Gabby Cooley-Burke still believes in love with all her heart, even though Doug, her one great love, has died. Left with a son and a lifetime worth of memories, Gabby bravely faces single motherhood, even as she dreams about Doug nearly every night. Despite encouragement by her girl tribe to begin dating again, Gabby remains focused on being a good mother to ten-year-old Jeremy. But her challenges are about to become even greater when she loses her job.
Rick Chagres is not stranger to single parenthood himself. Slightly overprotective of his son, Will, and distrustful of everyone, Rick is consumed with guilt for everything Will has already endured. Worse yet, danger lurks in the shadows, and Will may be battling more serious issues than Rick can handle. But when Jeremy and Will are partnered together in a science class, their personalities class and a fight ensues, bringing both parents together to meet less than ideal circumstances. As Rick and Gabby agree to work together for the sake of their sons, they are clueless that a teacher’s suggestion is about to change their lives forever.
In this contemporary romance, two single parents brought together by chance must decide how much they are each willing to risk for love, their dreams, and their future.
And here's an excerpt!
Prologue - It was only yesterday...
He wrapped her long dark hair around his fingers and pulled her head back to kiss her neck. The waves washed over them, adding warm caresses to hands that were everywhere.
“Ah Gabriella, the love you inspire in me is constant, like the sea, and as relentless as these waves.”
She smiled in satisfaction, knowing that neither one of them would be able to stand the teasing much longer. The sand was hot beneath her back, churning cool water tickled her legs, and possessive fingers traced the curves of her body.
His mouth covered hers in a kiss that was searing, one that left no doubt about how much she stirred him. He was insistent, despite their spot at the edge of the rising tide. His body throbbed against hers.
“Gabriella, I want you, now.”
She breathed in his scent mingled with flowers on the shore and the tang of saltwater. Her bikini disappeared magically, melting away, and she was naked in the unyielding sun.
He pulled her to her feet and soon they were running across the sand. They tumbled into a hammock strung between the palms and she laughed aloud at the boldness of it, romping around where anyone could see them.
“I desire you more than anything in the world.” His eyes burned deeply into hers.
Triumphant, she rose above him to caress his face, his chest, the evidence of his desire for her. The tropical sun on her back was almost as hot as his body beneath her.
His hands were wandering again, setting fire to her skin. “Gabriella, I love you. You are the most beautiful woman in the world. I will be with you always.”
He pulled her closer in the most intimate of caresses. She couldn’t help the feeling of exaltation, the celebration of so much more to come. For years, this would be hers. She would be this beautiful, joined with this man, with nothing to separate them and a future that was endless.
She moved to his lips, her hair a curtain to hide their faces, eager right now to kiss him and show him how much he meant to her. “Doug”, she whispered, “I love…”
“Mom? MOM! Fusion ate a dead bird. Do you think he’ll be okay?”
Gabby gasped and reached blindly, trying to find something to pull over her body and cover them both, surprised to find flannel and denim instead of sand and sun. Confused, she raised her hands to push back her curtain of hair to see this intruder and found instead a ponytail that was coming apart. She blinked and realized she was lying on a couch with sun pouring in through the windows.
“Mom, are you okay?” The boy stood in front of her with a concerned scrunch on his face, an expression that she knew mirrored hers.
Jeremy. His name was Jeremy. He was the product of that passion and love, the stuff that dreams were made of, his blue eyes a reflection of his father’s.
She put out a hand to reach for the boy, and he came to her hesitantly. Her arms wrapped around him and he squirmed.
“Mom? Fusion ate a bird. Is that okay?” He wasn’t happy being held like this, but she needed it.
Gabby sighed and loosened her grip. “I’m sure he’ll be fine. We’ll watch him and make sure, okay?” She pushed back the dark hair flopping across his forehead and thought that she’d better make sure he had a haircut soon. The blue eyes looking back at her reminded her again of everything they had lost.
Oh Doug, she thought, you’ll always be with me. But you are gone. The love of my life. How will I stand it?