Book Hooks is a weekly meme hosted by Marketing for Romance Writers as part of the MFRW Authors Blog. Readers have the chance to jump from one author to another who share hooks from their current WIP (work in progress) or any previously published book.
When two former enemies fall in love, family secrets threaten to destroy their fragile union and everything they hold dear.
With their extreme ideas about traditional Ojibway life, the radical Kabatay clan have made enemies in their fight to rid the reserve of Western culture and its religion. Disowned by her family for daring to love the church deacon’s eldest son, Jude, Raven Kabatay longs to put an end to the feud started by her mother, brother, and sisters against the Matawapits…people she’s come to think of as her own since Jude changed her life.
Jude Matawapit suffered a humiliating divorce after his wife left him for another man, but with Raven, he’s created a beautiful, new sanctuary after losing his previous one, and his new haven is everything he’s ever wanted for himself and his children. Only two things could destroy his pristine bliss: the secret he holds close to his chest, and the vengeance Raven’s family wants to exact on the Matawapits. A secret and vengeance that could cost the unlikely lovers their hard-won, much longed for happily ever after.
Genre(s): Multicultural, contemporary romance, adult, inspirational.
Heat Rating: Level 3
Publication Date: February 7, 2020
Publisher: eXtasy Books
With her bag zipped, Raven whipped on her heel, face stiller than stone and eyes as dead as rocks. She motioned at the bathroom door Jude blocked. “Get out of the way.”
“That’s it? You’re not gonna talk to me?” He slapped his hand against his thigh.
“There’s nothing to say.” She shifted the duffel bag strap to her other shoulder. “My gut told me from the beginning what you were, and I should’ve listened to it. Get outta the way.”
“Told you what I really am?” What nerve. “I see. Just because I married a woman who isn’t Ojibway, I’m a bad guy. And what if I was white? Would you have gone out with me?”
“I only date Anishinaabe men.” Her upper lip curled. “I don’t go anywhere near using white men.”
This was the old Raven talking, the woman Mrs. Kabatay had poisoned, the beautiful woman who’d stood outside of Healing the Spirit, holding a protest sign, the woman who believed traditionalists and Christians couldn’t live in harmony. The woman who’d sauntered into his classroom with a va-va-voom wiggle from old Hollywood and had set Jude’s blood on fire. The seductress. The vamp. The lynx with a fierce, teasing nip and sharp claws.
“To me, people are people.” He raised his finger.
“Don’t you dare give me your lecturing tone,” Raven snarled. She pushed at his finger. “Put that away, or I’ll make sure you never point at another person in your condescending Matawapit way again.”
“Matawapit way? And what’s the Matawapit way?” He folded his arms, still standing in the bathroom doorway.
“You think you’re too good to be an Indian. I bet you never wanted to be an Indian. You Matawapits are the truest apples of apples. You pay your taxes like upstanding Canadian citizens. You follow their religion. You live by their rules and their way. That’s what you are. You even marry their kind.” The words flew from her mouth with a vicious helping of spit.
“I see. That’s what you really think I am?” Jude glanced her up and down. This wasn’t the woman he’d fallen head over heels for.
“Think? Nope. Believe.” Her husky voice was deeper, colder.
“You really wanna be a hater again? As racist as those out there?” He pointed toward the door.
“Racist?” She sneered.
“I’m not pointing at the reserve. I’m pointing at the people I met in Thunder Bay who didn’t care I was a good little educated Indian. To them, red skin was red skin—no matter what. You don’t think I faced the same remarks, the same taunts you did? The thing is, I’m not willing to lump an entire race into the bad category because of a good thirty percent who are truly cruel savages.”
“It still doesn’t excuse what your dad did to my mother.”
“No, it doesn’t, but it also doesn’t mean my dad intentionally tried to hurt your mother.”
“He’s your apple dad who taught you to be an apple. Of course you’re going to side with him. Get out of my way. I let your family destroy mine enough. Not anymore.” Her eyes remained narrowed slits.
“So that’s it?” Jude once more slapped his hand on his thigh. “We’re not gonna talk this out like two civilized adults?”
“There’s nothing to talk about. You knew the truth and you hid it from me.” She was too close to screaming.
“I was taken into another’s confidence. I don’t divulge other people’s secrets, no matter what.”
“Not buying. You kept your secret because you knew the consequences, and you were having too much fun getting some nasty sex your virginal, pure, Christian wife wasn’t capable of giving you.” She shoved her chin at him.
Jude swallowed his sputter. “That’s what you believe? Truly believe? Seriously?”
“Isn’t it true?” Raven tapped her foot. “It’s pretty apparent she was so angelic she wouldn’t even try anal.”
“Okay, stop it.” For the second time, he raised his finger. “We’re not going into my former sex life. Do you comprehend? That stays between Charlene and me. And just because she’s not on my good side, doesn’t mean I’m going to break her confidence she trusted me with to another person.”
“Whatever.” Raven flicked her hand. “You don’t gotta draw me a picture. I know exactly what you two were about. Get outta my way or I’m coming through…”
Jude had never forcefully touched a woman in the past, and it wasn’t starting tonight, although his fingers itched to grab Raven’s shoulders and shake the poison out of her.
Raven barreled out of the bathroom and threw open the back door. She stormed outside, and it slammed shut.
Heart banging and blood shivering, Jude leaned on the bathroom entranceway, his breaths coming fast and heavy. He curled his fingers into fists, fighting to get a bearing on the air racing in and out of his mouth and nostrils.
His Raven was gone. She’d turned into the vicious, angry, bitter, resentful Raven her mother had molded and shaped. He punched the wall.