Skin – Broken But Mending Book 1 by Dale Mayer

Skin
Broken but Mending Book 1
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

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Exploration, healing, and forgiveness.
A journey of love.

Kane is still reeling with anger of betrayal at the deepest level. Hoping to find his way back to forgiveness, therapy is his only option. But he discovers so much more…

Tania is struggling with her fear of intimacy after past demons still haunt her. Uncertain of how to let anyone get close to her again, she immerses herself into her photography. Finding comfort in her camera, she discovers the human body, Kane’s body. Looking through the lens of a camera, Tania finds her strength and the beauty of love–with him.

But can two broken souls find the courage to confront their pasts for a future together?

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I love Dale Mayer’s books and I’ve been catching up on her very different series. I purchased this box set on sale from the author’s website. I am reviewing the books individually as I read them.

Dr Jenna Komack’s workshops are renowned being unconventional and successful. What Tania and Kane didn’t realize was just how different this week long seminar would be.

Assigned a project, one where Tania would be photographing Kane, neither of them could figure out how it could possibly help them with their problems.

This is a favorite scene where Kane gives Tania a nickname. Fitting because of the physical differences between them.

Tania understood the camera, just not the subject. Kane was difficult; a man of secrets. Getting him to be natural was the key. He was doing the posing-tourist role, and she wanted nothing to do with it. Still, it would take some time to find the real him inside.

She let him walk ahead on the cobblestone. There were intricate patterns worked into the street, and her camera loved them. Whenever he looked away or something caught Kane’s eye, she tried to capture him.

But she didn’t like the results. She’d have to ditch most of them at this rate.

“Coffee?” he asked hopefully, pointing to a small bistro off to the side.

“Tea?” she suggested, not knowing what they’d talk about.

He shrugged and led the way over. “I’ll go in and order.”

Happy to let him take charge, she nodded and took pictures of him walking into the tiny shop. He had a hell of a butt. What she wouldn’t do to get him in tight boxers. The magic her camera could work then… Her thought was immediately followed by shock. Had she really just thought that? About a perfect stranger?

He returned in a few minutes with two mugs. “Hope this is okay. Black tea and black coffee.”

She fished the tea bag out quickly, not wanting to have it too strong if there wasn’t milk and not wanting to go in and get milk even if it was available. For a therapy seminar, so far she’d cried no tears and had yet to feel under the gun with questions or swamped by emotions. She felt odd, not herself. Normally, she’d have just asked him to get the tea the way she liked it, but not this time.

Was it doing any good?

As if reading her thoughts, Kane said, “Weirdest therapy session I’ve ever done.”

She laughed. “Exactly what I was thinking. I feel like this assignment is supposed to do something, but we are completely missing the mark.”

“Are we?” Moodily, he stared into the deepest, blackest mug of coffee she’d ever seen. “Seems like a complete waste of time so far.”

She leaned forward. “That’s what I mean. We’re out here sightseeing when we should be working on healing.”

He leaned back at her emphatic comment. “You think we shouldn’t be out here.”

She shrugged and looked around. “I can’t help but feel like we are deliberately avoiding something. Or aren’t ready yet to get too close to the real issues.”

“Really?” he snorted. “What real issues? I highly doubt you want to share your issues with me. And I know I’m not going to. So what else are we supposed to be doing here?”

She stared at him, realizing she could share, but she didn’t want to. And he was right; if they weren’t going to help each other, what was the point? Unless one of them could help the other, and maybe in the helping, the other could be healed a little as well.

“Did you research Jenna’s seminar?” She smiled at his emphatic nod.

“Hell yes.”

“And read the comments, reviews people had left?” When he nodded again, she said, “And do you recognize our conversation is similar to many that were written on her website? And I quote, ‘I started the journey expecting to find the opposite of what I got. Thank God.’ Or ‘When I first started this seminar, I thought I’d signed up for the wrong one. It was nothing like what I’d expected.’”

He stared at her then leaned back, dropping his gaze to his cup. Speaking slowly, he said, “The one that resonated with me was, ‘I don’t understand the how or the why or the process that happened, but healing has started…’”

“Oh, I like that.” Contemplative, she stared around as the traffic picked up slightly as more people came looking for sustenance. “I’m supposed to find a journey with you as my subject. I don’t understand really, but I’m willing to trust a little here. Outside, it feels like it’s an impersonal journey.” She stopped and frowned. “I’m not really sure where I’m going with this, but say we were at home and you had the week off – what would you be doing?”

“Refinishing my bathroom.”

The answer came so fast it surprised her.

He grinned with real humor, and his face came alive. She stared, entranced, as he spoke. “It’s been the plan for a while. Now if you were to say, if I had a couple days off, what I would be doing, I guess I’d be working out, catching up on yard work, lazing around the house, and watching some classic movies.”

As his mouth moved, her eyes caught on the lean muscles that formed and reformed in perfect symmetry. He was lean and hard and spoke about a world she didn’t understand. And she was suddenly afraid she just might know what Jenna had been thinking.

And hoped not.

She raised her gaze to Kane’s and watched light play across his features as his eyes darkened. He leaned closer, his whole body language shifting, softening. Damn, she wanted to photograph him.

“What’s up, Tinkerbelle?”

That startled a laugh out of her. “Tinkerbelle?”

He waved an arm at her. “You’re tiny, delicate, and look like a good wind would blow you away.” He shrugged. “It just came to me.”

And something just came to me, she thought. Sending up a prayer that she had this right and Kane wouldn’t find her off the wall, she said, “I know this might sound a bit weird, but…” she took a deep breath, and then added, “You have a very photogenic face.” She motioned to his biceps. They bulged and relaxed almost as if he was bunching to a tune in his mind. “In fact, your muscles are really interesting.” As his eyebrows shot up to his hairline, she quickly corrected, “For the camera, I mean.”

She looked away for a moment before forcing herself back on target. “I guess what I meant to say is that skin and muscles, how people move, have always fascinated me. If you are okay with it,” she took a deep breath before she dropped her gaze to the table, wishing it were wider, deeper, higher – anything to increase that barrier – and said in a rush, the words tripping over themselves before she could take them back, “I’d like to take pictures as you work out.”
Dale Mayer. Broken but Mending: Books 1-3 (Kindle Locations 411-460). Valley Publishing. Kindle Edition.

Kane is there for his anger that is bleeding into his job performance, while Tania is there due to a traumatic incident in her past that has colored her entire world since it occurred.

I love this journey as each little bit is revealed and dealt with. True understanding comes with a simmer to sizzle romance that is healing for both of them.

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

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Books 1-3

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Dale Mayer

Dale Mayer is a USA Today bestselling author best known for her Psychic Visions and Family Blood Ties series. Her contemporary romances are raw and full of passion and emotion (Second Chances, SKIN), her thrillers will keep you guessing (By Death series), and her romantic comedies will keep you giggling (It’s a Dog’s Life and Charmin Marvin Romantic Comedy series).

She honors the stories that come to her – and some of them are crazy and break all the rules and cross multiple genres!

To go with her fiction, she also writes nonfiction in many different fields with books available on resume writing, companion gardening and the US mortgage system. She has recently published her Career Essentials Series. All her books are available in print and ebook format.

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