A book a day...keeps insanity away! I am an avid book reader. When I am not reading, I love to play the piano, sing, or shop until I drop! Reading has been a huge part of my life since I was young and my Mom introduced me to the public library! Since then I have not stopped reading! I hope you enjoy my reviews!
Blurb: A beautiful country marred by violence, slavery, and illegal diamonds, a writer and an ex-soldier caught in the middle.
Hannah Baker is a frustrated writer, who needs to get away. Unfortunately, with limited funds and an editor breathing down her neck, she is stuck. Then without warning an offer comes, one she can’t refuse.
Rory Chance is an ex-British soldier seeking absolution. In a remote area of South Africa, he hides in a monastery until the needs of a friend call him back into the real world.
Eight years later…
Sultry sounds of an unknown musician filtered over the air waves, mingling with the clacking of keyboard keys. In her sixteen-by-ten foot space, her sanctuary, Hannah typed. Ensconced behind these walls, she had created some of her best work.
A mug decorated with cover art from a previous novel graced the oak desk. The aroma of hot chocolate and melting whipped cream permeated the air.
Glossy black-and-white photos goaded her on. In this moment, he was hers. Socialite dolls, step aside.
As her muse kicked in, the story unfolded.
Kahlea obeyed her father’s wishes. The marriage ceremony to the dark knight lasted only a few minutes. When it was over, she was thrust upon a horse and forced to ride. As evening waned, she rode with nary a word of complaint. Her new husband looked over his shoulder and his lips drew into a frown. “We stop here,” said Rory. The men grumbled as they set up camp. Kahlea dismounted, placed a hand to her aching back, and walked toward the growing fire. Logs evenly spaced provided a place to sit. Before her was a hole filled with rich dark earth. Sifting through it, something sparkled. She looked closer. “What have you found?” asked Rory as he appeared behind her. His hot breath struck her neck. “A diamond,” she answered, breathlessly.
Hours later Hannah sat back and reviewed what she’d written.
The rework of the manuscript was shaping up nicely. The hot chocolate stung her tongue and she fanned her face. A sigh parted her lips as she studied the screen. The cursor flashed. Her fingers posed over the keys. She stalled.
She closed her eyes and waited. Where were the words she looked for? Outside a storm raged. Lightning struck the ground, thunder rumbled across the sky, and sheets of rain struck the house. Hail pummeled the porch, causing an eerie sound.
Light came through the window and reflected off one of the photos above her. The faded photo was several years old.
Rory Chance. Her old flame, her muse, the driving force behind everything she wrote, smiled back at her. The socialite, his fiancée Monica, clung to him like a leather jumpsuit. She had read all about Rory and Monica. Pictures of her hanging all over him graced the English society pages. The smile that once graced his lips appeared more like a sneer with each new hopeful glance.
Hannah convinced herself the photo was a fake. Rory didn’t really want to be on the arm of a beautiful woman who leered at him like a hungry animal. He didn’t really want to be in the forefront of the British media. Fame and fortune accidentally fell upon him at his grandfather’s demise. As his heir, Rory, a young British soldier, inherited a company, several houses, and unmentionable wealth.
Even with all the advantages awarded him, he’d refused to give up his post in the military. For months, foreign newspapers bombarded the people with stories about Rory and his soon-to-be marriage to the young woman. On and on they droned of how right the couple was together, how perfect a fit they appeared to be.
As the wedding plans progressed, Hannah’s mood changed and her writing became affected.
Staring at the photo once again, Hannah drew in a deep sigh. After this article, she’d canceled her subscription to the foreign papers. She’d stopped searching for news. Better to just live in the past with the Rory she remembered.
Memories of Rory Chance came to mind and she laughed. The sound reverberated off the paneled walls, coming back to her empty heart. Silent tears slipped from her eyes and she grabbed a tissue.
She knocked the glass case and quickly reached out and grabbed it. She picked it up and turned it over and over, allowing it to catch the light.
Her mother had laughed at her for keeping it, but she didn’t care. The rock held special meaning to her.
She and Rory had been digging for the last rosebush when…
“Hey, what is this?” he asked as the shovel made a pinging sound. “Let me see.” She jumped in the hole with him. Inches separated them and she blushed. He moved a strand of hair behind her ear. “I think you tricked me so I’d get in here with you.” “Hmm, a good idea, but no, I really found something.” She climbed from the hole and he handed it to her. It was a white rock. The sunlight caused it to sparkle like a thousand diamonds. “Look, Rory! You’ve given me my first diamond!”
They’d laughed about their discovery for days. It had even led to him calling her Sparkles. Her mother declared it was quartz and therefore worthless. But to Hannah, it was a reminder of their time together.
Trill sounds of a warning bell blared. In a few hours her agent would call for a progress report. Enough daydreaming and fantasizing. It was time to get back to work.
Hannah tapped the keys, the rhythmic motion helped with her flow...
Kahlea closed her eyes and silently moved her lips. Rory walked around and sat beside her. “What are you doing?” Startled, she jumped. “Praying.” “Sorry, no one is going to save you.” She batted her thick lashes. “Who said I was praying to be rescued? I am thanking the Lord for a blessed day of travel, no more, no less.” Then he said, he said…
“What does he say?” Hannah drummed the desk. What was wrong with her?
The rumbling of the storm had woken her early. When she sat at the computer, she’d known exactly what to say, and now it was just gone. Poof, just like that.
Pacing the room, she tapped her finger to her chin. Rory needed a witty comeback. Something witty, a special phrase only he would use. What was it?
What would the real Rory say?
TheAstraeaPress Book Club on Face Book is a great way for readers to try new books and authors...for FREE! Each month one AstraeaPresstitle is offered up for free to readers to read and enjoy. At the end of the month we have a chat with the author and a random drawing for an AP Swag Pack. Fun for all.