Release date: 24 February 2014
No matter how many critics call him an artisan or how much money people are willing to pay for his handcrafted furniture, Will Garrett will always be the son of a drunk from Mill Town. Though he has admired Dr. Arabelle Avery ever since his teenage busboy days at the Merritt County Club, he has no aspirations where she is concerned. A boy from across the tracks doesn’t go calling on a state senator’s daughter. But he is stoic about all that. He has his work and the home he built with his own hands in the woods where he draws his strength and serenity.
At one time, life was easy for Arabelle Avery. She was smart and pretty, with her sister-in-law and cousin as best friends. When her sister-in-law wrapped her car around a tree, Arabelle was devastated. The day her brother remarried was a hard day, and going to Will Garrett’s arms for the comfort was unexpected but easy. When she finds herself pregnant and hears, incorrectly, that Will is engaged, she flees to Switzerland to lick her wounds and have her baby. Desperate to do the best thing for her child, she allows her cousin to adopt him—a decision she immediately regrets.
When a twist of fate reunites Arabelle with her child, she moves home to Merritt, where she is determined to keep her secret and raise her child in peace. But once Will gets a look at his son and guesses the truth, Arabelle’s life spins out of control.
Can they find the path to what’s best for their son—and each other?
by Alicia Hunter Pace
Sensuality Level: Sensual
Stephanie teaches third grade and wishes for a bigger bookstore in her small town. She likes Civil War history, and people who follow the rules. She is happy to provide a list of said rules to anyone who needs them.
Jean is a former public librarian who lives with her husband in a hundred-year-old house that always wants something from her. She likes to cook but has discovered the joy of Mrs. Paul’s fish fillets since becoming a writer.
Being cradle to grave avid fans of Alabama Crimson Tide football, Stephanie and Jean are doubly elated to be part of the Crimson Romance family.
Visit them at their website, http://aliciahunterpace.com/
An excerpt from Secrets Gone South:
After five days on the job, Arabelle was batting about 50/50. Dr. Marshall Vines, Jr. had retired at the age of eighty-one and she had joined Dr. Marshall Vines, III in the practice.
There were a certain number of patients who had never been touched by anyone except “Dr. Junior” as they called him. They weren’t happy at the prospect of seeing his son, “Dr. Three,” but, Senator Avery’s daughter and Judge Avery’s sister or no, they were not signing up for some slip of a girl who ought to be getting her toenails painted and going to lunch.
Still, she was busy. This morning, she’d seen a sinus infection, a nasty case of the flu, and a stomach virus.
She scrubbed her hands especially hard after the stomach virus left. She’d always hated throwing up, but never more since Switzerland.
Her nurse bustled in.
“What have we got next, Kelly?” Arabelle turned and dried her hands.
“Semi-emergency needing stitches in room four. Dr. Three says he’ll take your ten o’clock if you’ll do it—says you’re better at that than he is.”
“Sure.” She walked down the hall behind Kelly. “This one is not going to rail at me because I’m not Dr. Junior?”
“I think he’ll be glad just to get immediate attention,” Kelly said with a laugh. “He walked in cold, of course.”
“Hence, semi-emergency?” To be honest, she didn’t really know what a “semi-emergency” was. She supposed bleeding, but not bleeding out.
And Arabelle opened the door to a full-blown, soul sucking, bleeding out emergency of the soul.
Will Garret sat on the examining table, his hand wrapped in a bloody towel. She should have been prepared for this—the seeing him, not the bloody hand. She had known she was bound to run into him, she just hadn’t imagined it here and now.
He looked up. How he managed to present her with that sweet smile was unbelievable. He was bound to be in pain. But there it was, complete with those distinctive dimples right under the impossibly high cheekbones. His dimples were not brief little indentions, like Luke’s and her own—angel kisses, Mimi had called them. No, they were deep crescent shaped dimples that she could have laid an index finger in if she dared to touch him.
And she was going to have to touch him, though not the dimples, not the deep cleft in his chin, and not his straight, fine, dark hair.
Kelly laid the chart on the counter. “The bleeding has almost stopped. Dr. Three gave him a quick look and said he didn’t see any nerve or muscle damage but for you to see what you think.”
Kelly seemed to be the only one capable of speech, which Arabelle did not think spoke highly for her own professionalism.
Will had not been expecting to see her either. His large, moss green eyes were wide with surprise—though he was more pleasantly surprised than she was. First, the smile; second, there was no fear in his eyes, like there was bound to be in her own.
“Hi, Arabelle,” he said in that rich, kind voice. Everything about this man was sweet and calm.
Though she’d just scrubbed her hands until they were practically raw, she turned to the sink and began soaping them again.