Monica is rehabilitated, she’ll never drink again, and it’s the perfect time to get her family back together. To do so she’s going to move to Alberta and convince her ex-husband they can work things out. Never mind he’s engaged to someone else and they can’t stand each other.
Ryan just wants to live his peaceful life. But the beautiful woman down the hall keeps showing up on his doorstep instead of drinking he can’t turn her away, even if all they do is argue. On the other hand, all the conflict makes the sex hotter.
Can they get over their differences, find common ground, and make a relationship? Or are they too unsuited to make it work?
Monica swallowed the lump in her throat as she pushed open her front door. She was glad to escape the frigid December air. Silence greeted her and the lump in her throat sank into her chest. She shrugged off her coat and hung it on the hook behind the door. She remembered when her ex-husband Darren hung that hook there.
Her heels clicked on the floor, echoing through the house.
She rolled her eyes at her own dramatic thoughts. The rooms in her house weren’t big enough to echo. She opened the fridge and stared at the contents. Eating alone for the last few months had grown thin. There was no joking, no laughing, no arguing over veggies.
She closed the fridge and went up the stairs to the bedrooms. She stopped at the spotless bedroom with the twin bed and cartoon sheets. No one had slept in that bed in months. Claire’s bedroom.
Due to Monica’s extreme fuck-up, Claire, her daughter, lived across the country in Alberta with Darren where he played professional hockey.
Claire was returning in a few weeks during Christmas vacation. Reluctantly returning to her mother, her friends here. Claire cried two nights before on the phone. She didn’t want to leave her kitten, or her father, or his girlfriend, Liz, Claire’s former nanny turned step-mom. Like a fucking rom-com or porno.
Monica had only met Liz once, but she hated the other woman. She not only stole Darren, now she was stealing Claire.
Monica pushed out of the doorway and went to her bedroom. She shed her clothes and laid on the bed. She blew her hair out of her eyes, but her eyes remained blurred with tears.
Instead of regrets, she switched her focus to her accomplishments. She was in recovery, which would be a lifelong journey. She complied with the court, and with her treatment plan. She wasn’t going back to drinking, no matter how much she craved it. No matter how bad the loneliness of living without Claire and Darren got, she wouldn’t pick up the bottle ever again. It solved nothing. It made shit worse. She acknowledged that every day.
Her vision cleared. Claire would return to her, but it wasn’t enough. She needed her whole family back. Darren.
She couldn’t do that here. Darren’s job, his life was in Alberta.
Monica would go to him. Her thoughts slowed and she found clarity she hadn’t had in ages. She would move to Alberta. She would get Darren back. She would put her family back together.
A fresh start would work for her, anyway. Her parents were here, but they weren’t particularly close to her. The only thing they ever really did for her was take Claire to give her a break. They were too busy.
Darren had paid the house off years ago, so she was free to sell it and buy something else. She still had money from alimony in a savings account. She could live off it alone and expect to live fairly comfortably. But she liked her job. And she was good at her job. She could keep working, even when she reconciled with Darren.
Darren. She went over the mistakes she made that lead to their divorce. Again. She had worked through some of them with her court-ordered therapist. Her therapist tried to discourage her from taking a far too happy view of her relationship with him. The therapist tried to make Monica acknowledge there were good reasons they broke up.
But the more Monica was away from him, the more she missed him. The more she wanted what they had back. He was a good man. And the family she had with him and Claire. They could have that again, she could have another baby with him. Something Liz couldn’t give him, according to Claire.
She went downstairs to order food, so she could make her plan. First, she had better tell Darren and Claire that her girl wasn’t coming home for good after all. Home was coming to her.
This book technically occurs before the events in Love Worth the Wait. So it is book 9 in the series. But I didn’t have it planned until after I wrote Eric and Maria’s story.
I had some fans who wanted Monica to disappear so Liz and Darren could have custody of Claire. But I thought Monica deserves redemption, she wasn’t a bad person she made bad choices. So I fixed her up.