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Erica Rothman looked to have it all. Beauty, a successful modelling career, overseas travel, money and a handsome boyfriend or did she? Looks can be deceiving.
After fleeing the UK and her violent, abusive boyfriend she gave up modelling and came home to Australia to lick her wounds after Liam had attempted to kill them both in a car accident during a fit of jealous rage.
She wanted to keep what had happened to her a secret from her family until her brother Nathan accidentally learns the truth.
When he takes her to see the project he and his business partner and friend have bought to make money on, it seemed innocent enough until she meets his friend.
Zane Harrison is gorgeous, sexy and everything a woman could ever want in a man. He was probably used to having women fall at his feet. That’s exactly what Erica did when she met him; she literally fainted at the man’s feet.
The attraction is there and he could be the perfect man for her but is it too risky to get involved with him? Can she escape the horrors of her past? Will she ever be able to overcome just what it is about him that affects her so much?
WARNING: THIS BOOK IS INTENDED FOR THOSE 18 YEARS AND OVER. IT CONTAINS CONSENSUAL SEX SCENES, DESCRIPTIONS OF ABUSE AND ONE NON CONSENSUAL SEX SCENE. HOWEVER THIS IS NOT DARK EROTICA AND I DO BELIEVE IN HAPPILY EVER AFTER.
This book is a sequel to Taming Eric but set 15 years later. It is a standalone novel and it is not necessary to read Taming Eric first.
Erica let herself into her parents’ home, the home she’d lived in from birth and listened for a moment to the laughter and voices coming from the dining room. It was Christmas Eve and she was late for the family dinner. Not that her family knew that since she hadn’t been able to guarantee she’d make it home for Christmas anyway.
It was just lucky that filming had finished early and she’d been able to get a seat on the first flight out of London. Someone had cancelled making a seat available and although she’d been stuck with an economy seat and jammed in between a quite large woman and a man who had spent most of the flight trying to chat her up, it had been worth it to get home that little bit quicker. She knew she could have called Daddy and he would have sent the company jet but she wanted to surprise her family when they really weren’t expecting her.
She stopped for a moment to check her appearance in the mirror over the hall stand and noticed the dark circles under her blue eyes, a blue that vivid they appeared almost purple under some lighting. Her auburn hair hung down one shoulder in a plait that finished just below her full breasts and she ran her hands down over her dress trying to smooth out the creases after being crammed in a plane for so many hours.
Slowly she moved towards the dining room, smiling as the voices grew louder the closer she got. Nathan was telling them something about his and his girlfriend Taylah’s last holiday together. Apparently she had managed to lock herself out of their room while only wearing a towel and Erica grinned to herself when everyone burst out laughing.
She made it to the dining room doorway and got her first look at her family in three months. Alice was there as were Beverly, Tom and Maggie but her eyes shifted past them to the tall figure of her Father standing by the window. Even in his early 50’s he was still a very attractive man and to her he was her hero. She loved her Father, she always had. He had been her protector, her savior and the person who could never say no to her.
Nathan was seated at the table, the light shining on his strawberry blonde hair with Taylah by his side; her dark almost exotic looks a complete contrast to him.
Brooklyn and Charlotte occupied another couple of chairs at the table and Erica noticed Brooklyn had somehow talked her parents in to letting her get a nose piercing if the diamond glinting in it was any indication. At 15 they were looking so much more mature than she remembered but the phones in their hands as they texted or were on Facebook proved that they still had some maturing to do yet.
Her Mother was seated up the other end of the table, looking her usual unruffled self, her auburn hair the exact same color as Erica’s twisted into some elaborate knot at her nape.
Erica smiled at the sight of them all together, all the people she loved most in her life. Suddenly her Mother looked up and saw her standing there and a wide smile transformed her face at the sight of her eldest daughter.
“Erica, darling, you made it.” She stood up with her usual grace. Her Mother’s mention of her name was enough to draw the attention of everyone else and the chatter stopped briefly before everyone started getting to their feet to come and greet her.
