Broken Girl Synopsis:
My name is ROSE NEWTON, and I sell my body on the streets of San Francisco. I’m what you call society’s dirty little secret. On the outside, I’m in control, the woman who makes her own rules and gives nothing away for free. Inside, I’m broken and numb. Torn and shattered by my past, my life is nothing more than the lost fragments of what’s left of me. SHANE WEST represents everything that’s foreign to me. He’s brave, kind, funny, gorgeous and persistent. When fate brings us face to face, an undeniable attraction blazes between us. He becomes the constant I’ve never had and the only man I’ll ever trust. There is nothing simple about falling in love when you’re keeping a secret like mine. *Reader’s discretion advised. Certain content might not be suitable for some readers.
I skimmed the place for you-know-who, hoping that the uncomfortable bubble building in the back of my throat would disappear. Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted him coming toward me. A reassured smile spread wide across his gorgeous face. I couldn’t help but smile back.
His vivid hazel eyes lit up as he spoke. “Well, look who showed up! My new friend, Little Clumsy Rose. I guess she decided to come back to the Stop and Wash!”
I noticed he wasn’t tending to a washing machine or hanging out by the dryers. “Yeah, well, I have to keep up on my laundry, you know. Can’t waitress in filthy clothes. You don’t get very many tips when you’re stinky.” I shoot him a quick wink.
“And here I thought it was the world’s best suckers that brought you back.”
“Oh, don’t get me wrong, Shane, this place’s suckers are hard to pass up, but I tend to be a Blow Pop type of girl,” I teased.
“Well, then next time I’ll make sure you have at least one Blow Pop in every color and flavor.” He raised his eyebrows in a curious tic.
“Now you’re just tryin’ to sweet talk me. How ‘bout helping me find a washing machine that’s unoccupied?”
“That sounds good. We don’t want a repeat of what happened last time,” he mused.
“I can’t believe how busy this place is.”
“Oh, yeah, so give me this.” He shot me a quick wink before snatching my laundry sack and flinging it over his shoulder. “Stay close now,” his voice rumbled, coming out with more of a growl than I expected.
My heart drummed in my chest as I watched his biceps flex against the sleeves of his T-shirt. I followed him into a back corner of the laundromat, pushing away the feelings swelling in my gut and surging into my chest. I took several deep breaths, thinking about the words I wanted to use to build a wall between us.
“Are you implying that I am clumsy?”
“No, but I’d hate to see you wrestle with a cart in this place now.” Shane looked around.
Every machine was running. Every dryer was humming with clothes dancing in the glass windows. As we swiftly passed the back counter, he snatched a handful of suckers. When I glanced back, every counter had a plastic bowl filled with suckers.
“Where are your clothes? Don’t tell me you’re the one creepy guy who decides to hang out in random laundromats around the city, ripping off cheap suckers?”
“Nope, I only hang out at this one, and I don’t steal suckers.” He laughed. I didn’t laugh. “Talking about stinky waitresses and cheap suckers, we never finished our conversation about Cajun food last time we hung out.”
“You mean the only time we hung out,” I corrected him.
“It’s just semantics. You eat right?”
“Um, last time I checked, it’s vital to my existence.”
“Well, that’s good news, because it just so happens that I must eat to survive too.”
“Yeah, well, the last time I checked, suckers don’t count as eating.”
“By whose definition?” he quipped.
“Mine. Suckers are a lick-and-swallow product. Eating actual food is a much more detailed and necessary activity.”
“Well, then why don’t I take you to Boxing Room … for some required nourishment?”
“I can’t today, but thanks.”
“It’s vital to both of our survival.” He leaned closer to me and continued, “I wasn’t thinking about today.”
“I was thinking some … other day?” His expression was pleading.
“Well, I’ll be busy.”
“Really? You already know you’re busy?”
“Six months from now?”
I nodded. I didn’t know what I was doing every minute of the day, but I was pretty sure I was too busy to start something with him.
“How can you turn down eating dinner? The very act is essential to our human survival.”
“Oh, I survive quite well on my own, thank you.”
“Yeah, but why alone? Why not have dinner with someone … like me?”
“Look, Shane, truthfully, I just can’t really see anyone right now. My life is a little … complicated.”
“Complicated? Everyone’s life is complicated, Rose.”
“Yeah, well, I don’t have time to do complicated.”
Gretchen de la O Bio:
Gretchen de la O, is a writer of romantically unique stories. A proclaimed positive energy infuser by people who know her, she finds joy in helping those around her discover their creative process. Gretchen is a firm believer that anything is possible if you set your mind to it; and what you expect out of life, always finds a way of showing up. She’s authentic in her dedication to her own creative process, finds strength in her spirituality, and is always looking for the bright spot in every situation.
Gretchen released her first novel, Almost Eighteen in September of 2011, the first in a three book new adult student/teacher romance, The Wilson Mooney Series. In November of 2012, she followed with book two, Eighteen at Last, and concluded the series with Beyond Eighteen in October, 2013. Her Fourth novel, PROTOTYPE, a romantic suspense, the first book in the Possession Series was released in October 2014. BROKEN GIRL, Gretchen’s fifth novel, is a standalone contemporary romance slated to be released April 29th, 2016. Please visit Gretchen at www.gretchendelao.com.