Hi! I’m sharing an excerpt from my second new December release, South of True North, featuring Cade and Faith. You’ll finally meet Faith in her POV.
Townsfolk cheered when they fell in love. Then they destroyed them with rumors and lies.
Rancher Cade Outlaw and his ex-fiancée share custody of their daughter. After a heartbreaking breakup seven years ago, they’re growing close again. Seven years ago, Faith’s ex-boyfriend’s vengeful attack on her destroyed Cade and Faith’s happily ever after. When he asks for a do-over, he vows to protect the relationship from the pain that separated them—to keep her and their child safe from their past. But how can he take a step back if he gets the chance to settle the score? Is his love for Faith and Nadia strong enough to hold on to the second chance they deserve?
Heartbroken, pregnant, fired from her job, and Cade’s focus on avenging the assault took a toll on Faith Ribeiro. To heal, she’d left him. Years later, a Fundraising Executive and single mom, she lives with emotional and physical scars. Cade is the only man she’ll love, and she can’t deny the powerful chemistry between them. However, rekindling a relationship may invite wickedness back into their lives. What will she do this time if Cade still wants to pay back her abuser? How much will her heart break if Nadia gets swept up in their chaos after striving to keep her from it?
They’re stronger together, though they need to overcome the challenges standing in their way of a peaceful life—hate, heartache, vengeance, and family betrayal. But how will they hang on to the profound love they once shared if they don’t come out of this unscathed?
Available at Amazon.
Setup: Faith hasn’t stepped a foot on Cade’s ranch for over seven years. Today, she put on her brave face and took their daughter, Nadia, to the Two-Five to get a school project she had started with her dad.
A nauseous stomach overtook her as she drove up the ranch road. An unfamiliar horse to her grazed near the porch.
“Grandma’s horse. Hurry, let me out.”
Faith passed the porch, pulled off to the side, and stopped. “Please rush, Nadia. Grab it and come back. We have to get home.”
“Why? Wanna see my pony?”
“Not today. Hurry.” Cade’s horse grazed close to one of the barns. She sent a text: Are you near your house? I’m parked by the porch. A few moments later, he headed this way from the barn office. She rolled down her window.
“Hey, is anything wrong?”
She smiled. “Nope.”
He leaned in to kiss her. “This is a pleasant surprise. What are you doing here?”
“Nadia needed her project. I didn’t think anyone would be here, then Nadia said that was your mom’s horse.”
He looked back. “It is. Mom’s talking to Ronni about finances.”
“Can you please hurry Nadia along?”
“You’re fine here. Settle down. Nobody’s going to bother you.”
She glanced in her rear mirror. Nadia came out the door with Ruth. Cade put his hand on Faith’s shoulder, and she placed her right hand over it. Nadia and her grandmother stood on the porch checking out the pictures on her board. “You haven’t told me what went down between you and your mom yet.”
“Leave it alone. Some things never change.”
As she expected. Their daughter called from the porch. “Daddy, Mom wants the hot picture of you and Mommy on the beach.”
Cade chuckled. “I’m sorry,” he muttered to Faith, “but that kid kills me. I’ll bring the pictures tonight, but they are not to be put on her board.”
“Don’t worry!” Faith winked. “Your picture is going in my secret stash.”
“Yeah? I’d like to see your secrets.” He ran his gaze over her, his eyes lowering and lingering on her chest in a low tee.
She glanced down. “My secrets belong to you. Go get your daughter, or let me leave.”
“Don’t go anywhere. Come on, Nadia,” he called.
Faith glimpsed the side mirror as his mom peered at Cade.
“Don’t be in such a rush. Let her stay and spend time with Grandma today. We’ll go for a horseback ride. Does she have a day off?”
“Not today, Mom. Come on, sweetheart.” Cade went toward the porch, up the steps, and took her hand and the board. “They’re in a hurry. Nadia needs to finish her school assignment.” He returned to the SUV where he opened the back door for her. “Buckle your belt.”
She waved to her grandma. “By Granny. Love you.”
Ruth said she loved her back. Faith hadn’t wanted to fold in on herself, but it tore at her heart that she wasn’t a part of this, though it thrilled her to see Nadia so accepted.
Ronni, Cade’s sister and a friend to Faith, came out and stood beside her mom. “Hello, Faith! Nice to see you. Have fun with your board, Nadia.”
Faith made eye contact with Cade. “Scoot over.” She stepped out and waved. “Hi, Ronni. Have a nice day. You, as well, Ruth.”
She got back in, and he clutched the door frame with both hands. “I’m proud of your confidence. I’ll see you later.” He leaned in and kissed her on the mouth, and Faith wrapped her hand around the back of his warm, sweaty neck. “Thank you,” she whispered, leaving her cheek to rest against his. “I’ll see you soon. Buckled in, Nadia?”
“Yep! I can’t wait to work on my board. Come on. Bye, Daddy. You kissed Mom.”
Faith hooked her seat belt and met Cade’s gaze with happiness in hers. “It’s nice to see you smile. Don’t work too hard.”
“Uh, then they’ll fire me.” He winked at Nadia, “Guess what? I’m kissing Mom again.” He leaned in the window and planted a long-lasting kiss on Faith’s lips that she thoroughly enjoyed. “See ya.”
“Soon, cowboy.” Faith turned the SUV around, lifted her hand, and gave a subtle wave to Ronni and Ruth as she passed the porch. “It looks like you have a lot of pictures. I’m excited to look at them.”
Nadia asked, “Why didn’t you come in?”
End of Excerpt
Faith’s reasons for not going inside can’t be explained to a six year old. Making it as far as the driveway is a big deal for her. Find a recent snippet for another new release, Blue Snow in the Moonlight HERE.
Thank you for reading! Have a wonderful weekend! ~MJ
About me board images: Created @ Picmonkey by yours truly with Shutterstock Images