Break My Heart

 

Men envy Breaker Winslow and women want to sleep with him. As a top cover model with a budding acting career, he’s living every man’s dream. Parked in a luxurious townhouse in Manhattan, Rick Breaker Winslow has any woman he wants.

When fire rips through his home, trapping his golden retriever, Breaker pushes firemen aside to save his beloved dog. While heading for the stairs with the canine in his arms, a falling beam crushes them, killing the animal and scarring Breaker’s face.

With his career in shreds, Rick’s friends turn their backs on him. Broken, despondent, and alone, he holes up in a decrepit farmhouse in Pine Grove. Will an abandoned pug, a hot veterinarian, and a country town help rebuild his life or is escape his only answer?

 

 

THIRD PLACE

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“Stay out of the sun. Your face is gonna be sensitive for a while. Maybe forever. Wear sunblock every day and a hat. Stay away from the beach and you’ll be fine. The scars’ll fade and you’ll look okay soon.”

Look okay? By whose standards? He’d never look okay again, never be Breaker Winslow, model, actor, heartthrob of a million book covers. When Breaker Winslow pushed past the firemen and rushed up the stairs to the second floor of his townhouse looking for his golden retriever, he had no clue how ferocious the fire had become.

He’d managed to scoop up Ralph, only to be struck by a falling beam on his way to safety. He’d dropped the dog, who had been buried under a huge pile of flaming debris breaking through the ceiling. Knocked unconscious, he had been saved by the fire department. Breaker’s face had been scarred beyond more than a patch job could fix. And Ralph had died anyway.

Now he was simply Richard B. Winslow. Yeah, “B” for Breaker. Rick to his childhood friends and family. Not fit to model, Rick had no other profession. Once it hit the news, the paparazzi hounded him. Every effort to hide had failed and it wasn’t long before the picture of his hideous face hit the papers.

Deserted by his adoring public, his friends, the three women he’d been sleeping with, and even his mother, he had become a recluse. For a year, he hid out in his cousin’s house, until his face ceased to be news. The surgery had healed well, but he would never look the same. Sure, he still had the thick mop of brown hair, piercing eyes the color of the Caribbean Sea, and a body sculpted by hours at the gym, but none of that mattered.

He might as well have died in the fire along with Ralph. His life had crumbled like burnt toast. There was nothing left, not even his beloved pooch. After considering suicide, he allowed his dear cousin to talk him into returning to his roots, where he’d be near her and could find peace.

Here he stood with no idea what the next step would be. A sound coming from the long road that abutted his property alerted him. People were coming. He ducked behind a small grove of trees and watched.

A car came up to the edge of his property and stopped. A man got out from behind the wheel. Rick heard a child’s voice holler from the backseat.

“Don’t! Papa! Don’t!”

The man leaned into the car and came out cradling a small dog.

“Sorry, son. We gotta. He needs doctoring and we ain’t got the cash.”

Rick watched the man put the dog down on the lawn and get back in the car. The voice came from the backseat again, but Rick couldn’t distinguish the words.

“He’ll be fine here. Someone’ll take him in. Hell, son, he’s a dog. He can catch mice and eat ’em. He’ll be okay.” The man got back in the car and slammed the door. He rolled down the window. “Bye, Sparky. You take care now.”

A young boy leaned out the back window.

“Sparky!” He reached for the pooch.

The vehicle lurched forward and took off down the road—zero to sixty in ten seconds. The boy continued wailing until the car faded out of sight. The small dog ran after it. Rick set out after him.

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PINE GROVE, THE SERIES

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