A Forever Kind of Love…#5

ebook release April 2011

You can always come home.

Second chances come a little harder.

Chase and Zoe were the high school golden couple. Football captain, cheerleader, prom royalty.

After graduation, though, Chase couldn’t resist the urge to experience life outside their small town. He didn’t exactly expect Zoe to wait twelve years for him, but now that he’s back, he finds some small part of him hoping she did.

It’s no big surprise she’s married. The kick in the face is she married his best friend.

Zoe was devastated when Chase left, but she’s filed those bittersweet memories under “Moved On”. She loves her life, and loves her husband. She has all she needs. And Chase keeps an honorable distance.

One cold, wet, miserable day, tragedy turns Zoe’s world upside down. Chase never expected her to simply fall into his arms, but a man can dream. Except his dream doesn’t include the fact that this time, she’s the one hitting the road…and he’s the one left behind.

Six months later

“Ungrateful slut.” Grace Childers peered at her daughter through milky, unhappy blue eyes, her mouth pinched and angry, her hands curled into tight fists. “Just go away and leave me alone. Stupid, ungrateful slut.”

At eighteen, those words had hurt. They had slashed through her heart and her tears had been like salt water in an open wound.

Now, as she stared at her mother’s aging, unhappy face, she felt more pity than pain. Still, she couldn’t completely hide the wince as her mother continued to mutter in disgust.

Not that the woman entirely understood just what she was ranting about. Not now. Early onset Alzheimer’s had taken a miserable but sharp woman and made her into a miserable woman who barely remembered her own name.

Stroking her mother’s tangled hair back from her face, Zoe said, “Mama, it’s time to eat. Aren’t you hungry?”

In response, Grace Childers picked up the bowl of soup and if Zoe hadn’t moved, she would have been wearing it.

One of those days. It was going to be one of those days.

Her phone rang and she glanced down, saw Roger’s number. As she went about cleaning up the soup, she answered. “Hey, sweetie. How was the doctor’s appointment?”


Some days just went from bad to worse. They started out miserable and just went to outright fucked up as the day progressed.

This had been one of them—it had started out shitty, and hit the fucked-up stage well before lunch had rolled around. Chase hadn’t even gotten around to eating lunch, something his hollow stomach wasn’t about to let him forget.

He had been back home for six months.

Six lousy, awful months and every damn day, he thought about just leaving. He could sell the car he’d bought, load up his bike and just leave. One of the reasons he’d come back no longer existed…at least not for him.

And because of that, he’d deliberately created himself another reason—he’d bought the town’s sole bookstore. He didn’t know jackshit about running a business, although thank God the store’s manager did and she’d been delighted to hang around, not to mention delighted to hang around with somebody who wasn’t opposed to bringing the store into the current century.

But that was a nightmare of work and today was the pinnacle of those nightmares.

But Tiffany finally had things under control and as she chattered with customers, he slipped into the back office and took five seconds to swear under his breath.

“Lousy day,” he said. “Lousy fucking day.”

The day was done, he could go home, eat. Collapse.

No, he had some books to sort through, he remembered as he stared at the box sitting on his desk. Okay, go home, eat, sort through the books, then collapse.

Hefting the bag of books onto his shoulder, he headed out of the office and slipped out the back door.

The Book Nook had been Warren’s only bookstore for as long as he could remember. Now it was his bookstore. It had gone up for sale just two days after he’d come back home, when he’d seriously been considering whether he’d should get the hell out or really trying making this place his home.

In the end, there hadn’t been much of a contest.

Warren had always been home.


Kindle | Nook | Samhain

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