Book: From Dust (A Standalone Novel)
Author: Freya Barker
Genre: Dark / Suspense Romance]
Cover Design: RE&D, Margreet Asselbergs
Hosted By: Francessca's Romance Reviews
Pain punished her.
The bottle numbed her.
Guilt kept her trapped.
In the dark alley of a pub, the words “Please don’t” take hold of her heart and break the silence she seeks. Thinking herself beyond redemption, she tentatively grabs on to the slim thread of hope that unfolds inside of her.
Holding her secrets close, she can’t resist the comforting draw coming from The Skipper. The unconditional friendships it offers, the protective roof it provides, and the spark that its owner ignites in her—melting the frost off her heart, and slowly stripping away her resistance.
His life flows from one crisis to the next. Under the pressure of competition crowding him out of his family’s pub and the need to protect his children from the ruins of a bad marriage, he barely breathes. That is until a mane of strawberry-blonde hair and a set of big, pale blue eyes, shake him up.
He never expected the shadow of a woman he finds on the floor of his washroom to bring him the air―the balance and the light he’s been missing.
“Please don’t.” The soft plea freezes me with a French fry halfway to my mouth. So preoccupied with stuffing my empty stomach, I didn’t hear anyone approach. My hand drops the fry and I scramble to the far corner of the dumpster, looking up from under my eyebrows at the woman peeking over the side of the dumpster. I’ve seen her before; a tall blonde, about my age, with blue streaks through her hair. I’ve seen her go in the backdoor of ‘The Skipper’ before and guessed she was an employee. The soft eyes and half-smile fill me with shame. Pity is devastating when it’s directed at you, and I’ve never felt it as strongly as I do now. Wrapping my arms around my waist against the chills running through my body, I turn my eyes away so I can avoid looking at myself through her eyes. “I’ll make you something fresh. Do you want to come in out of the cold?” My eyes flick to the backdoor before returning her steady gaze and I shake my head. The thought of being exposed to more pitying eyes would surely undo me. Tempting as it is to walk through that door behind her and be able to sit down to a plate of food, I’m scared that I won’t be able to return to this bleak existence I’ve resigned myself to afterward. “I’m the only one here. We’ve closed up for the night and I was just putting the last of the garbage out.” She winces at her own words, probably realizing the implication of her garbage referral. “Please...” When she reaches her hand out to me I can’t resist stretching my own to touch it. It’s been so very long since I’ve had any direct human contact that the moment our fingers touch, tears I thought had dried up long ago, start rolling down my face. A craving to bask in her warmth some more has me following her gentle pull on my hand and I find myself cluttering over the side of the dumpster. Meekly I follow behind as she leads the way through the backdoor without a word, only stopping briefly at the threshold. The warmth rolling out of the open door is so inviting, I hesitate, wondering if I step through this door—if I allow myself this comfort—I’ll ever be able to turn back again. My heart pounds in my chest as I force myself to follow the woman inside the dark hallway, letting the door fall shut behind me.
“Fucking took ten years off my life, Syd,” he growls, sounding out of breath. “Don’t ever do that shit again.” With a swift yank on my arms, I find myself enveloped, my face against his chest and his arms wrapped around me tightly. His face is pressing in my hair and I swear he is inhaling my scent. “Can’t figure how you’d believe I’d think you responsible for something like that. Jesus,” he mumbles in my hair. I suspect more to himself than it was intended for me, nevertheless, I slip my arms around his waist and give him a squeeze. “I’m an alc—“ I don’t get a chance to finish before he lifts me up off the floor sits me on the counter and grabs my face in his hands. The green of his eyes is so dark, I can barely see where the pupil ends. For a minute he just stares at me, before his eyes slide down to my mouth. I know what’s coming and even though I don’t deserve it, I can’t help but lean in, craving the moment his mouth takes mine. He stops just before our lips meet. “Fuck it.” Is what I hear before I become deaf to everything but the blood rushing in my veins as his lips slide over mine, his slick tongue demanding entry. O God. The sensation... My mouth opens on a groan and his tongue boldly claims the space, stroking my far more hesitant one with alternating strong strokes and teasing licks. With his mouth plastered to mine, he pulls me to the edge of the counter. Wedging himself between my legs, I instinctively wrap them around the backs of his thighs. Restless hands roam over his broad back and up his shoulders, and I whimper when he pulls his mouth away, leaving his forehead resting against mine and panting hard. “We’ve got customers,” he whispers. “I’m so—“ His lips cut me off with a hard kiss. “We’ll talk later, little bird. We’ve got people to feed.”
What Others are saying
I really did love this book from the author Freya Barker. I have read one other book by her and felt the same way, she has a lovely style of writing that is so fully explained and laid out, you can't help but feel you are part of the cast. ~ 2 Friends Pimp Your Book
This story blew me away from the first page. It deals with serious issues but is also heart-warming as it proves that everyone deserves a second chance at happiness and redemption. ~ Kez Korner
From Dust blew me away! This is hands down the best book I have read in a long time. ~ Goodreads Review
Wow, this book is one intense read and well worth it. This is the first book that I have read by Freya and I am so glad I took a chance after reading the blurb. ~ Obsessed By Books
About the Author
Freya Barker craved reading about 'real' people, those who are perhaps less than perfect, but just as deserving of romance, hot monkey sex and some thrills and chills in their lives – So she decided to write about them. Always creative, from an early age on she danced and sang, doodled, created, cooked, baked, quilted and crafted. Her latest creative outlets were influenced by an ever-present love for reading. First through blogging, then cover art and design, and finally writing. Born and raised in the Netherlands, she packed her two toddlers, and eight suitcases filled with toys to move to Canada. No stranger to new beginnings, she thrives on them. With the kids grown and out in the world, Freya is at the ‘prime’ of her life. The body might be a bit ramshackle, but the spirit is high and as adventurous as ever. Something you may see reflected here and there in some of her heroines.... none of who will likely be wilting flowers.
Other Books by this Author
All Cedar Tree novels available with KINDLE UNLIMITED!
”CLEAN LINES" (Cedar Tree #4)
”AGAINST ME” (Cedar Tree #3)
"HUNDRED TO ONE” (Cedar Tree #2)
"SLIM TO NONE" (Cedar Tree #1)