A Second Chance
Dana K. Ray
Publication date: June 14th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult
A past she can’t forget…
Raven will do just about anything to forget a horrific event from the past that still haunts her. Forced to attend church because of a promise she made at a party, she is immediately attracted to the young, handsome preacher but is unconvinced of his promises of a better life.
A future he refuses to accept…
Matthew has everything planned out until Raven walks into his church and turns his life upside down. Repulsed by her lifestyle, yet fascinated by her beauty and charm, he finds himself drawn to her by a force he can’t explain.
Raven and Mathew’s unlikely friendship leads them through escalating troubled waters that threaten to doom their growing relationship. Will they survive to learn valuable lessons of grace, forgiveness and love?
Excerpt“I saw the strength you had back there. You stood up for the right thing and you didn’t worry about what it cost you. If you can do that, surely you can go to Teresa and ask for forgiveness.” Matthew said.
“You don’t understand.” Raven wiped the tear that rolled down her cheek.
“Then explain it to me.”
“Because she’s dead.” The deep voice came from behind. It was Cody. “Teresa’s dead, isn’t she, Raven?”
Matthew slid off the car, his stance solid and protective.
Raven turned to Cody and looked into his bloodshot eyes. Drunk. She couldn’t blame him. Teresa had been his twin sister. “Yes, she is.”
Cody leaned into her. “Tell him why.”
Raven looked at Matthew, then back at Cody. Her heart thundered as memories crashed through her. Her eyes rested back on Matthew. She knew the next words out of her mouth would change everything. Any hope he offered would be yanked away.
“Tell him.” Cody’s voice was firm.
She dropped her eyes and whispered, “Because of me.”
Cody leaned into her. “Louder.”
She took a deep breath and looked up, past Cody at Matthew. “She’s dead because of me.”
Cody’s lips pursed together as one of his friends grabbed his arm. “Come on, man. She ain’t worth it.”
Cody scowled, turned, and walked away.
She pulled Matthew’s coat tighter around her. “I gotta go.”
“Let’s go get some coffee and talk.”
Matthew didn’t look shocked, but she couldn’t forget how easily he dismissed her last week. “Why would I talk to you? I hardly know you.”
He looked deep into her eyes. “I care about you.”
“Why?” Her chin quivered as she fought the tears. “Am I that pathetic?”
“You’re not pathetic.” His eyes were soft, hypnotizing. “I want to help you.”
He ran his hand through his thick black hair and began to pace. “I know this is gonna sound crazy, but I feel a connection between us. I felt it the first time I saw you.” He stopped and stared at her. “Am I totally nuts or do you feel it, too?”
She hesitated. She did feel it but if she admitted it, it would expose her. The last thing she wanted was to be vulnerable again with anyone. Yet, he offered her something no one else ever had, a true friendship. A friendship that wasn’t based on what she had done or who she hung around with. He was different.
Matthew touched her arm. “Why do you blame yourself for Teresa’s death?”
She stared into his caring eyes. For a moment, she wanted to tell him everything. She shook her head, pulled her keys out of her pocket, and opened the car door. “I can’t talk about it.”
Matthew grabbed the door. “You can trust me. I want to help.”
“I can’t.” She climbed into the car, slammed the door, and sped off.
About the author
Dana K. Ray has been writing gutsy, true to life stories since she became a teenager. A full-time children's minister in her church, she and her husband reside in the Midwest with their four children and four dogs. A Second Chance is her first published novel. Absolution, the first in the Luciano series, is set to be released July 2017. Connect with her at danakray.com.
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