About the book:
Is it possible for a heart to survive twenty five years of abuse on the most intimate level?
For anyone in a relationship, the words 'we need to talk' can only mean one thing. In the last twenty-two years, the McKenzies have been through it, survived it, learned by it, and grown stronger from it, because life didn't stop for breath when they needed it. Amongst the tears and the tragedies, the hopes and happiness, they've built something amazing: a happy family, a luxury lifestyle and a booming empire. Don't they deserve to have it all?
But for the perfect wife, those four sinister words mean something entirely different. They're a summons into a private world where what happens behind closed doors stays behind closed doors.
Faith has no doubt in Calvin's undying love for her. It's what kept her sane in the darkest hours. If only she could figure out what it is she does wrong...because it's rapidly becoming apparent their tainted love is running out of time.
Tainted Love is an intimate look at a side of marriage many people never see.
Excerpt from Tainted LoveI still remember that day like it was just this morning. The aroma of fresh bread and sandwich meat in the air. I still hear the sounds of senior boys laughing with junior high school girls as they learned flirting and practiced flicking their hair. You were all so patient with Georgia and her friends, even though you were six years older.
I remember telling you to stay out in the front, stay off the drive and to stay out of the workmen’s way. It was the year we had a super hot summer and Cal decided we needed a pool. It was the same year we bought Caleb his new bike. It was black with racing car red flames at the wheels and he loved it. He had just turned nine and really started to spread his little wings. It was getting to the point where I’d only see you guys when you were hungry.
Caleb had taken off on his bike to James’ house early that morning. You and Georgia were out front with your friends, and I was in the kitchen feeding what seemed like thousands of kids when it happened — the screech of tires, then a crash and a bang.
Then all I heard was screaming. My heart stopped. I flew out the door. Everyone was running in one direction. But not me. I froze at the porch. My eyes scanned the street. Where were you? I was looking for the most important three kids. No, two, because Caleb wasn’t there.
So far, I could only see Georgia. I saw the tears were pouring from her eyes. My heart dropped into my stomach. The fear, it lodged in my throat like a ball. “Darryl!”
I shot to the edge of the garden. The street was a war zone of twisted metal and tilting poles. Streets lights were held up by cables and solider like old oak trees.
“Someone call 911!” I yelled and pushed my way through the crowd. I dreaded what I’d find there. Some combination of you mangled with a car.
“Darryl!” I yelled again as I burst through the front line. I felt sweet relief. You were crouched by the rear of that blue sedan. You were perfectly fine. My heart started beating again. That’s when I saw the red flames. They were underneath the car’s back wheel.
“Oh, God.” There was no blood thumping through my eardrums. There was nothing else in the world at all. Just those red flames and that car tire. I think that’s when I sunk to the ground. “Oh, God, no.” It wasn’t happening. My baby. Caleb. My little man. “No.”
“It’s really uncomfortable D, but I’m really okay.”
His voice was sweet music to my ears. I just sat back on my heels for a second and took a deep breath. He was awake, he was talking, and he said he was okay.
“I know, buddy,” you said. “But it’s just until the EMT gets here. They need to say you’re okay, and then you can get up.”
The bike’s front wheel was under one wheel but the rest of the bike lay untouched underneath the vehicle and Caleb’s legs were still straddled around the frame. I sent prayers of thanks to the man above, because considering the street and how lucky Caleb had been, someone had performed one hell of a miracle.
“Hey, little man.” My voice was shaking as I crawled towards you. “Darryl, can you update Georgia and call Cal?” You nodded and went to move. “Then come back.” You met my eyes. I think you knew Caleb wanted you there. “Little man, I need to check your heart rate, okay?” Caleb nodded. I reached for his wrist and found his pulse, then looked at the seconds on my watch. I trembled inside and my own heart rate hadn’t stopped racing and I had to recount twice. “I think it’s okay.” I couldn’t be sure. My head was second guessing what I recalled from a lifetime ago. “Do you hurt anywhere?”
“I think I grazed my knee.”
“Oh.” That couldn’t be all. He was virtually trapped under a car! “Can you live with that?” I asked as you returned to my side. “Or do we need to chop it off?”
He giggled and shook his head. The laughter came to an abrupt stop. He looked at his tee. “Is that blood?”
I stared at the dark mark on his white t-shirt. It didn’t look like blood to me.
“No, buddy,” you said. “It’s oil.”
“What’s it doing on my shirt?”
I’m so glad you were there. My eyes were too focused on finding where it had come from to reply. But your attention was only on keeping Caleb calm. You simply said, “Didn’t your Mom and Dad tell you? You’re a robot.”
About the author:Erin Cawood is a commercial women’s fiction author, with a taste for dramatic storylines and a passion for strong lead characters she really gets behind, cheering on right to the very end of their story. Her focus? Taking romance into the darker, edgier side of contemporary fiction.
Erin lives in Leeds, UK, with her partner of thirteen years and their fourteen-year-old cat. She spends her days somewhere between the fiction world and the student world. Fascinated by web design and digital communication, Erin is studying a BA (hons) in New Media at the University of Leeds. Before returning to full time education two years ago, Erin worked at a theme park, a convenience store, a public house/restaurant both in the kitchen and waitressing, as an insurance agent and currently works part time in a customer contact centre.
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