After Letitia forgave him for attacking her, Drew was sure she was simple-minded. Bad medicine reaction making him crazy or not, he’d hurt her.
Drew Dray had one purpose in life, destroy his father and the inheritance his wheedling, gutless brother thought would be his. Only one thing interfered with his goal, nearly crippling pain from a bad hip. To ease the pain, he agreed to an injection, had a drastic reaction to the drug, and his plans changed. He awoke in a hospital, manacled to the bed. The last thing he remembered was knowing he needed help
He was told while hallucinating from the drug, he’d walked into a stranger’s house, attacked the woman there, and raped her, and unbelievably, the woman, Letitia Winters, wasn’t going to press charges. To his mind, any woman who could dismiss such an attack, regardless of the circumstances, had to be simple-minded. What did he care? Pay her off and be rid of her, but the woman and circumstances kept driving him back.
When he discovered his actions resulted in her pregnancy, and her husband divorcing her for refusing to abort his baby, Drew proposed and bullied her into a marriage of convenience, to give the child his name his only reason. After being branded a bastard by the man he meant to destroy, he swore no child of his would suffer the label. Even after he overhears her raving ex-husband warn scream she isn’t normal, that she’s a witch who makes bad things happen to get even with people, he goes back. He didn’t believe it or credit it to his plane crashing.
Was she the naïve, submissive mouse she seemed? A witch casting spells to keep him going back? Was her aim revenge or was she just a greedy, dangerous woman who found out he had millions? Would he survive to destroy his father or discover how deadly sweet, bland Letitia could be?
Drew shot to his feet. The women glanced up as he stomped out of the café, slammed the door behind him. His temper didn’t cool in the slightest when Letitia finally returned home, on foot, looking like a beggar in a ragged coat, worn jeans, and scuffed, wet boots. Her look of surprise at seeing him pacing her porch was replaced with dread as he bore down on her.
“Why didn’t you tell me?” he demanded. “Why did you leave it up to a bunch of evil-mouthed bitches in a café to let me know?”
“Know what?” she asked in a tired voice.
He nearly shouted, “Are you pregnant?”
“Is it mine?”
“God damn you, that’s no reason to murder it!”
“Murder?” She took a step back in shock, her hand resting on her stomach. “What are you talking about?”
“It seems to be common knowledge that you’re deliberately trying to kill a rapist’s baby. Why the hell didn’t you just abort it when your Eddie begged you to?”
She stood up straight, all five-foot-seven inches of her. “I think you better leave.”
“You’re not going to murder that baby. I’ll find some way to stop you.”
He grabbed her by the hand and dragged her behind him. She was so stunned, they reached the car before she struggled to free herself.
“What are you doing?”
“Get in.” He flung the car door open and pushed her in.
She bounced back out. He solved the problem of keeping her in by crawling over the seat and dragging her in after him. He held her in with one arm, started the car, and let the door shut with the momentum of the car moving forward.
“You shouldn’t do this,” she stated in her usual passive tone.
“I’m going to marry you.”
She twisted to face him, mouth hanging open.
“I don’t like the word bastard, and I won’t be responsible for one.”
“That’s no reason to get married.”
Glancing sideways at her, he said, “It’s enough for me.”
“Let’s talk this over reasonably. You don’t want a wife, and I don’t want a husband under these circumstances.”
I’m not asking you to be my wife. As soon as the baby is born, we’ll get a divorce.”
But…” She broke off, chewing at her lip. “Don’t you think we ought to discuss this?”
“Mr. Dray, I don’t want to marry you just because of my baby.”
“I’m not too happy about it myself, Mrs. Winters, but it’s the only answer.”
“In today’s society, it isn’t—”
Drew cut her off. “I’m not having a kid of mine living a lie! He’ll have my name!”
Still in the same placid tone, despite his shouting, she told him, “A marriage of five months is going to be more difficult than—”
“I didn’t say you had to get a divorce the instant it’s born. You can wait as long as you want. I don’t give a damn. That kid is mine, and it’ll have my name.”
Letitia sighed heavily. “That’s all you care about?”
“Other than it having your name so it won’t be a bastard, that’s all you care about?”
“I said that’s all,” he said firmly. “I meant it.”
The dance ended, and he led her back to the table. Monica didn’t give Drew a chance to sit down.
“Dance with me. George still hates to.”
As soon as they walked away, George slipped into the chair next to Letitia. Drew watched, his anger growing. He knew George was making a play for Letitia, wrapping his arm around her shoulders. He knew when Letitia handled it herself, though. George stiffened, drawing his arm to his lap.
