply her feelings ran for my friend, her face and eyes spoke volumes as she walked down the aisle toward her groom earlier today.
French horns signaled the beginning of the wedding march, and shifted and spun around to gaze down the makeshift aisle created in the sand with the white wooden folding chairs. The rows were not neat or straight, the sand prevented them from being perfect, and add to that the fact people had been sitting and now stood, had adjusted the chairs to be a bit haphazard. But no one cared. Least of all the bride and groom. They only had eyes for each other.
Her father had one arm wrapped around her waist and the other held hers in order to steady her. She had refused to use her walker or cane to walk down the aisle to her future husband. And honestly, I couldn’t blame her. She slowly took one step at a time down the path that led to Bryan Sampson, fumbling only once, but luckily, her father caught her before she faltered too much. The sand was too much for her to navigate, but it had always been her dream to have a beach wedding—a carryover fantasy from before she got sick—and Bryan decided she should have everything her heart desired; wedding and all.
Gazing into each other’s eyes as she made the slow journey that would herald their new life together, love shone brightly in her brown eyes. Bryan was her world. I tore my eyes away from her briefly, turning to look at the groom from my perch beside him as one of his groomsmen, and his own expression reflected the same emotions: love, happiness, peace. These two belonged together.
Bryan was dressed in a pressed black tuxedo, while a lace gown that went only to her ankles adorned her body. No train or tail or whatever the hell they called it. It was perfect for her. Strapless, it accentuated her boobs and ass—two of her assets I loved to ogle, even if Bryan hated me doing it.
She never realized how much I cared about her.
Today wasn’t about me though. Today, I watched as my two friends promised each other forever. I watched as Rayne seethed, shooting daggers at the bride. And I watched as two people who deserved all of the happiness life had to offer, lost themselves to each other and forgot about everyone else. They belonged together.
And I would be damned if Rayne did anything else to make them or anyone else miserable.
I couldn’t understand why the raven haired beauty spewed hatred at Emma, as if it came as second nature to her. It seeped from her pores. Why? What had Emma ever done to her? Nothing.
My focus followed Rayne to ensure she didn’t do anything to ruin today. She was on the move. I tried to follow her while the small crowd of guests made their way to the dance floor, however, before I could take one step, a little old lady halted me. Recognition flared. I had seen her the night before at the rehearsal and then again at the dinner following, but other than that, her identity eluded me.
“Young man, this is a wedding, not a funeral.”
“P-Pardon me?” I stammered flabbergasted. Who the hell was this woman?
“Oh my. Where are you from?”
It was the same reaction I had from several people. While I had lived in the States since my childhood, a slight British accent lingered. “U.S. by way of London. Could you repeat what you said?”
Patting my arm, she said, “You look like you are either going to commit murder, hide a body, or your best friend just died.”
“What?” I blinked, trying to wrap my head around what this little old woman said. “Who are you?” Clenching my fists, I hoped and prayed for patience while I at the same time demanded answers from her. It wasn’t her fault. The poor woman probably felt confused or maybe had one too many to drink, but I couldn’t help my annoyance. I should be keeping an eye on Rayne, and this woman, prevented it with idle chit chat.
“That’s my name. I’m Grace. I met Bryan when he flew in to see Emma one day. We had the pleasure of sitting next to each other on the plane. When he told me his story, I simply knew they would get married. So I put him on my bucket list and told him I would be here for the wedding. Imagine my delight when he actually remembered me and sent me an invitation. Do you know that I made my flight arrangements right after I opened the envelope? It’s true. They are such a lovely couple. My husband, Bert, would have thought so too. He might have been a gruff Navy man, but he was a closet romantic. I think you might be too.”
“And why would you think that?”
“I can tell. There is just something about you,” she answered me with a grin and a wink.
Shaking my head, I tried to clear it in order to process her side of this odd conversation, however, I could not stop myself from looking at this weird woman as if she had two heads. “Grace?” I stopped after that question. My head spun, and I was only able to really grasp one fact and hold onto it with both hands: her name.
“Are you slow dear? Did you drink too much?” She patted my arm again, gazing up at me with what I could only describe as sympathy.
Slow? What the fuck was this woman saying? “Look...” What did she say her name was again? Apparently, I had let go of that factoid as soon as she asked about my mental capabilities.