Before anyone reached her, she saw her father coming towards her with that long stride of his and he caught her up, swinging her around and around in his arms despite her protests and squeals at him.
He lowered her feet to the floor and pulled her into his arms for a hug, holding her tight and Erica realized at that moment how much her father had missed her. They’d been inseparable until her career had started to take off and now she was often gone for weeks or even several months at a time. Lately it was months and months in between visits back home.
“Daddy.” She said and that was all she could say as the tears started to fall and when she finally pulled back enough to see her father’s face, he had tears rolling down his cheeks too.
“I missed you so much Daddy.”
“Not as much as I’ve missed you sweet pea.” He told her huskily before hugging her tightly to him again.
Erica knew her father hated her job. She’d heard often enough about how he used to only date models years ago before Mum’s time. He’d found them shallow and self-centered so he had found it hard to accept that his own daughter had gone on to become a highly successful model.
He’d never once tried to stop her and had always been supportive and going by the collection of her professional photos hanging around the house, he was proud of her despite her career choice. Technically she hadn’t intended to get into modelling but it had been the fairy tale beginning for her. After being spotted at sixteen and talked into having some studio shots taken the rest as they say was history.
She had become an extremely wealthy woman from modelling but all that money didn’t mean much when her personal life was one huge mess. She had come home not just to see her family but to lick her wounds and recover from the physical and emotional damage done to her by her ex-boyfriend. She didn’t dare tell her father about what Liam had done to her. She just wanted to spend time with her family and try to push the whole horrible nightmare to the back of her mind.
With a huge grin on her face she pulled out of her father’s arms and turned to greet the rest of her family, her arms spread wide. “Well come on then, is Daddy the only one pleased to see me? Where’s my hugs?”
Her Mother stepped forward, a wide smile on her face, her arms outstretched and Erica walked into her embrace, dropping her head on her shoulder as she breathed in her Mother’s familiar vanilla scent. Before she could get too comfortable though, she was pulled into Nathan’s arms and given a hug that tight, she winced. She fought to keep the pain from her expression because her pain was from more than his big bear hug embrace, it was pain from bones that were still healing. She didn’t want anyone to see that though so she struggled to mask her reaction from her family. She didn’t want anyone to know what had happened. She just needed time to get over this with the people she loved most around her. She needed time to forget what Liam had done to her. God, just thinking about him sent a shiver through her and Erica pulled away from her brother and with a false smile on her face she said. “I’m starving. Can your poor old daughter and sister get something to eat before I collapse?”
With bursts of laughter and Nathan teasing her about her not being entitled to anything more than a lettuce leaf given she was some big shot model, her family cleared a spot for her at the table.
Brooklyn and Charlotte dropped kisses on her cheeks when she sat down. Erica took the plate of food from her mother’s hands that seemed to have miraculously filled itself and began to eat. The constant noise and laughter from her family was both comforting and familiar to her. She realized just how much she’d missed it, how much she’d missed them. Being back with them like this would help for a short time at least. She could forget about the past, forget about the pain and try and push the hell Liam had put her through from her mind.
About J.A. Melville
From my teenage years, all I wanted to do was become a writer one day. Even now as an adult woman with a partner and three children who are not so little anymore, I've always lived with my head in the clouds, a dreamer, often amusing myself with my own imagination. It might have taken me awhile to finally live my dream, but I did it. I hope to one day be good enough to stand beside the many talented writers out there who have kept me entertained with their wonderful stories over the years. I live in a sleepy country town in Tasmania, Australia with my partner and three children plus our 4 cats, dog and cattle. I've had to overcome many emotional obstacles along the way to get to this point and attempting to self-publish a book does tend to make a person feel like they've thrown themselves in at the deep end of the pool. Here's hoping some of you actually like what I write and save me from drowning in the deep end as I probably forgot to mention, I can't swim.
Where to findJ.A. Melville