This is already the 9th excerpt in the FALL BOOK BASH. So scroll back through the past eight posts and check out the books that came before. We’ve had a bit of mystery, suspense, young adult, and romance. Reading excerpts from different genres and from so many authors is a fun way to find your next great read or to shop for friends and family without leaving the comfort of your easy chair. So sit back, relax, and enjoy this excerpt from author Dana Pratola’s Christian romantic suspense novel, Voice of Truth.
Sophia Gallo is celebrated and adored by millions, but in her meteoric rise to fame, it might appear she’s forgotten the One Who gave her the gift that made possible her life of wealth and glory. She hasn’t forgotten. She’s reminded every day as she endeavors to hide a secret that could change everything and expose her as the freak and outcast she always thought herself to be.
Cade Fioretti has never backed down from finding the truth, and he’s not about to start now. It’s his job and his passion. Sophia is beautiful, talented, and the subject of his next book; but she’s hiding something. No matter what it takes, he’s going to dig it up, and in the process learn all there is to know about this woman who’s stolen his heart.
VOICE OF TRUTH (excerpt)
“I’ve been meaning to tell you, I admire your stamina on stage,” Cade said, when the plane leveled at the proper altitude. “Really.”
He wasn’t going to be discouraged by the severity of her stare or the fact that the only communication between them since meeting in the terminal was an audible groan when she’d discovered that he’d managed to get a seat beside hers. He attributed the behavior to the “fallout” that a musician he’d once interviewed had described. He’d told Cade that to step from the wild exhilaration of a show to the structured composure of the real world was so dramatic it was like walking off a cliff.
Some performers became so addicted to the euphoria, that they turned to any number of controlled substances to try and keep it going as long as possible. Others, he’d been told, withdrew into themselves, as Sophia was undoubtedly doing now. He had seen one of her shows before, but had never seen her afterward. He smiled when he imagined how she must be regretting the decision not to charter a private jet.
Sophia smiled graciously when the flight attendant greeted her, then slipped right back into her quiet reserve. She put her head on the seat and closed her eyes. The better to shut him out, he thought, as he studied her in profile. She looked tired. No, drained. Even with a smattering of freckles across the bridge of her nose, called forth by their outing in the sun yesterday, her skin was paler than he was used to seeing it.
Something inside him moved and he turned away from her. It was better if he didn’t start thinking of her as someone he’d like to protect and care for. OK, truthfully it was too late for that, but he didn’t need to feel worse. He was already feeling bad about their argument. The problem wasn’t that she was hiding, but that he wanted to know everything about her, and not just for the book. Taking that out on her hadn’t been fair.
A man across the aisle already had papers spilling from a briefcase on the tray in front of him. The jacket of his gray suit was crumpled between him and the seat, and he had kicked his shoes off, revealing the worn heels of black socks. Two rows up, a very public face hid behind a pair of darkened lenses and a Chicago Cubs cap pulled low over his forehead. The woman holding his hand was not his wife.
Cade snapped his head back to Sophia. He could have sworn she’d been watching him, but her eyes were closed, hidden by those impenetrable mink lashes. He was certain after all this time they were real. Wow.
He let his gaze wander appreciatively over her face. Her features, imperfect by some standards, came together to create quite a stunning woman. Her mouth, full, lush and promising, held too much of his attention, he admitted. He studied her nose, small and straight, sculpted by nature, it seemed, as an afterthought and standing in harmony with the gentle curve of her chin. A chin, he reminded himself, which could jut out in defiance at the slightest provocation.
His eyes followed the elegant lines of her neck as her head lay to the side. He had no doubt she knew he was watching her; he could see her pulse beat at the base of her throat. Against his better judgment, his eyes went back to her lips. He knew how they would feel, the way they would move under his. He could almost hear her subtle intake of breath, which she would fashion into a sigh.
“Would you like anything?” asked the pretty brunette flight attendant suddenly at his elbow.
“No thanks…Gretchen,” he said, reading the young woman’s nametag. “You?” he asked Sophia, giving her arm a nudge.
“Nothing, thanks,” she said, without opening her eyes.
Gretchen smiled down at Cade. “If you change your mind, let me know,” she said and pushed the cart away.
Cade watched her move up the aisle, her hips utilizing every spare inch of the narrow aisle. He couldn’t help but notice that she had legs that went up to her shoulders, or that she took a quick look at him whenever she had opportunity. When she stooped to pick up a napkin, he cleared his throat and turned to Sophia.
“Are you going to pretend you’re sleeping the whole way back?”
Cade nodded. “Well, you don’t mind if I read, do you?”
Sophia jerked a careless shoulder.
Cade stood up and pulled a book from his bag overhead. “Stephen King,” he said. He didn’t expect a response. He sat back, got comfortable and began to read. Aloud.
Sophia shifted in her seat, but didn’t look at him. Nor did she complain or ask him to be quiet. Occasionally the plane swayed with turbulence but Cade propped his elbow up to join hers on the armrest and continued reading in low, clear tones. It wasn’t long before he heard the change in her breathing, telling him that she had fallen asleep.
Cade closed the book and looked at her. She was facing him now, the gentle rise and fall of her breasts was a form of hypnotism; her lips parted in sleep, a beckoning that he felt compelled to answer. In his mind he could lean in and kiss her. It would be sweet, natural.
Only in fantasy. To satisfy his curiosity would mean crossing unspoken boundaries. It would mean jeopardizing everything he was working towards. It was a fact that thousands of red-blooded males found her desirable. He was no different. He was a normal, healthy man with wants and appetites and she was a beautiful, talented woman. But he had been with beautiful, talented women before, and never had he let desire overshadow his objectivity. He wasn’t going to start now.
Thanks for stopping by! Hope you enjoyed the excerpt today. If so, leave a comment for Dana and say hello!