Tuesday, October 25, 2011
India McGuire's peaceful life is shattered when on the night of her engagement to David Richards, she comes face to face with Chase Porter, a long lost love. India must come to terms with her overpowering feelings for Chase and choose between David, the neighbor who says he loves her, and Chase, the man who broke her heart.
Chase's plans of leaving quietly turn to disaster when he finds that it's impossible to disappear without seeing India one last time. Feelings begin to surface that he believed buried forever and he finds himself fighting to win her back even as David struggles to hold onto her.
India longs to follow her heart, but she's been hurt too deeply. Who will she choose? The neighbor who can provide stability or the man she vowed to love forever who may once again heed to the call of the open road?
An uncomfortable silence enshrouded the room like a damp cloak. At last, India broke the stillness. "When are you leaving town?"
"As soon as I wrap up things with Mom's attorney." Chase returned to the couch and turned to face her. "Look, I didn't mean to cause trouble. My plans were to put the house and land up for sale, settle the estate, and then sneak out of town."
"What stopped you?"
He dragged his fingers through his hair. "You. I had to see you one last time."
"I wanted to find out if I still loved you."
She wasn't ready to address his feelings. Part of India begged for the truth, but another other part was afraid that knowing would complicate her life in ways she was in no means equipped to handle. "Your feelings for me didn't stop you from joining the Army and leaving town twelve years ago. What's changed now?"
"I was a just a boy then. I'm not the same person."
India needed answers, and no matter how much it hurt, she'd get them. "Why'd you run away?"
"Joining the Army seemed as good as any way to see the world."
She stared him down, refusing to look away. "That's a lie and you know it."
"Okay. I couldn't stay here after what happened."
"It wasn't your fault. Jimmy was drunk. You didn't force him to drive."
Chase sighed. "I should have taken the keys."
"I'm telling you, it wasn't your fault."
"I didn't try to stop him."
"Even if you'd tried, he'd still have driven. You know how he was."
Chase gazed into the fire. "He was my best friend. I should have at least tried. I heard all the rumors. They blamed me. Some people even thought I gave him the moonshine. I guess I left because I just wanted to forget about everything."
His eye met hers with an intensity that left her breathless.
Chase untied the bandana around his neck and shoved it in his pocket. "I didn't say that."
"You could have taken me with you."
"And take you away from your grandparents to live on a military base? You'd have given up college, your horses, and your family. You'd have been miserable."
A glimmer of gold on his left hand caught her eye and stole her breath. "You're married?" Maybe if he had a wife, it would be easier to let him go, even if it did break her heart into a million tiny pieces all over again. Maybe David was right. Maybe Chase was trouble.
Desert Breeze Publishing: http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-218/This-Time-For-Keeps/Detail.bok
Young adult blog: www.zoe-mack.blogspot.com
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