She’s running from her past, he’s hiding from the world when suddenly their lives collide.
Trish Biltman has spent the last two years evading a past she fears. Tucked away in a small seaside Jersey town, with her two young children, her life is simple. Until the day a photo from her best friend’s highly publicized wedding shows up on Page 6, and she finds herself once again on the run trying to keep her family safe.
Since his divorce, Grant Evans has focused his time and attention on his secluded Pennsylvania farm. His solitary life is fine, until the quiet, brown-eyed Trish and her adorable—but loud—kids need somewhere to go. Since his farm is their only option Grant reluctantly opens his doors to them.
Both Trish and her kids begin to thaw the ice that held Grant’s heart captive for years as he teaches her to trust again. But the darkness from her past comes back, threatening their relationship, just as Grant starts to believe life can be
More than Fine.
“I thought you’d be up at five. I was trying to have everything ready for you,” Trish said, turning back to hurry through whatever she was stirring.
“I’m not in a rush,” he said. Trish glanced back at him before turning away again quickly, almost like she felt guilty. “Do you think you need to make me breakfast?”
Her head shot around, but she didn’t say anything.
“I mean, I told you last night I’d eat any time you made food, but I didn’t mean it to be an obligation,” he explained.
She shook her head, and Grant waited while she thought. Trish was slower to answer questions, but if he didn’t rush her, she’d eventually reply. Her brow ruffled, and then her head cocked to the side before she finally looked back at him.
“I wanted to do something nice for you.” There was an open honesty in her statement. She wasn’t buttering him up, and she wasn’t looking for something in return. She was selflessly doing something for someone else. Grant’s chest panged at the difference between this and what he was used to experiencing. She paused again and looked down. “And I wanted to say I’m sorry for running from you last night. It’s just…” She paused again, and her teeth sank into her lush bottom lip. Finally, she looked up and said, “My side hurts,” as if she was apologizing.
“Well, you got cut open and parts of you were taken out, so it should,” Grant said, his eyes drifting to her side, to the exact spot his hand had touched. Then something occurred to him. The way she’d have to twist to change the bandage herself would probably cause her more pain. “Have you been able to clean or change your bandage?”
She swallowed and shook her head.
“Trish,” he sighed. It had been two days, and he knew it should be changed daily. “Can you pause breakfast? And by that, I mean if you take ten minutes off from cooking, will it still taste like heaven?” He sent her a smile to reassure her he wasn’t mad, but wanted to help.
“It’s basically done; if I turn it down, it can simmer.”
He nodded and took a step toward her. “Then can I please change the bandage for you?”
“You don’t have to,” she said. “I don’t want to be an inconvenience.”
“I know.” He took two steps closer to her. They were now only an arm’s length apart. “And you’re not.”
She finally nodded, and he took the final step to her. He could touch her now, he could smell the sweet scent of her skin, but he didn’t move closer. He waited until she looked at him again, making sure she was comfortable.
When she met his eyes, he asked, “Can I lift you up onto the counter?”
He watched her brain start to tick, trying to figure out how she could jump or lift herself. Her lips tightened to a straight line as the realization passed through her: She couldn’t. Finally, she met his eyes again with a small nod.
Gradually, he reached out toward her waist, giving her plenty of time to stop him, but she didn’t. His palms hit the soft fuzz of the flannel first, then his hands came to rest on ample female hips. He slowly lifted her weight and sat her on the counter before stepping between her legs.
His hands rose deliberately, undoing the buttons of her shirt. One. Two. As each button came open, more of the curve of breast and the pinch of her waist in the fitted white tank top came into view. Three. This was killing him. Four. The flannel opened, revealing the body she always hid.
He met her eyes, and the air buzzed around them. He lifted his hand and, painfully slowly, he pushed the red and black material off her shoulder. Goosebumps broke out across all of the soft peachy skin he revealed. He swallowed and glanced back up to her eyes.
“Sorry, I didn’t realize how cold it is in here,” he allowed.
She shook her head and took her arm out of the sleeve. He quickly got what he needed so he could move back to her. Careful not to cause her any pain, he raised the white tank top just enough to reveal the bandage he needed to remove. He peeled the tape cautiously, watching her skin pebble with additional goosebumps, until it finally gave way. He looked at the black stitches, all ten of them, that cut into her soft skin. He watched his hands work, but he could feel her eyes on his face. Grant frowned at the harsh red skin still swelling around every black piece of thread. No wonder his soft touch made her eyes water.
“Are you okay?” he asked, bringing his eyes up to meet hers. Those giant brown orbs rimmed by thick dark lashes watched him with such open trust it caused a weird, painful crack in the armor surrounding his heart.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Even as a young child Jenni Bara would conjure up all kinds of tales with her endless imagination. She’s improved her skills since the days of scaring her younger cousins with ghost stories, but her love for books and stories has never changed.
In her everyday life, she is a paralegal for family law writing unhappily ever afters for people every day. So in turn she spends her free time with anything that keeps her laughing including life with her four kids, or five if you count her husband!
All joking aside she is blessed to have not only a very supportive husband but super supportive parents as well as a loving extended family always happy to share their opinions!
Her favorites spots all have the best views of the sunsets and she loves to share the views through photos.
She just began her career as a romance author writing books full of life, love, and laughter.
Find out more about Jenni and her books HERE.