"This story caught me and would not let go! The instant attraction between Brooke and Scott was great but not the only pull in this story. I had to know what happened, who did it, and could not stop turning pages. I loved how Brooke's deafness did not stop any of the story, love, danger, etc... Scott's instant protectiveness made him a wonderful counterpart. From Brooke's past tragedies to the current situation, I enjoyed the entire package. I highly recommend this story..." ~ Christine Woinich
"...Destiny writes romantic suspense novels, and her concepts for stories are enhanced by the out of the ordinary characters she carves...Having created a deaf heroine whose live is lived in 5 minute intervals makes for a fascinating device for a romance...This is a stunningly original novel, well written and tense enough to satisfy the most finicky suspense story lovers. Highly recommended." ~ Grady Harp
"...The author vividly evokes Brooke’s feelings of anxiety with descriptions such as this one: 'She drowned in the fear. That was what it felt like. There was no air, no escape, no help, no hope.' Her inability to speak is handled skillfully...the quick pace will keep you turning the pages..." ~ Lynda Dickson
Loving him is easy.
Fearing him is necessary.
Trusting him could be a deadly mistake.
Born deaf and living with an anxiety disorder, Brooke Hartley manages life in five-minute intervals. It’s all she can do to get out of bed each morning. She’s hidden inside her sister’s apartment for over a year.
Everything changes when Brooke’s sister goes missing. Her fragile world crashes. She is desperate to find her, and she’ll need help.
Haunted by a past he needs to forget, Scott Derrico keeps to himself until his gallery manager, Autumn Hartley, suddenly disappears. He is forced out of his isolation to help a woman that needs him with a terrifying intensity.
Scott tries to deny his attraction to Brooke. He doesn’t want to get emotionally involved but he craves her like nothing else. And, for her, he is a dark and sexy diversion to overcome her fear.
With a genuinely flawed and relatable heroine and a mysterious and protective hero, you won’t want this love story to end. You’ll beg…for another five minutes…
Brooke was terrified, and Scott didn’t understand why. Her eyes looked wide and panicked. Her breathing was loud, fast, and crazy. What was wrong with her?
She didn’t walk with him to look for Autumn. She came, but what she did could not be classified as a walk. It was some form of movement that was beyond bizarre...like two steps forward, multiple side steps, a pause with her hand on the wall as she looked backward, and then it would begin again with two steps forward.
It was nuts. And she still looked so incredibly adorable to him. He had no reasonable explanation for that. Maybe he needed to have his head examined because he was not acting like himself at all.
He remembered Autumn’s concern about Brooke’s anxiety. What caused it? He suddenly wished he had asked more questions.
He stopped walking, waited for Brooke to look at him, and said, “What can I do to help you right now?”
His voice was too soft again! Why did he keep doing that?
She pressed her back to the wall, looked to the ceiling and took a deep, slow breath. She looked back to him and mouthed, Sorry.
He was irrationally pleased that he understood what she’d said. Oh yeah, he was now Scott, the lipreading superhero. “Don’t be. There’s no reason to be. Just let me know how I can help.”
She turned, motioned at her back, then returned to leaning against the wall.
No superhero powers came this time. What was she trying to say? He should have grabbed a pen and paper before leaving the office. “I’m sorry. I don’t understand.”
She didn’t look upset with him. Putting up two fingers, she walked them through the air. Using her other hand, she walked two fingers behind the first set. Her eyes went pointedly from him to over her shoulder to her back, and she repeated her earlier actions for him. She showed him her back and leaned against the wall.
He wanted to understand. He really did. Why did he have to be so bad at this?
She showed him the two walking figures one more time. She pointed to him with her right hand before placing it as the second walking fingers behind the first. She did it again, pointing to him before beginning.
Finally, he thought he understood. “You want me to walk behind you?”
She nodded and mouthed, Please.
He couldn’t say he understood why she needed him to walk behind her, but he was more than happy to oblige. She was scared to death, and he felt badly for her. But, really, could she be any more adorable?
He should have been thinking of her as crazy instead of cute. He forgot that he didn’t want to be attracted to her. Her presence was too distracting for him to think overly much about anything.
Looking calmer, she stepped away from the wall, and he immediately stepped behind her. She was so short he could look down on top of her head. One piece of hair was trying to pull away from her ponytail, drawing his attention. Was that light blonde color real? It couldn’t be real.
He wanted to reach out and smooth it down for her, but he didn’t. If Autumn caught him touching her, he was a dead man. That was a simple fact.
She moved back, moving closer to him. When they were inches apart, she looked backward at him and pointed to her shoulder. For a moment, he got so caught up in her blue eyes again that it didn’t occur to him she was trying to tell him something.
It suddenly dawned on him what she wanted, and his heart took off wildly in his chest.
Please, she mouthed.
Well, really, how could he deny the lady now? He reached for her slowly and gently. She looked so beautiful, but so fragile.
He must have moved too slowly for her because she reached out and grabbed his hand and slapped it to her shoulder. It was small enough to disappear beneath his hand. His fingers tangled in her silky ponytail, and he tried to ignore the feeling.
He stayed close to her, smelling the sweet fragrance of her hair. Heaven. She smelled like Heaven, and a crazy, inexplicable calm washed over him. It was better than going to church to see Pastor Tim.
They walked together, a real walk this time. With his hand on her shoulder, it was easy to feel her move. Their steps were so fluid and synchronized that it honestly scared him a little. It felt crazy and too perfect to be real. They were virtually strangers, and yet, was she feeling the same?
He stayed close to her, but he wanted closer. He imagined pulling the band from her hair and letting that long, white hair cascade over his hands. He pictured himself rubbing her shoulders, massaging away the tension beneath his hand. Was she able to make sounds? Would she moan for him?
In this way, they searched the building. Scott guiltily enjoyed it. It took him a ridiculously long time to realize Brooke was panicking more and more after every room they looked in. By the time they made their way to his office, they had checked the entire building.
Autumn was gone.