Author: Libby Rice
Series: Second Chances #2
Published by Gateway Publishing Ltd.
Release Date January 26, 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance
More Info: Goodreads
Purchase From: Amazon US
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Can love be more than a four-letter word?
Lissa Blanc is a painter on a mission. She filters the world through a lens of color, line, and form and hides her ambition behind a delicate smirk that lets her critics believe life comes easy. To her, art isn’t what she sees. It’s what she feels. Few know that behind the glitz of a prodigious upbringing, she’s driven to emerge from the shadow of painful memories that insist she’ll never be a renowned talent in her own right.
Cole Rathlen is a photographer on the mend. A crippling grief has stifled his once-rising career and compromised his creative instincts. Knowing he can’t stagnate forever, he seeks a twisted absolution in the form of a woman whose paintings give life to the emotions he won’t let himself imagine, let alone feel.
When the two partner for a prestigious project that will pull them from the mountains of Colorado to the palaces of India, Lissa quickly realizes that more than diverging ideals hinder their search for success and salvation. Was Cole’s life upended by a tragic but unavoidable choice or something more sinister? While Lissa can’t delve into the mystery but not the man, Cole can’t resist a tenacious soul that refuses to leave him chained. As the truth closes in on a project finally sprouting wings, will Lissa sacrifice her chance at success to set Cole free? Or will Cole shrug the chains of lingering regrets to prove that those who love the most, love again.
We’re having a release day launch for Libby Rice’s Art Crossed Love!
Check out the amazing giveaway and the excerpt Libby is sharing with us!
Someone made a mistake in teaching you life is easy. Cole’s words had hit like well-aimed arrows, and not of the Cupid variety. At least Lissa knew which camp he fell into. The naysayers tended toward one of two options—push Lissa away or pull Lissa close. The pushers openly mocked her “illegitimate” success. The pullers beguiled her in an effort to see how much of that “luck”—or connections or money or opportunity—could rub off on them.
Cole was a clear pusher, and frankly, she liked those better. At least they were honest.
A hank of hair chose that moment to abandon the clip that couldn’t quite contain her pony tail. Ruler straight despite a healthy dedication to volumizing shampoo, her hair liked to slip from its confines and lay flat against her head in an antagonizing refusal to hold body. She imagined her looks mattered about as much to Cole as couponing did to Donald Trump, but hell, she had nothing to lose and everything to gain. After the disaster in the driveway, she could at least try to make herself presentable.
Her trek to the spare bathroom two rooms down took her past Cole’s bedroom door across the hall. His rumpled bed sat in silence. Nothing personal hinted at the room’s inhabitant. A dresser and two night stands held a clock and a box of tissues between them. No pictures or knickknacks, not even a stray piece of clothing or a random shoe littered Cole’s studied order, dimmed by heavy shades that blocked the rising sun from cheering the space.
Earthy scents of pine and sandalwood filled her nostrils. Despite his obvious efforts to disappear within the emptiness, the room bore his mark. The hard edges and sanded planks had absorbed his essence without permission.
Even her limited view of the room told her much, and temptation threatened. If she saw a little more… Not a chance. Forcing herself to put one foot behind the other, she backed away from his open door as quietly as she’d arrived.
The copper tub in her bathroom resembled a huge gravy boat. The New Yorker in Lissa marveled at the concept. So often her life demanded three-minute showers, never a leisurely soak in a tub that might have been filled by Mammy herself.
A wicker basket held sumptuous washcloths and a bottle of gardenia bubble bath. She tended toward tasty scents—from oranges to candy canes. They spurred her appetite, a good thing for a skinny girl, and always seemed approachable. Today she availed herself of the luxuries on tap. She sank deep into the tub, telling herself one didn’t indulge in low-grade anxiety in these circumstances. Old world tubs and Egyptian-cotton towels required a certain amount of stress amnesia.
She sighed heavily. She and Cole would adapt.
Heat leached into her muscles, and she slumbered against a neck pillow. Eventually the creeping chill of the water brought her around. Stretching languidly, she climbed from the tub, wet and glistening, her hair streaming rivulets of flower-scented water over her shoulders.
After toweling dry and tossing the cloth down a chute she assumed terminated in a basement laundry room, she rummaged through the basket in search of body lotion. Already, the dry Colorado air had her skin feeling like the surface of Mars. When the search came up empty, she looked under the sink and in the mirrored vanity.
Nothing, which was surprising given the well-stocked state of Cole’s home.
He’d either gotten in touch with his feminine side after his wife’s death or someone came by regularly to make sure the place stayed clean and comfortable. From what she’d seen, an aunt probably showed up the day after Uncle Kent delivered the meals to wash the linens and line the waste-paper baskets with scented trash bags.
Opening the laundry chute, she peered into blackness. The last towel was long gone. With a quiet twist, she opened the bathroom door and peered into the hallway. All was clear and quiet, so she snuck a toe out onto the carpeted runner, then another. When that proved successful, she flew out the door and lurched into her quietest ball-of-the-foot giraffe run toward the body creams she’d unpacked in her room.
“This can only be penance for your last painting or bribery for your next one.”
Cole’s rumbling voice took her so off guard she lurched to a stop. There he stood, behind a panting St. Bernard in his doorway. Heat flared in her cheeks. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
He cleared his throat. “Nice ass?”
Can they love right on the redo?
Scarlet Leore enjoys a glittering existence among New York society’s elite. Ethan Blake is a prizefighter knocking his way through school, counting on his winnings to bankroll the dreams that won’t fit in a boxing ring. When the two meet, neither can deny the instant attraction that wells between the hulking fighter and the heiress who is miles and millions out of his league. But a vicious attack leaves Scarlet physically and emotionally battered, and for Ethan, the allure crumbles along with the rest of his life after Scarlet accuses him of wielding the knife.
Years later, Scarlet has abandoned the high life for that of a hard-working lawyer, while Ethan has clawed his way to the pinnacle of a business empire. Drawn into his world of high-stakes tech mergers, they dance to a tune of revenge, desire, and finally, redemption. But theirs is a world that won’t tolerate an attorney falling for her client. They’ll need more than lust and forgiveness. They must bridge the chasm of a tormented past to understand who they are today. Only then can they forge a future in the face of the resurging enemy who once tore them apart.