No one said life would be fair or easy. Quiet, Peruvian-born artist Cassie Lopez learned this the hard way. Betrayed by the man she planned to marry, she shut herself off far away from all but her closest friend from college… Until the night Luke Denton came crashing into her Colorado mountain sanctuary with a vengeance. Confused by her heart’s response to this kind and gentle man, Cassie pushes herself to help the cowboy recover quickly so she can send him on his way. But Luke’s patience and understanding threaten to break down the very defenses she needs to survive in this world after he’s gone.
Search-and-Rescue worker Luke, who lost his wife and unborn child in a tragic accident, also knows firsthand of the unfairness of life. He keeps his own nightmares at bay by focusing on his rescue activities, most recently adopting and working with abused and neglected horses.
Can two wounded people find trust and love together? Do nightmares end where dreams come true?
NOBODY’S DREAM: Sixth in the Rescue Me Saga and should be read in order. Estimated to be 475 or more pages in print when completed.
“Whoa, darlin’. Wake up. You’re dreaming. Not sure what all you said, but you were screaming in Spanish.”
Her hands stilled. Even without opening her eyes, she knew that Texas drawl did not come from Pedro or his friends. She blinked several times and stared into Lucas Denton’s eyes, a mix of blue and green that looked like gray to her. What was he doing on top of her—again? Cassie shoved him away, a feat made easier when he simply rolled off her.
“Sorry if I scared you, Lucas. I am fine now.” How long had she become lost in the flashback? The two of them were a mess. She had probably bruised his chest if the throbbing in her hands was any indication of the impact of the blows delivered. She pushed herself upright and darted to the foot of the bed, gasping as she attempted to draw a deep breath. Her upper arm ached from some unknown reason.
Still not certain how she had gone from trying to ease Lucas awake from his nightmare to being submerged in her own, she contemplated how to explain her reaction to him without revealing more than he needed to know.
“You were dreaming about Maggie.” She gasped for a full breath, not realizing she had been breathing so shallowly until she tried to get a sentence out. “I heard you scream for her. I came in to check on you.” Breathe, Cassie. “When I tried to wake you, you grabbed my arm.” She rubbed the skin on her arm where it had grown tender from his grip, but more disturbing was the lingering tingle she felt from his touch.
No, not tingle. Memories of the touch of those other men so long ago made her stomach churn.
“I don’t remember anything, darlin’, until you called me a pig and screamed at me to get off you. I’m real sorry. I was asleep. I wouldn’t hurt you for anything. You sure you’re okay?”
She nodded her head. In reality, she had to admit his touch was nothing compared to… She swallowed the bile before it erupted. “I am fine.”
And I will be much better when you are off my mountain.
* * *
Luke fought the urge to pound his fist into the wall, but any kind of violence would only add to the fear he’d put in Cassie’s eyes. Sure, he’d been beyond sound asleep at the time, but he was solely to blame for scaring her, even if he had no memory of what he’d done. She continued to rub her arm where he’d hurt her. The thought of causing her physical pain burned his gut as well.
But the momentary terror he’d seen in her eyes shook him to the core. He would never hurt her—or hell, any living thing—not intentionally, anyway. Clearly, he couldn’t be trusted around her if he could lose control of himself like that. What if he hurt her again? Judging from her responses, someone had already wounded or abused her before.
Luke sat up and leaned toward her. “Let me see that arm.”
She shook her head fiercely and leaned away from him. Hell, he couldn’t blame her. Luke ran his hand through his sweat-matted hair.
“I just want to be sure I didn’t injure you.”
Cassie crawled off the bed and made a beeline for the door. “It is nothing to worry about. I am going to finish preparing dinner.”
Luke knew sleep would be elusive and didn’t want her to avoid him, even if she had a reason to run. Perhaps he could prove to her he was safe to be around by just, well, being around her. Time and proximity had a way of breaking down barriers. Sure had been working with O’Keeffe.
“Let me help.”
She pivoted sharply. “No!”
Fear again. No, still. She’d been showing signs of fear since he’d met her. Knowing someone had hurt her so badly burned his gut.
The girl had intrigued him from the moment he first met her. Seeing her nurturing side when Karla was beside herself after Adam’s cougar attack. Attending her art gallery showing last winter and seeing her amazing talent. Heck, even thinking at one point Cassie was the angel Maggie said she was sending him. He’d wanted to get to know her better for a while, but not like this. Still, they were stuck together, so he might as well make the most of the opportunity—if only he could get her to stop constantly shoving him away.
“I told you to stay in bed. You…” Her gaze darted sideways. “You need your rest.” Not waiting for a response, she turned and bolted from the room.
Luke pressed his back against the wall that ran the length of the bed. Damn it all, how was he going to fix this?
Remnants of the nightmare that had led to this mess played at the edges of his mind, but he didn’t want to think about Maggie right now. She was gone. Clearly, his own brush with an avalanche was stirring up memories he’d buried long ago. He couldn’t help Maggie then, and he sure as hell couldn’t do anything for her now.
He needed to do something to fix this situation with Cassie. He scooted off the bed and stood, but the room lurched so badly, he plopped back onto the mattress, leaned forward, and held his head in his hands until he could see straight again.
He sure as hell wasn’t going anywhere for a while. He had no experience with being incapacitated. Maybe having something more substantial to eat would rebuild his strength. With Cassie, timing would be everything, and his instincts told him she needed time and space to reach a place where she would trust him. He didn’t know if they’d be together long enough for that to happen, but in the meantime, he’d try to keep from hurting her again.
That meant he needed to find another place to sleep.
When he thought he would be able to stand upright, he rose again more deliberately and grabbed the bedpost until the room stopped spinning. His stomach churned, but he took a deep breath and put one foot in front of the other until he reached the doorjamb. Holding on, he steadied himself and waited for the room to stop swimming before his eyes.
It didn’t. Aw, hell. Who was he kidding? He gave up and went back to bed. Clearly, this ordeal had taken more out of him than he realized. Right now, the best thing he could do was rest. He’d have time to fix things later.
The next time he awakened, the room was still dark. Had he slept through another day? Glancing around, he realized the room had no window. It felt like a cave in here. Swinging his legs over the edge of the mattress, he sat up, happy the walls didn’t rush him this time.
As many of you know I have been following Kallypso Masters and her Rescue Me Series for quite some time now, and jump on buying her books as soon as they come out. I was a little behind on reading this book because of work and other previous commitments but I was able to sit down and read my purchased copy of this book this week and must say I am blown alway by it. I also want to note that I got the above stuff from Kallypso Masters page which you can follow here… LINK
There are so many feelings and emotions with this book that I wish I didn’t have to work while reading it because I wanted to devour it so much. It was a fantastic book with amazing things happening for the characters, especially the growth that Cassie and Luke (mostly Cassie) go through. Luke is able to help her learn to trust people and men once again. He cares for her with the same gentleness that he uses with his abused horses and is able to show her that not all men are as evil as the ones who stole her innocence from her. It was so wonderful to see how she is able to reconnect not only with her friends and family but her spirituality as well. Though there are events and circumstances that would push her to do certain things they are never more than what she can handle or what she needs. This book may not have had the intense BDSM scenes we are used to with the other books, or the erotic moments, but it is no less sensual or amazing. And hey if the ending of this book indicates anything, it is not completely out of the question of what may happen in the future. And yes I know this review is a bit short and doesn’t do the book the justice it deserves but I also don’t want to give anything away… there are many surprises in it.
I absolutely loved this book and think that it may be my favorite in the series, which says a lot since throughout the series Nobody’s Perfect has been my #1 choice in the series.
I give this book 5 sweet kisses but wish I could give it more.