THIS IS A NEW ADULT NOVEL. RECOMMENDED FOR 17+ YEARS DUE TO SEXUAL CONTENT AND SOCIAL SITUATIONS
When you see someone who looks like they need saving, you save them right?
Mackenzie Deeks is struggling. Outwardly she plays the tough guy and acts like being a young adult with an eating disorder is no big deal. Inside, she’s crumbling.
Ever since her parents’ divorce, the only way she has been able to feel in control of her life is by purging the despair that has its grips on her and won’t let go.
Tyler Redding knows when someone needs help – he’s seen it before. This time, though, he’s not going to take no for an answer. From the moment he first sets his sights on Mackenzie, he’s unable to think of anyone else. But how can he focus on a football career when all he wants to do is date the most unassuming person he’s ever met?
As their lives become intricately entwined, it becomes more than wishful thinking when Mackenzie and Tyler find each other again as adults. With successful careers, a beachside lifestyle and each other’s love to contend with, life should be pretty damn good. But just when they think they’ve found their wonderful kind of normal, their perfect world comes crashing down.
It’s going to take a lot to keep Mackenzie from succumbing to old habits, but Tyler thinks he might just be the one to save her for good.
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We weave in and out of a few side streets before we stop beside a black Harley motorcycle. Scanning the street, I’m still looking for his car when he removes two helmets from the storage compartments on either side of the bike. He replaces the helmets with our gear and then turns to me.
‘Where’s your car?’
‘It’s my dad’s. The bike’s mine, it’s easier to park down here when it gets this busy.’
‘Come here and let me put the helmet on you.’ He steps closer to me to meet me half way, and our bodies inadvertently brush together. His chest feels hard and muscled, evidence of a lot of exercise. He looks older than a seventeen year old, and I can see what the attraction would be for other girls – me included. It makes me absently wonder who the spare helmet was for. A ‘just-in-case’ or did it belong to an ex-girlfriend? I push those thoughts quickly from my head. There is no way I need the baggage of jealously along with all the other shit that goes on in my head.
‘Keep still.’ His breath tickles my face, the smell of barbeque sauce lingering on his breath. I know it sounds funny, but it makes me want to eat him. My eyes focus on his
mouth as he slides the helmet onto my head. His fingers work their magic with the chin strap and soon have the clasp done up. He’s momentarily frozen, eyes drinking me in, seemingly searching my soul for something. What, I don’t know. His fingers graze my cheeks before cupping my jaw, his thumbs rubbing lightly over my bottom lip.
I’m finding it hard just to breathe right now. We are all alone in the side street, shaded from the glaring sun by the apartment buildings. The world seems to continue to move on at its rapid pace behind us, and yet here, time is frozen. He bites his own lip and I start to plead silently to myself.Please kiss me, just this once. Just kiss me once and I will never ask for anything else! I know it’s a lie, but I can’t help myself. It appears that I too am impervious to his charms.
‘Don’t …’ he begs. I’m confused.
‘Don’t what?’ I barely get the words out.
‘Don’t look at me like that.’ His eyes are pleading with me, but I studiously ignore them.
‘Because if you don’t stop looking at me like that then I’m going to have to kiss you.’ It’s clearly a challenge, testing to see what my reaction will be. He’s being cautious with me, and I wonder if this is the way he usually behaves.
‘Well, I promise I won’t complain if you do.’ That’s a pretty bold statement, especially coming from me.
I don’t know what’s come over me. All I know is that when I’m with Tyler, I want to have fun. I want to be fun. His jaw clenches, I can see the muscle working hard as he bites his teeth together. I briefly wonder what his hesitation is, before he closes his eyes and leans in towards me.
Oh crap, this is it! He’s actually going to do it! I’m not ready, I’m not ready.
All thoughts escape me as he moves towards my lips. My nostrils fill with his scent; deodorant mingling with the salt from the ocean, tantalising my senses and surrendering me helpless.
His mouth gently closes over mine, breath hot as our lips fuse. My eyes close as I succumb to his kiss. There is nothing else on this planet, except for both of us, right here, right now. There is no eating disorder, no broken family, none of the unhappiness that has plagued me for years. All that exists is this blissful, tranquil moment – imprinting onto my young mind, cataloguing it for later when I want to remember my first, proper kiss.
My mouth parts as his tongue seeks to delve into mine. I grant him permission, letting him take the lead. Our lips move so easily with one another’s that it manipulates me into thinking that his mouth was made for mine. My brain argues with me how idiotic that sounds, but a girl with a crush will not be reasoned with.
When we finally break apart, we are both left breathless and stunned.
‘Wow,’ he says huskily.
You got that straight.
“We’re not broken just bent and we can learn to love again” – Pink
This was a really emotional read for me. The subject matter was tough to read at times and had me my heart completely breaking for the heroine in this story. An emotional roller coaster that had me going from one extreme to the other. There were times I wanted to wrap my arms around her to comfort her and let her know that things would be ok. Mackenzie’s story starts off where she is trying to make it though a new year at a completely new school Since her parents divorce, she has been battling anorexia which has spiraled out of control. . She’s determined to live in her misery and keep herself as invisible as possible.
“I blow my nose and then use toilet paper to clean the top of the toilet seat before flushing my shame down the drain. Washing my hands I glimpse myself in the mirror. I barely recognize the girl staring back at me.”
Tyler Redding is one of the school’s star football players who has a strong pull to Mackenzie. He is completely attracted her and wants to help her any way he can but he doesn’t let on that he knows her secret. After losing his sister to the same disease, all he wants is to be there for her and love her.
“She’s damaged. I can tell. Since the very first time I laid eyes on her, I knew what Vicious disease has it claws in her. I know, because my sister died of the fucking disease.”
“I don’t think she has any idea at all how much she actually affects me.”
“I want to know what makes her laugh, what makes her tick. What turns her on?”
This guy is completely swoon worthy, he’s so sweet, strong, sexy and patient. Nothing she does makes him waver, nothing scares him away and even when he is forced to move away he never lets go.
“I feel like you’re my destiny, you’re my everything.”
“Needing her in my life has become more then wanting to save her. I want her to get better, I really do. But illness or not- I just want her.”
I really loved the chemistry between these 2 characters, they truly were made for each other even though they have some really tough times, misunderstandings and tragedy. S. Pratt really did a great job showing us that even though life is messy, gut wrenchingly painful at times, love can conquer all as long as we don’t give up.
“Don’t ever leave me ok cause if you do I think you might just take a bit of my soul with you.”
This is the first time I’ve ever read anything from this author and I am truly grateful I had the opportunity to. Really great book with tough subject matter. A must read!
Meet the Author
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Shelly is a multi-genre author who lives on the east coast of Australia in northern New South Wales with her husband and two children.
Shelly’s breakout novel, Ruined and companion novella, Ruining Angel are contemporary romance fiction books available on kindle and print from the Amazon store. Sanctuary of Mine is a New Adult Romance and available in print and kindle on Amazon. (Graphic Design by Cover It Designs).
Beloved Soul by Shelly Pratt is available through Amazon and is published through Eternal Press. Please note that Beloved Soul’s cover artwork, editing and publication is all done through Eternal Press.
Editing acknowledgements go to those who are listed on each individual book title.
Earlier novels written by Shelly will now all be published under Stevie Harlow. Slight title modifications have been made, but ALL of this information will be made clearly visible to readers so there will be no confusion to those who have previously purchased these books. You can find all of the Stevie Harlow Novels on this website in the menu above. Just hover and click!
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