Genes shape who we are when we’re created. The argument of NATURE vs. NURTURE rears its head every time a baby is born. He has his mother’s eyes, his father’s nose, his grandfather’s hands. As a child grows, Nature comes into play even more. He’s allergic to peanuts just like his uncle, is left-handed like great-grandma, etc. If Daddy is an artist, we watch for those seeds of creativity to bloom in that child. Music lives in his blood and we’re not surprised when the child of a musician takes up an instrument at an early age.
Then Nurture comes into play… and beats the living hell out of the kid.
John Murphy was never meant to be a hero. He has a poet’s soul, sees imaginary friends and has whole worlds in his head. But the abuse he suffered growing up forced him to become what nature never intended. Hands that were designed to create clenched into angry fists. An open heart that believed in magic was broken until it hardened and shut people out. Eyes that saw wonder in every cloud and possibility in every sunbeam pinched tight in hatred.
To defend himself and his sister, he honed his body into a weapon, a shield. Life kicked him in the teeth over and over again. Every time, he’d emerge standing. Bloody maybe, but on his feet. He became used to pain. He became a loner. He became a survivor. He wasn’t anyone’s hero.
But those voices, those whispers of things not seen and stories not told, never left him. They were his only comfort. He’d close his eyes and let his pain-riddled body rest while his mind soared to lands of beauty and color, of goodness and warmth. In his world, monsters were kind, loving and loyal. His dreams became his refuge and he shared those with no one but his sister. Then she grew up, got married and John was alone, just him and his monsters… and the demons of his childhood.
One woman, a bright-eyed angel, saw past the darkness. Livvy saw beyond the hard shell to the tender poet underneath, to the child who dreamed, to the man who wanted to believe in those dreams. Livvy could take care of herself. She didn’t need a hero. She needed John.
SWEET AS SIN isn’t always nice. It isn’t always pretty. It is a gritty, intense look at the most wounded heart being healed with a sweet love.
~~~~~~~~~~SWEET AS SIN excerpt~~~~~~~~~
He tried to pull away, but Livvy hugged him tighter, squeezing her faith into him. “Alan what, Murphy? What did Alan do?”
“He beat the shit out of me daily until I was almost sixteen, among other things.”
Tears dripped down Livvy’s cheeks. She’d known. Somewhere inside, she’d known. There was no other explanation.
“He never touched Gina. That made it okay. As long as she was safe, I could handle anything he wanted to dish out.”
When he hadn’t spoken for a long time, Livvy raised her head. John stared deep into nothing. Something tremored in his body and he tightened his hold on her waist. Ache filled her and she clutched his arms. “What happened?”
He shook his head and blew out an oath. “That’s enough, Livvy. Let it go.”
“I can’t. I hurt for you.”
“Don’t.” The word sounded like a bark. The strength in his grip when he tried to push her away stunned her but she didn’t let go. For one brief second, he looked in her eyes, then shifted away. “You don’t understand. I—it’s ugly, Liv.”
“Whatever it was, you survived it.”
“Did I?” John closed his eyes and pulled her close.
She was made for sin. Sin was something he knew intimately.
John Murphy is tormented by nightmares. A bestselling young-adult author, he writes the ultimate fantasy: stories where good always triumphs. He knows better. His past has shown him the worst in people—and in himself. When he moves next door to the sexy, vibrant Livvy—a woman completely unlike his usual one-night stands—he’s driven to explore every curve of her delicious body.
Pastry chef Livvy knows that giving in to the temptation that is John Murphy won’t lead to anything permanent, but she deserves a passionate summer fling. John discovers she’s as sweet as the confections she bakes while Livvy slowly unravels his secrets. But what will happen when she uncovers them all?
Inez Kelley is a multi-published author of various romance genres. You can visit her at her website https://inezkelley.com/ Follow Inez on twitter at @Inez_Kelley or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/inez.kelley
Buy SWEET AS SIN now from Carina Press.