Painless by Devon Hartford smBy popular demand, here’s a teaser from PAINLESS, The Story of Samantha Smith #3, the soon to be released sequel to RECKLESS, The Story of Samantha Smith #2




The gloom of the deserted Manos Mansion pressed in around me, suffocating me. I sat on Christos’ bed in his empty bedroom, clutching his sketchbook to my chest in my quivering hands. His haunted words echoed in my mind.


I must brave this day


I have sealed my fate


I will touch the sky


I must die”

No! I must have read them wrong! Christos would never…

I couldn’t even think it.

My heart rabbited in my chest and threatened to seize as I re-read his lonely poem under the dim light of his bedside lamp. Christos was in dire torment. His heart was breaking. I could feel his pain as if it were my own. He was in trouble, and he needed help.

Panic and a sense of helplessness spun through me. How could I help Christos if I didn’t know where he was? He hadn’t answered any of my calls or texts for over an hour. I desperately wanted to do something otherwise I was going to splinter into a million pieces.

But what?

The heavy silence pressing in around me was broken by the clatter of the front door opening downstairs.

“Christos!” I yelped as I shot up from the bed. I sprinted out of his bedroom and down the darkened hallway. Relief washed over me as I pounded downstairs. I was going to throw my arms around my man and hold onto him and tell him everything was going to be okay. I knew my love would heal the pain and self hatred that had been eating him up from the inside out for way too long.

At the bottom of the stairs, I turned and skidded into the entry hall. “Christos!”

Samoula?” Spiridon smiled, his keys jingling in his hands. “What are you doing here?”

“Where’s Christos?” I blurted anxiously.

“Isn’t he with you?”

“No,” I muttered, disappointment darkening my voice.

“He’s not in the studio working?” Spiridon asked.

“No, I checked. He’s not in the house anywhere.” For a moment I felt nervous, worried I would have to explain to Spiridon why I was wandering through his house uninvited. Which was weird, because Spiridon had already invited me to move in with him and Christos. He’d even given me a house key. So why did I feel like a snooping criminal? Oh yeah. My parents. The Source of All that is Evil.


Telling my parents over the phone that I was moving in with Christos had freaked them out. Which led to me hanging up on them and Christos freaking out because my parents were freaked out.

And the worst news of all: Christos’ pending Valentine’s Day trial, only two days away.

Why hadn’t Christos told me until now? Was the trust we’d built together a lie? What else was he hiding? A shudder shook me to my bones. My heart accelerated into overdrive as the stressful events of the last few hours reignited in my mind. My life was unraveling by the second. I felt light headed as my chest tightened, making it nearly impossible to breathe. Was I having a heart attack? Was that possible for a nineteen year old? At that moment, it definitely felt like it. Every cell in my body screamed that Christos was in immediate danger, wherever he was. My eyes flashed panic. I needed to protect him any way I could. “I need to go find Christos!”

“Calm down, koritsáki mou,” Spiridon reassured. “Come into the kitchen, Samoula. Maybe you should sit down. You don’t look well.”

My hands shook uncontrollably as he led me into the kitchen, pulled a chair out from the table for me, and opened the refrigerator. He grabbed a pitcher of water and poured a glass for me as I dropped into the chair.

“Tell me everything,” he said as he set the glass on the table and sat down. He took my hands in his and rubbed the backs of them affectionately. “Whatever it is,” he smiled, “everything is going to be fine.”

My throat closed to a pinhole as I realized the bitter truth. Even if I could somehow find Christos and rescue him from whatever fate awaited him tonight, he faced the likely possibility of going to jail for who knew how long after his upcoming trial.

I rambled, “Christos, he’s…I don’t know…I think he’s…” I was torn between my worry for Christos and the warm, loving way Spiridon was comforting me. His compassionate gaze made me oddly nervous. I wasn’t used to any kind of tenderness from other people, or the way it lowered the walls around my emotions.

Other than the intimacy I’d shared with Christos over the last five months, I’d never opened up like this in front of anyone. Especially not an adult. And never in front of my parents.

I had never let my my guard down around them.

The night Damian Wolfram had run over Taylor Lamberth, I’d freaked out big time. There was no way I would have shared my feelings about it with my parents. I’d made sure to avoid them until I’d had a chance to collect myself and stuff my feelings back inside the box I’d built around my heart when I was little.

I don’t know when I’d started building that box. It was never a conscious thing. It was a defense mechanism. Probably one that everyone had. The idea of sharing my naked feelings with my parents had always felt like an invasion of my privacy. They didn’t understand feelings. When I was little and showed my feelings to my mom, she frowned and scowled at me and told me to get a hold of myself like a big girl, or else. When my dad saw my feelings, he pulled out a calculator and tried to solve them like a math problem. If that didn’t work, he tried to sterilize them with logic. That was why I never shared anything with my parents. Not anything that mattered.

