by Linda LaRoque
A mother, confronted with her husband’s infidelity, must decide whether to help raise his child or end her marriage.
Annie and Stuart Rayburn have loved each other since high school. Their life is idyllic until their baby dies of SIDS, and Annie falls into a deep depression. Months of therapy help her recover, and they look forward to another child sometime in their future.
Despite his own grief Stuart tries to comfort Annie, yet when he reaches for her in the night, his advances are rebuffed. In a moment of weakness, he turns to another woman. Stu learns his night of infidelity produced a baby girl. The mother died in a car crash, and her will gives Stu custody.
Stu can’t deny the child is his, and he’s determined to raise her. He begs Annie’s forgiveness. Hurt and angry, Annie must face her demons, decide if she can forgive Stu, and love the innocent child, or divorce him and move on without the only man she’s likely to love.
EXCERPT (Exclusive Excerpt):
The next day, Stewart arrived at the office early, a bit bleary-eyed from lack of sleep. He’d tossed and turned half the night and dreamed the other half. Susan sat behind her desk, her silver hair perfect, not a hair out of place, in its short bob style, absorbed in her tasks for the day. This morning her usual promptness grated. He’d wanted some time to himself. “Good morning, Susan.” She stood and followed him into his office, shutting the door behind them.
“What’s going on, Stewart?” The unadorned prim suit of muted gray she’d chosen to wear today, without one of her collection of lapel pins, indicated she’d rushed getting dressed this morning. It also indicated her mood—she knew something was going on and she wasn’t in the loop.
She deserved to be aware of the situation. He relied on her discretion, and realized she cared for both him and Annie. Without being invited, she sat in a chair facing him, waiting. He almost grinned at her brashness, but didn’t. Loyal to a fault, she’d earned the right. He might as well tell her and get it over with. The problem was, he didn’t know if he could hold up under her sympathy or condemnation right now. Though tough as nails, she also had a tender heart.
He stood behind his chair before the floor-to-ceiling window behind his desk and cleared his throat. “This is difficult for me, and I’d like the information to be kept low key for as long as possible. Please don’t interrupt me while I tell you this.”
She nodded slowly, her eyes expressing concern. “A year ago, when we were still mourning Emily, I had a one night stand with an associate while in Reno.” Susan covered her mouth with her fist. A scowl pinched her forehead. Her concern turned to censure. He turned to face the skyline of Las Vegas. “There is a baby, a baby girl three months old. Her mother was killed in a car crash two weeks ago. Her will awards me full custody. I pick the child up at the airport today at noon.”
He’d not heard her stand, but a hand gripped his shoulder. He turned around, and walked into Susan’s arms. She held him for a moment until he stepped back. “Annie knows. I moved out last night.”
Linda LaRoque is a Texas girl, but the first time she got on a horse, it tossed her in the road dislocating her right shoulder. Forty years passed before she got on another, but it was older, slower, and she was wiser. Plus, her students looked on and it was important to save face.
A retired teacher who loves West Texas, its flora and fauna, and its people, Linda’s stories paint pictures of life, love, and learning set against the raw landscape of ranches and rural communities in Texas and the Midwest. She is a member of RWA, her local chapter of HOTRWA, NTRWA and Texas Mountain Trail Writers.
Linda writes contemporary western romances, time travel romances and futuristic romances. Shattered Vows is her first Inspiration Women's fiction.
Other Books by Linda LaRoque
Investment of the Heart
When the Ocotillo Bloom
Born in Ice
The Turquoise Legacy
My Heart Will Find Yours
Flames on the Sky
A Way Back:
Desires of the Heart
A Law of Her Own
A Marshal of Her Own
A Love of Her Own
A Time of Their Own (A collection of three time travels
set in Prairie Texas—A Law of Her Own, A Marshal of Her Own, and A Love of His Own.)
Linda will be awarding three individual prizes to randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour:
1st prize—sterling charm bracelet with baby theme and a handmade wooden jewelry box
2nd prize—a handmade wooden shawl pin and an ecopy of Shattered Vows
3rd prize—an ecopy of Shattered Vowsa Rafflecopter giveaway