Title Shattered Moon
Author Renata Lanzoni
Genre Romantic Suspense
Shattered Moon is based on a true story. The book explores the heights of an unexpected romance, the lows of despair and the terrors of violent abuse.
Maddy has been living a secluded life since her teenage son run away. When her daughter leaves for university and her estranged husband announces he is moving abroad, she accepts her friend’s offer to go on holiday to an exotic island.
Here she encounters an enticing young man who showers her with unexpected attentions. She is swept off her feet by the intensity of his feelings and the effect he has on her. The connection with him is so deep, so sudden and so powerful that she decides to leave her empty life behind and embark in an exciting new adventure.
But the mysterious young man, damaged by a past of suffering and loss, is not what she dreamed him to be. Tangled in his web, feeling responsible for his every mood and fiercely protective of him, she fails to recognize the first signs of abuse and only realizes what is really happening to her after months of emotional and physical violence. The shame and disbelieve isolate her from everyone and she finds herself lonely, utterly sad and fighting against her feelings. The unprecedented roller-coaster of emotions traps her in a toxic and violent relationship. Her life is in danger. Can she save herself?
A story of unconditional love, powerful emotions, strong friendships, deep despair and utter terror, hope and resilience. A true story told in the hope to help others find the strength to save themselves and maybe to even to recognize early signs of toxic relationships and avoid all the pain and damage they cause.
The proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated to Amici di Casa Mihiri, a registered charity which is doing a fantastic and thankless job helping and housing women and young girls affected by domestic violence and abuse in Sri Lanka, giving them safety, security, love and hope.
I see him approaching from the beach. He is walking at a fast pace, looking inside the bars and restaurants without slowing down. He occasionally acknowledges some of the lads working, but strides on undeterred. His long black curls float around framing his chiseled cheeks. His full lips are set in a serious expression. His eyes dart from table to table restlessly. He looks like a man on a mission. He is wearing jean cut-offs and a black sleeveless vest, I can’t take my eyes off him.
Now he is nearly leveled with the restaurant I am in, he looks up, sees me and breaks into a most spectacular smile. He slows down, waves at me and then starts at a trot towards my table.
I’m happy to see him, but more than that, I’m relieved he is not in the same wretched mood as I left him in.
‘I’ve been looking for you. I am sorry.’
‘It’s okay.’ I find myself saying without really meaning it.
‘It’s just that I waited the whole day to see you yesterday and I really missed you. I know we only have very few days together and I want to spend all the time possible with you. I didn’t want to sound rude. I was just upset I didn’t see you and Sanka did. I’m sorry.’ He looks vulnerable and deeply upset.
‘It’s okay.’ I repeat, and this time I really mean it. I feel sorry for this young man, who seems to have grown so fond of me so quickly. I feel responsible for upsetting him. I feel important, valued by his outburst. If he was so upset, he must care a lot more than I thought possible.
He is visibly relieved when he understands that it really is all forgiven, that all is forgotten and that I’m not angry with him.
‘I should go back to work now. I just wanted to apologize.’ He turns to go, but steps back to me and kisses me on the cheek. ‘I love you, Maddy,’ he whispers in my ear.
My eyes grow a thousand times bigger. Luckily, he is not waiting for me to answer but strolls back off to the beach. I’m speechless.
I follow him with my eyes all the way down the beach. He is making his way at a half trot through the sand. His hair flying behind him. He is a striking young man, and I can see I am not the only one noticing. I can’t quite understand why he would want to be with me.
‘And why wouldn’t he want to be with you?!’ I opened up to Cindy when she joined me because I couldn’t keep all the muddled feelings inside any more.
‘You’re a most remarkably beautiful woman in your prime. Your body is the same now as when you were in your twenties, your blue eyes have always been mesmerizing and a few lines on their sides only make them even more interesting. What’s there not to like? You have depth girl, you have history, you have experience. If I were a young man, I would no doubt fall in love with you!’
‘You would??’ I say incredulously.
‘Of course! Now, I need some food,’ and she raises her hand to attract the attention of the bored waiter.
While Cindy orders lunch for both of us, I wrack my brain for a reason why I couldn’t possibly be the centre of someone’s attention.
‘But he’s so much younger than me.’ I hiss to Cindy as soon as the waiter moves away with our order.
‘If he’s not worried about it, why should you be?’
Renata Lanzoni lives in Oxford. Born and raised in Italy, she chose the UK as her adoptive country at an early age. A keen traveler, she has visited several countries, both for work and pleasure. She has recently returned from spending two years in Sri Lanka, where she immersed herself in the local culture.
Her fiction describes real stories, real people and profound issues, in the hope to help others achieve a better life.
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