Happy Monday Y’all! It’s that time again! I’m joining Herding Cats & Burning Soup for the Monday meme Quote-Tastic, celebrating our favorite quotes from our favorite books! Today I have a short excerpt for you from Dana Mason’s Dangerous Embrace (Embrace #1). If you like romantic suspense, this is one to check out. The sequel, Precious Embrace was just released this past week. This is longer than I usually do for Quote-Tastic, but I think you’ll agree, it’s worth the read! Hope you enjoy:
Dangerous Embrace (Embrace #1)
by Dana Mason
The loud, blaring sound vibrated through Sarah’s body like a jolt of adrenalin. She jerked up and grimaced at the pain in her left shoulder. She scrambled off the side of the bed and landed hard.
“Shit, shit, shit,” she said as she pulled the top drawer of her nightstand out and onto the floor, letting everything spill out. She grabbed her gun, braced herself against the bed, and peered over the top of the mattress, her eyes scanning the room. Even in the dimness of night, she had a perfect view of the bedroom door.
She couldn’t see much else, but could hear someone banging around in her kitchen.
Sweat beaded up on her forehead, and her hands were slippery as the tip of the gun jittered in her trembling hands. She looked around for her phone. Oh God, she couldn’t breathe, how stupid of her not to keep the phone nearby. She took several shuddering, deep breaths and tried to keep from hyperventilating.
Don’t panic, Sarah. She didn’t know what to do. Run, stay…hide?
Cursing and loud crashing came from the kitchen. The blaring alarm streamed through her brain and pounded along with her rapid pulse, making it impossible to focus. She heard the phone ringing but was too afraid to look around for it again. If she took her eyes off the door, she’d lose her line of sight in the dark room.
A large figure came into view. Sarah shrank behind the bed, extending her arms out with her gun gripped in both hands. Her body went ridged with fear. She couldn’t tell if he had a weapon in his hand, but that didn’t matter, his presence alone was threatening enough.
He panted like a dog in heat when he entered, his eyes searching the room, the narrow stream of light from his flashlight bouncing off the furniture and walls. The glow from the light skipped right over her head, and she hoped—prayed he hadn’t seen her. Bile rose in her throat at the sight of him, and every instinct in her said to run like hell, but she couldn’t move. He peered into her bathroom before moving toward the closet. When he turned back, their eyes locked. The eye contact sent a rush of blood to her head. A wave of hatred mixed with fear coursed through her. She would kill him if she had to.
He took a step closer, and without the slightest hesitation, she pulled the trigger. The blast from the end of the gun lit the room. The power behind the shot jerked her hands up and sent a jolt of pain through her shoulder. She righted herself, not taking her eyes off him, ready to take another shot.
He pushed off the wall and grabbed his arm, leaning forward slightly. “Fuckin’ bitch,” he huffed. “You fucking shot me!” He staggered out of her room, smashing something in the living room.
Sarah tried to hold still, her hands so sweaty the heavy gun nearly slipped from her grip. When his feet shuffled on the wood floor, she froze again and braced for another fight, but heard him fumbling with the locks on the front door. The door banged open, slamming against the wall as his footsteps stormed out.
When Mark pulled into her driveway, the alarm boomed through the open front door. His pulse accelerated at the sight of the dark house. Once he gripped the cold steel of his ninemillimeter, he calmed down and focused.
He inched toward the front door, listening for anything through the screeching alarm. The house was completely dark, but he caught the outline of the overturned table blocking the entrance in time to keep from tripping over it.
“Sarah?” he called as he inched through the house. “Sarah!” he shouted more urgent this time with his gun extended into her bedroom. The bed was empty and the blankets trailed onto the floor. Mark took a breath to force back the panic.
Oh, thank God. Hearing her voice settled him slightly. The whimper came from the other side of the bed, and when he looked closer, his eyes rested on the gun pointed at him.
“Yes…Sarah…it’s Mark. Is he gone?”
“Oh, God,” she breathed, but held the gun steady.
“Are you okay?”
Sarah began to sob, still clinging to the shaking gun.
The steadiness he’d felt moments ago was gone, the image of her scared and crouched on the floor hiding in her pajamas nearly broke him. He stepped around the bed and carefully laid a hand on her wrist. “Put the gun down.”
She dropped it and pulled her hand to her chest.
Mark knelt next to her, approaching her gently, hoping not to scare her further. “Are you hurt?”
Her shoulders jerked with her sobs, and she leaned into Mark’s chest, gripping his t-shirt with her little fists. He scooped her up and leaned back against the wall, holding her in his lap. She jittered uncontrollably in his arms, and her clothes were soaked through with sweat. “It’s okay, Sarah. I’m here. Take a breath.” He pulled his phone out of his pocket and hit the speed dial for Summors’ dispatch.
“Yeah,” he shouted. “I’m here, shut it down.”
The alarm stopped, sirens replacing the noise.
Mark tried to take a deep breath before he said, “Seth, did you get Brian Hammel?”
“He’s on his way. Everything okay?”
“She’s fine.” He closed his phone and stuffed it back into his pocket.
“Sarah.” He looked down at her. She was curled in his lap, still clutching his shirt. “Let me look at you. Did he hurt you?”
“No,” she sobbed, her body still trembling. “I’m okay.”
“I don’t know.”
“How about your shoulder? Let me check it.” He pulled back and looked at her face first. She was stark white and shining with sweat and tears. He wiped her face and brushed her hair back. Relief swamped him, then guilt. Someone should have been here—he should’ve been here to protect her. When she shuddered again, he pulled her tighter and whispered, “You’re okay, Sarah.”
He’d make sure of it.
Leave a comment with your favorite quotes!
And don’t forget to check out the other participating blogs:
Dangerous Embrace Links:
Amazon US http://www.amazon.com/Dangerous-Embrace-The-Series-ebook/dp/B009KVHBQG
Amazon UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/Dangerous-Embrace-The-Series-ebook/dp/B009KVHBQG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1360097146&sr=8-1
Amazon CA http://www.amazon.ca/Dangerous-Embrace-ebook/dp/B009KVHBQG/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1372482970&sr=1-2
Precious Embrace Links:
Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Precious-Embrace-Series-ebook/dp/B00DUEKIGO/
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Precious-Embrace-Series-ebook/dp/B00DUEKIGO/
Amazon CA: http://www.amazon.ca/Precious-Embrace-Series-ebook/dp/B00DUEKIGO/
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/precious-embrace-dana-mason/1115958930?ean=2940148345701