For twenty-something Boston school teacher Ruth, she's gotten by just fine on playing it safe, thank you very much. But now her risk-free life and nice-girl demeanor are leaving her increasingly heartsick. So when she meets bad boy Derek, she's willing to overlook her “no romance” rule and give him a chance to prove her fears wrong. Because he, also, is plagued by a sense of ennui and pointlessness, wanting to change his fast-and-loose living but not knowing how.
Neither can deny the inexplicable, illogical attraction drawing them together, and they are hard-pressed to resist it. But what will their unlikely relationship cost, and who will be caught in the crossfire?
The Light Between Us is a sassy and sensual romp. Part love story, part comedy of errors, part and coming of age tale, The Light Between Us is a delicious read for fans of the romance and new adult genres alike.
"The Light Between Us is a raw and powerful love story about forgiveness and learning to trust our instincts. Sexy and intense, I couldn't put this novel down and wished, at the last chapter, for more." - H. Mattern, author of Saving Katie Baker
Derek placed his hand over hers where it rested on the table. She stared at the sight of his hand on hers. Was this really happening? The hottest guy in the bar – no, the hottest guy in ever – was interested in her? Was touching her? She wasn't sure if she should be flattered or suspicious.
To hell with should, she told herself firmly.
Then he looked Ruth squarely in the eye and – her mouth fell open – drawing her hand to his mouth, placed a warm kiss on its back.
She froze. She was probably meant to find the gesture alluring, she knew, but all she could think of was how her father used to kiss her mother's hand in just the same way when he wanted her to shut up, to quit nagging him or wanting him to take her out or put his dirty socks in the damn hamper already. And her mother would always, always fall silent, her voice somehow smothered by an act that should have been one of love, and instead had become one of dominance, of distance.
Ruth felt her face twist in revulsion. She refused to be the silent – no, silenced – partner in any relationship, no matter how superficial.
“I'm sorry.” She sprang to her feet, sure that her whole face shone crimson but not much caring. “I have to go. My friends – they – sorry . . .” Ruth wheeled away, not caring to finish making her thin excuses.
When her friends noticed her approach, their faces lit, then quickly fell when they noticed her expression.
“Ruth, are you okay?” Padme asked, sitting bolt upright.
“You look like you're going to puke,” said Maddie. “What the hell happened? Do you need me to go kick that sleazebag in the nuts for you?”
Ruth shook her head. “No, nothing happened.” He's just probably a slime ball. Like every other guy in ever, she added mentally. She grabbed her coat and her purse.
“But . . . at least let us walk you to the T,” Cecelia said, moving to follow her.
She drew a deep breath, feeling a pressing need to get out of the bar's stuffy clamor, alone. “No, I'm fine. Really, you should stay. I'll get a cab.” She paused. “I just need some fresh air and then my bed.”
“Well, if you're sure,” Padme said, face twisted with concern. “Text me when you get home, so I know you're safe?”
Ruth nodded and ducked through the crowd, keeping her eyes away from the table where Derek still sat. Probably thinking I'm the biggest ass of all time, she thought, rolling her eyes. But as she shoved out the door into the pleasantly cool autumn night, she couldn't help but throw one more glance his way. She started – he was staring right back with a hurt expression on his face.
She'd hurt him? Could she really possess this power? She couldn't fathom it.
Ruth shook off the shock and kept moving. Outside, she stood on the sidewalk, breathing deep, feeling her lungs expand more fully out in the fresh air, gulping the crisp scent of fall down to her depths.
What the hell was wrong with her? Could she have misread his gesture? A perfectly fine – no, a perfectly fine – man had showed an interest in her, and she'd gone running for the hills at the tiniest trigger?
It didn't matter. Even if the kiss had not been what she thought it was, he was probably still another disappointment in the relationship department. Aside from her novel characters, she'd had yet to meet a man who was anything else. Ruth shook her head at herself, sure that she should have known better, and stepped forward to flag down a cab.
Beth writes, paints, and dreams in Montana. She is the author of the creative healing workbook Life After Eating Disorder, and is the owner of Epiphany Art Studio. In addition to her quirky little family and her three naughty dogs, Beth is in love with luscious color, moon-gazing, and dancing wild. She writes soul into flesh at www.bethmorey.com.