People only reveal what they want you to see…
Chad Kirkwood has a secret. One he’s determined to keep buried until he’s ready to divulge it. So when he shows up on Katie’s doorstep in answer to a job posting, he stretches the truth and tells her only what she needs to know.
Katie Wicken is broken. Left to pick up the pieces of a called-off engagement and a failing farm after the death of her father, she’s determined not to let anyone else into her heart. Then she hires Chad, and Katie finds herself glancing in his direction, watching him work, and thinking about him after the sun goes down.
Something begins to awaken within Chad, too. It’s been forever since he’s felt such a genuine connection and been able to fully enjoy his life. Hell, live his life. But when Chad’s lie catches up with him, he’s forced to come clean.
And the truth could break Katie’s heart once again.
Grief and pain can make people do crazy things… but so can love.
“Don’t speak about something you don’t understand, all right? Whatever Katie has told you, that’s all it is…a piece of a much bigger pie. You don’t know me, and no matter what you think, you don’t know her either.”
Chad crossed his arms in front of his chest, not sure what to say next. From the corner of his eye, he could see Katie stomping through the tall grass towards them. The dust from Jay’s car had finally billowed into the garden where she’d been working.
“Are you warning me about her…Jay?” Chad locked eyes with him, his gaze never wavering even though Katie was getting closer with each step.
Jay slammed the car door, wearing a muted grin as he matched Chad’s pose, crossing his own arms and pulling himself up to his full height, at least three inches taller than Chad’s five feet and eleven inches. “She used to be different, that’s all. Calm yourself, will you? I’m just telling you, you don’t know the real Katie. To be honest, you probably never will. The real Katie we all knew and loved died along with her father. My Katie is gone, so like I said, don’t talk about things you only think you understand.”
Thankfully, Chad didn’t have to form a response, not that he knew what he would say to that, anyway. Katie’s feet hit the gravel just as Chad had opened his mouth to speak; however, the look on her face evoked enough uncertainty in him that he swiftly closed it again.
“You said you were picking Mason up at five thirty. It’s only a few minutes past five.” Katie consulted her watch as though to confirm it, lifting her head to glare at Jay again.
“I’m a few minutes early. I wanted to see how everything was going.”
“Everything is just fine, Jay. You can come back in twenty seven minutes.” Katie didn’t look at Chad as she brushed past the two men and headed for the house, where Chad knew Mason was currently packing up his clothes and Nintendo DS to take with him.
“Katie, wait…” Jay’s pleas went unanswered, the screen door banging closed abruptly behind her. Only a defeated sigh sounded in the thick silence between them, and Chad uneasily turned away from the other man, intent on cleaning up his mess near the barn wall and getting the hell out of dodge before this situation got any more heated. Jay, on the other hand, didn’t have the same intentions.
“See? What’d I tell you? She’s impossible.”
“No. She’s hurt. There’s a difference.” Chad didn’t look at him. Instead, he plucked the hammer and tin can full of nails from the ground and pretended to admire his handiwork on the barn wall.
“You seem to know a lot about my girlfriend and her—“
“She’s your ex-girlfriend.”
Jay stared at him, seeming to mull over how to react. Chad couldn’t be sure whether it was humiliation or anger that clouded the man’s clean shaven face, maybe a bit of both. Either way, Chad didn’t fear him, and he stared back, unblinking.
“Good to meet you, Chad.” Jay’s tone was condescending and gruff.
“See you in twenty four minutes,” Chad replied, and the hint of a smirk crossed his face the moment he broke eye contact and turned away.
M. Lynne Cunning has always wanted to be an author, but it wasn’t until she discovered National Novel Writing Month and all the insanity that goes along with it that she began to truly realize her love for writing stories. While she doesn’t limit herself to writing only specific genres, her first two published novels, Until I’m Found and Blurred Lines, are considered Romantic Suspense. Her new book, Who I Am With You (to be released February 2016), will be the first in a contemporary romance series. She also doesn’t believe that the traditional typical “happily ever after” is always the way to go. You’ve been forewarned.
She is almost always reading or writing, but also enjoys spending time and traveling with her husband/best friend, Dennis, and is the proud dog-mom of two brindle boxers. She’s also a too-far-gone coffee addict and a lifelong country music fan.