Diverted Heart – Beth Ann Stifflemire


Texas summers are no doubt some of the hottest you’ll find. The heat encountered during this summer is not at all what Taylor bargained for. She’s at a crossroads between childhood and womanhood, rummaging through the emotions of first love versus passion. Two young men tangle a web of needs and desires in her heart. The summer before college begins, Taylor is thrust from her childhood home in Houston to an inherited family farm on the outskirts of Schulenburg, Texas. Eric, her first love, has gone states away to play college football. Low-spirited and merely trying to get through an expectantly boring summer, she is nearly run off the road by her new country neighbor, Maxwell. Ruggedly handsome, devilishly charming and everything Taylor seeks to avoid, Maxwell does something to her emotions she’s struggling desperately to interpret, as they spend the summer filled with each other. Boundaries are tested and the scales of lust tip despite hesitations. A final decision must be made. Did she ever truly love Eric? Is Maxwell simply a lustful thought, or is there more to uncover beneath the surface? One thing is for certain, this summer will change Taylor in every possible way: mind, body and soul.
 




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     Where is he driving? We’ve been in the truck for over an hour and a half. All I know is we are headed west on Highway 21; Not not an area I know well.

“How long until we get there?” Wherever there is.
“Not much longer,” is all he offers.
“Still not giving me a clue?” My mind is toying with ideas, but I can’t gather anything concrete. Whatever he has in store is truly a surprise.
“No, ma’am,” he grins naughtily then stupefies me with his next question. , “Everything okay in the Eric department?”
I sit stunned as fury builds in me. My face feels hot from anger. It must be red. “I don’t want to talk about it,” I utter hastily. The female voice on the phone still has me hot and bitter.
“Okay. Sorry,” he apologizes.
“You don’t need to be sorry, I just don’t want to talk about it,” I mutter. Opening up to Max about the issue will only make things worse. Besides, the day has turned into a positive, and only looks to get better. Drowning it with my childish rant over the Eric call would be a mistake, I reason. I change the subject. “Have you ever taken anyone to do whatever we’re going to do?” I prod.
“Nope. Not a soul,” he answers. I feel his eyes on me and I turn to meet them.
“Why now?” I ask with wonder.
“You’re different.” My insides melt. Different how? “I don’t know what I’m supposed to say…”
“Don’t say anything,” he answers. It only makes me appreciate him more. He doesn’t push, yet a part of me wants him to push. I’m attracted to Max and jaded with Eric. Tides are definitely turning.
Max reaches for my hand, curling his fingers over my knuckles. He doesn’t let go. I don’t pull away. 
Beth Ann is a wife, mother, blogger and book lover from Texas. Her passion is writing stories that draw a reader into a world where they can become the characters and experience a gamut of emotions. When she’s not writing, she love’s to be home with my family and two yellow labs. In addition she’s a sucker for super sappy romance movies, loves trying out Texas wines, is an avid hot tea drinker and enjoys checking items off of her ever-growing bucket list.
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