A common thread in all of my stories is trust. Sometimes there is complete lust, sexy attraction, passionate opportunities – but if the couple has a chance in hell, or heaven, they have to trust each other.
In Bartlett’s Rule Paige’s past makes it difficult for her to trust any man and nearly impossible for her to trust her own judgment. Along comes Lon whose patience and compassion teaches her she can trust. Then when events occur that put Lon in jeopardy, Paige never loses her faith in him even though she’s prevented from showing her support. Brandon deceives Caitlyn in a vain attempt to keep her safe in His Lucky Charm, instead though he almost loses her for good when his duplicity is too much for her to accept.
Adam shares his deepest secret with Davie in Courage of the Heart. While Adam trusts her enough to take the risk he is scared of her reaction, but thrilled when he receives her acceptance. In Final Sin a psychopath targets Jake and Julie when they act on their mutual attraction. Despite the torrid passion between them, they are torn apart when they lose trust in each other, it’s that trust that will, hopefully, save them both.
This theme is prevalent in all of my novels and stories whether is a passionate love affair or a close, platonic friendship –In Not Alone, a short story in the Forever Friends anthology, trust is questioned when a mutual friend dies in a car accident and when trust is regained and strengthened, the friends stand by each other.
Most of my stories involve love, many even include mind-blowing sex, but sometimes even love isn’t enough to make and keep my characters happy and bonded with each other. I believe that trust is the foundation of any worthwhile relationship.
(excerpt from A Chaunce of Riches)
“Where are you going? You’re the one who wanted to… have sex. I just want to see what you wear to bed.” He was talking in a loud whisper so that no one else in the house was disturbed.
“You weren’t drunk when I said I wanted to make love with you.” She tried to pull her hand away again but he wouldn’t let her go.
“I told you I am not drunk.” He sounded annoyed. “And I didn’t come here to have sex with you.”
She relaxed and stopped pulling away from him. “Then why are you here?”
“We need to talk.” He sat down heavily on the side of her bed and leaned back against the headboard. Ben kicked his shoes off and stretched his long legs out in front of him. He was still holding on to her.
She was annoyed that he had frightened her. “What do you want to talk about?”
Ben took her by the shoulders and turned her towards him. He squinted in the dark. Sam felt exposed under his gaze. “Is that a nightgown? How long is it?”
“To my knees.” She still wasn’t convinced of his sobriety.
He released her suddenly. “It’s not very sexy.”
“Well excuse me, I didn’t know I had to dress for company.” She sounded indignant.
“I remember when you used to wear one of my T-shirts to bed. Now that was sexy.” He told himself that her tousled hair and the simple fact that she was lying there in a bed wasn’t turning him on.
“That was a long time ago.” She painfully whispered.
He laughed. Then there was silence.
Finally Sam sighed and relaxed beside him. “What did you want to talk about?”
He looked at her in the dark. “You, me, sex, your husband, who killed him and who is trying to scare you?”
“Is that all one question?”
“Don’t be bitchy.” He sounded exasperated. “Did you love him?”
“Julian? He was a good man.”
Ben snorted. “That doesn’t sound like you loved him.”
“He’s gone.” She sounded sad. “Why do you need to ask?”
He grimaced. “Did you ever love me Sam? I know you said you did. But did you really?”
“Yes.” She still did but she knew he would never believe her.
“Then I don’t understand why you did what you did. If it were just the money… Sam, it’s not like you had a fling with the guy. You married him… you gave him a son. You lived in his world.” His words hung in the air. “And you never thought twice about me.”
He could hear her breathing in the dark. Sam was struggling not to cry.
“I can’t undo the things I did. I am so sorry I hurt you Ben.” Her voice cracked and she had to pause. “I really thought you would have found someone else and would be married by now…”
“I will never again put myself out there. I will never again trust a woman with my heart.”
“Don’t sound so surprised. That’s the lesson you taught me Sam.” He shook his head. “I never needed someone as much as I needed you when I woke up in the hospital. You have no idea what I went through.”
“Tell me.” He didn’t know how much she knew. He didn’t know that she was willing to do anything to save his life. He didn’t know that she was willing to sell herself to Julian to pay for his medical care.
“No. It was a long road. If you had cared, you would have been there.”
“So are you saying we’re stuck now? We can’t move on?” Sam turned to him. “Ben, we’re here now, together. We can be together now. Ben, you could have died but you didn’t…”
“We both could have died.” He thought she was talking about the car accident. “And you could have stayed.” He was quiet for a long time. “I wish I could forgive you, but I don’t think I’ll ever be able to.”