Darcie Claiborne spent several years of her young life living with a monster, always fearing what he would do next. Clasping onto her last ounce of hope, Darcie releases a scream. It’s her final attempt to live; to survive the villain of her reality. Sweeping her up in his arms, Darcie’s knight in shining armor rescues her from the hell she’s been living; from the stepfather she's feared for all those years.
Reggie Evans has been forced to grow up before he’s ready when his mother dies of an overdose, leaving him responsible to raise his younger brothers. One fateful night, Reggie jogs by an old, run down house and discovers a young girl clinging to life as she screams for help.
Three years later, Darcie is healing and always protected by the man who saved her, but now she's fighting with something she isn't prepared to face. The growing love for the man who saved her life three years ago, the same man who’s nine years older. All the while, Reggie fights to protect Darcie from the demons of her past and new ones of her present.
Darcie ~ Age 12
“Darcie, your stepfather does these things because you refuse to listen to anything I tell you,” my mom says while swallowing a handful of pills with her glass of red wine. “Just stay out of his way, be in your room when he’s home and it will give him less of a reason to punish you.”
I’ve been putting up with Robert’s punishments for eight years and I’ve come to the conclusion that I will never escape them until I leave. My mom takes pills and drinks from her bottle of wine several times a day. When she’s not drinking or downing pills, she’s sleeping.
I despise my mother. She’s weak and I f---- hate her.
She tells me I deserve punishments and she’s probably right, but what she’s neglected to tell me is why she allows him to do it. I barely remember what our life was like before Robert Stein, but I know it was never this horrible. We managed to have fun and I never lived in fear. Why did she let Robert change her? Isn’t a mother supposed to protect their child? Once a child is born, isn’t their mother expected to possess this sixth sense, that same kind of sense that can allow women to lift cars off their children? My thoughts fade as soon as she squeezes the ointment on her finger and rubs it onto the fresh cigar burns on my back and thighs. Robert never gave me a reason why he did it other than he couldn’t find his ashtray.
M.S. Brannon was born and raised in the Midwest. She still resides there today with her wonderful husband and son. When she is not writing or reading, M.S. Brannon spends time with her family, watching movies, and discovering new music. She writes romance because she believes love and heartache is the rawest emotion one can experience.