Release date: September 21, 2015
Psychiatrist Henley Elliott fled her quiet life in Cleveland for a gypsy lifestyle, trying to stay one step ahead of her painful memories. When she breaks down in quirky little Trappers’ Cove, Minnesota, she meets Sheriff Carter McAlister—a man healing from his own share of hidden heartbreaks.
At the request of a friend, Carter offers Henley a job to help her get back on her feet … but soon he can’t resist trying to sweep the intriguing woman off them. Breaking through her carefully built shell proves to be a near-impossible task, and to make matters worse, a dangerous new presence in the Cove seems to be targeting Henley. They must learn to trust in each other in order to keep her safe.
Can Henley and Carter leave their secrets and scars in the past to get a second chance at happily ever after?
by Becky Flade
Becky Flade loves and laughs in southeast Pennsylvania, where she’s busy living her very own happily ever after when she’s not writing about someone else’s.
An excerpt from Fated Hearts:
“No, no, no, baby, just a little bit farther,” Henley pled. She pulled the car off the side of the road in time for it to roll to a stop, shudder, cough, and die. She laid her forehead against the steering wheel and sighed. She didn’t have much money and feared the car needed massive repairs. It was a miracle her baby had made it this far. Trappers’ Cove would be home for the next little bit—once she got there. Her immediate problem was getting herself into the main part of town, followed closely by locating a mechanic who would tow the vehicle in with only the promise of payment. Then she’d worry about securing lodging and employment. Henley grabbed her purse and the backpack she kept filled with a couple days’ worth of necessities, locked the Pontiac loaded with the rest of her meager belongings, and began walking west.
Late April in Minnesota wasn’t exactly balmy, so she’d dressed that morning in jeans and a long-sleeved tee. Always practical, Henley had also wrapped a sweatshirt around her waist in case she needed it. But after a few miles of walking in the afternoon sun, she began to perspire. Her hair clung to the back of her neck, and her shirt grew clammy. With practiced skill, she pulled the long, brown locks into a sloppy bun and secured the knot with a scrunchie she kept on her wrist. She pushed the sleeves up to her elbows and nudged her sunglasses higher on the bridge of her nose.
She heard the truck approach. It came around the bend in the road and into view, its appearance as dilapidated as it sounded. She kept her gaze on the horizon, but the truck slowed to a stop parallel to her regardless. She expected to see a grizzled, old farmer behind the wheel, his teeth yellowed from tobacco, dressed in flannel and suspenders. She knew it was a snobby presumption, but she’d seen more than a few on her travels and they drove similar trucks. Instead, the man behind the wheel of the once-blue jalopy appeared to be close to forty, and he was pretty.
She doubted he’d appreciate the description; in her experience not many men would, but it was the first word that came to Henley’s mind. His dark brown hair needed a cut, the ends curling around his ears and nape. He had blue eyes framed in thick, black lashes, a day’s worth of stubble, though it wasn’t yet three o’clock, and a cleft chin. His full bottom lip curved seductively as he smiled at her in an amused but condescending fashion that suggested women tended to stare and he thought it funny. She realized her mouth hung open and snapped it shut. She tucked her hands in her back pockets. She wasn’t sure what else to do with them, but the move thrust her ample breasts forward and the pretty man’s smile widened exponentially.
Sweet baby Jesus, some things in life aren’t just.
“Hi. Can I help you?”
“My car broke down. About three, maybe three and half miles back.” Okay, she sounded like a functional human being. “I’m going to Trappers’ Cove.”
“Well, you’re heading the right way.” His smile warmed. “I’d be glad to give you a lift. My name is Carter. Carter McAlister.”