Wednesday, September 18, 2013

To Know Her by Renee Burke

Sara Hudson doesn't remember her own name – or anything else about her life. When Derek Clayton rescues her from a deserted highway, Sara finds she can’t say no to the sexy stranger. Lost from all she knows, Sara becomes the submissive to Derek’s dominance. Although she doesn’t understand why she yields to his demands, she can’t deny the blazing passion for the man who seems to know exactly how to satisfy her needs. 

The only thing Derek Clayton has more of than secrets is money. He offers Sara help with one goal in mind – to keep her in the dark until he can work out the events that left her stranded without a memory. Can they give up the constraints of the past to find their happy ending or will his secrets and past love threaten their future? 

Tell me what?”  Sara’s question wasn’t loud, but the tableau before her seemed to freeze.  Derek turned to look in her direction.  “What am I not ready to hear?”
Derek stalked over, crowding her into the wall, hiding the scene behind him as he cupped Sara’s face in both hands.  “There are things you don’t know.  The doctor agreed with me that it was too soon to tell you everything.  You need to be given time to remember things on your own.”
She stilled and tried to swallow down the ache in her throat.   “So you know who I am?”
He kissed her cheek softly.  His hands grounded her with their constant stroking.  “I told you today, didn’t I?  I know you, inside and out.”
She nodded and grasped his wrist.  “But you knew me – before?”  She lifted her confused eyes to his.  They felt wet, and her breath came faster.  Had he let her wander through the last few days, so confused, able to offer reassurance but refusing to give it?
His small nod told her that was exactly what had happened. 
And we were together.  We did this together?”  She nodded toward the room before looking back for his answer.
He gave that terse nod again, his eyes boring into hers, waiting for a response.  “Do you remember?”
She closed her eyes, images of the last few days flashed past, but nothing was there before.  Nothing but blackness.  She seemed to remember being in the dark, which didn’t make sense because sconces lit the walls on all sides.   Somehow the place was familiar.  And it felt incredibly lonely.
She shook her head.  “Darkness.”  She felt the first tear fall as she glanced around the room.  Her heart was heavy, and a wave of fear washed over her. She dropped her eyes and more tears fell.  “I remember darkness.”  The floor, a dark wood, came into focus. 
Someone spoke. “It could be the hood, Derek.”
Sara lifted her face to the wall where several styles of hoods hung on hooks.  A hood.  Her stomach rolled, and her hand shot to her mouth.  She suddenly felt smaller, inconsequential.  She lurched forward, toward the stairs and through the front door.  It was raining now, but that didn’t stop her.  She wanted distance, lots of distance, between her and that room.  

