Snippet Sunday 03.01.15 - Deceptions of the Heart

This week's snippet is from my paranormal romantic suspense novel Deceptions of the Heart.

What would you do if one morning you awoke in someone else’s body?

Surviving as Jennifer Cristobal isn’t easy for Rhonda Prentiss. Three years ago, a sudden, fatal trauma stripped Rhonda of her middle-class, stay-at-home-mom existence. A brand new shock prompts Rhonda’s essence to invade Jennifer’s soul, suppressing the other woman’s memories and replacing them with her own. When Jennifer’s heart transplant surgeon, Dr. Crane, can’t—or won’t—help her understand her unusual body-swapping dilemma, she turns to the only man she can trust. But can she fully trust Jennifer’s husband, Anson? Rhonda’s memory proves faulty—and sugarcoated. Multiple threats from her past shake her fragile hold on mental stability. If one of her enemies succeeds, he will kill Rhonda’s soul… or Jennifer’s body… or both.

Here's the snippet:

My subconscious threw slumber off like a heavy comforter until the sudden awareness of unfamiliar surroundings jerked my eyelids open. Fine Egyptian cotton brushed my skin. Soft morning light filtered through the blinds on the floor-to-ceiling windows. Rich mahogany furnishings gleamed with a reddish-gold glow. Real wood. Not the fake stuff. Not a veneer in sight. Across the room, a chaise offered relaxation in front of a fireplace with the promise of a warm fire and a comforting throw.

My hands pushed against the tension building in my chest. Sliding over the side of the bed, I held my breath until my bare feet hit the hardwood floor. The splash of running water trickled from behind a closed door. The tension in my chest relaxed. Alex was whistling as he often did in the shower. I crossed the room and nudged the door open, a question hovering on my tongue. Steam shrouded the bath in wisps of billowy white. The rush of water ceased and the shower door popped open. I opened my mouth to speak. Water dripped from his body as he reached for a towel. Above average height. Medium build. Light brown hair. Not Alex.

A scream wedged in the back of my throat.

I whipped my eyes from his nakedness and scanned the room for an escape route. The king-sized bed blocked my path to the bedroom door. I rolled onto the mattress and pulled the soft sheets up to my neck. My breath escaped in huffs and puffs while I tried to steady my nerves.

Perceptions floated through my mind as if I’d been drugged. No broken bones. No aches or pains. No apparent violation.

 If he’s a kidnapper, would he allow me the luxury of sleeping late? No. Wouldn’t I wake up in a dungeon, or under a dark hole on a cold, stone floor. Maybe even on a filthy pallet or a mangy cot?

I checked my wrists. No abrasions from duct tape.

When the man emerged from the bath, I shuttered my eyes, daring to peek from beneath my lashes. He disappeared into a walk-in closet. I pushed up on my elbow. One of my feet dared to peek from beneath the comforter, then the other. Before I could wiggle to the edge of the mattress, he returned to the bedroom and stood in front of the dresser. He sighed as he stared into the mirror, sucked in his gut and released it, then ran his fingers through his hair. I drew first one foot then the other beneath the covers while he buttoned his shirt sleeves and straightened his tie.

He hovered near the bed as I feigned sleep. Poised over me for a horribly long time, he never uttered a word. I stifled a flinch when he brushed the hair from my face. The gentle glide of his fingertips across my cheek sent a shock racing through my limbs. He dragged in a deep, ragged breath and then lifted a suit jacket from a chair. After he shut the door behind him with a near silent swoosh, I lowered the bedcovers from my chin and released the breath I’d been holding.

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