Today, I’m pleased to be able to introduce you to a suspenseful, edge-of-your seat novel. Dangerous Embrace, by Dana Mason, is the kind of book you don’t want to read late at night. Sarah, an elementary teacher, is assaulted on her way home from work. She fights the attacker off, but her near miss brings back painful memories of a previous abusive relationship. When Mark, a knight in shining armor with a security company, steps into the picture, Sarah is conflicted: on the one hand, she’s terrified for her life, and on the other hand, she’s strangely attracted to Mark.
Weaving two complicated, frightening story lines together, Mason has crafted a book that is emotional and terrifying. Although I love a good suspense novel from time to time, the extremely violent nature of this story made it hard to read. Sarah’s attack and her memories of previous attacks are brutal: this story isn’t for the squeamish reader, but fans of shows like CSI and THE CLOSER will enjoy the mystery that surrounds Sarah and Mark.
Excerpt from Dangerous Embrace
Sarah pried open her heavy eyelids and turned, trying to focus on the clock. “Ow, dammit!” She clenched her teeth and looked down at the sling tied to her arm. The smothering realization pressed on her chest. When the nausea hit, she flung the covers off and rushed to the bathroom, fighting to get to the toilet before her stomach heaved.
When the painful dry heaving stopped, she lay back on the cold tile floor, exhausted, and waited for the room to stop spinning. Her ragged breaths roared in her ears and seemed to echo in the quiet room. When her breathing slowed, the silence ebbed around her in waves, but when footsteps approached the bathroom door, she tensed again.
A bead of sweat dripped down her scalp and at the same time someone tapped at the door. Her pulse spiked and she fought like hell to remember who brought her home from the hospital.
She closed her eyes. “Who’s there?” The waver in her voice pissed her off. Gawd—please don’t let me be pathetic in front of whoever this is.
A hesitant and completely unfamiliar man’s voice said, “Are you all right? Do you need something?”
Sarah sucked in a hard breath. “Um…” She exhaled slowly. “Who are you?”
She stiffened and tried to sit up. “Do I know you?” she asked her voice pitching.
“I can explain if you open the door.”
She steadied herself against the bathtub. The sling had slipped up her arm, exposing the trail of bruises. She swallowed another wave of nausea and tried to put the pieces together. Mark Summors? She glanced around for something to use as a weapon just in case, then she wanted to laugh—and cry. Who the hell was she kidding? She rolled her eyes. Good plan, Sarah, take on a strange guy with a toilet brush.
“Can I come in?” His voice was muffled as if he was resting his face against the door.
“Go ahead.” She clamped her mouth closed to suppress a shiver, then said, “It’s unlocked.”
The door eased open and a cup of water shot out at her.
“Oh, thank you,” she cried out, relieved to wash the disgusting film out of her mouth. She snatched the cup out of his hand and gulped it, letting her eyes lift above the rim to see his face.
“Ah.” Sarah choked and inhaled the water. She set the cup down, almost upending it as she dropped it. “Oh my God!” She would never forget those intense blue eyes, just like she would never forget the smell of her attacker’s breath. They were all thrown together in the same horrifying memory.