Mattie, the eldest of Marietta’s Carrigan girls, married rodeo cowboy, Wes Bishop, right out of high school and raised twin daughters. A happy life, she thought, but now that she’s in her late thirties and their daughters have left for college, her husband has become strangely distant.
Then one night Wes comes home late from a rodeo—with a stranger’s key in his pocket. He won’t talk, but she knows something is wrong.
When her worst fears are confirmed, the hits keep coming. It seems her husband is determined to destroy everything she loves in this world. Thankfully she still has her sisters, and her home on The Circle C Ranch. But more and more she thinks, not of her roots in Marietta, but of her kind, dependable neighbour, Nat Diamond. Over the years Nat has been a constant in her life, but only as a friend. Is it possible the two of them could become more? But if Nat really does have romantic feelings for her—as she suspects—why does he keep pulling away?
Is there something he needs to tell her?
“Parents have to step back when their kids are grown. That’s just how it is.”
He’d never talked like this before. “Our roles change,” she agreed, talking slowly, trying to figure out who this man was. She’d always felt that their parenting styles blended perfectly. But looking back now she could see that Wes had connected better with the girls when they were younger. Their adolescent stage had confused him. And maybe he’d pulled back more than she realized. “But they still need us.”
“Portia and Wren haven’t needed me since I taught them to drive.”
“Why are you being so literal? You know being part of a family is more than doing jobs for one another. Family provides our emotional bedrock. None of us ever grow out of the need to be loved.”
“And I’ll never stop loving them,” Wes said, his voice subdued once more.
The implication of his words hit her with another ferocious stab of pain.
He’d never stop loving their daughters.
But he had stopped loving her.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
CJ Carmichael has published over 35 novels and has twice been nominated for a RITA award. She likes to write stories about romance, family and intrigue, usually in small town or rural settings. When it’s time to take a break from the computer, she heads to the Rocky Mountains near her home in Calgary where she lives with her partner Michael and their cat, Penny.