Love can be beautiful, but what happens when it becomes hostile? In this electrifying drama, Stacey Covington-Lee brings to light the horrors of domestic violence and the strength it takes to escape it.
Zoe Shaw’s childhood was anything but perfect. She, her sister, Pam, and their mother, Martha, were terrorized by Otis Shaw. The man that vowed to love and protect them had become a drunken, abusive animal that took pleasure in their suffering. But when he begins to look at Zoe with lover’s eyes, she finds herself taking drastic measures to ensure that he’ll never hurt any of the Shaw women again, or so she thinks. When word gets out that Otis may be resurfacing, Zoe, being the strongest of the trio, decides that it’s time for them to move away and start anew.
Desmond Page, Zoe’s best friend, moved away a long time ago. Having had a difficult childhood of his own, he and Zoe found love and acceptance with one another and did their best to shield each other from harm. Now that she’s looking to relocate, he suggests that she join him down south.
Their new home offered everything the Shaw women ever wanted; peace, security, opportunity and even the possibility for love. When Ramon Martinez introduced himself to Zoe, the attraction was undeniable. And despite her better judgment, she allowed herself to fall for the uncommonly handsome business owner. What she didn’t realize was that he was also the product of an abusive home, but unlike her, he chose to follow the example set by his father. His jealousy and insecurity led him to deliver painful consequences for what he deemed inexcusable behavior. But he has clearly underestimated Zoe and the question now is which one of them will survive this battered love?
Chapter Excerpt: Hate The Way He Loves Me
It had been a crazy day and the customers were driving Zoe insane. Everything and everyone seemed to be tap dancing on her nerves. She’d even found herself snapping at April, something she’d immediately regretted. Her apology was an offer to buy lunch and thankfully, April accepted.
“So tell me, Zoe, what has you so upset today? You’re not acting at all like your normal self. I’ve never seen you so on edge,” April declared as she took a big bite of her cheese-burger.
“Let’s just say that I had a moment with Ramon this weekend and it left a really bad taste in my mouth. I swear I’ve been annoyed ever since Saturday.”
“Okay, so what was the moment? I mean how bad could it have been?”
“Long story short, Desi and his partner had a bad fight Friday and Desi went home with me. He spent the night with me, slept in the bed with me and Ramon apparently had a huge problem with it. Had the nerve to try and make me promise that Desi would never sleep with me again. Can you believe that?”
April chewed slowly as she looked around the restaurant clearly avoiding eye contact with Zoe. But after a few seconds she could feel her friend’s eyes burning a hole in her, demanding a reply. “I’m sorry, Zoe, but that doesn’t sound like such an unreasonable request to me. No man wants to think of his woman sharing a bed with another man.”
“Oh come on April, we all know that Desi is gay. He has no interest in anything a woman has to offer. Especially me, I’m like a sister to him for goodness sake!”
“Girl, I’m going to need for you to calm down and lower your voice,” April instructed as she took note of the people in the small diner looking their way. “You asked me a question; you can’t get salty because you don’t like my answer. And I’m not the kind of friend that only tells you what you want to hear, I tell you how I truthfully feel. I understand that Desi is gay, but that doesn’t change the fact that he’s still a man and that is obviously threatening to Ramon.”
“Clearly we view this differently. To me it seems as if he’s trying to control me. This is how it all starts, they convince you to give up something or someone important to you. Once you cave on one thing, they demand something else until everything and everyone you’ve ever cared about is cut out of your life and all that remains is them.” Zoe’s voice was shaky and tears danced on the rim of her eyes, threatening to fall down her cheeks.
April reached across the table and took Zoe’s hand in hers. “Honey, why are you so emotional about this and who are you referring to when you say ‘they’ and ‘them’?”
“I’m referring to men. They are all the same, they all want to control every aspect of their mate’s life and I can’t have that. I won’t allow any man to control my life,” Zoe sobbed.
“Zoe, don’t you think that you may be reading a little bit too much into his request? I mean I’ll be the first to admit that some men are controlling, but not all of them. There are so many good men out there and I’d hate for you to throw away one of those good men because of one request he made. Which, by the way, he probably only made because he’s feeling insecure in this new relationship.”
“I don’t know April. My mother has spent her entire life either being controlled or dealing with the fall out of being controlled. I won’t be my mother; I refuse to live her life.”
“And I would never want you to live that life, but I do want you to be sure of Ramon’s intensions before throwing him away. Talk to him Zoe, and be clear with him just like you were with me. Give him the opportunity to either confirm your fears or show you that he has no desire to control you at all.”
( Continued… )
© 2014 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Stacey Covington-Lee. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author’s written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.
Hate The Way He Loves Me by Stacey Covington-Lee
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Meet the Author
Having fallen in love with literature at an early age, it only made sense for Stacey Covington-Lee to seek a career that would allow her to combine her passion for writing and her Communications education from Savannah State. During her lengthy career in the insurance industry as an Instructional and PC Trainer, Stacey wrote and developed multiple training guides and manuals for both insurance companies and local government.
It was at the encouragement of a dear friend that Stacey wrote and released her first novel, The Knife In My Back. Continuing her exploration of love, friendship, and betrayal, she has since given us The Knife In My Back 2, Bitter Taste Of Love, and her much anticipated, Hate The Way He Loves Me.
Stacey is an Atlanta native and has found great enjoyment in visiting book clubs and speaking at various events throughout the Southeast region. She loves hearing from readers and invites everyone to visit her website, http://www.staceycovingtonlee.com, follow her on Twitter (@covingtonlee) as well as Facebook (www.facebook.com/staceycovington-lee) and IG (scovingtonlee).