Cover Designer: Steven Novak
This emotionally charged family saga will reunite all the Friessen clan in this timeless romance and a heartwarming celebration.
Oh?” She smiled up at him and left her book open as she stood, putting her hand on the flat of his chest and stepping closer so he could wrap his arms around her. She fit so perfectly, and he could have looked down at her book and read it, he was so close. But he couldn’t do that to her. The diary was hers, her thoughts, something personal and private. He knew he couldn’t cross that line—even though he wanted to know everything she was thinking at every moment.
“You love writing in that book,” he said. “What it is you put down in there?”
Candy couldn’t hide from him, and he could sense the moment she felt uneasy. It was so subtle, the change in her body, from leaning into him, her energy reaching out and touching him, to pulling away. He rubbed her back and lower, over her sweet ass, holding her to him, not hard but in a way that let her know she could step away if she wanted. He wanted her with him, always, to stay close to him, but it had to be her choice. That nearly killed him at times, but the saying was “If you love someone, set her free, for if she truly loves you, she will always return.” For Neil right now, because of what he’d done, he’d learned that with Candy, it was so true. He couldn’t push, not ever again.
“You don’t have to share it,” he said.
Her eyes darted up so fast. He could see the surprise, maybe because he’d always pushed, expecting her to share everything, body, mind, and soul. He still wanted that, but something had changed when he’d hurt her with his betrayal—his secrets.
No more, ever.
“They’re just my thoughts, feelings,” she said, and she didn’t need to say any more. He could tell she expected him to push.
“These are things you don’t want to share with me?” He had to know, to have some idea of where she was in her head with him, just to understand where they still needed to go to heal.
“You’d think they’re silly, I’m sure. I’d feel foolish voicing them, but I want to be able to put it down. It helps me,” she whispered.
He nodded although he couldn’t help feeling a little hurt that she didn’t want to share everything with him. He also knew he couldn’t push, not anymore.
“Thank you,” she said.
“For not pushing, for not insisting on reading it. You’ve never looked at it, have you?”
Before, he would have. That was the old Neil, who was so obsessed with having Candy and molding her into who he believed she should be. What a fool he’d been. “No, I wouldn’t do that, although I am curious,” he teased.
She slid her hand around his waist and slapped his butt playfully, hugging him closer. She had the most beautiful smile as she leaned in and tilted her head up, again biting her lower lip. “Maybe one day I’ll show you.”
What could he say to that? She watched him with a lightness in her eyes that melted away the uncertainty that had been between them moments ago. He wanted her to trust him again. Oh, he knew she did in some things, but he wanted that ultimate trust where she would believe that her precious, vulnerable heart would be safe with him regardless of what life threw their way. If and when she trusted him completely again, he swore to God that he would never let her down again.
“I would love that,” he said.
USA Today Bestselling Author Lorhainne Eckhart’s books have been described as Longmire meets old-school Dallas, and she recently received the 2013 Readers’ Favorite Award for Romantic Suspense for her title Lost and Found. With over thirty titles under her belt, she is frequently a Top 100 bestselling author in multiple genres, such as romance, westerns, and mystery/suspense, including such series as The Outsider, Walk the Right Road, The Wilde Brothers, The Saved, and her most recent addition, The Friessens: A New Beginning.
Lorhainne lives on sunny Salt Spring Island with her family, where she is working on her next novel.