Rescue  Me

Keith is a soldier with a wounded heart.

Torie’s secrets haunt her.

Can they trust love enough to mend what’s broken?

 

Torie Walker is a police officer with a past she’d like to stay hidden from. Staying at her best friend’s cabin in the mountains over Christmas is just what she needs. However, when a handsome cowboy saunters into her life, she takes the risk and trusts him with her secrets.

 

Keith Scott is a United States Marine. Home for the holidays, he intends to spend a quiet Christmas with his family. What he doesn’t plan on is Torie Walker, a woman who mends his heart and makes him want to love again.      

“The atmosphere on the Scott family ranch makes me want to pack my bags and head to Tahoe in search of a cozy cabin in the woods!” 

—TINGS MOM

“A sweet, pleasant story with a touch of suspense. Curl up in front of a fireplace, sip a warm beverage and enjoy this sweet romance.” 

—HOLLY, GOODREADS

“I thought everything about Get to Me was excellent. The characters

(edgy and real), the plot (fast-paced), the kissing (steamy without ever being inappropriate for a Christian novel), the Christian message (subtle but

a key element), and the writing—some of the lines were simply brilliant. But I’ll let you discover that for yourself. Get to Me isn’t typical Christian fiction, in that it’s a little on the edgy side: imperfect characters with issues, but that’s the kind of Christian fiction

I like best.” 

—AUSTRALASIAN CHRISTIAN WRITERS

“This one is my favorite of the 3; Definitely recommend this book.”

MISTY COFFEY, AMAZON

“Overall a good story, a fun, heart-warming romance and a great read.” 

—WRITE WITH ME

“Great faith based romance book. Highly recommend.” 

—JENNIFER, GOODREADS

“This is a sweet, emotionally-charged romance that gently unfolds as Torie and Keith learn to trust each other. The pacing is nice and steady, and it kept my interest from start to finish.  While this is a faith based love story, both characters believe from the start, so their faith is sprinkled in a bit at a time with a reference to reading their bible and turning to prayer. I enjoyed that part of the story a great deal.” 

—AUTHOR VIKKY VAUGHT

“I love this book! I could not put this book down!”

TERESSA MADDOX, AMAZON

 

“There was something so satisfying in seeing two equally matched, strong individuals coming together in a give and take situation. I loved it.” 

—GETTING YOUR READ

“A wonderful story.” 

—JULIE, GOODREADS

 

“It is the perfect book to cuddle up in front of a fire with and drinking a cup of hot-chocolate and marshmallows.” 

—ENDLESS READING

“I highly recommend this book to readers who enjoy Christian romance and mystery.” 

STEPHANIE HESS, AMAZON

“Sweet, clean romance! ...

The characters are well written, mature, and deal with issues and struggles like adults. It was a refreshing change from some of the current trends in romance novels” 

—THE ROMANCE BOOK DISCIPLE

“This was a perfect story to read to start off the Christmas holidays.” 

—KATHYANNE, GOODREADS

“This story talks about love, forgiveness and moving forward … Love can heal anything and can chase away even the strongest demons we have.” 

—REVIEWS OF A BOOK MANIAC

Reviews

Keith made his way toward the barn. He’d tossed and turned all night thinking about Torie. A cool shower this morning hadn’t help matters so he figured a good, long workout would get his mind off her. At least for a little while.

 

It wasn’t as if there was anything wrong with Torie. In fact, it was the opposite. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d sat on a sofa with a woman and just…hung out. He wasn’t much of a talker to begin with, and most women he met were. But not Torie. Sure, she’d told him about her family, something he sensed wasn’t easy for her. She was beginning to trust him and he liked that. He liked that a lot. But most of the evening they sat in peaceful silence, appreciating the tree and listening to music.

 

It also wasn’t easy to tamp down his attraction to Torie, but when she said her dad had been abusive, some things fell into place. And the last thing Keith wanted was to scare her away. Trusting him couldn’t be easy for her and the fact that Torie did made him even more protective of her than he already was.

 

He shook his head. What was he thinking? Getting any closer to Torie was not a good idea. They were just friends, right? He could do that. Be friends. His head said that was the way to go. His heart chuckled and said, “Just keep telling yourself that one, Dude.”

 

The barn came into view. Good. Time to get a good sweat going and his mind off Torie. He stopped. Was that music coming from the barn? He moved towards the door. Yep. Someone was in there. And playing ’60s music.

 

Keith opened the door and peered inside. The music came from an iPod propped up on a hay bale. A discarded T-shirt lay nearby. What the….? This was his private oasis from the world. Who would be using it without his permission?

 

Soft grunts caused him to turn his head. All hope of forgetting about Torie flew out the window. Dressed in workout clothes that showed every curve, she was doing pull-ups like her life depended on it. She was six feet of pure muscle. Solid on the outside, shattered and frail on the inside.

 

Good Lord, he was in trouble.     

 

She hadn’t seen him yet. He stood in the doorway a moment more and watched, not wanting to scare her and also wanting a moment to compose himself. She knocked him off his game on every level.

 

She dropped from the pull-up bar and immediately went to push-ups. Crap, this woman was intense. He’d seen women in the Marine Corps who could run circles around some of the men but still… Torie was a force to be reckoned with, physically and otherwise.

 

The song ended on her iPod and the quiet in the barn was palpable, her heavy breathing the only sound. He took a step inside the door and the crackle of hay beneath his feet caused her to turn. In one swift motion she jumped to her feet, poised for a fight.

