Stone Silence by Taylor Dean Great big beautiful love. Does it really exist? Everyone tells me it does. They say, “Spencer Elliott, don’t worry, you’ll find it one day. You just have to find the right man and when you do, it will surprise the heck out of you.” I’m still waiting for that heck of a surprise to hit. It has proven to be elusive thus far. I’m pretty sure the entire world is lying about love and the joke is on me. I know I want a man in my heart and in my life. Unfortunately, most men immediately push my OFF button and I lose interest quickly. Feeling pressure to prove I’m trying to find my soulmate, I finally give in and agree to a date. Huge mistake. Afterward I find myself abandoned in the middle of nowhere, in desperate need of help. That’s when I meet Stony by chance. He’s a silent and unsmiling man who intrigues me with his ability to keep going after life has knocked him down. Suddenly the abstract notion of love becomes tangible and within my reach. Once I experience it, I wonder how I ever lived without it. That’s when I stay with Stony by choice. But when Stony’s hidden past and present-day reality collide, his silence is broken. And the truth about his life nearly brings me to my knees. I can’t compete with ghosts from the past. I refuse to fight for a man’s love. He either loves me or he doesn’t. It’s as simple and as complicated as that. My only hope is . . . he does.
The Sound of Silence Series is a three book series.
Book One: Stone Silence, Spencer’s Story Book Two: Jailbird, Mia’s Story Book Three: Hothouse Flower, Shay’s Story
Each book has a happy ending and there are no cliffhangers. They are not standalones and should be read in order.
Hate waiting for the next book in a series?
You won't have to wait long!
Jailbird, Book Two will be released on December 1st, 2017
Hothouse Flower, Book Three will be released on January 1st, 2018
What readers are saying about STONE SILENCE:This story just wrapped me in its arms and held me tight. I adored the characters and never wanted the book to end. Dean weaves a heart-tugging romance like nobody else's business. Her books are always a feast to my literary mind and always go on my To-Read-Again pile once I finish.
-Charissa Stastny, Author
Once again Dean takes the raw pain and hurt many of us can relate to, and creates a perfectly romantic tale for readers to escape into, giving us hope, love, second chances and ultimately that believable happily ever after we all seek for as true romance lovers.
-Mylissa's Reviews and Book Thoughts
READ AN EXCERPT FROM STONE SILENCE:
“You like home improvement?” he asks.
“I love it. But let’s pick something we both like.”
“Let’s rock, paper, scissors it.”
“Excuse me?” I say, surprised at his suggestion. Again, the levity feels a little odd without an accompanying smile.
He holds out his hand. “Ready? If I win, it’s the baseball game, if you win, it’s home improvement.”
I’m still a little stunned and stare at him open-mouthed.
“You do know how to play rock, paper, scissors, right?”
Flustered, I say, “Yes, of course.”
“Okay then, let’s do this.”
I hold out my hand and he counts, “1, 2, 3 . . .”
He does paper and I do scissors. I win.
“Home improvement it is,” he says.
He flips to HGTV where an episode of House Hunters is playing. He settles into the recliner and seems content.
“You like this?” I ask. “I mean, really, we can watch whatever you’d like.”
“Used to be in the business. Now I just own several rentals.”
“What was your business?”
“Flipping houses. Selling them.”
Okay, that explains why he’s fine with watching HGTV. “You don’t mind watching this?”
“Don’t make me admit it.”
I laugh aloud at this funny man. His deadpan expression makes everything seem funnier than it really is. I can’t hide my smile as I stare at the TV. He’s an enigma and I want to solve the mystery. “Can I ask you a question?”
“Might not answer.”
“Can I ask anyway?” I say.
“How much time do you save in your life by never speaking in full sentences?”
He looks over at me with narrowed eyes, but I don’t back down.
“Eons,” he retorts. Then he mumbles, “Smart aleck.”
I laugh, but he remains . . . well, Stony.
I have to believe help will be in Roby.
But I can’t make it without water.
Now would be a good time for someone to ask me for a ride again. I contemplate finding a shady place to sit and wait for the rain that’s supposed to arrive this afternoon. The thought leads to a mental vision of me shivering in the bushes, drenched and stranded. I’m not sure which is the lesser of two evils. Plus, I can’t sit around and wait for rain water to quench my thirst. I know I don’t have that kind of time. All I know is Finn felt determined to get home early today so he could dodge the rain. Reportedly, torrential downfalls are headed this way. The news predicts flooding is going to be a problem again.
It doesn’t take a genius to figure that one out.
