Shannon here: Kelly Irvin shares insight into her latest Romantic Suspense, Trust Me, along with an excerpt, & chance to win a copy. Comment or answer the question in this post to enter. There may be a slight delay on getting the book since Kelly doesn’t have her copies yet. Deadline to comment: Feb 26th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Kelly:
Trust Me explores trust broken, trust renewed by Kelly Irvin:
My books have occasionally been dinged for being heavy on plot/issues/suspense and a little light on romance. Romance isn’t easy for me to write. Mostly because romance doesn’t play out in real life the way it does in romance novels with the inevitable happily-ever-after. Dare I say it aloud (or write it in this case) romance is rarely like a Hallmark movie. However, in my latest romantic suspense novel, Trust Me, the romance is the critical element. No matter how much mystery and suspense fill the pages, what happens between Delaney Broward and Hunter Nash is the crux of the novel.
Delaney has spent the last ten years rebuilding her life after her brother was murdered and her boyfriend (now former boyfriend) convicted of killing him. She’s made herself into a different person. Now her world comes crashing down again with another equally gruesome murder. On the same day, Hunter Nash is released from prison. He still insists he’s innocent. He plans to prove it to Delaney by finding the real killer. He seeks her out and begs her to trust him.
Trust. It’s the bedrock of all relationships—romantic or otherwise. How can Delaney trust Hunter again? How can she trust God after the horrific losses she’s endured. Is she trusting the right people in her life now? How can she be sure? Her love for Hunter has never subsided—no matter how hard she tries to deny it. She’s never had a long-term relationship in the ten years since her brother’s death. Is that because she can’t trust or because she’s still in love with Hunter?
Hunter leaves prison a changed man. He’s not bitter or angry at the injustice of his incarceration. He’s developed a strong faith in God—despite everything that’s happened and everything he’s lost. He’s determined to win Delaney back. But more importantly he wants to restore her trust in God. He loves her so much he can’t bear the thought of her being estranged from her Creator. Now that’s true love.
As Delaney and Hunter cautiously navigate a truce called for the purposes of investigating two murders ten years apart, they are both reminded of all the ways they were perfect together—even when they weren’t. And the sparks still fly—brighter and more breathtaking. So should Delaney listen to her head or her heart? What would you do?
Here’s a excerpt from Trust Me—enjoy!
“Would you like some granola?” Delaney grabbed her ruler and busied herself measuring the fillet. “There’s water or energy drinks.”
Hunter scooted around so he faced her. “Don’t do that.”
“Play hostess to hide your emotion.”
He stood, his back to those beautiful paintings that were like memories for both of them. “When those bullets were flying, all I could think of was you. I had to keep you safe. I couldn’t let you be hurt any more. I needed time to prove myself to you.”
Dangerous territory. How did she tiptoe through this emotional landmine field? “I don’t want to do this. Not now.”
“I do. I lost a decade of my life. I don’t have time to waste. I need to figure out who killed Corey and Ellie so I don’t waste another decade.”
“I need to know too.” He wasn’t the only one who’d lost a precious chunk of time. “I’m trying. I’m trying to find a way.” A way to trust. A way to feel again. The muscles were rusty. They didn’t want to work. “You don’t have any right to make demands on me.”
Hunter took a step toward her, then another. His dark eyes captured her. He raised one hand and touched her face. His thumb outlined her jawline, her cheek, and her chin. “Tell me you don’t feel anything for me anymore. Can you honestly tell me that?”
Heat warmed Delaney’s neck and seeped into her bones. Her heart pumped. Her pulse jumped. She swallowed. “I don’t know what I feel.”
“Yes, you do.”
He moved closer. He cupped her face in both warm, solid hands. “You’re all about people’s feelings. Tell me what you feel.”
“Confused,” she whispered. “Terrified and confused. How can I feel this way after what happened? What I thought happened? What I thought you did?”
“Because you knew in your heart—you know in your heart—I could never do something like that. It wasn’t in me then and it’s not in me now.”
Delaney didn’t dare move. She didn’t want to move. She wanted to stay where she was, those warm, callused hands touching her, forever.
What are you doing? Are you crazy? Move away.
Her feet didn’t move. They were planted like an old live oak tree with roots dug deep into the rocky Hill Country soil.
Hunter’s gaze went to her lips. His head inclined.
