Katie and Josh, both desperately seeking redemption from their past, discover passion in each other's arms. With danger just around the corner, will love survive?
When Katie Sullivan makes the hasty decision to run away from an abusive relationship, she has no clue what is ahead of her. She only knows it has to be better than her life up until now. Her boyfriend is a powerful drug dealer who will stop at nothing to get her back. She knows too much. Car trouble leaves her stranded in the middle of Kansas, with little money, and a growing fear of failure.
Widower Josh Warner works and lives on an elderly couples’ farm. He juggles the responsibilities of raising his young son and his passion for the rodeo. Unable to let go of his deceased wife’s memory and on the rebound from a misguided affair, he has no desire for another relationship. But, when Katie appears out of nowhere, everything changes.
Against all reason, Katie and Josh find themselves drawn to each other. If the past catches up to them, their newfound passion, and their lives could be in jeopardy. Can their love win against the evil headed their way?
"You know, it's a nice night for this time of year. Would you like to sit on the front porch for a while? I can meet you out there after I get Chad settled in."
"I don't know..."
"Hate to waste a nice night, especially with winter just around the corner, but suit yourself."
Katie sat alone for a few minutes after he left. What the heck. Why shouldn't I enjoy an evening on the porch? She went upstairs to get her sweater. Whether Josh showed up or not didn't matter. She could use the fresh air. Surely it's worth putting up with him for a little while if he does join her.
In her room, she attempted to check her phone for messages, then remembered it hadn't worked since she dropped it on the floor. Just as well. Katie felt her neck and shoulders relax a little. At least she wouldn't have the constant worry of what message Rick would leave next. She really didn't want to hear his threats or how close he was to finding her. All she wanted was some peace and quiet. Maybe a nice evening on the front porch would be just the ticket.
When she stepped out, Josh stood on the top step looking at the stars. "I love a crisp fall night. It's like you can see clear across the universe. Look how close the Milky Way seems." He reached out his hand as if to touch it.
Katie sat on the wooden swing. The rusty chain squeaked as she moved back and forth.
"Do you know a lot about the stars?"
Josh stepped up, leaned on the porch rail, and faced her. He crossed his long legs, placing his hands on each side. A feeling of ease flowed from him.
"A little. Lisa and I used to stargaze at night on the balcony of our apartment. She bought me a book for one of my birthdays that showed all the names and positions of the constellations. I still don't know where she got it. There aren't any bookstores for miles around." He shook his head and turned back around toward the yard.
Katie fell silent. There really wasn't anything to say. She knew the pain of his loss must run deep.
"The tree frogs and the crickets are really strumming their tunes tonight." Josh broke the awkward silence between them.
Katie stopped the movement of the swing to listen. "That's a sound you don't hear in the city. You don't see a night sky like this either."
"I can't imagine living somewhere without the sights and sounds of nature around. It gives rhythm to a person's life, you know?"
Katie didn't know quite how to answer that. His words were so profound and heartfelt it startled her. Maybe there is more to him than rodeos and wheat fields.
"It is beautiful out here," Katie pulled her sweater around her shoulders tighter. "If I was staying much longer though, I would need a heavier coat. That's something I didn't bring with me."
Josh turned back around to face her. "Looks like you packed in a hurry."
"Yeah, I wasn't thinking very far ahead I guess." Uncomfortable with the turn of the conversation, she changed the subject. "Chad seems to be a really good kid. And smart. He whizzed through his math homework in no time. You should be really proud."
A shiver ran through her as a crisp breeze blew onto the porch. Josh sat on the swing, took off his jacket, and placed it around her shoulders. He let his arm rest behind her. Katie resisted the urge to protest. His arm felt comfortable and safe...like it belonged there.
Wanda Kay Fittro lives in the beautiful Ozark Mountains in Southwest Missouri. Being born and raised in a small town community gave her an appreciation for that lifestyle, and provides the inspiration for her novels. A love affair with books started early on while reading Nancy Drew by flashlight under her bed covers. She won the prestigious Missouri Literary Festival Reader's Choice award in 2011 for her Civil War short story One, Two, Three.
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