eBook Details

All The Right Reasons [Damaged Heroes Book 3]

Series: Damaged Heroes
By: Sandy James | Other books by Sandy James
Published By: Siren-BookStrand
Published: Jul 02, 2009
ISBN # 1606013084
Word Count: 113,271
Heat Index   
Are Best Seller 
Price: $0.00

Available in: Microsoft Reader, Adobe Acrobat, Mobipocket (.prc)

Categories: Romance>Drama Romance>Contemporary Romance>Free Reads

Description
Can love heal all wounds? Lucas Mitchell returned from Iraq a bitter, changed man, wracked with guilt over his friend's death. He buys an old mansion and deals with his injuries and grief by restoring his new home and rehabilitating retired racehorses.



Joy Kovacs falls in love with Lucas at first sight. Descended from gypsies who are still influenced by the lingering effects of the Holocaust, her family follows the traditional ways. A husband has already been selected for her, and her father insists she work at their ethnic restaurant. But Joy wants to use her talent and be an artist, and she wants no one but Lucas.



How can Joy find a way to help Lucas break out of his prison of grief? Although they've committed their hearts to each other, can the growing love and passion between Lucas and Joy survive her family's insistence that she marry within her culture?



"As a high school teacher, I've had to watch many young people, students whom I love, put on uniforms and head to Iraq. While I'm thankful they're all doing well, I felt there was a story to tell about them. Lucas Mitchell represents those students I've had the pleasure of knowing who make the noble choice to serve their country." ~Sandy~



Romance Writers of America's 2007 Polar Passions Finalist



A BookStrand Mainstream Romance
 
Reader Rating:  starstarstarstarstar (20 Ratings)
Sensuality Rating:   liplipliplip
 
Editorial Reviews:
From Diana Coyle, Night Owl Romance
5 HEARTS - Reviewer Top Pick: "Ms. James knows how to tell such an emotionally driven story and she just tears at your heart while allowing you to personally get to know Lucas and all the challenges he's facing since returning home from the war in Iraq. This author writes her stories from the heart and each one is compelling in its own way. "
From Pamela Denise, Romance Junkies
5 BLUE RIBBONS: "Sandy James is a truly talented author who does a magnificent job with creating works that touch the heart. Every time I pick up one of her novels, it's like stepping into spring time, warm and refreshing. I look forward to book four."
Excerpt:
"You really think that old mansion is more important to you than it is to me?"

"Oh, yes," she replied in a reverent whisper.

As her gaze returned to him, he gave her a smug smile. "But my name is on the deed."

Joy turned, leaned back against the car next to him, and allowed herself to relax. It was obvious he wasn't nearly as offended at her repeated intrusions as she thought he should be, but she reminded herself that he'd only seen the sketches of the house. Lucas didn't know just how many there were of him. If he ever saw the collage on her living room wall, he'd have her arrested for stalking.

"That's just a technicality," Joy finally said. "You got it because I didn't know about the sheriff's sale until it was too late." His grin at the comment warmed her heart. He didn't smile often. Not nearly enough.

"Good thing," Lucas said. "Otherwise you might've bid the price up and I couldn't have bought it dirt cheap."

She shrugged, knowing that things always happened for a reason. "You were meant to have it, but that doesn't mean I can forget a house as beautiful as that. So who are those men working on the barn?"

"Just some friends of friends. They're Amish. Building things is what they do best," Lucas replied. "I needed to get the barn done quickly. They need donations for their new school."

"I've never seen a building go up so fast," Joy said, a bit breathless at the remembrance. "If I took a second to blink, I missed a wall being put up."

Lucas smiled again, and Joy saw the cheerfulness spread to his eyes. He was far too handsome to ignore. Not the usual built-like-a-brick-house sort of guy she admired, Lucas was obviously in need of a good meal or two. But his looks appealed to her. There was kindness in his face, touched by some lingering sadness. His russet hair was a bit too long as it framed his oval face, and he probably hadn't used a razor in a couple of days, judging from the brown stubble on his cheeks and chin. Joy found that she simply liked watching him. He was a work of art only God could create.

Of course, her gypsy heart had already seen him in her dreams — seen him and her house. She knew what he would look like, what the house would look like. One day.

"Like I said, it's what they do best," he commented as he shifted his weight between his feet, taking an at-ease stance. "What's the draw to my house?" He pointed at her art supplies resting on the crowded backseat. "If you'll excuse the pun."

She smiled back resisting the urge to trace the small cleft in his chin with her fingertips. "I can't really explain it. It's just...there. I wanted to enter a contest that was supposed to be artwork from locations in rural America, so... I went driving around. And there it was. It...it called to me." Joy shook her head and waved her hand in dismissal. "I know it's silly. You know, I never even entered the stupid contest."