Breathless, Delaney closed her eyes and waited.
She opened them.
Hunter shook his head. His hands dropped. He stumbled back until space widened between them. “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. I got ahead of myself.”
“Ahead of-of yourself?” Embarrassment scorched Delaney’s cheeks. “You’ve been ahead of yourself since you broke into my house. Why stop now?”
“I have to find Corey’s killer. That’s the only way I can prove to you I didn’t do it. I don’t want that doubt festering in you, hanging over us. You’ll never truly trust me until the true killer is behind bars.”
Delaney whirled and marched behind the workbench. “So the name Pritchard doesn’t mean anything to you?”
“No.” Hunter eased back onto a straight-back chair that occupied space next to her frame display. “Has Ramos interviewed any of them?”
“Leah Pritchard, she actually owns the car, but she’s in assisted living. It’s either her son or grandson. I’m betting on the grandson. He’d be closer to Ellie’s age.”
“We need to find him.”
“I did an internet search. Nothing came up. Nothing on social media. I thought everyone was on social media.” Delaney kept up accounts on several platforms in order to market her business, but she shied away from anything personal. Even then sleazy creepers latched on to her profiles and tried to friend her. “Did Mel get an address?”
“I haven’t heard back from her yet. I’ll follow up.” He leaned over, elbows on his knees, and picked at paint on his index finger. “I went to the warehouse.”
“It was hard. I won’t lie.” He met Delaney’s gaze. His dark eyes were full of pain. “I remembered some things. Things I’d rather forget, I suppose, but one piece stands out. I don’t know if I blocked it out or it just got lost in the drugs and alcohol. Ellie knew.”
“About the plan to jump in bed with a bunch of gangbangers. According to Corey, it was her idea.”
“I don’t believe that. She never said a word about it.” Delaney picked up the mat board, laid it back down. He was nuts. He was making this up. “If that’s true why didn’t she say something during the trial?”
“Because it would make her complicit in a criminal enterprise and in part responsible for his death?” Hunter ran his hands through his hair. “I don’t know. Because she knew it would destroy your friendship?”
Maybe. Would she let Hunter go to prison for a murder he might not have committed? Would she do that to Delaney? Ellie, how I wish you were here so I could talk to you, so you could help me understand.
About Kelly: Bestseller Kelly Irvin is the author of almost 30 books and novellas, in romantic suspense and Amish romance genres. Publishers Weekly calls Trust Me “a whirlwind thriller” and an “emotional rollercoaster.” The Library Journal said of her novel Tell Her No Lies, “a complex web with enough twists and turns to keep even the most savvy romantic suspense readers guessing until the end.” The two-time ACFW Carol Award finalist worked as a newspaper reporter for six years on the Texas-Mexico border. Those experiences fuel her romantic suspense novels set in Texas. A retired public relations professional, Kelly now writes fiction full-time. She lives with her husband professional photographer Tim Irvin in San Antonio. They have two children, three grandchildren, and two ornery cats. Learn more & connect:
When her best friend is murdered the same way her brother was, who can she possibly trust?
A decade ago, Delaney Broward discovered her brother’s murdered body at the San Antonio art co-op he founded with friends. Her artist boyfriend, Hunter Nash, went to prison for the murder, despite his not-guilty plea.
This morning, Hunter walks out of prison a free man, having served his sentence.
This afternoon, Delaney finds her best friend dead, murdered in the same fashion as her brother.
Stay out of it or you’re next, the killer warns.
Hunter never stopped loving Delaney, though he can’t blame her for not forgiving her. He knows he’ll get his life back one day at a time, one step at a time. But he’s blindsided to realize he’s a murder suspect. Again.
When Hunter shows up on her doorstep, asking her to help him find the real killer, Delaney’s head says to run away, yet her heart tells her there’s more to his story than what came out in the trial. An uneasy truce leads to their probe into a dark past that shatters Delaney’s image of her brother. She can’t stop and neither can Hunter—which lands them both in the crosshairs of a murderer growing more desperate by the day (hour?).
In this gripping romantic suspense, Kelly Irvin plumbs the complexity of broken trust in the people we love—and in God—and whether either can be mended.
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Question for Readers: What do you find to be the hardest part of sustaining a romantic relationship? What’s the easiest part–if there is one?
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