Check out this special bonus scene from Teresa Mummert’s debut WHITE TRASH BEAUTIFUL, only in the new expanded edition out TOMORROW, July 9th!

“Wow, Look at this view!” I walked over to the window that stared over the ocean. Tucker walked up beside me and took his fingers to tilt my chin towards him.

“Breathtaking.”

My whole body shivered with his words and my knees threatened to give out.

He clenched his jaw as he ran the pad of his thumb over my fresh bruises. “I’m not going to let this go.”

“It’s not your problem.” I shook my head, looking to his shirt. He tilted my chin a little higher so I would meet his gaze.

“I don’t have a choice. From the first moment I saw you, I didn’t have a choice.”

He leaned in closer, filling the small gap between us with his delicious tropical scent.

I started to pull back. “But why? Why me?” I envisioned the brunette in the magazine with her body wrapped around him. I wondered how many more women had been in her position.

“You come off so strong and brave and it is obvious you are hurting. Someone is hurting you and no one is there to protect you.”

“Tucker, I don’t need someone to protect me.”

“Yes, you do, Cass. Everyone needs someone to care about them. I know you’re strong. It’s the first thing anyone would notice about you, but I know that if someone doesn’t take the time to show you how great you are, that hard edge will begin to take over you. I’ve been there. I became so good at pushing people away that I forgot who I was and let others’ hatred consume me.” He paused, looking into my eyes with such an intensity that I suddenly felt exposed, naked. “You still have this light in your eyes. The way you scrunch your nose when you smile, the way your eyes widen at the littlest things. Even your smartass comments are just you trying to bring humor into something when you are only feeling pain. I see so much of myself in you. It breaks my heart to picture you lying in bed at night and feeling like you’re all alone.”

“Tucker,” I whispered as his lips brushed against my bruised cheek so softly I thought I had imagined it. My eyes fell closed and I melted against him, drinking him in.

He pulled back, still holding my face and it took me a moment to open my eyes. His expression was serious. “I won’t let him hurt you again.”

I nodded and he wrapped his arms around my back and pulled me against his body. I let my hands slip around his waist, gripping his T-shirt in my fists. It felt good to be cared for even if I didn’t think it would last. I’d had so many empty promises made to me in my life, and it was hard to convince myself that I could trust in this one. But I wanted so badly to believe Tucker…and I began to feel like maybe he was someone I could let myself believe in.