Long Gone has been the toughest of this series to write as I wanted to fight the book every step of the way. There were two elements of the plot that needed to be in the book but I was uncertain of how readers would react to them … and frankly I was scared to write them as I didn’t know if I could do the issue/situation justice. I am very proud of this book (not that I’m not proud of the others). I know I stretched myself in this book and conquered so my fears and insecurities in doing so. Long Gone, more than the other books I wrote in this series, developed naturally on its own. I had to be willing to pull back from controlling the story and allow it to come as it needed to. This book ended up being what writers term “a book of the heart” when it was completed. I had no idea the impact it would have on me or the emotions it would bring up until I was done writing it.
I went into writing this book “knowing” the story. I knew the hero, heroine, the plot and the main conflict between them … until the story twisted in a way I hadn’t planned on and really hadn’t wanted. But, I did what the story needed and discovered I didn’t know the real story needing to be told, the heart of this book, until the very end.
Eve Darling won’t allow a repeat of the past. Eight years ago, her boyfriend convinced her to place their baby for adoption with his older brother. Once the adoption was finalized, the ‘love of her life’ abandoned her. When the brother announces his intent to run for governor…and adopt a new child…Eve decides to reveal the man behind the public facade. When no one believes the story, Eve turns to skip-tracer Alexander Stratford to unearth the truth, and stop another woman from being used by the Fallows.
Alex is stunned when Eve Darling shows up and requests help. The woman who once accused him of murder now accuses another man. Alex refuses to be used to damage another person. When Eve is attacked, Alex rushes to her aid– and a quick decision alters lives forever. Can anyone ever truly love him…when he can’t like the man he’s become?
“You’re a menace.” He lifted up the visor and glared at her.
She shot one right back. “I wanted to talk to you. It wasn’t my fault you were speeding.”
“I wasn’t–” Forget it. If one thing he knew about Eve Darling it was no person on the face of the Earth could talk sense into the woman. She lived in a world where only her goals and herself matter. Heck with everyone else. “Go about your business. I’m fine.”
Alex limped toward his motorcycle. Pain arced up his leg with each step. He should stop but didn’t want to show weakness in front of anyone — especially Eve. The woman had set out to destroy him once and her reappearance in his life meant she was gearing up for round two.
Eve placed a gentle hand on his shoulder. “Are you sure you should?”
“Ignore you? Yes.”
“Move. You look kind of rough.” Eve pointed at his arm then his legs.
A tear ran down the length of the arm of his leather jacket. At least it protected his hide for the most part. Patches of skin were torn off his legs, the left leg bearing the worst injury. Blood ran down his knee, staining his jeans and his running shoes.
“Let me help.”
“You’ve helped enough.” Alex struggled to get the Night Rod righted as pain coursed down his arm.
“Please, I need to talk to you.” Eve sighed and fixed her deep brown eyes on him, sadness mixed with a little excitement lurked in the depths.
Alex wanted no knowledge of the thoughts running through her conniving mind. “I’d rather you didn’t.”
“I need your help, Alex.” She glanced over her shoulder then stepped closer to him. Her lilac perfume weaved around him. The delicate scent was such a strong contrast to the abrasive woman. Alex felt a little tug in his heart. The same twinge he always got when he allowed the protective urge to override common sense. Not this time.
“No way.” Alex stepped away from her and the enticing scent.
“I’m serious. There’s a woman in trouble. A lot of trouble and she needs help.”
“Go to the police.”
“I tried. They don’t believe me.”
After what happened — what she did — when they first met, she expected him to help her? Was Eve Darling out of her mind or think he was a total idiot? Or a glutton for pain and punishment. Okay, he already knew the answer to the first question. The woman expected him to help her after she caused a wreck, and had accused him of being a murderer a little over a year ago. Not a chance. He wasn’t as stupid as she thought.