But looking into Spiridon’s deeply compassionate eyes, I felt safe. He wasn’t freaked out. He was calm, confident, and loving. I wish he could give my parents lessons. In that moment, I felt like I could tell him everything, and he would understand. He wouldn’t lecture or reprimand, and he wouldn’t measure, calculate or solve. He would simply listen. And in that listening, healing occurred. Christos had taught me that. Had he learned it from Spiridon? It seemed likely, looking at him now.

Sitting in the Manos’ kitchen, I felt comforted, swaddled in the warm embrace of the tangible love emanating from Spiridon, a love that circulated throughout his house, as if it had gently flowed out of his being for decades and soaked into the wood. This home, this kitchen, was a sacred space.

My tears welled. I was about to spill everything, tell Spiridon about the nasty things my parents had said, and the threats they had made on the phone. I knew in my heart that Spiridon wouldn’t judge. He would listen with understanding and love. I longed for that sort of comfort, the kind of comfort Christos had shown me many times already.

But more than anything, I wanted it from Christos.


Coiled resolve unwound inside me. My feelings about my parents could wait. Christos was in mortal danger right now. I needed to do something to save him. Could I tell Spiridon that deep in my bones I felt certain his grandson’s life dangled on the precipice of disaster? I would sound like a lunatic. To my parents, anyway.

“What is it, Samoula?” Spiridon asked softly. “You can tell me anything.”

I believed him and trusted him completely. I lifted my heavy head and met his eyes with mine. “Christos is in terrible trouble.” It frightened me to say it, as if voicing my fears might magically make things worse.

“I know, koritsáki mou. I know,” he said heavily as his head bowed solemnly and his eyes darkened.

His words carried such sadness, such poignancy, I felt my heart beginning to shrivel and sink into blackness…


Oh no…

PAINLESS will be released in late January, 2014.

Follow my Facebook page for the latest updates:

Devon Hartford, NA & YA Novelist


145 thoughts on “PAINLESS Teasers

  1. Devon, really! You can’t keep me like this! I want to read more! Oh I can’t wait for it to come out! January is too far off!! I am officially on pins and needles!

  2. OOOOOOOhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh ty for the teaser hmmm well that was just fustrating but i loved to feel like he was still there if only for a second

  3. Hi! After having read both Fearless and Reckless during the last couple of days (on my ipad), I really look forward to the story continuing in Painless. Really nice writing D.H.! Happy New Year from Montreal! :-)

    • Thank you, Zahra! :-) And a happy New Year to you too! :-D I’m so glad to hear you’ve enjoyed books 1 & 2. Painless is almost finished! :-D I hope it’s not freezing up in Montreal. If it is, you’ll have some warm San Diego weather waiting for you along with Samantha, Christos and the gang in the pages of Painless! ;-)

    • LOL! Sorry for the suspense! Thank you so much for writing, Jenny. :-D From what I understand about pre-orders, you have to have a specific release date, and you have to be a bigger name author than I am to get one. Maybe on some of the books I’m planning for later this year! Fingers crossed! :-D

  4. I just finished reading Fearless and Reckless both books in 3 days and I am super excited to read Painless. So addicted. Christos makes me swoon and I have a little girl crush on Samantha! ;)

  5. Omg just finished reckless , carnt wait for painles my heart is in my mouth ,roll on the end of January .im so in love with christos xxxx

  6. OMG cannot wait.. I read the first 2 books in 2 days . So excited. Good luck waiting patiently for the release. Please keep this series going . We will need Mads and Jake next Romeo and kam.

  7. Thanks for the teaser but I really can’t wait now. I have been checking everyday on in internet for it’s release. Any hint what day it will be. :)))))

    • Thanks, Debbie! I totally appreciate your interest. Painless is almost done, but won’t release until close to the end of the month. I don’t have an exact date because it’s taking a few days longer than expected. Keep an eye on my Facebook page for the latest. :-D

  8. I soooooooo can’t wait for painless. After I finished the first two I fell in love with these books. so excited :-D

  9. I keep checking and hoping that the wait will be over. I can’t wait to read what happens next. I need a happily ever after. Love your writing, keep it up!

  10. I am so excited about the release of painless. Fell in love when I first opened fearless. Devon you are truly a talented writer and look forward to all your work.

