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Stolen Hearts
Stolen Hearts
Stolen Hearts
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Stolen Hearts

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A Novella


He ripped her life apart. She's dreamed of doing the same to him ever since.

Six years after leaving town, Charlotte Heart returns to Texas to face the man who destroyed her family. When she finds herself stranded with him in a dusty little antique shop, she finally has the chance for retribution. But it's not only anger that boils in her veins.

Lucas Prescott is still haunted by the loss of his best friend—a death he caused. Knowing he will never deserve happiness, he is content with his self-imposed solitude. When a winter storm brings a feisty, curly-haired reminder from the past, Charlotte re-ignites a desire that not even the weather can cool.

Sparks explode between the two, exposing fragile hearts and dark secrets that will either heal their wounds or destroy them both.

LanguageEnglish
PublisherKishan Paul
Release dateApr 2, 2017
ISBN9781386587903
Stolen Hearts
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Author

Kishan Paul

From daring escapes by tough women to chivalrous men swooping in to save the day, the creativity switch to Kishan Paul's brain is always in the 'on' position. If daydreaming stories were a college course, Kish would graduate with honors. Mother of two beautiful children, she has been married to her best friend for over 20 years. With the help of supportive family and friends, she balances her family, a thriving counseling practice, and writing without sinking into insanity. To keep in touch with Kish: Sign up for her newsletter at: http://subscribepage.com/kishanpaul Website:http://kishanpaul.net Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/KishanPaulAuthor Twitter: https://twitter.com/@kishan_paul Join her fan group Kish's Collective: https://www.facebook.com/groups/KishsCollective/ Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/kishanpaul

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    Book preview

    Stolen Hearts - Kishan Paul

    Table of Contents

    Stolen Hearts

    Copyright

    Acknowledgments

    Quote

    Prologue

    Chapter One

    Chapter Two

    Chapter Three

    Chapter Four

    Chapter Five

    Chapter Six

    Chapter Seven

    Chapter Eight

    Chapter Nine

    Chapter Ten

    Epilogue

    Are you part of Kish's Collective yet?

    Keep in touch with Kishan Paul

    Also by Kishan Paul

    About the Author

    Stolen Hearts

    by

    Kishan Paul

    Kishan Paul Publishing

    Originally released as part of the Enchanted Keepsakes Series

    Acknowledgments

    Read Stolen Hearts

    Kish’s Collective

    Newsletter

    Other books by Kishan Paul

    About the Author

    In accordance with the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, eBooks are not transferable.

    They cannot be sold, shared, or given away. It is an infringement on the copyright of this work to do so.

    This book is a work of fiction. The names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the writer’s imagination or have been used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, actual events, locale or organizations is entirely coincidental.

    Stolen Hearts

    Copyright © 2017 by Kishan Paul

    AISN: B01MR23OO8

    Edited by The Editing Hall

    Cover by Bookin’ It Designs

    Formatting by Anessa Books

    Acknowledgments

    First and foremost, I am thankful to God and HIS many blessings.

    To my amazing husband and kids: You didn’t sign up for this ride and yet you’ve hung on and have always been my biggest support. I love you and thank God every day for gifting me you.

    To my fans: I am humbled daily by your encouragement and your love for the stories and characters that fill my brain. It still shocks me that you buy my books, write reviews, and tell your friends about my stories. Thank you! You are the reason I continue to write.

    To Deb Jones Diem: One of the best parts of the author journey is when a fan becomes a friend. I have been blessed to discover several such gems along the way, but I want to take a moment and acknowledge one in particular. Deb, you are the driving force behind my fan page, Kish’s Playpen. I am humbled by your support, encouragement, steady stream of Tastykakes, and the time and support you invest in someone you’ve never met. You will forever be Miss Deb in my home.

    To Nicole Ulery, my ever-patient author’s assistant: I know I am totally nuts and ramble about nonsense most of the time. What amazes me is how you are able to patiently swim through my crazy and find nuggets of sense. Your ability to create magnificent teasers, maintain all the components of social media, and still find the energy to slap me (gently) upside the head when I veer off track is gold medal deserving. I have said it many times: You are my Xanax.

