A bottle of wine and a phone number later. That was all it took for twenty-five year old Charity Miller to find herself thrust into a relationship she never saw coming. Each and every day spent with her tattoo artist boyfriend Jake brings her that much closer to falling in love and two steps backward from erasing the look of torment from his beautiful dark eyes.
Jake is falling hard for his girlfriend. Charity is unlike any other woman he has ever been with and it scares the heck out of him. With her soft brown eyes and penetrating gaze, Jake knows she is on to him. Yet, her kisses taste like the sweetest heaven and her trust in him leaves him shaken, so why on earth would he risk it all and surrender all pretense of being anything more than a lowdown trailer trash ex-convict?
Jake Hansen shifted in his chair. He gave himself a mental bitch-slap. Ordering the wine for the girl had been the first mistake, then believing the pretty boy waiter would keep his mouth shut, the second. His lips peeled back in disdain. No, a bitch-slap wasn’t nearly painful enough for a dumbass like him.
What was he expecting after she got the drink? He didn’t even know what he wanted from her. What he hadn’t wanted was exactly what was about to happen. Jake counted the seconds. Five, four, three, two, one. On cue a pair of dark eyes flew open. She jerked her back so swiftly, he wondered if she hadn’t given herself whiplash. He snorted and looked away. So much for trying to be normal. His gaze tracked toward the doorway. The entrance teased him, rendering it impossible to leave without passing her table.
Fuck it. Pushing in his chair, he stalked right past her. Outside the restaurant, he snatched the black fiberglass helmet off the seat of his motorcycle. He shot another look at the restaurant. He was bowled over by the pungent onslaught of self-disgust. He’d spent the better part of an hour concentrating and drooling over the little bitch inside when he should have known better. He needed to get back to the shop.
Didn’t matter that it was beyond closing time, there had to be something he could do to keep him occupied. Maybe he’d clean the autoclave or go over the accounts. Maybe he’d get started on another tat, the kirituhi star he’d been admiring. Then again, that would mean scouring for a spot on his skin untouched by ink. He shoved into his leather jacket and shook his head. Must have been out of my goddamned mind.
Charity palmed her forehead. Sweet Jesus. She lowered her head, letting it all sink in. He had sent her the drink. But why? As she’d watch him pummel his way past her table, Charity had wanted to feign preoccupation with her drink. She hadn’t, not wishing to further acknowledge the situation and incite an exchange of words. Instead, she had peeked at him through the corner of her eyes. He was tall, much taller than she, and lean with a body she expected was corded with muscles instead of bones. Rising from his collar, a tattooed black flame licked the underside of his jaw. Charity swallowed as she noticed his arms were also completely covered in a barrage of tattoos, ending at his wrists to resemble the bottom of a sleeve. Twin silver rings glistened from a single dark eyebrow. The buzz cut, just as the waiter mentioned, did nothing to soften the sharp angles of his face.
When the door closed, Charity slid back in the seat and let out a whoosh of air. Immediately her mind replayed the image of her “admirer”. She glanced at the door, sat up then right back down. Her stomach twisted itself into a million knots as she contemplated the exit.
Posted by Unknown on 15th Oct 2012
To Love a Stranger is a very entertaining erotic romance that is sure to strike a chord with romance lovers across the board. I was actually taken a little off guard at how much I enjoyed this short story. A romance between an energetic, head strong but slightly naïve heroine and a reformed bad boy with a heart of gold could easily be considered cliché and boring. What makes this such an appealing story is the quick pacing, easy dialogue, and clear and concise focus on creating very relatable characters. There was a singular focus on making the reader fall in love with the characters- and for me Delilah Hunt succeeded.
When Charity is stood up for a blind date she is undeniably upset. A mysterious man who has been watching her the entire night sends her a bottle of wine to her table in hopes to make her feel better. When the two finally lay eyes on one another surprised is the kindest thing that you can say about Charity’s reaction to Jake. Tattooed and somewhat dangerous looking is how some would describe his looks, but underneath that lays a man who is strong and guilt ridden man ready to take control of his life. As they quickly and quietly begin to fall in love with one another Jake's past (and his need to keep his secrets from Charity) begin to overwhelm him. He never expects for some like Charity to like someone like him but is willing to do almost anything to keep her in his life. Will this couple be able to overcome their pasts in order to have a future together?
Posted by Cleo on 11th Aug 2012
This short read was beautifully written. I would have gladly paid for anything by this author!