Scene with Alternate POV

 Derek jumped in the car and threw it into gear. Gravel flew as he hurried onto the highway, probably chipping the smooth black paint of the Porsche. Fitting. He had screwed up. Everything was a mess because of his words a few minutes ago. The crushed expression on Sara’s face haunted him. He had broken their fragile alliance with cruel words. He needed to find her and fix it.
His car ate up the miles as he sped toward her house. He knew where she lived though he’d never taken the time to go inside. He’d never had to because Sara came to him willingly, openly, never demanding anything. Until tonight. In the past she’d always given and never asked for anything from him. He tried to get his words in order as he drove. Straightening this out wouldn’t be easy. He had a feeling once she got her back up, it wouldn’t be easy to get back on her good side. And she had separated herself from him as fast as humanly possible when he’d spoken the cruel words.
A flash of skin from the shoulder of the highway caught Derek’s eye, and he hit the brake. He glanced back to see Sara standing still, looking vulnerable and alone. He slid the car into reverse and approached her.  
She wrapped her arms around herself. He narrowed his eyes. He was no threat.
As he got closer, he saw blood ooze from her forehead. Her skin was pale and shocky. Her expression was shattered. His arm shot out to grasp her when she stepped too close to the drop off on the edge of the pavement. All she needed was another injury.
Not on his watch.
Her reaction was less than comfortable, more confused than angry at him.
Trouble?”  He pulled her toward the road and glanced around. Where was her car? Had she run it into the ditch? He didn’t see it along the stretch of darkness. Maybe this was the chance to talk to her than he needed. At least she would have to sit with him for the ride home.
He brushed her hair back and waited for her to answer. He was so damn sorry, yet he wasn’t sure what to say. She was vital to him, but that’s not what he’d said. He’d made her feel second rate. How could he make it up to her on this abandoned stretch of highway?  
I seem to be lost.”  Her voice held no attitude. She did look lost, and he hated it. He wanted her back to normal, full of professional smoothness until he got her alone when she showed her feisty attitude.
You seem to be hurt.”  He winced as he touched the cut. Not deep enough for stitches. 
I’m not sure how that happened.  I can’t seem to remember... much.”  She pulled herself away, and he gritted his teeth as he let her go. For now. But he didn’t like it.  
Was she saying she didn’t remember their conversation? Didn’t remember him telling her he could never make her more than a causal fuck? He couldn’t be that lucky.
He ushered her into the car and climbed into the driver’s seat before asking her plans. Could he take her back to his place and redo this night from the beginning? Instead of harsh words and cutting remarks, he would give her the warmth and care she deserved.
I’m not entirely sure.  I guess to a store.  Maybe a gas station?” 
He frowned at her response. No way in hell was she wanting to shop now.
She glanced at him with a puckered brow. “I don’t know.”  He couldn’t look away when she began biting her lip. He leaned closer, intent on a kiss. “I don’t remember why I’m here or who to call.”
He froze. She hadn’t just forgotten the conversation then. “What do you remember?”
Nothing.  I don’t remember anything.”
He leaned back in his seat and considered his options. Take her to her house, take her to the hospital, or take her back to his place. No question.
He would take care of her. In every way. And he would make sure she knew how much she meant to him before any memories threatened their relationship again. He reached for her hand and gave a gentle squeeze.
It will be okay.  I’ll take you somewhere safe.”  Home, where he could watch her closely and steal her heart once and for all.  

Renee Burke has sampled life in Louisiana and the East Coast before finally settling down in the Midwest where she met her husband. She was destined to be a teacher and loves instilling a love of reading in her students and trying to draw out their inner writers.

Renee has enjoyed romance since she was old enough to buy her own books, but her writing developed slowly as she balanced life with her family and a desire to “do it right.” Her husband gave her the push she needed with a writing course several years ago, and she was off! She has finally learned that romance should be felt rather than overanalyzed. She loves reading and writing romance with a wide range of emotion and humor. Her close friends all enjoy swapping author and book suggestions and looking for the next hot, sweet love story.

Renee claims her phone e-reader app allows her more reading time than ever before. “People think I’m busy with important emails and let me read uninterrupted!” Besides writing, Renee is crazy about spending time with her two handsome sons and amazingly devoted husband.

Amazon: (IT'S FREE at time of Posting)
Barnes and Noble:

To Know Her
by Renee Burke
Review by Wendy @ Shhh, Mommy's in the Bathroom.,.Reading
3.5 stars

Sara finds herself walking down a deserted highway at night, cold, and no idea who or how she got here.

Derick is driving down the highway and sees Sara walking by herself and with a head injury. He offers to come to her rescue and take her home with him.

Sara is apprehensive about staying with a complete stranger, but she feels oddly safe.

From the beginning it is obvious that Derek knows Sara, but how and why are unclear, and given the Housekeepers reaction to Sara’s arrival we are not sure if it's good or not.

This is a short novella and I don't want to give anything away. Overall I liked the story and the ending I didn't see coming. I wish that this had been a longer story so there could have been more character and plot development. With the story being short I think the sexual activities happened way too fast for a person that doesn't remember who they are, and it took away from the story. I think if you can get past this aspect you will really enjoy the story.

My only other complaint, was when the doctor made a house call to check on Sara and told her that her raging headache and amnesia was not due to her head injury and she didn't need to go to the hospital to be checked out. I don't know of any doctor that would make this assumption and I wish that if Sara needed to have a injury for Derek to help with, that it was in another location. Working in the medical field this just didn't sit right with me.

Overall I think the end of the book made up for the rush of the beginning.

No comments:

Post a Comment