"It's not silly. Would you be surprised if I told you it called to me, too?" Lucas asked. "I don't know. There's just...just something about it. Plus I really wanted the privacy." He rubbed the stubble on his chin as he smiled. "Of course, I didn't know I'd have a pretty little trespasser."

She chose to ignore his cheeky remark. "It called you?" Joy asked, feeling a bit suspicious that he might be making fun of her. Just like her brothers.

"Yeah. I used to run back here. The roads were great to train for cross-country. I saw that house almost every day for all four years of high school. Hell, I timed my runs by it. Then when I left for..." His train of thought came to an abrupt halt.

Joy glanced up at him again. "Left for what?"

Lucas suddenly appeared angry, and Joy was confused by the change in him. They'd been connecting, she was sure of it. Connecting in a way that was rare and special. Her nagyanya had told her it would happen just this way, exactly like this. With the intensity of a lightning strike, her mate would show himself.

"Who are you?" Lucas finally asked as he turned his head and stared into her eyes.

"I'm Jozsa. You've been waiting for me." She held her breath, hoping he understood.

His only response was the same intense stare.

She was sure they were destined for something more than friendship, but it wasn't as if she could simply come out and say it. People tended to be a bit suspicious of gypsies in general, even more so of their uncanny feelings about things.

He broke their connection. As he glanced away, Joy watched the window to Lucas's soul start to close. "Lucas? What's wrong, Lucas?"

When his gaze returned to meet hers, she immediately saw the pain. No, more than that. A torment. She felt an overwhelming need to heal him, so strong it was as if she had finally found a purpose to her world. "We both love the house. So now what?" Joy asked in a gentle, calming voice.

His response surprised her. Not only could he understand what she had felt, but he felt it too. He might not be Hungarian, but his soul was gypsy.

"Now, you go home. Go away, Jozsa. Don't waste your time on me." Hanging his head, he stared at the dusty road.

Oh, no, my love. I couldn't if I wanted to. Her senses were speaking to her as clear as day.

Joy moved to stand in front of him and picked up his right hand. Turning it over so she could look at his palm, she cradled his hand with her left and began to trace the lines and winkles of his skin with her right index finger. She concentrated as she moved her fingertip over his palm, and she felt the connection again. The touch might have seemed innocent, but she knew it wasn't. Not for either of them. The contact sent shivers up her arm, and she noticed he trembled ever so slightly when she moved her finger across a line. Joy read his palm.

"You have a long life line. Strong, too. See this little island? Where the line splits into two and then rejoins?" she asked as he stared at his own palm. He nodded his understanding. "It shows you were sick...or...or hurt." When he knit his brows in irritation, she realized she had hit a painful subject so she moved on. "You'll grow to be a very old man."

He gave her a scoffing laugh. Joy wasn't deterred.

"This is your heart line," she said as she moved lightly over another crease with her fingertip. She liked the quiver she felt in his hand when she touched him. "See? It curves. That shows that you're someone who feels things very deeply. That explains the pull of the house. You sense the ghosts."

"Ghosts? You're kidding, right?"

Joy shook her head, trying not to get too agitated at his skepticism. She would have to teach him her ways. "And your heart line ends under your second finger. See? That means...um... Never mind." She quickly moved her fingertip to another wrinkled line. "This is your—"

"It means I'm what?" Lucas interrupted. "C'mon, Jozsa. If you're gonna do this, do it right. What does it mean?"

She felt her face flush as she avoided eye contact again. "You're a good lover."

Lucas's laugh was like a gentle caress. "Well, for heaven's sake, keep going. This palm reading stuff is more accurate than I thought."

Judging from the heat radiating from her cheeks, her face was still blushing as she read the rest of his palm. "See how long your index finger is? That means you're a leader." She held up her own hand. "See my ring finger? It's long too. That's why I'm an artist."

He smiled. "A very good one. You really believe this stuff?" Joy nodded vigorously as she continued to cradle his hand and traced another line across his palm. "Where'd you learn how to read palms?"

"My grandmother taught me. I read palms at Gypsy...you know, the restaurant...for some of the customers. See this?" she asked as she pointed to another line. "This is your head line. See how it starts out connected to your life line then it splits away on its own?" When he nodded, she continued her interpretation. "It means family is important to you, but you have an independent streak."

"You know, you really haven't said anything that's horribly specific." He grinned. "Except for that lover stuff. That was pretty spot on. But the rest could all apply to just about anyone."

"And it shows you're skeptical of many things," Joy said with a chuckle.

She watched him as she traced his palm again to gauge his reaction. At least her words had brought some life back to his eyes. Without a thought, she lifted his hand and pressed a long, soft kiss to his palm. He smelled...wonderful. The unique male scent—fresh-cut wood and light cologne—wafted toward her, cast a spell around her. She could hear the quick hiss as he sucked in his breath when her lips brushed his skin.

Oh yes, he feels it too.

All The Right Reasons [Damaged Heroes Book 3]

By: Sandy James
x