Unbroken: Book Two of the Gladewater Series by @DallasRyan22 is a Summertime Event pick #romance
Title: Unbroken: Book Two of the Gladewater Series
Author: Dallas Ryan
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Once charmed by a small town girl, a big-city doctor doesn’t stand a chance.
Attraction sizzles hotter than a skillet—but trouble from his past could put their love, and her life, at risk.
Café owner Maggie Wade has a magic touch—when it comes to her business, and caring for her friends. Her own love life? That’s where she falters, thanks to an incident long ago that shattered her self-image.
Then Dr. Zane Savage comes to town. The handsome Dallas neurologist can’t seem to take his warm, whiskey eyes off her. Their attraction sizzles, but Maggie’s been burned before. And ever since, she’s kept her heart away from all sources of heat.
Zane’s existed on a steady diet of Barbie-doll types. Plastic. Temporary. Disposable. Until he meets Maggie. One taste of her sweet smile, sparkling brown eyes, and warm personality, and he’s a goner. So what if he’s been a player in the past? Maggie makes him want to be a better man.
Despite the distance between them, their relationship takes flight, and Maggie’s new-found confidence soars. But when a piece of trash from Zane’s past blows back into his life—and refuses to be shaken off—the strain puts more than Maggie’s trust at risk. It puts her life in danger.
She cleared her throat trying to regain her equilibrium after the fleeting exchange. “Um, let’s just go to my office,” she said, pointing to the doorway to the right of the hallway. Zane nodded and ducked into the door she had indicated. Maggie followed him in and quickly took a seat behind her blonde wood desk. She motioned for him to sit in one of the straight back chairs in front of her and clasped her hands on the desktop. Zane continued to stand, thumbs hooked in his belt loops, looking at her with an enigmatic expression.
He glanced around the room and gave her a wicked grin before he shook his head. “I’m feeling an awful lot like I’ve been called into the principal’s office here. Let’s sit over there instead.” He pointed to the small loveseat tucked in the corner and, without waiting for her response, made his way over to it. Maggie watched as he sat and leaned back into the plush cushions crossing one ankle over his knee, stretching his arm across the back. When she didn’t move, he patted the cushion next to him expectantly.
Maggie tried to hide her discomfort. Snuggling up to Zane on the loveseat was definitely not how she planned this to go, but she didn’t want to seem churlish. She had apologizing to do after all. Slowly, she stood and smoothed imaginary wrinkles out of her pink, halter sundress. She picked up her notes and went to perch on the edge of the loveseat. She sat as far away from him as possible, but that wasn’t nearly far enough for her to miss his delicious musky cologne. Or was that just him. She wasn’t sure. She cleared her throat and tapped her notes on her lap, holding onto them like a lifeline.
“I really appreciate you coming,” she began, her eyes trying to look anywhere but into his. “I know how badly I behaved last weekend. You didn’t deserve that, but I’m sure you know that already.” She glanced down at her notes and twisted her pearls at her throat nervously. I feel really awful about it.”
“Maggie, sweetheart, you don’t need notes. Just tell me what’s going on.” He moved closer to her on the little sofa and put his palm over hers that was tightly clutching the sheaf of papers and rubbed his thumb rhythmically across her knuckles. “Tell me what really made you so angry at me that night. I know Shawna and her buddy said horrible things about you but...”he trailed off for a second. “But I hope that I’ve ever given you reason to distrust me or my feelings for you. Granted, I know Dani has told you about my past, and Shawna and her type were part of it. I’m not proud of how I’ve behaved in the past, but...”
“Oh, no, Zane,” she protested. “It was all me and my stupid insecurities. You’ve been nothing but wonderful to me. More than I could have expected or even deserved.”
His lips tightened into a harsh line. “Hey, I don’t want to hear you talk about yourself that way. What do you think? You don’t deserve to be treated well? How do you figure that?”
He regretted his harsh tone immediately when he saw her stiffen slightly. Damn, man! Chill out! The protective feelings she drew out of him kept surprising him. He moved his arm to encircle her shoulders and slid her across the short expanse of floral fabric and into his arms. He ran his hand up and down her bare shoulder. “I’m not upset with you. I just want to smash someone in the face for ever hurting you and making you feel like you’re anything less than perfect.” A small smile tugged at her lips with the admission. He grazed his lips against her temple. “Now just talk to me.”
She did. Maggie poured her heart out to Zane about her father leaving, her mother’s unreasonable expectations, her longstanding insecurities about men’s expectations of her. The entire time, he kept his hands on her, rubbing her shoulders, caressing her fingers, stroking her arm. Keeping her connected to him throughout her emotional upheaval.
Finally, she seemed to be all talked out. She slumped against him burying her head in his muscular shoulder. “I don’t blame you if you decide you can’t deal with all my crazy,” she mumbled. “I don’t want to deal with it myself.”
Zane gripped her shoulders and pushed her away from him until he could look directly into her eyes. “Let me tell you something, baby,” he said, his voice low and husky. “At this moment, I can’t imagine anything you could do that would make me care about you less. You’re special, Maggie. You’re the most remarkable woman I’ve ever met and I’m making it my mission to convince you of that.”
Before she could formulate a rebuttal, he ran his hands through her silky chestnut hair and clasped her nape, drawing her to him. He seized her lips, unable to continue being gentle in the progress he had been making on her senses with his hands throughout her confessions. He felt her reflexively tense, for just a second, before she melted into his warmth. Her lips parted easily at his mouth’s silent request and his tongue dipped into her silky warmth. He could taste coffee and chocolate and Maggie. Just Maggie.
She uttered a slight cry of protest when he drug his lips away a few moments later, but quickly subsided when he started to trace a path across her jaw, down her neck, landing on the collarbone that was laid bare to him in the halter dress she wore. She turned her head, gifting him the smooth column of her throat, and he took advantage, encircling the creaminess with his fingers and stroking lightly before turning his attention to the tie at her nape. One quick tug and the halter fell from her neck.
She gasped when he pulled away from her. He saw the uncertainty climb into her expression. “Zane?”
He looked directly into the chocolate depths of her eyes. “Stay with me, baby. Focus on this moment. Just us. Here and now.”
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If you love a small town romance with all the feels and some good steam then Unbroken is for you! The Gladewater Series is based in TX and has all the downhome good feelings along with plenty of drama. Don’t worry, you get your HEA in the end!
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Runs June 23 – July 3, 2022.
Winner will be drawn on July 4, 2022.
Dallas is a nurse by trade who always dreamed of being a novelist...and now that dream has come true! She is a Texan transplant who now lives on a Virginia lake with her husband, kids and 5 spoiled canines. When she's not dreaming up new characters, she likes to create yarn colors and drink Margaritas - sometimes at the same time.
Follow her on her FB page or The Gladewater Series page for updates on coming works, book excerpts, character teasers and lots of other fun stuff!
Dallas loves to hear from her book fans! Drop her a line at email@example.com.
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