Handcuffed By Destiny
A broken woman… After being kidnapped, tortured and surviving the brutality of human traffickers, Destiny Warren still finds every day a struggle. Every single minute she works to overcome her injuries, both visible and hidden. Despite her overpowering fear, she finds herself drawn to her rescuer, Brandon Bowers.
A man of honor… Bran Bowers was raised by his grandmother with a sense of responsibility and a serious demeanor. He’s spent his life working for everything he has, but Mother Nature and fate seem to be taking turns dealing his cards lately. Between a flash flood that wiped out his home, and a beautiful woman who’s scared to accept his protection, Bran has to roll up his sleeves and take a stand.
A mountain to climb… They say that love conquers all, but can it also overcome the horrors of PTSD? Destiny isn’t sure she can let Bran in, but she can’t seem to let him go. Will Bran walk away knowing he can never know her completely, or is he handcuffed to his own destiny?
**Note from the author: This story reflects on a woman’s victimization at the hands of terrible people. Possible triggers are involved in the storyline and thus should be taken into consideration.
Smiling. Laughing. Finding joy. That’s not what I might have expected from Handcuffed By Destiny, given the subject matter. But I did. I absolutely felt the hurt, sadness and fear that this couple experienced (thanks to Ms. King’s vivid and emotional storytelling), yet still, I left this book happier than when I started, and hopeful that, thanks to some new secondary characters, this seri…es is far from over. If this one was awesome, and they keep getting better—really, is it any wonder I want more?! ~ Beth, Give Me Books 5 stars
To say I’ve been (im)patiently waiting for Bran and Destiny’s story in the fabulous Crawley Creek series is an understatement! The human trafficking story line that’s interwoven between the series continues to keep me guessing at every turn. And I, for one, cannot wait for more from this family. ~ Missy, Give Me Books 5 stars
Pushing the door almost shut behind him, she gestured to the two side chairs in front of the window. “What’s on your mind?”
She was caught off guard when he ignored her suggestion to take a seat and instead turned to face her. They stood inches apart—so close she could feel the heat of his body—and his scent flooded her senses. She swayed slightly, and his hands came out to cup her at the elbows. Steadying her, his lips curled up slightly on one side.
She blinked at him in confusion and shook her head. “What?”
“You asked me what was on my mind, and I told you the truth. You are. You’ve been on my mind for months, and I can’t seem to shake you.”
“To shake me? You want to shake me?” Her brain was having a difficult time processing what he was saying. Part of her wanted to believe he was truly interested in her, but the broken part of her soul flared to life, reminding her that he deserved better.
“No, I don’t want to shake you. Shit, this isn’t coming out right. I should have practiced.” He released her arms and shoved his fingers into his hair, mussing his black curls even more. A lock fell over his brow, and she reached out and pushed it back before she even realized she was doing it. The instant her fingertips touched his forehead, his eyes drifted shut for a moment. When they opened again, they were lit with a flame of desire. The butterflies in her belly swarmed into her throat, stealing her voice as she stared up at him in shock. “Destiny, I know you’ve been through hell, and I wouldn’t blame you if you told me to take a hike, but damn it, I have to speak my mind. I want you. For more than just friendship.”
To her surprise, her entire body reacted to his statement, flaring to life. She hadn’t felt anything but mind-numbing cold inside for weeks. Ever since Knox chopped all her hair off and shoved a knife into her shoulder. Her hand instinctively went to rub at the scar she knew was under her shirt.
“I-um…I-just…” she stuttered, dropping her eyes away from his. She couldn’t take the intensity in his gaze anymore. He was so full of desire and hope, and she couldn’t remember what hope even felt like.
Lifting a hand, Bran cupped her cheek and forced her to look at him again. “I know you’re not ready for the kind of intimacy a real relationship takes, but I’d like to take you out. On a date. We can get to know each other outside of the ranch. Then, when you’re ready for something more, I’ll be here waiting.”
His palm was hot against her cheek, and she could feel the calluses on his fingertips. He was a man who truly worked for a living, and she admired that about him. There was a lot that she admired about Brandon Bowers, but was she really ready to date someone?
“I’ve never been on a date,” she murmured absently.
Bran groaned softly. “That’s perfect. Let me be the first man to wine and dine you, pretty girl.”
“I don’t know if that’s a good idea.” She shook her head, withdrawing a half step and bracing her hand on his chest. “You deserve a woman who can—”
Bran’s finger on her lips cut her off, and he frowned at her, “Don’t. Don’t ever tell me you’re not enough for me. You’re perfect the way you are, and I know what you’ve been through. I wrote the police report, remember?”
She cringed, remembering that horrific time in her life when she’d had to relive the hell all over again in order for it to be documented. It was like having someone slice her heart open and pour salt in an already festering wound.
“I can’t forget.”
“And I’m not asking you to,” he assured her. “I’m only asking that you start learning to be Destiny again with me at your side.
Copyright Lori King Books 2016