    To my editor: Chris Hall. What would I do without you and your eagle eye? Oh and I forgive you for laughing at the absurdity of a couple of my scenes. Thank you for pushing me to be better, and thank you for the excited energy you bring with you when you edit.

    To my beta readers: For your critical eye and your honesty: Renee R, April Stone, Jaya, and Jennifer Daniels. You ladies got the story raw and, by the time you were done, made it a diamond.

    To Kish’s Collective: Thank you for being the monkeys in my circus. I am humbled every day by your words and encouragement. Thank you for believing in me. Love you guys!!

    Nobody abuses us more than we abuse ourselves.

    ~Miguel Angel Ruiz

    Prologue

    Luke! Wait up!"

    Too pissed to care, Luke ignored his intoxicated friend's pleas and continued down the narrow walkway. Not only had his best friend of fifteen years drank himself into a stupor, he found the idiot in the back room snorting lines.

    Son of a fucking bitch.

    Drinking, okay. Smoking a blunt here and there, no problem. But the other shit, not okay.

    Inseparable since kindergarten, they knew everything about each other. Carter kept him in line and Luke had done the same for him until they graduated high school. College sent them in two different directions. He was in Arkansas while the dumbass behind him headed south to Austin.

    He stepped over the cracked sidewalk and continued down the path toward the drunken man’s car as he scowled. Tonight was Luke's twenty-first birthday. You'd think his friend since grade school could have stayed sober and fulfilled his responsibility as the DD. Instead, there he was singing behind him, needing Luke to take care of his pitiful ass. Fortunately for both of them, Luke was only buzzed not drunk.

    A loud thud sounded behind him. Soon Carter's curses followed. Luke stopped mid-stride and turned to find the dumbass sprawled across the concrete pavement. Instead of getting up, Carter stayed face planted to the ground and started to cry. His black mop of hair bounced between his loud sobs.

    Luke scanned the area. It was after one in the morning, and the quiet middle class neighborhood was pitch black. A light in the house next door turned on. Shit. Those folks would soon call 911 if he didn't get Carter to shut up and start walking.

    Returning to the party they'd just left wasn't an option. Once the cops showed up and found the drugs, the parents of everyone inside would be called. Luke shook his head and walked back along the path he’d just left and helped Carter.

    The side of his friend’s forehead was red and scraped, and his face drenched with tears. His misery cooled Luke's temper as he helped him to his feet. Don't be mad, Lukey. Please don't be mad at me.

    He rolled his eyes and wrapped an arm around Carter's waist, guiding him down the narrow path.

    The drunk wiped his snotty nose on Luke's shoulder and palmed Luke’s cheek as they walked. You're my best friend. You know that? he choked out through his tears. My amigo. And I'm so glad you were born.

    Luke grinned ear to ear, wishing he could have videotaped the proclamation of love.

    I have a present for you! He pressed a dirty finger to Luke's lips. But it's a surprise. Wait till we get home.

    Quiet before you wake everyone up. He glanced behind him at the now open blinds of the neighbor's home. Give me your keys, so we can get out of here before the cops arrive.

    Carter tried to dig his fingers into his jean pocket but kept missing the opening. Don't tell Mama, please? She'll never forgive me, he sobbed.

    Luke propped him against the car. I won't tell your mother, just give me the fucking keys. He wouldn't have to tell Mama anything. The widowed mother of two was one of the best prosecuting attorneys in Dallas. It wasn't her ability to rip criminals apart on the witness stand that made her dangerous either. The petite, dark-haired woman had a way of making both her kids and Luke confess to all sins committed, by just crossing her arms and raising one brow. Man that one brow thing freaked him out every time.

    There wasn't much they'd gotten away with during her watch, and tonight would be no different. His only hope was to get Carter into Mama's house and run away before she had a chance to get to him.

    She's such a good woman, you know. Has a heart of gold but when she's disappointed, she gets this look on her face. It kills me, he wailed. Why can't she just be a bitch like your mother? No offense, man. Your mom's hot and shit but she's evil.

    Luke nodded and nervously glanced over his shoulder. The man now stood at the front door in a robe with a phone glued to his ear. Carter wiped his wet cheeks against the arm of his sweater and continued to fish for the car keys. Luke's heart raced. For a brief second, he considered helping

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