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Lorana Hoopes

Love on the Run

Love on the Run

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A woman on the run, a man willing to help, a cabin by the lake...

Ginny Darling has finally gotten the courage to leave her abusive boyfriend. She is overjoyed when she lands in Fire Beach and meets strangers willing to give her a fresh start, but when her ex returns to the scene, will her future become her past again?

Graham Graves is not a bodyguard, but when his new employee needs a place to hide out, he offers her protection at his family's cabin. Will their attraction bloom while in lockdown?

Fans of Margaret Daly, Susan May Warren, Christy Barritt, and Alana Terry will love this romantic suspense story from best selling author Lorana Hoopes. If you've been to Fire Beach before, you'll love getting to see some of your old friends, and if this is your first visit, there are more books for you to enjoy. Grab your copy today!

First Chapter

Ginny Darling paused as she heard the engine of a car outside the window. He couldn’t be home. Not yet. She’d thought she had an hour at least. It wasn’t much time, but she had decided it would have to be enough. Her eyes darted around the tiny bedroom as she looked to see where she could hide and what looked out of place.

The engine faded away as it continued down the street, and Ginny’s breath escaped in a relieved rush. No time to slow down though. This was her one shot. She would not get another one. Quickly folding the shirt in her hands, she shoved it into the small suitcase and turned to the dresser to grab some more clothes. 

She didn’t have many. He only allowed her to have the clothes he purchased for her - none of which were her style, but that that never mattered to him. One day, when she was out from under his thumb and had enough money, she would buy clothes she liked. Simple ones that didn’t hug her waist or dip too low.

When her meager outfits were packed, she grabbed her hairbrush and toothbrush out of the bathroom. Nothing else in the bathroom belonged to her. He didn’t let her have a curling iron for fear she might use it on him. Nor did he allow her a hair dryer though she was unsure what the fear behind it was unless he thought she might try to throw it in his shower.

She grabbed a towel and a washcloth as well, unsure of how long it would be before she would have the money to purchase her own. Besides, he would be more mad that she had gone than that she had taken toiletries. 

Ginny hurried to the kitchen to grab food and the little money she had managed to stash away. He didn’t let her work, but he did give her money to buy groceries once every two weeks, and every once in a while she could find a coupon or a deal and end up with a little left. She’d begun stashing it in a container that once held prunes knowing he would never look in it. His aversion to anything healthy would keep him away. 

She grabbed it from the shelf along with some crackers and poptarts. Not the healthiest fare by far, but it would do until she could afford more. Maybe she’d be lucky enough to find work in a restaurant and they would let her take home the extra food. After shoving the food and the can of money into her shoulder bag, she took one final look around the apartment.

It had never been home, not since the first time he had hit her, but it had been a roof over her head and protection from the even rougher crowd on the streets. She hoped she wouldn’t end up on the streets again, but she would know better what to look for this time, how to avoid another man like Carl, like her father.

A glance at her watch revealed she needed to get going. If all went well, Carl would be gone another half hour but occasionally his errands ran shorter, and she needed to be gone before he got back. 

Adjusting the bag on her shoulder one more time, she grabbed the suitcase and exited the apartment building. Ginny was certain that Carl had neighbors who kept tabs on her comings and goings. The suitcase would definitely arouse suspicion, but she hoped to be at the bus station and on a bus before they could alert Carl.

She kept her ears open and her eyes alert as she made her way to the bus station. Every glance flashed her direction sent her heart racing and her pulse thundering in her ears. 

“Where to?” the operator asked when she finally approached the window. His eyes barely registered her, and his tone declared his boredom.

Ginny could not have been more thankful. He would probably not remember her, and if he did, she doubted he would be able to describe her.

“How far can I get with forty-five dollars?” It wasn’t much, but it was all she could spare and still have enough for food for the next few days.

His eyes flicked to her for a moment before he leaned forward and tapped on the keys of his computer. “Fire Beach, Illinois, and the bus leaves in ten minutes.”

Illinois wasn’t as far as she would have liked, but it would have to do. “I’ll take one ticket.” She placed the few wadded bills she had on the counter and pushed it toward him. A moment later, she held a ticket in her hand. Hopefully, it was her ticket to freedom.

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Lorana Hoopes

Lorana Hoopes is a USA Today Best Selling Author and now an Award Winning Author as well. She's had two books earn a Page Turner Award Finalist badge and she recently won the Reader's Favorite Book Award for Romantic Suspense.