J. D. Burrows also writes under the name of Vicki Hopkins, who is an award winning and best selling author of historical romance.
With Russian blood on her father’s side and English on her mother’s, she blames her ancestors for the lethal combination in her genes that influence her stories. She lives in the beautiful, but rainy, Pacific Northwest with a pesky cat who refuses to let her sleep in. Her hobbies include researching her English ancestry and plotting her next book.
Rachel Hayward hoped to have a quiet thirtieth birthday alone. Instead, fate had different plans.
Caught in traffic and late for work, Rachel takes her eyes off the road to gawk at an accident and rear-ends the car in front of her. Sick over having ruined her day, she lowers her head and waits for the driver to begin a tirade over her stupidity. Instead, a kind man taps on her window showing genuine concern.
The brief colliding encounter suddenly starts a relationship between two strangers that takes off under odd circumstances. When intimacy begins, their relationship turns into a conflicting set of needs. Ian is tenderhearted and respectful, but Rachel desires aggressiveness from a man. The clash of desires threatens to tear them apart. As a result, she is faced with the decision to leave the man she loves or finally confront the painful secret of her childhood.
Conflicting Hearts touches on a taboo subject, but one that is very real to many adult women in today’s society. Statistically speaking, the shocking reality is that one out of every four girls will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday. Though this is a fictional work, that actually documents a factual event in another person’s life, it has the power to open the eyes of readers to better understand those who have suffered abuse as a child. Written with a sprinkle of humor, believable characters, brutal reality, and sizzling romance, it is a book that some claim should be read by every woman. In the end, healing and healthy relationships are possible for victims who seek help.
“Sorry I haven’t called, but I’ve been pulling a few all-nighters at the office.”
“That’s okay, I figured as much.”
“Listen, I need to get away for the weekend to unwind.”
My heart drops to the floor. I can hear the thud and see the pool of blood at my feet. He doesn’t want to be with me.
“Hey, I understand, Ian. No problem.”
“That’s not what I mean, Rachel.”
I draw in a breath of air and hold it in my lungs. “What do you mean?”
“Come to the coast with me this weekend.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes, I’m sure. We need to start spending some serious time getting to know one another.”
I quickly disassociate myself from the threat, and my mind breaks out into that stupid song, “Getting to know you, getting to know all about you…”
“You there?” he asks, since I’ve wandered off to my safe place for a second or two.
“Is that okay? You and me, at my place?”
“Yeah, but I’m scared.”
“Not of me, are you?” His voice sounds exasperated that I don’t trust him yet.
“No, it’s that getting to know you part. Well, not you, I mean you knowing me.”
“Scared or not, you’re coming.”
He’s telling me what to do and making the decision for me. I nod in agreement, even though he can’t see me. I couldn’t say no, even if I wanted to.
“Okay.” There’s that submissive word again from my little girl.
“Can you be packed and ready to leave by seven o’clock this evening? I don’t want to leave in the morning. I’ve got to get away from this damn office and city sooner than later.”
“Seven o’clock is fine.”
“Good, see you then.”
The call ends, and I let out the air I’ve been holding in my lungs in a huge sigh of relief. He wants to take it to the next step. That’s a healthy sign. Well, sort of, or it could be disastrous.
I walk back to my desk with the “King and I” soundtrack blaring in my head. This isn’t going to be easy, but at least I’ll get to see the ocean again, and that brings a slight sense of peace to my panicked state of mind.