A second divorce and a new baby wasn’t the vision Alison Hayes had for her future. Now a single mother with two young boys, she wants to focus on her kids and what’s left of her stagnant career.
When Detective Johnny Rhay Bennett breezes into her life with his country-boy accent, she wants to run. She doesn’t need another man in her life, or another reason to make people talk. But when her worst nightmare becomes a reality, Johnny is the only person who can pull Ali out of her despair, forcing her to stay strong and not give up hope of finding her missing child.
Who falls in love after a one-night stand? Johnny Rhay doesn’t believe it’s possible until it happens to him. With Nashville in his rear-view mirror, he’s determined to convince Alison she loves him too, even if it means moving to the West Coast.
Ali’s not easy, and she’s living on just this side of bitter after her divorce, but Johnny doesn’t care. He’s up for the challenge. At least, he believes he’s up for it until baby Micah is stolen right out from under his nose. Now Johnny has to keep it together and get that sweet little boy home safe before his dreams of having a family vanish too.
Ali lowered her eyes. She didn’t want him to see the truth when he looked at her. Gosh and what would people say if she started seeing Johnny before finalizing her divorce? Regardless of her feelings, she needed to control herself, and not jump into another situation like she did with Carl. She shook her head at that. “It’s not punishment, just cautiousness. I’m doing what I think is best for my family.” She cleared her throat. “Can I ask you a question?”
He nodded dropping his head down to look at Micah.
“Did you know you were moving out here when we were together in Maui?”
“I had lunch with Brian and Julie in Hawaii after you left. I mentioned to him that I was thinking of leaving Nashville. He suggested Santa Rosa.” He lifted his eyes to meet hers. “My turn.”
Her heart did a little skip and she nodded in agreement.
“How did you feel when you got on that plane in Hawaii to go home?”
Ali propped her elbow on the table and rested her head in her hand. She remembered distinctly how she felt when she boarded her plane. The reminder made her stomach flip-flop. She’d never felt like that in her life. She’d only stayed in Hawaii for a couple of days. Johnny had begged her to stay for a few more, but at two months old, she couldn’t bear leaving Micah for that long. Johnny had another week before going home, but he insisted on taking her to the airport. Said he didn’t want her to go alone.
They’d stayed up all night, even watched the Maui sunrise together. The night reminded her of being a teenager, fighting sleep to stay on the phone with a boy…talking about everything, yet talking about nothing important. Simply being together was enough for them in the moment. It was such a great night. She’d never forget how she felt being there with him. “Why would you ask me that?”
“I answered your question, you answer mine.”
“Honestly.” Her voice lowered and her eyes focused on her plate. “Crazy…exhilarated, and scared, and free, and sad, and special, and miserable, and…loved…all at the same time.” Ali frowned and wanted to cry. She shook it off and stood to clear their plates, almost knocking her chair to the ground in her rush to get up. Their night together had been a wonderful break from her regular everyday troubles and her regular everyday life…but it wasn’t real life, and she couldn’t pretend differently. She was a wreck of a woman, with a new baby and a pending divorce.
“Ali,” he said as she stepped to the sink. “How about when you got home—when you got back to Santa Rosa?”
“Why do you want to know this? It doesn’t change anything.” she said, slamming the plates into the sink.
“Did you feel lost…lonely? Like you had just walked away from something you would never feel again?”
Ali looked up to find him standing right next to her. “How—”
“How did I know?” he asked before she could get her sentence out.
Ali stared at him not sure what to say. “How do you?”
“Because I felt exactly the same way. Watching you fly away killed me.” He leaned his hip on the kitchen counter, cradling the sleeping baby in his left arm. “When I got home to Nashville, I felt sick with it.”
What can I say? I LOVED this book! Finally a book about a single mom, a little older, not some kid straight out of high school finding her one true love (how nice they can be). This was about a woman who made mistakes. Who was scared of making them again, trying to build a life for her and her two sons. And then, finding a handsome guy – do they really grow them as tall, handsome and gentlemanly (yes not an existing word, I know) in Nashville? Then make way, I’m moving! – who accepts her and her kids. *swoon swoon*
Of course it’s not that easy, some things happen and man, what a ride! But I love it that there is a good man portrayed, they are still out there! I think you will love the story. Some things move a little fast, but it still works out. Read it and see. I am only sad I read Dangerous Embrace after Precious Embrace, but lucky for me it did not take away from neither story!
Dana Mason started writing to prove to her computer geek husband and her math & science geek kids that she actually has a brain; it’s just a right functioning brain instead of a left. She’s lived all over the country and uses that experience in her writing and character studies. Her debut novel, Dangerous Embrace, is the first in a contemporary romance series about a group of friends from Northern California who learn just how short life can be when you don’t hold on to what’s important. Second chances don’t come easy…but sometimes love is worth the risk.
When not writing, Dana specializes in professional development and training. She’s also a board member on the local Art’s Council and does what she can to support the art community.
As an avid reader and movie watcher, she always requires a happily ever after ending.