“Looks like she told him to get lost,” Monica said gaily. “Poor George never has made it with women.”
“You married him.”
“For which I’ve been forever sorry. I was sick when you left without a word. George was there to pick up the pieces, but he was never you.”
“Better than a penniless bastard.”
“How can you say that? You know how much I loved you.”
Yes, he knew, though not how much but how little. He had sent word once he left for boot camp, and she couldn’t be bothered to answer or meet him. He’d waited for hours. She hadn’t gone to the hospital or jail before that, either, and not because she couldn’t.
She molded herself against him. “I’ve never forgotten you or how much I loved you. I cried myself to sleep for weeks, damning myself for my ideals on virginity and waking up, remembering the way we petted.”
She straightened up to look at him coyly. “Remember how hot we made each other?”
“You act like you still are.”
“I am, for you.”
“You’re certainly not coy anymore,” he said with a snide laugh. “I better take you back to your husband to take care of you.”
“I don’t want George. I want you. I always have.”
“Seduce my brother’s wife?” he asked with a shake of his head.
“Why not? He tried to seduce yours.”
He drew his brows together, pretending thoughtfulness.
She laughed, leaning against him again. “You want me, same as you always have, the same way I do you.”
“That time has passed,” he told her, shaking his head.
“We’ll see, won’t we?”
* * * *
Drew noticed something that night he hadn’t before, beginning with Letitia’s comment about the drink. He listened differently to her the rest of the night while they sat at a dinner table, learning she wasn’t as naive as he’d once thought.
“Don’t you come in here causing more trouble,” Ella warned. She snatched up an umbrella from the stand by the door. “You go near her, I’ll brain you.”
Letitia slipped around the corner to the kitchen. Eddie ran after her, and Ella ran after him. He caught Letitia by one arm, jerking her around, and Ella brought the umbrella down on his head.
After the first strike, the umbrella bounced off his raised arms until he got a hold of it. “You crazy old woman,” he yelled, jerked it out of her hands, and shoved her. Throwing it, he turned to go after Letitia. In the next instant, he was on the floor and flinched when Letitia stepped around him.
“You know better,” Letitia told him, sighing when Ella scrabbled to reach the ringing phone ahead of her.
Ella screamed for someone to come home. Letitia took the phone, knowing who it was. “It isn’t anything to be excited about.”
“What isn’t?” Drew demanded.
"Ella just had a little scare. It’s fine now.”
“It is not,” Ella screamed in the background.
“It really is. Don’t concern yourself.” She may as well have waved a red flag in front of a bull.
“I’ll be there in two hours.”
She sighed again. Behind her, Eddie groaned.
“You have again taxed my tolerance and temper to the limit,” she told him. “If you come back again, I’ll have you arrested.”
“You’re a god damned witch! You did that to me!”
“You tripped over the umbrella,” Ella countered in fury. “You assaulted her.”
“She did it. She does things, moves them without touching them. She’s a damned witch!”
“See him out, please,” Letitia told her. “If he won’t leave, call the sheriff.”
Eddie shouted. “I should have known better.”
“You thought because I’m pregnant you could bully me.”
“If she takes a deep breath, get out of the way. Things happen!” he shouted at Ella.
Letitia took a deep breath, not releasing it in a soft hiss until Eddie ran for the door. Leaving it to Ella to make sure he was gone wasn’t fair to Ella, but Letitia didn’t want to deal with him anymore, and she hurt. Certain her backache was only from being twisted when Eddie grabbed her, she wanted to lie down. She’d rest for the time it’d take Drew to get there, but the pain didn’t go away. Giving up on resting, she tried to get up and couldn’t. A sharp pain shot through her. She called to Ella and couldn’t make her hear. She tried again to get up and slid off the bed to her knees, doubled over in a pain that spread from her back, around her like a band of iron.
“Oh, God,” she moaned, recovering from the pain. No, not recovered. The pain had only eased. “Ella.”
Barely able to hear herself, she tried again, filling her lungs to make it louder. “Ella!”
Ella was not who answered. “What are you doing on the floor, Muffet?” Drew asked, kneeling beside her.
1. Wow! see what else Babett had to say with her 5 star review.
2. Anne. 5 out of 5 stars
" Deadly Precious" by Larriane Wills is a dark romance mystery with a psychological plot revolving around Drew, an angry man intent on revenge; his twisted love/hate relationship with Letitia, a girl with her own dark past, and both their complicated families.
The convoluted story, which encourages the reader to explore beyond the obvious, contains all the ingredients readers so love in this genre! Betrayal, murder, vengeance, lust and finally closure. An interesting read.
Copy provided for a review,