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Perfectly Broken


Sexy Irishman, Tomas Demsey, will steal your heart! This new adult romance takes place in Dublin, Ireland where he finds the mysterious, if dark, woman he falls for. It’s a love story filled with angst, but simmering with passion.

Susanna Peters, after losing the only family she ever knew, is obsessed with a lifestyle she can’t escape from. Trusting enough to give her heart to one man terrifies her, and she knows the fairy tale will end.

“Maybe if she had met him sooner, or wasn’t so set in her ways. Or if her adoptive parents were still alive, Susanna might be able to grip onto the ledge and pull herself up. As it was, she was slipping down the slope, and though Tomas thought he could catch her, she knew differently.

And he persisted in telling her a fairy tale in an attempt to persuade her that he was a prince and she was a maiden. That would be nice. But life was harsh, and things didn’t work out just because some romantic guy decided to play pretend.”

This New Adult Romance can be read as a standalone novel. (Perfect Imperfection is a series. Each book is a romance of one of the sexy guys from the same high school gang. They can be read in any order.)

Recommended for 18+ For adult situations and language.

 

Reviews


Rarely does a book leave me at a loss for words but this is one of those books. The story of Tomas and Susannah. Susannah feels she is alone in the world with no one to love or care for her. It seems like life has dealt her an unfair share which leaves her in long standing state of depression. She uses drugs, booze, and sex as comforts if only for a little while. Though one night with Tomas makes her see things in a new light. In him she just may find a new way to cope. Tomas is everything she needs and wants though she is afraid. He takes control something she never had done by anyone. He loves her, cares about her and wants to let go of the sadness that she has held on for so long. By the end of this story I was emotionally broken and in tears. Definitely one of my top reads of 2014.  Claudia T.

I loved how this book started out. And how it gives us viewpoints from both sides. Those are my favorite reads. Tomas and Susanna have incredible tension and you enjoy seeing how they navigate their own inner turmoil and get under each other’s skin. This was my second Perfectly read by EJT. Can’t wait for the next one! Wonder where it’ll be located? Foreign settings up the ante for me in terms of enjoyment. Like going to a different world.   Tiffany R.

Excerpt


Perfectly Broken

Sexy & Dangerous Series

Chapter 1

 

The funeral home in Dublin was large, like a maze, with long hallways and various rooms, each with some special purpose. Tomas Dempsey wandered around, uncomfortable about his grandfather’s funeral, and expecting to see ghosts at every turn.

Then he saw a princess, or so she appeared to him. Down the corridor was a stunning woman with long, flowing hair that had a red shimmer to the blond undertones. She wore a black jacket and skirt that, even in their reflection of grief, lent a sensual atmosphere.

Her bare legs caught his eye, and he took time to drink in their shapely form. Even in her leather high heels, the woman was several inches shorter than Tomas. It wasn’t so much her figure as her aura that attracted him.

Not that Tomas was a mystical sort; he wasn’t. Yet if ghost she was, he would have believed it. The way she glided down the long passageway with nary a sound, even in her heels, made it seem as though she was floating. The sway of her hips enticed him.

Everything about her begged Tomas to come closer, while at the same time, drifting away from him as something he couldn’t have. Before that moment, he had not seen a woman like her. She seemed ethereal, even wispy, making him think if he dared touch the delicate form it would vanish like so much fairy dust.

The entire time, the petite woman had her back to him. Tomas wanted to see her face, to know if she was as beautiful as he imagined. But she didn’t turn, and he stood staring. When he recovered from the sight of her unexpected appearance, he willed his body to move.

Yet his limbs seemed heavy, as if in a dream, and though his heart pounded, Tomas felt his body go weak. Unable to call after her, to stop her so he could meet her, it was all he could do to make his legs move. First one step, then the next.

On the slick floor, he slid a bit in his effort to catch up. Passing several doorways, Tomas made it to the end of the hall and turned the corner. But she seemed to have disappeared. Up ahead he spotted a large room, where his family sat, waiting.

If luck would hold, the incredible woman was part of the family. There were so many aunts, uncles, and cousins that Tomas could never keep track. The bad part would be if he was actually related to her too closely.

Hoping she was a friend of the family, or distant enough not to be off limits, Tomas scanned the room. It was deathly quiet, which made everyone seem as though they were in a different dimension. Most of the relatives in the crowded room were lost in thought, or suffering in their grief.

His mother, Mari, glanced up. Her blue eyes were questioning. Being his mother, she knew him too well, and wouldn’t likely miss that he was intent on something. She had her brown hair tied back in a more severe style than her usual one, and in her black dress, she appeared pale. As she fingered the one strand of pearls she wore, Mari focused on her son.

Not so easily distracted, Tomas stepped into the room and looked around. There was no one present that resembled the woman. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw his sister staring at him. “What?” Alaina mouthed, and started to stand up.

Holding up one hand, Tomas stilled her before she could rise. He shook his head and strode through the room, down another hallway. Briskly walking, he navigated the twists and turns of the building, checking each room as he went. Nothing.

