A hometown hero who’s suffering a personal crisis. A single-mom who’s back on her feet again. And the what-ifs they finally have a chance of seeing come true. A year after her divorce, Chelsea Lewis spends most of her days working part-time at her cousin’s bakery and hiding veggies in her picky son’s lunches. Then she reconnects with an old friend who helps Chelsea in all the ways she’s forgotten she needs—including romantic ones. Former football player, DJ Kaiser, is back in his hometown, working as a fireman to serve his community, but after nearly burning down his own house with a barbeque and wrecking the Chief’s truck, his mistakes are stacked against him—until he sets out to ease the stress of Chelsea’s load. Serving her has him feeling like a hero again. When Chelsea’s ex shows up and begs Chelsea to move closer so his young son doesn’t grow up without his father, Chelsea and DJ have to consider what’s best for Chelsea’s little family, even if that means sacrificing the relationship that has saved them both.
They sat there, staring at each other for a moment that kept stretching out. Embarrassment crept over her expression, but she didn’t look away. He reached up with the hand that wasn’t around her shoulder and let his fingers graze over her cheek, feeling the heat there. She took a deep breath, and he had to as well. He wanted to kiss her, to take care of her and help her and . . . be everything for her. He slid his hand around her neck and guided her closer. They stared at each other.
“DJ?” she asked in a soft voice.
He couldn’t pull completely away. He swallowed. “What am I doing?” he whispered.
She tipped her head back. “What do you want to do?”
“That’s simple,” he said with a laugh. “I just . . . we can’t do half-measures here, can we?” Brady was a huge obstacle he didn’t know how to get over, as much as every moment with Chelsea drew her to him.
“No, we can’t,” she agreed.
Still, neither of them moved. Neither of them got up and walked away from this tipping point. He fingered a piece of her hair that fell in front of her shoulder. “He’s like my brother and I don’t know if there’s any point where this won’t feel like I’m betraying him . . . even . . . even if being with you might be more important.”
She settled her hands at his waist, gripping the sides of his T-shirt. “I hate that this has to be so complicated.” She tipped her head so that her forehead rested against his shoulder.
He pressed his cheek to the side of her head. “I know.” He lifted both of his hands to rest behind her neck and tilted her face back up to him, brushing a thumb along one of her cheeks. “I know.” He studied her from inches away, heat spreading through his chest.
What do I do?
Her expression must mirror back his emotions. Fear. Uncertainty. Longing.
Did he want to take the next step and deal with the consequences? He should make the decision soon, especially if he wanted it more than he was scared of it. Any moment, he might come to his senses. They both might.
“I want this,” she whispered.
That was all it took to make his decision.
"From page one, readers will delight in the realistic qualities of the characters as they come to life through their flaws and weaknesses, but also their strengths and triumphs.” -Singing Librarian Books
"I'm not sure I've ever read an author who can show personal growth as well as Clark does.” -Amazon Review
“I could not put this book down. Once it started I HAD to know how it ended… I felt invested in Chelsea’s story.” Good Reads Review
Author Raneé S. Clark
During her early years of reading, Raneé S. Clark devoured fantasy books, which continued into her adulthood—since she often believes that a well-written romance novel is a delightful fantasy. Though raising three boys can sometimes hamper both romance with her own Mr. Charming and her writing, she tries to get a little of both in every day. And most of the time she succeeds.
Raneé is the author of four contemporary romances and one historical novel, Beneath the Bellemont Sky.
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