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by Judith B. Glad
Description: Seeking to fill a heart left empty by the death of her fiancé, Madeline Pierson conceived twins by artificial insemination. She needed something--someone?--to make life worth living. One foolish night with Erik Soloman brought her both healing and guilt, so she did her best to forget him. Eight years later they meet again, to discover that time has not lessened the fiery attraction between them. When Erik encounters Madeline's son, he sees his own face--the twins must be his. Now Madeline is forced to face her feelings about him--how closely is she willing to let him share in her children's lives? Does Erik, who has never really had--or wanted--a home, have the staying power to be the man she needs? And will he?
eBook Publisher: Uncial Press, 2009
eBookwise Release Date: January 2009
10 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [334 KB]
Reading time: 200-280 min.
"The action rings true in every scene--it's been many years since I've ridden a horse in a high-mountain storm, crossed rain-swollen creeks or marveled at the beauty of a hidden wetland marsh. Ms. Glad's lyric descriptions take the reader to those special, magical places few people ever really experience. This is a story worth savoring, a multi-layered romance with a message beyond love and passion. It's a story of growth and redeeming love with a feel-good ending that will bring you back again and again-definitely a keeper...and a serious invitation to read more of Judith B. Glad's stories!"--Kate Douglas, award-winning author of Cowboy in My Pocket "...an emotionally exhilarating story. Readers will be drawn into the feelings shared between Erik and Madeline. Judith B. Glad weaves this particular plot twist in such a way that even though you see it coming, the outcome still leaves you flabbergasted. Not often have I read a storyline has believable as this. Kudos for her true to life characters and an outstanding story."--Jaymi, Fallen Angels Reviews
He followed her up the stairs and along another hall. She indicated the bathroom. "I'll leave the night light on for you. Your towels are on the bar at the end of the tub."
"Thanks," he said, just as she opened a door and stood aside. The room was a typical boy's, or at least it looked like his had when he was a boy. Sports posters, a bird's nest sharing one shelf with thin books with bright spines, a soccer ball on another, and in the corner a cage that looked as if it might hold a rat or a gerbil. The important part was that there was a bed. Two beds, but it was the nearer one, sheets turned back invitingly, that mattered to him. "Thanks, Madeline."
"I could take King Alfred," she said, gesturing at the cage, "if you think he'll bother you."
"No need. I've slept with critters all my life," he assured her. He started unbuttoning his shirt. "I really appreciate this," he said, wishing she'd go so he could collapse onto the bed.
"I ... well, goodnight," she said. "Sleep well." She stepped out the door, pulling it closed behind her. Then she opened it again, just as he was pulling his shirt off. "Ah ... what time.... "She licked her lips, and despite his exhaustion, he felt a shaft of fire spear in his belly. "What time do you want to get up?"
"I don't care," he said. "But early." He could feel her gaze, almost physical on his bared chest.
Again her tongue flicked out. "Six?"
"Fine." Damn! He was too tired for this.
"I'll set the ... the clock." Suddenly she was out the door and slamming it behind her.
Leaving Erik thoroughly awake.
Insomnia was probably much easier to endure, Madeline thought, back in the days when clocks ticked and their hands went silently and invisibly around. The bright red digits of her clock reproached her as she pounded her pillow yet again, wondering where all the rocks had come from. Eleven-thirty, and she hadn't slept a wink.
She didn't even feel tired. The blood was zinging though her veins and her mind was going a mile a minute. She'd thought about every possible thing that might go wrong tomorrow and had come up with half a dozen ways to prevent or solve each and every one of them. The sleepiness that had almost overtaken her just before Erik's arrival was lost, driven away with the awareness of his presence, just across the hall.
Had Emaline remembered to arrange for the sawhorses? Just this afternoon they'd realized they needed something to block the service road that went behind the athletic field at the high school. Sawhorses would have more authority than just a rope.
Was Erik asleep?
She wondered what time Jon and Janine would get to town. This afternoon when Janine had brought in the ice cream, she'd said Jon wanted to come in early so they could go home early. He'd given the hands the day off and had to get back to milk their one cow and check the siphons on the hayfield they would be irrigating.
Was Erik comfortable? Kyle's narrow bed was probably too short and too narrow for him.
Where had she put the key to the high school? She was supposed to go over and open the north corridor in the morning. Was it in her purse, or still on her desk, where she last remembered seeing it?
A floorboard creaked. Another. Erik?
She pummeled her pillow again, determined to beat it into comfortable submission. The bathroom door rattled shut. Water ran. The shower? At this time of night?
Her mind on hold, Madeline listened until the water stopped. Small sounds told her he was brushing his teeth, flushing the toilet. Then the distinctive rattle of the door again. She really should get it fixed. That rattle could bring her out of a sound sleep.
Waiting for the floor to creak again, she wondered what he was doing. The only boards in the house that gave notice of being walked on were between Kyle's bedroom and the bathroom. Their silence meant he hadn't gone back to bed.
Where was he?
She rolled out and went to her door. Carefully she turned the knob, not wanting him to know she was, well, spying on him. Inching it open, she peered into the dim hallway. The small night light in the bathroom lit the hall only enough so you could see not to run into the wall. But her eyes were used to the dark, and so she saw him.
He was waiting for her, standing across the hall from her bedroom door. She didn't have to ask what he was waiting for. She knew, for she'd been waiting too.