Possibly she went to the ladies’ room. But there was more than one, so he wasn’t sure which one to try. Not that he would go inside. Stalking a woman would surely not make a good first impression. A casual attitude would be more favorable.

Still he wasn’t sure where to look next, or where to wait. Tomas had covered every inch of the place, even going inside the administrative office. It did raise a few eyebrows, but he found no one but stiff business types with somber expressions.

Then he thought maybe he had imagined her. Tomas was not prone to delusion or fantasy. Except for when he was lost in a computer game, he tended to be firmly planted in reality. Yet how could a woman be there one minute and gone the next, as if vanishing into thin air?

There wasn’t even a whiff of perfume, or a dropped handkerchief. A shoe left behind. Anything. Tomas began to doubt either his sanity or his sobriety. He hadn’t gotten high in days, nor had a drink recently. Having his wits about him, surely he didn’t create such a beauty from the recesses of his mind.

Loss did tend to play with one’s sensibilities, and he was at his grandfather’s funeral. Eagon Dempsey had died at the age of seventy-five of a stroke. The entire family was stricken with grief, and the ceremony had been scheduled to allow time for those in Boston to fly to Ireland.

Tomas had loved his grandfather and would sorely miss him. Handsome, even in his seventies, he had the pale green eyes that both Tomas and his father, Galen Dempsey, had inherited. More than that, they had inherited his lively spirit for life, and for that, both were grateful.

Eagon would be sorely missed, most of all by his wife, Josette. In her early seventies, with white hair and soft blue eyes, she was well loved by her large family. Fortunately, many of them still lived in Dublin, and would look out for her. Tomas was relieved about that, since he loved his grandmother dearly.

Born and raised in Boston, Tomas had not seen his grandparents as much as he would have liked. Airfares were expensive, and lives were busy. But he had always felt close to them. And now that he would be in Dublin for a while, he would visit Josette often. He rather liked knowing he had family nearby.

That didn’t solve the problem of the strawberry-blond beauty. Assured that he hadn’t lost his mind, or wasn’t stoned out of it, Tomas tried to get a grip. That he had seen her, there was no doubt. So that meant she did truly exist. If only he could spot her again. This time he wouldn’t let her escape before meeting her.

With his shoulders sagging under his crisply starched shirt, Tomas walked slowly back to the room where his family huddled together. It was a little embarrassing to admit that his own sorrow was magnified by the woman he wanted desperately to meet slipping from his grasp. The only respectable emotion was sadness over the loss of a loved one.

Yet Tomas felt emptiness inside having to do with a red-haired princess that he had never met, and who possibly didn’t exist. Or wouldn’t, in his life at least. The stirring of longing seemed inappropriate at such an occasion, and he steeled himself not to reveal such for anyone else to see.

Sliding into a chair next to Alaina, he became aware he had done a lousy job of disguising his feelings. With her brown hair hanging loose and her blue eyes barely rimmed with makeup, his sister looked younger than her actual age of twenty. In the obligatory black garb, she looked more like a girl dressed for Halloween than a young woman in mourning.

“What’s wrong with you?” she whispered in his ear.

“I saw someone,” he whispered back.

A few glances in their direction were admonishment enough for speaking out loud. Tomas nodded toward the doorway to indicate she should follow him. Leaving the others to pay their last respects, he led her out of the room. But not without noticing the strange look his mother gave him.

Needing fresh air, Tomas stepped outside and held the door open for Alaina. The weather in January was cold, but at least it wasn’t raining. His sister wrapped her arms around her waist and shivered. Since he had left his jacket in the car, he had no comfort to offer.

“So,” Alaina said, “whom did you see? I’m dying of curiosity. Are there body-less forms roaming the halls?”

One thing he loved about his sister was her sense of humor. He could always count on her to make any situation, no matter how dire, much better with her light view of it. “Oh, just someone.”

Alaina tilted her head. “Oh, come on. I’m not letting you get away with that. I can see it in your eyes. Something has you spooked.”

Tomas laughed, and shifted from one foot to the other to stay warm. “A woman.”

Alaina rolled her eyes. “Yeah, well, I figured that. But who?”

“That’s what I’d like to know.”

His sister lifted her hands in the air. “What is this? Are we playing Clue?

“What?”

She shrugged. “Oh, you know, that game.”

He chuckled. “No, it’s not a game. I just…well, I’d like to meet her.”

“I still don’t know who you are talking about.”

Tomas looked off in the distance to conjure up her image once again. “She had beautiful hair…and great legs.” He smiled.

“Uh huh.” Alaina grinned and gave him a shove. “You always were a leg man.”

“And other things.”

His sister playfully tapped his arm. “So, did you talk to her?”

Tomas shook his head. “I couldn’t.”

Alaina stared at him. “She really got to you, huh?”

“Not that. I couldn’t catch up with her.”

His sister shook her head. “My athlete brother couldn’t run fast enough to catch a woman?”