 

Keith put his hands up in surrender. “Whoa. It’s okay. It’s just me.”

 

She dropped her hands but kept a solid defensive stance. “I didn’t hear you come in,” she said between deep breaths.

 

“Yeah. Sorry. You seemed in the zone. Didn’t want to interrupt that.” Yeah. Sure. She’d buy that. It certainly sounded better than “I was ogling you for a minute. Hope you don’t mind.” Keith blinked hard to try and clear his head. He had to get his act together.

 

Torie walked over and grabbed the long-sleeved T-shirt off the hay bale. She put it on then wiped her brow with the sleeve. “Sorry. I was out for a run and found this place.” Hands on her hips, she looked around. Her breathing had slowed a bit. “It’s pretty great. I couldn’t resist.”

 

“No worries. It’s yours to use while you’re here.”

 

“Thanks.”

 

“Don’t let me cut short your workout either.”

 

Back out the door and leave her alone, Scott. It’s better for both of you.

 

“I can leave…” He pointed a thumb over his shoulder towards the door. “Or join you, if you don’t mind having a workout partner.” And… there went the brilliant idea of leaving. Searching her eyes for a response, he tried to ignore the please say stay, please say stay that chanted along with his heartbeat.

 

Her eyes had been guarded when he first came in. They softened as she said, “You can stay. That’s fine. I actually could use a spotter on the heavier weights.”

 

He nodded and moved inside the barn, closing the door behind him. “Sounds good. Where do you want to start?”

 

Without hesitating she turned towards the side wall and said, “Squat rack.”

 

He waved her forward. “After you.”

 

They moved around together in quiet, the only noise being the music floating from her iPod again. Keith had put together this personal gym for the times he was home, not only to stay in shape for work but also as a respite from the world. In here, the world outside melted away, along with stress and any other crap he carried from his time overseas. Right now his mind could only focus on the woman in front of him who continued to rack more weight on the bar.

 

“You sure you can handle that?” he asked.

 

Torie stopped, gave him a hardcore stare, and added on twenty more pounds. She moved under the bar, adjusting it just right along her shoulders and said, “This is just a warm-up, Captain America. Let’s see if you can keep up.”

 

He laughed and stepped behind her to spot her. They took turns on the squat rack then moved to push press and some core work. Torie’s presence was calming. They didn’t talk, just moved through a workout. Keith sensed a shift in Torie. She was relaxing, leaving behind whatever was bothering her just as he did when he was in here. Curiosity burned in his gut, though, at what it was exactly she needed to leave behind.

 

“You wanna end with a run?” Torie’s voice pulled him from his thoughts.

 

He hid his surprise at how she still had any energy, but, not about to be outdone by a woman said, “Sure.”     

 

They moved in sync as they put weights and equipment away. “Rescue Me” by Fontella Bass came through the iPod.     

 

“You like the oldies, huh?” he teased.     

 

She smiled. A tender smile that reached her eyes. “Yeah. My gram listened to them all the time. It’s music that brings back happy memories.”     

 

He had a sense she didn’t have many of those.     

 

Her eyes glimmered and she said, “You dance, Captain America?”     

 

“Maybe,” he teased.     

 

She grabbed his hand and led him to the center of the workout area. “Come on. I’ll show you some old-school moves.”     

 

“Whoa!” He tried to pull back a bit but she tugged on him more. “You mean now?”     

“Of course I mean now.” She put a hand on her hip and looked him up and down. “Unless you’re chicken.”     

 

Her look caused a shiver through him. A chicken was the last thing he was at that moment.     

 

“Come on!” She grabbed his hand again. She held it tight as she moved left then right then back. “Watch my feet. It’s basically a triangle, but we do the opposite of one another.” She kept stepping as he followed her movements. He’d been country dancing since he was in diapers so he caught on pretty fast. Their steps synced with the beat of the music. Moving with him in perfect time, she threw her head back and laughed.     

 

“You can dance!” The look on her face was not unlike when she discovered twinkle lights the night before. He soaked it in like a man in a desert, her joy being the water he so desperately craved.     

 

He pulled her to him, switching their steps so he led as he twirled her around the room. She laughed and rested her forehead on his chest.     

 

The music stopped. Keith slowed them down until they stood in the center of the room again, still holding one another. Torie smiled up at him, and damn it if that didn’t make him want to puff out his chest and announce to the world that he’d been the one to make her eyes shine.     

 

A shot rang out from outside the barn and Torie jumped. In a split second she went from relaxed to so tense Keith could feel every muscle in her body go tight. She tried to push from his embrace but he held her close. He felt her heartbeat against his chest accelerate, adrenaline pulsing through her system.     

 

“It’s okay. Dad’s target shooting, I’m sure.”     

 

She looked up at him. Her eyes were guarded again. He’d lost her.     

 

She nodded and stepped away from him. She walked over to her iPod and clipped it back on her pants.     

 

“I’m sorry. I should’ve told you. We should have warned you so you wouldn’t be scared.”     

 

She turned to him. “I’m a cop, Keith. I’m not afraid of a gunshot.”     

 

He nodded, accepting her answer. For now. But she was lying. Yes, she was a cop, and quite fearless on many fronts. But she was spooked. And he wanted to know why.     

 

Now wasn’t the time to ask though. There was that tricky trust issue again. She needed to feel safe with him. Safe to share whatever it was she was worried about. Or hiding from.     

 

“You still up for a run?” he asked.

 

“Absolutely.”

Excerpt 

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