Even though I feel utterly alone, the most alone I’ve ever felt in my life, I realize that I’m not really alone. When people love you, are you ever really alone? They’re always behind the scenes, thinking of you and hoping for your safety. I have people in my life who love me. I matter to them. If something happens to me, they will mourn my loss from their life. This buoys me. They are with me, strengthening me. I feel them with me now, coaxing me to not give up. I hear my mom’s voice in my head; I love you, Spencer, my precious daughter. I hear my dad’s voice; My baby girl, my beautiful baby girl. I hear my brother’s voice; Don’t you dare give up, Spencer. Don’t you do it.
He’s right. I can’t quit now. I’ve come too far.
I’ve been sitting for too long. I have to keep going. I can’t give in to delirium. I pull myself up to a standing position and fight the dizziness that overcomes me.
Even though I’m still standing in the harsh sunlight, I can now see angry storm clouds in the distance. The horizon holds that blurry, slanted look, the one that tells me it’s pouring rain in that neck of the woods. I wonder how soon it will arrive here. The humidity level has risen in the past half hour and I’m sweating profusely. My skin feels cool and moist, yet I’m burning up and goosebumps are covering my arms. An odd combination. My pulse is racing and the muscles in my legs are cramping.
I need help now. I can’t wait any longer. I’m no longer fighting for just my current safety, I’m fighting for my life.
Suddenly, I hear a strange sound. A low buzz, the trill of electric machinery. It wafts over the airwaves and calls to me.
Someone is out here working. At last, I’ve found someone I can ask for help. Whoever it is, they are my only hope. My situation is dire and I don’t have a choice.
There’s a small gravel road to the right of me. The sound is coming from that direction. The rise and fall of the land doesn’t allow me to see where I’m headed. I follow the sound as if it’s the call of the Pied Piper. Wherever it takes me, that’s where I’m going.
I have no other option.
My feet propel me forward like they have a will of their own and I feel helpless. I’m no longer in control; the situation has taken control of me.
“He kicked me out of the car. I’ve been walking for hours. Please, if you could just . . .”
“No,” he says emphatically with a raised voice. Then again it’s as if he’s quietly speaking to himself. “I can’t do this. I’m not ready.”
“No?” I ask, feeling unbelief. If he’ll just let me finish a sentence, I’ll ask him for water and be on my way. “I just want a . . .”
“Roby’s just up the road,” he interrupts.
“Please, just a . . .”
“Someone will help you there,” he says with finality.
There’s a reason this guy lives all by himself in the boondocks. He’s about as friendly as a rabid dog. I doubt there’s a prince hiding underneath his stern demeanor. Only a beast.
Our eyes lock for a few moments. I implore him for help and I’m met with an unyielding gaze. I feel like I just ran into a rock wall. Hard.
Help is not here. Help is not anywhere. Despair engulfs me and I feel utterly defeated. I war between begging and my pride. My pride wins and that’s my downfall. “Never mind,” I whisper as my voice cracks. The impending rain will save me. I’ll cup my hands and drink to my heart’s content. I’ll find someone else to help me. Surely there’s another house down the road.
If there isn’t, it doesn’t matter. If I’m going to survive, I have to save myself.
There’s no sign of compassion in this man. I cast a longing-filled glance at his motorhome and wonder if I can make a run for it and attack his faucet before Mr. Unfriendly even has the chance to get down from his ladder.
I know I don’t have the strength, so I turn to leave.
My gait is wobbly and I falter. The buzzing in my head increases in volume. My head feels as though it has turned into one huge pulsing heartbeat. I don’t want to die out here. It strikes me as odd that I might die in the middle of the heartland because I couldn’t find anyone to help me. So much for friendship being the Texas state motto. Maybe they should remind their residents to act accordingly.
I hear a deep sigh from behind me. I don’t know how I hear it above the roar in my head. It sounds as though it’s miles away and yet whispered in my ear. Then the man says something unintelligible under his breath as his conscience gets the best of him. I hear that loud and clear.
“Wait,” he says. “I’m sorry. Of course I’ll help you. Please come back.”
Slowly, I turn to face him, ready to express my gratitude. The clouds roll in at that very moment and the sky darkens. A few raindrops land on my face and I instinctively turn my head toward the heavens, hoping moisture will inadvertently land in my waiting mouth.
Instead, the simple act of moving my head leaves me reeling and the lights go out as I fall to the ground in a crumpled heap.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Taylor Dean lives in Texas and is the mother of four grown children. Upon finding herself with an empty nest, she began to write the stories that were always wandering around in her head, quickly finding she had a passion for writing, specifically romance. Whether it’s paranormal, contemporary, or suspense—you’ll find all sub-genres of clean romance in her line-up.
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