“It wasn’t like that.”

“What was it like? Because I think you are playing games with me after all. Bored at the wake?”

Tomas smiled. “A little.”

“So?”

Tomas shoved his hands in his pockets. “I just saw her way down the hallway. That’s all. She never turned around. I followed but didn’t see her again.”

Alaina just looked at him.

Tomas nodded toward the door. “We better go back inside. It must be nearly time to go to the church.”

Alaina jogged in place and exaggerated a shiver. “Yes, and it’s fucking freezing out here.”

He grinned. “Watch your language.”

Before she slipped inside, Alaina glanced back at her brother. “You watch yours.”

*****

The Abbey Presbyterian Church was located at Parnell Square. The building erected in 1864 maintained a commanding presence on the corner with its Gothic architecture, and spire 180 feet high. Tomas followed his family through the doorway in the tower, which was the main entrance. Alaina, by his side, gazed at the octagon turret containing a staircase that led to a galley extending over one end of the church.

The interior was divided by three arches, the Gothic-style elaborate stonework supporting the glass in the windows along one wall. Walking slowly toward the interior, Tomas let the spirit of the church seep into him. The ethereal atmosphere put him in a grieving frame of mind. Stepping though the doorway, he saw the many rows of wooden pews.

Tall white pillars reached high to the wood-beamed ceiling every few feet. Ornate chandeliers provided dim light in addition to the muted glow coming through the windows. The minister stood in the pulpit, quietly awaiting their approach. Attendees were seated, and politely faced forward without staring at the family as they walked by.

The front rows were reserved for Josette Dempsey and her family, as was tradition. Tomas hung to the back with Alaina, not anxious to be the focus of attention. Though no one was rude enough to stare, the quick glances at them did not go unnoticed. Probably it was to witness their grief, or else to sympathize.

Tomas was uncomfortable. Funerals were not common for him, thankfully. The awkwardness of the whole affair was unsettling. Yet out of respect, he would do his best to be a good grandson and do what was expected of him in honoring his beloved grandfather. Alaina reached out and took his hand, likely just as disturbed by the circumstances.

One step at a time, they made their way up the center aisle, excruciatingly slowly. Tomas gazed at the back of his father’s jacket, trying to block out the grief. He didn’t want to break down in full view and make a spectacle of himself. His sister squeezed his hand.

Out of the corner of his eye, Tomas caught a glimpse of soft red hair and a womanly presence. His heart skipped a beat. Is it possible she’s here? The fleeting thought compelled him to look more closely. From the back, he could tell it was the same woman he had seen earlier.

But he had to be sure. Risking all propriety, Tomas turned to look at her when he walked by. It was a quick motion, as he dared not linger. But it was enough to see that she was ravishing. Though she never turned his way, only looked straight ahead, he could see her eyes were sky blue. The flawlessness of her pale beauty made his pulse race.

The excitement over her appearance, once again, rattled Tomas. All he wanted to do was turn and walk back to speak with her. Which was the one thing he could not do. There was only one option, and that was to sit with the family in the front row, where he could see nothing behind him.

It was torture. Tomas didn’t know if the woman was even aware of him. Did she look at him all throughout the ceremony? He swore he could feel her eyes graze him as the seconds ticked by. The minister’s words seemed remote, leaving Tomas unable to follow the message.

He was acutely aware of her, and knowing she sat in the very same room with him drove him crazy. Whether princess, goddess, or devil, the mysterious woman was a distraction. Tomas was doubly glad he wasn’t expected to say anything, though his father went to the front to speak about Eagon in fond terms.

Drifting away from reality, minute by minute, Tomas thought only of the woman he was determined to meet. It was all he could do to bow his head in prayer at the end and focus on the loss of his grandfather. The sacrilege of letting his imaginings wander to her during such a religious interlude, especially with his eyes closed, didn’t compare to the sin he would willingly commit if he got close enough to touch her.

So lost in his own world was Tomas that he didn’t notice when the ceremony was over. Alaina nudged him with her knee, and he opened his eyes. Panic struck. What if she left the church before he could get to her? Spinning around, he searched the congregation.

It was difficult to see around the sea of people. Everyone was standing now. Leaving Alaina staring after him, Tomas broke free of the family group and wound his way through the multitudes. Making every effort not to knock anyone over in his haste, he pushed through and made it outside.

He hadn’t seen her in the crowds, and once out in the open, Tomas glanced frantically around. Red hair was not uncommon in Ireland, but shimmery blondish-red hair such as she possessed was rarer. If he spotted her, he would know it was her. The elegant demeanor, the light, somewhat-ghostly feel of her, was unmistakable.

With a heavy sigh, his shoulders slumped. The woman had vanished for the second time in one day. Standing in front of the grand church, Tomas had the urge to run after her. But he didn’t know where to run, or which direction she had gone. He was beginning to feel like she was a fairy princess, whom only he could see, come alive from one of the old Celtic tales.