  11. The wait is killing me…… I read both books within 2 days and I’m desperate for the next one!! Love, love, love them!! I check everyday hoping to get a release date, starting to feel like a stalker lol!!

  12. Hi is painless nearly done I feel like I’m waiting for Xmas again I’ve just had to read fearless and reckless again soo excited my kids think I need to get a life I’m that excited. 😃 There just out of this world you really get caught up with all there lives like your there wouldn’t mind a Christos my self 😉. Keep up the good work devon your books give me something to look forward too.

    • Thank you so much, Pennie! :-D Yes, Painless needs one more day of writing, then I go back over for typos and start sending it out to beta readers. And, I don’t have a life either, not outside the world of Samantha Smith’s San Diego! I’ve been living and breathing the characters 24/7! :-D

  13. I’ve just read the second novel and teaser to Painless has put me in even more worried for Christos’ fate, I really don’t want him to do anything stupid. Do you have an exact date for when this novel is out?

  14. Please Hurry up! You cannot leave Reckless ending like that and then keep me waiting!! I hope he lives!! Such amazing books! Thank You :)

  15. OMG read both books in a matter of 4 days, I was on a cruise and couldn’t put it down. Come on painless! It’s going to be painful waiting!

  16. Nearly the end of January really getting excited. Not that we want to rush you but I am starting to stork you’re web pages lol

  17. Hi Devon. I’m on edge waiting for painless!! Your books are FAB! I’ve learnt a few new Greek words thanks to Christos & co! :) recently moved to cyprus from the UK so it helps! ;) really looking forward the book and can not recommend you enough! Thank you xx

  18. I’m so mad at you!!! I hated that cliffhanger!!! How could you!! I’m glad I just found you a a author and have just finished book two, this wait will only be a couple of weeks were everyone else has had to wait months. So help me, if you kill him off, I may never forgive you.

    • Hey, Vivienne! :-D Thanks for writing. Release will probably be Friday the 31st for Amazon. Barnes & Noble and kobo hopefully the 31st, or maybe on February 1st. Unfortunately, no pre orders are available. But thank you so much for asking, and for stopping by to say hello! :-D

  19. ARGH! Devon what are you doing to us?! It’s already jan 28 and no release….I don’t think my heart can wait any longer ;) I need my Christos and Sam fix

    • Thank you so much, Tina. :-D My inspiration comes from EVERYTHING that has happened in my past, and whatever crosses my awareness while I’m writing the books. Somehow, it all gets dribbled into the story. Of course, at the heart of everything is my appreciation for a good love story. It all probably started when I had to watch that old 1968 Romeo & Juliet movie in English class.

  20. I just finished Painless. It was amazing. I can’t wait for your next books I know they will be as great as these were. I hope you include Sam and Christos in the other characters stories too. You added so much depth to the other characters in this one. LOVED it. Congrats!!! :))

  21. PHEW! I was on pins and needles trying to read as fast as I could until Christos answered. You were right, I was very happy with the ending. I’m glad you seemed to have left it open for a continuation of some sorts though. I would like to see what happens now that his mom has shown up.

  22. Painless was most definitely worth the wait. Honestly the one of the best series I have read. I laughed so hard I cried and cried so hard I had to eat ice cream. I am sad to see the end. I had to slow down my reading just to drag out the experience just a little longer. I’m so glad I have these books in my library so I can re-read and re-re-read. Totes awesome!!! :)

    • Thank you so much, Becky! :-) I’m so glad you liked them! I’m all about the laughs and the tears! :-D LOL about eating ice cream. Ice cream is the perfect dessert while reading! ;-) Totes fa’ shotes! :-D Thanks for writing!

  23. Pingback: Fearless/Reckless/Painless by Devon Hartford | Vampy and Racey Bookblog

  24. Pingback: PIMPIN’: The Story of Samantha Smith Trilogy by Devon Hartford | Lovetiggi's Book Reviews and Promotions

  25. I just hope it does not die Christos, whatever, but he did not die. Christos want to Samantha. I so love this series not endure it without Sam Christos.

  26. is there going to be a book 4 of sam and christos
    I cannot get enough of the books they are so awesome and a very good read!!!!!!!

    • Yes there is, Yohanna! :-D A lot of people are asking for more, so I’m going to write another Samantha Smith book. It’ll probably be ready this fall. Stay tuned, and thanks for writing! :-D

  27. Hi
    i just finished reading this book after 3 nights staying awake
    I ,m dieing with joy to hear there is a book # 4
    please hurry up ;) :)

  28. Hola. Queria decir que ame la historia de Sam y Christos❤ El problema es que no consigo el libro número 3!!!! Y es una pena. Gracias por la historia.

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