“Right. Grace. Look, Grace, I appreciate your concern—”
“I’m not concerned.”
Only the manners that had been engrained into me as a child prevented me from rolling my eyes at this old braud, and the temptation to run my hand over my face in frustration had me once again clenching my fists at my sides. “You’re not concerned,” I repeated. Crap! I really did sound slow.
“No, I can tell your feelings run deep and your heart is in the right place.” Her voice became almost melodic as she giggled.
Had she noticed how much I wanted to put Rayne in her place? Or had she noticed how my eyes would periodically drift over to the bride in those moments my brain lost the battle to my heart? “They are,” was the only thing I could say because regardless of which one she was referencing, they were both true. As much as I wanted to wring Rayne’s neck, I still cared about Emma. Everything I did was to make sure she never had to stress about Rayne and her particular brand of hate ever again.
“Don’t worry. She has a lot to learn, but when Rayne finally figures it out, a new world will open for her, and you’ll be right there.”
“Maybe to kick her ass…uh pardon me.” My face started to burn scarlet all because I cussed in front of an old woman.
Waving her hand in the air, she said, “No apologies needed. Maybe she does need a kick in the ass. I heard what she’s been doing, but she doesn’t understand. Be gentle.” With that, she walked off, disappearing onto the crowded dance floor in the ballroom Bryan and Emma had rented for their reception.
It surprised me to hear that Grace knew what Rayne had been doing to Emma. Hate overflowed from Bryan’s sister. She’d called Emma broken, unworthy, ugly, liar, and a host of other names. Rayne did not like Emma because Emma was sick and usually used some sort of device to get her from point A to point B. No other reason. I knew there were people like that in the world. I mean hell, my sister Megan had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and I had seen how people looked at her when she used a cane, but that didn’t make it right. Why did people act like they were lepers when they couldn’t control what happened to their bodies?
No, Rayne was a first rate bitch and needed to be taught a lesson.
✨Want to start from the beginning?✨
Exposed (Love Seekers Book #1)✨ Blurb ✨
Your twenties are supposed to be some of the best, and certainly the most fun of your life, but for Emma Taylor, turning twenty-five brought her world crashing down around her. Four years after being diagnosed with a debilitating disease, her love life is non-existent. A series of failed blind dates–courtesy of her friends–has left her feeling depressed and defeated. Intent on turning to her best friend for a vent session, Emma sends off a rapid-fire instant message, except her message ends up in someone else's inbox. The inbox of hot Navy pilot, Bryan Sampson–her friend Mel’s best friend, and Emma's secret crush.
Bryan Sampson has only met Emma Taylor one time during a night of karaoke while on leave, but in one night, she managed to make an impression. She seemed timid and uncomfortable in her own skin, but underneath it all, he could see how strong she had to be in order to cope with her disease. So when her message catches his eye, he opens it without a second thought, and realizes almost immediately it isn’t intended for him. Now that he’s read it though, he can’t turn his back on her and feels duty bound to help the cause. Besides, what else is he supposed to do with his free time? He vows he will help her find love never suspecting that the more he talks to her, the more he finds out about himself…the more she occupies his thoughts.
Emma is determined to face her demons thanks to Bryan's encouragement, but little by little she begins falling harder for the one person who isn't ashamed of her or her disease. Can she put her heart on the line and take the risk? Can she convince Bryan that love, her love, is worth it?
Sometimes all it takes is one person to expose the beauty within.
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✨ About the Author ✨
Maria Vickers currently lives in St. Louis, MO with her pug, Spencer Tracy. She has always had a passion for writing and after she became disabled, she decided to use writing as her escape. She has one novel published now and will be publishing her second novel in September 2016.
❤✨ From the Author ✨ ❤
Life is about what you make of it. You have to live it to the fullest no matter the circumstances.
I have always loved books. Not only creating the stories, but reading them as well. Books transport me, and when I was younger, I would run into walls because I refused to put my books down even for a second. Take note, walking with books is not advised. LOL.
With my books, I just want to share my stories with the world. I want others to be transported or to feel the emotions my characters feel. That is my goal with my writing. If I can do that for one person, I succeeded.
Getting sick changed me and my life, but it also opened doors that I thought were closed. Today, even though i cannot do much, I still have my mind and I can write.
Join her reader group, Maria's Love Seekers: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1362108480474447/