Title: Heart of a Savage
Author: Lashanta Charles
Genre: Romance — Contemporary, Sports
They call him THE SAVAGE PRINCE.
He told me to call him MY SALVATION.
Bailey Ross-O’Malley has spent her whole life catering to others. She used to enjoy it. Until her father died. In an attempt to protect her, her father chose Connor to be her husband, but that was a mistake. Connor was supposed to love her, be her rock – but some rocks need to be tossed as far away as possible. She only has one source of happiness now, her son, and if Connor doesn’t get his way, he’ll take that joy from her as well.
MMA fighter, Dominic Prince, has only one mission in life: forget his past. Forget the pain, the drama, and the loss of things taken away from him too soon. He’s guarded and secretive and that’s the way he likes it. He was doing a damn good job of keeping it that way. Until her. Bailey showed up and Dominic’s life became a minefield. He can’t decide if he wants to kiss her or shake her, but he does know that he’ll fight to keep her safe. He’ll be as savage as he is in the octagon, outside of it.
Neither of them wants to accept it happening, but the past has a way of sneaking into the present. Hearts will be shattered and bonds will be broken. Will they survive it?
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As I lock the door Tyrese and one of The Isley Brothers are extolling the virtues of having a girl who loves them. Why the fuck did he think it was a good idea to team up with Tank and Ginuwine? Something small and soft touches my forearm and I barely resist the urge to jump a mile because, what the fuck, I see a hand. A hand with long, slender fingers and neon pink nail polish, sharp in its contrast to the smooth, mahogany skin. I follow an arm covered by a leather jacket to a face with big brown eyes, stretched wide as they look up at me, a small nose, and luscious lips. Her brown eyes are surrounded by long, dark lashes and arched eyebrows. They’re beautiful. She could be beautiful. She’s not though. There’s something blocking it and against my better judgment I want to know what it is. A beanie covers her head, but short black hair peeks out from one side. Those luscious lips move and I remember I still have my headphones on, but I also remember that since Janae, I hate being touched. I should really go talk to someone about these issues I’m having, but I’m a guy. Soooooo . . . I look back down at the hand that’s still on my forearm and she quickly pulls it back before dropping her gaze to the ground. I slip my headphones off just as she speaks again.
“I’m sorry. I was trying to ask you about the gym, but I knew you couldn’t hear me.”
And Junior has decided he likes her fucking voice. Soft and sweet and conveying utter innocence, even with her mumbling like she’s scared out of her mind. I would contribute that to my size, but she’s pretty tall for a chick. I’d say about 5’ 9” at least. Not to mention that chicks seem to be more turned on by my size than afraid of it. Being bigger means I can protect them. Not her though. I expect her to run for safety at any moment. She hasn’t made eye contact since I initially turned to her and she’s fidgeting. I take in her clothes, which look like they could be expensive, and I notice that she’s skinny as hell. No hips, no ass, no tits, just slim and athletic. So why in the hell is Junior stepping up to full throttle? The icing on the cake? I feel beads of pre-cum. Eleven months dry as the desert and this timid little boy-girl is un-manning me. That gets my blood boiling and for a second causes me to question my masculinity, which is totally unacceptable. Did I just say totally? This girl is destroying my vibe.
“What the fuck are you doing creeping around here this late at night?”
She squeaks. Literally jumps a foot in the air and squeaks like a scared little mouse. Granted, I did snap at her, but come on. Really? I glance around the parking lot and around the building. She can’t be out here by herself, but there is no one else and I don’t even see a car. When I look back at her, she’s hugging herself and slowly backing away. I reach out and grab her by both arms and she whimpers, her face a mask of terror. What the fuck?
“Please,” she begs. “I’m s-sorry. I-I only wanted to ask about the gym. I’ll leave. I promise.”
“You think I’m going to hurt you?” I try to keep the growl from my voice, but I can’t. Everything about this girl is irking the fuck out of me. Why would I want to hurt her and why in the hell is she so scared when she sought me out? She shrugs her shoulders in answer and although she tries to cower away, she doesn’t physically try to get free. Now I’m upset and confused. Either she’s scared or she isn’t. “I’m not going to hurt you. I’m going to let you go and you’re not going to run, okay? You’re going to tell me what you’re doing out here and why you’re alone.” She nods her head in agreement and I let her go. She keeps her eyes trained on the ground and that gets to me even more.
“How’d you get here?”
“I walked . . . from the bus.”
“Why?” The bus stop is roughly a quarter-mile from here. This isn’t a bad neighborhood, I made sure of that when I picked the location, but she’s a female and no place is really safe for her to be alone at night. But shit, why do I even care? Why does her being here, alone, unsafe, bother me so much?
Captain Obvious. Of course she’s here for the gym. She’s literally at the gym. And why is she still mumbling? “Why?”
“I looked online. It said you have self-defense classes.”
At no point would I have considered that to be her reason. She’s asking about self-defense classes and yet she’s here alone this late at night. She risks a glance at me just as a pick-up truck pulls into the parking space in front of where we stand. I groan because I know that as scared as she is, it’s about to get ten times worse.
LaShanta Charles was born and raised in the small town of Orangeburg, SC. She has always been an avid reader of all genres, but Romance has always been her true love and is what inspired her to pursue a writing career. In high school, she began letting her classmates read the short stories that she would write and based off of their feedback, her passion for writing pushed her to become a published author. She published her debut novel, Lovely Lies, in 2013 and released the sequel, Lovely Lies 2, in February 2014. Her third novel, Splitting Karma, was released in October 2014. She lives in Yelm, WA, with her husband and three children and also serves in the US Army. She’s a home body who enjoys SLEEPING, reading, SLEEPING, eating, SLEEPING, white chocolate mochas, SLEEPING, sexy alien romances, and of course, writing. Oh, and she hates spiders; they’re extremely creepy, why do they need eight legs??